Longines Ambassador of Elegance Simon Baker
A subtle balance between the classic and the distinct, elegance is one of the hallmarks of Longines watches. Longines' passion for the equestrian world dates back to 1869, when the brand crafted its first equestrian pocket watch found to date. Throughout the years, countless equestrian competitions have enjoyed the qualities and reliability of the chronograph calibres. As a result, Longines' involvement in equestrian sports today includes flat racing, show jumping, dressage and eventing disciplines.
Simon Baker is a Longines Ambassador of Elegance since 2012. The Australian actor, well-known for the lead role in the television series The Mentalist, personifies the core values of Longines and perfectly underlines the slogan « Elegance is an attitude ».
With his natural charm, Simon Baker is the perfect embodiment of the very essence of elegance. He said - "For me, elegance means being self-confident, being able to feel comfortable in all situations and always being true to yourself. Elegance involves staying curious, keeping one’s self control and above all enjoying life!"
In his acting career, Simon Baker has had the opportunity to ride horses in several films.
"I love horses, as an animal. They are incredible. They are just beautiful, powerful creatures. The experience of riding them in unique, I had the great fortune many years ago to have to ride a horse in a film, and my relationship with horses started there. Because I had four weeks of riding every day and when we shot the film for three months we were riding every day as well, I developed a relationship with a horse, which is really potent.
It is really hard to articulate, it develops when you are on the horse, it is a visceral thing, it is through feel. The horse can tune in how you feel, and you feel the tension in the horse through your body. And there is something really potent about that which is exiting to me. I have jumped horses just for films, and I understand, with an animal as big as a horse, rhythmically, how precise and in sync the rider and the horse have to be.
You reduce the steps, so that the horse shortens it steps before the jump, goes from left to right foot, all this is incredibly detailed, and so many hours of practice and training and then you (both) just belief and feel... That's what these sport people have to do, these riders have to do during these events, with their horse. Just believe and feel. That's incredible. That's so powerful."
Simon back to the saddle for the story about a massacre of Australian Indigenous people by a police patrol in the 1920s. Film called "High Ground", that was premiered in Berlin just before COVID-19 hit, then had to wait out the year as the cinema release stalled.
Filmed in some of the most remote parts of Australia, in some of the most challenging conditions, it captures the magnificent landscapes of this unforgiving country.
Baker plays one of the policemen, Travis, who tried to stop the indiscriminate killing and is later blackmailed into hunting down one of the vengeance-seeking survivors of the massacre.
Australia’s history has become a flashpoint in national debate around Indigenous recognition, and films such as High Ground could serve as another plank with which to think about how the national identity is rooted in violence.
And Baker’s description of the shoot, working through it together with Indigenous people, suggests a way forward for the national grappling of Australia’s history.
Interview with Simon Baker by Anja Van Der Borght