Date — 2014-10-07T15:24:57
London, 7 October 2014 – To celebrate the launch of their three-year partnership with the BFI (British Film Institute) and BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®, IWC Schaffhausen hosted a star-studded red carpet event in honour of the BFI in London. The event marks yet another demonstration of IWC’s ever increasing commitment to the world of filmmaking. It also provided the perfect platform to share IWC’s new Portofino Midsize collection with VIP guests present.
In the enchanting surroundings of London’s Battersea Park, a lush green urban escape on the banks of the River Thames, IWC Schaffhausen, Official Time Partner of both the BFI and the BFI London Film Festival, welcomed a host of stars to a gala event in honour of the BFI. VIP guests honouring the luxury watchmaker with their presence included film stars Emily Blunt and Christoph Waltz, as well as Mick Jagger, Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Thomas Kretschmann and Moritz Bleibtreu. A fleet of Mercedes S-Class vehicles had been arranged to chauffeur guests to the red carpet, where they were greeted by scores of photographers. With events having already taken place across the globe in celebration of IWC’s other film festival partnerships – including Tribeca, Beijing and Zurich – and with Dubai still to come, it is clear that IWC’s commitment to the world of filmmaking is set to continue. The event, hosted by IWC CEO Georges Kern and BFI CEO Amanda Nevill, was presided over by Master of Ceremonies Rob Brydon, who ensured an effortlessly fluid evening of entertainment and comedy, the latter of which was a major theme of the night. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the “Honorary Award in Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Comedy” to British comic legends Julie Walters and Stephen Fry. “Over the years, Julie and Stephen have established themselves as icons of British comedy, not just in the UK but across the globe,” explains IWC CEO Georges Kern, “It is therefore fitting that we celebrate their huge influence not only on the comedy industry of today, but also on generations of comedians to come.” Georges Kern presented Julie and Stephen with an IWC Portofino Midsize Automatic (Ref. IW458105) and a Portofino Chronograph (Ref. IW391020), respectively, both in red gold and featuring a bespoke engraving on the back of the case.
The evening began with a cocktail reception where guests were treated to an exclusive viewing of “Timeless Portofino”, Peter Lindbergh’s exhibition to mark the launch of the Portofino Midsize collection. His stunning photographs feature actors Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor and Christoph Waltz, as well as supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Adriana Lima. A selection of delicious Italian-style canapés by Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett, including smoked beef Carpaccio with juniper and pine and salt and pepper squid with lime emulsion, accompanied by Billecart-Salmon champagne perfectly complimented the exquisite art on display.
The Italian-themed menu, in keeping with IWC’s celebration of Portofino, continued into dinner, with culinary delights including beef fillet Barolo, wild mushroom tagliatelle with autumn truffles as well as tiramisu. As a surprise introduction to the evening’s entertainment, Rob Brydon broke into song, only to be joined onstage by what were at first perceived to be members of the audience. The “guests” were in fact the talented operatic group Collabro, whose dramatic performance set the tone for a magnificent night ahead.
While being entertained by Rob Brydon’s witty repartee throughout dinner, those in attendance were also reminded of the BFI’s charitable endeavour – their dedication towards the preservation and restoration of the most significant film collection in the world. The BFI delved into its National Archive to create a specially devised compilation from over a century of comedy in film and television, shown exclusively to audiences on the night. IWC is delighted to be demonstrating its support and commitment to this worthwhile cause, set to continue in 2015 when it will be a headline sponsor of the BFI’s fundraising gala LUMINOUS; a celebration of British film and British film talent which raises vital funds for the BFI National Archive.
Espresso martinis by Peroni marked the start of the IWC Party, and no sooner had Collabro finished their performance, the hypnotic beat of infamous DJ Jack E could be heard calling guests to the dance floor, located in another, secret part of the venue. Designed to mirror the exclusivity and glamour of a stylish members’ club, the IWC Party had guests dancing and mingling until the early hours of the morning, with a seemingly never-ending supply of cocktails.
Collabro’s rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon” provided the perfect crescendo to end what was agreed to be an unforgettable evening.
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