Montblanc held the 13th annual performance of The 24-Hour Plays at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway in New York City on Monday, November 18, 2013.
An annual benefit event produced by the 24 Hour Company and Freestyle Picture Company for Urban Arts Partnership, The 24-Hour Plays on Broadway attracts some of entertainment’s biggest names as they join forces to participate in an extreme rite of theater: writing, directing, and performing 6 original short plays, all in just 24 hours. Proceeds from the evening’s performance will support Urban Arts Partnership, NYC’s largest arts educational organisation in their efforts to close the achievement gap in the city’s under-served public schools.
“The production of The 24-Hour Plays on Broadway, presented by Montblanc, is a demonstration of our continued commitment to the under-served public schools in New York City,” said Jan-Patrick Schmitz, President and CEO of Montblanc North America. “For 8 years now, Montblanc and Urban Arts Partnership have joined forces to ensure arts education programs are continued to be integrated into students’ curriculum and we proudly celebrate this year’s production.”
The creative process for The 24-Hour Plays on Broadway begin at 10PM on Sunday, November 17th – the night before the show – when a group of six writers, six directors, 24 actors, two musical guests, and a production staff gather at the American Airlines Theatre. After each of the cast members share a costume, prop, their special skills and stage desires – each writer is tasked with composing a ten-minute play by 7AM the following morning, when the directors return to read and select their piece. The cast meet for the first time at 9AM and, over the next 12 hours. the plays are rehearsed and produced for a live presentation. At 8PM, ink barely dry, the six new plays – interspersed with six musical acts – are performed in front of a live audience.
For immediate release (updated 30/11/2012):
2013 marks a special year for Urban Life and Top Marques Monaco. Top Marques will celebrate their 10th year anniversary with the next edition of the show in April; whilst we start to prepare for ours the following year (Urban Life was founded in 2003 but first published in 2004).
Our respective and continuous growth, based on diversity and innovation, is testament to our enduring appeal amongst the jet-set elite who value and appreciate the best in luxury lifestyle. Urban Life is more than a magazine; it’s an attitude based on the lifestyle choices our readers make. Similarly, Top Marques is more than just a supercar show. It is a platform for some of the most creative minds in automotive design to present their wares to an eagerly awaiting audience and showcase the most exciting engineering advances in automotive technology, with safety, development and green technology at its core.
Top Marques also hosts a number of world premieres each year, thus setting the stage for the exotic and luxury car manufacturers to show their latest models to enthusiasts, buyers and collectors from around the world. And with the addition of the superboats and watches categories, it makes for a must-attend show each and every year attracting high-profile visitors from around the world.
“Top Marques Monaco is delighted to welcome on board our new media partner Urban Life. Not only will we both celebrate our 10th year in 2013 and 2014 respectively, but we both push the boat out when it comes to highlighting the most exclusive supercars, limited edition watches and deluxe objects for those who enjoy an elite luxury lifestyle. Top Marques reigns supreme as the industry choice for launching cutting-edge new models. Still five months before the event’s 10th edition four pioneering brands have chosen to world premiere their 2013 launches at this ground-breaking show. The only car exhibition where visitors can: See it, Drive it and Buy it. The exclusive extra is that Top Marques offers test drives on the Monaco Grand Prix circuit and this is just the beginning of our birthday announcements. Urban Life will keep you informed of our news. See you at ‘Top Marques Ten’ taking place 18th-21st April 2013 at the Grimaldi Forum Monaco” Steven Saltzman, Owner & Director – Top Marques Monaco.
As a media partner, Urban Life Magazine will have unique and privileged access to the latest news from all the exhibitors taking part in the show and will be featuring these across all our channels – print, online and through our social media outlets. We will also feature exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage before, during and after the event for our audiences in London and around the world.
“I am very excited to announce our media partnership with Top Marques Monaco in 2013. Ever since we first covered Top Marques in 2004, the year Urban Life was launched, I have always kept a keen eye on the growth and development of the show, which is now firmly established as the most exclusive and prestigious supercar event in the world. I am proud of my team’s achievements in the continuous growth of the Urban Life brand, and am honoured to be able to share the platform with such an illustrious group of our peers in the media from around the world. Furthermore, it seems quite fitting that we both prepare to celebrate our first ten years as we grow and expand into other niches, particularly with our move in to broadcast TV with a high-end motoring show, which we will announce formally in due course. My team and I are very excited to be associated with Top Marques and I am looking forward to working with Steven and his team, and together celebrate the best of luxury lifestyle in its spiritual home – Monaco” Ataur Rahman, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief.
Top Marques Monaco is held at the world-famous Grimaldi Forum in Monaco each year under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, its most distinguished patron and supporter. Yachts, watches and jewellery also form a part of the show, which enjoys the support of some of the most coveted luxury brands in their respective sectors. We are extremely proud to be a media partner of this exclusive annual event, and look forward to sharing this with our loyal readers and partners who have supported us over the years. We will be featuring exclusive articles with interviews in our Top Marques themed motoring pages throughout the year, as well as posting regular news items online. Please keep an eye on our social media streams for these.
For more information on Top Marques Monaco, please log on to www.topmarquesmonaco.com
Here’s the ultimate buyer’s guide to luxury watches every child should keep to hand for Mother’s Day, as brought to you by Watchonista, our resident experts on all things haute horlogerie…
If your mum rather wears feather necklace than shell necklace: Harry Winston Ultimate Adornment Timepiece
If your mum is rather a woman of action: Panerai PAM336 Radiomir 40mm
If your mum loves shiny things: Delacour Promesse Lady baguette pink
If your mum is still a child at heart: Chopard Happy Sport
If your mum struggles to cut the umbilical cord: Roger Dubuis Velvet 2012
If your mum is more of a partygoer than you are: Hublot Big Bang Boa Bang
For these and more watches, visit the Watchonista site
The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie took place between January 16th and 20th in Geneva. The very exclusive show organised by Richemont gave rise to many parallel events, especially the Geneva Time Exhibition, as well as the presentations held in hotels by some independent watchmakers.
For one week (or even longer), Geneva was the watchmaking capital of the world; everybody lived, breathed and ate at the rhythm of horology. The merest chocolate bar was labeled with watch logos, and it is with our heads full of dreams that we saw the SIHH close its doors. We are going to review in detail some of the finest pieces presented during the event.
Harry Winston – HdT3
The most explosive ‘highlight’ was not in a hotel, at the GTE or at the SIHH. It was presented directly at the Harry Winston manufactory. From a mechanical standpoint, the watch features 3 tourbillons (for 2 escapements). The design proposes something never seen before in the domain of rotary tourbillon with Grande complication. The layout and the volumes were intended to highlight the tourbillons’ spinning. While the technology of tourbillons exploded throughout the last 10 years, always pushing further the concepts of tri-dimensional architectures, the exterior designs never evolved enough to match these technological feats.
The creators from Harry Winston drew their inspiration from the lively New-Yorker culture, in order to exalt the complication by providing it with a Pop Art case. The TV screen shaped watchcase,
dear to some independents, makes for a good distribution of its almost 250 grams along the wrist (the watch is 65mm by 45.9mm), and the watch remains wearable. In all likelihood, if you can pay €500k for this watch, you will be able to afford a wardrobe
adapted to this machine.
As a matter of fact, when one sees the Triple Tourbillon, the hour display (at 12 and 1 o’clock) becomes totally peripheral. It is the ultimate avatar of luxury mechanical watchmaking!
Since the advent of quartz, the utilisation of mechanical solutions falls under aesthetics and/or dandyism. Here, more than ever, the precision time is no more than a pretext to erect a mechanical cathedral. With the HdT3, Harry Winston creates the sensation, with a watch that is far more than a ‘talking piece’. Nevertheless, regarding HW, it is first and foremost the moment when the exceptional Opus series fuses with the other collections. To be continued…
Beaume & Mercier – Capeland 100068
These last two years, Beaume & Mercier took a neo-vintage direction. The Capeland is the flagship of this renewal; and 2012 saw the presentation of the Capeland 10068 fitted with a chronograph movement modified by Lajoux-Perret. The watch’s design was influenced by the productions of Beaume & Mercier during the 40’s. It is of course a tribute to the artillery officers’ chronographs, whose telemetric scale on a black background is based on the speed of sound.
This scale, combined with the fly back functionality of the Capeland, allows for short periods of time and long distances
to be measured with maximum precision. The black dial with white secondary counters features maximum legibility, whereas the red scale and the big date with its offbeat font keep with the vintage codes while offering a touch of refreshing fancy. The size, 44mm (waterproof up to 50m) and the steel case can be surprising on a vintage inspired watch. However, very large wristwatches intended for professionals (railroad staff, manufacturing) already existed during the period 30s-40s and 50s, for example the legendary Rolex 4113.
Last but not least, the gold ‘Breguet shaped‘ hands splendidly contrast with the white steel of the case. Thus, this Beaume & Mercier Capeland 10068 manages to combine a large part of the most desirable military-vintage aesthetical codes, telemetric scale, black dial, central red scale, 44mm steel case & gold hands. For €6000, it is an unquestionable achievement by B&M.
Cartier – Tank Anglaise Grand Modele.
The rejuvenation initiated by Cartier a few years ago, especially with the superb Santos 100, continues with the ‘Cartier Tank Anglaise Grand modele’. If both of these watches seem to come from a sports club, the result is quite different: while the Santos 100 is bulky, with a hard work-out and steroids, the ‘Tank Anglaise Grand modele’ seems instead to have completed an intensive race course.
All the measurements increase, but keep to the ideal proportions of the golden ratio. Thus, the watch is less than 10mm thick, 36mm wide and 47mm long (including the lugs!). Its dimensions certainly increased, but they remain under 44mm, the norm for sports watches. The watch is already becoming a classic of the French horological elegance (despite its name).
This balance is achieved through the rounded bevelings of the lug-middles. The convex look of the watch and its built-in bezel contribute to the feeling of harmony and softness it conveys. On the wrist, it is heavier than it seems, because the watch and its wristband are for the moment only available in gold. Nonetheless, the watch remains comfortable as its mass is well balanced. Regarding the movement, it is one of the first models to feature the new homemade 1904MC caliber. It is an automatic movement; set at 28800v/h with a 48h power reserve, through a double barrel, this device optimises the torque and therefore the chronometric efficiency. With this ‘Tank Anglaise Grand modele’, Cartier once again demonstrates its ability to be fashionable without being a fad.
The SIHH was reviewed for the March edition of the magazine. You can read the full feature here, which also includes the Tag Heuer Mikrogirder, MB&F LM1 and the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Calendrier Annuel.
Luc Pettavino has been organising charity auctions for more than 10 years in order to finance research against Duchenne disease. Charity auctions dedicated to watchmaking started in 2004, the inauguration having taken place at Lausanne with the attendance of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and of Osvaldo Patrizzi, former CEO of Antiquorum.
Duchenne Myopathy affects around 15.000 boys a year. As the number of cases is too small to get a Return on Investment, laboratories devote very little resources to this soreness. Hence, myopaths have to rely on solidarity in order to finance medical research in this field. Solidarity for Only Watch is cross-generational, as Luc Pettavino’s son, Paul, suffers from this disease. Luc Pettavino asked himself what best he could do to fight this disease. The answer is Only Watch.
The auction progressively gained momentum, to reach a record breaking result for this 2011 event. When most of the good causes content themselves with titillating the generous donor’s heartstrings, Only Watch boldly chose to get two kinds of donors involved: the final bidder, namely the watch collector, but first and foremost the Great watchmaking brands. The only constraint imposed by Only Watch to the brands is to produce unique pieces. It is up to the brands to play the game limply or whole heartedly!
The event is a beautiful showcase for the great names of watchmaking, as it takes place during the off-season, at the beginning of the calendar year. For some brands, it even can be something more, Only Watch being an ‘in vivo’ laboratory of horology. Finally, it is the ultimate dream for watch lovers, aimed to impress and be blown-away. It’s also a way to demonstrate to ‘Watchophobes’ that horology also includes passion, solidarity and glamour. 40 watches were presented during this edition of Only Watch, and as it is impossible to describe them all, I invite you to take a tour of the Only Watch section on our website for more detailed information on the event and the brands associated with it. Rather than talking about the highest bids, of which there are many, I’d like to talk about the most beautiful pieces, about the brands that devoted the most energy, talents and resources to Only Watch…
Only Watch was featured in the March edition of Urban Life magazine. You can read the full feature here.
To read more on the final bids for all of the watches presented at Only Watch 2011, please visit Watchonista’s blog entry here.
Salon de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2012 – Interviews
Bernard Fornas, CEO of luxury jeweller and watchmaker Cartier, talks to CNN’s Monita Rajpal.
Salon de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2012 – Interviews
Jean Marc Pontroue, CEO of luxury watchmaker Roger Dubuis, talks to CNN’s Monita Rajpal.
Salon de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2012 – Interviews
Alain Zimmerman, CEO of Swiss watchmaker Baume & Mercier, talks to CNN’s Monita Rajpal.
Salon de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2012 – Interviews
Stanislas de Quercize, the CEO of luxury jeweller and watchmaker Van Cleef & Arpels talks to CNN’s Monita Rajpal.
The 22nd Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is well and truly underway!
Taking place in Palexpo, Geneva between January 16th to 20th, with eighteen fine watch brands and an unprecedented exhibition of clocks, this intimate, invitation-only event attracts over ten thousand visitors eager to get a first view of the latest novelties from a stellar line up of brands.
Urban Life will be covering the SIHH with a substantial post-event feature in the magazine. In the meantime, we will be bringing you regular updates with news and interviews, courtesy of our friends at CNN.
The story of Poetic Wish – Van Cleef & Arpels
We are pleased to announce that we will have a special post-event feature of this year’s Only Watch, taking place in Monaco on the 23rd of September.
Our resident watch experts and contributors Watchonista, who also happen to be the social media partners for Only Watch, will be sharing all the nail-biting action from the high-profile auction on the night.
There are 40 exclusive one-off time pieces, from some of the most highly regarded luxury watch houses, that have been created especially for this auction. All proceeds will go to aid research in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a highly debilitating and rare neuromuscular disease affecting one out of every 3,500, meaning 250,000 children, teenagers and young adults globally.
The auction takes place during the Monaco Yacht Show, and is under the patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Look out for the coverage in the October edition…
Blancpain & Lamborghini
In just three years of involvement in motor sport, Blancpain has unremittingly strengthened its presence in this compelling activity.
Partner of Lamborghini and title sponsor of the ‘Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo’ since 2009 and official timekeeper of the FIA GT1 world championship since 2010, Blancpain confirms its presence at the highest level of world motorsport with the launch of the ‘Blancpain Endurance Series’ and its participation as official partner in the ‘ADAC GT Masters’ championship.
To celebrate the various commitments in motor sport, Blancpain have developed the L-evolution ‘Super Trofeo’ Flyback Chronograph. The watch features an automatic movement, a titanium case, with the dial and horns made of carbon fibre and its strap of alcantara. This limited edition of 600 watches is a real reference to the world of car racing.
* What is the Flyback Function? Of particular use to pilots and professional drivers, the ‘Flyback Function’ allows the chronograph to be reset to zero and immediately restarted by pressing the push button.
Richard Mille & Grand Prix de Pau
Richard Mille immediately became the reference to the mechanical lovers of horology and automotive. Being a racing and car enthusiast, he always had the spirit of top performance. This year, he presented the new round case, the RM33. Classic form without tarnishing the RM codes. Ultra-technical and ultra-modern, its transparent dial reveals the automatic calibre with a micro-rotor. Visually, the screws of the thick bezel, bezel that provides the maximum security to the movement, reinforce the technical aspect.
Richard Mille is the main partner to the Grand Prix de Pau 2011, an event eagerly anticipated by all GP enthusiasts, especially as it takes place on one of the last remaining street circuits.
TAG Heuer Carrera MP4-12C Chronograph
TAG Heuer and McLaren have one of the longestrunning partnerships between a brand and a racing team in the history of Formula One. They have teamed up once again to meet performance and perfection. Produced in a limited edition of 1000 pieces, the TAG Heuer Carrera MP4-12C Chronograph’s exclusive design compliments the new astonishing McLaren road car.
Its sleek design reflects the new sports car in colour, materials and design. As in the road model, the sapphire crystal insert reveals the ‘engine’ behind the watch face, and in contrast to the carbon style, an extremely hi-tech watch face. The movement is automatic with a semi-perpetual calendar and Flyback Function.
Hublot : Tribute to Ayrton Senna
The ‘King Power Ayrton Senna’ is a split-second chronograph with power-reserve indicator. In addition to Ayrton Senna’s signature,
displayed on the sapphire crystal of the dial, the watch includes a wealth of high-tech details directly inspired by Formula 1. The case is made entirely from carbon fibre with a ceramic bezel adorned with multiple holes to represent an F1 ceramic brake disk and a strap made from Nomex, fabric used to make the suits worn by F1 drivers. 500 numbered timepieces will be sold in support of Instituto Ayrton Senna.
F1 King Power Ceramic – The Official Watch of Formula 1!
In a limited edition of 500 numbered pieces, the ‘F1 King Power Ceramic’ is a chronograph with two push-buttons (Start and Reset), Its 48mm case is made from micro-blasted black ceramic. The special carbon fibre bezel is adorned with a signature-drilled ceramic
ring inspired by high performance brake discs. Finally, its strap is made of rubber and NomexTM, a synthetic fibre, which thanks to its very low combustibility, is used to make the overalls worn by racing drivers.
Scuderia Ferrari One by Cabestan
Cabestan, the high-end Swiss watchmaker surprised the watch industry by announcing a partnership with Ferrari to jointly design and
produce a very limited edition watch to celebrate the Cavallino Rampante. The Scuderia Ferrari One by Cabestan is inspired by
Ferrari race car technology and design. High-tech materials such as titanium, aluminium, magnesium and carbon fibre are the same as those used to produce components of Ferrari Formula1 race cars. And as for the strap, Ferrari owners will recognise the unmistakable Daytona leather. The heart of the motor is a vertical tourbillon, to compensate the effects of the Earth’s gravity. Here the energy delivered to the movement is transmitted by a miniature chain and fusée using a 6-speed automatic transmission to deliver a constant force to the tourbillon. The result is amazingly accurate to ± 1 second per day. The Scuderia Ferrari One by Cabestan will only be made available to Ferrari clients.
*What is a chain and fusée? A chain and fusée enables the watchmaker to deliver a constant force to the movement. As a result, the tourbillon receives a constant force and the variations in amplitude are considerably reduced, thus dramatically increasing the accuracy of the movement.
Chopard & Mille Miglia
The Mille Miglia (round Italy road rally) is the continuation of the fierce ‘Gran Turismo’ competition that stopped in 1957. Chopard became the historical partner of this modern version of the mythical gentlemen-collectors race. To pay tribute to modern motor sport,
Chopard LUC have created the One Engine LUC Tourbillon with a high performance engine. The movement shape reminds us of the
V8 or V10 engines of the big German sedans, which are found in big GT competitions for example. All the details of this timekeeper, such as the power reserve indicator or the movement shock absorbers, are dedicated to the passion for motor sports.
Parmigiani Fleurier & Bugatti
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport made history by setting a world land speed record for production sports cars. On the wrist of test driver, travelling at a top speed of 431 km/h, the new Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport. Parmigiani Fleurier, the official partner of Bugatti since 2001, unveiled the second generation of its Bugatti models. Parmigiani flips all the mechanical components of the new
calibre Bugatti PF 372 onto a vertical axis, retaining the lateral time display so appreciated by car drivers. The manually-wound Calibre Parmigiani 372 (power reserve of 10 days) was designed in two planes in order to match the contours of the new Bugatti watch. Six sapphire crystals reveal its 337 impressive components and the ‘openworked’ oval dial, inclined on a 90-degree axis and
made from carbon fibre in honour of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, shows the hours and minutes. The ‘gold black’ Côtes de Genève and satin finishes on the bridges and the 3-dimensional turn-in angles on the train wheel bridge reflect Parmigiani’s exacting standards. Only 30 Haute Horlogerie pieces of this special edition will be delivered.
This is the first article from Watchonista, our resident experts on all things horology. The article was written by Alexander Friedman, Founder/Partner of Watchonista.
For more information on Watchonista, visit the website: www.watchonista.com
TW Steel presented the CEO Goliath at Basel, which has 15 models in its collection. The Dutch watch brand renowned for being ‘big in oversized watches’ have stepped up their game in refining their existing offerings and producing watches that feature a new level of comfort for the wearer which will ‘fit every wrist, no matter the size’. Features of the CEO Goliath range include the use of sandblasted cases on the models sporting PVD rose-gold plating and PVD black coating. Creating a superior matt case, combined with a shiny bezel, this look further distinguishes the watches adding to their appeal and enhanced qualities, which also include bold indexes and the 12 and 6 in striking roman numerals.
Bulova is celebrating its aeronautical legacy with the Basel launch of the Accutron Conqueror, with Sir Richard Branson as its ambassador. Featuring a Dubois-Depraz 31340 53-jewel automatic mechanical movement, this distinguished Swissmade chronometer incorporates a precision chronograph with fl yback function for immediate reset, as well as a 24-hour GMT indicator to allow simultaneous independent dual time-zone readings. Crafted of solid stainless steel, with a
smoothly curved tonneau case, engraved to capture the essence of the 1927 original, the Bulova Accutron Conqueror includes green luminous numerals and hands, as well as a Mississippi alligator strap. This limited edition timepiece is individually numbered on its caseback and includes a certificate of authenticity to attest to its position in a controlled production run of only 200 pieces.
A classic MeisterSinger design, the Pangaea Automatik has no minute or second hands, or time zones or a date display. Stripped to the very basic level, this is a classic dress watch for those that have a different perception of time. Simple and very elegant. Comes in a stainless steel casing, with exhibition back and a 48-hour power reserve.
From the Maestro collection, this is Raymond Weil’s first Moon Phase complication with a mechanical movement, due for release later in the year. Equipped with the RW4500 mechanical movement with automatic winding, it has a power reserve of 38 hours. 39.5mm round polished steel case with a sapphire crystal back and black leather alligator-style strap.
EBEL presents a new interpretation of its emblematic Ebel Classic Sport collection. The gleaming stainless steel exterior of this contemporary, sporting version is punctuated by touches of gold that offer a bright reminder of the brand’s expertise in creating two-tone watches. The men and women’s collections come in 18k gold and stainless steel and are available in 40mm and 27mm respectively.
The high-jewellery and high-watchmaking Héra Tourbillon bracelet watch. The bracelet is in white gold set with diamonds, sapphires and Paribia tourmalines. The Girard-Perregaux three gold bridges tourbillion movement is set with diamonds and Paribia tourmalines. A striking piece of objet d’art from the ‘Audacious – Cabinet of Curiosities’ collection.
In 2010, Carlos Coste established a new Guinness World Record for freediving, by completing a 150 metre underwater swim using no apparatus through Dos Ojos, a colossal cenote (cave network) that twists for 31 miles under the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. The Venezuelan freediver was armed with only a torch and a monofin when he made the death-defying dive. Oris have honoured this great achievement by creating a special limited edition of 2000 pieces. The case is made out of titanium with ceramic top ring and superluminova inlay. Pushers and screw-down crown are stainless steel and water resistant to 50 bar (500 metres).
The Twenty-8-Eight Tourbillon marked a new era for DeWitt’s watch making capabilities, as the DW8028 movement was assembled entirely in-house. Each art-deco inspired watch has a little plate, placed on the barrel-bridge and bears the signature of the master watchmaker, who is responsible for the assembly, adjustment and testing of the watch from A to Z. The black anthracite face contrasts with the creamy coloured circle appliqué in palladium, with the numerals, hands and central construction in rose gold.
This exquisite, one-off pocket watch is hand-engraved with a natural grey-blue mother-of-pearl dial, with the carriage and horseman in gold using the relief modelling technique. The motif is inspired by the ‘Promenade de Longchamp’ silk carré designed by Philippe Ledoux. Driven by an Hermès H1928 movement, it comes with a 55- hour power reserve. In 750 (18ct) white gold and alligator cord-strap.
When the first HM3 model was released in 2009, it sent shockwaves throughout the fine watchmaking community for its bold and unconventional design. A year later MB&F collaborated with the house of Boucheron to create another masterpiece; a haute-joaillerie version of the HM3, and what a result! The three-dimensional jewelled owl is presented here in 18k red gold with pink tourmaline, rose quartz, diamonds and pink sapphires. The owl even has a ‘beating’ heart, thanks to the swings of the solid-gold battle-axe-shaped rotor beneath the translucent stone.
Rolex unveiled five new models from their flagship Oyster collection at Basel, including the Yacht-Master II. This revolutionary regatta chronograph is equipped with an exclusive programmable countdown with a mechanical memory and this new version is the first Professional watch in the Oyster collection to be available in ‘EVEROSE ROLESOR’ – an exclusive combination of the 904L steel superalloy and 18 ct EVEROSE gold. The model’s 4160 movement, designed and developed by Rolex, is fitted with a PARACHROM hairspring, 10 times more resistant to shocks and insensitive to magnetic fields. The countdown is operated by a column wheel and a vertical clutch. A number of micro-components in this unique movement are produced by UV-LiGA – a new technology, which enables the production of components whose fineness or geometry makes them impossible to manufacture by traditional means.
The Mikrotimer Flying 1000 Concept Chronograph, the world’s first mechanical wrist chronograph to measure and display 1/1,000th of a second, sets a new milestone in mechanical precision. It is 125 times more accurate than most of the mechanical chronographs on the market — thanks to a heart beating at the unbelievable speed of 3,600,000 beats-per-hour. If the Heuer CARRERA MIKROGRAPH 1/100th Second Chronograph is to watchmaking what walking on the moon is to space history, then the Mikrotimer Flying 1000 Concept Chronograph is the equivalent of the first manned landing on Mars!
The Slyde from avant-garde watchmaker Jorg Hysek is a great example of the dynamic fusion of technology and luxury watchmaking at its best. SLYDE takes the underlying principle of the smartphone – the ability to change applications by merely sliding a finger over a tactile screen – and adapts it to the world of 21st century watchmaking. This revolutionary display means that, by simply sliding across the watch screen, the user can generate an unlimited variety of timepieces on the wrist – creating a range of ‘different’ watches within a single timepiece using a range of virtual modules.
So what can you possibly buy for the owner of one of the finest and last remaining pieces of British engineering?
Well, Aston Martin have their own range of luxury goods, but the ultimate must-have has got to be the latest incarnation of the AMVOX Transponder watch from luxury Swiss watch maker Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Following on from the DBS and Rapide, the AMVOX2 DB9 Transponder is a third generation luxury timepiece, which in true James Bond fashion, can be used to open the DB9 by simply pressing on the sapphire crystal of their watch. When first launched two years ago, the Transponder was the first mechanical watch that allowed you to control access to your vehicle using the built-in micro transmitter.
This is the latest collaboration between the two companies, and one which takes luxury merged with technology to new heights. Understated elegance at its best. The watch is available to order from the Aston Martin dealership network and priced at £12,426.
It was always going to be the match made in heaven (forgive the pun) – the Sport of Kings sponsored by the historically world famous jewellery designer to the kings (and queens). When the collaboration first came about it didn’t arrive with too much fanfare but the Cartier International Polo event, which takes place every summer at the Guard’s Polo Club in Windsor, has become the biggest event of the international Polo calendar in the world, surpassing even the Mondialito event in the home of polo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2009 it celebrated its 25th anniversary and for the last eighteen of those twenty five years the event has been captained with typical Gallic flair by the Managing Director of Cartier UK (and French Legion of Honour recipient), Arnaud Bamberger.
We arrived in the office of Monsieur Bamberger, above the famous Cartier showroom in London’s Bond Street, to find him at his desk updating his World Cup chart with the results from the previous day’s football matches. It was immediately disarming to see him doing what many a student and office worker must also have been doing that morning and as we talked it became obvious that it was perhaps this touch of the everyman that has made him so successful at helming Cartier through the worst economic crisis in living memory. In retrospect it’s also perhaps fortunate that our interview took place on the day of France’s final group game in the World Cup and not after. As it was he was the welcoming, sophisticated and debonair raconteur you would expect of a man who had worked for thirty five years all over the world for one of the biggest luxury brand names around.
After so many years few people would refer to what they do as just a job or even a career. When you have been at the top of a company like Cartier for this long it’s probably more accurate to describe it as a relationship that seemed almost fated to happen. “I was never a great student”, Arnaud tells us, “I can’t really speak of a huge amount of university studies because it’s not there but I knew I wanted to go into business and I was always drawn to the luxury industry”. Despite this the young Arnaud soon found himself working in the marketing department of a multinational foods company in France. It wasn’t very glamorous but it was a place to pay your dues and his notable success drew all the right kinds of attention. It led to him being headhunted by one of the biggest luxury tobacco brands of the time, Rothman’s, and thus began the lifelong relationship with luxury brands that endures to this very day. “It’s funny because Rothman’s was once owned by the owners of Cartier [The Richemont Group] but at the time there was no
connection”, he says.
That connection began when, while at Rothman’s, Arnaud’s feet began to itch. This coincided with a heavy promotional campaign by Cartier in the French media. “Suddenly I saw the name was everywhere. The company had a young president at the time, Alain Domenique Perrin, and I saw him revolutionising the world of luxury by bringing a touch of it to the people – starting small with the world famous Cartier lighter. When
I saw what this guy was doing I said to myself: this is the type of person I want to work with”. In the end all it took was a simple and direct letter to the Cartier president to make that ambition come true. “I caught his attention”, he says, “and I started as the export director of Cartier straight away. He’s president no longer but he’s still a trusted advisor and the one that restored the brand back to where it should always have been. After working with him for so long he became one of my best friends, almost like an older brother”. Recalling the scene of Arnaud updating his World Cup chart earlier it was obvious that Perrin’s outlook had left a lasting impression on his long time friend…
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