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Anne Hathaway: “Every watch has its context”
Point of View

Anne Hathaway: “Every watch has its context”

Thursday, 18 May 2017
By Frank Rousseau
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5 min read

One of Hollywood’s most bankable actresses, Anne Hathaway is capable of playing any role. For her, a watch is more than just an accessory.

In The Devil Wears Prada, you played an assistant at a fashion magazine. Does it bother you that people still think of you as a fashion addict in real life?

Not in the least! What would be the point, anyway? Trying to change other people’s image of you is like swimming against the tide: exhausting. Fashion isn’t something I focus on. Having a wardrobe packed with the latest styles isn’t going to put a smile on my face. For me, fashion is about how an item of clothing is “put together”, and the expertise it takes for the end result to be absolutely perfect. I’m probably more into couture than fashion. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy a well-cut, well-made garment. I appreciate the aesthetic of a collection, and the idea of creating clothes for a certain type of clientele that also reflect the history of the label.

When a couple is dining out, I've noticed how the man often looks at the woman's hands and wrists.
Anne Hathaway
Does a watch contribute to a woman's femininity?

Or a man’s masculinity! It works both ways, you know! Since The Devil Wears Prada, people really do imagine I spend my days poring over fabrics and designs. Or that there are more clothes in my wardrobe than in the womenswear section of a New York department store. I’ll let you in on a secret. I live in a tiny apartment, and definitely don’t have room for two hundred pairs of Louboutins. I’d have to stack them up in the living room, and that’s not going to happen! I own maybe thirty pairs of shoes at the most. Of course, any woman with taste knows that a little black dress, matching shoes, a pretty necklace and a good watch work wonders every time. It’s important for a woman to own a nice watch. When a couple is dining out, I’ve noticed how the man often looks at the woman’s hands and wrists. It’s impossible not to notice a good watch. It also speaks volumes about who you are, as does the way a person checks the time. Some people have to physically touch their watch, as though they wanted to grab hold of time. Then there are the compulsive time-checkers, the ones whose wrist must ache at the end of the day!

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
Do you think it's rude for someone to be constantly looking at their watch?

Absolutely! For me, it’s the height of bad manners for someone to look at their watch every thirty seconds instead of focusing on the person they’re with.

Do you still have your first watch?

My very first watch disappeared during a move, but I do still have the one my parents gave me for my graduation. I take great care of it, as you can imagine, because it brings back so many memories of carefree days.

Describe your ideal watch.

Having time just for myself is a true luxury. Unfortunately, the time I do have goes by so fast. Wouldn’t it be great to have a watch that could freeze time, or take us back to those moments that were over far too soon. You’d press a button, the hands would spin round, and you’d be able to experience them all over again. What would also be great is a watch that would allow you to fast-forward situations you’d rather not live through.

A watch is so much more than an object that gives the time.
Anne Hathaway
What about technology? How much of a geek are you?

Well, I am fascinated by wearables. You know, a watch you can take on your morning run to play music, keep track of the number of miles you’ve done, or calculate how many calories you’ve burned. A watch you can use to store photos, make phone calls, oh and tell the time. Then again, I am concerned about this need we have to own the very latest gadgets. We’re conditioned by advertising to want to own the newest high-tech phone or the fastest computer, no matter what. We’ve had the stone age and the iron age. Now it’s as though we were in a new age: the age of the superfluous.

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
Some people are more interested in the emotional connection they have with a watch than its actual function of giving the time. What's your opinion?

I tend to agree. A watch is so much more than an object that gives the time. It can be a consumer good just as easily as it can be a work of art. A jewel on the wrist. A watch can be an adornment but also remind you of a particular time in your life. Many of the watches I own were given to me by loved ones, some of whom are no longer with us, hence they are even more precious in my eyes. When I check my watch, I often think of the person who gave it to me. It’s like a miniature time machine. I can also choose a watch in the same way I choose a necklace or earrings, as an accessory. Obviously I wouldn’t wear the same watch to attend a premiere as I would to go running in Central Park. Every watch has its context. Ultimately, we women know exactly how to “optimise” what has to be described as an extension of ourselves!

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