There are few actors who know how to bring golden-age Hollywood glamour and magnetism to the red carpet like Nicole Kidman. Designers long to dress her. Paparazzi push past barricades just for one picture. And Kidman’s colleagues have honored her with more awards and nominations than we can name here.
What sets Kidman apart style-wise is that she usually does something a little different at high-profile events. For example, the Australian actress upped her fashion game at the 2016 Screen Actors Guild awards by wearing a Gucci dress, antique bijoux from Fred Leighton and a dazzling, diamond-studded Omega “secret watch” from 1952.
Kidman’s jewelry watch dazzles with its platinum case and bracelet set with several hundred 8/8 Top Wesselton baguette-cut, full-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds. In fact, the secret of secret watches is that they don’t look like timepieces at all. But flip them over or slide back a bejeweled cover and you’ll find another tiny treasure. In the case of this classic Omega, a snap-close cover conceals a guilloche décor silvered dial with gold cabochon hour markers and gold, leaf-shaped hands. The watch is driven by the caliber 211.
In a day and age when keeping track of time with our screens is most commonplace, it’s hard to imagine that watches played a more important role back in the day. Without cell phones and instant messaging to keep you in constant communication with friends and colleagues, if you had plans to meet up, you had to schedule in advance—and you had to be prompt. At the same time, etiquette dictated that it was impolite to look at your watch at a formal event, lest you offend your host (imagine all the pearl clutching there would be if a society matron from the ’50s saw a whole table of guests texting or Instagramming the affair).
Formal fashion rules are much more relaxed these days. Kidman has worn a vintage Omega at many elegant events. As Kidman revealed in an interview with DuJour, she’s a long-time collector of vintage jewelry. For many fans the appeal of retro watches is that they always come with a history. And ultimately storytelling is Kidman’s most compelling talent.