Longines has long built a proud history of watchmaking with close ties to the world of sports. Its relationship with official sports events started 143 years ago – in 1878 – when it created the 20H caliber mechanism used for precision timing. It has since become one of the most acclaimed luxury watch brands for sportspeople and sports officials. The 1900s saw Longines’ nonstop partnerships with different international sports federations. The launch of the Longines Sports collection in 2007 cemented Longines’ place in the heart of athletes.
Today, Longines is represented by several brand ambassadors known in the world of sports. From champion alpine skiers to rising stars in the field of gymnastics, Longines’ motto of “Elegance is an Attitude” is uniting athletes all across the globe. Here are eight international sports prodigies who are members of the Longines family.
Mikaela Shiffrin is one of the very first athlete prodigies to be inducted as a Longines ambassador in 2014. As early as three years old, Mikaela has been gliding through snow-covered slopes. Her astounding talent allowed her to enter the 2011 World Cup at only 15 years of age. Since then, Mikaela has been unstoppable.
Before she became an official member of the Longines family, Mikaela was awarded the Longines Rising Star prize as the best female skier below 21 in the season of 2012-2013. She even won the same award for the next two years. Now, Mikaela is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She is also a three-time overall World Cup champion, with several other awards for different disciplines in alpine skiing.
2-3. Arina and Dina Averina
Longines’ next prodigy ambassadors are Arina and Dina Averina. The Russian twin sisters have been excelling in gymnastics since they were only four years old. They first made a name in international competitions as 13-year-olds where they immediately bagged awards. In the 2011 Russian-Chinese Youth Games, Arina placed fifth while Dina won the gold medal.
Six years later, Arina and Dina became the youngest Longines ambassadors. Dina was named the all-around world champion in three consecutive years: 2017, 2018, and 2019. Arina became the European all-around champion in 2018 and 2019. In the same year that they became part of the Longines family, Dina and Arina took the first and second spot in the 2017 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships.
4. Mélanie Meillard
2019 was a great year for sports prodigies in the Longines family. The first addition to their roster is Mélanie Meillard, a Swiss alpine ski racer. What started as a hobby for a 2-year-old quickly turned into a lifetime career after Mélanie joined the Ski Club Hérémencia. Her discipline specialization is slalom and giant slalom, where she became the National Swiss Champion in 2016.
Longines prizes Mélanie for her spirit and love for alpine skiing. Mélanie won the Longines Rising Ski Star award in the 2016-2017 FIS World Cup season. And despite being out of the game in the 2018-2019 season due to a knee injury, Mélanie returned with a bang in 2020.
5. Loïc Meillard
Loïc Meillard, Mélanie’s older brother, is also a proud Longines brand ambassador. Like Mélanie, Loïc started skiing at two years of age. Talent and athleticism run in the family because Loïc also joined the Hérémencia Ski Club, which led him to competitive alpine skiing. Loïc also won the Longines Rising Ski Star award in the same year Mélanie did.
Loïc was only 18 when he first appeared in the World Cup. In the same year, he bagged several medals in Junior World Championships held in Norway. He won bronze in the super-G, silver in the giant slalom, and gold in the combined. This year, Loïc entered his third bid at the World Championships where he was awarded bronze in the parallel giant slalom and combined disciplines.
6. Marco Odermatt
The last prodigy to be introduced as a Longines ambassador in 2019 is Marco Odermatt, another alpine skiing specialist. Marco started competitive skiing at four years old, and he has only gotten better since. He was 19 when he debuted in the FIS Alpine World Cup. In his very first year in the World Cup, he won gold for giant slalom and proved this prowess in the sport.
Two years later, Marco won five gold medals for different disciplines in the Junior Worlds. He bagged the combined, downhill, super-G, giant slalom, and team event disciplines in the competition. This year, Marco won the overall silver in the World Cup after securing second place for giant slalom and super-G.
7. Bryan Balsiger
The most recent addition to the Longines family of prodigies is Bryan Balsiger who was born into a family of horse riders in Switzerland. Having an equestrian center run by his family, Bryan got into riding as early as five years old. He is trained by his father who is also a professional horse rider and trainer. Today, he is considered one of the best riders in the sport.
Bryan is a perfect ambassador to embody the spirit of Longines. At such a young age, he has multiple medals under his belt. His family’s affinity for equestrian sports groomed him to be the successful and elegant man he is today. He was awarded the European Young Riders champion in 2017 at only 20 years old. He also won gold in the Swiss Championship in 2018. Most recently, he competed in the 2020 Summer Olympics. And at the young age of 24, he is already a part of Longines Rankings for the top 100 best riders.
A testament to tradition
Longines’ history of performance excellence and elegance led it to become the sports watch icon it is today. Its history of being the official timekeeper for several international sports events and championships shows the brand’s love for sports. The Longines family of athlete prodigies only proves that achievement and victory are in the heart of this Swiss watchmaker’s philosophy. It is safe to say that the world can expect more sports idols to be a part of the Longines family in the near future.