By Neelima Agrawal
“She touches her wrist where her watch used to be, her fingers lost without time to hold on to” – Jenny Hubbard
It took just a few decades to change the entire purpose of a wrist-watch. The ubiquitous gadget once the essential accessory to tell the passage of time, the symbol of coming-of-age for the senior student, the indispensable attachment thereafter, the ‘His ‘n Hers’ dowry essential – is now a multi-tasking high-tech gizmo. The Titan watches have retained the romance of the wrist watch with their bejeweled line encrusted with precious stones, gold bracelets, inlay work et al. Titan’s latest solid 18K gold watch collection Nebula is really about hand-crafted pieces of jewelry that also tell time.
The talented artist Aditi Rao Hydari who is a dancer and an actor of some repute, always lights up the screen with her fragile, elegant beauty. We asked her a few questions related to wrist watches, for our readers, about the relevance of a wrist-watch, in the context of Titan’s bejeweled Nebula collection. Read on.
Neelima – What is your that one piece of most preferred jewelry at all times?
Aditi Rao Hydari – If I have to dress up, I wear earrings but otherwise, I like mathapattis the most…but I can’t roam around wearing one at all times. If it is an accessory, it is a watch. I love the watches in Nebula’s wedding collection because they are beautifully crafted like pieces of timeless jewellery, with the grandeur of gold and gemstones.
When did you acquire your first watch?
My father bought me my first watch, and I remember not being sure I would be allowed to wear it to school. But then they allowed girls to wear watches, and I was very happy. It was a watch for girls from Titan, very pretty and delicate, because I had a tiny wrist.
Watches or time-pieces now are no more the prime source for telling time, what would be your reason to buy a watch?
I love watches and they are my go-to accessory for every outfit. I have grown up seeing my grandmother wear very beautiful vintage watches with the classic Kanjeevaram sarees and beautiful old textiles. I may not wear earrings, but I will always wear a watch! At a wedding, it may be cumbersome to pull out your phone, and you may not wear a traditional watch as it may not complement an Indian outfit. Nebula’s watches are beautiful, and I’m not just saying it because I’m launching this collection. I really love them and they work beautifully for weddings, and also otherwise. In fact, I would like to buy one for my mother.
How much does the craftsmanship of an analog watch with complications, tourbillon fascinate you?
Oh, it’s very fascinating! As a child I used to see people repair watches and change batteries, revealing the mechanics and inner workings of a watch and how jewellery is used in it. I would find all of that incredible.
The Nebula’s Azarin watch is a delicate piece of jewellery, as compared to the other models in the same collection (Samar, Samrat, etc). What would be your pick from the range?
All the pieces in this collection are timeless and exquisite. There are 3 pieces that I find absolutely stunning. The one I am wearing has emeralds and diamonds (Parisa by Nebula from Titan), there is another with rubies and diamonds and a third with jade and rubies. I love that they are inspired by India’s heritage and culture, whether it is filigree, calligraphy, or the Deccan. The translation of inspiration from an iconic structure like the Falaknuma Palace – its architecture, especially the fountains – into design, is inspired. It’s a very beautiful collection and I truly like it a lot.
Is Aditi Rao Hydari more likely to be seen in a fitness tracker watch or say one like the Nebula watches?
I think both because it depends on what I’m doing and where I’m going. I really like big, chunky men’s watches which are far too big for my wrist but I also love the Nebula watches because they look like jewellery to me and I love jewellery.
As a kid from the ‘80s, how much does your take on a wrist watch differ from that of say, Millennials and Gen Z’s perception?
I got my first watch in the 90s and that first watch is an especially special piece and it will always remain that way. Nowadays, many people look at their phones but I would still say there is nothing like wearing a watch on your wrist. There is something so classic and so cool about it and you don’t need anything else because sometimes, just a watch is the most beautiful accessory, especially when it’s something that is as beautifully designed and crafted as Nebula. These watches will dress up every look.