Of all the heavy hitters in Swatch Group’s stable of globally renowned watch brands, you can count on Longines to throw a solid end-of-year celebration. Last week, the brand opted to close out 2023 with an elegant evening affair, spread across two storeys of Campbell Stores: the vast 19th century warehouses, deep inside Sydney’s historic Rocks precinct.
A range of focal points punctuated the night’s progress. The usual gaggle of Australian influencers rubbed shoulders with Longines’ notable local ambassadors.
Meanwhile, the press (who weren’t in attendance for the global launch) had an unfettered chance to go hands-on with pieces from the new Mini Dolcevita collection. Hydroconquests outfitted with all four of the NATO straps designed by First Nations artist Otis Hope Carey were also displayed.
Turns out, all this was cover for the big reveal of the night: a lengthy fireside chat (followed by a meet and greet) with Longines global ambassador Regé-Jean Page.
The British actor-producer, who shot to stardom for his smouldering turn in Netflix’s Bridgerton, was in Australia to support Longines’ various Antipodean initiatives. Naturally, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get Page’s take on the brand, the definition of ‘elegance’; and figure out where his searing acting career will take him next.
Editor’s Note: This interview, originally conducted with Regé-Jean Page on 22 November 2023, has been edited for length and clarity.
BH’s Regé-Jean Page Interview: Actor & Longines Ambassador
Randy Lai: Regé, thanks so much for carving out the time to speak with BH. How long have you been in Australia for? Did you arrive earlier today?
Regé-Jean Page: Mate, I don’t even know what time zone I’m in [laughing]. Joking aside, it’s a flying visit: we’re in and out before you know it.
RL: Let’s get stuck in then. You’ve been an “Ambassador of Elegance” for Longines since 2021. In that time, have there been any revelations as to the company’s heritage and history you’ve been particularly intrigued to discover?
RJP: I’ve always loved the way the brand leans into its practical heritage — particularly towards aviation. The fact that Amelia Earhart wore a Longines chronograph on both her crossings over the Atlantic is a fascinating piece of history. That watch has since been to the ISS and back, if I’m not mistaken.
Seeing how a timepiece can marry itself with the great events of our time (be it in science, art, or fashion) or the way in which it’s passed down, as something precious and hugely sentimental, gets me excited.
RL: So, you’re interested in the intersection between watches and culture?
RJP: Well, it really comes down to the fact that watches are a marriage of form and function at all times. It’s the idea that this functional item — what’s essentially an accessory — also carries huge emotional and symbolic weight.
The way a brand like Longines balances all these different elements is what makes for a special timepiece. No one thing can be out of balance: [the watch] can’t feel too dated or too modern. You need both forward-thinking elements and aesthetic elements. But you also need to make sure none of that compromises how practical it is.
RL: It’s certainly challenging — I definitely feel that watch designers don’t get enough credit for the job they do, having to wrangle so many visual elements.
In keeping with Longines’ mantra, what are a few useful principles for the man who wants to live more elegantly in 2023? As somebody who spends a lot of time on red carpets and in front of the camera, you must have some good intel.
RJP: Everything is about balance. I think at the heart of this very Longines notion of “elegance” is how you allow yourself to express yourself. What qualities enable you to be seen in your best light?
From an aesthetical point of view, I’ve always interpreted that to mean that what one wears should frame them — much like a painting.
RL: Does this philosophy, of ‘framing’ yourself in the best possible light, have any bearing on the Longines models you most enjoy collecting?
RJP: Absolutely. For instance, the Longines Spirit Zulu Time is my go-to. Discreet, yet highly functional. It’s easy to dress up and down, and complements pretty much everything I wear on the red carpet. It can go to cool cocktail bars with me [laughs] but is broadly classic at the same time.
RL: Right. Are there any other watches in the wider Longines universe that you gravitate towards?
RJP: I’ve been wearing the Legend Diver a lot lately — that’s always enjoyable. And I’m looking forward to wearing Otis [Hope Carey’s] collaboration. I’ve just gotten one of those and will be wearing it for the first time tonight.
RL: Nice. Those straps are very comfortable, and such fun to wear.
RJP: Practical as well. I just like the way they ‘pop’ against the Hydroconquest. As you saw with the Zulu Time, I’m a sucker for a GMT — given that I’m travelling so much for work.
RL: Lovely. If you don’t mind, I’d like to pivot away from watches to discuss other aspects of your professional life. Namely, film & stage acting.
Between projects like The Gray Man (2022) and Dungeons & Dragons (2023), you’ve clearly developed an affinity for great material that exists beyond the pale of any single genre. As an actor, how do you tackle the challenge of playing characters who are comic yet also physically capable?
RJP: I’m interested in the challenge you face having to combine the physicality of a real action star with things like charisma and comic timing. When I think of the Paladin character in Dungeons & Dragons: yes, he’s physically capable, but also funny — in quite a specific way.
I’ve always been drawn to material that traces outside the lines of a single genre, because that’s where you find the unexpected. Audiences are interested in being surprised: delighting in the unexpected.
The second you’re able to start colouring outside the lines is when you find real creativity. And if I have the space to be creative, that’ll be the reason why I get into any [acting] job.
RL: This feels like a great place to speak about upcoming projects. Just before we finish up.
It’s been reported that you’re currently working on a revival of the 1960s hit TV series The Saint (which you’re also executive producing). What can you tell us about the film’s plot or your fellow cast members?
RJP: Firstly, I absolutely cannot speak about the narrative in detail.
What I will say is that we have the right foundation. We’ve just gotten Doug Liman onto the team, the incredible director who’s usually affiliated with the Jason Bourne series.
As for material, I myself am a huge fan of the original novels (in addition to the Roger Moore show that followed). There’s also the Val Kilmer film, from 1997, which has a bit of a cult following.
Needless to say, we’re taking inspiration from a broad range of sources; yet also, leaning into the core traits of the [Simon Temple] character. The Saint has to have charm, he has to be sophisticated, and his adventures have to possess elements of action and surprise.
RL: Something tells me you’re well-placed to nail that brief.
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