There is no shortage of spectacle in the world of watchmaking. In fashion, zeitgeist-shifting moments in the form of intricate runway sets and celebrity-packed front rows are expected, so one might be surprised to learn how the watch world can up the ante. Such was the case when Omega chose to take up residence at The Chelsea Factory in Manhattan, where not one, not two, not three, but a whopping four nights of festivities celebrated the opening of Planet Omega, a week-long exhibition showcasing timepieces that rarely see the light of day.
Night one, its grand opening, saw Nicole Kidman swan through the room, first in look by Tory Burch and later in head-to-toe Balenciaga, as stylist Jason Bolden stood nearby. “I want to go and see the watch that went to the deepest part of the ocean,” Kidman told Vogue. “I’m heading straight to it.” Yes, included in the array of museum-worthy pieces is one hulking scientific feat in the form of the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional, which reached 35,876 feet below sea level when it was fastened to the exterior of a submarine piloted by Victor Vescovo. It’s shown alongside specimens like The Ladymatic, Omega’s first women’s watch from 1955, JFK’s very own timepiece complete with “President of The United States John F. Kennedy” inscribed on the back, and Elvis’ 18-karat gold wristwatch adorned with 44 brilliant-cut diamonds, a gift from his record label, RCA.
“The reason I love watches is yes, the quality and the history of them, but it keeps you off your phone, because when you use your phone as a watch to tell the time, I think you end up being pulled off in a different direction,” she mused. “So, when you literally tell the time by your watch piece, that is that it’s so healthy for your mind. I discovered that years ago, actually. I think it’s why it’s now becoming so fashionable, and people are really gravitating towards them again, because they know we’re all trying to keep a balance.” Ironically, the night also marked the end of the Screen Actors Guild strike, meaning such balance would be harder to strike than ever. Following the night’s festivities, Kidman would embark on the release of three new female-directed projects including Expats, a limited series by Lulu Wang filmed in Hong Kong, Baby Girl, an A24 film by Halina Reijn, and a reunion with The Undoing director Susanne Bier, The Perfect Couple, due out next summer.