Just a few short weeks ago Rolex announced that it would be an official sponsor of the 89th Academy Awards (a.k.a. The Oscars, a.k.a. the biggest awards event of the year). As you may remember, last year Rolex sponsored the Oscars Greenroom, the backstage area where presenters can relax before heading out on stage, but this is the first year that the iconic watch manufacture is an official sponsor of the larger Academy, including the whole Oscars event itself. Rolex is still sponsoring the Oscars Greenroom as well and earlier today I got a sneak peek inside ahead of Sunday’s big show.
So what is the Rolex Greenroom exactly? The Greenroom is a 100 square meter (approximately 1,000 square feet) space located backstage at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood Highland Center (formerly the Kodak Theatre). This is where the Oscars have been held since 2002, despite the venue’s name-change in 2012. As mentioned above, Greenroom is a special place for people to hang out backstage, but it’s far less pedestrian than that. The Greenroom is a place for the presenters and Academy Award-winners of the night to relax either before going on stage or after their victory.
And the room is certainly beautiful. It was designed top to bottom by Rolex’s four-person, Geneva-based interior design team – who are the very same people that design the brand’s Baselworld booth. The project took six months to conceptualize and four days to build out in the theater. This year’s theme is green and gold (the brand’s colors) and the two tones are featured prominently throughout the space. There are elements of nature, with plenty of greenery and lots of brass accents. There is lots of plush seating (green and gold velvet, naturally) and lots of bookshelves with Rolex-themed nicknacks and images of previous Oscar-winners.
Additionally, there are framed posters of actors wearing Rolex watches in previous roles (think Robert Redford and his personal reference 1680 Submariner in All The President’s Men). However, it should be noted that these are not photos of past product placements, as Rolex hasn’t ever played that game. These are watches chosen either by the actors themselves or for purposes in the respective films.
The translucent green bar is reminiscent of the famed green Rolex boxes that you open to reveal your brand new watch. But the theme doesn’t stop there either – the Venetian glass chandelier that hangs in the back is inspired by the fluted bezel of some of your favorite Rolex watches. Speaking of watches, there weren’t many to report, but there were a handful of Rolex desk and wall clocks placed throughout the room.
For those of you wondering what Rolex and the Oscars have to do with one another, it’s actually not a partnership out of left field. Rolex has a long history of connections to cinema, working with James Cameron in the past and setting up the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in 2002 (whose mentors include Martin Scorsese and Alfonso Cuarón). Plus, this is a high-visibility, high-prestige event, and Rolex wanting to be involved seems like common sense.
I’ll definitely be watching the Oscars this Sunday (for the watches, of course) – will you?
By Courtesy Hodinkee