The annual IWC Schaffhausen Gala Dinner in Geneva lived up to all expectations, with a smorgasbord of excellent wine, food and entertainment, and a stellar mix of celebrities thrown in. Karishma Tulsidas joins the party.

One of the most eagerly awaited nights on the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie calendar each year, the IWC Schaffhausen Gala Dinner this January was a grandiose expression of the brand’s superlative star wattage. The blue carpet leading up to the main hall came alive as celebrity friends of the brand strutted down the aisle, posing for the paparazzi and catching up with one another.

Once inside the main cocktail area, guests were transported to the skies, literally walking on clouds. Black-clad “time agents” roamed the event on Segways, lending a surreal, futuristic element to the evening. A gong sounded to announce dinner, and CEO of IWC Georges Kern opened the ceremony by introducing the guests of honour: the Portugieser collection, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

He then invited on stage friends of the brand including Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, singer Ronan Keating, and Germany’s national football team coach Joachim Loew. Ever the charismatic and humorous host, Kern joked, “We did a watchmaking course with the German national team 10 years ago, and that’s why they’ve become national champions!” The screen then zoomed in on Kern at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil last year, revealing that he had painted his cheek with the colours of the German flag.

He was also joined by three of the five stars that had taken part in the Timeless Portofino photo shoot conducted last May by star photographer Peter Lindbergh, namely Emily Blunt, Christoph Waltz and Zhou Xun, who revealed that this was the first time she was addressing an audience in English. After a chinwag with the celebrities, Kern then passed the microphone to German actor Moritz Bleibtreu, the host for the evening.

Party's On

The entertainment was top-notch, starting with an illusionary performance by multimedia magician Marco Tempest, who used computer graphics combined with illusionary tricks to reflect on the infinite nature of the universe. Flying in from Beijing and Japan respectively were the Red Poppy Ladies Percussion and the dance troupe Enra.

The highlight of the evening was a performance by Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall, who held the audience’s undivided attention with his rendition of Stars and Something Got Me Started. By the time his third and last set came on, guests were on their feet, surrounding the stage on a makeshift dance floor.

DJ Jack E hit the decks spinning international hits at the after-party, where partygoers stayed on to dance till the wee hours of the morning—there’s no party like an IWC party, after all.

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