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December 2016

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M A L AY S I A

YOUR HOLIDAY GUIDE FANTASTIC GIFTS TO MAKE 2017 THE BEST YEAR YET

HORIZON GOALS

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MONACO YACHT SHOW

TAKING FLIGHT

THE WORLD’S FIRST SUPERSONIC PRIVATE JET COULD BE YOURS

ISSUE 25. RM15.90

PLUS THE GRAFF VENUS | LAFERRARI APERTA | BENETTI FISKER 50 | CHOPARD LUC FULL STRIKE


CONTENTS

10

Robb Report

REGULARS

22 Letter from the Editor 24 Agenda 28 Frontrunners 34 Auctions 36 Portfolio 40 Robb Collections 44 Grand Openings 174 Robb Reader 178 The Last Word 41

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54

48 Ultimate Gift Guide This season’s greatest gifts – researched, curated and ready for you.

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46


CONTENTS

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Robb Report

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Time 108 Double Digits On Hublot’s All Black 10th anniversary, the idea behind it remains that its first function is not timekeeping at all. 111 Crystal Artistry Centuries-old glass art takes centre stage in the Hermes Arceau Millefiori collection.

Wheels 116 Time to Fly The British carmaker hosts a day of unadulterated performance with Pure McLaren Sepang 2016.

Water 120 New Frontiers The best and brightest go on display at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Travel & Leisure 128 Welcome to the Jungle The splendid grounds of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, are a gateway to Ubud at its most magnificent. 136 Lucky Number 13 The countdown begins to what is possibly the world’s most extravagant hotel to be built.


CONTENTS

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Robb Report

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Savour 156 Gallic Grace Chef Nicolas Isnard’s French flair and modern creativity take centre stage at the Mandarin Grill.

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164 The World’s Most Prized Beef Beef lovers, sharpen your steak knives. Torii brings you one of Japan’s great edible icons – the richest and juiciest steak in the world.

111

172 A Lifetime of Service Glen Grant master distiller Sir Dennis Malcolm reflects on 55 illustrious years at the distillery.

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MALAYSIA

Robb Report

Editorial

Editorial Director Kenneth Tan (k.tan@imv.com.sg) Editor-in-Chief Shamilee Vellu (s.vellu@imv.com.sg) Project Editor Aaron de Silva (a.desilva@imv.com.sg) Online Editor Sam Yen (s.yen@imv.com.sg) Fashion Editor Jason Lim (j.lim@imv.com.sg) Watches & Jewellery Editor Ho Yun Kuan (yk.ho@imv.com.sg) Motoring & Technology Editor Daryl Lee (d.lee@imv.com.sg) Senior Writer Vishal Bhaskaran (v.bhaskaran@imv.com.sg) Chief Sub-Editor Jacqueline Danam Editorial Assistant Allisa Noraini

Art

Group Creative Director IMV Shabir Mahmood (s.mahmood@imv.com.sg) Designer Le Thu Trang Designer Thao Truong Picture Editor Kenny Nguyen

Contributing Experts Wheels Wolfgang Stegers Wines & Spirits Zephyr Tan Savour Clement Lim

Production Group Production Director IMV Anna Tsirelnikova

Contributors Alywin Chew, Bailey S Barnard, Ben Chin, Charmaine Tai, Dominique Afacan, Elaine Lau, Esther Au Yong, Jennifer Choo, Josh Sims, Marcus Yew, Mark Lean, Mary Grady, Renyi Lim, Sasha Gonzales, Shaun Tolson, Tia Tan, Winnie Yong

Production Design Concept Dmitry Barbanel Typefaces Alexey Chekulaev, Yuri Gordon, Eugeny Yukechev Prepress Next Level Publishing mediaintegrale s.l. Printer Percetakan Zanders Sdn Bhd (205766A), No 16, Jalan BK 1/11, Bandar Kinrara, 47180 Puchong Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia


MALAYSIA

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Robb Report

Advertising Sales and Marketing Director Regional Sales IMV Perlyn de Rouvray (p.derouvray@imv.com.sg) Malaysia Director of Sales Venis Loo (v.loo@imv.com.sg) Sales Manager Xana Lai (x.lai@imv.com.sg) Administrative Manager Jaclyn Teh (j.teh@imv.com.sg) Singapore Marketing Director Singapore & Malaysia Lana Nyfeler (l.nyfeler@imv.com.sg) Marketing Executive Manshuk Bekenova (m.bekenova@imv.com.sg) Sales & Marketing Assistant Allisa Noraini (a.noraini@imv.com.sg) For sales and marketing enquiries, please call +603 6211 4288

PR & Event and Marketing Consultants R.S.V.P.-Lifestyle Communications Agency, Singapore

Finance

IT

Digital

Chief Accountant Jessica Tan Finance Controller Vladislav Chernov

Manager Benedict Calaycay

Digital Marketing & Account Executive Irina Bychkova

COO Anna Tsirelnikova

President

Michael von Schlippe Published by Indochine Media Ventures Sdn Bhd B-7-13A, Gateway Kiaramas, No. 1, Jalan Desa Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603 6211 4288 under the licence of CurtCo Robb Media LLC, 29160 Heathercliff Road, Suite 200, Malibu, CA 90265, USA

Ad Sales Representatives PUBLICITAS Germany Christian Z. Nemere, managing director, christian.nemere@publicitas.com

London Emilie Errante, sales director, emilie.errante@publicitas.com

Switzerland Fabrizio Tudisco, client services director, fabrizio.tudisco@publicitas.com

China Libby Chen, managing director, libby.chen@publicitas.com Hong Kong Michele Li, general manager (sales), michele.li@publicitas.com

MONDADORI Italy Daniella Angheben, advertising manager International Activities

Mondadori International Business Via Mondadori, 1 20090 Segrate (Milano) Italy Tel: +39 02 7542 3737

STUDIO-RIBOUD France Magali Riboud (mriboud@studio-riboud.com) 130 rue de Courcelles, 75017 Paris, France Tel: +33 142 563 336

Fax: +33 142 563 331


MALAYSIA

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Robb Report

CURTCO ROBB MEDIA, LLC Interim Chief Operating Officer Jeff Litvak Executive Assistant Codie McGuinn Vice Chairman and Co-Owner William J Curtis Executive Vice President, Publishing Director David Arnold Senior Vice President, Consumer Development Lauren Coniglio · Senior Vice President, Publishing Colette Alderson Senior Vice President, Mfg & Production Randall Ishimine Vice President, Human Resources Melinda Lyon Senior Vice President, Finance Todd Duca Senior Vice President, Publisher Matthew Carroll Senior Vice President/Controller Charles Gawartin

ROBB REPORT Senior Vice President/Editor-in-Chief Brett Anderson Editorial Director Bruce Wallin Executive Editor Larry Bean Executive Managing Editor Lori Bryan Managing Editor, Special Projects Nikki Prange Senior Vice President/Design Director Ken de Bie Art Director Rufus Agbede Group Production Director Karen E Nicolas Senior Director, Consumer Marketing Amy Duca

Corporate Office

29160 Heathercliff Road, Suite 200, Malibu, CA 90265 Tel: +1 310 589 7700 Fax: +1 310 589 7701

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Robb Report Malaysia is published monthly by Indochine Media Ventures Sdn Bhd, registration number 1103831-D. Permit number PP18627/10/2014 (034060). Indochine Media has taken every reasonable care to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of the information contained in this publication, but accepts no responsibility for the content of advertisements published, and no liability for mistake, misprint, omission, typographical error, loss or damage suffered as a result of relying wholly or in part on the content of advertising or editorial published herein. Indochine Media reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or advertorial for any reason. All artwork designed by Indochine Media or any part of this publication may not be reproduced in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by means – graphical, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording, taping, etc – without prior permission in writing from the Publishers.


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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Polishing It Off

T

o add festivity and good cheer to your year-end, this issue of Robb Report Malaysia curates a host of gift ideas which are not necessarily items that you buy, but priceless memories that you gain in the acquisition. From travel packages that promise insider access into new worlds, to rare experiences in customisation, these Ultimate Gifts connect our current reality and the most wishful of dreams in stunning fashion. To recharge from the year that was, the island of Bali offers the

new and the old, with both options magically restorative. A bevy of new yachts from the Monaco Yacht Show should also be considered for the year-end shopping list. Should you be more inclined to dry land, the luxurious world of Belmond offers a bespoke travel package that may ostensibly begin amid the charms of the Venetian lagoon, before embarking on iconic trains journeying across Alpine landscapes. Perfect, then, to be inspired for the year that is yet to come. Kenneth Tan

Photo IMAGE SOURCE

Robb Report


AGENDA

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Robb Report

EVENT GUIDE What’s worth doing this month. By SASHA GONZALES

THAILAND YACHT SHOW

15 to 18 Dec Held at the Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket, this event will feature superyachts that are larger than 100m as well as smaller boats from local and regional dealers. Events include morning cruises and demo shows as well as fashion and supercar parades. www.thailandyachtshow.com

Fine Jewels Auction

Hofburg Silvesterball

UBS Hong Kong Open 2016

13 Dec Sotheby’s London presents this auction, featuring a diverse selection of jewels from jewellery houses such as Boivin, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari. The pieces, which range from diamonds and pearls to coloured gemstones, start from £3,000 (RM16,000).

31 Dec Welcome 2017 at this famous ball, held at the Hofburg Vienna Imperial Palace. The night features an impressive programme, which will bring top-class performers from Vienna’s opera houses, bigname bands and orchestras to the former imperial winter residence.

8 to 11 Dec Join players like Justin Rose, Danny Willett, Patrick Reed and Rafael Cabrera Bello for this jewel in the crown of Asian golf. Held at the Hong Kong Golf Club, this is one of the longest running and most prestigious annual international sporting events in the city.

www.sothebys.com

www.hofburgsilvesterball.com

ubshkopen.com

Photos IAN WALTON/GETTY IMAGES, JASPER “YOGI” GOUGH, PHIL BLAKE, VIENNAPRESS/ANDREAS TISCHLER


MARCH 23 – 30, 2017 BASEL – SWITZERLAND

Witness the

DAWN OF TRENDS Baselworld is the single-most important trendsetting

market and witness the start of a new trendsetting cycle

show for the world’s watch and jewellery industry.

for the year.

What makes it unmissable is the fact that only here will you find all the key players representing every sector

Seize the unique opportunity to experience the interplay

of the industry together under one roof. Baselworld is

of passion and precision to create perfection. We

where the most prestigious international brands

invite you to join us at Baselworld, where you will be

unveil their innovations, creations and new collections

awe-struck by the spectacular pavilions, amazed at the

in the presence of world-class buyers and the global

new collections, and be amongst those who are a part of

press, all of whom unite here to take the pulse of the

history in the making!

See you at Baselworld 2017

BASELWORLD.COM


AGENDA

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Robb Report

ART CALENDAR Robb Report Malaysia presents this month’s most aesthetically pleasing picks for your viewing pleasure. By SASHA GONZALES

ST PETERSBURG BALLET – NUTCRACKER The critically acclaimed Russian ballet company performs the beloved Christmas ballet presentation, which recounts the adventures of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince and their journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of the Sweets. The full-length production features lavish sets, glorious costumes and the famous score by Tchaikovsky, which he wr0te in 1891. Where: Sydney Lyric Theatre When: 23 - 24 Dec

CIRQUE ADRENALINE

Tickets: From A$59 (RM191)

This heart-pumping production boasts a range of daring and death-defying theatrical acts, like the Wheel of Death and the Sphere of Fear, as well as dangerous motorbike stunts, trapeze shows, aerial acrobatic displays and a blazing fire act, all performed to pounding music. Over 50 professionals, many of whom had performed with Cirque du Soleil, will be giving their all on stage. Where: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore When: 15 - 25 Dec Tickets: S$38.50 (RM119)

THE BEST OF WEST END

ART BASEL

West End and Broadway performer Earl Carpenter, star of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Miserables, performs songs from his incredible career in some of the world’s greatest musicals, like Wicked, Cats, Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. Carpenter, who will also play the piano, will be joined on stage by guest singer Diana Chrisman and accompanist, Joel Nah. Where: British Club, Singapore

Iconic Miami Beach, with its art deco architecture and glittering nightlife, plays host to this renowned exhibition, which presents artworks from all over the world. Visitors can expect to see paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, digital art, photography and more, by over 4,000 artists represented by leading galleries. Among this year’s gallery line-up: Galerie Krinzinger from Austria, Maccarone from New York and Galeria Leandro Navarro from Spain. Where:

When: 18 Dec Tickets: S$85 (RM264)

Miami Beach When: 1 - 4 Dec Tickets: US$50 (RM221)


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FRONTRUNNERS

Robb Report

THE LATEST IN LUXURY

“A TABLE, A CHAIR, A BOWL OF FRUIT AND A VIOLIN; WHAT ELSE DOES A MAN NEED TO BE HAPPY?” Albert Einstein


December – 2016

FRONTRUNNERS

THE LATEST IN LUXURY

WINGED GLORY Phoenix Electric Violin By KENNETH TAN

I

t took a six-year ‘idealisation’ process, six extra months of construction, 100 sheets of fine 24-carat gold and a skilled artisan by the name of Alistair Hay to craft this Phoenix electric violin. In the final reckoning, its cost of US$100,000 (RM443,000) makes it the world’s most expensive electric violin. Hay crafted this piece in East Donegal, Ireland, where Emerald Guitars’ headquarters is located. He had previously customised guitars for a slew of international artists such as American guitarist Steve Vai and Taiwanese rock sensation Wang Lee Hom. His latest opus, the Phoenix electric violin, follows a similar vein of dramatic expression with colour-changing peridot eyes from Zcova, and gold-gilded wings which are perfectly formed to fit the body of its wearer – Malaysian musician and violin virtuoso Dennis Lau. “It fits me like how I imagine a suit on Batman must feel like,” Lau says.

emeraldguitars.com ∆

Photo AML OPTICS

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FRONTRUNNERS

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Robb Report

THE LATEST IN LUXURY

Blanc Canvas

A

Delve into the heart of Raymond Blanc’s legendary Oxfordshire restaurant-hotel.

n intimate introduction to the two-Michelinstarred country house manor, this special edition of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons: The Story of a Modern Classic (£250, RM1,287) will delight gourmands and fans of Raymond Blanc. Not only is it a personal tour of Le Manoir through the four seasons by the legendary chef himself, but it also contains 120 of its finest recipes. www.raymondblanc.com

To Have And To Hold

Applying perfume becomes an exquisite art with Dauphine’s flacons a parfum.

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roudly crafted in England, Dauphine’s perfume jewellery comes finely engineered in solid silver, overlaid in hand-ground enamels and precisionengraved in an intricate guilloche finish. These handmade, refillable phials (£4,000, RM20,626) transform the application of perfume into an ornate ritual. There’s even the option to enhance your Dauphine further through bespoke detailing, such as a 24-carat, gold-plated vermeil finish or the addition of precious stones. www.dauphine.london

Burning Bright

T

Wilnelia Forsyth gives Christmas a glamorous Puerto Rican twist.

here’s far more to the festive season than mistletoe and wine, as Wilnelia Forsyth London’s Celebration Candle (£55, RM283) will prove. Its fragrance – an uplifting blend of rose, patchouli, sandalwood, frankincense and cypress oil – infuses each space with a heady party spirit. The candle’s chic matte black jar is decorated with gold sketches of the streets of Old San Juan. www.wilneliaforsyth.com


FRONTRUNNERS

December – 2016

THE LATEST IN LUXURY

Primary Inspiration

E

Soccer legend Eric Cantona trades the football for the loupe.

ric Cantona is as well known for his rebellious streak as he is for his legendary Manchester United playing career. It is fitting then, that his brand ambassador role for Hautlence has resulted in the creation of the Vortex Primary (RM895,000), limited to 18 pieces worldwide. The piece features 19 primary-colour crystals laid out in a manner similar to stained glass windows, including on either side for more views of the movement. Within the angular case, the HL2.0 calibre can be found featuring chaindriven half-trailing hours, retrograde minutes and an indicator for the 40-hour power reserve. www.hautlence.com

Blacked Out

Cocoa Jumbo

Studio Piet Boon drains the colour from a Range Rover.

T

Whisky or chocolate? Why not both

utch designer Piet Boon has customised over 10 limited editions for Land Rover in the last decade, the latest of which is Last Defender by Piet Boon. Seen here is the bespoke Range Rover (RM1.29 million), a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 variant exclusive to Malaysia and available by special order. Further customisation is offered by Sime Darby Auto Connexion.

his year’s whisky of the year at The International Whisky Competition in Chicago offers a masterclass in the use of highroasted chocolate malt, tumbled in the same manner as coffee beans. The Glenmorangie Signet (RM847) displays a finish which is unlikely to be imitated or forgotten; an intense and lingering vanilla creaminess which complements the mild initial coffee notes. As a result, the Signet is as comforting as a caffe mocha with an incredible depth that includes oranges and cinnamon in the background.

www.landrover.com

www.glenmorangie.com

D

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FRONTRUNNERS

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Robb Report

THE LATEST IN LUXURY

Bridging The Gap

Benromach’s current aged-statement leader straddles a rich legacy.

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eplacing the Benromach 30 Years Old is this bottle of golden amber greatness, laid down to mature in the 1980s by Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd and bottled by new owner Gordon and MacPhail 35 years later. The Benromach 35 Years Old (RM3,600) is an exceptional Speyside single malt whisky. It is best enjoyed neat or with a drop of water, displaying a delicate edge of charred oak. On the bottle, special debossing curves down to a copper-cut medallion sporting the number 1898, signifying the year ground was first broken on the distillery site. www.benromach.com

A Price On Perfection

The Family Reserve marks a century and a half of the Grant family at the helm.

T

he Glenfarclas £511.19s0d Family Reserve (RM590) is a limited release celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Grant family’s ownership of the famed distillery. Its name recalls the purchase price at which Glenfarclas was acquired, a mere 511 pounds sterling, 19 shillings and no pence — or about £57,000 adjusted for inflation. Only 600 bottles out of a total production run of 10,000 are available in Malaysia. Due to its rarity, it is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity with a photocopy of the purchase invoice of the distillery on the reverse. www.glenfarclas.co.uk

Lucky Strike

T

Chopard hits the right note with its 20th-anniversary celebrations.

wo decades after its birth, Chopard introduces its first minute repeater, the LUC Full Strike, limited to 20 pieces in Fairmined gold. Developed, produced and assembled entirely inhouse, the mechanism within it is imbued with enough energy to call out the time of 12:59 up to 12 times with a single full reserve of power. Its sapphire crystal gong is formed together with the watch glass from a single sapphire block. The absence of breaks in between the gong and glass enables perfect transmission of acoustic waves, creating a full-bodied sound. www.chopard.com


AUCTIONS

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Robb Report

OFF THE BLOCK We keep you up to date with the hottest lots under the hammer. By RENYI LIM

Nickelodeon by Adrian Ghenie

Auctioned by Christie’s in London for £7.1 million (RM38.8 million). standout lot at Christie’s PostWar & Contemporary Art evening auction, Nickelodeon exceeded its pre-sale estimate of £1 million to £1.5 million. Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie constructed the vast work in two parts from oil, acrylic and tape on canvas. Through his work, the viewer realises that film, TV and Internet content can illuminate, disguise and confuse an audience. www.christies.com

A

Vacheron Constantin Lord Kalla wristwatch

Auctioned by Antiquorum in New York for US$285,750 (RM1.3 million). rafed in the 1980s, this haute joaillerie timepiece is characterised by its lavish use of precious stones. The dial features gold dauphine hands and 26 baguette diamonds on a yellow gold grid-plate, while its two-body, 18-carat yellow gold frame and case are formed from 41 rows set with 287 baguette diamonds. The case’s seven-millimetre thickness conceals a rhodium-plated movement with 22 jewels, lateral lever escapement and a fausses cotes decoration. www.antiquorum.com

C

Paysage dans la lune by Zao Wou-Ki

Auctioned by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong for HK$46.68 million (RM26.64 million). rare work from Chinese-French artist Zao Wouki’s early Oracle Bone series, Paysage dans la lune is an ambiguous, abstract exploration of the moon’s eternal light. Signed in Chinese and Pinyin, the oilon-canvas work measures 117cm by 88.5cm. Zao’s appreciation of nature is expressed through minimalist aesthetics and subtle nods towards primitive forms of Chinese calligraphy. The painting’s unusual palate points towards a departure from concrete figuratives, where half-familiar symbols swiftly dissolve into a monochromatic background.

A

www.sothebys.com

Antiquorum and Sotheby’s photos KLITON CEKU, ARNOLD LEE


ALWAYS FESTIVE THE GRANDEST OF GIFTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

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36

PORTFOLIO

OUT IN THE OPEN The LaFerrari Aperta is the fastest way to go al fresco in a Ferrari. By VISHAL BHASKARAN

Robb Report


PORTFOLIO

December – 2016

U

nveiled at Mondial de l’Automobile 2016 in Paris, Ma ra nello’s hy percar of the decade loses its top but gains unspeakable desirability. The Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta (€1,860,000, RM8,538,666), performs every bit as otherworldly as does the coupe; the same hybrid power unit combination of a 6.3-litre V12 engine with a 120kW electric motor good for 950hp and over 900Nm. A choice of two manually removable lids is presented, a fabric

soft top and a carbon fibre hardtop. Subtle changes performed over the bodywork and under the skin have bestowed Aperta with an unchanged drag coefficient even when open, while special attention to wind flow management ensures aerodynamic and acoustic comfort in the cabin. Prior to the global reveal, Ferrari confirmed that the entire 200-unit run of Aperta had been spoken for, unseen, following a private event with handpicked clients. auto.ferrari.com ≠

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PORTFOLIO

Never before seen in watchmaking, the Astronomia Sky introduces a three-dimensional sidereal display.

OUT OF THIS WORLD Jacob & Co’s Astronomia Sky builds on its predecessor’s daring nature.

Robb Report


PORTFOLIO

December – 2016

By JAMES D MALCOLMSON

T

ruly appreciating the latest timepiece from Jacob & Co starts with understanding its antecedent. “After the first version (Astronomia), we really wanted to connect the watch with the stars,” explains Luca Soprana, the watchdevelopment specialist behind the creation that Jacob & Co unveiled in 2014. That extravagantly complicated timepiece features a time display and tourbillon, as well as representations of the Earth and moon that rotate on spokes around a central axis - all visible beneath an expansive sapphire dome. The watch bucked a trend toward conservatism in new timepieces, and while it drew admirers within the Swiss watchmaking establishment, it also encountered some sceptics. Jacob & Co has silenced much of the criticism with its new

Astronomia Sky. It incorporates a sidereal-time display that tracks the movement of the stars with zodiac indications. Says Soprana: “Jacob’s idea,” he adds - referring to Jacob & Co founder and chairman Jacob Arabo “was really to create a sort of planetarium with all the stars and planets going around.” Astronomia Sky’s star chart lies under an inverted dome over the movement, with a moving oval indicating the stars above the Geneva latitude. The dome rotates imperceptibly, about one degree per day to account for the orbit of the Earth around the sun that differentiates a sidereal day (23 hours, 56 minutes, 4.1 seconds) from a solar day. Soprana had to create special planetary gearing to accurately render the massive speed reduction. www.jacobandco.com ≠

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ROBB COLLECTIONS

Robb Report

ELEGANT LUXURIOUS STYLISH

“ONLY THE GUY WHO ISN’T ROWING HAS TIME TO ROCK THE BOAT.” Jean-Paul Sartre


December - 2016

ROBB COLLECTIONS

41

ELEGANT LUXURIOUS STYLISH

SHINY AND NEW Swarovski Crystal By SAM YEN

The steel-grey dappled horse sits on a base of black oak and its fittings are made of silver.

T

he Stevenson brothers, who count Joanna Lumley and Frankie Dettori among their fans, are equestrian experts. And by that we mean that they produce the best rocking horses in the world, each lovingly handcrafted in their studio in Kent. Alongside more typical horses, they also make other animals, including a zebra, a tiger

and now Crystal, the world’s first Swarovski crystal rocking horse. A collaboration between the brothers and Fernandes Exquisite Creations, Crystal is covered in some 80,000 crystals. Nuno and Rebecca Fernandes, owners Fernandes Exquisite Creations, commissioned the design and embellished the rocking horse, Photo SARA LAW

which took almost six months to complete by twins Marc and Tony Stevenson. Shimmering and glittering in the light, it seems appropriate that Crystal is meant to enthral a child this Christmas. A child whose parents have £98,400 (RM536,900) to spare, that is. www.stevensonbros.com ≠


ROBB COLLECTIONS

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Robb Report

ELEGANT LUXURIOUS STYLISH

THE BIRTH OF BEAUTY The Graff Venus By RENYI LIM

The 118.78-carat Graff Venus (price upon request) is the largest D Flawless heart-shaped diamond to be cut and polished.

 O

ne wonders what the frisson of excitement that ran through Graff Diamonds must have been like when a 357-carat rough diamond was unearthed at the famed Letseng mine in Lesotho. Even in its base form, it showed signs of outstanding colour, clarity and a quality of the highest standard, imbued with the potential to make diamond history.

The Graff team stepped up to the challenge of creating a phenomenal heartshaped diamond, using advanced laser technology to make the initial cuts before putting it to the wheel. In a process that involved hours of painstaking work, including an operation to make the cleft between the two rounded spheres of the heart. www.graffdiamonds.com â‰


December - 2016

ROBB COLLECTIONS ELEGANT LUXURIOUS STYLISH

ROARING MIGHT Franck Muller Vanguard Harimau By SAM YEN

H

onouring Malaysia’s 60th year of independence in 2017 is a special motif on the dial of the latest limited-edition Vanguard: the ferocious countenance of the Malayan tiger. Below the jaw of the beast is the date display, while the applique numerals are curved at their tops to surround its circular relief. This piece, which is among many

others from Watchland that is on show at this month’s Sincere Fine Watches 100 Complications Exhibition, comes in a selection of three case materials. Two titanium versions (RM38,821), blackened and brushed, are limited to 28 and 38 pieces respectively, and the third, seen here, is an exclusive pink gold proposition (RM91,355) limited to just 18 pieces. www.franckmuller.com ≠

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GRAND OPENINGS

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Q LOUNGE

Aston Martin relocates to the heart of the city. By VISHAL BHASKARAN

T

he re-entry of Aston Martin to Malaysia under the stewardship of Wearnes has now culminated in new digs for the British producer of highperformance automobiles, a mere stone’s throw from the worldfamous Petronas Twin Towers. Presenting up to five Aston Martin vehicles in a gallery-style space, the showroom features private rooms and lounges for

customers to tailor their purchases through the Q by Aston Martin personalisation service. Among the sensational highlights to be experienced is the all-new DB11 (from RM2 million), the brand’s latest product and its most powerful to wear the DB moniker. Aston Martin Kuala Lumpur Ground Floor, Lot 1.3, Etiqa Twins, No. 11 Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur +60 3 2163 1196 www.astonmartin.com ∆

Robb Report


December – 2016

GRAND OPENINGS

45

Patrons who order the signature Beancan Toasted Freerange Baby Chicken (inset) can see it being set alight at the table.

DOWN THE BOULEVARD

A new restaurant in the heart of Kuala Lumpur brings Paris, New York and London to Malaysia. By JASON LIM

I

nspired by her frequent travels, local entrepreneur Nur Nadia Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin has taken her favourite aspects of restaurants from her favourite countries and combined them into a new dining experience in Kuala Lumpur. Blvd House gives new meaning to casual dining, with a menu range that riffs on the jet-set founder’s version of comfort foods:

from margherita pizza and truffle fries, to barbecued chicken with baked beans and miso cod. The ambience is relaxed and unstuffy, with the staff under the watchful attention of Ansgar Schlemmer, a German native with a wealth of experience in Michelinstarred restaurants. Blvd

Photos SHAFEEX STUDIO

House Naza Tower, Platinum Park, 11 Persiaran KLCC Tel:+603 2630 9999 www.blvdhouse.com ≠


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GRAND OPENINGS

Robb Report

THE HOUSE THAT RALPH BUILT


GRAND OPENINGS

December - 2016

47

By JASON LIM

A stunning new flagship in London is the ultimate expression of the world of Polo Ralph Lauren.

Timed to coincide with London Fashion Week, the new opening is part of Ralph Lauren’s plans to streamline its brands and attract an edgier, cooler customer to Polo. Inset: David Lauren.

“T

he city of London has inspired the company for almost 50 years,” says David Lauren, chief innovation officer and vice chairman and youngest son of Ralph Lauren. “The name Polo comes from a great English sensibility and the sport that my father watched from America. He wanted to create clothing that embodied this lifestyle.” From being inspired by the rich heritage and tradition of England, it is most fitting that Polo Ralph Lauren’s first flagship store in Europe is on Regent Street in London. The flagship sprawls across three floors, measuring up to a whopping

1,631sqm. The Regent Street store is also the first flagship to debut The Polo Custom Shop: a customisation service that allows customers to put their own spin on the brand’s most iconic pieces such as Oxford and polo shirts, navy blazers and the Sullivan saddlebag. Shoppers can choose their own colours for fabrics, embroidery and monogramming as well as artwork ranging from the iconic Polo pony, national flags, polo bears and a variety of dog breeds including an English bulldog and a Corgi. Polo Ralph Lauren Flagship Store 169-173 Regent Street Tel +44 20 71137400 www.ralphlauren.com ≠


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Robb Report

“TRAVELLING – IT LEAVES YOU SPEECHLESS, THEN TURNS YOU INTO A STORYTELLER.” Ibn Battuta


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December – 2016

Photo MIKE THEISS


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Robb Report

FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF SOUND An AS2 supersonic private jet from Aerion

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers From US$120 million (S$168 million)


51

December – 2016

T

here’s nothing new about supersonic flight. Military aircraft exceed the speed of sound every day, and until 2003, civilian passengers could travel on the Concorde fleet. But building a nextgeneration transport jet to replace the Concorde has proven a frustrating quest, thanks to the high price of fuel, the astronomical cost of bringing a new aircraft design from drawing board to market, and the noise restrictions that forbid supersonic flight over the US, Europe and other parts of the world. These factors don’t favour a positive costbenefit analysis. Ne ver t heless , Aer ion Corporation is determined to build the first supersonic business jet. The Nevada-based company has patented a wing design that promises top-of-class efficiencies. It has secured deeppocket financial backing from billionaire Robert Bass. And it has formed a partnership with Airbus that provides access to its engineering expertise. Aerion was established in 2002, and two years ago it began developing the AS2. It expects to fly the aircraft for the first time in 2021 and begin deliveries in 2023. It already has at least 20 aircraft on order and backed by refundable

By MARY GRADY

The designers want to maximise the choices so each cabin can suit the preferences of the buyer. ± WHAT YOU GET • An Aerion AS2 supersonic private jet with customisable cabin features

deposits. Those jets are reserved for the fractional-ownership company Flexjet, which placed the order in 2015. The AS2’s designers are aiming for a maximum speed of Mach 1.5 (about 1,593km/ hr) and a 9,656km range. When flying over most land areas, the pilots will have to throttle back to subsonic speeds, but the hours gained over water or less-restricted parts of the world could shorten flight times substantially. For example, you’ll save more than six hours flying from San Francisco to Singapore. Aerion is working with Design, an automotive and aviation design consultancy based in England, to develop additional options for the nine-metre-long cabin. The standard configuration seats eight in club seating, but the designers want to maximise the choices so each cabin can suit the preferences of the buyer. DesignQ CEO Howard Guy says it’s a challenging project because the cabin is relatively small compared to those of nonsupersonic ultralong-range jets such as the Gulfstream G650 and Dassault Falcon 8X, and it tapers slightly from front to back. But, he says, “there are no excuses — everything has to be the best.” Aerion, Ernie Edwards, +1 775 337 6682, sales@aerioncorp.com ≠


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Robb Report

HIDDEN BANGKOK

Explore unseen corners of Thailand’s capital at The Siam By SAM YEN

T

he Siam invites you on a journey to discover the real Bangkok, using the stunning Bill Bensley-designed riverside hotel as a base. Your six-day, five-night journey will centre around Connie’s Cottage, the ultimate residence at The Siam that was built in the ancient capital Ayutthaya, then carefully brought downriver to its new home. On a chosen evening, you’ll enjoy a glorious sunset on The Siam’s pier before being whisked away down the Chao Phraya in a private boat to waiting tuk-tuks that will take you on a night ride into the hidden corners of Bangkok. From rooftop cocktails, speakeasy-style dens and

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 31 December 2017

US$10,000 (S$14,000)* per couple

± WHAT YOU GET • A six-day/five-night stay at Connie’s Cottage, The Siam • A bespoke tuk-tuk tour • Daily private Muay Thai lessons

craft beer bars, the itinerary will be curated based on your preferences. Back at The Siam, you will have the opportunity to enjoy daily Muay Thai lessons conducted in the hotel’s private boxing ring, accompanied by Olympic Muay Thai trainer Kru Yim, plus a Muay Thai massage to follow to ease the muscles. The Siam’s chef Damri will also be on hand to introduce you to Thai cuisine, taking you from a food market to the kitchen to a fine dining experience. Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv.com. sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠

* Price does not include flights to/from Bangkok and expenses incurred at external establishments in the Thai capital.


53

December – 2016

EXOTIC BOAT, EXOTIC LOCALE A two-week adventure on Dunia Baru By DARYL LEE

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers

US$207,900 (S$294,000)

S ± WHAT YOU GET • 14-day charter of the Dunia Baru superyacht, inclusive of a 20-man crew • Access to seven cabins on board • Cruise to and around the Komodo islands and Alor archipelago from Labuan Bajo

uperyachts are one-of-akind, but even among such rarefied company, Dunia Baru stands out. Built with traditional Indonesian techniques and materials, she has all the amenities and equipment of a modern superyacht. It should be quite fitting, then, that there is a two week-long charter to a stunning part of the world on this stunning craft – to the Alor archipelago and around the Komodo islands. The charter comes with a full complement of 20 crew members and over the two weeks,

you’ll enjoy on-board hospitality and one of seven beautiful cabins. Unforgettable experiences include a bamboo-spear whale hunt on hand-carved paddlepowered boats off Lembata, a spirit cleansing ceremony performed by headhunters on the main Alor island, and witnessing the active Kumba volcano. Gift is available for charter between April and October 2017. Please email

ultimategiftguide@imv.com.

sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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Robb Report

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 15 February 2017

US$29,950 (S$42,000)


55

December – 2016

POLO WITH GIANTS An exclusive opportunity to play in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament By DARYL LEE

T

he Anantara Siam Bangkok hotel is offering Robb Report readers an opportunity to be a part of its team at the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, with a player spot on the hotel’s elephant polo team. One of Bangkok’s premier society events, the elephant polo tournament will see a number of teams playing polo in a charity event astride some of nature’s most majestic animals. The tournament is a charity fundraising event, and US$10,000 from the package will benefit the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant

± WHAT YOU GET • Player spot on Anantara team for one person • Daily entry into VIP area of King’s Cup throughout event (regardless of team’s advancement) for two people • Accommodation in the Presidential Suite at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel (8-12 March) for two • Daily breakfast in hotel for two • Daily chauffeured transfers in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class from hotel to polo pitch and back • Daily sports massage treatment

Foundation, an organisation that performs elephant street rescue efforts, along with supporting their handlers and their families. You’ll get to enjoy a daily sports massage after your hard-fought match, and access to the private VIP lounge at the tournament. You and a guest will also spend five nights in the Anantara Siam Bangkok’s Presidential Suite, plus be ferried to and from the polo grounds in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Gift must be purchased by 15 February 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@ imv.com.sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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Robb Report

“SOME COUPLES GO OVER THEIR BUDGETS VERY CAREFULLY EVERY MONTH. OTHERS JUST GO OVER THEM.” Katherine Mansfield


57

December – 2016

Photo GETTY IMAGES/CULTURA RF


58

Robb Report

FROM THE STREETS TO THE SEA EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers

From US$37 million (S$52 million)

A 50m semi-custom Benetti Fisker 50 By SHAUN TOLSON

H

enrik Fisker hadn’t designed a yacht in more than two decades, but when he casually mentioned his interest in styling a yacht with Benetti, the Italian shipyard immediately agreed to the project. The 50m semi-custom Benetti Fisker 50 can become a reality for whoever purchases this gift. Not surprisingly, Fisker’s automotive background has influenced the yacht’s look. The curved shape of the hull near the stern calls to mind

± WHAT YOU GET • A 50m semi-custom Benetti Fisker 50 yacht that can accommodate 12 guests

the haunches of a sports car, and the bow, accented with black carbon fibre and horizontal stainless-steel bars, resembles the grille. Fisker’s plans call for six cabins that can accommodate a total of 12 guests. The interiors can be completely customised; if you want your yacht configured as Fisker conceived it, he is available to advise you. Benetti James Clayton, +1 305 335 9000 james.clayton@benettiyachts. it, benettiyachts.it ≠


59

December - 2016

GIVE IT A WHIRL A rare Roger Dubuis timepiece and a tour of the brand’s workshop in Geneva By HO YUN KUAN

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers in December 2016

S$830,000

W

hen one tourbillon isn’t good enough, try two. As one of the world’s few 100 per cent Poincon de Geneve certified watchmakers, Roger Dubuis is no stranger to the complication and definitely has the expertise to build it. What’s rare, however, is this particular version of the Excalibur Double Flying Tourbillon. Limited to just 88 pieces, its 45mm rose gold case is fully paved with baguettecut diamonds. Powering the timepiece is calibre RD01SQ, f u l ly skeleton ised a nd beautifully decorated.

± WHAT YOU GET • An all-expenses-paid trip for two to Geneva for three days and two nights • Tour of the Roger Dubuis manufacture for two • The Excalibur Double Flying Tourbillon timepiece

Be the proud owner of this masterpiece and enjoy an exclusive experience at the Roger Dubuis manufacture with a partner. The gift also includes an allexpenses-paid, three-day-two-night trip to Geneva, with an itinerary that will cover the best the city has to offer. Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2016 and the trip must be taken by 30 June 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv.com. sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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Robb Report

LAID IN GOLD A one-of-a-kind Paillonne timepiece by Jaquet Droz, customised to your preferences By HO YUN KUAN

EXCLUSIVE

±

ROBB REPORT GIFT

WHAT YOU GET

Exclusively for Robb Report readers in December 2016

• A Paillonne timepiece by Jaquet Droz with customised paillons and enamel colour

From S$70,000

I

magine carving m i n i s c u le patterns, each perhaps no more than five millimetres long, out of tissue-thin pure gold foil. This is the art of paillonne, often used in combination with grand feu enamelling – another age-old art form that takes years to master – to create paillonne enamelling. The art has been practised by Jaquet Droz since the 18th century. The watch’s dial is first covered with a powder of coloured glass, which is repeatedly fired in a kiln at temperatures of over 800 degrees. The glass melts to cover the dial with a glossy, liquidlike glaze. Once the enamel is completed, the paillons are applied to the surface and sealed

with a top coat of transparent enamel, called fondant. L ook into Jaquet Droz’s archives and one will see many examples of pocket watches, clocks and wristwatches beautifully decorated with the tapestry-like pattern of paillons arranged on richly coloured enamel. Own a piece of fine art history with a bespoke Jaquet Droz Paillonne timepiece, with the design of the paillons and shade of the enamel fully customised to your whims and fancies. Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2016. Please email ultimategiftguide@ imv.com.sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport.com.my for more details. ≠


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December - 2016

IN THE BAG Bottega Veneta’s classic Cabat in Soft Nero Crocodile By JASON LIM

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers in December 2016

S$112,300

± WHAT YOU GET • One exquisitely crafted Cabat in Soft Nero Crocodile • Progress updates from Bottega Veneta to inform you about the various stages in the making of your bag

S

ince its birth in 2001, the Cabat has held pride of place as one of Bottega Veneta’s most iconic silhouettes. Creative director Tomas Maier’s aim was to create a functional tote that was soft and collapsible, with no seams or frame and that would hold its shape when empty. This December, the Cabat in Soft Nero Crocodile is available for exclusive order by

Robb Report readers at Bottega Veneta’s Customisation Atelier in Ion Orchard. The bag is made-toorder and will take approximately six months to complete from date of purchase. Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2016. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv.com. sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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Robb Report

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers in December 2016

From €200,000 (S$303,000)

TIME OUT A pair of bespoke his and hers Montblanc timepieces and a private tour of the brand’s Villeret workshop By HO YUN KUAN

T

o witness some of the finest work modern horology has to offer, one will have to travel to Villeret and the eponymous workshop run by Montblanc. Only a few hundred timepieces are made in its premises each year, all using age-old techniques and done fully by hand. Masterpieces include the Montblanc Collection Villeret Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition, which has two discs displaying 24 time zones revolving around two miniature globes, and the Timewriter 1: Metamorphosis,

± WHAT YOU GET • A pair of return air tickets and accommodation for two • Tour of the Villeret workshop and lunch with Davide Cerrato, watch category managing director • A pair of bespoke his and hers Villeret timepieces

with the time and date displays on two subdials that split down the middle to reveal chronograph functions beneath. Montblanc is inviting one reader to tour the workshop with a loved one. Have a pair of matching bespoke couple’s watches made and collect them at Villeret. The trip comes complete with flights and accommodation. Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2016. Please email ultimategiftguide@ imv.com.sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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December – 2016

SOUND AND FURY An exceptional pair of speakers from Bang & Olufsen with complimentary customisation

By DARYL LEE

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 31 December 2017

S$120,000

A

s pure sculpture, it’s difficult to beat the Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90. Its aluminium cabinet resembles more an alien obelisk from a science fiction movie than a pair of speakers. Fortunately, the BeoLab 90 does more than serve as an interesting living room centrepiece. Each speaker houses 18 speaker drivers scattered throughout its aluminium-and-wood enclosure, in effect making it a self-contained

360-degree surround sound system. The BeoLab 90 is customisable too, and for Robb Report readers, Bang & Olufsen is offering complimentary customisation.

±

Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv.com.sg

for

enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠ Photo CASPER SEJERSEN

WHAT YOU GET • A pair of Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90 speakers • Complimentary customisation


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Robb Report

CHARMING CHIME A masterpiece by Panerai and a Florentine adventure By HO YUN KUAN

B

efore the advent of electricity, bells and chimes were the only ways to tell time once darkness fell. It was for this reason that the minute repeater mechanism was invented, and it is precisely because of this technical significance that keeps collectors interested today. The complication is particularly important to Panerai due to the brand’s association with the Italian navy. On ships, the striking of the bell marks meal times, rouses the crew in the morning and indicates the end of each watch. Panerai pays tribute to its maritime legacy with the Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT PAM600. Housing the manufacture movement P.2005/MR, the watch strikes the time with three hammers instead of the more traditional two, so the resultant chime has more of a melody. The repeater function can be used for both the local time and the second time zone, effectively

making it a double hour and minute repeater mechanism. Purchase this timepiece (or another watch, subject to agreement with the brand) to enjoy a private tour of the brand’s manufacture and a comprehensive tour of Florence, its birth city. Gift must be purchased by 30 November 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@ imv.com.sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbrepor t.com.sg robbrepor t.com.my

or for

more details. ≠

±

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 30 November 2017

From S$600,000

WHAT YOU GET • A visit to the Panerai manufacture for two • A tour around Florence for two • The Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT PAM600 timepiece


65

December - 2016

COSTUME PARTY A private Carnival of Venice experience with Damiani By HO YUN KUAN

EXCLUSIVE

F

east, dance and imbibe, the Venetians certainly did at the annual Carnival of Venice, where an elaborate dress code requiring all participants to turn up in their flashiest costumes and most elaborate masks gave them a liberating anonymity to enjoy without judgement. Today, the festival remains a highlight on the city’s tourism calendar. Get into the spirit of the masquerade with Damiani’s Tribute and Legend bracelet. The first has amethyst, quartz, peridot and diamond gems shaped to represent the letters that spell out Damiani set on a background of 1,176

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 15 January 2017

S$330,000

± WHAT YOU GET • A pair of business-class return tickets to Milan • Three-day stay at Danieli Hotel from 16 to 19 February • Private tours around Venice and its neighbouring towns • An exclusive experience at the Carnival of Venice hosted by Damiani

pave grey and white diamonds. The latter is a beautifully articulated piece with 264 pave white diamonds set on the edges of each segment for the more minimalist festival goer. Purchase of both pieces entitles the buyer to a once-in-alifetime experience with Damiani at next year’s Carnival of Venice, a private tour around Venice and its surrounding towns, a stay at the luxurious Danieli Hotel, and return flights. Gift must be purchased by 15 January 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv.com. sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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Robb Report

“SEIZE THE MOMENT. REMEMBER ALL THOSE WOMEN ON THE TITANIC WHO WAVED OFF THE DESSERT CART.” Erma Bombeck


Photo GETTY IMAGES


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Robb Report

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 30 November 2017

US$650,000 (S$917,000)

THE ART OF WINE

A one-of-a-kind collection of 59 wines from the Mouton Rothschild Artist collection


69

December – 2016

± WHAT YOU GET • One bottle of the 1924 vintage • One bottle each of the vintages from 1945 to 2000, with the exception of two bottles each for the 1978 and 1993 vintages

I

By CHARMAINE TAI

n the 1920s, it wasn’t common for wine bottles to sport flamboyant design labels. Chateau Mouton Rothschild however, took a bold step in 1924 by collaborating with poster artist Jean Carlu to design its wine label. Even with its success, the brand waited until 1945 before establishing the tradition of having famous artists design its wine labels each year. The artists include Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. One lucky Robb Report reader now has the chance to purchase the Mouton Rothschild Artist Collection. It includes a bottle of the first artist initiative by Carlu, and one bottle each of the vintages from 1945 to 2000. Two highlights of the collection are the years 1978 and 1993, for which two bottles are included. Jean Paul Riopelle designed two labels for the former year, while Balthasar Klossowski de Rola designed two labels (French and American) for the latter year. Of the 59 bottles in the collection, 16 have been autographed by the respective artists, out of which nine also bear personal hand-drawings on the reverse side of the bottles. Only one set of this collection is available for purchase by 30 November 2017. Delivery is available outside Singapore. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv. com.sg for enquiries and to purchase.

Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠ TERMS AND CONDITIONS Please allow four to six weeks to prepare the wine for delivery.


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Robb Report

UNFORGETTABLE PARTIES A specially crafted themed event for 88 guests

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± WHAT YOU GET • Louis Roederer Cristal champagne, The Macallan 18-yearold scotch, Comenico Clerico Ciabot Mentin Barolo wines, vodka shots and M57 shooters • A bedecked and exclusive party space within the highest bar and entertainment venue in Kuala Lumpur • Oyster, tuna belly sashimi, seafood and caviar bar with roasted dryaged Wagyu cuts and desserts • Private DJ and dance floor

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers in December 2016

FROM RM257,000++ (S$80,000++)

By KENNETH TAN

ew spaces match the style of Marini’s on 57 – the goto destination of visiting celebrities and Kuala Lumpur’s social elite. Its offering for this Ultimate Gift Guide showcases its signature repertoire: best-in-class drinks and cuisine served in its soaring space. You can be sure that it will be a night to remember for you and your guests – up to 88 of them. Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2016 with at least 10 days advance booking. Please email ultimategiftguide@ imv.com.sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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December – 2016

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers in December 2016

US$20,000++ (S$28,000++)

IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING A two-night rendezvous of food, wine and song at Asia’s most exclusive suite and club By KENNETH TAN AND SAM YEN

T

his month, Resorts World Genting offers Robb Report readers a two-night stay in the Belgravia suite on the Crockfords Executive Floor, a private space reserved for selected guests only. You and five other friends will sink into the opulent space that feels like a villa at altitude. Over the two nights, Resorts World Genting will put the best of its culinary stars at your disposal. Award-winning sommelier Kevin Yee will take

± WHAT YOU GET • A two-night stay in the exclusive Belgravia penthouse suite • Two curated dinners, paired with five bottles of vintage wines • Access to the exclusive Genting Club for a night of entertainment, with three bottles of Ace of Spades champagne

you on a private tour of the wine collection, then select five bottles to pair with two curated dinners at the swanky E18hteen. The gift also includes a night of entertainment, as well as three bottles of Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades champagne, at the members-only Genting Club. Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2016. Please email ultimategiftguide@ imv.com.sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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Robb Report

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 28 February 2017

S$50,000


73

December – 2016

TIME FOR TEA A unique TWG Tea handpainted masterpiece and signature tea tasting session By AARON DE SILVA

O

ne of the most appealing aspects of stepping into a TWG Tea Salon & Boutique is the visual delight of colourful tins lining the shelves from floor to ceiling, each offering the promise of a vibrant bouquet of aromas and flavours. The signature ha ndpa inted ti ns – a collaboration between TWG co-founder Taha Bouqdib and a French artist – have been an indelible part of the brand right from the start, and are admired the world over for their vivid designs and rich hues. Now, TWG is offering one Robb Report reader the opportunity to own a one-of-akind tin handpainted by the artist. Requiring 36 hours of work and meticulous attention to detail, this personalised piece of art has never

been seen or reproduced anywhere else in the world. The tin will come with 2.5 kg of your favourite tea, chosen from a selection of more than 800 fine harvests and exclusive blends. To complete the bespoke experience, the recipient and seven guests are invited to a personalised tea tasting session led by one of TWG’s tea connoisseurs, who will g u ide t he party through the unique characteristics of the brand’s finest teas. For an added touch of luxury, the experience includes a selection of TWG Tea’s most precious tea accessories, to ensure a perfect tea service each time. Gift must be

The recipient and seven guests are invited to a personalised tea tasting session led by one of TWG’s tea connoisseurs. ± WHAT YOU GET • A custom-handpainted tea tin with 2.5kg of tea of your choice • A personalised tea tasting session for a party of eight

purchased by 28 February 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv.com. sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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Robb Report

“I SUPPOSE I COULD HAVE STAYED HOME AND BAKED COOKIES AND HAD TEAS.” Hillary Clinton


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December – 2016

Photo DOGAYUSUFDOKDOK


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Robb Report

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 31 December 2016

S$130,890 (24L) S$197,080 (40L)

LET THERE BE LIGHT Baccarat’s Le Roi Soleil crystal chandelier By AARON DE SILVA

B ± WHAT YOU GET • A Baccarat Le Roi Soleil crystal chandelier designed by Marcel Wanders

accarat’s Zenith crystal chandelier has been around since the early 19th century. In its contemporary guise, the iconic light fixture has been given updates from every designer of note, from Philippe Starck to Jaime Hayon and now, Marcel Wanders. Wanders’ reinterpretation is called Le Roi Soleil in honour of France’s Sun King Louis XIV. In redesigning the contours and softening the angles, Wanders stretched and distorted the branches,

tassels and octagons in order to create the perfect sphere. The crystal shades are adorned with cut motifs inclined to embrace the curves of the fixture and reflect or refract the optimum amount of light. The made-to-order chandelier comes in two sizes, with either 24 or 40 lights. Gift must be purchased by 31 December 2016. Please email

ultimategiftguide@imv.com.

sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


77

December – 2016

HOUSE FIDELITY Burmester’s all-in-one home entertainment system

B

urmester has released its first all-in-one home-music system: the Burmester Phase 3. It features the German hi-fi brand’s new 161 receiver, which combines a preamplifier, a 120-watt power amplifier and a music server. Phase 3 also includes a pair of Burmester’s new B15 loudspeakers. The receiver and speakers are available only in this system. The 161 is based on Burmester’s 151 MusicCenter and has a CD drive and two-terabyte hard drive. It offers easy streaming from home computer networks, digital devices and online music services. Its reference-grade digital-to-analogue converter can process resolutions as high as 24 bits/192kHz. And it’s equipped with

By BAILEY S BARNARD

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers

US$40,000 (S$56,600)

± WHAT YOU GET • The Burmester Phase 3 all-in-one home entertainment system

a slew of digital and analogue ports. The 161 also allows you to control the entire system with Burmester’s iPad app. The B15 loudspeakers are compact but mighty. Each is 41cm tall but can hit chest-rattling lows down to 40Hz. The speaker’s ribbon-based Air Motion Transformer tweeter offers an ultra-quick response for crisp, room-filling highs. Phase 3’s rack creates an optimal listening angle in any space and has room for additional components or music sources. The system is available in a variety of styles and finishes, including retro, steampunk and chrome. You also can order a completely custom finish. Rutherford Audio, +1 303 872 6285, rutherfordaudio.com ≠


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Robb Report

EQUINE EXULT An exquisite prancing horse sculpture from Christofle By AARON DE SILVA

H EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 31 January 2017

S$58,500

± WHAT YOU GET • A Christofle Arabian Prancing Horse in sterling silver • A Christofle Vertigo cocktail server with three bowls, worth S$660

orses are admired for their strength, agility and endurance. Among the most prized breeds is the Arabian horse, which has a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage. It is also celebrated for its liveliness, making it one of the most valued breeds in equestrian competitions. Christofle’s Arabian Prancing Horse is designed by sculptor Allison Hawkes, who has collaborated with the French silversmith since 2009. Cast in sterling silver, and requiring 25 man-hours of work to complete, the sleek and muscular stallion is depicted in a dynamic rearing position, a striking manifestation of the qualities for which the breed is lauded. The sculpture is presented on a brass stand with a black patina finish. Only 20 examples exist worldwide, with this particular piece being numbered 08/20. Gift

must be purchased by 31 January 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv. com.sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠


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December - 2016

MAGIC CARPET RIDE Create your own bespoke rug with Omar Khan By JENNIFER CHOO AND SAM YEN

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n Omar Khan rug is more than just a floor covering, it is an amalgamation of the Malaysian designer’s multicultural upbringing. This gift is your entry into the world of Kuala Lumpurbased Omar Khan Rugs. The journey begins with a consultation to create a bespoke rug using the Khan’s Couture collection as a template. Then join

± WHAT YOU GET • A bespoke Omar Khan rug • Three-day/two-night trip to Bangkok, with accommodation at Cabochon Hotel and dinner at Karmakamet Diner

Khan on a three-day/two-night trip to Bangkok to select yarns and colours. Accommodation will be at Cabochon Hotel and you’ll join Khan for dinner at Karmakamet Diner. Gift must be purchased by 30 November 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@imv.com. sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport. com.my for more details. ≠

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 30 November 2017

US$36,000 (S$51,000)*

* Price does not include transport to and accommodation in Kuala Lumpur.


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DREAM WORLD

EXCLUSIVE

ROBB REPORT GIFT Exclusively for Robb Report readers till 30 November 2017

A furniture set from Porada and a trip to Lake Como

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US$37,500 (S$53,000)*

By JENNIFER CHOO AND SAM YEN

orada is synonymous with beautifully crafted timber furniture imbued with the Italian genius for contemporary design. This gift allows you to own a suite of signature Porada pieces and to go on a private tour of the brand’s factory in Lake Como. Your journey starts at specialist furniture store Studio216 in Kuala Lumpur. Here you’ll pick up a carefully curated suite of bedroom furniture, comprising three pieces from Porada’s signature Ziggy range, a Webby bench, a Maskara

dresser and the sculptural Sam valet stand. Onward then to Milan and Lake Como, where you’ll beat the jetlag at Il Sereno Lago di Como. Your stay here includes a private visit to the Porada factory where you’ll be treated to a home styling consultation. Private tours of the local sights will also be arranged. Gift must be purchased by 30 November 2017. Please email ultimategiftguide@ imv.com.sg for enquiries and to purchase. Visit robbreport.com.sg or robbreport.

± WHAT YOU GET • A curated suite of six Porada bedroom pieces • First-class return flights to Milan and return transfers to Lake Como • Two-night stay at Il Sereno Lago di Como • Private tours of the Porada factory and Lake Como

com.my for more details. ≠

* Price does not include transport to and accommodation in Kuala Lumpur.


THE 16TH ANNUAL ASIA SUPERYACHT RENDEZVOUS Welcoming owners, captains and crew from around the world

Sail and motor yachts 75’ and over are invited to join this prestigious annual gathering, the largest event in Asia

16th - 18th December 2016 Phuket Thailand

If interested in attending email pr-comm@asia-superyachts-rendezvous.com www.asia-superyachts-rendezvous.com


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STYLE

MASTER STROKE The nameless heroes of some of the world’s most beautiful creations have only their drawings to tell their stories. By DIONNE BEL

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n February, Sotheby’s London held a Masters of Design exhibition displaying hundreds of jewellery drawings from a European private collection. The illustrations traced six decades of the best of 20th-

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century jewellery design and the impact of major artistic movements and socio-economic and political changes. These drawings in paint and gouache lay the foundation for the birth of a jewel, serving as references to which the jeweller

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Each item in the Sunny Side of Life collection brings to life Piaget’s metier in various artisanal skills. Inset: Valerie Nowak. Facing page: Van Cleef & Arpels’ Emeraude en majeste.

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will turn for technical and aesthetic guidance and use in discussions with a client. We look at three brands whose drawings confirm the vibrancy of their design studios in which creativity remains anonymous.

PIAGET

s pointed out in the book Piaget: Watchmaker and Jeweler Since 1874 by Florence Muller, spontaneity is essential. Jean-Claude Gueit, who contributed for more than 40 years to Piaget’s creative growth, compares the birth of an idea to a gunshot to the head, and always has his sketchbook within arm’s reach. Valerie Nowak, Piaget’s international communication director, explains the house’s confidentiality regarding its designers. “Our creativity and creations are among the precious treasures we possess. Therefore, each design is numbered, patented and stored in a protected area. The visibility of jewellery designers is understandable and required when young designers launch their own labels and seek to assert a differentiating style. Piaget already possesses a recognisable style and the prowess of our designers lies in perpetuating this heritage with a modern touch. When a client makes a purchase, she is buying Piaget’s know-how and the art de vivre (art of living).” Conscious in recent years of the importance of its roots, Piaget established its Brand Equity and Patrimony Department in 2013 with a secure, temperature- and humidity-controlled archive facility in Plan-lesOuates, Geneva. Allowing historical documents found at different sites to be gathered together under one roof, it facilitates research and sharing between departments. Drawings stored here provide an essential source of information on the foundation of Piaget’s stylistic codes and serve as inspiration for its designers, who regularly consult them. piaget.com


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Design is one component of a wider creative process that includes stone selection and technical developments.

Each stone in Van Cleef & Arpels’ Emeraude en majeste collection is showcased by a design created specially for it.

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n a studio off Place Vendome in Paris, Van Cleef & Arpels’ more than 12 in-house designers show off their skills. Many have studied at traditional design schools or specialised jewellery design institutions, a few at art schools. The maison selects its designers based on three criteria. The first is the ability to draw, as all designers must be able to draw by hand and paint in gouache – a rare skill today because many design schools now teach only computer-assisted illustration. Second is imagination and creativity, judged by how well a candidate translates a brief, idea or theme into designs rooted in the house’s tradition without being reproductions of past pieces. Lastly is the ability to understand

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

constraints, based on the knowledge of crafting techniques, how stones or metals will react, and what is comfortable for the wearer. On why Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewellery illustrators remain largely anonymous, its CEO and president Nicolas Bos says: “Design is usually the starting point of the creative process, so of course designers are a key component and very important, but they are not the only ones. It’s a team, and that team evolves all the time. Design is not the only creative activity – it’s one component of a wider creative process that includes stone selection and technical developments. This is what we call collective creation, with a lot of back and forth interaction.” www.vancleefarpels.com


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Cartier spreads its archives across Paris, London and New York. Each creation, from the initial design to its execution in the atelier and the date it was sold, is documented.

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CARTIER

artier’s 12 in-house designers are chosen for their artistic acumen, qualifications in applied art and experience in the production process. Creative director Jacqueline Karachi says: “I have been a Cartier designer for many years. Now my role is to transmit my knowledge and expertise to the new generation of designers. The subtlety of our art is acquired through experience, so the transmission of knowledge and expertise is essential and the learning period is long. I accompany them every day in their creations to help them to excel and reach perfection over time. The designers are involved in every step of the process, from the drawing to the production of the piece. This is Photos VINCENT WULVERYCK, BRUNO EHRS

what makes Cartier different and unique.” Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s image, style and heritage director, explains the secrecy surrounding the identities of its illustrators. “What makes our creations valuable to our clients is the Cartier signature and it is linked to a synergy of talents in all the processes of the making. The drawing and the designer are very important but they are not the only ones. You also have all the jewellers and the people in charge of stones. Everybody goes in the same direction in the search for excellence, so it would be wrong to sign one name. Cartier gathers the sum of all these talents in the creation of every piece.” cartier.com ≠


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RAZZLE DAZZLE

Christmas is the time to shine, so put on some jewellery from Tiffany & Co and join the party. By HO YUN KUAN

Etoile three-row ring in platinum with pave diamonds.

Tiffany Victoria mixed cluster earrings and necklace in platinum with diamonds.

he Christmas tree may have metres of tinsel draped around it, but the Tiffany & Co lady has Elsa Peretti’s Diamonds by the Yard. A delicate strand of these bezel-set diamonds on a thin gold chain around the neck will dazzle beautifully under the lights. And while fairy lights are everywhere, the woman with pieces from the Tiffany


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The Tiffany & Co lady has Elsa Peretti’s Diamonds by the Yard.

Tiffany T square bracelets in 18-carat white gold with pave and princess-cut diamonds; Tiffany Keys Petals key diamond pendant in platinum.

Tiffany Victoria pendant in platinum with diamonds; Return to Tiffany Love wide ring in sterling silver.


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T collection will never blend into them. Now also available in versions with diamonds set on the T motif of the bracelets, the popular line adds just enough sparkle to complement any festive outfit. There’s even something for

Robb Report

Tiffany CT60 bicolour threehand 40mm watch in 18-carat rose gold and stainless steel.

Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard necklace in 18-carat gold.

Tiffany CT60 Dual Time Limited Edition, 40mm in 18-carat rose gold.

The popular T collection adds just enough sparkle to complement any festive outfit.


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From Paloma Picasso’s Groove collection (clockwise from left): cufflinks in 18-carat gold; bar pendant in sterling silver; rings in sterling silver, 18-carat rose gold and 18-carat yellow gold.

Paloma Picasso has added a new men’s line to her collection for Tiffany.

the men. Tiffany’s long-time designer collaborator Paloma Picasso has added a new men’s line to her collection for the American jeweller. Named Groove, the collection of rings, cufflinks and pendants feature regularly spaced dents artfully carved into silver,

gold or titanium. The design is inspired by the pair of wedding bands Picasso created for her own nuptials. Because of the placement of the grooves, a circular ring may stand on its side without aid, a symbol of a long-standing relationship. www.tiffany.com ≠


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NOT SAFE FOR WORK These are watches that will definitely make a statement – of the wrong kind – especially when worn in the boardroom. By JOSH SIMS

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est known for its avantgarde styling and a preference for using 21st-century materials, Richard M i l l e ’s (richardmille.com) watches might typically be referred to as sexy in the colloquial rather than the literal way. But when he launched his RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon, it was definitely the latter interpretation of sexy he had in mind. Designed in collaboration with Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi, the 505-part movement displays, on the dial, three revolving rollers. Press a button and an ‘erotic’ phrase - one of 216 possible combinations - is

generated, with each roller forming one part of the phrase. Richard Mille’s horologist Theodore Diehl says: “There are suggestions to be kissed in certain places, but I’ll leave it to your imagination as to where. The real excitement here is perhaps the fact that you don’t know what this watch is going to say next.” While erotic watches may form a small niche within an already rarefied market, there are enough around, and often from some of the most respected and traditional of makers. Take, for instance, a Blancpain Carrousel Repetition Minutes unique piece - on one side a

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“The real excitement here is perhaps the fact that you don’t know what this watch is going to say next.”

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On the RM 69, love and eroticism proclaim themselves proudly and clearly in words.


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Blancpain released the Carrousel Repetition Minutes Le Brassus in 2010. Facing page: the rotating dial and the case side of the Caligula timepiece are adorned with guilloche, a subtle allusion to fishnet stockings.

conservative minute repeater with a cathedral gong, on the reverse banging of another order entirely: a relief scene engraved in red gold, depicting a bewigged and distracted cellist demonstrating his power reserve with a naked lady. Other modern makers have been drawn more to wandering hands too: the reverse of independent maker Antoine Preziuso’s Sailing Dream does not depict fair winds and calm seas but an altogether different kind of jolly rogering. Jacob & Co’s Caligula piece - and any watch named after the famously rapacious Roman emperor has a lot to live up

to - keeps its sexual animation hidden under an aperture until a dedicated crown is turned. The big reveal is all part of these watches’ attraction, of course. “It’s something to show off to your friend - depending on your friend,” as notes Julien Schaerer, managing director of watch auction house Antiquorum Geneva (www.antiquorum.com). As Schaerer has it, while demand for such pieces may be consistent, “there’s no real erotic appeal to these pieces - it would be hard to get a kick out of them. It’s more about taking pleasure in the excellent mechanisms, especially with the automata pieces.”


December – 2016

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But this casual attitude has not always been the norm. Erotic watches date back to the 1700s. The representations on the earlier commissioned pieces would often be those of wives or lovers, from whom separation as a result of long-distance travel might mean months or even years apart. Sometimes the imagery proved too explicit, and invited government intervention, resulting in the censorship and confiscation of pocket watches. Beyond graphic representations, the modern erotic watch demonstrates superlative mechanics, used more to express having a good time than the time of day. Watchmaker Svend Andersen, for example, has built a reputation for his automata pieces. In 2005, his Eros pieces broke world records by having its libertine love scene come alive via 11 different movements, a record he subsequently broke himself with a 15-movement variant. Indeed, this is one aspect of the watchmaking world in which ‘movement’ takes on another connotation entirely. It’s a joke that Andersen Geneve - which has made some 171 erotic watches to order to

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date - chooses to run with, too, finding double entendre everywhere: among the three Eros cases available are the Eros XL and the Eros 69 (it’s reversible). Bill Clinton featured in the President’s Pleasures model. The operative word here is ‘joke’. Erotic watches may be mechanically serious, but they should be taken mostly in good humour. “After all, erotic watches may not be well-known as a genre, but they have been a watchmaking tradition for ages and every brand likes to do them - well, all but a few,” explains Tristan Boyer de Bouillane, the CEO of Perrelet (www.perrelet.com), which four years ago launched its limited-edition run of Turbine Erotic watches, where the dial opens likes the blades of a jet engine to reveal a manga-style sex scene. “An erotic watch is one of those things you would say you’d like to try some time,” he adds. “So we did. For us it was an exercise in a style and not about being provocative. It was an expression of watchmaking skill, rather than about being crude for its own sake. It was about being entertaining rather than shocking.” ≠

“It was about being entertaining rather than shocking.”


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JUNGLE JUICE

As a muse, Mother Nature inspires vibrant dial decorations and as a benefactor, she gifts dazzling gems that build masterpieces. By HO YUN KUAN

Harry Winston TWIST AUTOMATIC

Inspired by the Emerald Twist Bracelet from the 1960s, the bracelet of the Twist Automatic has 178 white diamonds and 110 rubies strung on an almost-invisible trellis in a twisted pattern. On the dial are more gems - 111 diamonds and 60 rubies. The watch is powered by the HW 2008 automatic calibre.

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Cartier

PANTHERES ET COLIBRI Cartier presents a rarely seen complication, an on-demand power reserve, in a poetic manner. With a press of the crown, a baby panther emerges from below its mother to pounce on the colibri (French for hummingbird). The bird takes flight to escape, and the distance it travels shows the remaining power reserve.

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Bulgari

LVCEA IL GIARDINO PARADISO Marrying the Roman brand’s expertise in high jewellery and high watchmaking, a miniature painting on blue mother-of-pearl depicts a bird of paradise frolicking in lush foliage. The in-house movement BVL Calibre 263 powers the tourbillon at six o’clock, which has a carriage fitted with a sapphire crystal bridge.

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Piaget

LIMELIGHT GALA First launched in 1973, Limelight Gala made a comeback in 2013 with a satin strap (shown on the left here). This year’s version features an ultra-flexible Milanese mesh strap that is testament to Piaget’s expertise in goldsmithing.


ON SALE EARLY JANUARY 2017

GLOBAL LUXURY A sneak peek at the best that 2017 has to offer.


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DISRUPTIVE TACTICS In trademark trailblazing fashion, Roger Dubuis unveils its pre-SIHH novelties amid an unconventional setting in Shanghai. By AARON DE SILVA

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right lights, big city. Few places on earth can rival Shanghai when it comes to sheer ambition, dynamism and entrepreneurial verve. Fitting, then, that Roger Dubuis chose to unveil its offerings for next year’s Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie in the city in October. After all, the Genevan marque is known for its avant-garde

Above from left: Roger Dubuis’ imaginative set-up brought a slice of Geneva to Shanghai; the brand’s affable CEO Jean-Marc Pontroue.

approach to watchmaking. Case in point: the Quatuor movement, first released in 2013 to critical acclaim. The 590-part mechanism, with its four sprung balances and five differentials, achieves in an instant what a normal tourbillon takes a minute to: negate the

effects of gravity on the watch. At the ultra-hip Waterhouse complex, Roger Dubuis introduced a new version of the Quatuor, sheathed, appropriately, in a disruptive material: cobalt chrome. The gleaming white metal is used to forge the 48mm case of the Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt, as well as the bezel, crown and part of the caseback that is not sapphire crystal. The synchronised ballet


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of the four sprung balances are further animated by an alluring shade of petrol blue, courtesy of the PVD-coated barrel cage and movement bridges, as well as the alligator strap. When asked why cobalt chrome was used, Roger Dubuis CEO Jean-Marc Pontroue explains: “In our strategy to come up with new materials, we work on 30 to 40 different projects at once. Out of

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that, 90 per cent will fail. Cobalt chrome was one of the materials we worked with for many years, and it’s something that nobody else has used in the past. It’s resistant to high temperatures, and has been tested in the rocket industry as well as on supercars. Is (the alloy) easy to work with? No. Does it make our lives complicated? Yes. “It’s much easier to use steel than to use cobalt chrome. But our

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A pair of watchmaker’s benches housed in skeletal frames referenced the brand’s expertise in skeleton movements.


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“Wearing something that doesn’t exist is a very strong motivation for customers to come to Roger Dubuis.” customers already have a lot of steel, gold and platinum watches. What they don’t have is any cobalt chrome watches. A brand like ours has a mission to be innovative when it comes to materials. Wearing something that doesn’t exist is a very strong motivation for customers to come to Roger Dubuis.” Beyond the novelty factor, cobalt chrome is also noted for its strength and durability. The alloy is created using MicroMelt, an exclusive process employed by only 0.1 per cent of metallurgical applications worldwide, chiefly in the aeronautical and astronomical fields. The technique involves melting and atomising the alloy into a fine powder, which is then pressurised to allow the material to achieve full density. Subsequently, the material is forged into metallic bars before being machined and polished. “We love coming up with world premieres,” says Pontroue. “It’s like giving a signature, an authenticity to what you’re claiming. Today we’re in an industry where everyone is claiming that they have a manufacture, that they’re Swiss-made, or that they’re creative and innovative. But what does that really mean? We say we’re a

From top: the Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt; Excalibur 36; Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic.

Geneva-made brand, because the Geneva Seal imposes on us the need to have all manufacturing done within the Canton of Geneva.” Indeed. Roger Dubuis can lay claim to being the only marque to have 100 per cent of its watches certified with the Geneva Seal. Naturally the brand wanted to reinforce that connection in the minds of its Chinese consumers, so the event venue was transformed into a mini Genevan streetscape, complete with cobblestoned streets, cafe awnings, cafe furniture, public benches, lamp posts, shrubbery and, of course, a Roger Dubuis boutique, mimicking the actual shopfront on Place de la Fusterie. Interactive art installations, live demonstrations by watchmakers flown in from Geneva, and private dinners and cocktails for invited guests completed the event, which was held over four days. “We believe that we have to constantly create this type of scenery, this type of staging or ambience. We have a mission to surprise our trade partners, people in the media, and our customers,” explains Pontroue. What came as no surprise were the two other novelties launched at the event: the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic – a watch that


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extends the brand’s expertise in crafting contemporary skeleton calibres – and the Excalibur 36 – a timekeeper that dives deeper into the realm of women’s automatic pieces. The former is distinguished by its cool colour contrasts of electric blue and fire engine red,

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while the latter is crowned by a ring of stately blue sapphires that spell evening glitz. Together with its art deco-styled numerals and glorious sunray guilloche on the dial, it was reminiscent of Shanghai itself: glamorous, self-assured and utterly desirable. www.rogerdubuis.com ≠

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In one of the installations with trompe l’oeil scenery, guests could have their pictures taken via an overhead camera.


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A LEGEND IN TIME

In the hands of Patek Philippe’s master watchmakers, complications are turned into masterpieces with seemingly little effort. We look at three timepieces that embody just a small part of what the brand is capable of. By HO YUN KUAN


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COUNTING THE DAYS Patek Philippe celebrates two decades of one of its milestone inventions, the annual calendar wristwatch.

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ince the advent of mechanical timekeeping, clockmakers and watchmakers have sought to create machines that give a more complete representation of time. To this end, man has been rather creative, coming up with a full gamut of timepieces, from the simplest calendar watches with date displays, then stepping it up with double calendars that show the day of the week in addition to the date, and complete calendar timepieces that give the month and even moon phases. Despite the countless innovations, one problem continued to plague watchmakers up until recently – all calendar watches had to be adjusted at the end of 30-day months, as well as at the end of February. Only perpetual calendars were spared this hassle. It was only in 1996 that Patek Phillipe unveiled a revolutionary creation that marked the end of the inconvenience. The Annual Calendar Ref 5035 was the world’s first patented annual calendar and its claim to the title lay in the fact that it required just one adjustment per year, on the first day of March.

The feat was made possible by an innovative mechanism comprising mostly wheels, instead of the levers and springs usually found in perpetual calendar movements. On the 24-hour wheel

The Annual Calendar Ref 5396 tastefully recalls the 20th anniversary of the patented Annual Calendar.

The annual calendar is also the hotbed for Patek Philippe’s innovations.

are two fingerpieces; on months that have 30 days, the second fingerpiece automatically pushes the month wheel forward, skipping the 31st day and jumping straight to the first day of the following month. Now into its second decade since its debut, the timepiece has evolved significantly. In 1998, the model saw the addition of two complications – a moon phase and power reserve. The years 2005 and 2006 hailed new diamond-set versions for the ladies, which were then replaced in 2015 by Ref 4947 and Ref 4948. Besides aesthetic revisions, the annual calendar is also the hotbed for Patek Philippe’s innovations, one of which is Silinvar, a silicon-based material now used for the escape wheel and lever. Three models –Ref 5250, Ref 5350 and Ref 5450 – carry Silinvar components, and each is issued in a limited edition numbering no more than 300. The Ref. 5396 is the latest incarnation of the complication. Created to commemorate the annual calendar’s 20th anniversary, it’s a modern amalgation of all the best features of its predecessors.


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TWO-FACED

This isn’t an undesirable trait in a watch. Far from it, as Patek Philippe’s double-faced masterpiece proves.

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ith 20 complications, six patented innovations and a reversible double face, the Grandmaster Chime Ref 6300 counts 1,366 components in its movement and 214 parts in its case. It is the first wristwatch with a grande sonnerie in Patek Philippe’s regular collection. Despite being an ultra complicated timepiece, the Ref 6300 is made to be suitable for everyday wear. Hence, its two dials are in understated black and

white. The black dial displays the time and sonnerie, while the white carries the perpetual calendar. The acoustic complications truly form a work of art. The grande and petite sonnerie are powered by a separate double strikework spring barrel with a power reserve of 30 hours so that the complications will

not drain the watch of power when they sound every hour and quarter of an hour. The same barrel delivers energy to run the minute repeater. The alarm and date repeater are also on the side of the black dial. On the white dial, four subdials surround the four-digit year display in the centre. The month display is on the subdial at three o’clock, the date and leap year cycle at six o’clock, the day of the week at nine o’clock and the time display at 12 o’clock.

The black dial displays the time and sonnerie, while the white carries the perpetual calendar.


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AROUND THE WORLD

Patek Philippe gives fans of its iconic worldtimers a treat this year with not one, but two releases worthy of attention.

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o reflect recent changes in time zone designations, Patek Philippe has discontinued all its legacy worldtimers and replaced them with the new Ref 5230 with updated city names. The timepiece is available in two versions, Ref 5230R in 18-carat rose gold and Ref 5230G in 18-carat white gold. Ref 5230 wasn’t the only worldtimer the Genevan brand launched at Baselworld this year. Patek Philippe wowed all with a stellar creation at the fair, the World Time Chronograph Ref 5930G. Previously, only one Patek Philippe timepiece – the wristwatch No. 862 442, which dates back to the 1940s and is now displayed in the Patek Philippe Museum – had the chronograph and worldtimer sharing a space. The debut of Ref 5930G marked the end of the wristwatch’s solo existence as the brand’s only world

From above: Ref 5230G and Ref 5230R; Ref 5930G.

time-chronograph. Ref 5930G is believed to be the world’s thinnest world time-chronograph. Much research and development was put into achieving its svelte proportions – using the CH 28-520 from 2006’s 5960P as the base calibre, axes were shifted, bridges thinned and the chronograph hand made to do double duty as a seconds hand. The chronograph’s start/stop pusher is at two o’clock while the reset pusher, which is also the flyback pusher, is at four. The worldtimer is controlled by a button at 10 o’clock – simply press it to advance the city disc and the 24-hour ring counterclockwise in one-hour intervals. The hour hand will move correspondingly and the time adjustment is complete when the wearer’s current city is at 12 o’clock. www.patek.com∆


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DOUBLE DIGITS On Hublot’s All Black 10th anniversary, the idea behind it remains that its first function is not timekeeping at all. By VISHAL BHASKARAN

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s Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot can attest to, controversy is extremely effective for a new entrant into the haute horlogerie leagues. “In 2006 when we went to Basel with a Big Bang All Black, we weren’t sure that it would be the incredible commercial success it is today,” he says. “At that time, it was quite shocking to present a watch where you can hardly see the time, where everything is black. We did a limited

run of only 250 pieces, realising only later that we could have sold thousands. Ten years later, we have created all sorts of All Black watches and it’s good to see that the concept is still valid today and still very modern. The wisdom within Hublot – or rather with Guadalupe and his larger-than-life president of LVMH’s watch division JeanClaude Biver – was to select a colour as a theme. This freed the brand to be extremely creative in its proposed novelties over time,

Photo FRED MERZ

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“At that time, it was quite shocking to present a watch where you can hardly see the time, where everything is black.” Through a fusion of materials, textures and finishes, Hublot has used the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black to reinterpret the iconic allblack style. Facing page: Ricardo Guadalupe.


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Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black is crafted from blocks of sapphire crystal – sapphire that has been coated with metal.

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as it was unrestricted by design mores. “This year, we are recreating All Black; I think that sapphire is a great and innovative idea. Sapphire in the future has great potential, as you can see with white sapphire the idea is of total transparency but we went with blackened sapphire for the Big Bang Unico All Black which is a great result. This is one step forward in our concept of visible invisibility, everything is black but in the end you can still see.” With 10 years behind the All Black, its future lies in Hublot’s ability to creatively reimagine the design. For Guadalupe, continuous critical acclaim however, is in the hands of enthusiasts. “In the end its the market which speaks. The success that we had commercially with these watches is proof that it was a great concept, also the fact that it has been followed by other brands. Before All Black no one had the courage to create this idea, we are the leaders for this particular execution. It is also thanks to Hublot that black is now accepted as an industrystandard colour. “The All Black is still very modern but you always have to reinterpret the concept. The Spirit of Big Bang is a tonneau shape and there is of course the incredible LaFerrari while the 2016 All Black is blackened sapphire with a black rubber strap, as you know. If we continue in this manner, we will still do All Black models in the coming years for sure.” www.hublot.com ≠

For Guadalupe, continuous critical acclaim is in the hands of enthusiasts.


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CRYSTAL ARTISTRY

Centuries-old glass art takes centre stage in the Hermes Arceau Millefiori collection.

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The 48mm white gold pocket watch features a Millefiori dust cover to protect the dial.

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By ELAINE LAU

n the unending search for novel materials to enliven its timepieces, La Montre Hermes, the horology arm of the luxury French maison, has brought together the rarefied worlds of art glassmaking and haute horlogerie in the Arceau Millefiori collection. A showcase of superlative craftsmanship, the collection features dials and covers inspired by 19thcentury paperweights handcrafted by Cristalleries Royales de Saint-Louis, an


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“Hermes as our owner allows us to concentrate on quality.” Hermes-owned crystal and glass art specialist with roots dating back to 1586. “Hermes as our owner allows us to concentrate on quality,” says master glassmaker Xavier Zimmermann. “We have a 60 per cent rejection rate of our finished products.” Creating crystal works that would fit in the scale of timepieces meant having to miniaturise everything. “It was a completely new direction for us. That is why it took us a year and a half to make it technically possible,” reveals Zimmermann. To create the signature millefiori (Italian for ‘a thousand flowers’) motif, glassmakers fashion colourful canes or baguettes out of crystal and enamel that are then cut into 10mm portions and arranged to form a bed of flowers. A clear crystal dome

seals the pieces together, and it is only during the final cutting stage that the crystal reveals the full wealth of its pattern and the unique beauty of the flowerbed that will become the dial or cover of one of the Arceau models. In the Arceau Pocket Millefiori, the most exclusive model in the collection, the crystal piece serves as the pocket watch’s cover, which Zimmermann says took a bit more effort to produce due to the half-moon shapes in the motif. The generously sized 48mm white gold timepiece features a shaded grey enamel dial with white gold slanting numerals, and is powered by the self-winding H1837 movement equipped with a 50-hour power reserve. Priced at RM567,100, the watch comes with a cord-strap and pouch in matt graphite alligator. www.hermes.com ≠

Photos ALFREDO PIOLA

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DIOR TIMEPIECES

TICK TALK

Robb Report Malaysia presents an extraordinary encounter with Dior La D timepieces. 1

By KENNETH TAN Photos PAULIUS STANIUNAS

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1) The exquisite Dior timepieces showcase precision stone-setting of diamonds and designs that is evocative of its French provenance. 2) From left: Lee Iqlin, Joanna Ooi, Madeline Tan and Jeanie Lim. 3) Taking a closer look. 4) Guests enraptured by the discourse of precious stones and their destiny-influencing properties. 5) From left: Linora Low, Brigette Liberty and Au Xiao Tung. 6) Dior’s country manager Heng Thang Yih welcomes guests. 7) From left: Ong Chin Huat, Dato’ Tiffanee Marie Lim and Shawna Yap.

Guests sipped on flutes of Dom Perignon and snacked on delicate French canapes while enjoying a tour of the boutique’s spaces.

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obb Report Malaysia’s readers were invited to an out-of-the-ordinary viewing of the travelling La D de Dior timepieces. At the French maison’s Starhill Gallery boutique, guests were enthralled by the beautiful Swissmade timepieces crafted in gold, diamonds and ornamental stones. Guests sipped on flutes of Dom Perignon

and snacked on delicate French canapes while enjoying a tour of the boutique’s spaces, including its VIP lounge reserved for its top spenders. Later, a specially arranged talk by the mystical Zour on the power of gemstones revealed some surprising insights, with the energies of gemstones appearing to influence destinies. ≠


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WOKING PROGRESS Vishal Bhaskaran experiences a day of unadulterated performance at Pure McLaren Sepang 2016.

Guests took to the 5.5km track in Sports and Super Series models.

Photos MCLAREN AUTOMOTIVE, TING YANG SHAN

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Pure McLaren Sepang 2016 is the British supercar manufacturer’s largest track programme in the region.


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he Sepang circuit was filled with the sharp-edged movement of McLarens in September for Pure McLaren Sepang 2016, the British supercar manufacturer’s largest track programme in the region. The began with the Sports Series. The 570S is a neutral beginner’s McLaren, fairly well-behaved while still capable of helping you master the curve at McLaren coaching events or private track days. The first lap in the 570S began in Normal modes for both suspension and transmission. While a satisfying hairy experience was to be found in Sport and Track modes — the 570S is the lightest car in its class by 150kg and leads in power-to-weight — the tractability under normal driving inputs is quite surprising. Then, the 540C. Its suspension is tweaked towards comfort, while as the name suggests there are 30 fewer horses than the 570S to be found under the hood. For frequent long

journeys, the 570GT would be the most appropriate choice with 220 litres more storage space accessible through a special side-hinged glass hatch at the rear and a panoramic roof. If the 570S was the reference point for the Sports Series, the 675LT which came next spiked the graph in tremendous fashion. The 675LT, as part of the Super Series, offers a decidedly heavier firepower skew than the former two. Proportionally, the 675LT is a thing of beauty. Lengthening the rear end — LT stands for Longtail — resulted in an aggressive wedge of a profile, punctuated by exhaust pipes placed in between the tail light clusters. In one turn, the LT had delivered on a promise made by its form. A seemingly endless grip had me rocketing out of Turn 15 and down the main pit straight, hitting around 280km/hr before having to brake for Turn One.

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Each gear shift was accompanied by a rifle bolt crack coming from the rear, followed seamlessly by another bout of manic acceleration. Nothing less was expected of course, this is a machine that dispatches 0-200km/hr in a scant 7.9 seconds, a figure most cars would be proud of for just the century sprint. The limits necessary to be observed in the Sports Series duo are decimated by the LT, so significant is the difference in series hierarchy. Under heavy braking, the sort where it seemed likely my foot would go through the floor, the LT hunkers down and holds the line with minimal adjustment, lap after flying lap. The parameters of what it can muster seem predictable, such that with each passing minute you can gradually approach the borders of your comfort level knowing that the LT will be able to curb your enthusiasm gently rather than with a snap reaction. In Sport and Track modes, an Airbrake deploys at the rear to increase

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downforce when it is required, which automatically disappears under hard acceleration to minimise drag. It is a combination of this and the trick stability control — with a “reduced support” mode that allows for light sideways action — that contributes to the LT’s phenomenal roadholding. One telltale indication as to how much of a bullseye product the LT is that one of only 500 coupes produced belongs to McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt. Despite its ever-growing model range and accompanying sales figures, McLaren – which creates each unit at its 46,452sqm McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey – still views itself as a small company. One where customer feedback from the track is instantly relayed to the right engineer in the right department via text messaging. No superfluous chain of communication or red tape to interfere with the continuous improvement of what are already some of the best driver’s cars in the world. www.cars.mclaren.com¬

McLaren still views itself as a small company.

The Performance Academy allowed guests to progress through three levels of intensive training.


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Throughout its history, Monaco has had an enduring connection to the sea.

Photo ELISA BLOUET

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NEW FRONTIERS

South East Asia was the talk of the town at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show, but does this fast-growing region actually have a superyachting market to show for it?

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By DOMINIQUE AFACAN

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n the surface, this year’s Monaco Yacht Show was no different to any other. The champagne was flowing, the sky was dotted with helicopters and private jets, and Port Hercules was jam-packed with US$2.7 billion (RM12 billion) worth of superyachts. Beyond all the glamour though, there were multi-million dollar deals to be done and this year’s event saw an almost imperceptible shift; instead of focusing on established markets, such as the US and Europe, forward-thinking folks had one eye on Asia, home to 26.1 per cent of the world’s billionaires, and with any luck, the next big deal in superyachting. The demand has been a long time coming and despite positive signs, it’s by no means speeding out of control yet. Cultural differences, lac k of marina infrastructure and China’s crackdown on corruption have all seen to that, but Jeremy Comport,

The length and draught of Kamino, 33.5m and 1.8m respectively, give her owners access to shallower depths and restricted mooring facilities that keep larger superyachts at bay.

a broker at Camper & Nicholsons (www. camperandnicholsons.com), thinks it’s a market worth listening to. “Yes, the trend for yacht ownership in Asia is still in its infancy, but with Asia having the fastest growing population and fastest increase in wealth worldwide, the trend for yachting and other luxury pastimes is inevitably catching up.” Several boats have already been commissioned for Asian owners by some of the leading European shipyards. Italian yard Benetti has 12 superyachts cruising in Asia with five more under construction. And Feadship’s Kamino, part of a fleet of three 33.5m-long boats built for a Hong Kong client and his chums, caused something of a stir at the show. More companies were lining up in Monaco to offer further inspiration. Claydon Reeves (www. claydonreeves.com), a superyacht design agency, unveiled Chuan, a superyacht concept aimed at the Asian buyer.

Forward-thinking folks had one eye on Asia, the next big deal in superyachting. Photo ARTHUR SMEETS


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Several boats have already been commissioned for Asian owners by some of the leading European shipyards.

Secluded sunbathing retreats, a spa bath, beautifully proportioned dining areas, and a walk-in beach club are just some of the luxurious features on Solaris.

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“Dunia Baru spends most of the year cruising the Indonesian archipelago and there are many days when we don’t see any other boats.” Mike Reeves, partner in the firm, says: “On the exterior there’s a small nod to Asian architecture in the way we’ve handed the radar supports, which mirror a temple design. Beyond that, the focus is on a huge internal entertaining space. My understanding of the usual usage of Asian buyers is that they can’t spend long periods of time on board – they want to go out, have a jolly old time and come back, usually with large family groups.” Despite this, Reeves is wary of stereotyping, preferring to work with clients on an individual basis. “There’s a real naivety that can creep in about ‘the Asian buyer’ and it doesn’t have to be that way. There are positive elements to take from Asian culture, architecture and design, but you don’t liberally apply them all to one boat.” Assuming that buyers can commission the perfect superyacht, the next dilemma lies in where to keep it. Infrastructure is lagging, especially in China where as Reeves comments: “It’s hard to know where to put glossy yachts that aren’t rubbing up next to industrial boats.” Most agree that the yachting hotspots are to be found elsewhere in Asia, many of which were represented at the Monaco show by Asia Pacific Superyachting. Thailand, where the government has loosened tiresome regulations, looks to be

The 32m MCY 105 is the largest in Monte Carlo Yachts’ collection.

leading the pack, with Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar following close behind. Mark Robba, who owns Dunia Baru (duniabaru.com), a superyacht based in Asia, thinks part of the region’s appeal lies in the fact that it’s still untapped. “Dunia Baru spends most of the year cruising the Indonesian archipelago and there are many days when we don’t see any other boats. We spent some time cruising the Mergui archipelago in Myanmar earlier this year and the same was true there, but to an even greater degree. It was like a lost world – deserted islands, vast horizons with no other vessels, isolated beaches and remote coves. Completely stunning. We are returning there at the end of this year because we loved it so much and we have had several charter requests.” Chartering is often seen as a stepping stone to ownership, so it was unsurprising to see yet more charter brokers at the show, offering trips to the region for the months ahead. Whether those charters convert to sales would require a crystal ball, however. In the meantime, Robba adds: “As the classic hotspots in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean get busier, and travellers start looking for more unique experiences, it is inevitable that South East Asia and its incredibly diverse cruising grounds are going to become even more popular.” ≠


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Set up for serious fun, Tiara comes with a four-by-four-metre Bedouin tent(inset), an outdoor cinema, an on-deck DJ set-up and an onboard kitesurfing instructor.

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY The majestic 54m sailing yacht Tiara is available for charter in South East Asia for 2017. It can accommodate10 guests in five cabins, and costs €180,000 (RM844,000) per week. An open-air cinema, jacuzzi and a full range of watersports toys ensure you’ll have as much fun on the boat as off it. y.co/yacht/tiara Photos ALEXIS ANDREWS


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RHB PREMIER BANKING

Robb Report

SOUTHERN COMFORT Robb Report Malaysia and RHB Premier Banking take it down south.

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1) Launched earlier this year, The Macallan Rare Cask became one of the evening’s undoubted highlights. 2) Guests onboard Sabrina, a 24m Halverson. 3) BMW’s new 7-Series. 4) Welcoming RHB’s guests to Puteri Harbour. 5) Brian Lau of The Macallan conducts the tasting. 6) Lagoon 42 sets sail. 7) A light moment shared by RHB’s relationship managers.

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n a Thursday afternoon, RHB Premier Later, back at Gallery Wine and Dine, the guests Banking clients and Robb Report readers enjoyed a delicious meal that included fresh oysters, gathered at Gallery Wine and Dine in Johor curried abalone and Hokkaido scallops. This was Bahru. From here, they were chauffeured in followed by a tasting of The Macallan’s new 12 Year Wearnes Autohaus’s fleet of BMWs to Puteri Old Double Cask, 15 Year Old Fine Oak, 18 Year Old Harbour. Waiting for them was the new Lagoon 42 by Sherry Oak and Rare Cask, with the whisky sourced Simpson Marine as well as Sabrina – a 24m Halverson. from less than one per cent of all the maturing Spanish The guests were then ushered onboard and enjoyed and American sherry casks in The Macallan distillery. craft beers, whisky The evening continued and fruitade as well as into the night, with Waiting for them was the new Lagoon 42 by Simpson Ty Nant mineral water, guests savouring Cuban Marine as well as Sabrina – a 24m Halverson. while cruising around delights to the sounds of the waterway. a live band. ≠ Photos BIGEYES PRODUCTION


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Explore the beautiful countryside in a classic VW 181 convertible.

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE The splendid grounds of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, are a gateway to Ubud at its most magnificent.

Photos RICHARD BRYANT/ARCAIDIMAGES.COM, FELIX HUG

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By RENYI LIM

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othing quite prepares you for the awe-inspiring scenery of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, as you walk through its stately entrance. A panoramic display of Ubud’s verdant hills rises up to greet you before plunging steeply into the Ayung River, then gently flattens out into fertile rice paddies. It’s enough to silence the most jaded of Bali regulars – even those who complain that the island no longer holds any enchantment. That idyllic sense of having arrived at a sanctuary is just the sort of magic that permeates this beautifully preserved estate. Constructed with the intention of embracing the natural landscape and its dynamics, the Reserve feels very much like Ubud in its purest state. It’s not unusual to spot local Balinese laying an offering at Mandapa’s ancient on-site temple, while on particularly hot days, village children leap from nearby boulders into the river’s tumbling rapids. There are only 60 suites and villas available at Mandapa, and you’ll often feel as if you have the grounds entirely to yourself – how


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Take an early morning buggy ride to Mandapa Spa for a complimentary sunrise yoga class. you choose to explore them, of course, is up to you. The default option – being thoroughly cosseted in the privacy of your villa by your own butler – is an opportunity to soak in the views of the surrounding rainforest, rice terraces or the Ayung River below. A one-bedroom pool villa starts from 13.25 million rupiah (RM4,250), while a three-bedroom pool villa with its own sauna, fitness facilities and private garden starts from 62.25 million rupiah. Each of the 25 private pool villas comes outfitted with opulent Balinese interiors by Jeffrey Wilkes, a spacious and flatteringly lit marble bathroom, and an outdoor rain shower for guests brave enough to bathe al fresco. Those in

Spacious layouts, luxurious bathrooms and indulgent bedding tempt guests to forgo exploration for welcome seclusion.

serious need of an energy boost can take an early morning buggy ride to Mandapa Spa for a complimentary sunrise yoga class, where you’ll be coaxed into various contortions as the rainforest begins to awaken. Afterwards, plunge into the heated vitality pool to soothe any sore muscles, and reward yourself with a balancing rose quartz crystal head massage (900,000 rupiah) or a signature Mepijet massage (from 1.2 million rupiah). A riverfront dinner at the bamboo-covered Kubu is another essential part of the Mandapa experience, especially if you’re seated in one of the nine private cocoons. Sip an expertly muddled mangosteen caipiroska as you wait for executive chef Maurizio


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Bombini (who you’re likely to spot harvesting herbs from the estate’s organic garden) to dazzle you with his modern MediterraneanEuropean cuisine. Kubu’s six- or eight-course degustation menus (from 750,000 rupiah) work wonders with meat and seafood: an Alaskan scallop turns piquant with a touch of kaffir lime, while a Wagyu beef rib eye’s richness is amplified by braised tongue and truffle jus. A picnic in the middle of Mandapa’s rice fields – as simple as it may sound – is just as much of an

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experience to treasure. Seated in a charming wooden hut with a lunch basket filled with salads, sandwiches and the most addictive rempeyek crackers you’ll ever risk eating, it’s impossible not to feel completely at peace within that jadegreen expanse. The Reserve is wonderfully adept at creating those rare, ever-elusive moments that you’ll savour for a long, long time – and indeed, what could be rarer than serenity itself? www.mandapareserve.com ≠

Opt for an intimate dining experience in a Kubu cocoon (inset) or in a rice field.


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PEACEFUL SPIRITS

Amandari offers the best of both worlds: timeless design and intriguing holistic therapies.

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By MARK LEAN

he infinity pool is ubiquitous at five-star resorts in Bali and almost everywhere else around the region. But one of the resorts that started it all is Amandari, the second oldest Aman property, which opened in Ubud in 1989. Here, the pool morphs from leaf green to vibrant jade as mornings turn to afternoons. But at this Peter Muller-designed 30-suite resort, guests have been coming back for decades due to the laid-back yet confident service that doesn’t seem to miss a beat. Suites are maintained in classic Aman style, constructed with bamboo, teak and coconut wood, and set in rice fields with views of the Ayung River gorge. The resort’s trademark spa therapies have invariably inspired the offerings at other hotel spas over the years.

Commanding spectacualr views of the Ayung Valley, the Amandari Villa features a landscaped deck which embraces a two-tiered swimming pool.

The two-hour Village Spa treatment is much like a spice market expedition. It begins with a black rice and cinnamon body exfoliation, followed by volcanic clay body wrap, a banana leaf wrap, a revitalising scalp massage, and capped with a sprinkling of floralscented water on the body’s seven energy centres. For the more holistically inclined, on the spa menu are a host of treatments including craniosacral therapy, reiki, and Access Bars sessions that work to unlock the mind’s potential. Still on the selfimprovement slant and beyond merely sunrise yoga sessions is the upcoming series of immersion programmes centred on fitness, weight loss, cleanse and awareness aspects, scheduled for the coming six months – just in time for those upcoming new year resolutions.

The resort’s trademark spa therapies have inspired the offerings at other hotel spas.

w w w. a m a n . c o m/r e s o r t s / amandari ≠


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CLASSIC CLEANSING

Como Shambhala Estate matches a disciplined approach to wellness in a natural setting. By MARK LEAN Photos MARTIN MORELL

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Resident experts in each field are on hand to guide guests.

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omo Shambhala Estate, the cliffside Ubud property, was designed by architect Cheong Yew Kwan and opened to international praise in 2005. Conceived as a place for sybarites to recalibrate and detox from the excesses of an A-list lifestyle, the property was a trailblazer in terms of its attention to detail from bathroom toiletries to yoga mats in every room. While the 30-room property has stuck to its tried-and-celebrity approved formula of well-heeled wellness, it has also expounded upon its healthy cuisine menu of

Como Shambala Suite. Inset: all-day-dining venue, Glow.

tasty, healthful dishes. Take for instance the black bean and quinoa tortilla with guacamole and cashew nut cream. Juices pack a punch, and have been designed not merely to taste good, but also for specific reasons, such as the self-explanatory Stress Reliever, made from carrot, red apple, red grapes, ginger, spinach, fennel, beetroot and leaves, celery and sweet potato. When it comes to wellness

programmes, the estate takes fairly conventional approaches. There are ayurveda, Oriental medicine, cleanse and fitness options that last an average of three days to a week or longer. Resident experts in each field are on hand to guide guests through their time at the property with activities as diverse as working out in a jet-powered pool using water from the sacred spring located nearby, a jungle gym boot camp or an early morning Pilates or yoga class to salute the sun as it rises beyond the emerald-hued Ubud cliffs. www.comohotels.com/ comoshambhalaestate â‰


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LUCKY NUMBER 13 The countdown begins to possibly the most extravagant hotel ever built.

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By LUANN ALPHONSO

xtravagance usually goes handin-hand with casino cities. And extravagance is about to get redefined with The 13 in Macau. A project by flamboyant Hong Kong billionaire Stephen Hung, every inch of the US$1.4 billion (RM5.9 billion) The 13 reflects its owner’s personality. A giveaway is the name of his company: Louis XIII Holdings. Hung has a penchant for the royal opulence of European courts and in The 13, has created his own version of Versailles. Contemporary minimalism is banished in favour of baroque lavishness: expect grandiose chandeliers, neoclassical columns, gilded doors, stained glass windows and Roman marble baths. The 200 ‘villas’ start at 186sqm in size, with the largest – Villa de Stephen – at 2,787sqm and reportedly costing

Virtually every design detail in the all-villa hotel was created specially for The 13 by Stephen Hung (facing page) and his team of designers.

US$100,000 a night. For those with the finer tastes in life, an invitation-only L’Atelier offers bespoke and limited-edition products from global luxury houses, housing the only foreign outpost of legendary Parisian restaurant L’Ambroisie. The world’s largest fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms, 30 in all, will ferry guests around. Each customised to Hung’s specifications in a custom Stephen Red shade and shipped to Macau in September, it is the single largest commission in Rolls-Royce history, with an estimated price of US$20 million. The fleet includes two ‘royal’ RollsRoyce Phantoms that are gold-plated and diamond-encrusted, with a special Stephen Red that is infused with 24-carat gold flecks. The 13 may not be to everyone’s tastes, but there is no denying its ambition. www.the13.com ≠

The world’s largest fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms, 30 in all, will ferry guests around.


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Robb Report

JEWEL OF THE ISLE

In a city renowned for its fascination with glitz and splendour, Belmond Hotel Cipriani is a treasure box at the centre of Venice’s floating world. By RENYI LIM

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othing in the story of Venice is ordinary,” the author and historian Jan Morris wrote of the city that she came to fall deeply in love with during her first visit in 1945. “She was born dangerously, lived grandly and never abandoned her brazen individualism.” It’s fitting, then, that a place as extraordinary as the Belmond Hotel Cipriani has continued to flourish in the City of Bridges, building up an illustrious history matched only by La Serenissima herself. Much has been said about the hotel’s stardustcoated roster of guests. It’s true that you might spot

Located on Giudecca Island, the hotel is just five minutes from St Mark’s but out of the hustle and bustle of tourists.

George Clooney communing with head barman Water Bolzonella at Gabbiano Bar in the wee hours of the morning, or Charlize Theron lounging beside the Olympic-sized, heated seawater pool. But celebrity-watching aside, Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s real allure is the way it lets you enjoy the city – when you want, wherever you set your sights upon and in whatever way you choose. Perched on the tip of Giudecca island, the hotel is at once neatly removed from and right in the centre of Venice. Should you be filled with a sudden sense of wanderlust after midnight, a 24-hour boat service will deliver you to a private dock at Piazza San Marco within five minutes.

There are few havens in Venice more comfortable than the hotel’s 95 opulent rooms and suites. Photos TYSON STUDIO, TYSO SADLO, ERIC LAIGNEL


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Alternatively, certain guests spend their time within the peaceful confines of Belmond Hotel Cipriani. There are few havens in Venice more comfortable than the hotel’s 95 opulent rooms and suites, many of which offer postcard-perfect views of the beautifully manicured Casanova gardens, Doge’s Palace or the turquoise expanse of the open lagoon. It’s an exquisite pleasure in itself to take in a dramatic purple-orange sunrise from your room, accompanied by lashings of thick, velvety hot chocolate from a silver jug. The ultra-opulent Palladio Suite (a two-bedroom suite from €9,350, RM43,800 per night) boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that

INSIDE OUT There’s more to Venice than the six sestieri (districts) that constitute the old city centre. Venturing out to the surrounding

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makes for a memorable tour. Hire Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s private boat, Shirley, and head for the Armenian monastery on the island of San Lazzaro, which is famous for producing jars of damask rose petal jam. Or cross the lagoon to Sant’Erasmo and visit the vineyards of Michel Thoulouze, who produces Orto – the only wine cultivated within the territorial boundaries of Venice.

Robb Report

present a 180-degree panorama of the lagoon in all its glory, which you can also make the most of from either of the suite’s two marble bathrooms or its splendid dining area. At the same time, it affords an unparalleled level of privacy, with a private dock and a large terrace (complete with an outdoor heated plunge pool) concealed by scented jasmine bushes. In the adjoining Palazzo Vendramin – a 15th-century building connected to the main hotel by a flower-bedecked walkway – the Dogaressa Suite (from €6,600 per night) encapsulates Venetian luxury. Furnished with Fortuny and Rubelli fabrics, original 18thcentury Coromandel screens and an

At Cip’s Club, chef Roberto Gatto’s food from the heart elevates al fresco dining to the next level.


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impressive selection of priceless antiques, the suite and its magnificent view of St Mark’s Square are nothing short of breathtaking. Guests can rely on Belmond Hotel Cipriani to help sate their appetites just as much as it provides a feast for their eyes. At Cip’s Club, chef Roberto Gatto’s food from the heart – Italian and Venetian treats such as strozzapreti tossed lightly in pesto, plump tortellini stuffed with parmesan, or crisp zucchini blossoms – elevates al fresco dining to the next level. Then there is the Michelin-starred Oro Restaurant (which means ‘gold’ in Italian), headed by executive chef Davide Bisetto,

Belmond Hotel Cipriani hosted the wedding festivities of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin. Inset: Oro is one of only eight restaurants in Venice that can boast of having a Michelin star.

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and ornamented with a domed gold leaf ceiling and a Murano glass chandelier. Preceded – ideally – by a signature flamingo-pink Bellini at San Giorgio Bar, dinner at Oro will take you through Bisetto’s imaginative interpretations of classical Venetian dishes, bolstered by the restaurant’s fascinating wine list, which stretches to over 1,000 labels. From risotto peppered with roasted pine nuts and infused with the pungent aromas of deep-fried sardines and onion broth, to firm-fleshed sea bass served with miso foam and dried caviar, Oro’s intriguing flavours are a force to be reckoned with. Don’t be surprised if you end up utterly hooked. www.belmond.com/hotelcipriani ≠


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CALL OF THE WILD

At The Datai Langkawi, nature’s bounty is revealed brilliantly to guests. By KENNETH TAN

Recreational facilities include two swimming pools.

Photos MOTT VISUALS

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The 54 luxurious villas, restaurants and pavilions open out to verdant views.

n cool mornings at The Datai Langkawi, the property’s resident naturalist Irshad Mobarak leads eager guests into less-travelled paths. These guests are embarking on transformative discoveries of the 10 million-year-old rainforest, which makes up the north-western corner of the island. The tours by Irshad offer incredible insights into tree-climbing monitor lizards, eagle eyries, edible red button ginger buds and even jungle survival tips such as employing the Serunai or Bitter Bush – which contains alcohol – as a disinfectant. In his recently published tome, Discovering Langkawi with Irshad Mobarak, he describes how one may follow a river trail in Kubang Badak to discover small-clawed otters and ruddy kingfishers

Group or private tours take guests off the beaten track to discover centuryold secrets, incomparable beauty, rich wildlife and nature at its best.

with a rating of difficulty level, best times and tips for first-timers. Together with resident marine biologist Jonathan Chandrasakaran, the duo transform a stay at The Datai into a respectful wonder for nature. This spiritual realignment to the elements is complemented by the architecture of Kerry Hill, who had employed trained elephants instead of heavy machinery to fell trees to reuse for construction. The resulting effort are 54 luxurious villas, restaurants and pavilions that open out to verdant views. At its spa, a signature traditional massage offers an earthly calm, with sensations heightened by nature, from the sound of the babbling brook to the scents of jungle plants. www.thedatai.com ≠


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GLORY DAYS The Sanchaya in Bintan fuses colonial splendour with cutting-edge modern luxury. By SAM YEN

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weeping into the manicured grounds of The Sanchaya is like entering a film set from the golden age of Hollywood. The Great House resembles a place where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall would be surrounded by mystery, intrigue and glamour. The passion project of Singaporebased Russian businesswoman Natalya Pavchinskaya, The Sanchaya is the undisputed pinnacle of luxury on Bintan. The Sanchaya’s Great House is a

The resort is beautifully designed and elegantly executed, with white sandy beaches surrounding it.

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meticulous recreation of a colonial mansion in regal black-and-white monochrome down to the balustrades, awnings and floor tiles. It is divided into two wings: the Dining Room on the left, and the Bar, Salon and Library on the right. All are decorated in rich tones of wood with South-east Asian motifs. The Great House suites occupy the first floor, while villas are single- and doublestorey options that continue the colonial style, such as the palatial Vanda Villa (S$13,500, RM42,000). Then there is Lawan Village,


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The Salon & Library is a tranquil lounge area overlooking the pool and beach (inset).

a clutch of Thai-inspired villas encircling a serene pond. Though the designs differ – Great House suites and villas hold true to the stately black-andwhite theme, while Lawan Village adds brushstrokes of warm brown – they are united by the same plush amenities which include Bang & Olufsen appliances and Pavchinskaya’s personal treasure trove of art and curios. The latter gives the resort its name; Sanchaya means ‘collection’ in Sanskrit. You’ll find yourself compelled to explore the pristine beach, lounge under palm trees and swim in the spectacular 50m infinity pool. Or watch others wander about in

You’ll find yourself compelled to lounge under palm trees and swim in the spectacular pool.

the same bliss while sipping on a cocktail – mixed tableside for you. For nourishment, the Dining Room and more casual Tasanee Grill offer fine examples of European and Asian cuisine, while The Sanchaya Spa is an oasis of calm that promises, and delivers on, rejuvenation. The world is your oyster. It feels that way at here. Squint and you can imagine this being a sepiatoned tableau from Hollywood’s golden age. Open your eyes wider and that vision sharpens into a throwback wonder. The Sanchaya is a magnificent mixture of a glorious past, the cutting-edge of modern luxury and a clear vision of opulence. www.thesanchaya.com ≠


Happy Holidays Read it First BURO247.MY


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SPECIAL FEATURE

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Positioned For Business

The World Corporate Golf Challenge offers winning opportunities for top executives on the greens and off it.

Oitavos Dunes ranks number one in Portugal and number two in Europe. Photos OCTĂ VIO PASSOS, VIRGILIO RODRIGUES


SPECIAL FEATURE

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A

Corporate

s the oldest and

Among them are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Hong

largest corporate golf

Kong, India and Indonesia.

event

“So many people have

of its kind, World

derived value and purpose from

Challenge

this challenge as we make it clear

the

Golf

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that this event is more than just golf,”

(WCGC) has seen the participation

Guerra says. “We are a corporate

of over one million men and women

event before we are a golf tournament,

from 50 countries since its inception in the UK in 1993. Its long history and global reach makes for interesting business dynamics, particularly in its much-anticipated annual World Final, which tees up a diverse mix of business cultures and industry leaders. Its chairman Jose Guerra has been involved with WCGC over 20 years and has seen it evolve into a network of over 50 licence holders in as many countries.

The World Corporate Golf Challenge offers participants a chance to build and deepen business networks on a local, national and global level. Inset: World Corporate Golf Challenge chairman Jose Guerra.

and the game is a vehicle which drives the many business relationships that take place as a result of the WCGC.” The likelihood of business partnerships being forged becomes much greater with the calibre of the participants that it attracts. Players are business executives aged between 30 and 60. Across its history, a sample of its participating

Its chairman Jose Guerra has been involved with the World Corporate Golf Challenge for over 20 years.


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companies include Accenture, Adidas, Barclays, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Beiersdorf, Cisco, Citibank and Coca-Cola. At its 20th anniversary World Final held at Loch Lomond in May 2013, the Rolls-Royce team was crowned as the WCGC world champion. More recent winners include the Pyrit Project Management team from Sweden in 2014, while the male-female partnership of Shashidhar Reddy and Sonam Chugh of India’s Ramesh Swiss Watches clinched the 2015 championship. This year, Yuzhou Wine – one of China’s biggest wine producers – triumphed at Oitavos Dunes Links in Cascais, Portugal. Yuzhou Wine president Yuan Xiu Ping (handicap seven) and his partner Sen Ye (handicap four) achieved 123 Stableford points to win the championship, while the Pakistani and Turkish teams finished

This year, a total of 3,150 teams of twos competed at the national level games.

Robb Report

as runners-up. A total of 3,150 teams of twos competed at the national level games, with the top 38 teams qualifying to play the WCGC World Final at Portugal’s number-one rated golf course, the Arthur Hills-designed Oitavos Dunes. The course, which will also host the 2017 World Final edition, is a marvel of conservation being the first course in


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Europe and second in the world to be

five nights – the World Final will host

granted the Gold Signature Sanctuary

social events at some amazing venues,

status quality certification. It is also a

with famous golfing ambassadors and

recipient of the Audubon International

celebrities.” The WCGC’s line-up of

recognition for its highest levels of

ambassadors includes Tony Jacklin and

conservation. Paul McGinley, the 2014

northern Irishman Ronan Rafferty,

Ryder Cup-winning captain and three-

whose body of work includes golf

time winning Ryder Cup team member,

broadcasting and course design.

declared Oitavos Dunes as having

In the past, the World Final has

the potential to be the best course

taken place on renowned courses in

in Europe. Next year, the Malaysian qualifying leg of the WCGC will take place in the second quarter. “It is going to be my pleasure to welcome the team from Malaysia for the 2017 World Final and specifically, to the wonderful town of Cascais,” Guerra says. “I am slightly biased towards Cascais as it is where I come from. It is truly one of the most spectacular places in the world to visit, and over

The idyllic seaside charm of Cascais will once again provide the backdrop for next year’s World Final. Inset: WCGC ambassador and football legend Luis Figo, whose eponymous foundation was selected as the beneficiary charity this year. Facing page from top: this year’s field of participants; Oitavos Dunes Links.

Spain, Jamaica, Mauritius, South Africa and Scotland. Both local and international competitions have attracted plenty of media coverage via in-flight programmes across 14 international

The Malaysian qualifying leg of the WCGC will take place in the second quarter of 2017.

airlines (as part of the Golfing World Programme) and promotions with print media partners Time and Fortune for the World Final. w w w.w o r l d c o r p o r a t e g o l f challenge.com


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STANDING TALL Pavilion Damansara Heights and Robb Report Malaysia orchestrate a bash like no other.

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Event photos ALL IS AMAZING

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By KENNETH TAN

3

2

4

Guests were regaled by an ambience of contemporary and retro music. 5

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1) Pavilion Damansara Heights, the most anticipated integrated development in Kuala Lumpur. 2) At the event, an estimated 400 guests were feted with culinary highlights in a rarefied atmosphere. 3) In good company. 4) Models at the presentation of Franck Muller timepieces by Sincere Fine Watches. 5) Datin Seri Joey Low (left) and Dato’ Tracey Lai. 6) Violin virtuoso Dennis Lau entertained guests, providing the dramatic accompaniment to the ethereal dancing of Cecilia Yong.

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n a Thursday evening, an estimated total of 400 Pavilion Damansara Heights buyers converged in the modish space of RuYi & Lyn in Bangsar Shopping Centre. Built on six hectares of freehold land, the integrated development of

corporate towers, luxury residences and a premium lifestyle mall will be seamlessly connected to Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT station upon its targeted completion in 2020. It’s also within walking distance to Semantan Station. Both stations will be operational by year-end.

Guests were regaled by an ambience of contemporary and retro music. For food, the highlight included a giant 73kg bluefin tuna flown in fresh from Fukuoka, expertly sliced by masterful Japanese chefs into tender chunks of sashimi and paired with seasonal chilled sake.


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1) Lyn Siew. 2) From left: Michael von Schlippe, Chuah Ying Huey and Donald Lim. 3) The unmissable Franck Muller timepieces on display. 4) A duo of Japanese chefs worked on the sashimi for the evening. 5) Sweet treats by Les Deux Garcons. 6) Bartender Sam Kinugawa in action.

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4 Also on offer were freshly shucked oysters and a host of other culinary highlights, including Ruyi’s signature sushi trio: a miniaturised triumvirate of nasi lemak, mango sticky rice and Hainanese chicken rice. For libation, the talents of bartender Sam Kinugawa produced a slew of delicious cocktails from Moscow Mules and Old Fashioneds

to gin with home-made tonic and a fruity saketini. Soon after, the Yamazaki 18 and Hibiki 21 was doled out to the appreciative guests, who savoured the beautiful notes and palate of these rare whiskies. A beautifully curated dessert bar included tempting Earl Grey tea cakes and an assortment of delicious ice cream flavours such as smoked cognac, Asahi beer sorbet, rum and

6 raisin and hoji cha. Guests were also entertained by the graceful interpretations of dancer Cecilia Yong, accompanied by the virtuoso talents of violinist Dennis Lau. The night ended with a delicious rendition of cigars with Cohiba Magicos, Partagas Serie E No. 2 and Hoyo Anejados Hermosos No. 4 providing the perfect pairing to the whiskies. â‰


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1

2

3

4

1) A 73kg bluefin tuna, flown in fresh from Fukuoka the same day, as presented by Japanese sushi chef Norikazu Shibata at the event. 2) An assortment of South Pacific, Australian and Irish premium oysters. 3) The seasonal chilled sake of Izumibashi Junmai Ginjo Megumi blue label provided the perfect complement to the sashimi. 4) A grand dessert room offered, among other delights, a tree of madeleines.

A beautifully curated dessert bar included tempting Earl Grey tea cakes and an assortment of delicious ice cream flavours.


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Le Poulet Gaston Gerard was undeniably the star of the meal, a masterful retelling of a beloved culinary tale Photos PRAKASH DANIEL

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GALLIC GRACE Chef Nicolas Isnard’s French flair and modern creativity take centre stage at the Mandarin Grill. By JENNIFER CHOO

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hicken breast as a main course on a Michelins t a r re d c h e f ’s menu may sound pedestrian, but in the gifted hands of chef Nicolas Isnard it becomes ambrosial. Isnard earned his stripes, or rather star, at L’Auberge de la Charme in Prenois soon after its opening in 2009. The accolades that swiftly followed included an award of four toques by Gault et Millau, one of the most influential French restaurant guides and the title of Maitre Cuisinier de France (Master Chef of France) in 2012. In September, Isnard was at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur’s Mandarin Grill to present five days of culinary excellence, continuing the restaurant’s impeccable track record of working with superb chefs.

Chef Nicolas Isnard’s signature is reinventing traditional dishes from Burgundy with modern techniques, using only premium local produce.

As a taster of sorts, Mandarin Grill hosted a dinner with a special line-up showcasing Isnard’s enviable range. Kicking off with a luxurious amuse bouche composed of beetroot, Comte cheese and truffle, Isnard set the scene for enchantment with light-as-air mousse hued an appetising deep red. His clever reinvention took an international turn with a duo of raw seafood dishes featuring Thai-style prawn tartare and red snapper ceviche respectively. The acidity of the tartare was bracing but the avocado in it gave it lushness, while toasted pine nuts and almonds lent the ceviche an appealing earthiness. On to more seafood with perfectly cooked scallops a la plancha, injected with a

Isnard was at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur’s Mandarin Grill to present five days of culinary excellence.


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Prenois in Burgundy was, after all, where Isnard earned his Michelin star.

satisfying shot of acid courtesy of salsify and apple. The gates of heaven opened with the main course of Le Poulet Gaston Gerard. This traditional Burgundian dish was revitalised with Comte cheese foam, a trio

of shiitake, duxelle and shimeji mushrooms and accompanied with a sublime chicken thigh in white sauce. Prenois in Burgundy was, after all, where Isnard earned his Michelin star and judging from this unforgettable dish, rightly

so. Dessert was rich chocolate ganache completed with orange cremeux and fleur de sel biscuits, a classic balanced adieu that summarised Isnard’s deft melange of the traditional and modern. www. mandarinoriental.com/kualalumpur â‰


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THE GREAT SPANISH AGEING TRADITION Formerly reserved for aristocrats, Vega Sicilia tempts the palate with its recent release of the Valbuena 50. By WINNIE YONG

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ew exemplify Spain’s great ageing tradition like Vega Sicilia. The winery’s uniqueness lies in its complex flagship wine Unico - released 10 years after harvest - and its rare Unico Reserva Especial - a blend of selected Unico vintages. Vega Sicilia’s second label, Valbuena 50, which sees no less than five years of ageing before release, is a robust expression of Tempranillo blended with Merlot and

Vega Sicilia does not use pesticides or inorganic viticultural methods in its vineyards. Photo LAW SOO PHYE

Cabernet Sauvignon. This heavily aromatic and softly textured wine with toasty vanilla and spiced notes makes for a superb introduction to Vega Sicilia, which remains, without a doubt, in the pantheon of the most acclaimed and unusual wine producers on the planet. In Malaysia, the Vega Sicilia 2010 is priced at RM598 per bottle and is available at Milawa outlets. www.vega-sicilia.com ≠


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GOOD WHISKY, BAD TIMES A persistent smoke-infused finish symbolises Ardbeg’s irrepressible spirit. By RICHARD CARLETON HACKER

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or Ardbeg, the mid-1990s was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Located on the alternately windswept and fogshrouded southeastern coast of Islay, this Scottish distillery produced signature smoky whiskies that were highly coveted throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries for use in blends and private bottlings. But having closed down from 1981 to 1989, the facility resumed operation with reduced output. Fortunately, Glenmorangie

purchased the Ardbeg distillery in 1997 and restored it to its former glory. To commemorate Ardbeg’s resurrection, the distillery has just released Ardbeg Twenty One, an extremely limited 21-yearold single malt hand selected by distillery manager Mickey Heads from the small number of casks that survived those perilous years and continued to mature beautifully. Distilled in 1994 and aged in ex-bourbon barrels, this pale-gold, non-chill-filtered spirit emits a soft, smoky bouquet. www.ardbeg.com ≠

Ardbeg Twenty One is an extremely limited 21-year-old single malt.

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December – 2016

Ardbeg Twenty One is non chill-filtered and matured entirely in 200-litre exbourbon casks.

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The executive chef worked wonders with seafood, in particular.

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COOKING THE BOOKS Jose Alonso adds a fiery dose of Spanish flair to The Library at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur.

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By RENYI LIM

howcasing the vibrant cuisine of his country to the best of his ability, Spanish chef Jose Alonso made a guest appearance at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur between 25 and 29 October. Diners were entertained by a specially curated dinner menu (from RM150 per person) at The Library – one of the hotel’s newest culinary spaces – featuring a selection of his signature dishes. The executive chef behind Binomio Spanish Restaurante and tapas bar El Tardeo in Singapore worked wonders with seafood, in particular. Outstanding tapas plates included slender ribbons of grilled cuttlefish in a veal vinaigrette and tender coins of grilled Atlantic octopus atop sliced potatoes, sprinkled with smoked paprika.

A rich, devious-looking squid ink paella came packed with deliciously fresh prawns and fish, clinging to the spoon as it was mixed with a pungent dollop of aioli. Of course, there was plenty of land food to delight diners, too. Light-as-air croquettes stuffed with mashed c h ic ken a nd boiled egg, and crisp slivers of fried eggplant drizzled with honey, tickled their palates until a braised lamb shank with roasted piquillo peppers arrived at the table. Despite ending up utterly stuffed, many doused their servings of traditional deep-fried churros in chocolate sauce and ate them with relish. Any Spaniard – chef Alonso included – would undoubtedly have approved of such epicurean enthusiasm. www.ritzcarlton.com ≠

Food photo LAW SOO PHYE

Chef Jose Alonso honed his culinary skills after having worked for 10 years with many celebrity chefs, who include Michelin award-winning Sergi Arola, Francis Paniego and Spain’s most celebrated chef, Santi Santamaria.


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THE WORLD’S MOST PRIZED BEEF Torii brings one of Japan’s great edible icons - the world’s richest and juiciest steak - to Malaysia.

Sourced from black Wagyu cattle, the Kobe sirloin A4 (RM180 for 100g) is rich, tender and succulent. Photos LAW SOO PHYE


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Torii’s masterful execution on the Matsusaka (RM310 for 100g) locks in the juices of the meat with a discernible smoky aroma of char.

By WINNIE YONG

Japan pursues its culinary art forms with a sacred zeal.

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he air is thick with the aroma of grilled beef. On the plate rests a thinly sliced Kobe steak, each portion of cherry-red f lesh ornamented by wisps of succulent fat. One bite coats my palate with a flavour that is all at once beefy, sweet and nutty, and a texture that is every bit as tough as … butter. This richness puts Kobe right up there with delicacies such as foie gras, truffles and caviar.

The Kobe sirloin F1 (RM120 for 100g) is perfectly paired with panseared foie gras.

Japan, the world’s great perfectionist, pursues its culinary art forms with a sacred zeal. A less sacred and more rambunctious version of that zeal is on full display at Torii tonight. I imagine it’s a scene regularly played out at the gastro-bar since the introduction of its Japanese steak menu. “Torii is all about premium experiences,” says owner Terry Lim. “The Japanese produce beef that’s unequalled anywhere else


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Robb Report

On Torii’s new steak menu is the A5grade Kobe Zabuton. in the world. Where better to enjoy this outside Japan than at Torii, the very place that pioneered the premium yakitori experience in Malaysia.” On Torii’s new steak menu is the A5-grade Kobe Zabuton - a tender cut from the short rib - and various grades of Kobe sirloin from A4 to F1. Each grade is an indication of the meat’s fat content and the degree of its buttery texture, flavour and juiciness. Alongside the Kobe offerings is Matsusaka - Japan’s best-kept secret that some consider even finer than Kobe because of its higher fat-to-

From left: Green Beans with Black Sesame, Egg Yolk Croquettes and Sauteed Spinach. Inset: at Torii, the sides offered with your steak meal include cured Egg Yolk Croquettes.

meat ratio. The beef comes from female virgin cows raised in Mie prefecture. Finished at 36 months old, they are alive longer than any other beef cattle. Many believe this unusually long life to be the reason behind Matsusaka’s inimitable taste and texture. The luxury of such richness is not to be taken lightly - and certainly not on its own. Torii also offers, alongside its steaks, a variety of side dishes such as shaved fresh black truffle, pan-seared foie gras, grilled Japanese scallop and egg yolk croquettes. torii.my ≠


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HOLE IN ONE A golfing legend pays tribute to wine.

The first six hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in 1999.

By KENNETH TAN

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he Upper-Langkloof valley lies 762m above sea level in South Africa on the picturesque Western Cape. It enjoys a cool sea breeze which rolls in from the Indian Ocean, before descending upon the apple and pear orchards in the valley. It is also here, where golfing legend Retief Goosen is cultivating Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc in the bucolic countryside that attracted a flock of Wilde Makou – the Afrikaans name for the spurwinged goose – which has made a home at a nearby dam since 2007. The recent release of The Goose Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (RM160) carries a delicious and light mineral touch – ideal for a seafood pairing,

while The Goose Pinor Noir of 2013 (RM210) is an elixir that evokes spice and fruit from the briar patch. Its f lagship, The Goose Expression 2008 (RM220), is two parts Cabernet Sauvignon and one part Shiraz; velvety, floral and structured to last a decade and more. A lot of the credit goes towards the excellent tradition of viticulture at Goose Wine Estate, which carefully prunes the vines to ensure grapes are shaded from the harshest of burn, with a continued vigilance for capricious baboons before the harvest is transported overnight to a winemaking facility in Somerset West located five hours away. www.thegoosewines.com ≠

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EASY APPEAL Australian winery McGuigan Wines takes a friendly approach towards it bottlings.

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cGu iga n Wi nes’ winning proposition is in making fruitfor w a rd w i ne s which are decidedly approachable, easily likeable and not difficult to comprehend. The Australian winery, founded by the McGuigan brothers in 1992 in Hunter Valley, has vine holdings that extend across South Australia, from Barossa Valley to Adelaide Hills and the Eden and Clare valleys, as well as into Victoria and New South Wales. This allows the winery to produce a wide variety of wines that it bottles under labels

By ELAINE LAU

McGuigan Wines won the title of International Winemaker of the Year three times in London’s International Wine and Spirit Competition.

such as Shortlist, Private Bin, Black Label and Personal Reserve, to name a few. At a wine pairing dinner at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur’s Thirty8 restaurant hosted by Neil McGuigan, the wines featured showcased the winery’s distinctive style. Canapes of freshly shucked Irish oysters, poached lamb loin and focaccia were served with Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014, which tantalised with its sweet notes of passionfruit and honey, and Private Bin Merlot 2014, an easydrinking red tasting of raisins and raspberry. The zippy and citrusy


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The Australian winery was founded by the McGuigan brothers in 1992 in Hunter Valley. character of Bin 9000 Hunter Valley Semillon 2015 proved to be an ideal companion to the starter of blue swimmer crab on a bed of yellowtail tuna tartare with marinated avocado. Composed of shiraz, grenache and mourvedre, Shortlist Barossa Valley GSM 2012 has a semi-dry profile characterised by soft tannins and hints of savouriness – just what was needed to cut through the sweetness in the braised fivespice duck. Meanwhile, Farms Shiraz 2012, what Neil calls “the big red”, is brawny and concentrated, with intense flavours of blackberry, black olive and spice, a velvety mouthfeel and

Thirty8’s executive sous chef Michel Eschmann devised the fourcourse dinner.

Photo LAW SOO PHYE

lingering finish. This full-bodied red predictably complemented the well-seasoned roasted black Angus beef sirloin with chimichurri. Ending the evening on a sweet note was Signature Moscato 2015, which has delightful pineapple and floral flavours underlined by a surprising spritz. The dessert wine elevated the coconut ice cream with caramelised pineapple, and afforded a delicious contrast to the cheese platter of French brie and Swiss gruyere. “The idea for this evening was to build on the flavours and intensity of the wines,” says Neil. Well, he certainly succeeded. www.mcguiganwines.com.au ≠


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G Hotel’s culinary experiences are easy choices for your celebrations.

Photos LAW SOO PHYE

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HOLIDAY CHEER G Hotel in Penang serves festive treats to help you see out 2016 on a high. By KENNETH TAN

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he island idyll of Penang is perfect for a year-end staycation. At G Hotel Gurney and Kelawai, strategically located along the premium shopping strip and seafront promenade of Gurney Drive, one is comfortably ensconced in the immediate vicinity of creature comforts. Once there, G Hotel’s decadent culinary experiences replete with seasonal delicacies become easy choices for your celebratory feasts. A Christmas eve dinner (RM160 nett per person) and Christmas Day brunch (RM160 nett per person) features roasted turkey with stuffing, gravy and a side of cranberry sauce to get you in the mood. Taste Cafe in G Hotel Gurney also offers roasted prime rib and barbecued lamb.

All manner of Christmas desserts and relaxing island vibes offer the entire family an easy transition to 2017.

The food parade includes seafood and desserts such as Christstollen, pumpkin pie, yule logs, macarons and ice creams. The New Year’s eve buffet and New Year’s Day brunch will help you ring in 2017 with gastronomic bliss. In the French bistro-styled Spoon at G Hotel Kelawai, the New Year’s eve buffet dinner (RM178 nett) kicks off with creamy lobster bisque followed by the kitchen’s special touches of lobster sauce pasta, beef medallions with thyme and squid masala. To countdown to the New Year, head for the panoramic outdoor experience at the Gravity rooftop bar with a view of the surrounding fireworks and a bottle of Dom Perignon 2004 (RM1,520). Room nights for the festive period start at RM399++. www.ghotel.com.my ≠

Taste Cafe in G Hotel Gurney also offers roasted prime rib and barbecued lamb.


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A LIFETIME OF SERVICE Glen Grant’s Sir Dennis Malcolm tells Vishal Bhaskaran of how he was destined to become a master distiller.

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his story begins in a way it couldn’t today, what with labour laws and legal technicalities. Sir Dennis Malcolm began his career at the Glen Grant distillery at the tender age of 15. “I started as an apprentice cooper because I was very interested in how the casks could hold the spirit,” he remembers. The affable raconteur jokes that he had very little say in how he moved from one of the beginning stages of production to a senior management level, where he is presently the de facto

Sir Dennis Malcolm; Glen Grant’s limited-edition aged expressions - 10 years, 12 years and 18 years.

brand ambassador of the eminent Speyside distillery. “My father was a distiller, my grandfather was a distiller employed by James ‘The Major’ Grant who was the son of the founder no less. I was destined to become a distiller.”

The most recent releases during his tenure are his own creations: Glen Grant 18 Years (RM688) and Glen Grant 12 Years (RM268). As for the question of succession, Sir Dennis already has the right people in place but has a little way to go before he can see whether his twin grandsons will submit their applications to Glen Grant. “They’re just 13 years old. When they were born I put down a cask for each of them, from which I will sample (at intervals) so that we have a maturation journey for the cask – I hope I’m around for that.” www.glengrant.com ≠

“I started as an apprentice cooper because I was very interested in how the casks could hold the spirit.”


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Robb Report

A LIFE WELL-EXAMINED

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Fumihiko Konishi talks about how Malaysia has changed and the most important qualities in his business and life. By SAM YEN

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here you start is not necessarily where you end. That’s the journey of life. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Fumihiko Konishi is proof of that. Japan may be his place of birth, but he now considers Malaysia, and Penang, his home. He trained to be a chemist in university, but his career path turned him towards business, as the head of the Texchem conglomerate, as well as the founder of the ubiquitous Sushi King brand. I arrived in Malaysia in 1968. It was so diverse and so multicultural. I didn’t see that diversity as a handicap. It was potential. Say what you will about his pros and cons, but Dr Mahathir did a great job in developing the country. I saw his industrialisation policies from their start in the 70s until today, and I can say with certainty that it has lifted

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) opened the first Sushi King outlet in 1995 in Kuala Lumpur (facing page).

the entire country. High education is now common and the standard of living has improved so much. The biggest thing that has changed in Malaysia in the 48 years I have been here is opportunity. Everything used to be limited. Education,

infrastructure, access. Very few people had the opportunity to grow. Now participation in the economy has been opened up to everyone, as long as they want it. This is the natural path of development in any country, and in Malaysia it happened very quickly. If I had to give advice to a young person starting their job or their first business today, I would tell them to be patient. People have always wanted to job-hop, and because it is so easy to do it nowadays, they do it without thinking twice. And they hop to something completely different than before! They should have patience. Spend at least five years focusing on one thing and learn all you can. And always be fair. That is the rule I live by. In whatever I do, I always ask myself: am I being fair to the other person, and is the other person being fair


ROBB READER

December – 2016

to me? If not, there can be no faith, and business runs on faith. There will always be hardship. That is just part of life. For me, the hardest period of my life was the four years after I graduated from Universiti Malaya in 1969. I didn’t know it then because I was young and naive, but it was a really challenging time working in a trading firm with terrible pay. But it made me realise what I wanted to do, and I started Texchem in 1974.

In the 10 years that followed, I built the company up myself. It was very hard, but it paid off. I like ambition. When I interview someone, I always look for ambitious people. But you need to match ambition with effort. It is okay to be hard-working without being ambitious – you can get

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by just fine - but to be ambitious without working hard is the worst combination. You will always be frustrated. I used to relax by playing golf. But now, I travel. I love Europe. I first went there in 1977, for a month for business. Back then, there was no such thing as work on a weekend, so I was forced to explore because t h e re was nothing else to do. Now I visit Europe at least once a year. ≠

“To be ambitious without working hard is the worst combination. You will always be frustrated.”

Photo WAN MOHD/EYEEM


STOCKISTS

176

Robb Report

Aira Residence

Chopard

Franck Muller

Jalan Gelanggang Damansara Heights 03 2094 0150 www.selangorproperties.com.my

#2.24.00 & #3.26.00, Level 2 & 3 Pavilion KL 03 2145 3611 www.chopard.com

Sincere Fine Watches #2.01.07, Level 2 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 03 2141 8418 www.sincere.com.sg

Bang & Olufsen

Christofle

#S-239A The Gardens Mall 03 2283 2218 www.bang-olufsen.com

#G118, Ground Floor Bangsar Shopping Centre 03 2282 5985 eu.christofle.com

Benromach

Cortina Watch

Single & Available #G111A Bangsar Shopping Centre 03 2287 2151 www.benromach.com

#122 & #123, Level 1 Suria KLCC 03 2164 5175 www.cortinawatch.com

Bottega Veneta

#3.43, Level 3 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 03 2141 3110 www.damiani.com

#2.30.00, Level 2 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 03 2143 7880 www.bottegaveneta.com

Bulgari #G23, Ground Floor Suria KLCC 03 2382 0450 www.bulgari.com

Cartier #3.14, Level 3 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 03 2303 5088 www.cartier.com

Damiani

Dior #G20 – 28, Indulge Floor Starhill Gallery 03 2143 1886 www.dior.com

Ferrari Naza Italia Lot 3, Jalan 15A/ 221 Petaling Jaya 03 7956 8599 www.ferrari.com

Gaggenau BSH Home Appliances 89 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar 03 7955 8880 www.gaggenau.com

Glenfarclas Single & Available Lot G111A Bangsar Shopping Centre 03 2287 2151 www.glenfarclas.co.uk

Harry Winston Cortina Watch Malaysia #UG19, Adorn Floor Starhill Gallery 03 2142 1171 www.harrywinston.com

Hautlence Cortina Watch Malaysia #UG19, Adorn Floor Starhill Gallery 03 2142 1171 www.hautlence.com


STOCKISTS

December – 2016

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Hermes Timepieces

Mercedes-Benz

Simpson Marine

#UG30C, Adorn Floor Starhill Gallery 03 2141 7171 www.hermes.com

Mercedes-Benz City Store E-G-16, TREC No 436, Jalan Tun Razak 03 2110 3240 www.mercedes-benz.com

Admiral Cove Marina Club 5th Mile, Jalan Pantai 71050 Port Dickson Negeri Sembilan 06 647 6868 www.simpsonmarine.com

Hublot #UG15, Adorn Floor Starhill Gallery 03 2148 0830 www.hublot.com

Jaeger-LeCoultre #G36, Indulge Floor Starhill Gallery 03 2303 6088 www.jaeger-lecoultre.com

Land Rover 19, Jalan Perintis U1/52 Section U1 Temasya Industrial Park Glenmarie Shah Alam 03 5569 3311 www.landrover.com

Lexus 314, Jalan Sungai Besi Kuala Lumpur 03 9222 2268 www.lexus.com

Montblanc #2.18.00 & #3.20.00, Level 2 and 3 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 03 2144 3323 www.montblanc.com

Patek Philippe #G41 & #G42, Ground Floor Suria KLCC Shopping Centre 03 2161 3611 www.patek.com

Piaget #G38, Ground Floor Suria KLCC Shopping Centre 03 2078 7078 www.int.piaget.com

Seiko WataTime #2.61.00, Level 2 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 03 2143 9198 www.seikowatches.com

Sincere Fine Watches #2.01.07, Level 2 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur 03 2141 8418 www.sincere.com.sg

Swarovski #106, Level 1 Suria KLCC 03 2161 2958 www.swarovski.com

TIffany & Co #G25B, Ground Floor Suria KLCC 03 2163 2088 www.tiffany.com

TWG Tea #G-K03, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur 03 2284 2899 www.twgtea.com


THE LAST WORD

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Robb Report

LET’S GET NAUGHTY Christmas is the season of giving, of love, of forgiveness. Or not. While Jingle Bells plays ad nauseam in crowded departmental stores, how about you play Krampus this year and spread the spirit of, shall we say, self-love? Give something from this list, why don’t you? By MARCUS YEW

FOR THE SELFIE-OBSESSED SHOW-OFF

FOR THE OFFICE GOSSIP

A bottle of wart remover. A tweezer. Specially designed for nose hair. A compression garment made just for lovehandles.

A deliciously minty mouthwash. A nifty guide to the basics of English grammar. A premium, perhaps even organic, deodorant.

FOR THE STINGY FREELOADER

FOR THE BUSYBODY RELATIVE

A voucher (!!) for a suburban mall weight loss spa. A sock. Combed cotton, of course. A crisp Tiffany & Co paper bag.

A set of binoculars. A framed picture of yourself. A bag of your dirty laundry. Literally.


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