And the award for the wildest watch combo of the Oscars goes to…Zach Blass
The 93rd Academy Awards, a.k.a The Oscars, resiliently aired this week, managing to create some semblance of what we love about the occasion during the trying times of the pandemic. With social distancing and other safety procedures in mind, the ceremony was held in Union Station in Los Angeles – where only the nominees were invited to be part of the physical audience. While this limited the number of individuals who could strut down the red carpet, a fair amount of timepieces still made cameos during the ceremony. The most conspicuous trend seemed to be skeleton dials that included Daniel Kaluuya’s Santos de Cartier Skeleton, Riz Ahmed’s Girard Perregaux Laureato Skeleton, and Charles D. King’s Piaget Polo Emperador Skeleton Tourbillon. But one watch-spot, for me, stood apart from the rest to comprise the wildest watch combo of the evening.
Film directors Martin Desmond Roe and Travon Free, who won the Oscars for best short film, wore matching bespoke wardrobes from Dolce & Gabanna. But what ultimately stood out to me was what Free had on his wrist.
The fact that a Patek Philippe Aquanaut made an appearance on the red carpet is hardly remarkable. The model is, after all, a favourite of many celebrities and the daily wearer of Paul McCartney among others. What’s noteworthy here is more the fact that Free accessorised his 5167/R with a NATO Strap.
Again, maybe it is just me. But this is not a pairing I have typically seen in my experience with the model. The factory grenade-textured rubber strap it is outfitted on has become synonymous with the watch, so to see it cast aside in favour of what looks like an ordinary NATO is a bold move in my book. I am the type of guy who would never dare of removing his Oyster bracelet from his Submariner in favour of the well manufactured Rubber B or Everest straps on the market. More often than not, I like to keep factory configurations and aesthetics, so short of swapping leather straps on dressier pieces it’s just not typically my M.O.
That being said, clearly a world with Aquanauts on NATOs existed under my radar, because searching for the pairing immediately resulted in many images and even listings of the watch being worn or sold in this manner. There is even a NATO made by Gunny Straps that works to emulate the texture of the famed rubber composite strap. Personally I would want to keep it on the rubber, since it is a very well-built strap. But it was at the very least an interesting change up that certainly made me do a double take.
What do you all think? Are Aquanauts and NATOs a winning pairing? Or are you like me and think the aesthetic is a bit wild? Below are some more images to help you make up your mind.