To understand Rolex’s relationship with the world of cinema, one need only look at the brand’s ties with film auteur James Cameron, whose works include Titanic and Avatar. In Cameron, Rolex has found a kindred spirit. The two share an uncompromising attitude towards excellence in their respective fields, and each has created iconic classics that will be treasured for generations to come. Naturally, it came as no surprise when Rolex made Cameron a Rolex Testimonee.
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The appreciation of common values is a thread that runs through the tapestry Rolex has woven into its support of the cinematic arts. It led the brand to work extensively with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is dedicated to preserving, advancing and celebrating the arts and sciences of motion pictures. What better partner could there be than Rolex, which has traditionally been involved in broad-based support for achievements in the arts?
Its collaboration with the academy started with the first Green Room at the Oscars in 2016. Designed and hosted by the brand, it adopts a different theme every year and serves as an exclusive space for presenters and special guests to calm themselves or mingle before going on stage.
In 2017, the brand upped the ante by becoming Exclusive Watch of the Academy and Proud Sponsor of the Oscars. The following year, Rolex deepened its ties by sponsoring the annual Governors Awards for lifetime achievements in film.
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Awards and achievements aside, Rolex is also actively bolstering the academy’s efforts to preserve and transmit the knowledge of film-making. What’s arguably the most exciting involves the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, due to open in Los Angeles later this year. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, it will span over 4,600sqm and will have a 1,000-seat theatre, making it the largest institution of its kind in the US. As a Founding Supporter, Rolex will host a special gallery that features films in which it has played a role.
Rolex’s contributions to the cinematic arts also extend to such programmes as the Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative that it established in 2002. The programme aims to facilitate the transmission of knowledge from older, more experienced mentors to their chosen protege. Film-making is, of course, one of the disciplines it supports.
The seemingly disparate fields of watchmaking and film-making have numerous similarities. Each demands expertise on the creative and technical fronts, and the finesse to meld them together to fulfil a vision. There is the beauty of perpetuity, too. The best works of art are eternal, and film is one medium that exemplifies this. Likewise, a beautifully crafted timepiece can conceivably last forever. This shared quality of timelessness lends a poetic touch to the work Rolex has put into perpetuating the cinematic arts.
This article first appeared in The Peak