By Kim Parker
Let’s face it, part of the real joy of Barbie and Ken lies in their excellent accessory options. Bags. Neon roller blades. Endless jewellery switch ups. But when it came to timepieces with suitable Kenergy, Ryan Gosling made a beeline for the Swiss watchmaker, TAG Heuer.
With the film’s release, eagle-eyed aficionados will be able to spot three TAG models that Gosling personally chose to adorn Ken’s perfectly-tanned wrist. In one scene, the character decides to flaunt three solid gold watches for Barbie at once, whilst also shirtless and wearing a fur coat whilst singing a song about always being “number two” in the eyes of the woman he loves. The stack of wristwatches is used to reflect director Greta Gerwig’s opinion on the patriarchy.
In the movie, while visiting the real world with Margot Robbie’s Barbie, a woman stops to ask Ken what time it is. He’s shocked that a woman would ever think to ask him such a question, considering how Kens are relegated to just idolising the Barbies back in Barbieland. As a result, when he rushes back to Barbieland and embraces the patriarchy, he fixes not one, not two but three Tag Heuer Carrera gold watches to his wrist. Beyond this, it’s also a brilliant, over-the-top moment that perfectly encapsulates the beach-loving character’s aesthetic development as the film progresses.
All crafted from yellow gold, Ken’s watches are all vintage chronographs and include a sporty little 1158 CHN reference from 1971, which has a solid 18k bracelet in Milanese style mesh and was the preferred choice amongst motor racers at the time. It was also revealed to be the favourite timepiece of Jack Heuer – the great-grandson of founder Edouard Heuer, who was famously responsible for the development of the house’s legendary sports watches.
Another is a 110.515 reference from 1974, which boasts a barrel-shaped case with a sunray brushed finish and an exquisitely engraved Côte de Genève dial. The final timepiece is a Carrera 2448 NT from the early 1960s, which bears an elegant leather strap and sleek black dial made beautifully legible by its gold hands and markers, plus its strong angled lugs and narrow bezel (Ken apparently can’t be doing with fussy dials).
Another glimpse of the brand collaboration came at the film’s Canadian press call, where Gosling sported a TAG Heuer Carrera Date with a hot pink dial. Although the watch isn’t an official ‘Barbified’ product (unlike the Barbie Dreamhouse you can now rent on Airbnb or pink clothing from the likes of GAP and Zara), the new watch – which only launched at Watches & Wonders in March – has the kind of show-stopping coloured dial that personified ‘Red Carpet Ken’ to a tee. It’s fun, fabulous and terribly fashion-forward (there’s no doubt that coloured dials are one of the watchmaking industry’s biggest trends right now).
The Oscar-nominated actor choice of Tag Heuer should come as little surprise as Gosling has been a brand ambassador for the watchmaker since 2021 and has partnered with the brand on several cinematic projects, including his 2022 action film, The Gray Man, and a 5-minute short film, The Chase for Carrera, released this year to celebrate the iconic watch model’s 60th anniversary.
Sure, he may be “just Ken”, but his watches are seriously impressive stuff.
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