The French actor Gérard Depardieu has partnered with Swiss watch manufacturer Cvstos to launch a line of new timepieces under the banner “Proud to be Russian”.
A post on the Cvstos Facebook page from earlier this month shows Depardieu – also sporting a pair of fetching leopard-print glasses – dressed in the new Challenge Jetliner watch, which features Russia‘s national crest of a double-headed eagle picked out in red gold. The new watches cost up to $30,000 (£18,000).
Depardieu’s pride stems from the fact he was allowed to become a Russian citizen early last year, with his new passport delivered to him personally by Vladimir Putin. He bought a property in Mordovia region, saying after registering the flat, “this region doesn’t have oil or gas but has rich people who make their wishes come true in life.” His move followed a proposed change in French tax law that would see the wealthy taxed 75% of their income above €1m a year, which was later deemed unconstitutional.
He later claimed that he still loved his homeland, and that “I refuse to be trapped within borders … I’m a free man. I feel at home everywhere in Europe.” In August last year he also became an honorary citizen of Belgium.
Depardieu recently portrayed Rasputin in a biopic, was announced as the star of Russian winter-sports comedy Sports Without Borders, and shot Turquoise with Elizabeth Hurley in Chechnya, but also has a number of upcoming western film projects. He will play disgraced former IMF head Domininque Strauss-Khan in Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York, and former Fifa president Jules Rimet in F2014, a film exploring football’s governing body and the life of its current president Sepp Blatter.
A film he was to star in about the Silk Road, written by Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbekistan’s president, seems however to have broken down in the wake of bitter family infighting – but they’ll always have the duet they recorded together, How Dare.