EVENT: Bollywood royalty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan opens Longines flagship Sydney boutique EVENT: Bollywood royalty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan opens Longines flagship Sydney boutique

EVENT: Bollywood royalty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan opens Longines flagship Sydney boutique

Melissa Pearce

Wherever Aishwarya Rai Bachchan goes in India there is a monumental crowd surge, and it was no different in Sydney at the weekend when Longines launched their flagship boutique in Australia and celebrated their starring role in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Some local Indian film fans had brought their entire clans and staked out a viewing spot when the Queen Victoria Building opened that morning, even though the superstar was not due to arrive until 6.30pm.

The press scrum was on when the world-famous beauty made her entrance, flanked by intimidating security, followed by countless hands launching mobile phones high. But the crowd was in respectful awe; there was no pandemonium.

As Longines’ Ambassador of Elegance welcomed her audience with the Hindu greeting, Namaste, the crowd listened intently to their icon.

Alongside Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing, Rai Bachchan graciously held the 2018 Queen’s Baton aloft, after it was handed to her by Australian high jumper Amy Pejkovic.

“The pleasure is all mine being here this evening,” she smiled. “Thank you Longines for having me enjoy this wonderful little adventure of receiving the Queen’s Baton. It’s been a privilege for me receiving the baton.”

She was clearly pleased by her official role in the baton’s relay tour leading up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which get underway on April 4.

“It’s a unique experience in my very blessed life and I am glad to have been part of this journey while the baton is travelling now through Australia … Let’s cheer!”

Matt Shirvington, sports presenter and the second-fastest Australian of all time, served as MC, and with Longines the Official Timekeeper of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Official Partner of the Queen’s Baton Relay, fans will be drawn to the limited edition Conquest V.H.P. Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games watch in pride of place.

The watch’s precision achievement is clear, and the black dial with the red V.H.P. designation, orange hour indexes, and blue hands and accents provide sleek sports lines, while an engraving of the event’s logo and name appears on the 41mm watch’s caseback.

The boutique adheres to a modern black and white palette but includes a small display of historical pieces that evoke sporting achievements – like a 1982 ana-digi steel sports timer and 1984 examples of the first Conquest V.H.P.

The Master Collection and Heritage Collections are popular draws in key positions of the boutique, alongside the women’s perennials La Grande Classique and DolceVita, but don’t miss the Equestrian collection, which is elegantly displayed with some horse statues on the right of the main entrance.

The beauty of the historic building, where the new boutique presides on the coveted ground floor, was not lost on Rai Bachchan before she left the stage to do the cutting of the ribbon honours, wearing a 27mm Master Collection watch, with a blue dial and diamantes.

Supplied images by Ken Leanfore.