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As smart watches make some inroads in Hollywood — with the likes of J.J. Abrams, Katy Perry and Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner all recently seen wearing Apple watches — traditional Swiss watch makers are working harder than ever to nurture and develop relationships with influencers in the entertainment industry. On Friday night, June 12, Vacheron Constantin, the oldest continuously operating Swiss watch brand, made a play for industry wrists by throwing a stylish insiders-only party in Los Angeles at the Pacific Palisades home of TV power player Ben Silverman. The chairman of Electus — whose on-air shows include Jane the Virgin, Mob Wives and Running Wild With Bear Grylls — opened up his residence to more than 100 guests, including top talent agents, studio execs, Silicon Beach investors and entertainment lawyers.
“I’m a fan of the brand. They reached out to me through Relevant, their agency. They know there are a lot of people who love watches in L.A. and asked if would be open to doing a dinner with them. And many of my friends are watch collectors and watch nuts — I knew they would love to come,” said Silverman, who co-hosted the party with a big name from the digital world, YouTube head of content and business operations Robert Kyncl.
Vincent Brun, president of Vacheron Constantin North America, was on hand to welcome partygoers and introduce them to the luxury brand’s newest collection, the Harmony line, introduced in January in Geneva. Display cases were set up on a large patio between the home and the pool showing off the different iterations of the new timepiece, which features a 42mm cushion-case design with a round dial nestled inside a squarish case. The watch, released after seven years of research and development, takes its inspiration from a chronograph designed in 1928. By the pool, a Swiss watchmaker from Vacheron worked at a traditional watch-making table, demonstrating the technical craftsmanship that the 260-year-old brand is known for. In April, Vacheron Constantin was a sponsor of THR‘s annual Power Lawyers breakfast.
Silverman, who described the watch brand as a “hyper-artisanal” company, said he incorporated elements into the festivities that played off that theme, such as hiring seasonal Venice restaurant Gjelina to do the catering. The restaurant’s chef, Travis Lett, and his staff cooked whole salmon on an outdoor grill and served up bites of it on toast, along with other passed hors d’oeuvres. Spotted at the event were Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer, Sheppard Mullin power lawyer Craig Cardon and his artist wife Shell, NASCAR driver Brian Vickers, Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns and Fox Broadcasting executive vice president Terence Carter.
Silverman admitted he doesn’t consider himself a serious watch collector. Among the half-dozen or so watches he does have, Silverman owns one of Vacheron’s Overseas models. “It’s a little more sporty and good for an L.A. boy who is always working out and forgetting to take his watch off,” he said. The exec collected watches more actively earlier in his career — until he lost them all to a thief. “Sadly a bunch of my watches got stolen. That was a bummer,” he said. Among them was an Omega that his grandfather owned and that he had given to Silverman. “That was my first nice watch.”
Of course, he didn’t have to worry about anything untoward happening Friday night — Vacheron’s phalanx of security guards was in plain view throughout the night. The most watched-over timepiece? Vacheron Constantin’s new Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph in platinum, a limited edition of just 26 watches (celebrating the company’s 260-year anniversary) with navy alligator straps, silvered-opaline dials and the tourbillon at 12 o’clock, showcasing the Harmony collection’s entirely new Calibre 3200 movement. Each individually numbered timepiece retails for $288,000.