It was the kind of party you’d fantasise about attending when you’re young—and then you grow up and realise you’re unlikely to ever rub shoulders with Brad Pitt at a black-tie event. When Breitling sent me an invitation to a lavish gala where one of the most desired male movie stars of the past three decades would be present, my inner teenager let out a scream of delight—and my adult self wasn’t far behind.
So it was with great excitement that I joined a crowd of 500 high-society watch fanciers late last year at Beijing’s breathtaking Phoenix Centre as Breitling—a Swiss watch manufacturer known for its prestigious, high-performance timepieces—announced its presence in China.
The centre, already famous around the globe for its sweeping exterior and dramatic all-glass interior, looked particularly spectacular that night, lit entirely in Breitling blue and decorated to represent the sea, air and land. It had an almost other-worldly aura.
Actor Daniel Wu arrived looking dashing, along with surfer Sally Fitzgibbons and photographer and filmmaker Peter Lindbergh, joining myriad personalities from the worlds of fashion, high society, sport, music and film, including Japanese designer Motofumi “Poggy” Kogi and actors Shin Se-kyung, Qi Wei and Li Zonghan.
Glamorous as they all were, nobody could upstage Brad Pitt. Tall, blond and absurdly handsome, he looked as magnetic in the flesh as he does on the big screen. And when it was my turn to interview him—and sneak in a selfie—I found myself uncharacteristically star-struck, so much so that my quivering finger meant Peter Lindbergh had to take our photo.