There really isn’t a better setting than St. Petersburg for the recent Omega Her Time exhibition. The beautiful and picturesque city played host to the exclusive and intimate cocktail party and dinner which saw the appearance of Omega brand ambassador, Hollywood star Nicole Kidman.
The Her Time exhibition has travelled to several different cities such as Milan, Beijing and Sydney among others. This year’s event was held at St Petersburg’s famous neoclassical palace, the Marble palace. It was the perfect setting with its sense of history and majestic decor.
President and CEO of Omega Raynald Aeschlimann in his opening speech praised Kidman on her “willingness to take risks to create something truly original” and went on to say: “There’s an obvious synergy between our friend and what we’re celebrating this evening. Nicole perfectly embodies the women Omega’s’s watchmakers had in mind when they started producing ladies’ timepieces over a century ago: talented, charming, witty and independent.”
Kidman, who was dressed in Ulyana Sergeenko and wearing the Omega Aqua Terra Luxury Edition watch, said: “It goes without saying that the watches in the exhibition are incredibly beautiful – works of art in fact. But when you consider how Omega set out to make precision watches for women, not just elegant decorations, well that’s also about having respect for women, and for me, that makes the watches even more exceptional.”
After cocktails, guests were invited to tour the exhibiton to witness the evolution of Omega’s ladies’ watches and changing styles, from the early Lepine pendants and the iconic Ladymatic to today’s watches such as De Ville Tresor and the Seamaster Aqua Terra. There are also examples of vintage artwork and classic Omega advertising throughout the years.
Timeline Of Innovation
At the beginning of the 20th century, the brand made its foray into ladies’s watches with its very first wristwatch, a silver case with a delicate floral design. While it had come out with engraved pocket watches before, it was during this time, in 1902, that their ladies’ watches had a more distinctive style. One must remember, these were conservative times, and women never checked the time as it may be perceived as being rude or bored. So thus came the “secret jewellery watches”, the idea being to look like jewellery, but with a watch hidden inside.
The 1920s saw the Art Deco movement which naturally led to Art Deco jewellery watches. And the brand’s commitment to the ladies’ market saw the creation of “Medicus” in 1937. This particular watch was designed for nurses and was Omega’s first wristwatch with a central seconds hand. The Medicus was not only practical, being easy-to-read, it was also a beautiful watch.Omega continued moving along with the changing times, with even their advertisements in the 1950s reflecting the current mood.
An example of an Omega commercial in 1951: “In all facets of life, a woman is just as active, sporty, and as busy as a man, like him, she demands a watch of precision.”
This was decade that saw the appearance of the Ladymatic in 1955, which had the world’s smallest chronometer-certified rotor-equipped automatic calibre.
From there the brand moved from strength to strength, coming out with the “Flowers” jewellery secret watch – the first ever timepiece created with mauve gold, an original piece made in 1955 that was set with diamonds. Several of these secret watches were in collaboration with well-known designers, a continuing trend from the 60s to 70s. Names like Gilber Albert and Andrew Grima saw the production of exceptional pieces in precious metals and stones, with even a piece of real meteorite used in Albert’s Moldavita watch.
Faces To Watch
In 1995, Omega introduced their first brand ambassador, Cindy Crawford, cementing their association with succesful women. Kidman became the ambassador in 2005, and other famous names in film, sports and the modelling industry have signed on such as golfer Michelle Wie, actress Liu Shishi, and the latest and youngest one, 16-year-old Kaia Gerber, Crawford’s daughter and the current most popular model today.
After the tour, guests moved on to dinner in a stunning setting where the tables were transparent and filled with dozens of beautiful white roses. Russian celebrities at the event included fashion designer Igor Chapurin, singer Inna Malikova, actor Pavel Volya and his wife, gymnast and TV host Liasan Utiasheva.
International guests included Thai actress Ranee “Bella” Campen, Turkish actress Saadet Isil Aksoy, Polish actress Magda Boczarska, American designer Kelly Wearstler, Malaysian celebrity Marion Caunter and Malaysian actress Siti Saleha.