‘Proud to be Russian’ is a new collection conceived by independent luxury Swiss watch manufacturer CVSTOS GENÈVE and endorsed by Gérard Depardieu– the French-born superstar actor who carries Russian citizenship since 2013 and who, as an ambassador, embodies that pride.
Every timepiece in the ‘Proud to be Russian’ collection is highlighted by an open-worked dial featuring a finely cut 3-dimensional double-headed eagle representing the Russian coat of arms.
Gérard Depardieu has been wearing the ‘Proud to be Russian’ timepiece and that inaugural ‘Proud to be Russian’ watch has evolved into a range that now includes four automatic timepieces, a tourbillon watch, a minute repeater tourbillon watch and jewellery versions.
CVSTOS has developed an exclusive open-worked dial concept based on various coats of arms representing several countries. When Sassoun Sirmakes met Gérard Depardieu in Paris last March through mutual friend Frederik Mahler and showed him a timepiece with the Russian imperial eagle, the renowned actor was immediately seduced by the concept and the idea of expressing the Russian pride through a highly symbolic timepiece.
A friendship between the two flourished and with it the ‘Proud to be Russian’ collection that also carries a collateral project: to rediscover and revive the glorious Russian watchmaking heritage through limited editions featuring historic calibres, set up a movement decoration studio (first in Geneva, then in Russia) and eventually ignite a Russian watch manufacture.
Probably the best-known French male actor around the world, Gérard Depardieu has participated in almost 200 movies throughout a career spanning five decades and crowned with multiple awards. He has also been a director, a producer and an entrepreneur developing various businesses. His larger than life personality granted him a massive aura; as CVSTOS ambassador, he has been totally invested in the ‘Proud to be Russian’ project.
Born in Châteauroux on the 27th of December, 1948, Gérard Depardieu built an eclectic résumé based on strong characters that fit his charismatic figure and passionate acting.
Some of his most notable movies are ‘Going Places’/’Les Valseuses’ (Bertrand Blier, 1974), ‘1900’ (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1976), ‘The Last Metro’ (François Truffaut, 1980), ‘The Return of Martin Guerre’ (Daniel Vigne, 1982), ‘Danton’ (Andrzej Wajda, 1983), ‘Under the Sun of Satan’ (1987), ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1990), ‘Green Card’ (Peter Weir, 1990), ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise’ (Riddley Scott, 1992), ‘Asterix & Obelix’ (various, 1999-2012).
Having received Knight Honours in France (National Order of Merit; Legion of Honour) and collected Cesar, Golden Globe and Oscar nominations, Gérard Depardieu also received the Stanislavsky Award at the 2006 Moscow film Festival for “outstanding achievements in the acting career”.
After his role as Rasputin in a 2011 TV movie, he proclaimed: “I love Russia, its people, its history, its writers, its art”; in January 2013, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed an executive order granting Russian citizenship to the French-born actor and delivered the passport himself. Gérard Depardieu is nowadays viewed as a hero in Russia and surrounding Republics such as Chechnya, Uzbekistan or Mordovia.
An art connoisseur and watch collector, Gérard Depardieu has recently opened a restaurant in Moscow; as a reputed vineyard owner he also has an interest in developing Russian wine. He embodies the CVSTOS spirit; furthermore, if CVSTOS motto is ‘The Time Keeper’, Gérard Depardieu also played a role on a 1992 movie by Jeff Blyth called… Timekeeper.
Antonio Terranova, co-founder and chief designer at CVSTOS GENÈVE, is the author of the design that defines the ‘Proud to be Russian’ collection – and underlines the manufacturing complexity of both the coat of arms dial and the open-work mechanical movement.
The creation of the coat of arms dial also represents a thorough and complex process. A plate of 2mm in height is cut by a 5-axis, multi-level machine; then the eagle is sculpted through an electro-erosion procedure by an extremely thin laser beam; finally, the surface is sandblasted.
The CVS 350 automatic calibre and the CVS 2600 hand wound tourbillon also require a lot of skeletonizing and galvanic sandblasting to protect the micro-mechanical parts. The finalized crest is stunning, with the Russian imperial eagle shining in its entire splendor.
The see-through sapphire crystal on the case-back bears Gérard Depardieu’s signature and CVSTOS plans on further expanding the collection with chronographs, complicated masterpieces and special series.
Model: CVSTOS Challenge Jet-Liner ‘Proud To Be Russian’ Collection – Limited Edition Gerard Depardieu
CHALLENGE case Tonneau-shaped, 53.70mm x 41mm x 13.35mm or
CHALLENGE GT case Tonneau-shaped, 59mm x 45mm x 15.45
Case Materials: Grey Titanium, Black Steel PVD, Blue Steel PVD or Bicolor
5N Pink Gold; polished and satin-finished; diamond versions
Caseback: See-through with sapphire glass; Gérard Depardieu signature
Crystal: Sapphire, scratch-proof and with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Water-resistance: 100 meters
Screws: Polished titanium grade 5 or pink gold; CVSTOS TECHNOLOGY profile
Crown: Screw-down, polished titanium grade 5 or red gold with Nitril insert
Skeletonized, 3-dimensional eagle representing the Russian coat of arms
Indexes: Super-LumiNova© treated
Hands: Pierced, chromed or gold-plated and Super-LumiNova© treated
Calibre: Skeletonized. Automatic-winding movement CVSTOS CVS350.
Black Plasma treatment, rhodiated treatment or black rhodium treatment for grey titanium
Functions: Hour, minute, seconds; date (skeletonized disc)
Power-reserve: 42 hours
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
CVSTOS CVS 2600
Calibre: CVSTOS CVS 2600 hand-wound openwork tourbillon movement
Functions: Hour, minute and 3×20 seconds indicator; flying tourbillon
Power-reserve: 60 hours
Frequency: 18,800 vibrations per hour
Calibre: CVSTOS 7650 hand-wound openwork minute repeater and tourbillon movement
Functions: Hour, minute, 3×20 seconds indicator; flying tourbillon on a 12mm cage; minute repeater mechanism that chimes the hours, quarters and minutes on demand; chime mechanism function indicator
Power-reserve: 60 hours
Frequency: 18,800 vibrations per hour
Bracelet or Strap
Rubber (Nitril-NBR©) or alligator skin
Buckle: Folding clasp or buckle