For decades, luxury watch brands and golf have been closely linked to each other in many ways. The pronounced passion of numerous golf stars for high-quality mechanical watches and the commitment of watch brands to the sport has seen the popularity of the sport and the visibility of luxury brands grow, as the ambassadors and the brands themselves form a symbiotic alliance. This year, we here at CHRONEXT, find ourselves sponsors of this year's German Long Drive Championship, which takes place on the 19th of August in Cologne. This alone is enough reason to take a look behind the scenes of the golfing world. Read on to find out what golf and luxury watches are all about.
While luxury timepieces and the golfing world have become synonymous, the wearing of certain pieces whilst playing golf is not always the best idea. The enormous forces exerted through club and ball can have a direct impact on mechanical watches. When a ball is launched down a fairway, the initial impact speed can be as much as 150 kph. Mechanical watches are very sensitive to environmental impacts and accelerations, such as driving down the fairway. The rule of thumb is that a sensitive dress watch is not the most suitable watch to wear whilst out on the greens. Tool watches such as the Rolex GMT-Master II with the Paraflex system, which is essentially a shock absorber developed and patented by Rolex, improve the shock resistance of their watches by up to 50 per cent. What is certain is that whilst golfers are big fans of mechanical watches, in the long term, golf is not kind to these kinds of timepieces. Whether this kind of activity damages the watch or merely increases the wear and shortens the periods between maintenance is not entirely clear. As is so often the case, it is better to be cautious when it comes to the health of beloved timepieces.
The union of golf and watches is not only apparent by what can be seen on the wrists of the pros, but at tournaments where the symbiosis can be best witnessed. Not only are golf tournaments supported by luxury brands but are even organized by manufacturers. One such example is the Audemars Piguet Golf Invitationals. This year's Gold Invitational took place in Orlando at the Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in May. In addition to the actual golf tournament, a glamorous accompanying program was included offering, amongst many things, fine dining.
Omega has worked in cooperation with the professional golfers' association PGA (Professional Golfers Association) since 2011, and has sponsored other well-known tournaments such as the Ladies European Tour (LET). Thanks to its support of the PGA, Omega is a partner of the Grand Slam Tournament PGA Championship, making Omega one of the most high profile luxury brands in the golfing world with events such as The Omega European Masters, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic as well as the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
Along with Omega, Rolex is also an important sponsor in the world of golf. For more than 50 years, the luxury brand has been committed to golf tournaments. The company is a supporter both of traditional tournaments and emerging athletes: Rolex is also involved in three of the four legendary Grand Slam tournaments, namely the US Masters, Open and The Open. The "Rolex New Guard", is a group of young golfers who are thought to be in their ascendancy, players, who great things are expected of. Rolex has made a commitment to them and the sport with the aim of fulfilling their potential.
With a quick glance at the wrist of any golf pros, the passion for high-quality watches quickly becomes apparent, a passion that it is shared by many other golfers. The reasons for the popularity of these watches are numerous and can only be assumed. Like a luxury brand, golf has a certain amount of cache and they complement each other perfectly.
The most successful golfer of all time, Tiger Woods, is most often seen wearing a Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea. The professional diving watch seems like the perfect fit for Woods, who is well known for his passion for diving. Tiger Woods is not the only brand ambassador of Rolex, the Swiss luxury manufacturer has numerous brand ambassadors within the world of golf. Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, often plays wearing a Bi-Color Rolex Datejust. Justin Thomas wears a Rolex Daytona and Jordan Spieth can be spotted sporting an Explorer II. The German junior Dominic Foos prefers the GMT-Master II, both the classic-black variant and the BLNR with the blue-black bezel.
Rolex is not the only luxury brand that can be seen on the wrists of professional golfers. The world champion,Rory McIlroy is a wearer of the Omega Aqua Terra Golf, which honours Omega's commitment to golf with its green colour accents. Another of Omega's ambassadors Sergio Garcia has displayed a preference for the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon. Two of the world's top golfers, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose are ambassadors for Hublot. Audemars Piguet is also well known for its commitment to the golf world, with well-known brand ambassadors including Byeong-Hun An, Andy Sullivan, Paul Dunne and Branden Grace.
On 19 August 2017, the German Long Drive Championship takes place in Cologne, Germany at the Cologne Golf club. Both women and men will compete against each other and play for the title German Long Drive Champion. Joe Miller, World Long Drive Champion 2016 and the world's most famous Long Driver will be on the show as a star guest. The event is accompanied by a big after show party where burgers, beer and good music are the order of the day.
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