Andre Agassi Teams with Longines
by matt stewart
Andre Agassi is wearing a timepiece from the Longines Saint-Imier Collection with a stainless steel and 18k rose-gold case, self-winding mechanical movement, column-wheel chronograph, and sapphire crystal window with anti-reflective coating ($4,525). Ca’d’Oro Jewelers, The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, 702-696-0080
“Timing plays a major role in what I do,” says tennis legend and Longines ambassador Andre Agassi. “The timing of my life, the timing of where I find myself with my family and foundation, the timing of where Longines is as a company in terms of their values.”
Those values are reflected in the watch company’s support of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, which has raised more than $177 million since its founding in 1994, and the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. A charter school that serves students in grades K-12, Agassi Prep opened in 2001 as part of the Clark County School District; now Agassi’s foundation is hard at work to establish, as of this fall, nine additional charter schools across the country and has set a goal to increase that number to between 25 and 30 over the next few years.
“With Andre, we share the core value of elegance,” says Longines president Walter von Känel, “elegance being not just how you look but intrinsically who you are and what you do to help others. By supporting his activities, such as the Grand Slam for Children, we contribute to helping the less privileged.”
With so many objectives to meet, Agassi and wife Stefanie Graf have nurtured a strong relationship with Longines. Agassi became an official Longines ambassador in 2007, the year the brand launched its Sport Collection of watches. Fitting for one of the greatest athletes of his generation—a member of three winning Davis Cup teams and the only male tennis player to win all four Grand Slam titles plus an Olympic gold medal. The chronograph model that Agassi chose for his own wrist is crafted of stainless steel and 18k rose gold. He was so impressed by the meticulous Longines watchmakers that he had them come to his school to demonstrate watchmaking techniques to the students.
“At this stage in my life, I choose to do only things that tie to my mission in education,” he says. “Longines came out [to Agassi Prep] of their own accord and saw what we do and got creative with ways to help the foundation, from college scholarships to sending out watchmakers to the campus to teach the kids their craft. They found interesting ways to get involved and found a way to my heart.”
Despite retiring from professional tennis in 2006, Agassi’s schedule shows no signs of slowing down. His foundation’s expanding mission and role as a husband and father has made him more determined than ever to stay focused on the task at hand. “Children learn from what they see,” he says. “So when they see their parents not multitasking but being present with whatever it is they’re engaging in, they realize that there is an importance to what it is they are doing.”
photography courtesy of longines