Nicole Kidman on the power of timekeeping

By Rachel Ingram | 24 Oct 2018 | Culture, Style

The Big Little Lies actress and Omega ambassador talks to Tempus about her passion for watches, modern luxury and female empowerment

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* Omega ambassadors [l-r] Liu Shishi, Alessandra Ambrosio, Cindy Crawford and Nicole Kidman celebrate the Constellation Manhattan Collection in Shanghai

Nicole Kidman is a busy woman. In between winning Oscars and Bafta Awards for her work as an actress, she’s a mother-of-four, a devoted philanthropist, an ambassador for various causes and a producer – her highly acclaimed television series Big Little Lies, in which she boasts a starring role and executive producer credit, has just wrapped up filming its second series. It comes as no surprise then that time, and timekeeping, is exceptionally important to the Australian.

Kidman speaks candidly of her disinterest in smart phones, preferring instead to keep time in the traditional way, with a watch – or more specifically, with an Omega that’s almost permanently attached to her wrist. The actress has been an ambassador for the Swiss watchmaker since 2005, her enduring elegance and self-confessed “old-fashioned, old school charm” a perfect fit for the historic brand.

This week, she joined the Omega team in Shanghai for the unveiling of the brand's new Constellation ‘Manhattan’ collection, an iconic line of women’s watches that resurrects the elegance of Omega’s 1982 Manhattan, with some modern updates.

During the launch event at Shanghai’s Expo I–Pavilion on 23 October, where Kidman was joined by fellow ambassadors Cindy Crawford and Alessandra Ambrosio, Tempus spoke with the actress about her passion for watches and why they’re so important to her, especially now.

You have a close relationship with Omega. Why is the brand so special to you?
I am just very honoured to be working with a brand that has such authenticity. The pursuit of excellence is what they want, they want to give something to the world that is consistent and reliable. They’re also deeply philanthropic and they’re good people. I’ve had so many memories with them, like tonight, when they do the events, they’re just magical.

Which models do you find yourself wearing the most?
I wear the Constellation most of the time because it can be worn in the daytime, but it also can be an evening watch. It’s very streamlined, it’s very chic and people always comment on it when I wear it. But when I’m going to the Oscars, the Golden Globes or a big red carpet, I’ll wear the vintage watches because they have all these exquisite little diamonds, they’ve been hand crafted and they have history. I think it’s really lovely to wear something that’s vintage. >>

Related: Cindy Crawford on timeless luxury and modern modelling

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* Actress and Omega ambassador Nicole Kidman wears a timepiece from the new Omega Constellation 'Manhattan' collection

How do you think wearing watches can empower women?
When you look at the history of watches, for a long time, women weren’t allowed to wear watches because they weren’t allowed to know the time. Knowing the time is so important because when you know the time and when you control your own time, you’re controlling your own destiny.

Even with the availability of technology nowadays?
I like a watch because it separates me from my phone. I don’t want to use my phone as my watch because then I’m distracted by emails or texts – my phone is work for me. If I have a watch, it keeps everything very separate and then I don’t have to carry my phone everywhere. I really try to have boundaries because I’ve found that when I do have my phone on me, I’m working 24/7, which is not good for me.

What does luxury mean to you in the modern world?
I like being able to go away on holiday to somewhere amazing with my family, that’s the ultimate luxury for me. And good food, I love to have really, really good food and then go somewhere. A great ocean is always incredibly luxurious, to swim in a beautiful ocean and then get out and eat some really good food is my idea of total relaxation.

Read the full interview with Nicole Kidman in an upcoming edition of Tempus.

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* Omega ambassadors [l-r] Liu Shishi, Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford and Alessandra Ambrosio with president & CEO Raynald Aeschlimann [centre]