16 watches that made history in Hollywood action films

See who got the most face time on the big screen’s A-list heroes.

By Paige Reddinger 11/03/2019

Nearly every action hero comes equipped with a top-shelf timepiece, whether it’s Sean Connery battling the mysterious Dr. No as James Bond, Tom Cruise doing barrel rolls in a F-14A Tomcat in Top Gun or Sly Stallone taking down villains in The Expendables. You know the costume department has aced it when the timepiece matches the character’s persona. Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) opted for an elegant and refined Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso—a metaphor for the wrist that illustrated his dual existence. Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr.’s Urwerk 110-RG sported a wild design and revolutionary mechanics, which reflected the mad genius of Tony Stark (aka Iron Man). In the case of Tom Hanks’s Omega Speedmaster in Apollo 13, no metaphor was necessary—the watch saved the lives of all on board the real-life failed lunar mission on which the film is based.

Some watches that achieve a big-screen debut in an action film, however, take on a larger-than-life role beyond the screen, firmly cementing their status both in Hollywood history and in watch-collecting circles for decades . . . and potentially for centuries to come. Connery’s ref. 6538 Rolex Submariner has become a holy grail for collectors, while Omega has cornered modern-day James Bond with its Seamaster.

Here are the watches that made it to the big screen on Hollywood’s toughest heroes.

## Dr. No (1962): Sean Connery, Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538


Sean Connery wearing Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 in Dr. No
Photo: Danjaq/EON/UA/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Sean Connery introduced James Bond into the Hollywood film canon when he appeared in the first instalment of the iconic series in 1962’s Dr. No. Connery wore a Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 on the big screen while tracking down the mysterious Dr. No bent on destroying the U.S. space program. The ref. 6538, which was first produced sometime around 1953, would go on accompanying Connery as Bond on his missions in films such as From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball.


Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 worn in Dr. No
Photo: Courtesy of Rolex

## Le Mans (1971): Steve McQueen, Tag Heuer Monaco


Le Mans – 1971
Solar/Cinema Center/Kobal/REX/Sh

Every year, brands come out with new collections referencing Steve McQueen’s style, but many of those brands never existed during McQueen’s life. Tag Heuer, however, can lay claim to having laid its hands on McQueen’s wrist in what is arguably the most famous automotive racing film of all time. Not only did the actor wear the now instantly recognisable square-faced Tag Heuer Monaco on his wrist, but he also wore the Swiss watchmaker’s name and crest on his racing suit in the film. It has been said that McQueen chose the piece from a selection of timepieces flown to the set, which were accompanied by Jack Heuer himself.

A Rolex Submariner purchased by McQueen and engraved with a special message by the actor to his stuntman, Loren Janes, was set to be sold at Phillips on October 25. It was expected to be a blockbuster sale, but questions about the timepiece’s provenance forced the auction house to recently take it off the block.

## Top Gun (1986): Tom Cruise, Porsche Design Orfina 7176s


Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise wearing Porsche Design Orfina 7176s in Top Gun
Photo: 1996-98 AccuSoft Inc., All rights reserved

Arguably one of the greatest flight films of all time, Top Gun firmly solidified Tom Cruise as one of the biggest film stars of his generation. Most people assume that Cruise wore an IWC to complete his training missions as the hotshot fighter-pilot-in-training, Maverick, because the Swiss watchmaker has issued several Top Gun–branded timepieces over the years, but it was actually a Porsche Design Orfina 7176s. Made by watch manufacturer Orfina for Porsche design in the ’80s, the timepiece featured a self-winding Lemania caliber 5100 and came in PVD-coated stainless steel with a day/date indicator, chronograph registers at 12 o’clock, six o’clock and nine o’clock, and a tachymeter scale. A rerelease of the timepiece was issued in late 2010.


Porsche Design Orfina 7176s worn in Top Gun
Photo: Courtesy of Porsche Design

Fun fact: A sequel titled Top Gun: Maverick is slated for release in 2020 with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer reprising their roles as Maverick and Iceman, respectively. Maverick’s 2020 timepiece is currently still classified information, but Porsche Design would be wise to get in on the action again.

## Apollo 13 (1995): Tom Hanks, Omega Speedmaster


Tom Hanks in Apollo 13
Photo: Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Tom Hanks appropriately wore an Omega Speedmaster while re-creating astronaut Jim Lovell’s ill-fated journey aboard Apollo 13, when an oxygen-tank leak caused the crew to abort their lunar mission and return to Earth in a harrowing an almost fatal experience. The Omega Speedmaster was the timepiece of choice by NASA for astronauts venturing into the new space frontier thanks to its ability to withstand intense sunlight, cold, and g-force. While it is most famous for having adorned the wrists and space suits of astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins for Apollo 11’s first lunar landing on July 20, 1969, it proved lifesaving for Apollo 13.

It was astronaut Jack Swigert’s Omega Speedmaster that saved the lives of everyone aboard Apollo 13. Once the spaceship lost power, the astronauts were only able to burn the engine for 14 seconds at a time to make navigational trajectory adjustments to return safely to Earth before turning it off. Lovell and his fellow astronauts used Swigert’s Omega Speedmaster chronograph to measure the short intervals of time. Houston, problem solved.


Snoopy Edition of the Omega Speedmaster from Apollo 13
Photo: Courtesy of Omega

In 1970, Omega was awarded NASA’s Silver Snoopy Award—one of the greatest honours the space program can bestow on employees and contractors for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety and mission success—for safely bringing the astronauts of Apollo 13 back to Earth. In 2015, Omega unveiled a Snoopy edition of the Omega Speedmaster, featuring a rendering of the famous Peanuts character on a dial counter and on the caseback, to commemorate its historic role for the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission.


Snoopy Edition of the Omega Speedmaster from Apollo 13
Photo: Courtesy of Omega

Expect to see the Omega Speedmaster dominate the big screen again this year in Damien Chazelle’s First Man- a biopic, set to debut in late 2019, in which Ryan Gosling takes on the role of Neil Armstrong.

## Blood Diamond (2006): Leonardo DiCaprio, Breitling Chrono Avenger


Leonardo DiCaprio wearing Breitling Chrono Avenger in Blood Diamond

Starring as Danny Archer, a gunrunner-turned-diamond-smuggler during the Sierra Leone Civil War, Leonardo DiCaprio sported a 44 mm titanium Breitling Chrono Avenger with a brown leather strap and black dial. DiCaprio is typically associated with TAG Heuer, for which he was a longtime brand ambassador, but the heavy-duty Breitling looked at home amidst all of the action in Blood Diamond. The Chrono Avenger accompanied Archer as he braved the conflict zones of the Sierra Leone to fight warlords and his former boss Colonel Coetzee, who was on the hunt for an elusive pink diamond that Archer is ordered to deliver.


Breitling Chrono Avenger worn in Blood Diamond
Photo: Courtesy of Breitling

## Casino Royale (2006): Daniel Craig Omega Seamaster Professional


Daniel Craig wearing Omega Seamaster in Casino Royale
Photo: Susie Allnutt. CASINO ROYALE © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

Pierce Brosnan first wore an Omega Seamaster with a blue dial as James Bond in 1995’s GoldenEye, thanks to Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming. Modern-day James Bond Daniel Craig followed suit, but he wore not one but two Omega Seamasters—the Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial and a Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial—in his 2006 debut as the big screen’s most famous spy in Casino Royale. In one scene, when Bond encounters Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), she sizes him up, taking careful note of his watch. “MI6 looks for maladjusted young men that give little thought to sacrificing others in order to protect Queen and country . . . you know, former SAS types with easy smiles and expensive watches. Rolex?” she asks him, eyeing his watch. “Omega,” replies Bond.

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB5hzlDe10c&feature=youtu.be

In 2008’s Quantum Solace, Craig wore a Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Omega Co-Axial with a classic black dial and bezel, and in 2012’s Skyfall, 007 relied on a Planet Ocean 600M and an Aqua Terra, both powered by Omega co-axial calibers.


Omega Seamaster worn in Skyfall
Photo: Courtesy of Omega

In Craig’s most recent turn as James Bond in 2015’s Spectre, he again wears a Seamaster as he takes on global crime boss Blofeld (Christopher Waltz). A limited-edition 300 Spectre watch (around $10,600) with a rare lollipop seconds hand worn on a handsome black-and-gray NATO strap and the Omega Aqua Terra 150m with a blue dial accompanied Bond on his latest MI6 mission.


Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition
Photo: Courtesy of Omega

And based on the latest teasers for 2019’s Bond 25, it looks like Craig will be wearing an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial Master Chronometer in steel (around $9300).

## The Expendables I (2010): Sylvester Stalone, Panerai PAM 332

Sylvester Stallone wearing Panerai PAM 332 in The Expendables
Photo: Karen Ballard

When Panerai launched the commercial production its watches for the public in 1993, just two years later Sylvester Stallone spotted a Luminor in Rome and purchased it to wear in his movie Daylight, effectively putting Panerai on the map. A known Panerai collector ever since, Sly wore a PAM 332 in the first installment of The Expendables, featuring an impressive lineup of tough-guy A-listers that effectively saw the revival of Stallone’s image as the ultimate action hero (incredibly, Sly was 63 at the time the film was released).


Panerai PAM 332 worn in the Expendables
Photo: Courtesy of Panerai

The Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante that adorns Sly’s wrist is a 44mm timepiece—an oversized watch to match his oversized, vein-popping, 41-centimetre biceps. Limited to 500 pieces, the split-second chronograph timepiece comes in a case with a DLC treatment and features the Panerai OP XVIII calibre. It also comes equipped with an Incabloc anti-shock device—which comes in handy when you’re a professional ass-kicker.

## The Expendables 2 (2012): Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone PAM 382 Bronzo

The Expendables 2 – 2012
Millennium Films/Kobal/REX/Shutt

Following in Sly’s steps, Jason Statham wears a 47 mm Panerai PAM 382 Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo in The Expendables 2. Supporting actors Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, and Terry Crews also don the PAM 382—although the watch is featured most prominently on both Stallone and Statham. While the PAM 382 Bronzo didn’t help the Expendables take down any henchmen, its rusty patina and 47mm case certainly looked the part.


Panerai PAM 382 Luminor Submersible worn in the Expendables II
Photo: Courtesy of Panerai

The special-edition dive watch, released in 2011, is known for its brushed-bronze case and is powered by Panerai’s p.9000 in-house calibre. The automatic movement features a 72-hour power reserve and has been used in both the Panerai Luminor 1950 and Radiomir models. Just 1000 of the PAM 382 Bronzo were ever made, and they’ve since become collector’s items.

## The Expendables III (2014): Sylvester Stallone, Richard Mille RM 032


Sylvester Stallone wearing Richard Mille in The Expendables III
Photo: REX/Shutterstock

In the third installment of The Expendables, villain Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) is back to destroy the Expendables, and the only way for Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) to take down Stonebanks is with fresh recruits. Ross assembles a new crew of tech-savvy youngbloods—former U.S. Marine John Smilee (Kellan Lutz), nightclub bouncer Luna (Ronda Rousey), computer expert Thorn (Glen Powell) and weapons expert Mars (Victor Ortiz)—to battle the old-school Stonebanks.


Richard Mille RM 032 worn in the Expendables III
Photo: Courtesy of Richard Mille

For his latest turn as Barney Ross, Stallone chose to wear a Richard Mille—a watchmaker known for blending old-world watchmaking expertise with new-world technical innovation. Sly’s Mille of choice was the Richard Mille RM 032, a skeletonised dive watch complete with a flyback chronograph and annual calendar. You might think that a watch costing around $180,000 would be too precious to brave explosions, heavy-duty combat fire, runaway trains, parkour-style building jumps and pretty much every stunt you could ever dream up, but only a 50mm titanium piece at 17.80mm thick such as this could handle that kind of action on Sly’s pumped-up wrists.

Stallone announced he was leaving the franchise—which has grossed around $1.14 billion at the box office—and not returning for a fourth instalment despite a lucrative pay deal, according to Deadline.

Ensuring that he and Richard Mille would still see some action together, Stallone and the watchmaker recently unveiled the ultimate survivalist timepiece, the RM 25-01, which comes with a tourbillon, a mountable compass, a level and a cache of water-purification tablets, retailing for somewhere in the region of $1.4 million.

## Argo (2012): Ben Affleck, Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller


Ben Affleck wearing the Rolex Deepsea Seadweller in Argo
Photo: Claire Folger, © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Did you spot the time traveller in Argo? When Ben Affleck was directing his Oscar Award–winning film, he probably didn’t have a lot of time on his hands to dial in on what kind of timepiece he was going to wear and how it would fit into the film. Watch enthusiasts balked when the actor wore a modern-day Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller (the model was first introduced in 2008) on the big screen as Tony Mendez, the extractor called upon by the US government to rescue 66 American hostages from the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. “Pretty nifty for a spy in ’79 to ’80 to have a watch that won’t come out for 30 years,” said one commenter on Rolexforums. “Still better than a Daytona in ancient Rome!” read another. The latter is a reference to a famous blooper in the 1959 epic drama Ben Hur, in which a Roman chariot driver can be seen wearing a wristwatch . . . in AD 26.


Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller worn in Argo
Photo: Courtesy of Rolex

But all jokes aside, Affleck’s Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller is still a handsome timepiece—albeit being a dive watch in a film that has nothing to do with the sea.

## Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014): Bremont Kingsman Special Editions


Colin Firth wearing Bremont in Kingsman: The Secret Service

Director Matthew Vaughn’s first installment in the Kingsman franchise saw its special agents dapperly dressed in the best of the best of British attire—the original Kingsman is about a spy network whose front is a high-class London tailor’s shop. Scenes from the movie include shots at Huntsman on Savile Row. So it was only natural that Vaughn sought out British watchmaker Bremont for timepieces to be worn by his leading men. For the film, Bremont developed three new special-edition Kingsman watches—a world timer (worn by Kingsman agents Colin Firth and Michael Caine), a DLC model worn by apprentice agent Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and a steel world timer for Kingsman’s head of new recruits (Mark Strong). While the placement of the watches in the film were unpaid, the British watchmaker was so closely connected to the film that Vaughn even invited Bremont cofounder Nick English for a brief guest appearance in the film as a Kingsman agent.


Co-founder of Bremont Nick English had a cameo in Kingsman: The Secret Service
Photo: Courtesy of Bremont

Stay tuned for the next Bremont appearance in an action film this Autumn, when it appears on the wrist of Tom Hardy in Ruben Fleischer’s Venom. The nose of one of Nick English’s vintage planes has already been painted with a WWII-fighter-plane-inspired “Venom face” by a Marvel artist to celebrate the next big-screen Bremont debut.


Taron Egerton and Michael Caine wearing Bremont in Kingsman: The Secret Service

## Doctor Strange (2016): Benedict Cumberbatch, Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual


Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange wearing Jaeger-LeCoultre

Before Benedict Cumberbatch’s character Dr. Stephen Strange morphs into a superhero in the secret realm of Kamar-Taj, he is a world-famous neurosurgeon who is robbed of his career when a car accident deprives him of the use of his hands. On that fateful night, the distinguished Dr. Strange is seen wearing his Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual, which he carries with him into the dimension of Kamar-Taj. The slim 9.2mm stainless-steel perpetual calendar features the day of the week at nine o’clock, the calendar at three o’clock, and the month at six o’clock. The timepiece also features a moonphase at 12 o’clo


The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual in Doctor Strange

But it’s the watch’s inscription that ultimately reminds Dr. Strange of his earthly origins. Inscribed on its caseback is a message from Dr. Strange’s love interest, Christine (played by Rachel McAdams). “Time will tell you how much I love you, Christine,” it reads.

## Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017): Robert Downey Jr., Urwerk UR-110RG


Robert Downey Jr. wearing Urwerk UR-110RG at the Spider-Man: Homecoming premiere
Photo: John Salangsang/REX/Shutterstock

Robert Downey Jr. is not only renowned for his epic film career, but also for being a true watch aficionado. His collection includes everything from a Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT (worn in Iron Man 2) and an Omega Speedmaster Moon Professional to a Rolex GMT Master II “Ghost” customised by Bamford Watch Department and a Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Titanium Orange (gifted to him by Ben Stiller after wrapping Tropic Thunder), to name just a few. But his biggest blockbuster was his Urwerk UR-110RG, which he wore as Iron Man in the Marvel Comics film Spider-Man: Homecoming.

The watch, hand-selected by the actor, was chosen to accompany Iron Man on his mission to combat evil. The company initially turned down Downey Jr.’s inquiry about the watch, suspecting they had received a prank call. But the star ultimately used his real-life superpowers to procure the timepiece for his on-set wardrobe.

It was the perfect instrument for Tony Stark aka Iron Man, the billionaire business magnate and inventor-turned-superhero. Crafted from lightweight titanium with an asymmetrical 18-karat rose-gold bezel, the watch presented a radical new way of telling time when it was first introduced in 2011. A rotating cube and orbiting satellite tell the time instead of traditional hands and markers, while a “control” board indicates night and day and an “oil change” indicator signals when the watch needs to be serviced.

In a real-life superhero move, Downey Jr. sold the watch at auction in May at Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction: Seven for 150,000 CHF (around $210,000) to benefit Manusodany, a nonprofit that funds development projects in Haiti.

## Atomic Blonde (2017): Charlize Theron and James McEvoy, Carl F. Bucherer


Charlize Theron wearing Carl F. Bucherer in Atomic Blonde
Photo: J Prime/Focus Features/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Spoiler alert: While most watch brands’ only role in films is to adorn the wrists of the leading characters, Carl F. Bucherer was the leading character of Atomic Blonde. When Charlize Theron, as MI5 agent Lorraine Broughton, goes undercover in Berlin to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents, it’s a Carl F. Bucherer Manero CentralChrono worn by Sam Hargrave as James Gascoigne that ultimately conceals the coveted list.

But the watchmaker doesn’t just see the spotlight at the big reveal at the conclusion of the film. Theron gets a Manero Mabu, which she purchases from a Carl F. Bucherer watchmaker (played by Til Schweiger) who takes apart the timepiece to insert a coordinates tracker. Meanwhile, Theron’s character wears a Manero AutoDate with diamonds while taking down villains as a bleach-blonde femme fatale.


Carl F. Bucherer Manero AutoDate worn in Atomic Blonde
Photo: Courtesy of Carl F. Bucherer

Director and stuntman David Leitch, a fan and brand ambassador of Carl F. Bucherer, also worked with the Swiss watchmaker during the making of his films John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2.

## Dunkirk (2017): Tom Hardy, Omega CK2129


The Omega CK2129 worn in Dunkirk
Photo: Courtesy of Omega

An authentic vintage Omega CK2129 accompanied Tom Hardy in his role as a British Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which tells the story of the evacuation of 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers from a German advance on the beaches of Dunkirk in May of 1940. In real life, approximately more than 110,000 pilot, navigator and soldier watches were delivered by Omega during World War II to Great Britain’s Military of Defence to support its air force and navy pilots during service.


Vintage Omega ad
Photo: Courtesy of Omega

The CK2129 was a useful tool for the RAF thanks to its unique rotating bezel enabling the timing of specific intervals, particularly during bombing raids. The bezel also featured a lock through its second crown so it wouldn’t be affected during accidental knocks. The timepiece’s cream dial with Arabic numerals and poire dials were ideal at the time for visibility.

Roughly 2000 CK2129 models were delivered to the British Ministry of Defence at the beginning of World War II.

## Batman Franchise: Val Kilmer, Christian Bale, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso; Ben Affleck, Breguet


The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso worn in the Batman movies
Photo: Courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Bruce Wayne aka Batman first wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso timepiece in 1995 when Joel Schumacher first directed Val Kilmer in the iconic role. While not nearly as futuristic as Batman’s other toys, the Reverso’s flip face mirrors Batman’s dual personality.


Christian Bale wearing Jaeger-LeCoultre as Bruce Wayne
Photo: Courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

Christian Bale solidified the relationship between Jaeger-LeCoultre and Batman when he wore three different Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso timepieces throughout all of the Dark Knight trilogy films directed by Christopher Nolan. For The Dark Knight Rises, Jaeger-LeCoultre created a special-edition Grande Reverso Ultra-Thin Tribute to 1931, which featured the black Batman symbol on the steel caseback, which can be flipped over and worn as the face.


Ben Affleck wearing Breguet Tradition Fusee Tourbillon 7047PT as Bruce Wayne

Ben Affleck, however, did an about-face in his turn as Bruce Wayne in 2016’s Batman vs. Superman by wearing a tony Breguet Tradition Fusee Tourbillon 7047PT in platinum (around $270,000). While it was certainly a departure from tradition, it was a fitting choice for an action hero masquerading as a billionaire philanthropist, complete with a butler named Alfred Pennyworth.


The Breguet Tradition Fusee Tourbillon 7047PT worn in Batman vs. Superman
Photo: Courtesy of Breguet

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Everybody Loves Naomi 

Fashion fans adore her. And so do we. Lucky, then, that a new exhibition is paying homage to four decades of snake-hipped catwalking.

By Joseph Tenni 22/06/2024

Naomi Campbell contains multitudes. Since emerging on the scene in 1986, modelling for British designer Jasper Conran, the statuesque stunner has used the runway for takeoff. She has ventured into all aspects of the culture, from Vogue to Playboy and reality TV. In the business arena, she has dabbled in publishing and the two F&Bs (fragrance and beauty, and food and beverage). Her philanthropic efforts are legion.

Naomi is better known than any of her peers and, aged 54, remains more relevant than ever. As a testament to her pervading influence, a new exhibition, Naomi: In Fashion, is opening at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Celebrating her 40 years in the spotlight, the show includes clothes from the model’s closet and some of the designer fashion she has helped to immortalise.

We all know her snake-hipped walk, her glowing skin, her famous paramours, and—yes—her many tantrums and tiaras. But how much do we love her exactly? Let’s count some of the ways. 

1. She Was Born to Be Famous

Many people know Naomi for her appearances in music videos for Michael Jackson’s In the Closet and George Michael’s Freedom! ’90—the latter also featuring fellow supermodels Linda, Cindy and Christy. But Naomi has been in front of the camera since she was a child, and her prolific music-video career predates her modelling. At 8, she appeared in the official video for Bob Marley’s 1978 hit Is This Love. At 13, Culture Club cast her as a tap-dancing teen in I’ll Tumble 4 Ya. It would be another two years before she was discovered by model scout Beth Boldt, while shopping in London’s Covent Garden.

Courtesy Off-White. Photo Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

2. She Hits All the Right Notes

As anyone who has ever seen Unzipped, the 1995 cult fashion documentary by Douglas Keeve, Naomi always has a song in her heart. She put her mouth where her money was in 1994 and recorded an album, Babywoman. The cover art featured Naomi, photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth, shaving her legs while sitting on the toilet. Fittingly, the album was canned—despite assistance from contributors like Donna Summer and PM Dawn. 

3. She’s Always Ready for Her Close-Up
Hollywood’s history is full of models who went on to become successful actors. Naomi is not one of them. But not for want of trying. Her turn as a nightclub singer in Vanilla Ice’s 1991 movie Cool as Ice flies under the radar but doesn’t deserve to. Nor does her scene-stealing cameo as a French cheese shopper in The Night We Never Met, alongside Matthew Broderick and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Or her playing a sexy telephone operator in Spike Lee’s Girl 6. Who else has that kind of range? 

4. She Tells It Like It Is

We’d be remiss not to mention her 1994 novel Swan. A roman a clef about a young girl breaking into the modelling industry, flanked by her four besties who are also divas in training heels, it certainly played with genres. A murder-mystery-cum-sexy-romance-cum-vocational-advice page-turner, or something like that, this guilty pleasure was cruelly overlooked and relegated to the annals of bargain bins everywhere. 

5. She’s Got a Mind for Business

Naomi has been vocal over the years about making less money than her white peers and was not going to wait for the industry to catch up. Instead, she has ventured into businesses ranging from her former stake in the Fashion Cafe in New York to her signature fragrances, first released in 1999. What does Naomi smell like? Subtle yet complicated, consisting of top notes of peach, coconut and bergamot with a deep, woody base of cedar and sandalwood—apparently.

6. She Gives Until It Hurts

For a so-called narcissist, Naomi has often put her fame to philanthropic use. She has galvanised black models in fashion with the Black Girls Coalition and has raised money for Africa, Haiti and disaster relief worldwide, including after the Mumbai terrorist attacks. When she was dating the Russian billionaire and Aman Resorts owner Vladislav Doronin, she became committed to saving the tiger. Is there anything this overachiever can’t do?

7. She Can Make Hay From Anything

When she was sentenced to community service following allegations by a former employer that Naomi had attacked her with a mobile phone, the model emerged from her punishment dressed in couture and trailed by a photo crew who were shooting a fashion layout of her for W magazine. And when she was summoned in 2010 to appear in a war crimes trial against former Liberian president Charles Taylor—in relation to an uncut blood diamond he’d allegedly given her—our girl showed up in an Azzedine Alaïa twin-set and wearing a silver “evil eye” necklace, turning the courtroom into a photo opportunity.

8. She’ll Be on Your Side for Evermore
The fashion industry is hardly known for its loyalty or congeniality, but Naomi has maintained decades-long friendships with not only her supermodel sisters like Christy Turlington but also some of the most powerful and difficult players, including John Galliano and Marc Jacobs. That she has remained tight with so many of her friends is not lost on her adoring public. She must be a loyal person and in return, fans everywhere remain loyal to her.

Naomi: In Fashion runs from June 22, 2024, until April 16, 2025, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; vam.ac.uk

Courtesy Vivienne Westwood. Photo Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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The Sapphire Dinner 2024 Raises Support for Ocean Conservation

This year’s boldfaced bash raised funds for our critically under-supported national treasures. 

By Horacio Silva 22/06/2024

The big fish of Sydney society came out Thursday night for the third annual Sapphire Dinner to raise much-needed money for ocean conservation. Held in conjunction with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the boldfaced bash was the first sit-down dinner held at the Tank, a repurposed World War II fuel container that sits beneath the Art Gallery’s new wing. 

Set against a backdrop of immersive ocean-inspired video projections by South Korean digital creators d’strict, and with a dress code that inspired guests to recycle their most fabulous fashions, the zero-waste dinner supports The Sapphire Project’s mission to galvanise the community to take action to protect our oceans and the Great Barrier Reef.

Deep-pocketed VIPs who walked the evening’s blue carpet included  Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull, real estate maven Monika Tu, Penelope Seidler, Anna Marsden (Managing Director of Great Barrier Reef Foundation), Michael and Tina Brand, Andrew Cameron, MCA Chair Lorraine Tarabay, Myer boss Olivia Wirth, benefactors Paris Neilsen and Beau Neilson, and Paul Howes and Olivia Wirth, the power couple known as ‘Paulivia’. 

Retired swimmer Giaan Rooney MC’d the event, hosted by Sapphire Committee co-chairs Hayley Baillie and Ryan Gollan and committee members Ian Thorpe AM, Luke Hepworth, Clare Herschell, Susan Wynne, Brioney Prier, Bianca Rinehart, Doris Ma, Kate Champion, Ellie Aitken, and Chong Chua. 

A troupe of former Australian Ballet dancers and a musical performance by the Fijian-Australian singer and actress Paulini entertained the revellers.   

Among the auctioned items was an original work by Del Kathryn Barton, which raised more than $200,000 in a high-spirited bidding war led by Four Pillars Gin founder Stu Gregor, whose expletive-laden entreaties were suitably salty. 

Nobody minded, given that more than a million dollars were raised to support the criminally underfunded ocean conservation (it’s estimated that only about 2 percent of philanthropy in Australia goes towards the preservation of our precious national treasures), with funds going to support important initiatives such as The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the University of Sydney’s One Tree Island Research Station, the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station, the Australian Sea Lion Recovery Foundation and Biopixel Oceans Foundation’s Project Hammerhead

The Sapphire Project Dinner 2024
Clare Herschell, Kate Champion, Bianca Rinehart & Hayley Baillie
The tablescapes at the Sapphire Project Dinner
Ian Thorpe
Adrian and Beck Buchan
Monika Tu
The Sapphire Project Dinnner 2024
Lucy & Malcolm Turnbull
Sapphire Committee co-chairs Hayley Baillie & Ryan Gollan

For further information, visit SapphireProject.com.au

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The 10 Best Omakase in Sydney

Sydney’s best Japanese chef’s-table dining experiences.

By Belinda Aucott-christie 06/06/2024

In Japan, where food is a cultural art form, omakase stands for traditional Japanese foods made with seasonal ingredients. A good omakase meal, prepared with purity and mindfulness, can make an unforgettable imprint on the culinary memory. Yet in a land defined by seasonal traditions, omakase is a relatively new concept.

Omakase originated in Japan in the 1970s as affluent Japanese began to dine more regularly at first-rate sushi counters. Bowing to the expertise of the sushi master, omakase loosely translates to “I’ll leave it to you.” In a setting where money is no object, letting the chef decide was designed as a chic way to take the awkwardness out of ordering.

In Australia where there’s an abundance of fresh seafood, omakase menus have experienced a recent rise in popularity. Today omakase is any series of small dishes served directly by the chef to the diner. Each part of the meal is presented on beautiful ceramics and lacquer wear, with a great —and somewhat— intimidating reverence for elegant details. It’s a chance to see a chef’s knife skills up close and get a feel for their cooking style.

Omakase menus are based on whatever is freshest at the market and can be influenced by the chef’s mood, expertise, and response to the guest. They can be slowly paced like a ceremony—hushed and reverential—but they can also be rowdy, humorous, and personal.
Here we give you 10 of the best to try in Sydney.

Yoshi’s Omakase at Nobu Crown Sydney

Crown Sydney, Level 2/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo. Open: 12–3 pm, 5:30–9:30 pm Phone: 02 8871 7188 Reservations: F&B-SYD-Nobu@crownresorts.com.au; $380 per head (including matched wine and sake). Crownsydney.com.au

Sushi Oe

16/450 Miller St, Cammeray; Tue – Sat. SMS only 0451 9709 84 E: jizakana16@gmail.com Phone: 0426 233 984 $230 per head. jizakana.com.au

Kisuke with Yusuke Morita

50 Llankelly Place, Potts Point; Tuesday – Saturday: 17:30 – 10.45 (closed Sunday/ Monday) $185-200 per head Kisukepottspoint.com

Haco 

102/21 Alberta St, Sydney. Lunch, Friday to Saturday 12 -2:00 pm Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday 5:45 pm – 8:1 5pm (closed Sunday & Mondays) P: 0408 866 285                                     E: haco@hacosydney.com.au; $150 – $210 Hacosydney.com.au

Kuon

Shop 04 2/58 Little Hay St, Sydney, Lunch: Fri-Sun 12:30 pm. Dinner  Tue-Sun 5:15 pm or 7:45 pm sittings.  Reservation via SMS at 0488 688 252; $220 per head @kuon.omakase

Sokyo 

The Darling, Level G, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont. Open dinner Monday to Thursday from 5:45 pm P: 1800 700 700 $300 per head Sokyo.com.au

Kuro

368 Kent St, Sydney; Open Tue – Wed – Thur: 6 pm Fri & Sat: 5:30 pm P: 02 9262 1580, reservations@kurosydney.com $220 per head. Kurosydney.com;

Choji Omakase

Level 2, 228 Victoria Ave, Chatswood —upstairs from Choji Yakiniku. Every Monday to Wednesday at 6.30 pm. One seating per day only. $295 per head. Chojiomakase.com.au

Gold Class Daruma

The Grace Hotel, Level 1/77 York St, Sydney; 12–2:30 pm, 5:30–9.00 pm Phone: (02) 9262 1190 M: 0424 553 611 booking@goldclassdaruma.com.au·$120 – $150 per head Goldclassdaruma.com.au

Besuto

Besuto Omakase, Sydney Place precinct, 3 Underwood Street, Circular Quay. Omakase is available to book for dinner – Tuesday to Saturday. 5:30 pm & 8pm sittings. From $250. Besuto.com.au

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is no soy and wasabi offered during my omakase meal?
Even though sushi and sashimi are being served, the chef is serving each piece of sushi so quickly and directly that the chef is applying the wasabi and soy to the sushi themselves. Watch as they brush the top of the fish with soy and dab a tiny amount of wasabi on the rice, under the fish. You should not need to add extra, and in fact, it can be insulting to the chef to add more. Bathing the bottom of the rice of your sushi in soy sauce is considered bad manners, as it is seen as detracting from the flavour of the fish.

Nobu, Sydney

Can an omakase experience accommodate my dietary needs?
Although there is often little variation once the chef has set the daily menu, some customisation is possible. Advise the restaurant when you book and remind them of allergies or aversions again as you sit down. They will let you know when you book if your allergy is possible for the chef. Japanese menus feature a lot of seafood and dashi so accommodating a no seafood request can be genuinely tricky.

What are the golden rules for chopstick etiquette?
Use your chopstick holder in between eating, rather than putting chopsticks on your plate. Don’t use your chopsticks to gesticulate or point; if offering food to someone to try, never pass food directly from your chopsticks to theirs. Rather place the food onto a small plate and let them pick it up.
Never touch communal or shared food with your chopsticks. The longer, slightly larger chopsticks are like sharing cutlery, never put these in your mouth.

Without a menu, how can I know what I am eating during omakase?
Omakase is often a no-menu situation, and you are expected to try new things. Attending an omakase experience with an open, trusting mind yields the best results.
There are Wagyu and tempura omakase that reflect the chef’s personal predilections and training, but in a standard luxury omakase, the format will include a lot of freshly caught seafood and will usually kick off with a delicate appetiser. This will be followed by a sashimi and sushi course, a savoury egg custard (chawanmushi) with meat and seafood, a cooked or blow-torched market fish, a soup course, and dessert.

Can I talk to the chef during omakase? What is the protocol?
Guests at an omakase experience are welcome to ask questions of the chef; in fact, interacting with the chef is part of the experience. It is considered polite to ask questions or inquire about the food so they can explain.

What is best to pair with omakase  in terms of drinks?
In general, wine and sake are a perfect match for omakase. Aged fish and vinegar have strong umami flavours so depending on which course you enjoy, different wine and sake will pair well. Dry chilled sake is a great choice. Amazing sakes are imported into Australia, so trust the restaurant to advise you and take you on a sake journey at the same time.  If you don’t like sake, drinking chardonnay, a crisp young riesling, or even a dry complex Riesling is also totally acceptable. All three styles help bring out the flavour of the fish. Champagne can also be good. Try a blanc de blancs— 100% chardonnay —for a great way to start the meal. As you progress, remember that sake is good for dishes with a strong taste, such as uni and eel.

Nobu, Sydney

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The Tod’s SS25 Men’s Collection in Milan Was a Showcase of “Artisanal Intelligence”

It was also the debut men’s collection by creative director Matteo Tamburini.

By Josh Bozin 20/06/2024

Earlier this week, Tod’s presented its SS25 men’s collection at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC) for Milan Fashion Week, where all eyes were fixed on Matteo Tamburini and his debut menswear collection as Tod’s newest creative director.

Striking “a balance between tradition and modernity”, was the former Bottega Veneta designer’s intention, and indeed his showcase offerered a spotlight on the quality, materials, and detailing that are central to the Tod’s wardrobe.

“The collection is more about subtraction rather than addition, highlighting the very elevated, timeless and relaxed materials,” says Tamburini via a statement.

Tod’s

In line with Tod’s restrained design codes, the garments presented were characterised by timelessness, unmistakable Italian flair, yet a casualness appropriate for everyday wear. Only the best leathers were used in the collection—thanks to the Pashmy project, which Tod’s unveiled in January to champion high-end Italian materials—used in creating garments like the Tod’s Bomber, the Gio Jacket, the Shirt Jacket, the Di Bag sack, as well as footwear staples, like the Tod’s T-Riviera.

Of course, the iconic Gommino driving shoe wasn’t without an update, too: you’ll find a new sabot interpretation, as well as the Bubble Gommino introduced in a new boat model with the T-bar accessory.

“Craftsmanship” was at the forefront of messaging, with chairman and chief executive officer of the Tod’s Group, Diego Della Valle, reiterating the message of honouring artisanal arts in an increasingly digital-first world.”[It’s] important to uphold artisanal intelligence, keeping under control artificial intelligence as it is now developing rapidly and powerfully,” he said via a statement.

“Individuals and artisanal intelligence at the centre, with its traditions and values, will contribute to keep artificial intelligence in check. Our Italian craftsmanship and supply chain can be an example of the combination of tradition and the new speed of artificial intelligence.”

tods.com

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Pitti Uomo’s Best-Dressed Men Cut Through the Noise With Personal Style

From vintage gems to tasteful tailoring, attendees of Florence’s biannual tradeshow brought their best sartorial selves.

By Naomi Rougeau, Lorenzo Sodi 20/06/2024

Whether or not you’re well versed in the ins and outs of Pitti Uomo, the biannual menswear tradeshow in Florence that brings together buyers, press—and, naturally, a vast ostentation of peacocks—the chances are that photos from the gathering are still making their way into your newsfeed. You might even smirk at the mention of it. To be sure, you’ll encounter plenty of “overdressing” strolling through the main venues but by and large, great personal style manages to cut through the noise.

Part of what makes the Pitti scene so exciting is that menswear moves relatively slowly. It’s less about seeing something earth shatteringly new but rather gradual shifts and discovering fresh ways to put things together. Menswear regulars such as Alessandro Squarzi, owner of a considerable vintage archive that influences his Milanese boutique Fortela, can be relied upon to provide inspiration on how to make tried and true staples and silhouettes feel modern.

Speaking of new old things, vintage fashions made their way into the chat in a big way this June, whether in terms of rare finds or sustainable efforts via upcycling, fabric development and natural dyes (Paris-based De Bonne Facture achieved an ideal medium brown using coffee, for instance). At the heart of the conversation was another bona fide vintage guru Maurizio Donadi who made a case for the timelessness and democratic nature of indigo with his centuries-spanning exhibit of antique garments from around the globe.

Below you’ll find a dozen of our favorite looks from Pitti Uomo 106, lensed by our eagle-eyed street-style photographer Lorenzo Sodi. We hope they inspire.

Lorenzo Sodi

A lesson in simplicity and the power of a classic palette—good quality vintage accents such as a turquoise embellished belt buckle add interest to timeless workwear. Ray-Ban’s universally-flattering Wayfarer sunglasses are the perfect finishing touch.

Lorenzo Sodi

Sans suit and shirt, the neckerchief (of which there were many at Pitti), adds a welcome dose of colour to a white tee and relaxed jacket and proves that sometimes one choice detail is all it takes. A well-loved, slightly-too-long belt and canvas Vans contribute to the casual harmony.

Lorenzo Sodi

Whatever the weather, you’ll find Douglas Cordeaux, from Fox Brothers, looking immaculate in shirt and tie… and a suit made of one of Fox’s many fabrics. British elegance, embodied.

Lorenzo Sodi

Relaxed elegance is the foundation of the Brunello Cuccinelli brand. Here, the maestro himself shows us how it’s done in a double-breasted linen ensemble featuring a few personal flourishes.

Lorenzo Sodi

Designer Alessandro Pirounis of Pirounis offers a masterclass on the rule of three with a contemporary twist, subbing the usual jacket with an overshirt of his own design.

Lorenzo Sodi

A renaissance man takes Florence. True to his roots, US Marine veteran, Savile Row-trained tailor and photographer Robert Spangle blazes a sartorial trail that’s all his own.

Lorenzo Sodi

Cream trousers are an essential element of elegant Italian summer style. Designer Nicola Radano of Spacca Neapolis channels one of the greats (Marcello Mastroianni) in a dark polo of his own design, collar spread wide across his jacket’s lapel for a welcome retro lean.

Lorenzo Sodi

Proof of the power of tonal dressing, that can create an impactful outfit just by sticking to the same colour family. A chic ensemble and in some ways an elevated version of the double-denim look, every element is working hard in service to the whole.

Lorenzo Sodi

UK-based stylist Tom Stubbs has long been a proponent of blousy pleats, lengthy db jackets, and statement-making neck scarves and here, in vintage Armani, he embodies the louche, oversize look that many designers are just now catching up on.

Lorenzo Sodi

A tailor splitting his time between Berlin and Cologne, Maximilian Mogg is known for his strong-shouldered, architectural suiting. Yet in Mogg’s hands, particularly with this non-traditional colour scheme, the effect is always modern and youthful.

Lorenzo Sodi

If Max Poglia’s relaxed Hawaiian shirt and suit combo is any indication, summer has truly arrived. But it’s an excellent example of how to wearing tailoring in more casual fashion. This cream db would look perfect with shirt and tie at a wedding in August and just as chic here with slippers and a laid-back shirt.

Lorenzo Sodi

Another example of how tailoring can be laid-back and breezy for summer, from a dude who looks no stranger to enjoying the best of the warmer months. Jaunty pocket square, sandals, untucked linen shirt…go forth and emulate.

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