When Roger Dubuis met Daphne Guinness

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Roger Dubuis has teamed up with socialite Daphne Guinness to create a series of striking campaign shots brought to life by legendary photographer Nick Knight. Here the muse, the photographer and the watch brand talk about the creation of an iconic partnership.

Sometimes a collaboration comes along that you just don’t expect, and Daphne Guinness and Roger Dubuis was one such surprising power coupling.

Style maven Guinness is famous for her love of bold jewellery – the artist and socialite is a huge fan of British designer Shaun Leane in particular, and even collaborated with him on a showstopping 18ct white gold and 5,000-diamond chainmail glove called Contra Mundum – but she is not famed for being a watch collector, or even a fan of watches.

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But as Guinness has proved many times in the past, you can never expect the expected from her. And it was in fact this quality that attracted Roger Dubuis chief executive Jean-Marc Pontroué. “We are very excited about teaming up with her, and about this meeting of minds,” says Pontroué. “Daphne Guinness perfectly reflects the spirit of the modern Diva as Roger Dubuis imagined it. We could not have dreamed of anyone with more mystery and chic than Daphne.”

The Swiss watch brand has signed up its perfect diva to be the face of its Excalibur 36 and Velvet watch collections. But when you work with a true artists – particularly one that uses her own body and appearance as her preferred canvas of choice – the publicity shots were never going to be dull.

To make sure that the shoot had a suitably artistic edge, the brand called on the talents of visionary photographer Nick Knight, who has taken iconic portraits of stars including Lady Gaga, Björk, Boy George, David Bowie and Kylie Minogue.

“Daphne is a superbly mysterious woman – you can never unravel her secrets,” says Knight as the lens cap is clicked back on at the end of the Roger Dubuis shoot. “She is an ideal photo subject and I love working with her.”

The shots are breathtaking. They portray Guiness as an otherworldly creature set against an eccentric backdrop of swirling and distorted images that capture the mysterious persona that she has created for herself, while giving a hugely luxurious and haute couture setting for the Roger Dubuis watches.

If Guiness, heir to the Guinness stout fortune, was not a fan of watches before, she certainly claims to be one now. “It is fascinating and wonderful to see behind the scenes at Roger Dubuis where so much imagination and precision come together in beautiful creations with incredible designs,” she says. “This visit and exchange with a maison like this have given me lots of ideas and hugely enriched my creative world.”

Click here to see more images from the shoot, including the one featured on the cover of December’s WatchPro.

 

This article was taken from the December 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine. To read a digital version of the issue click here.

 

 

 

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