Nicolas Cage loves shortbread, tree bark, and Grand SeikoZach Blass
When people use the terms ‘fashion’ and ‘watch’ in the same sentence near die-hard enthusiasts, it can cause a shiver down their spines. “Fashion watch” is practically a derogatory term in the watch community, dismissing a piece as a cheap build leveraging the name of a popular fashion house to elicit purchases. To be fair, this can sometimes be the case. But, ultimately, what we die-hards have to swallow is the fact that watches are a part of fashion and oftentimes it is the aesthetic of a piece that draws a buyer in rather than what makes it tick – and that is ok. Sometimes the aesthetic can even be the gateway drug for those previously less interested in watch mechanics curious about what powers the beauty on the outside – and, recently, Nicolas Cage did a good job of reminding us this very fact.
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This week we saw the perfect example of the aesthetic being the driving force of curiosity towards a watch and its eventual purchase. During the red carpet premiere of his new film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, actor Nicolas Cage shared with a Lionsgate reporter his love for shortbread and the ridges of tree bark. It’s all random and quirky in only a way Cage can make charming, perhaps only rivaled by the spiraling of Gary Busey. But there is method to the madness, a tie-in between personality, wardrobe, and watch. His appreciation of trees and their texture not only inspired his choice of suit, but also his choice of watch: the Grand Seiko SLGA008 in rose gold with a chocolatey tree growth rings dial and 9RA2 Five Day Spring Drive calibre. It is a perfect wrist-embodiment of a part of nature he allegedly holds so dear, and therefore an emotional connection between the watch and Nicolas Cage is formed. And, it is fair to assume the connection and ownership is truly genuine, as Grand Seiko does not really engage in ambassadorships nor do stylists typically partner with the Japanese manufacturer to outfit their celebrities.
Nicolas Cage has always been drawn to intriguing aesthetics rooted in nature and texture, making a Grand Seiko a natural evolution for his collection. But, perhaps, one of the most outlandish nature inspired watches Cage has been known to wear is the Rolex Daytona 116598 SACO ‘Leopard’.
The moral of the story: while I personally would love the industry to continue to refine, evolve, and innovate in regard to their calibres, we need to remember that the larger watch buying marketplace is typically pulled in by the aesthetic nature of a piece. It is why, whether we gear-heads want to admit it or not, we are always looking to identify color trends, get hyped on Tiffany blue, or wonder how a watch can have its look changed by swapping its bracelet or strap. Even internally, which we sometimes have as a focal point thanks to openworked or skeletonized dials, we scrutinize finishing – which, for many, is equally as much about the aesthetic beauty as it is about the technical finesse required to achieve it.
Grand Seiko SLGA008 pricing and availability:
|Case Material||18K Rose Gold|
|Case Dimensions||40mm x 11.8mm x 47.6mm|
|Water-Resistance||100m (screw-down crown)|
|Dial||Brown with “growth rings” texture|
|Strap||Brown crocodile leather with 18K rose gold folding clasp|
|Movement||In-house manual 9RA2 Spring Drive 5 Day|
|Power Reserve||120 hours|
|Complications||Hours, minutes, seconds, date|
|Availability||Now, Limited Edition of 140 pcs.|