Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is one of the leading actresses in the Indian film industry (also known as Bollywood). She became Miss World in 1994 at the age of 21 and has starred in more than 40 films since 1997. She is regarded as one of the most popular and influential celebrities in India, and is often cited in the media as the "most beautiful woman in the world".
Most of her films are in Hindi or Tamil language, but she also played in a few English spoken films, of which Bride and Prejudice and The Pink Panther 2 are the best known. She is married to Abhishek Bachchan, a famous Indian actor, which is why they are sometimes referred to as the Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt of India.
In 1999 she became a Brand Ambassador of the Swiss watch manufacturer Longines. She has promoted the brand on many events and in several advertisements.
During the weekend of 5 and 6 June 2010, this multi talented star was present at the Roland Garros French Open tennis tournament in Paris, France. During a charity dinner organized by Longines, Aishwarya Rai presented former tennis player Gustavo Kuerten with the Longines Prize for Elegance (read more about this event here), as a tribute to the elegance of heart shown by his commitment to helping disadvantaged children through his organization Instituto Guga Kuerten. Watch-ID.com had the privilige to speak to the 'most beautiful woman in the world' (as she is often called) about the wristwatches she wears in her films.
Aishwarya Rai on wearing a wristwatch in films: "Sometimes it's not possible to wear a watch, when the movie is a period peace for example." But whenever she wears a watch… it's a Longines. "I have been a brand ambassador for Longines for 11 years and that has been a good part of my career, but what's wonderful about Longines as a brand and the designs in particular is that they're simple and elegant. They're not in the face, which is great. They have an understated elegance about it and they offer so many different designs that you can incorporate them in your role and on screen.
"A recent example, in The Pink Panther 2 I was wearing a Longines watch. I chose the really slim one, a black dial with diamonds around it, with a croc leather strap." This watch, worn in the scene where Aishwarya meets Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin) for the first time, is the La Grande Classique. Later in that same movie she wears a Longines Evidenza, silver dial with steel case and bracelet.
Aishwarya Rai tells us she has an influence on which model she wears, deciding together with the costume designer: "That's important because I believe you have to respect their job, they're a stylist. We brought a couple of different pieces and we saw which one works with the character. "
Other recent examples of her wearing a Longines include the 2008 movie Sarkar Raj (which also starred her husband and father in law). "In that movie I'm playing a business woman, a lady who obviously wears suits all the time, so again I chose a piece which would work for the character."
Also in real life Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can select from a wide range of watches provided to her by Longines. "I've got so many different roles I play in my life: I'm a normal girl, I'm an actor, I do a lot of social work, I find myself representing my country in so many opportunities, so according to the different roles and the different clothes that you wear, accordingly I get to choose."
Does she have a favorite watch? "It's very hard to pick a favorite, but I do confess to liking big dials. I did find myself choosing a lot from the men's collection, because I like big dials and then gradually, even for the ladies' collection, and then their sports collection Longines made wonderful big dials and I enjoyed that. But having said that, with the recent launch of the PrimaLuna, which is a lot more feminine and understated, I do find myself enjoying this particular one as well" (points at the gold and steel PrimaLuna watch on her wrist). "Also because it's feminine and it works even with Indian wear. When you're wearing a sari or an indian outfit you can't be wearing a big, huge dial. So this one is really pretty, it's got diamonds and yet it's not screaming, it's just right."
Back to movies. What about a role as the next James Bond Girl? "Well, that rumor keeps coming back in my life. But the interesting part is, it comes back every time they're changing the James Bond actor. If the role is good and it's exciting, yeah, why not!"
Do you know which watches you are wearing in your movies that come out this year? Are you wearing any watches in these movies? "The movie that's being released this month is called Raavan, which is released in two languages, Hindi and Tamil. In that movie I'm kidnapped, so even if I was wearing the watch… it's gone", she laughs, "and it's very hard as I'm in the jungle and I have no concept of time."
In the movie Guzaarish, which will also be released in November and in which she's playing a nurse to a quadriplegic, she's not wearing a watch. In Action Replay, a period piece set in the 1970s there won't be a Longines due to the costumes.
"Briefly, in another Tamil movie that is called Endhiran (Robot), when my character wears a watch, I wear a Longines, I can't remember the model." We will have to wait until November, when the movie is released, to find out what she wears.
©2010 R. van Braam / Watch-ID.com
Longines watches worn by Aishwaria Rai Bachchan in movies: