LIVING IN AMERICA: Watch Spotting At The 2021 Met Gala
While the focus was on American style, Swiss watches stole the show.
We’ve missed the Met Gala. Not only is it a cavalcade of celebrities sporting over-the-top fashion, but it also provides an opportunity for some fine watch spotting. And this year’s delayed event did not disappoint!
The Met Gala is an annual event held to raise funds for New York’s Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute. This year’s theme was based on the new exhibition “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” And while the 2021 extravaganza felt a little less like a fashion circus due to you-know-what, there were still many magical red carpet moments like Lil Nas X pulling a Lady Gaga and doing three different outfit reveals or Rihanna swanning up the stairs at the very last minute in Balenciaga (what the voluminous outfit said about America, we don’t know but we liked it).
But we're here to talk watches, so let's go!
British singer Rita Ora shone in a glittery two-piece creation by Prada as she walked the red carpet arm and arm with Thor director Taika Waititi. Her wrist was lit up with jewels from DeBeers, including a diamond-studded Aria timepiece. Waititi wore a Cartier Santos-Dumont in stainless steel with a leather strap.
While many attendees try to outdo each other with outré outfits (think Kim Kardashian's Balenciaga S&M shroud), musician Frank Ocean's went for a more minimalist black suede, three-piece ensemble by Prada. His accessories, however, were out of this world. The singer was carrying a tiny robotic green baby while wearing his Richard Mille RM 37-01 Automatic Kiwi.
Model Kaia Gerber’s Oscar de la Renta gown was an homage to the Halston gown Bianca Jagger wore to the Met Gala in 1981. If you’ve seen the miniseries on Netflix, you know that nothing felt more American than Halston in the Studio 54 days. This elegant take on that era was a hit on the red carpet, and Gerber drew much praise by pairing this bold black dress with understated accessories from Omega, including a De Ville Prestige Dewdrop watch on a black leather strap, simply chic earrings, and a brilliant diamond ring.
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Late-night host Jimmy Fallon was turned out in a black jacket and trouser with black grosgrain tipping, a white pique shirt, and black cashmere knit vest by American designer Thom Browne. In another nod to US-sensibility, the comedian wore a vintage Omega Speedmaster Mark II from 1972. As you watch nerds know, the Mark II made its debut in 1969, the same year NASA landed on the moon.
Red Hot and Blue
Guys went gaga for High jewelry at the Met Gala this year. Actors Dan Levy, Timothée Chalamet, and Troye Sivan were all resplendent in rings and things from Cartier. Billie Eilish stole the show with a stunning nude Oscar de la Renta tulle dress, and she was, of course, drenched in Cartier. Eilish's producer brother Finneas took peacocking one step further in a scarlet suit from Givenchy and a coral dialed Santos de Cartier model in 18k yellow gold.
Canadian superstar Justin Bieber arrived on the red carpet in a black satin suit by Drew House, a label he started up with his brother. The wide lapels and baggy trousers recalled American jazz legend Cab Calloway. The Beeb paired this fit with an equally iconic gold Rolex Daytona.
A Seat At The Table
Fun fact: tables at the Met Gala can cost upwards of $30,000. This can price out young and diverse talents. But F1 driver and IWC ambassador Lewis Hamilton bought a table so that emerging Black fashion designers could attend. Good deeds are our favorite flex, but his ensemble by Los Angeles designer Kenneth Nicholson looked damned good too. Sadly. no sign of a watch on his wrist, though.
La La Land
Game of Thrones alumni Kit Harrington cleaned up nicely in a custom white Saint Laurent tux and a Harry Winston Midnight 42mm Automatic Timepiece in 18K white gold. Harrington told red carpet reporter Keke Palmer that his goal was to recreate old school Hollywood glamour, and the Art Deco-inspired arcs of this watch indeed summoned that mood.
Enter The Multiverse
Nothing is more American than a superhero, and Simu Liu, star of the hit movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, had a powerful presence in a Fendi suit and wire a Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar WG Zodiac Baguette. Probably one of the most stand-out watches of the evening due to its fine finishing and masterful gem-setting.
If there was a trend within a trend at the Met Gala, it’s that you don't have to wear a traditional tux to have a ball. Golden State star Steph Curry attended the Gala wearing a bedazzled Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time that complemented his bejeweled navy blue blazer. His wife Ayesha Curry was wearing rose gold diamond hoop earrings from our partner retailer WEMPE.
United We Stand
The real heroes of any red carpet are the stylists. They’re the ones that put all the pieces together. So it’s important to note what they are wearing. Architect Law Roach wore a Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold with his otherwise all-black ensemble.
Also spotted in Hublot, Chance The Rapper with a Classic Fusion King Gold Pavé, and singer Kehlani with a Big Bang One Click Rainbow. In a first for the brand, The Art of Fusion watchmaker hit the Met Gala in a big way!
One Night in New York
Greubel Forsey ranks in the upper echelon of luxury watches. Still, it's not a brand you often see on the red carpet, which is why we were excited to see Actor and horologist, Aldis Hodge, wearing the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Edition Historique in 5N red gold. The watch retails for $505,000. It didn't surprise us (Hodge is also a watchmaker), but it did delight us.