Actor James Marsden has come a long way from his debut role on 90’s sitcom The Nanny, having since starred in top-grossing films including X-Men and Emmy-nominated shows such as 30 Rock and Westworld. And like his roles, his watch game has also evolved over the years from classic sports models to refined makes by the likes of IWC Schaffhausen.
In 2020, the actor became an official ambassador for the Swiss luxury watchmaker after his stylist, Ilaria Urbinati, placed an IWC watch on his wrist, sparking his newfound love for timepieces. Two years after starring in the watchmaker’s Born of a Dream short film alongside pro-footballer Tom Brady, Marsden stopped by the opening of IWC’s Palm Beach store opening this week to help unveil the brand’s “new look” and a special collection of haute horologerie.
While the configurator-crafted Ingenieur Chronograph he designed for the manufacturer in 2020 will not be available for purchase, you can expect to find 700 square feet of bestselling models on display at the new boutique for your own casual and formal occasions. Marsden hopped on a Zoom call with Robb Report, ahead of the Thursday night event, to talk his current watch collection, being a Ferrari fan and his love of stories behind a watch.
What watches intrigue you most? Tourbillions, dive watches, etc. And what is it about them you find fascinating?
Oh man, well, you just named them all I love them all. I really do. I love the specific functions of each watch. And I like a tool watch as much as I like something that’s meant to be for formal watches. It’s no date and goes with a tuxedo. So, I like styles of watches that go with whatever the application is, and whatever the activity is. And [the] care and love that went into crafting these watches and how infrequently they’re made.
Have you ever tried assembling a movement?
Actually, I was in Schaffhausen a few years ago and I took a watchmaking class with some of these experts there. I realized how painstaking it is and how expert these people’s hands are and how patient and meticulous it is. I believe it’s very specialized, takes time and care to create. When I toured the manufacturer, it was evident to me that these people are really, really gifted watchmakers, and it’s not something that I could learn overnight.