Race DAY

Lux­ury watch mar­que Longines ce­mented its place in horo­log­i­cal his­tory and the eques­trian world with its new sta­tus as the of­fi­cial watch of Royal As­cot. Cai Mei Khoo hits the races.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Watches & Jewels -

One of the most pres­ti­gious races in the world, founded by Queen Anne over 300 years ago, the Royal As­cot is also one of the most ex­cit­ing events on the Bri­tish so­cial cal­en­dar. On in­vi­ta­tion from Longines, of­fi­cial time­keep­ers of the races for the past seven years, and as of this year, of­fi­cial part­ner and watch of the Royal As­cot, the first thing that crossed my mind was what hat to wear. A quintessen­tially Bri­tish item of cloth­ing, the only type of hats I’m for­mally ac­quainted with are large floppy ones to wear to the beach.

The dress code for the Royal En­clo­sure, where we were in­vited to ex­pe­ri­ence the race

The Royal Pro­ces­sion The at­mos­phere on race day from, was much stricter this year: For­mal day­wear was re­quired, fas­ci­na­tors were no longer al­lowed, and hats had to cover at least four inches of the head. Af­ter days of scour­ing the shops and many nights of look­ing at count­less web­sites vir­tu­ally try­ing on hats, I fi­nally placed an or­der for a cus­tom hat to be sent di­rectly to the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Hamp­shire where we were stay­ing.

On the morn­ing of the races, the lobby of the ho­tel proved to be quite a sight – the men were in their morn­ing suits com­plete with top hats but it was def­i­nitely the women who stole the show with their fas­ci­nat­ing hats. There were large ones with feath­ers and flow­ers, more dis­creet pill­box styles, and even one that looked like a clus­ter of plan­ets – all worn with flour­ish, true to Longines’s slo­gan of ‘El­e­gance is an at­ti­tude’.

Longines’s new col­lec­tion of watches, the Con­quest Clas­sic, was part of the win­ning prize. “As part­ner of the most pres­ti­gious flat races in the world, Longines was keen to launch a col­lec­tion of time­pieces to be worn amid the ex­cite­ment of th­ese events,” says Juan-Car­los Capelli, vice pres­i­dent of Longines and head of in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing.

“We launched the Con­quest Clas­sic line as a trib­ute to the chrono­graphs pro­duced from 1881 on for race-go­ers and jock­eys in New York. True to the brand’s val­ues of el­e­gance, tra­di­tion, and per­for­mance, this new col­lec­tion, all fit­ted with self-wind­ing cal­i­bres, is at the same time to­tally con­tem­po­rary and per­fectly time­less,” he says. “I es­pe­cially like the chrono­graph in steel and rose gold.”

Five ta­bles were set up in the Wind­sor For­est Restau­rant, which had a pri­vate view­ing bal­cony that over­looked the fin­ish line. I was for­tu­nate enough to sit next to Longines am­bas­sador, Aish­warya Rai Bachchan her­self, who was wear­ing a stun­ning black-and-white flo­ral and lace hat cus­tom made by none other than Philip Treacy. “This is my sec­ond time at­tend­ing the Royal As­cot,” says Aish­warya. “It’s fun to get all dressed up for the races. It’s such an

Longines am­bas­sador Aish­warya Rai Bachchan

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