A STARRY, STARRY NIGHT. Omega launched the Globemaster timepiece with Academy Award-winner Eddie Redmayne in Los Angeles. Chris Andre recounts the special occasion
Set on February 28, the 2016 Academy Awards drew actors from all over the globe to Hollywood, Los Angeles. Coincidentally, Swiss watch brand Omega threw a big launch party on March 1, featuring the lead of Academy Award-nominated film “The Danish Girl,” Eddie Redmayne.
Having missed a lot of the excitement during my flight from Jakarta to Los Angeles on February 29, I was naturally a little behind on news regarding the Oscars. But word got out soon after that it was Leonardo DiCaprio who nabbed the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role this year. It was close.
However, Redmayne had already won last year, and, if anything, this didn’t dim the spotlight on the young and talented British actor at all. Before I could fully digest everything, though, I was swept away by Omega, who had thoughtfully and meticulously arranged everything for my brief stay. A welcoming dinner and watch presentation were all conducted in SLS Beverly Hills, a gorgeous Starwood’s Luxury Collection hotel boasting a sumptuous interior designed by the one and only Philippe Starck.
Every space in the sexy five-star was intriguingly put together, from the lavish red elevator hall with huge mirrors to the black and white modern Victorian breakfast area. The dinner at SLS Beverly Hill’s very own The Bazaar by José Andrés was even more sublime, matched only by the 18-course omakase menu. Stephen Urquhart, then-president and CEO of Omega, was present during the dinner to reveal a little about the Globemaster.
Unveiling the Globemaster
For fans of Omega timepieces, the Globemaster is a beautiful reincarnation of the brand’s iconic Constellation watch. The dial is remarkably simple and sports an eye-catching pie pan shape, which is a design hallmark pioneered by the Constellation back in 1952.
But the Globemaster is actually not just a new and handsome timepiece—it is an unparalleled innovation and an unprecedented achievement in horology. It is, in fact, the world’s first “Master Chronometer.” While it does essentially tell time like other automatic watches, the Globemaster’s precision is head and shoulders above the rest.
Unlike a more common “Chronometer”-certified watch, the Globemaster has passed a set of eight additional tests designed to examine the quality and durability of an automatic watch under utmost scrutiny. First and foremost, the watch in question must be able to withstand magnetic fields of up to 15,000 Gauss—equivalent to the output of an MRI machine. This does not apply only to the watch case, but down to the very movement itself. In layman’s terms, when you have a master chronometer, you need not worry about any magnetic field, ever.
There are a few other requirements such as water resistance and a minimum average daily precision tested over the course of four days. All these take place at METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology, and every master chronometer receives a certification card that comes with a link to the watch’s individual test results. The case-back of the watch itself is engraved with the image of an observatory with eight stars, representing the eight rigorous tests that define the exceptional timekeeping qualities of a true Master Chronometer. Of course, this also bestows massive boasting rights to any owner of a master chronometer, including Eddie Redmayne and his own Globemaster.
“A good tailored suit and a strong watch gives you a sense that you have a suit of armor or a uniform”
An Evening with Eddie Redmayne
The following day saw the ceremonial launch of the Globemaster at one of Los Angeles’ most iconic buildings: Mack Sennett studios. Dressed in a well-tailored royal blue suit, Eddie Redmayne showed up with his beloved wife, Hannah Bagshawe. As he made his entrance, a silver-dial Globemaster peeked out of his left sleeve, attracting a flurry of flashes. That should have dazzled him for quite a while, yet the 34-year-old quipped on stage later, “A good tailored suit and a strong watch gives you a sense that you have a suit of armor or a uniform.”
Being the official brand ambassador for the Globemaster did make Redmayne sincerely happy. He touched on the fact that his father wore an Omega, and raved on about the Globemaster’s gentlemanly charm: “There’s something about the design. It’s incredibly beautiful; it has a classic quality to it. And it has a mixture of a very modern appeal but a classic appeal to it as well. It means, for me, I can kind of wear it with anything.”
Urquhart then presented a series of behind-the-scene images taken during the photo shoot of the watch campaign where Redmayne took the watch to the streets of London. Some shots captured a very retro mood in black and white, evocative of old Hollywood glamor. “One of the things that I love about what I do, work-wise, is that you get to delve into different periods of history. So, the notion of history is something that always intrigues me,” Redmayne enthused. Along with his chat about what really went on behind the campaign shoot, he also touched on the brand’s legacy. “Omega’s history has been really compelling for me,” he declared, “whether it’s right from when the British Air Corp first started using the watches in 1917 through to the landing on the moon. There is such a depth and richness to Omega’s history. It’s a wonderful brand to be associated with.”
The evening continued with delectable meals and fine wines, even after Eddie Redmayne excused himself. When everybody was ready to leave, the backdrop curtain suddenly opened to reveal a secret passage to the basement. It was a snug “speakeasy,” of the Prohibition Era style, with two bars serving a wide selection of special drinks for the night. Master saxophonist and jazz musician extraordinaire Chris Norton and his band kicked off the festivities of the night with swinging melodies on stage. Just about everybody was roused to dance. It was, all in all, an unforgettable evening where “stars” collided: from the Globemaster of Swiss fine watches, Eddie Redmayne of Hollywood to Chris Norton from the world of music.