In the opening shot of Zayn Malik’s new video for 'Vibez', we see an Omega watch in all its hi-spec, close-up, Swiss-made glory: a bi-metal model from the Constellation family that shows some forward-thinking modern marketing nous from an industry frequently (and perhaps wrongly) mired in charges of antiquity. It's a very good choice.
You see, it’s rare that product placement actually adds to a music video. Whether it’s a few shots of a very 'Geordie Shore meet and greet at premium Wigan nightclub' vodka bottle or a close-up of a doomed LA headphone brand, these deals usually arrive as cash-driven artistic concessions. Zayn’s Omega showpiece is most definitely not one of those instances.
The piece itself appears to be the Co-Axial Master Chronometer (ref. 188.8.131.52.02.001). First launched in 1952, the Constellation line was more an ensemble cast than a single headliner with several models released at once. Since then, it's become a trophy of the mid-level Omega fan. Because while the Constellation hasn't appeared in a Bond film, or made it to the Moon, that's the big draw: there's less noise and thus, you have to know a thing or two beyond the big marquee achievements.
Malik's choice – a stainless steel and 18-karat gold dress watch alternative – is kitted out with an Omega Caliber 8800: an in-house engine revered by watchy types thanks to its Master Chronometer certification, which is a badge of accuracy only given to watches pre-approved by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. If watches were Oxbridge applicants, this one would be given an unconditional offer.
'Vibez' first debuted to much fanfare on YouTube, as expected (7.7m views and counting). It also saw the former Directioner confirm that this Omega appearance was very much a partnership on Instagram (because #spon laws, and all that). But it’s one that makes sense. Because when you're one of the world's biggest pop stars, a brand new Omega is much more palatable than a jar of Miracle Whip mayo (for shame, Lady Gaga).
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