back to top

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder’s Cup Horse Races

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

For years now, as the brand that the Swatch Group has designated to embody “elegance,” historic timepiece maker Longines has been thoroughly involved in the world of equestrian sports. It sponsors important equestrian performances around the world, including the world-famous Kentucky Derby, as well as the highly prestigious Breeder’s Cup. For 2019, the official wristwatch of the Breeder’s Cup is the Longines Master Collection Moonphase — a new collection (with a healthy level of diversity) for 2019 that has something for everyone (assuming you are a moonphase complication lover).

Longines invited aBlogtoWatch to join them at the Breeder’s Cup, once again — this time here in Southern California at the famed Santa Anita Park track. The lovely hills and pastel skies of late fall made a gorgeous backdrop for the entirely filled stadium where horse-racing fans from around the United States came to cheer on their favorite horses and racing teams.

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

Legacy tradition and the passion of horse owners is what keeps most equestrian events alive and thriving in the United States. I think what is important to point out about them is that these events do not survive through sponsorships and commercial relationships, as more mainstream sporting events may. Instead, it is the fans and people participating in horse-racing and other equestrian events that keeps the pursuit alive and well.

What most people do not realize about horse races, unless they have attended one themselves, is what the mood and atmosphere are like. Consider for a second that betting (which is extremely nuanced and complex) on horse-racing is still extremely popular, as is dressing up in one’s best horse-racing attire. Women famously don fascinators (those hat-style head decorations), and the event includes a fashion show (appropriately named the Longines Elegance Prize). Drinking is encouraged and celebrated, while, for the horse team winners, there is much to be gained from the victory.

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

In a very real way, horse races have a communal sense of victory when one’s horse wins. The team, of course, wins a large cash prize, and those who bet on the horses in the stadium who win stand to gain even further. You can imagine what the collective cheering sounds like. The onsite Longines team remains busy because, during each of the 12 Breeder’s Cup races, the entire winning team (horse owner, horse trainer, jockey, etc.) all win Longines timepieces as part of their prize.

Advertisement

This latter element is important because, taking the Rolex lead, watch brands know they can earn an almost permanent place of prestige in the eye of a demographic when their products are touted as part of the prize for a big win. Rolex has race car drivers and sailors eager to win a Rolex, and Longines has jockeys, trainers, and a litany of other talents equally interested in donning their timepiece trophies.

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

From a competitive standpoint, horse-racing also seems to have many more surprises than say motorsport racing, where driver and team performances are often well-anticipated in advance. Horses certainly have favor over one another, but the means in which a horse can come up to beat others, even in the last seconds of a race, is a thrilling experience for everyone in attendance. Thus, expected race victory outcomes remain a huge draw for the crowd. Attending the Breeder’s Cup is a genuinely fun and culturally rich experience — with Longines being an astute partner.

As mentioned above, Longines chose the new Master Collection Moonphase as the official watch of the Breeder’s Cup this year. The collection has about 20 different versions, so it is important to understand how the Master Collection Moonphase is segmented. First, Longines decided to produce both 40- and 42mm-wide versions of the watch. In this article, I am wearing the 40mm-wide version. The watch is available either on a strap or a matching steel bracelet. Then there are the various dials that come in different colors (with different-colored hands) and with either Arabic numeral, index, or diamond hour markers. The particular Master Collection Moonphase I am wearing has a blue dial, bracelet, and index hour markers as the reference L2.909.4.92.6.

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

Water resistant to 30 meters with a domed sapphire crystal, the all-polished case is very nicely done, and I have high praise for the overall fit and finish. Longines prefers to be classic, so there aren’t any surprises in the case and bracelet construction, but they are “traditionally well-done” as I say. One nice feature I like is how the time, date, and moonphase complication are all set by the crown. This isn’t the first such watch to do this, but in many moonphase watches the moonphase and/or date needs to be adjusted by pressing small inset pushers around the case. That is not an issue here, as Longines designed the L899 automatic movement to perform all these functions via the crown.

The movement is also known as the ETA A31.L91 – and it was produced in collaboration with ETA and Longines which are both part of the Swatch Group. The movement is an automatic that has an uncommon 3.5Hz (25,200 bph) operational frequency (like previous generation Omega Co-Axial movements) with a 64 hours of power reserve. The movement is elegantly decorated with various polishes and can be admired through the caseback window on the back of the watch.

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

When does a watch like this make sense in contrast to other dress-style watches? I ask these questions because people who actually need a moonphase indicator are far fewer than those who like a moonphase indicator? In simple terms, I would recommend a timepiece like the Longines Master Collection Moonphase to someone who otherwise likes the timeless style of the Master Collection product but who wants a bit more visual interest on the dial above and beyond merely a dial for telling the time. In that sense, the moonphase complication acts like an added flavor to make the emotional and visual appeal of the watch just a bit more compelling than if it only indicated the time.

This blue dial is lovely, though the polished silver-toned hands make for legibility issues in some lighting situations. Longines also offers the Master Collection Moonphase with its “silver barleycorn” stamped dials which have blued hands that makes for a much more legible dial — but with a different style than this elegant blue model. Given that there are two case sizes and multiple dial variants of the Master Collection Moonphase — those interested in these watches will benefit from trying a few on in a retail environment before choosing which is right for them.

Longines Master Collection Moonphase Watch At The 2019 Breeder's Cup Horse Races Hands-On

It is probably only a matter of time before The Longines Master Collection Moonphase watches begin to be prizes for horse races. Price for the Longines Master Collection Moonphase with this blue dial on the matching steel bracelet 40mm-wide reference L2.909.4.92.6 is $2,350 USD and the reference L2.919.4.92.6 in the 42mm-wide case is $2,450 USD. Learn more at the Longines website here.

Read more about

Watch Brands

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 7707159325

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Isn’t this this horse-killing event everybody complains about?

    • Let’s keep the conversation on watches, folks. Thanks.

  • Horses are excellant swimmers, did you know that? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/59cb319f8f4ddd6d55cb558b80fc6183c922057913ef1405f6932b3c9ec72154.jpg Champion Horse Racing Trainers will tell you that one of the secrets is having a large equine exercise swimming pool in their training ground and providing cooling hydrotherapy for a horse’s faster recuperation period to prepare it for the next big race https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6ca7bc1ce133e04d54343d2b7cdb193d909b78542fa3d18a666d96b6d3f05b79.jpg. I’m a water sports person so any splash resistance watch isn’t my cup of tea https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3a9388edcc2a91795e9b2a306572c15e04629ca1139a767b4452ff9cf1812f98.gif For God’s Sake, can someone, anyone please tell Longines to least make their Master Collection, Heritage Classics etc at least 5 bar water-resistant ???????

  • PR

    This partnership needs to go away. I really cannot imagine this is doing any favors for Longines wrt publicity or marketing. I don’t expect the fancy bunch from these events will even bother with Longines watches and the ones outside who do are likely to get more put off by horse racing and associations like these than be impressed by it.

  • Mikita

    Well, I still prefer the classic Longines Master with it’s milky white dial and beatiful Arabic numerals. The model above looks less sophisticated, and very much “me too” with it’s plain blue dial and applied indexes.

    • Independent_George

      Agreed. There is a black barleycorn dial with Romans that I have never seen at the AD, but the pictures look nice. I would imagine it would have legibility issues similar to Ariel’s.

  • johnwithanh

    Too many polished surfaces on the bracelet for me, but the rest looks great.

  • True, but marketing with regards to the watches and their intended audience which happens to attend these events – not the ethics of sport. My remark above still stands.

  • spice

    OK dress watch – for funny hat peoples?

  • No worries, and I appreciate the discourse. Make no mistake – I’m glad to have you, and all our other regulars who use ABTW to stoke your passion for watches on the daily. Without getting too deep in the weeds here, in another era of ABTW, we let conversations not unlike this one get too far off the rails, and it sets a challenging precedent for other stories, and other conversations to follow. I totally get why folks are unhappy that their protests in graphic detail about the sport of horse racing have gone unpublished, but as I stated before, this simply isn’t the place for that.

    Genuinely appreciate everyone’s feedback on this. Feel free to shoot me an email directly if you’d like to engage on it further: zach[at]ablogtowatch[dotcom]

  • David

    I really like the watch, but am completely against the ritualised animal abuse associated with it.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.