Time to blaze new trails

Cartier has appointed five names making waves in the entertainment industry to launch the new generation of the Pasha de Cartier watch

The faces of Pasha de Cartier (from far left) Rami Malek, Willow Smith, Troye Sivan, Maisie Williams and Jackson Wang. The new-generation Pasha de Cartier watch features updates such as the easy changing of straps.
The faces of Pasha de Cartier (from far left) Rami Malek, Willow Smith, Troye Sivan, Maisie Williams and Jackson Wang. PHOTO: CARTIER

French luxury house Cartier's latest campaign, shot by New York fashion photographer Craig McDean, brings together five diverse changemakers blazing new trails in the entertainment industry.

Appointed to launch the new generation of the Pasha de Cartier watch which made its debut in 1985, the quintet are Rami Malek, Maisie Williams, Troye Sivan, Willow Smith and Jackson Wang.

Malek, 39, nabbed a Best Actor Oscar last year for playing the late Freddie Mercury in the 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, while Williams, 33, became hugely famous because of her role in the television blockbuster Game Of Thrones (2011 to 2019).

The other three are young but heavy hitters on the music scene. Described as "the perfect pop star" by Time magazine, Australian Sivan, 25, has chalked up more than eight billion streams and 1.3 million sales of his first two albums, Blue Neighbourhood (2015) and Bloom (2018).

Smith - whose parents are Hollywood actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett - is a 19-year-old multi-hyphenate: singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, actress and dancer. Ditto Wang, 26, a Chinese rapper, singer and dancer based in South Korea.

Like the Tank and the Santos, the Pasha de Cartier is one of the French maison's most iconic and distinctive watches.

It was designed by Gerald Genta, whose legendary works include the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus.

The watch's concept revolved around a "square within a circle", with the circular case housing a square railway minutes track on the dial and just four Arabic numeral indices serving as a visual anchor.

Over the years, the timepiece has gone through several incarnations. The new-generation retains almost all of the quirky features of the original, but with some updates including the Cartier-developed QuickSwitch system for the easy changing of straps.

Cartier's international marketing and communications director Arnaud Carrez said: "Since its creation in the 1980s, the Pasha watch has embodied a certain idea of success directly linked to its extroverted design, power and graphic non-conformism."

The new Pasha ambassadors, he added, were chosen because of "their differences, creativity, connection and multi-disciplinary talents".

The faces of Pasha de Cartier (from far left) Rami Malek, Willow Smith, Troye Sivan, Maisie Williams and Jackson Wang. The new-generation Pasha de Cartier watch features updates such as the easy changing of straps.
The new-generation Pasha de Cartier watch features updates such as the easy changing of straps. PHOTO: CARTIER

The Straits Times managed to contact four of them via e-mail to talk about the pandemic, their passions and being part of the Pasha de Cartier tribe.

In more ways than one, Covid-19 has thrown the world into a tizzy. What is the most important thing you have learnt about yourself, and about life, during this period?

Malek: I am always learning, but fundamentally, I try to do this through my work. I think art is an incredibly powerful tool of representation. So, I hope to keep creating that through the roles I play and the projects I am a part of bringing to fruition.

Sivan: 2020 has been a ride. I'm in Australia and haven't travelled for a few months. I feel lucky that I had some music already written, but I have found it quite hard to write new music this year.

I think having a community is so important - it's feeling safe and looked after by the people around you. I've grown up my entire life in very tight-knit communities and am so thankful for that.

Also, I've really enjoyed cooking over the last few months. It's become a ritual of sorts and pushed me to develop some new skills I probably wouldn't have otherwise.

Wang: To my team, I am a (piece of) work by them. To me, I am my own subject. I need to understand myself so I can solve problems. It is very important to know yourself. Only when you know what kind of person you are, can you do better and go further.

I hope everyone can clearly understand who they are and then do their best. There may be 100 difficulties, but there are always 100 ways.

Williams: Until this point, I've never really had a direction as I've allowed myself to be pulled through this industry.

As a person, I would say I'm a control freak so, from here on, I see myself having a clear plan and goal.

How do you hope the world will change after this crisis?

Malek: I hope we continue to educate ourselves the best we can, to understand all sides of every conversation and lead with kindness.

Also, please vote. No matter what group you identify with, human civility should be at the centre of your consciousness.

Sivan: Be mindful of others online. Don't underestimate your power. Do what feels right, trust your instincts, take risks and enjoy yourself. Take a day or two before responding to hate online.

Wang: I hope more people will act on their dreams and make their own paths. Go for it. Like you, I am also making my own way to the future.

Williams: Anyone has the power to change the world, especially those with influence. I believe we were put on Earth to do more than just exist.

I want to leave the planet in a better state than the way I found it because I think that is my purpose. I don't want to only be a mother for my children, but I will also be a mother for the world.

What is the most memorable or satisfying thing you have done during this period?

Malek: My goals and what I strive for constantly change, adapt and update. I find that exciting.

Sivan: Sharing Take Yourself Home. That song, for me, was about really asking myself some tough questions about who I am, what I want and where I want to be.

It was an introspective moment that I felt became more relevant with everything going on in the world and I wanted to share in the hope that it would resonate.

Wang: I will be releasing a new song this month and a Chinese EP after that. Hope you enjoy them.

Williams: I see art and creativity as fluid, so I'm interested in pushing the boundaries of what film and television can be.

What does time mean to you? And how does it feel to be a member of the Pasha de Cartier tribe?

Malek: Significance. I love that Cartier has a way of honouring what is treasured of the past, and marrying that with a modern accessibility and twist. Pasha has both delicacy and strength.

Sivan: Time is something to lean into, I think. Change can be scary, but I try my best to be present and excited for the future.

There's a timelessness to the Pasha design that I'd love to strive for in my work. It's classic, but modern, fresh and stands for something.

Wang: No matter if it's right or wrong, there is nothing which is done in vain. Every step deserves to be remembered.

Pasha is full of energy and imagination just like me - bold, direct, full of personality and boundary-pushing.

Williams: I used to feel like I was running out of time, but that was because I used to fill my time with pointless things. Now, I see time is precious and I don't want to waste it.

I find the Pasha watch empowering to wear as it reflects my confidence as a woman.

What's the most significant time of your life?

Malek: Ultimately, I'm just proud that I get to work in this industry. How fortunate I am to be doing something that I love so much and playing such an eclectic collection of characters.

Each role has been as much about self-discovery as it is an opportunity to explore human nature, human behaviour, psychology, an experience different to your own.

Also, how important it is to keep applying hard work, dedication, focus and patience.

Sivan: Being on stage is a fantasy to me - it's been my dream for as long as I can remember and it's never lost on me when I'm on stage - how lucky I am to be able to bring that fantasy to life.

I'm most proud when I'm at my shows and I see the faces in the crowd. I think the audience are role models to me - I see the most inspiring faces, strength and sickening looks.

I'm equally proud when someone mentions that a song/album of mine has been the soundtrack to a particular season in their life. I love it when that happens to me with music, so I'm always really honoured when it happens to someone else with mine.

Wang: The moment hasn't come yet. When it comes, it should have something to do with my music rankings on Billboard.

Williams: To be recognised for my role on Game Of Thrones is something I'm really proud of.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2020, with the headline 'Time to blaze new trails'. Print Edition | Subscribe