Watching the watches of the watchers.
Add horses to soccer and you have polo. Add snow and you have snow polo, add grand views and a bit of luck and you have snow polo in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Teams gather the best riders from around the world and face off across the frozen lake of St. Moritz for three days of horsemanship, fierce competition, and especially cold champagne. Glasses in hand, leaning into the wooden barrier as riders barrel past, the onlookers make for Olympic-level people watching, as well.
Snow Polo is a gentleman’s sport, qualified by never starting before the civil hour of 10AM. If you find yourself up early, or still up, you can catch the riders heading down on a toboggan run for a near-vertical 3/4 mile at speeds between 70 and 140 kph. For amateur riders, the challenge is to stay on the course through its deadly curves, while seasoned riders strive for improving finishing times by microseconds.
While the various branches of the British Armed Forces jet down the Cresta Run, a woman named Uschi Moos watches from the clubhouse with her 1 of 300 SMTC (that’s St. Moritz Tobogganing club) members-only watch. A central social figure at the SMTC she is also a veteran rider, and affectionately called “Moose” by fellow club members.
Back on the frozen lake of St. Moritz, the Snow Polo Championship has boiled down to a final between Azerbaijan and Clinique La Prairie, but the brothers Laplacette of Azerbaijan dominate both the field and scoreboard. Finishing 5.5 points ahead, they take the championship. Zach Weiss presents the year’s MVP award Pasha De Cartier to Raul Laplacette, a gift from the Granzi Familly on behalf of the World Polo League.
Lange 1 Time Zone ref. 116.021
Patek Philippe Aquanaut
Rolex Date with diamond bezel
Patek Philippe Calatrava
Cartier Panthere Small W25022B9
265.8.08 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
Rolex Precision ref. 6694
Rolex “Pepsi” GMT-Master II
All photos, Robert Spangle