LUXURY WATCHMAKER OMEGA CELEBRATED THE OPENING OF ITS NEWEST AND BIGGEST STORE WITH A CELEBRITY-STUDDED PARTY ON SYDNEY HARBOUR.
Omega president and chief executive Raynald Aeschlimann knows why people covet his company’s watches. “People buy them because of the name, because of the look, because of their emotional moment,” he tells WISH. Then he adds: “But on the other side, [it’s because] we have a new certification of precision – we don’t want people with an Omega to be late.”
Rest assured that no one wanted to be late for the VIP dinner the Swiss company hosted in Sydney recently, to celebrate the opening of its newest Australian store in the city’s CBD, which also happens to be the biggest in the world for the brand.
To be fair, the timekeeping wasn’t up to guests on this finely tuned occasion – they were chauffeur-driven in convoy from an in-store viewing of the exhibition Her Time, celebrating historic women’s timepieces, to their final destination.
Wanting to create another emotional moment that will long be remembered by the 100 guests, the company chose the gardens and undercroft of a private residence for the black-tie event, right on Sydney’s picturesque harbour in Darling Point.
Beginning with Omega-branded Bollinger champagne (a nod to its association with James Bond) on the grass as the sun went down, guests including Lindy Klim, Jarrod Scott and Cheyenne Tozzi were eager to see the star attraction: brand ambassador Cindy Crawford, who dazzled in a navy cowl-neck cocktail dress by Versace.
One of the original 1980s and 90s supermodels, Crawford has been a brand ambassador for the women’s watches for 20 years – the same length of time as its men’s ambassador, the aforementioned 007.
“Today’s world gets so much information and so much information about brands, it’s good to have stability and coherence,” says Aeschlimann. “And I think that’s exactly the thing about Cindy, it’s about someone who has great charisma and a great career. Even with the kids she’s still an icon of style – it’s good for us.”
Crawford seems happy with the arrangement, too. “Omega is all about history and quality and fashion and those are qualities that I want to associate with,” she tells WISH. “But it’s also about legacy, and you can’t manufacture history together. You have to have it.”
They certainly created a memorable evening over dinner by Cook and Waiter. Against the sandstone backdrop and white floral displays of orchids and roses, the feast included an entrée of grilled scallops with sorrel emulsion and salmon cracker, followed by spice-brined organic spatchcock with confit kipflers.
Desserts including Valrhona chocolate mousse with lemon leaf, gold-dusted pistachio macarons, and strawberry meringues with rose, pomegranate and sumac cream, were enjoyed as a roaming affair back on the lawn, listening to a set from DJ Hannah and fusion violinist Maddy.
Aeschlimann believes it’s important to offer guests something more than just a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “When we open a store in a very large city, it’s good to do something for the city where you are. For me, it is very important to have invited a lot of customers and VIPs and journalists to explain who we are rather than just [doing so] in a store.”