One of the interesting things about a watch, is how quickly – in fact instantaneously – we can judge whether it suits its wearer. When I meet Lindy Klim for the first time it’s just before dawn. We are standing on a windswept beach within sight of Australia’s fabled Great Ocean Road. Two impressions are cast that I’ve never quite shaken.
The first is her poise. She is the daughter of Indonesian royalty and it shows in everything she does. In her speech, her movements, her quiet intelligence. The second is her watch. A steel and red gold Omega Aqua Terra Master Co-Axial with a mother-of-pearl dial. I can’t help myself. I point it out right away. “The way it shimmers and reflects – it’s so beautiful,” she says, drawing it closer to us. “And I love that it comes from the ocean.” The watch, she says, is her constant connection to the element that sustains her most: the sea. You could hardly have chosen a model more appropriate for Lindy, who lives within walking distance of the shore in Bali.
It’s also an appropriate watch for our setting. This rugged stretch of sand, sea and rock. If either of us were in possession of a knife, we could prise an oyster shell off the black volcanic rocks and find the same milky, delicate textures of the watch’s dial, barely metres from where we stand, watching the waves.
For all these reasons, the two belong together. Lindy and this timepiece.
Why are Lindy Klim and I here, watching the sun rise, with both time and tide at play? Our mission stretches ahead. Modelling swimsuits and fine couture in six-degree temperatures on a beach is never an easy prospect. But this is a difficult – and more private than usual – time in her life. The model and businesswoman separated from her husband, Australian swimmer Michael Klim, in February. Quite a moment to literally reveal yourself. In preparation for the day, we talk. And it turns out there are four major elements that are helping her to navigate troubled waters. We will have more next week, including a mini-documentary that explores the making of the shoot.
“I think you’re either a ‘city girl’, a ‘country girl’ or a ‘beach girl’. I’m definitely a beach girl. I grew up in Tasmania which is surrounded by beautiful deserted beaches. Now I live in Bali with the kids, we go two or three times a day. A dip in the ocean can be a beautiful thing – it’s so refreshing and at the same time so calming. If ever I’m having a tough day, I head straight for the beach and dive in – it just wakes you up, gets all of your senses going and you leave feeling amazing. I get a lot of therapy from being at the beach. Having the peace and quiet with the sound of the waves, the open space and even the smells – it’s all really important for me.”
“It’s only been in the last ten years or so that I’ve found confidence. Back when I was modelling as a teenager or a twenty-something, I never had the confidence I have now. I was really shy. The reason for that change is firstly my age. Secondly, the fact I’ve had children. You have to toughen up, in a way, with kids. I was always so scared and shy of the world, and now, since having kids, nothing really bothers me the way it used to. And thirdly, I understand myself much more now. I’ve come to terms with who I am and I enjoy the person I am.”
“Recently I’ve had some really difficult times – I’m still having difficult times – but my advice to others is to be true to yourself. Make sure you surround yourself with amazing people, family – and don’t forget about your beautiful friends. Try to nourish yourself as much as possible and you can get through anything.”
“I’ve been in this industry for such a long time and I’m still here. I think that’s because I reinvent myself. I move on, I do different things and discover parts of myself I never knew I had. I’m not a follower. I just kind of do my own thing and hope people like it. Freedom for me is being able to be who I am, without any restrictions. Right now I’m feeling really free and I’m happy with my life.”
Images by Jesse O’Brien.