Why Russell Brand Fell in Love With His 'Arthur' Watches
"Arthur" costume designer Juliet Polcsa says Brand was "fascinated" by the movie's Wintour timepieces, which feature cascading diamonds inside the casing.
When costume designer Juliet Polcsa first sat down with Arthur director Jason Winer to ask about the character’s accessories, he told her he didn’t believe that Russell Brand’s spoiled billionaire would ever wear a watch.
"Jason said, ‘He’s on his own time schedule,’ “ recalls Polcsa, a four-time Emmy nominee for her work as costume designer of The Sopranos.
But Polcsa soon discovered a whimsical new brand called Wintour Watch Company, which features cascading diamonds inside the casing, that she thought just might fly. The Swiss-made watches boast three-plus carats of loose diamonds floating over each ticker’s face, giving the illusion of snowflakes in a snow globes.
“It’s like shakable diamonds that are in there. These are watches are unlike any watches I’ve ever seen,” says the designer. “I showed them to Russell and he was just fascinated. When you pick up these watches, you want to play with them.”
Together, they convinced Winer that a watch like this would be more of a toy than a timepiece for Arthur, not to mention a fittingly distinctive item. Brand’s tailored but idiosyncratic wardrobe is inspired by that of Fiat heir Lapo Elkann, with custom suits made by Brooklyn’s Martin Greenfield Clothiers.
For the production, the Wintour Watch Company’s creators, Leon and Jessica Cohen, sent over four versions (which run from $12,700 to $43,500) of the same style from their Starry Night collection. The watches use conflict-free diamonds, either black nickel or gold dials, 18 carat gold or stainless steel cases, and straps in stainless steel, 18-carat gold or Louisiana crocodile, often embellished with diamonds. The Cohens created an extra back for one of the watches so that Arthur’s logo could be engraved on it. The watches are currently for sale at only two U.S. locations, Traditional Jewelers in Newport Beach, Calif. (traditionaljewelers.com) and Peter Marco Extraordinary Jewels in Beverly Hills (310-278-5353).
“Everything about Russell had to be luxe and the type of things that not many people have,” says Polcsa.