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WATERWORKS: Ewan McGregor has probably never played a role as wacky as Professor McGregor, the character he took on for the party staged by Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at the SIHH trade show in Geneva on Tuesday night.

Flanked by Susan Sarandon, assorted sports stars, models and members of the Cirque du Soleil acrobatic troupe, the Scottish star endeavored to make sense of an off-the-wall script that had him searching for Tick Tock — the sound of a mechanical timepiece that had “gone missing” somewhere near the Galapagos Islands.

This story first appeared in the January 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Confused? So were the evening’s 800 guests, who included many of Compagnie Financière Richemont’s top managers. Even dominant shareholder Johann Rupert, taking a 12-month sabbatical from his job as executive chairman, put in a surprise appearance.

McGregor, who attended alongside Kevin Spacey, Lewis Hamilton, Mélanie Laurent, Karolina Kurkova and Adriana Lima, wasn’t available to record what he made of it all. But with former Supertramp vocalist Roger Hodgson providing the musical entertainment, and Cirque du Soleil artists performing a series of increasingly gravity-defying stunts, no one paid much attention to the high-concept script.

McGregor’s narration was part of an elaborate concept to highlight the relaunch of IWC’s Aquatimer diving watch. To underline the watch’s aquatic credentials and the exploration theme, the gala coincided with a strengthened partnership between IWC and the Charles Darwin Foundation, whose research station celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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