Issuu on Google+


sur la terre foreword

» foreword

COVER IMAGE

Charisma is the name of the game with Bvlgari’s latest ad campaign. A revamped image and new

leading lady in form of enigmatic Julianne Moore

take the iconic jeweller to the next level with effortless style and elegance. Stylist Julia von

Boehm pairs Moore’s classic hues with teardrop emeralds of the rarest green in a setting of

baguette-cut diamonds. Irresistible eccentricity

and temperament in true BVLGARI fashion.

BVLGARI, Villaggio Mall, Doha, Qatar

Sur La Terre – Doha

Regional Managing Editor: James McCarthy Senior Editor: Steve Paugh

Deputy Editor: Mina Kavcar

Regional PR, Sales & Marketing Director: Julia Toon Creative Director: Roula Zinati Ayoub

Art and Design: Rena Chehayber, Lara Nakhleh, Michael Logaring, Rana Cheikha Editorial Contributors: Hollie Parker, Kathryn Kalemkerian, Désirée Mitterrand Distribution and Subscription: Michael Javier, Tobias Toon Printed by: Raidy Printing Press

Published by: Firefly Communications

P.O. Box 11596, Doha - Qatar, Tel: +974 4340360, Fax: +974 4340359

01

>>> Welcome, Dear Reader, to this, the second annual Watch & Jewellery Special Edition of Sur la Terre Magazine. Even though it was a year ago, it seems like just yesterday that we wrapped up our first special edition to coincide with the Jewellery & Watches Exhibition here in Doha. Still, in that year we have weathered a few fiscal trials, not least of which, as you may or may not remember, was that tiny ... little ... debilitating global financial squall, the sheer magnitude of which decapitated worldwide markets nearly overnight! Ahem. Despite this little “hiccup,” the waters of the luxury market in Qatar remained comparatively calm, and it has never been a better time to take a dip in the decadence that only Doha can provide. Our first journey in this special edition is to take you Around the Show of the Jewellery & Watches Exhibition, rubbing elbows as we do with the biggest names in international indulgence and regional ritz. We even hand-select a few to honour with a very special prize in one of our most eagerly anticipated features, the first annual SLT Awards! After reintroducing you to brands like Patek Philippe, De Beers and Bvlgari in introspective features, we enhance the editorial exclusivity of this edition by shining our Spotlight onto luxury stars from both Qatar and afar. We start and finish at home, first in a very special conversation with two of the most stunning and up-and-coming faces in the next generation of local luxury, Dana and Noor Alfardan, and last with longtime luxury legend, Al Zain. In between our gabs in the Gulf, we sit down with Mr. Ulrik Garde Due, CEO of famed international jeweller and haute home designer George Jensen, as well as a man who needs no introduction to Qatar connoisseurs, one of the “hautest” horologists in the world today: Mr. Michel Parmigiani. We then head home, to Doha’s own Museum of Islamic Art, and investigate what makes the jewel festooned hunks of history that reside within its walls famous enough to be called Rock Stars. After that, we go back to the future, where we look at the luxury of tomorrow in today’s technology, and explore the next frontier of being fashionable. From there, our trip goes inward, as we implore you to look inside your soul and Watch Yourself, because your chosen timepiece may be a bit more telling than you thought when you bought it. Whether you’re spending time with the high-end mighty, or watching on as the gems shine brightly, I’m sure that you’re going to love this very special edition of Sur la Terre. Enjoy! STEVE PAUGH Senior Editor

Sur La Terre is published quarterly. © 2009 Firefly Communications. All material strictly copyright and all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of Firefly Communications, is strictly forbidden.


04

sur la terre content

»

content

06 around the show

Sur la Terre explores the biggest names in local and global luxury, as we take you on a tour of this year’s Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition

15 brand history

Sur la Terre joins De Beers for a walk down memory lane

22 spotlight on Alfardan

Introducing the next generation in local luxury: Noor and Dana Alfardan

27 fashion therapy

Lama motassem helps us get our sparkle back at Spa Chakra

34 gemstone generation

Bulgari mixes tradition with a brand new brand image

38 luxury tech

Sur la Terre plugs you into a gilded world of “technoluxury”

43 watch yourself

Mina Kavcar reveals what your wrist-candy really says about you

48 exclusive Q&A: Parmigiani

James McCarthy sees what makes watchmaker, Michel Parmigiani, tick


sur la terre content

53 SLT awards

Which watches and jewellery pieces won the Sur la Terre seal of approval?

61 rock stars

SLT uncovers important gems from the region’s opulent past

67 the luxury of time

Make time your own with these statement-making watches

71 grand designer - George Jensen

Steve Paugh delves into decadent design with the CEO of George Jensen

75 time history

SLT dicovers the horological history of Patek Philippe

82 regional spotlight - Al Zain We meet Bahrain’s king of bling, Nabeel Abdullah Al Zain

84 haute property

Looking for a plush pad in Morocco or luxury living in Doha? Find it here

91 entertainment

The best in chapters, tunes, flicks, clicks and joysticks

96 snapshot

A photograph to inspire and admire

05


06

sur la terre around the show

w sh e m i t >>> The now world-renowned Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition began a short seven years ago under the esteemed patronage of His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and His Excellency, the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Under such leadership, including that of its host, Mr. Ahmed Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Qatar Tourism Authority, the exhibition has seen great success throughout the years, up to and including its most recent shows, even though these have been held in arguably more tender financial times. With the recession apparently in remission, the 2010 Jewellery & Watches Exhibition is set to be one of the best in years. Its revitalised vigour now once again upon us, we are excited to bask in the rich parade of pizzazz and panache the likes of which would normally be found in the personal collections of royalty. Gems and precious metals glisten across its 45,000 square metres of floor space in designs of divine dimensions, while time is captured in the most sumptuous settings known to man. It is a cavalcade of class that only comes once a year, and Sur la Terre is here to give you an exclusive glimpse inside the camps of the biggest and brightest names around the exhibition. Consider this your menu for fine dining as we whet your appetite for what will prove to be a lavish feast for your senses. Get ready to dig in, Doha decadents: It’s Show Time!


08

sur la terre around the show

Baume & Mercier

Alfardan Jewellery If you are from, live in or have ever visited Qatar, you will have heard the name Alfardan. Just look through this very issue of Sur la Terre, and you will see the ubiquitous reach of the Alfardan name. Of course, that success did not just happen overnight; it has been building since its legend first began forming in the latter half of the 19th century. Its jewellery branch in particular has, since its establishment in 1954, become one of the most renowned jewellery and timepiece distributors in the Gulf, let alone on its home turf of Qatar. Rubbing elbows, as well as wrists, necklines and earlobes, with an impressive fleet of fine names such as Chopard, Franck Muller, Gerard-Perregaux, Baume & Mercier, Harry Winston, Piaget, Tiffany, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin and Gerald Genta, Alfardan doles out the decadence on a daily basis. Their stand at this year’s exhibition is similarly set to impress and arrest your attentions as you saunter around the show. This Doha-based delight is a mustvisit for every luxury lover.

Girard-Perregaux

Chopard


10

sur la terre around the show

Van Cleef

Ali Bin Ali It doesn’t come any bigger, better or brighter than Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc, Omega, DeWitt, Richard Mille, David Morris, Dior Jewellery, Hermes, Bertolucci, Ulysse Nardin or any of the other high-end brands with which the mega-name Ali Bin Ali makes its presence known on the high-end watch and jewellery scene in Qatar. It is because of such affiliations, and its own historical significance, that the Ali Bin Ali name is so highly regarded and respected in the country. Founded in 1955, the luxury and high-end retail arm of the company has become synonymous with quality, excellence and, unquestionably, opulence. Its clientele includes the most exclusive members of international V.I.P.s, and is comprised of selective celebrities, discerning debutantes, admiring aficionados and status symbols alike. If you are looking to get better acquainted with pure prestige, exceptional elegance and quintessential quality in the realms of ultra-chic watches and jewellery, get thee to the Ali Bin Ali stand and get a glimpse of greatness.

Leon Hatot

Cartier


12

sur la terre around the show

Blu Watches

51 East Previously known to the world as Modern Home, 51 East may have changed its name a couple of years ago, but that hasn’t changed its storied lineage as a staple in Qatar’s luxury lifestyle sector. Ever since it was first established way back in the 1940s, 51 East has always been amongst the premier of premium product providers in the country. Rolex, Cavali, Armand Nicolet, Ambrosia, Blu Watches, Scintilla Jewels, Jorg Hysek, Sector, Antica Murina and Tudor are but a few of the prestigious names associated with and available at 51 East. Theirs is a stand that showcases the best of the best at every Jewellery & Watches exhibition, so it has become understandably one of its most popular exhibitors. If prior shows and the whispers of this year’s available collections are any indication, 51 East is once again going to be a very big presence in 2010. If you’re looking for the most exceptional pieces in watch and jewellery, all you have to do is head east: 51 East, that is!

Scintilla Jewels

Tudor


sur la terre around the show

Adler

Amiri Gems As a member of the Nasser Bin Khaled Group, Amiri Gems has been sauntering through Doha’s sumptuous, style-laden society since 1994. That may make it younger than some of the other exhibitors at this year’s show, but it is in no way less distinguished. In fact, its dealings with stately sophistication have quickly pushed it to the head of the class. Known for their near peerless proficiency in selecting the most magnificent diamonds and coloured gems, Amiri Gems is well placed next to the jewellers with which it works, such as Adler, Palmiero and Chatila. The high-end company also associates itself with timeless elegance, not ironically, in its timepieces, dealing with masters of the minute like Concord, Frank Villa, Jacob & Co and many others. High profile and scintillating with a celebrity sparkle all their own, Amiri Gems is set to hypnotise their high-end clientele in a splendid spell not likely to fade even when you stagger away from its stand. Then again, you may not want to leave at all.

Palmerio

Franc Vila

13


14

sur la terre around the show

Pari Gallery It was in the 1960s when the Al Fahim family first began supplying their local and international client base with exquisite watches and jewellery. Getting their start in Saudi Arabia, the family soon established a permanent presence around the entirety of the Gulf under the now much-celebrated brand name Pari Gallery. Now, with an armada of over 80 boutiques throughout the region, the name carries the weight of wealth and taste that is associated with but a handful of others. Thanks to such partners as Montblanc, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Swarovski, Faconnable, Chopard and many, many others, Pari Gallery has become more than just a presence or an institution, it is the very heartbeat of a luxurious life. Their many stores shine with the delicate sense of luxury befitting their positioning amongst the upper crust of society, and their stand at the Jewellery & Watches Exhibition shimmers no less brightly. It is a true treat to get lost in the luxurious offerings at Pari Gallery and you would be a fool to miss it in 2010.

Gio Monaco

Helveco


sur la terre brand history

15

Mastering a Girl’s Best Friend WORDS: Hollie Parker

A luminous gem rather than a diamond in the rough, the De Beers name is synonymous with quality. After all, diamonds are forever so it stands to reason that such a brand would be, too...


16

sur la terre brand history

>>> De Beers is a name anyone in the know recognises. How can you not, when there’s such an illustrious history associated with the brand? From humble South African beginnings in the late 1800s to an international domination of the diamond market, the De Beers name has certainly made an impact by providing a heady percentage of the world’s diamond supply. The history of the diamond mining and trading company is as much a Cinderella story as any. Founder Cecil Rhodes was renting water pumps to miners when he began buying up the claims of small mining operators in South Africa, following the discovery of an 83.5 carat diamond on Colesburg Kopje, now known as Kimberley. The name ‘De Beers’ comes from Afrikaner farmer brothers, Diederik Arnoldus and Johannes Nicholas de Beers, who discovered diamonds on their land. Shortly afterwards, they sold the land, including the Kimberley and Premier mines, as they were unable to cope with the influx of keen gem-hunters that flooded them. As his empire grew, Rhodes received funding from the Rothschild family to further expand with the De Beers Consolidated Mines company. Having been created in 1888 when Rhodes merged his company with Barney Bernato, this made them the sole owners of all diamond operations within the country.


sur la terre brand history

When an agreement was struck up between Rhodes and the Diamond Syndicate in London, diamond sales became regulated, with a set number being bought for a fixed price. This proved successful, even during the downturn of sales from 1891-1892, following which the De Beers monopoly on the industry was well secured. Rhodes’ only worry at that point was that other diamond mines would open, “which human nature will work recklessly to the detriment of us all.” The 1899-1902 Second Boer War threw a spanner in the works when Kimberley came under siege at the beginning of the conflict, and Rhodes took it upon himself to place political pressure on the British government to ensure the protection of his cartel; he even went so far as to have shells, an armoured train and a other defences manufactured in the De Beers company workshops - perhaps not the most glamorous of activities to be involved in considering the precious commodity that the mines were concerned with churning out. In 1926, a prominent and determined figure in the South African gold and diamond market, German immigrant Ernest Oppenheimer, took ownership of De Beers after gradually purchasing enough stock to become a major shareholder. It was a coup for him as the board had seen him as overambitious, blocking his way onto the company’s board for decades. He was named chairman of De Beers shortly afterwards.

17


18

sur la terre brand history

While things steadied themselves enough for De Beers, operating out of London, to become one of the main suppliers of diamonds into the United States, the depression of the 1930’s and the Second World War each took a toll on the company, only for them to bounce back in the 1940’s when Oppenheimer’s son, Harry, took over from his father in leading De Beers out of their difficulties. A successful marketing strategy in the United States followed his visit there, with one of the most powerful phrases in the industry today being coined as a result – ‘A Diamond is Forever.’ The push to make diamonds the number one gem coveted by women was a great success, and the stones rose to become the most sought-after and most highly-regarded stone in the jewellery industry, a position they still enjoy today.

currently the most popular stone for couples getting married, because of the suggestions that they represented longevity as well as glamour and rarity.

By persuading women that diamonds were so unique that they should be untouched by another women in order to give them special meaning, De Beers managed to maintain control of the wholesale and retail level diamond trade, promoting anything and everything that the fairer sex could want, from anniversary necklaces to engagement and wedding rings. In fact, it’s because of De Beers that diamonds are

Keeping in the limelight over the years has not proved difficult with some of the spectacular creations that have come out of De Beers, not least of which are some of the world’s most famous diamonds. The Premier Mine alone has provided a number of gemstones of extraordinary colour, with over 300 stones that weigh more than 100 carats and a quarter of the world’s diamonds that weigh more than 400 carats.

A major triumph in recent years for De Beers saw the company launching a joint venture with the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate, French-based firm Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A (LVMH). Following that success, De Beers was finally able to set up shop in the market they’d supplied for so long, the USA, with their first stores opening in 2005 on New York’s infamous 5th Avenue and the equally renowned Rodeo Drive in LA’s Beverly Hills, with plenty more to follow in the coming years.


sur la terre brand history

19

One of the most spectacular pieces is the Centenary Diamond, found in the Premier Mine in 1986, 100 years after the De Beers company was established. Although it initially proved a problematic stone to cut due to its irregular shape, one of the most accomplished diamond cutters in the world, Gabi Tolkowsky, took on the project and created a stunning gemstone of 273.85 carats, with an unprecedented 247 facets. Also from De Beers and cut by Tolkowsky is the Golden Jubilee, the largest faceted diamond in the world at a whopping 545.67 carats, which was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of his coronation. Among the other famous diamonds is the infamous Millenium Star, an exquisite D-colour, flawless pear-shaped diamond, cut to perfect proportions and weighing in at 203.04 carats, second only to the Centenary Diamond in terms of size. It is the centrepiece of De Beers’ Limited Edition Millennium Diamonds collection that was unveiled in 2000. With such a glowing history, it’s not hard to see why celebrities are drawn to the brand name. While the infamous Taylor-Burton diamond,


20

sur la terre brand history

bought for Liz by her husband Richard as a 40th birthday present, was cut by Harry Winston and bought by Cartier, it originated from a then De Beers owned mine. She auctioned the diamond for US$5,000,000 following their divorce, using the money to build a hospital in Botswana. Other celebrities associated with the brand include Dita Von Teese, Debra Messing, Forest Whitaker, Helena Christensen, Kim Kardashian, Sharon Stone and models Lily Collins and Iman, both of whom served as the face of De Beers. All in all, De Beers has a history with enough sparkle to rival the Millenium Star itself, with a long future of icing the world’s glamourpusses ahead of it. If a diamond is forever, then surely De Beers is forever plus one.


22

sur la terre Spotlight

< Noor and Dana Alfardan. >

The Golden Girls Dana and Noor Alfardan

The Alfardan name has been one of the most recognised names in Qatar luxury ever since its establishment in 1954, and is associated via distribution with such names as Chopard, Harry Winston, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Franck Muller and many others. Steve Paugh chats with the two newest captains of the Alfardan brand, and learns how these two sisters will steer it into the next generation.

PICTURES: Brown Image Productions


sur la terre spotlight

The reigns that were forged by your grandfather Hussein Alfardan and then given to your father Ali, and his brothers Fahed and Omar, are now coming to you. How do you approach this grand task with such esteemed lineage and, being the next generation for Alfardan, how do you plan on taking the name into the future of high-end watch and jewellery retail and design? Dana: Being the new generation to enter an esteemed business is usually a driving force to innovate and offer a fresh perspective. We are entering the Jewellery industry at an interesting time in the global financial framework. The financial climate necessitates creativity, innovative designs and quality controls in the Jewellery industry simply because splurging over luxury is not as popular as it once was. As a consequence we are inheriting a highly dynamic and sophisticated customer base which keeps us on the look-out for new trends and quality pieces. Our family has set the bar incredibly high, securing solid foundations in the industry. They have left us with a body of skills and knowledge that are necessary to continue moving forward. Noor: With regards to retail, we’re constantly looking for new brands to represent. Because of the presence of other retailers in the market, we have to make sure that we can offer our customers something unique. We look for pieces that you wouldn’t likely find anywhere else in the region. Being the new generation of Alfardan Jewellery means that, like our father did before us, we have to look for new opportunities in the industry and pursue them to expand our presence in the market as much as we can. With regards to design, I have always been interested in Jewellery design and have completed my internship at Chopard, where I worked as a designer. It was an amazing and intimidating experience working for a world renowned brand known for its unique and innovative designs.

23

We understand that you spent some time in the UK and Dubai. Was your time there spent for purely academic pursuits, or was it more of a cultural information gathering experience? How have your travels and education prepared you both for your new roles under the Alfardan Jewellery banner? Dana: I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, which is seemingly unrelated to the Jewellery industry, but one can also draw many parallels. The business of Jewellery is composed of an international body of like-minded individuals working to produce highly prized pieces of art, and those pieces are distributed through representatives all over the world and exhibited at high profile events. Sometimes there are conflicts and sometimes there are synergies, but in the end, it comes down to communication and understanding between the supplier and the retailer. We have seen this in all the trade shows that we have attended. We have to work very closely with our retailers to explain the way our market is configured and illustrate the dominant tastes and preferences in order to make sure that the designs are well suited to the ever changing character of our market. Noor: We lived in Dubai and got our degrees from the American University of Sharjah then moved to London to obtain our gemology degrees at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). We gained knowledge of the science behind diamonds and coloured stones; how they are formed and mined, how to grade and identify them, etc. There are over 500 known coloured stones so it was quite a challenge. Being at the GIA was like a training period for us, where we interacted with other Jewellery retailers and designers. All the students were involved in the Jewellery industry somehow, and so we all benefited from each others’ experiences. Travelling was also important in preparing us for our new roles, we visited many exhibitions in various parts of the world where we saw new trends and manufacturing methods emerge. What are your specific points of interest within your new roles? Are you focused more on acquiring new clients or enhancing Alfardan’s already renowned exclusive range of jewellery in the future? Dana: Our new roles also allow us to influence the way people perceive Jewellery through the products that we choose, the way in which we present and display their distinctive character. We also seek to initiate a greater interaction with our market, through events. Like other art forms, Jewellery is a mode of self-expression and often a reflection of values and interests. Once Jewellery acquires that role, it is no longer an inanimate object but rather an integral part of our individual characters. Noor: We are always looking for new clients and to widen our customer base. Also, as I mentioned, I have always been interested in design, so my sister and I are currently working on our own line that will be exclusive to Alfardan. I’ve also collaborated with a well known Belgium-based designer Pejman Kerendian to create a line under his brand “Pejmani” which will hopefully be ready in time for February’s exhibition.


24

sur la terre spotlight

< Planetarium Tellurium >

How do you see the market developing for luxury goods here in the Gulf, and specifically in Qatar? Is there an appreciable difference in taste here than throughout the rest of the world, and do you think that taste is changing or evolving? How do you keep Alfardan relevant and on top in such a saturated field and a still very tender financial environment? Dana: As our demographics evolve, so does our market. However, the general taste or inclinations remain the same in that women generally prefer more extravagant pieces, and by comparison to the European or North American markets, so do the men. Women generally view a watch as another piece of Jewellery to adorn their wrist so its aesthetic quality is more important than the movement within it. For example, it is hardly feasible to put a double tourbillon inside ladies watches, designed for distribution in our market. A tourbillon is a mechanism manufactured to compensate the gravitational effect on the movement of your watch. That increases the complication of the watch and as a consequence commands higher prices, so we generally do not advise ordering overly complicated ladies watches. Now more than ever, you will only buy what you value. However, given that our customer base is expanding, we are always sure to cater to a wide variety of tastes and preferences. Noor: Qatar has a very specific market. Our customers have very specific tastes which aren’t necessarily similar to other parts of the world. Ladies in this region for example, prefer full diamond watches whereas you wouldn’t see many full diamond watches in Europe and North America. Men also wear diamond watches here which is also uncommon in other parts of the world, mainly the Western world. Now, however, men are becoming more and more interested in rare complications. Everyone wants a tourbillon watch, regardless of whether or not it is surrounded by diamonds. We even have requests for minute repeaters, which are the most complicated form of watches.

How do you think that the luxury lifestyle business has changed since the days of your father and grandfather? Do you think it’s more difficult now than it was back then, or has the market become more flexible in your estimation? Dana: With increased knowledge comes increased receptivity to new concepts and ideas, and that makes Jewellery more exciting. When my grandfather first founded his Jewellery business, his customer base only valued products in yellow gold. From a manufacturing or design point of view, that has a somewhat restricting effect on creativity. The retailer is obliged to buy products that adhere to a specific set of requirements. By contrast today, the trend is moving towards greater freedom in design and presentation, coupled with more emphasis on quality. Over the past four years, demand for Rose Gold based Jewellery has sky rocketed. All the major Jewellery and watch brands were compelled to include Rose Gold pieces in their production, otherwise they wouldn’t sell as well. Moreover, several brands are actually merging the different coloured metals together, like Cartier with their Trinity collection. Why limit yourself to one material? If you like them all then by all means, they are at your disposal! Basically, limitations and restrictions are dissolving in the luxury industry and that provides an ideal platform for creativity. Noor: The market is definitely more educated in Jewellery and watches - they know and expect quality pieces. Women know a lot more about diamonds and will come in to our boutiques requesting specific colours or clarities, while we see many men in Qatar being serious watch connoisseurs. This doesn’t make it more difficult to sell, but makes it now more important than ever to find the latest models of watches and Jewellery and to emphasise the need for quality manufacturing and use of quality gems.


sur la terre spotlight

What drives your passion in being such a strong presence in Qatari luxury lifestyle? Do you foresee any challenges in the future, or have you experienced some already? Dana: The creative freedom that the Jewellery industry cultivates would have to be a driving force behind our presence in the Qatari Luxury lifestyle industry. I place a lot of emphasis on creativity with quality as the reigning order of the day. In the luxury industry, you cannot stand still; one should always be looking for new forms of expression, new modes of presentation, new ways to respond to environmental stimuli, and that is reflected through the Jewellery you choose because that almost becomes an external representative of you. New trends in fashion, art and film are all represented in the Jewellery industry. Major Jewellery brands have allied themselves with charities all over the world, branching outside the luxury lifestyle image, and capturing real issues and crises. With Jewellery being such a high profile player in the luxury industry, it is imperative to address important causes and to respond to the plight of those in need. The major challenge in today’s market is overcoming the effects of the economic crisis on consumer confidence. It is our job as retailers to re-orientate our products and our approach to suit the circumstances in our market. On a personal level, which of your client brands speak to you the most as a buyer, a woman and as a professional? Are there any pieces you consider to be your personal favourites? Dana: I would have to say that De Grisogono has always set a high standard for design and workmanship. Its pieces are all very vibrant and distinctive. A pair of DeGrisogono earrings, with its flash of colour is all you need to accompany an evening gown. It is nowhere near an accessory; it becomes a centre piece. As for watches; I would always go for the classics because they don’t have an expiry date. I also happen to like complications. The older distinguished watch brands like Vacheron Constantin and Breguet were founded in the 18th Century during the scientific revolution in Europe where Geneva was a hub for watch manufacturers. That period in history revolutionised the way in which time was told and made it more efficient, facilitating the

25

management of life and spurring on progress. Breguet is my favorite watch manufacturer. In 1795, Breguet invented tourbillon movement. Although they patented their invention in 1801, they did not have the means to produce it. It was first produced by Girard Perregaux, another established watch manufacturer that is known for the quality of its movements. Gerard Genta is a watch manufacturer, who has instilled his love for art into his production of watches. He derives his inspiration from artists like Picasso and Dali. Dali’s famous painting titled “Persistence of Memory” was a particularly influential piece for Gerard Genta. The iconic image featuring melting clocks is believed to illustrate the futility of time, so I suppose you can appreciate the irony behind the fact that Dali’s melting clocks were the creative backbone behind numerous devices used to tell time! Noor: I feel that Chopard’s release of the first ladies’ tourbillon watch is not only innovative but a major feminist step. It signals the fact that women can also be interested in complication and movements and I believe that this trend will expand to Qatar in the near future. Being surrounded by so many beautiful pieces of Jewellery means that only unique pieces catch my eye and that is usually what I will invest in for myself. A designer friend of mine, Sweta Mehta, uses rough diamonds in her Jewellery (for the company “Gembel European”) which turns each design into an eye-catching conversation piece. Pejmani has also mastered the art of Jewellery manufacturing and his work is as fine and delicate as lace. What does it mean for Alfardan to be part of the esteemed Watch & Jewellery exhibition? How do you think it has helped you develop as a brand, and do you have anything exciting planned for this year’s visitors to the event? Dana: The fair is our chance to keep the market up to date with the Jewellery industry, and to keep us aware of the new market dynamics, such as demand for certain products, growing trends, etc. It has served us, and our customers well throughout the years and we are confident it will continue to do so. Noor: The Watch and Jewellery exhibition is our most important event of the year. This is where new models and important pieces are launched in Qatar. We started by hosting the first Jewellery and Watch exhibition in Qatar in 1976, which has not only developed our image and established the company’s significance, but provided us with very loyal customers as well.


sur la terre star crossed

Production Firefly Communications Art Direction Roula Ayoub Photography Peter Richweisz, www.richweisz.com Model Carol Stylist Maisa Taha, La Vedette Hair Mohamed Al Sagheer Salon from Al Sagheer Group Make-up Adel Baba from FACES, Qatar Outfits Lama Al-Moatassem for Toujouri Jewellery from Bvlgari, Alfardan Jewellery for Chopard and De Grisogono, Ali Bin Ali Luxury, Watches & Jewellery for Pomellato, Dior and David Morris Location: SPA CHAKRA Voted Best Spa in the Middle East 2009 SPA FINDER READERSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CHOICE AWARDS

27

Dress TOUJOURI Earrings BVLGARI Bracelet BVLGARI Ring BVLGARI Ring BVLGARI Necklace BVLGARI


28

sur la terre star crossed

Dress TOUJOURI Earrings david morris Ring POMELLATO Bracelet POMELLATO


sur la terre star crossed

29

Dress TOUJOURI Earrings DIOR Ring DIRO


30

sur la terre star crossed

Dress TOUJOURI Earrings De GRISOGONO Necklace De GRISOGONO Bracelet De GRISOGONO


sur la terre star crossed

31

Dress TOUJOURI Earrings CHOPARD Bracelet CHOPARD Ring CHOPARD Necklace CHOPARD


32

sur la terre star crossed

Dress TOUJOURI Earrings BVLGARI Necklace BVLGARI Ring BVLGARI Ring BVLGARI Watch BVLGARI


34

sur la terre gemstone generations

Bvlgariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gemstone Generation


sur la terre gemstone generations

35

>>> Having recently celebrated 125 years of luxurious jewellery design and production, Bulgari has proven that its name is as timeless and precious as the gems it so meticulously renders into perfection. Its storied history weaves itself like a gilded boulevard through various ages of high society, celebrity and renown. This path is long, and has been painted into life by the well-trained hands of the Italian house’s constantly evolving stable of artisans. And yet, while steeped in crystalline tradition, Bulgari’s road is not beyond verging, winding and even changing the direction of its creative current. The art of Bulgari’s creative process begins, as one would expect, in the procurement of the finest gemstones in the world. Originating from a range of different countries, like India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Switzerland and Myanmar, these stones are pored over and explored by Bulgari’s seasoned gemologists in an effort to ensure that each holds firm the high-quality standards of the company. As the famed jewellery house is well-regarded for its fastidious attention to innovation, particularly in its use of unusual cuts and irregular contours to accentuate the natural shapes of the gems, it is paramount that they must be able to stand up to the stresses of the laborious artistic process. Of course, general quality, clarity and colour are also of great import in the selection process, and only a few of the stones make the cut ... if you’ll pardon the pun.


36

sur la terre gemstone generations

It is then up to the lapidaries (gem renderers) to ply their trade with unwavering hands to bring out the colour and inner verve of each stone to shine with the brilliance befitting Bulgari. Once cut, the stones are set in wax to copy each facet and determine how its proportions will best be used in whatever piece the design team imagines. The sketched designs and full-scale renderings may be pre-natal in nature, but they are already works of art in their own right. Once the settings take shape in the form of precious metals, they transcend a world of melted wax and scribbled paper into a realm of refinement and luxury. As the “lost wax casting” gives way to the gold, silver and other materials that fill the empty spaces of the caste, the final piece is literally born, drawn lovingly into the waiting world from its womb of wax. After being cleaned, each gem is expertly set into the now fully formed casing, the clasps, bands and chains of which are all impeccably crafted to flow with organic brilliance. After the rigorous final polishing and aesthetic/functional inspection, the pieces are finally ready to be presented to the salivating members of high society. While it may take only a page or two to explain, this process can take many months, or even years, to complete. Symmetry is an often unattainable beast, particularly when anything but perfection will not be tolerated. However, even within this strictness and severity of standard, Bulgari does boast a fair amount of flexibility, not in quality, but instead in presence. Although a pillar in the high-end luxury community, Bulgari has a history of breaking from rigid tradition and achieving success through unprecedented moves and unexpected decisions. Take, for example, its newest “Eccentric Charisma” campaign, which has only recently begun. Using at its crux Hollywood mega-star, Julianne Moore, this


sur la terre gemstone generations

37

new direction captures in its exotic and sumptuous display the satin irresistibility of luminous femininity. Moore espouses the vitality and eternal nature of Bulgari in the way her own beauty is magnified by the Haute Joillerie earrings of rare green, teardrop emeralds set in baguette-cut diamonds and sumptuous bracelets from Bulgariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Serpenti collection. The end effect unquestionably leaves us wanting â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mooreâ&#x20AC;? from Bulgari. From its traditions in choosing the finest in coloured stones, to its novel creative design process, to its painstaking production and finally to its breathtaking commercial campaigns, Bulgari has earned its place at the top for the past 125 years, and will continue to do so as long as there are gems to unearth and shape into the stuff from which dreams are made.


38

sur la terre luxury tech

State-of-the-Haute The Emperor’s New (Seat) Groove

The Emperor 200 chair made by NovelQuest is the closest thing in appearance and functionality to those futuristic helms manipulated by the techie-warriors in The Matrix films. Looking like the more evolved version of an arcade game, the “scorpionic” spine of the Emperor is the first thing that stings your sensibilities. The tip of this tail is loaded with the irresistible “poison” of the 21st Century; that is to say, a modern multimedia maelstrom funnelled through its three 19”, high resolution screens. Similarly, the control centre from which the Emperor is driven contains, not only a selfcontained computing station with keyboard and mouse, but also a 7” touchscreen, placed conveniently at the end of the captain’s left armrest. Complete with the ability to rotate 360 degrees, an ergonomic Recaro seat for optimal comfort, a 5.1 surround sound system for total aural immersion, a full spectrum lamp with perimeter LED lighting for atmosphere, an air purifier that eliminates 99.7% of airborne bacteria and the very latest in computing technology, the Emperor 200 is the quintessential cushion for your crazy computing, gaming or relaxing life. Its current asking price of just under US $5,000 is fairly reasonable, given its capabilities of shutting out the daily annoyances of reality. www.novelquest.com


sur la terre luxury tech

39

Ego Trip Imagine a sleek machine forged with solid palladium white gold plates that are elegantly peppered with thousands of brilliant-cut diamonds weighing a total of 80 carats and intricately decorated with inlaid fabrics, weather and woodwork. No, these are not the newest highlights of a brand new Rolls-Royce model, but instead the highlights of quite possibly the world’s most exclusive laptop computer: The Tulip Ego Diamond Notebook. Cooperatively created by Marcel van Galen Design, Design Department product engineering and Laurent de Beer Master Jewellery, the curvaceously nubile, expertly accented Ego Diamond looks like the sort of stylish super spy device that James Bond would whip out during a high-tech black ops mission. Just like 007, the Diamond is more than just a pretty face, containing the latest in mobile, wireless computing technology. Of course, ultimate form and peerless function would have to marry to validate the US$350,000 price tag, but its almost entirely bespoke customisability makes it both universally and individually appealing. Everything from the Diamond’s practical functionality to its square cut, ruby-crusted Tulip logos makes this laptop the crown jewel in the technology world’s tiara. www.tulipego.com

The Mobile Pioneer Space: it used to be the final frontier. Now, however, it seems that mobile phone technology is the newest destination in man’s journey to ultimate achievement. Behold then, the vessel that will take us there: the Mobiado 350 Pioneer. Celebrating the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, which has been exploring the greater depths of our solar system since 1972, Mobiado’s testament to human ingenuity is a thing of otherworldly luxury. Crafted from the same CNC machined spacecraft aluminium that houses its extraterrestrial brethren, as well as a layering of pieces from the 4 billion year old Gibeon meteorite, the 350 Pioneer also contains inlayed pieces of sapphire crystal and a ruby infrared screen. Everything down to its 24-carat gold-plated stainless steel screws beams with a certain unearthly, science-fictional sumptuousness. Having the same technological highlights as its contemporaries (such as a 3.2 megapixel camera and music/video capabilities), the 350 Pioneer also contains Quadband GSM, a full keyboard, 110MB internal dynamic memory with micro SD expandable memory and a 2.36” display with up to 16 million colours. Let’s see E.T. replicate that kind of tech! Only 37 of these phones will be made, so go where no one has gone before. www.mobiado.com


40

sur la terre luxury tech

The Beautiful Game Football has always been known for its “flash” status in the sporting world, but never before has the beautiful game looked so ... well ... beautiful. Conceptualised as a fun challenge for the Milan Design Fair by Netherlands-based designers GRO and developers TIM (The Innovative Modelmakers), the impetus behind the 11-The Beautiful Game was to recreate the humble table football game (or foosball, as it is sometimes called) into something with the grandeur befitting its kingly sporty lineage. Everything, from the sumptuously curvaceous architectural

shell that surrounds the “pitch” like a modern football stadium, to the 22 LED light-festooned, bright silver-chrome players, moves the once banal pastime, usually reserved for bachelor pads and university student centres into high-class gaming hijinx. Even with all of this luxurious innovation, the actual game itself has been streamlined into blissful minimalism, making it not only beautiful but equally fun to play. Production is limited, so go ahead to and make your own tactical substitution. www.eleventhegame.com


sur la terre luxury tech

41

Sleeping on Air If it’s one thing we have learned from scientific explorations into time travel, like Back to the Future II, it is that in the future, everything will hover. Luckily for us, famed designer Janjaap Ruijssenaars and Universe Architecture have folded time and space to bring you the future of slumber today. The Floating Bed, as it is appropriately called, eschews the notion that architecture must obey concepts as trivial as gravity. Launched with great aplomb and much media fanfare in 2006, the Floating Bed sits on a cushion of opposing magnetic force, powerful enough for it to

The Delight of Deluxz The Minitopz Deluxz Desktop PC looks, at first, like a giant coffee bean, but that actually makes a lot of sense as it succeeds in caffeinating our electronic excitement and takes the humble personal computer from geek to chic. The heart of the Deluxz beats with the power of a dual core Intel Atom N330 (1.6GHz) processor, a 500GB hard drive or 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, built-in NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics and a Windows 7 operating system. However, the guts of this gig-fest are not the only glorious feature, and in fact, it is the external “hardware” that sets this PC above all others. Minimalist, modern and magnificent, the soft-lit, leather-bound beauty of the Deluxz is matched only by its exclusivity, as only 100 of them will ever be made. The relatively high price of US$3,450 and 5-7 week order time may set the hearts of most programmers palpitating, but the statement that the Deluxz makes to your workstation is guaranteed to be both priceless and timeless. www.artopz.com

levitate 40 cm in the air with a weight limit of 900 kg. Anchored to the floor with four thin cables, this flotation station is available in two models: the big bed, which stands at 1.30m x 3.0m, has a height of 0.25m and costs 1,200,000 Euro, and its little bunk brother, which is 0.6m x 0.26m, has a floating height of 0.08m and costs 45,000 Euro. It may require extensive installation and is confined to “one-bed-per-state” exclusivity, but in terms of a sheerly unique sheep-counting experience, accept no substitutes! www.universalarchitecture.com


sur la terre watch yourself

43

Watch Yourself

What Your Watch Says About You >>> When it comes to status symbols, there are the basics, such as luxury cars, elaborate mansions and designer clothes. However, one piece of personal luxury that goes without mention is the choice of watch. While a price tag may not necessarily reflect the it-factor of any given timepiece, it certainly adds panache to the wearer’s wrist. So how is one to choose his or her arm adornment? The rules are simple, either one goes down the familiar route and joins the ranks of well known names such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Breguet. Or, being a trendsetter, one stays on top of what is in, out or coming soon and follows watch-making trends for sometimes unknown, yet highly sought after, fringe brands. The risk of luxury watches, as with any extravagant accessory, is of course over-marketing and popularity, hence the rather widespread reality of Rolex today. However, being able to buy a Rolex still means that you have arrived – you have officially joined the ranks of those fortunate enough to be able to blow tens of thousands of riyals on a timepiece. It signifies classic elegance and effortless chic, will last a lifetime and is often passed down to future generations. Rolex wearers take pride and comfort in the well-established name of their watch and see it as a status symbol. They know that brand identification reaches its broadest audience with their particular accessory. It is the easy and smart choice that guarantees return on investment if only in onlooker recognition. While many of the classic models such as the Date series may visually cater to more mature buyers, marine inspired monikers grace the likes of the Deepsea and Submariner, which equip Rolex’s yuppie clientele. When looking for a watch in the high thousands of riyals, Rolex is indeed the brand the masses all recognise. However, consumers who choose the path less travelled will ultimately come across a popular, yet still exclusive, watch brand named Ulysse Nardin. Well- known amongst fashionable shoppers who have more than a few “K’s” to drop, it still maintains a particular insider feel. Ulysse Nardin is for those looking to ornament their arms with more than just a status symbol. With its beginnings in nautical chronology, its wearers seek out class, modernity and a naval take on time. Ulysse Nardin tends to

outfit younger more vibrant clients with its sleek designs and ultimate technological features. Lines, such as the Freak and the GMT Perpetual, marry practicality with cutting edge engineering to create what we like to refer to as new, modern and functional. Freak enthusiasts want more than just time in their temporal frill, they’re looking for that extra bit of élan that will have others do a double take.


44

sur la terre watch yourself

Bovet can easily be called the Rolls Royce of watches and, with its own museum in Neuchatel Switzerland, you know youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in historic watch making territory. Signature Fleurier and Fleurier complications ring true to Bovetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Swiss purebred lineage. However, Bovet also indulges the artistic tastes of its exclusive clientele with a range of miniature painting watches that include illustrations of everything from flora and fauna to classic paintings and religious iconography. With many depictions of tigers and other large cats, it is easy to believe that Bovet had its beginnings in the Far East, supplying high quality timepieces to the Chinese aristocracy. What current Bovet customers and patrons take pride in is the unique feel their timepieces bring with them. With fewer than 2000 watches being produced every year, many of Bovetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pieces relish their wearers in exceptional rarity. Bovet enthusiasts exude the elegance that has been honed for nearly two centuries and can be sure that every little detail has been attended to in order to make sure their watch will outlast even their own lifetime.


sur la terre watch yourself mode

45

Now, we know that many of these watches in the five-figure price range will have certain people yawn and say, oh well it’s all the same, what else is new? And for just that reason we wanted to make sure that those yawners among you are also presented with one brand, B.R.M., that will truly knock your cashmere socks off. B.R.M. outfits motor sports enthusiasts. It is for those who seek speed thrills and want a red-blooded, bold ticker to echo their sense of style and titivation. With a slogan such as: “Time is not a wait. It’s a passion,” you can be sure that B.R.M. will give you nothing less than excellence. Sure, this brand hasn’t been around for over a century or two like many of the others in competition with it, but it makes up for what it lacks in history with its innate take on horological perfection. With such a personal touch, it comes as no surprise that those in the market for a B.R.M. timepiece have the luxury of personalising their watch and actually designing their own “V6” or “V12.”


46

sur la terre watch yourself

Say you’re in the market for a watch. You don’t just want any watch but something that is a true piece of art in its own right. Oh, and did we mention, you have a few million riyal to blow on it? Well then, Hublot’s Black Caviar Bang is the watch for you. Emblazoned with over 500 extremely rare black diamonds this watch is unlike any other you have ever seen. We’re not entirely sure if the 2009 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneva was won due to the brazen 34.5 carats or…well, actually we’re going to go out on a limb on this one and say it’s the rock-heavy aspect of the watch rather than anything else. Hublot has certainly carved out an entirely new market of exclusivity with its offerings. Hublot wearers are so far off the map that they probably don’t even need to know what time it is. With other models such as the Aero Bang selling for roughly 75,000 riyals, Hublot simply caters to those who know what they want and how they want it. These are customers who have the funds to cushion

this purchase and want a timepiece that will give them the right bling for their buck. There is nothing casual or regular about these watch aficionados; they are in it to win it, and probably already won it while you were still in your tracks. They are of course just as rare as the diamonds on their watch, but when you spot one, you’re sure to notice. For certain individuals, watches are more than just a timepiece, they are personal adornment, examples of high achievement that tell the world who you are. Whether you are looking for something stylish and moderately “affordable”, or outright break-the-bank bling, these few watch brands have you covered. Now all you have to do is decide what your wrist should say about you.


48

sur la terre exclusive Q&A

A Head Of His Time


sur la terre exclusive Q&A

49

With Michel Parmigiani

For 30 years, he has been pushing the boundaries of horological design and elegance, bringing a new exclusivity to the market for handmade, innovative, high-end watches. Now, Michel Parmigiani, president and founder of Parmigiani Fleurier, talks exclusively to Sur la Terre Doha about his inspiration, his vision and the watch he wears on holiday.

You have a storied career that began apparently by experiencing firsthand the craftsmen that worked to develop timepieces. The original Parmigiani Mesure et Art du Temps was created as a watch restoration company and existed as such for many years. Was this history in learning the inner workings of watches what truly inspired you to create your own brand? Yes indeed, for I truly believe that you have to know and understand the past to be able to create a better future. At least in watchmaking. Coming across more than 500 years of watchmaking history was the best thing that could happen to me. A Parmigiani watch both contains the technology that respects the traditions and the innovations that have been acquired over the years.

Can you tell us about any particular influences within this time period that truly drove you into becoming the world-renowned brand image you have today? It has always been part of my dream – as it is many watchmakers’ dream – to be able to produce my own watches. I had already achieved that in the 70s, when I had been producing my own table clocks and pocket watches. In 1996, with the support of the Sandoz Foundation, my dream has been taken to a different dimension. We were no longer talking about a dozen of watches or less per year. As soon as you increase your production to not even 50 pieces, you have to reconsider the entire structure of the company. It was quite natural that we decided that we should produce prestige watches and the corresponding brand.


50

sur la terre exclusive Q&A

How has the world of watchmaking changed since you first began your business over 30 years ago? Many things have remained unchanged in watchmaking. There are motions and skills no machine can replace. You will forever need the human hand behind the tool and the master watchmaker’s talent to finish the piece. However, it is true that technology has developed and brought a substantial support in our job. For example, we are able to work at a level of perfection, with almost invisible components, that has never been possible before. How are the scene and the styles different today than they were in then? I believe that there is a pendulum effect in general – and that is also true for watches. To date, there is a trend for bigger watches. Even for ladies. That was not the same in the 60s or 70s. I am certain that sooner or later the trend will revert… Is it a better atmosphere for Parmigiani in the 21st century, or is it more challenging? Growing from 50 employees to the 500 we have to date has its positive and negative sides since you have to adapt your management style and also the way you interact with your staff. Parmigiani aims to become one of the top three watch manufacturers in the near future. This goal is a great challenge for all of us, and a great source of motivation. The challenge began in 1996 and is still going on…


sur la terre exclusive Q&A

51

We know that the Bugatti 370 was inspired, quite obviously, by the Bugatti Veyron automobile, and has won many awards for its design. You have also worked with Pershing Yachts to create the first ever Pershing Aquatic watch. How much does your enthusiasm for the motoring world (on land, sea or air) play into your creative inspiration for design? The partnerships with Bugatti and Pershing have been initiated by the wish to join with two companies that share similar histories and philosophies. Like us, both companies have been founded by one single man and our products, like theirs, match the highest expectations in quality and technology. A car, a boat, as much as a watch, is the result of a technological challenge…these objects share more than one could suspect by simply looking at them and merely seeing the differences. Is there any other realm that inspires you to create? Our team of designers gather their inspiration from almost everything they are surrounded with: A walk in the woods, the colour of the sky, the pattern of kitchen tiles and fashion. Each of us will find an environment that is more stimulating. There are also ways to “educate” your creativity. For that we go to museums, exhibitions, car shows and we do a lot of reading. We have always wanted to know this: Which is more fun, interesting and more challenging to create - men’s or women’s watches, and why? I actually enjoy both. Men’s watches require a higher level of technicality. The challenge with ladies’ watches is to combine technicality with sensuality. I enjoy creating both kinds of timepieces as it enables me to maintain a certain equilibrium throughout the entire collection. Our Kalpa represents this well: it is the size, the material and the colour of the dial that determines whether it’s a watch for men or ladies. The Kalpa shape itself is what one could consider to be unisex.

For you, is there a single, most important element to choosing a watch? It is the occasion that mostly decides which watch I will choose. On vacation, I will probably select a sports watch, a Pershing, since I’ll be spending most of the time outdoors. At a business function, I will wear something more sober like a Kalpa or the total opposite, a Bugatti. There are so many Parmigiani watches that take our breath away. Do you have a personal favourite? Is there one particular piece that, for its beauty or its technique, you truly love more than the others? No, there actually isn’t. It is like a family. A parent will love each of the children for who they are, and for their personality. That doesn’t mean that one child will be loved more than the other. The same goes for my watches. Each of the timepieces has its own character, its own personality that makes it unique. So, in some way, each of my watches is my favourite. Of the almost countless locations where one can collect a Parmigiani, is there a region that is most important, or is the appeal a universal one and why? Parmigiani is still quite a small and young brand. Our goal is to become one of the top-three watch brands worldwide. Parmigiani is a very well perceived brand in the Middle East and the Gulf area. Our Kalpa collection has seduced both men and women for its unique shapes and colours. In Dubai there are many tourists among our customers, while in the remaining cities, it is more the locals who purchase a Parmigiani. What is next for Parmigiani? We have grown quite rapidly since 1996 – and we worked hard at developing both a men’s and ladies’ collection. We will now concentrate on expanding the existing collections, though we are also working on several new projects. Unfortunately, though, it is too early to talk about them.


sur la terre slt awards

53

>>> There comes a time in every great magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life where it must stop simply writing about how great its featured products are and actually start doling out some discerning awards. For Sur la Terre, that time is now. And so, dearest readers of refinement, we urge you to get dolled up in your top hat and tails or flowing evening gown, because we would like to extend to you an exclusive invitation to the inaugural SLT Awards!! Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also thinking about calling it the Sur la Terries... or maybe just The Terries when the name undoubtedly catches on. Whatever you would like to call it for the time being, these awards recognise the best of the best in their chosen categories, be it for the best designed watch or the most beautiful bracelet. Our intrepid editors have ransacked the deep treasure troves of global luxury, and with a keen eye have chosen those pieces most deserving of praise. And so, without further ado, the winners are...


54

sur la terre mode slt awards

Lifetime Achievement Award (Jewellery) Cartier

Long known as “The Jeweller of Kings” and “The King of Jewellers,” Cartier has been quite possibly the most prestigious and long-lasting name in the history of watch and jewellery design. Throughout its robust history, which began in 1847 when masterful craftsman, Adolphe Picard, passed the design torch and reigns of his workshop to then apprentice Louis-Francois Cartier, the French jewellery house has time and again proven that its monicker, given by the Prince of Wales, is not just a clever name. La Maison Cartier’s first brush with royalty came less than 10 years after its foundation in 1856, when Princess Mathilde, niece of Napoleon I, first purchased luxury items from the prized house. The 20th Century truly elevated the lineage of Cartier, being awarded official purveyor status via royal warrant by both King Edward VII of England and King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1904,

< Panther clip broch, 1949 >

by King Carlos I of Portugal in 1905, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in 1907, King Paramindr Maha Chulalonkorn of Siam in 1908 and King Fouad of Egypt in 1929, amongst many, many others. The house has also impressed such luminaries such as Evelyn Walsh Mclean who bought the infamous Hope Diamond. Cartier’s history with the Arabian Gulf was established soon after in 1911, when Jacques Cartier visited the region for business. Obviously, the relationship has been time-tested and has lasted to where Cartier is still one of the area’s most ubiquitous names in luxurious lifestyle. Not only is this renown thanks to its celebrated associations, but also because of its innovations, such as functional enhancements like the folding buckle for wristwatches, which Cartier patented in 1909, and visual feats like the invisible mount for jewellery.

< Tutti Frutti necklace, 1936, transformed in 1963 >

< Trinity ring, 2009 >


55

sur la terre slt awards

< Choker necklace, 1906 >

< Snake necklace, 1932 >

< Necklace, 1932 >

< Bib necklace, 1947 >

< LOVE bracelet, 2009 >


56

sur la terre slt awards

Lifetime Achievement Award (Watches) Breguet

With patrons such as Marie-Antoinette, George Washington, Sultan Selim III and a line of other VIP notables, Breguet certainly represents the elite when it comes to quality timepieces. A history spanning back to the 18th century assures that Breguet’s watches pioneered some of watch-making’s most notable milestones such as the tourbillion and the self-winding “perpetuelle” watch. Not only do these watches have serious pedigree, they still prove to be highly popular with today’s crowd. Among the best selling models of their repertoire are of course the Classique, the Marine and the Heritage. All of which exude the same sophistication as their wearers. The Classique Tourbillion line does of course set itself apart from the others not only by an extreme price hike, but also by incorporating double tourbillions that work independently from another by utilising differential gears, effectively producing a complete revolution in twelve hours. Most of these watches will come with their own user manual, which is to be expected and hoped for when dropping such a substantial chunk of change. And if you’re thinking Breguet only caters to those who are looking for rather old-fashioned timepieces, you’re starkly mistaken since the latest line of Breguet’s Marine and Classique collections features modern lines, rubber bands and all the features a thirtysomething could ask for. Today’s aficionados appreciate proven history and a brand that upholds the highest standards. With classic designs and easily recognisable features such as the coin-edge casing and blue pomme hands, Breguet timepieces exude elegance with well-crafted finesse. Among a slew of Swiss made chronological splendour, Breguet represents time-honoured tradition and innovation, two elements sure to impress long-time clients and newcomers alike.

< MArie Antoinette Fleurs Pink Diamond Watch>

< Classique Tachymetre >


sur la terre slt awartds

< Tradition Tourbillion >

< Tourbillion Messidor >

57


58

sur la terre slt awards

Best Complication

The Freak Blue Phantom by Ulysse Nardin With countless awards and medals in fine horology and an arsenal of patents in mechanical watch making, Ulysse Nardin has been a household name in superior timepieces since the early 19th century. Much like most (if not, dare we say, all of) the watches winning awards this year, Ulysse Nardin hails from the land of cuckoo clocks and chocolate: Switzerland. With such refined neighbours and nationals, it sets itself apart by catering to the technologically superior appetites of watch enthusiasts. As such, it came as no surprise that Nardin’s Freak series introduced the world to an entirely novel and ingenious way of using silicium (a mineral-based substance perfect for mechanical watches). The newest of the Freak line, the Freak Blue Phantom combines a seven day carousel tourbillion with Ulysse Nardin’s patented dual escapement. Wound manually, the Freak Blue Phantom boasts a power reserve of approximately seven days. Minimalist in appearance, it rings true to its name with blue dial “hands” and band enveloped by 18-carat white gold. The Blue Phantom indicates the passing of time by rotating the movement rather than the hands and, along with no true case or crown, it undoubtedly stands out from the rest and proves once more the engineering might of Ulysse Nardin. If you are looking for a watch that will have you checking your wrist for sheer pleasure as well as temporal curiosity, then the Freak Blue Phantom is the one.

Best Design (Watches)

The UR-202 Édition Spéciale by Urwerk Why have a watch that merely tells you what time it is when you can have one that features revolving satellite complication, integral telescopic hands, a moon phase indicator and a list of other features that sound like they were taken straight from the latest sci-fi flick? That’s exactly what we were thinking when we laid our eyes on Urwerk’s UR-202 Édition Spéciale. Along with other timepieces in its class, the UR-202 Édition Spéciale has developed an entirely new way of reading the time off your wrist. It features the first ever winding system that is regulated by miniature turbines via compressed air. As for the hours, well they are indicated by three orbiting satellites all with their own retractable minute indicator marking the minutes in intervals of 0 - 14, 15 – 44 and 45 – 60. Sure, you could probably buy a house for the price of this baby, but why would you want to? What sets this piece of arm candy apart from the rest is its inherent use of space age technology to bring you more than just time at your fingertips. Perfect for the active, young and young at heart types, it looks decidedly masculine with its black leather strap and poison green features. Now, if you’re wondering where the “Édition Spéciale” part of it all comes in, well it’s in the design. With distinguished engraver Jean-Vincent Huguenin at the helm, the UR-202 was given its characteristic case sketch, which makes this Édition Spéciale nothing less than stellar.


sur la terre slt awards

59

Best Design (Bracelet)

The Chevaux de Neptune by Van Cleef & Arpels Van Cleef & Arpels has forever been known as being at the top of its class for the artistic mastery of its designs, particularly in the almost organic way they seem to breathe themselves into existence. Enticingly ethereal, the French jewellery house renders precious stones and materials into sweeping statuesque poetry, telling, as it does, a story most magical. Its newest Atlantide collection is literally awash in a frothy ebb and flow of lapping luxury that truly captures the essence of the lost mystical city of Atlantis. Amongst all of its pieces, however, there is one that truly turns the tide of interest into award-winning splendour. The Chevaux de Neptune Bracelet appears as if birthed from the eddy of the darkest corners of the sea, swirling as it does in its own nascent wake of sea foam and shimmer. This aquatic equine bows as if in the presence of Lord Neptune himself, and is dressed for the occasion in a cascade of 507 sapphires, 143 cultured pearls and a host of round and pear-shaped diamonds, all reigned in by decadent white gold. Looking at it gives the impression of a quickening riptide of power and speed, while still dripping as if just now being drawn from the drink. Perhaps our obsession springs from our own love affair with the Arabian steed and the Arabian Gulf that surrounds these shores, but we can find no better example of wrist candy than this.

Best Design (Ring)

The Tsodilo Ring by Adler Ever since its creation in 1886 by Jacques Adler in the goldsmithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quarter of Istanbul, the House of Adler has been known for its innovation in design and creativity of spirit. Now based in Geneva, the Adler family continues to create some of the most singularly remarkable pieces of Haute Joaillerie on the market today, with a particular panache for rings. Current offerings, such as the almost tear-jerkingly gorgeous, ruby resplendent, Purple Rose ring and the beaming whirlpool of sapphires and diamonds that is the Sombrero, are as alluringly unique as they are captivating. While each of these rings deserves an award in its own right, our current favourite from Adler is the Tsodilo. The piece swirls in a blizzard of 335 sparkling diamonds at 2.44-carats and 150 pink diamonds at 2.29-carats all held fast in a rich setting of 18-carat white gold. At the centre of this ferocious flurry of finery rests the eye of a haute hurricane in the form of one Fancy Brown-Pink cushion-shaped diamond at 25.10-carats. Both heavenly and earthly, the Adler Tsodilo is at the peak of Adlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perfection and more than deserves our 2010 SLT award for best ring design.


60

sur la terre slt awards

Best Design (Necklace)

The Exquisite Padparascha Sapphire Drop Necklace by Harry Winston Legend has it that the ancient Persians once believed that the world existed on the back of a giant sapphire. Alternative beliefs around the stones include tales of magic, divine power and origins that emanate from the deep reaches of outer space. Most often thought of as blue in appearance, sapphires actually exist in nearly every other colour. Perhaps the most prized and sought after hue amongst this spectrum is the sultry pink-orange tint of the padparadscha sapphire, which is said to conjure in the mind the appearance of a lotus blossom at sunset. It is this awe-striking stone that immediately drew our attention to our pick for best necklace design. As the crown jewel in the globallypraised Incredibles collection, Harry Winston’s Exquisite Padparadscha Sapphire Drop Necklace is a jagged diamond slash, spiderwebbing as it cuts downward in a rift between reality and a world of pure luxury. It is a classic Harry Winston style diamond necklace, but its difference lies in the 37.92 carat padparadscha sapphire at its heart, which seems to throb with the mystic elegance, refinement and power that the stone has shimmered with for ages. Decadent in its organically opulent design, Harry Winston’s Exquisite necklace is well named and more importantly, well deserving of this award.

Best Bridal Collection FRED

One of the only areas not affected by the financial crisis is the wedding industry. If anything, the call for ornate and beautiful matrimonial accoutrements has only grown, particularly in the realm of the not-sohumble engagement and wedding ring. Such a saturation of splendid nuptial adornment makes it difficult to choose one Bridal collection above all others. However, Sur la Terre has managed to do just that. The bevy of blissfully beautiful Bridal pieces at FRED is, without question, the most exceptionally breathtaking we have seen in some time. Rings like the white gold and diamond Delphine, which has at its centre a 4.05-carat diamond, the platinum Amour Fou diamond ring with its 2.14-carat centre diamond and, arguably the most alluring amongst them all, the 2-carat diamond, platinum Lovelight are intricate in the finery of form without falling into a cluttered complexity, delicate without failing to the risks of fragility and modern without forgetting the timeless tradition of its inherent appeal. In the end, while there are many other Bridal collections that merit praise, FRED’s is by far the most “engaging.”


sur la terre rock stars

Pictures: Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art

61

In an effort to explore more deeply the glitz and glamour that has adorned the Middle East and its surrounding regions for hundreds of centuries, Sur la Terre stopped by Dohaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Museum of Islamic Art to talk to MIA researcher Kathryn Kalemkerian. After tapping into her encyclopedic knowledge of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s haute history, we found that we need look no further than our own shores for some truly inspirational Rock Stars!


62

sur la terre rock stars

Diamond & Emerald Necklace

Point of Origin: India (probably Benares) Period: 19th century Materials: Gold, diamonds, emeralds, pearls, enamel, silk, metal threads Even though it is the youngest member of the Doha Rock Stars, this Mughal Necklace does not skimp on old-world luxury and refinement. In fact, if we werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t told it was created in the 19th century, we would have thought, in our admitted ignorance, that it might be something Queen Nefertiti would rock to some swanky Egyptian soiree. Shows how much we know! Even though it is dated slightly later than our other offerings, this necklace is a fine example of Mughal style jewellery, perfectly encapsulating their love of precious stones. Gold collared emeralds cascade like frozen rain from an icy crown comprised of seventeen gorgeously gargantuan diamonds. Set in gold with Benares enamelling and surmounted by Baroque pearls, the display is one of extravagant excess that could only have been made in the court workshop for a ruler or nobleman.

Piscine Perfume Flask

Point of Origin: India Period: c.1740-1760 Materials: Gold, rubies, emeralds, turquoise, pearls, coloured foil Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be fooled as we were: this is not the bejewelled aquatic trumpet of the great sovereign of the seas, Lord Poseidon; although its true nature and lineage are almost as impressively kingly. In actuality, this somewhat mysterious jewel-festooned object is in fact a piscine perfume flask. Opening the mouth does not reveal a hidden hook or smaller fish, but rather an inner cavity perfect for keeping the piquant perfumes so odiferously worn by the rulers of its day. Elaborately decorated with cabochon rubies within foiled surrounds, emerald cabochon fins and turquoise and pearl highlights, this fishy find succeeds in arresting both the eyes and the nose, thus elevating it from the catch of the day to the catch of the millennium! Once again, the lavish use of gem stones and the impeccable craftsmanship suggest that it must have been made for a Mughal ruler or an Indian noble.


sur la terre rock stars

63

Spinel & Pearl Necklace

Point of Origin: India Period: 1607-1619 (setting 20th century) Materials: Gold, engraved spinels (Balas rubies,) diamonds, pearls Even though we love all of the Rock Stars featured on our top ten list, this particular necklace has to be one of our favourites. The bright, violet spinels, known as “Balas” rubies after the region of Badakhshan in Afghanistan where they were first reportedly mined, are the first features that seduce you into its irresistable stone song. We are told that the Mughals had a fiery passion for spinels, collecting them in large quantities and using them in the luxurious jewellery and turban ornaments that adorned their royal regalia. If you look close enough, you will see etched on the surface of these fine gems miniscule Arabic script. Mughal emperors and other owners would often engrave their names on the flat facets of particularly prized examples of the spinels they so captivatingly coveted. Three of the eleven spinel beads are engraved with the names of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, the three greatest Mughal emperors of India in the 17th century. Interestingly for all you gem-rendering aficionados out there, the jewels in this piece are polished, not cut, giving it its naturally curvaceous, yet hauntingly supernatural appearance.

Jewelled Falcon

Point of Origin: India Period: c. 1640 Materials: Gold with enamel and inlaid rubies, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires and onyx We’ve already covered the bejewelled dwellers of the deep, so it’s now time to highlight the haute inhabitants of the air. With Falconry being a popular sport of the Middle East and its surrounding areas, this extraordinarily encrusted falcon is a logical choice to have in our marvelous menagerie. The falcon, as a symbol, has always been associated with kingship, particularly in regard to Muslim rulers, where the regal bird represents victory and power. Made from gold and enamel, and profusely inlaid with precious gemstones such as rubies, diamonds, and emeralds, this falcon was forged in the Imperial Mughal workshop, and was considered a prized piece amongst the private jewels of Shah Jahan. This awe-inspiring avian antique most probably decorated a throne, or was carried on a staff in formal court processions. We’re thinking of having something like it affixed to our own thrones (read: office chairs).


64

sur la terre modestars rock

The Akbar Pearl

Point of Origin: India Period: 1574-1575 AD (982 AH) Materials: Pearl, enamel, silver Dearest ladies and gentlemen of Doha’s landed gentry, prepare to be dazzled! Behold, the mother of pearls! Known in learned circles as “The Akbar,” this exceptionally large pearl, worn as a drop pendant, is a highly rare and important piece of jewellery in the world of Islamic Art. Decorated with an enameled gold cap carved in an engraved leaf motif, which was a common technique of Mughal style, The Akbar Pearl appears like a naturally grown piece of divine fruit, almost as if plucked from the storied orchards of the ancient gods. If its sheer size and beauty aren’t enough to impress you, perhaps its lauded place in history will. Interestingly, one of the leaves is engraved with the number 982, which is the hijri date when the pendant was made for its owner, the great Mughal Emperor Akbar. This date makes this titanic pearl the earliest example of dated Mughal enamelled jewellery known today.

Calligraphic Jade Pendant (Haldili)

Point of Origin: India Period: 1631 -1632 AD (1401 AH) Materials: Jade (nephrite), carved When we first saw this beautifully rendered piece hanging in the Museum of Islamic art, we immediately thought, “Ooh, a magic amulet!” As we tend to think out loud (in a high-pitched girl voice), this somewhat disturbed the other culture lovers at the museum that day. Still, it turns out our suppositions of inner magic actually rang true. You see, the haldili is a type of pendant worn to help cure the wearer of “heart palpitations.” This particular talisman belonged to Shah Jahan, and was created with the intention of helping him heal from an intimate heartbreak, caused by the heavy grief over the loss of his beloved wife, the Empress Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. It is said that he wore the amulet next to his heart whilst building the world���s most famous public monument of a man’s love for his wife – the Taj Mahal. If that bit of history doesn’t tug the heartstrings, nothing will.


sur la terre rockmode stars

65

Emerald, Ruby & Pearl Necklace

Point of Origin: India Period: 17th century (20th century setting by Cartier) Materials: Gold, emeralds, pearls, rubies Whoever said that beautifully ornate jewellery should only be worn by women never had occasion to get an eyeful of the sumptuous offerings produced and worn by the absolutely fabulous Mughal lords. Take for example, this necklace and earring set, which combines emeralds, pearls and rubies to great effect. It may not be very “masculine” by today’s standards, but in the Mughal emperor-ruled days of the 17th century, it showed that its wearer was not only tasteful, but rife with testosterone and virility. In fact, quite a few manuscript illustrations often depict Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan wearing necklaces similar to this one. The style is typically Mughal, with double pearl strings divided with emeralds and spinels, and it definitely makes a manly statement, regardless of what the naysayers of today think.

Belt Buckle

Point of Origin: Spain (Granada) Period: 14th century Materials: Gold, enamel Big belt buckles are all the rage today, with nearly every fashionista sporting some sort of ostentatious waist adornment. Still, even these contemporary clasps pale in comparison to the intricate designs of centuries gone by. Take this rare belt buckle from 14th-century Islamic Spain, for example. Decorated with filigree work in the form of scrolling foliage and cloisonné enamel spelling the words “Izz li Mawlana” and “Al-Sultan,” (Glory to our God, the Sultan), this is a one-of-a-kind piece that is definitely not a “waist” of time to see. Colourful without being gaudy, intricate without being busy and appearing like some sort of Islamic championship boxing belt, we could see this being incorporated even in today’s finicky fashion world. The royal inscription, combined with the exceptionally high quality of the piece, suggests that it must have been worn either by the sultan himself or someone of high importance in his court.


66

sur la terre modestars rock

Gold Perfume Flask

Point of Origin: Syria or Iran Period: 11th-12th century Materials: Gold If you look at this golden perfume flask side-by-side with the other, oceanicinspired piece on the list, you may think that it is less lusciously bedazzled and wonder why we put it on the list. While it may not be as ludicrously luxurious-looking as the other flask, that doesn’t mean it isn’t priceless in its own way. Firstly, it’s over 600 years older than its more boastful brother, but more importantly, its extravagance lies in its rare design. The extending handles that reach up and form its unique oval shape are made in such a way that this particular flask could be opened just one time. The two handles were once secured to the top lid; upon opening it, one handle would snap, not allowing for re-attachment. Talk about exclusive! The rest of the exquisite decoration is made of twisted wires forming a circular repeated pattern, which only adds to the beguiling outward appearance of this inherently breathtaking piece.

Pair of Bracelets

Point of Origin: Egypt Period: 11th-12th century Materials: Gold decorated with gold wire, granulation and repoussé Probably the oldest in the collection, these solid gold bracelets are perfect examples of the timeless fashion of finery. According to scholars, gold work, both technically and aesthetically, reached its zenith during the Fatimid dynasty (909-1171), which is when these bracelets were forged. The custom of adorning the wrists with identical bracelets can be seen in the representations on Fatimid pottery, which was, failing the presence of magazines, the Sur la Terre of the time. This pair of bracelets is one of the best known examples of the style made under Fatimid patronage in Egypt and Syria between the 10th and 12th centuries. Similar bracelets were also made in silver, but we prefer our lives to be a bit more gilded. To get up close and personal with the Doha Rock Stars, make a trip to the Museum of Islamic Art, which itself sits poised like the precious centrepiece gem of Doha’s sparkling tiara-esque Corniche. Phone +974 422 4444 or email infomia@qma.org.qa for more details.


The Luxury Of Time Production Firefly Communications Art Direction Roula Ayoub Photography Peter Richweisz, www.richweisz.com Watches from Alfardan Jewellery, Ali Bin Ali Luxury, 51 East and Pari Gallery Location: SPA CHAKRA Voted Best Spa in the Middle East 2009 SPA FINDER READERSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CHOICE AWARDS

sur la terre the luxury of time

67

ALI BIN ALI Luxury, Watches & Jewellery DeWitt Richard Mille A.P. (Audemars Piguet) Graham London Urwerk


68

51 EAST Armand Nicolet B.R.M B.R.M

sur la terre the luxury of time


sur la terre the luxuxry of time

69

PARI GALLERY Von Dutch Lancaster Giantto Giantto


70

ALFARDAN Piaget Longines Harry Winston Harry Winston

sur la terre the luxury of time


President & CEO of Georg Jensen

Ulrik Garde Due

sur la terre grand designers

71


72

sur la terre grand designers

The most important focuses of Georg Jensen have always been artistry, design and craftsmanship. Are those still the most important things today, and if so, how do you maintain that in an everevolving world? In essence, how do you stay ahead of the curve? Our heritage starts with our artisans, like Claes Ansgar Hansted (Georg Jensen Silversmith and Heritage Brand Manager), who is one of our most skilled silversmiths, of which there are about 500. We pay a lot of attention to educating the next generation of silversmiths, and we want to invest in, and maintain, that incredible knowledge of what our brand is all about. That’s the history of Georg Jensen; it’s as much part of our DNA as it is our brand value. You know, when I started working for this company two years ago and was travelling around the world, I often talked to people on the street and asked them, “What does Georg Jensen mean to you?” The first word which always comes out is “quality.” I think it’s very important that we maintain that. I also feel that the consumer today feels it is more and more important, particularly during this difficult economic environment. People go back to the basics and back to the authentic workmanship and strong design in times like these, and we stand for that level of quality. As far as where we’re going next, it’s really about the interpretation of the Scandinavian design of tomorrow. I think we have a very important job to do there, because when you think of Scandinavian design, you think of the 1950s and 60s with the classic designs we were known for then, but we need now to take it to the next level. In an effort to do that, we hired Todd Bracher as our Creative Director. He’s a great American-born guy who has always been obsessed with Danish architecture and Scandinavian design. After his Masters degree, he moved to London, Milan and Paris, and is now based out of New York. I think that’s very important for us to have someone who respects and understands Scandinavian design, but also has a point of view from outside, so that we don’t look too much at our inner selves. We want that external viewpoint.


sur la terre grand designers

How would you define the Georg Jensen design style of today against the backdrop of a vastly influential, yet nondescript international scene? It’s hard to define “Scandinavian design.” In terms of what we stand for and what we do, it is different from other design work. To define ourselves, at least in relation to others, we use key words like simplicity and functionality, particularly using organic and fluid shapes. One of the most important elements is “understated elegance.” You see that also in our jewellery. I think you’ll find that this is becoming more and more relevant in today’s world. You know, I think the “bling factor” is not dying, but it is certainly getting less important and is being replaced by quality and beautiful, functional design. Todd is not only going to work with Scandinavian designers, but also with foreign designers, just as Georg Jensen had always done. He was very innovative in that way and had a very democratic point of view in inviting designers to work with him. It wasn’t about a big ego and it wasn’t about having his name on everything; it was always “Georg Jensen by so-and-so.” We will continue to work with international designers who pay respect to our history and the expression of Georg Jensen. It would be great to have designers from this part of the world to try a Middle Eastern interpretation on Scandinavian design. Why not? That would be a very interesting fusion, and of course Georg Jensen is known for its fusion! In regard to the international scene, but particularly with the Middle East, how do you think that the designs here at The Pearl branch of Georg Jensen will appeal to the Middle East? Do you think these designs will resonate well here? I think we have a great opportunity with the new generation in the Middle East. I have been fortunate to come to a few Arabic-designed homes in the past, and I’m always impressed with the way they mix the traditional design from the region with Italian, Scandinavian or other European designs, which are much simpler. That contrast works very well together, I think. Of course, as we have seen in other emerging markets, like Russia or China, it is amazing how quickly the consumer is educated in having an international partnership in design, by travelling or reading. Everyone is so exposed now to the different designers that are moving around, and I think ours is one of the most relevant names of today. I am confident that here, and in other areas, it will be picked up.

It is obvious that the design theme of The Pearl branch of Georg Jensen is that of a Scandinavian home, particularly in the different sections like the kitchen and the living room areas. How do you think that the designs, the layout and the ethos of the store will appeal to the locals? I hope that people will see the difference we are going for here. You know, there are many offerings out there, and we need to enhance the comfortable environment without making it feel intimidating. Even though you are buying luxury goods, we want you to be relaxed around them. We don’t want you to be rushed for time or be approached by our sales team in a completely commercial, impersonal way. Just as we sit now in our “living room,” there just needs to be a relaxed and entertaining feel about your shopping experience. We’ve already heard from people that have come in that there is a difference; that it feels more homey and inviting, but still in an exclusive way. We definitely feel that with the store’s presentation. The pieces themselves that are on sale become decoration for the “home” rather than just simply wares to buy. Exactly. We have staged our home with our products. It also gives our customers ideas of how to decorate their own homes. We have a lot of fun working with some of the very best Scandinavian furnishers and outfitters, like Bang & Olufsen, for example. We have almost become an ambassador for Scandinavian design, since we don’t go out and make our own couches. Instead, we make partnerships with some of the most qualified names in the various fields. We always have customers who come into our stores and see a dinner table or cutlery pieces and love how they work together and they want to buy the full package, which is a service we provide also. They can either buy them through us, or we put them in contact with those companies. We like to work together to enhance the Scandinavian design and expression, be it with furniture or technology.

73


74

sur la terre grand designers

What about the financial recession? How did Georg Jensen survive it? Why is it important to be in the Middle East right now with that thought in mind? I think the challenging economic environment is actually very helpful. We need to have a clean up year, so we have worked very aggressively on getting a much smoother operation in our factories and workshops. We really used this year to build a very healthy platform for the future. We could have done that anyway, but we have been forced in a good way to become more efficient. The markets we are targeting now, which we haven’t been focusing on in the past, are the emerging markets. These include places like the Middle East, in which we plan to open ten more stores in the next three years, particularly in the Emirates, Saudi, Kuwait and Bahrain. We have also opened our first store in Shanghai in 2009, as well as Beijing and a couple of other cities in Russia. We feel like this is a great time and a wonderful opportunity to introduce our designs into those emerging markets, which are becoming so educated and sophisticated. We see it in our stores in New York and London, as we enjoy a very strong following in the West from Arab buyers. It’s a great time then to open up a window here to enhance the education of that local interest. The feedback we have had is already very positive.

What are you most excited about coming from Georg Jensen? Is there anything we should particularly look out for, as far as a collection or particular line? I am very excited to see the reception of our silverware and hollowware, because I think that this is a place where we have a great opportunity to sell those pieces. Our biggest market at the moment is the US, with the Americans having a very strong recognition of what we’re doing and appreciating our quality. I think it could also work here in a very big way. It will also be interesting to see which styles and price points will work best with our watches and jewellery, because one of the things we work carefully on is our price pyramid, with aspirational pieces at the top while also covering the middle and lower segments. We are also getting a stronger fashion edge to the brand, particularly with our “Moonlight” collection. This is a good example of how we have gone into the archives and found these beautiful pieces, which are an almost art nouveau style, from the beginning of the century. We have called them “Moonlight,” from a quote by Georg Jensen himself, who loved the incredible shine of the moon and used it as inspiration to create. All of these pieces are 80 to 100 years old, and everything shows a very precious - almost TOO precious - presence. All of them are silver and semi-precious stones. They start anywhere from 175 Euro all the way to 3,000 Euro. We want to allow our younger customers to come in, which is why we have created a more sensitive, more emotional campaign around the new collection. It is much more Rock & Roll than it is museum-like. Gloria May Jagger, the daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, is our personal ambassador for this new line, and I am sure she is going to be bigger than Kate Moss soon. She gives it that Rock & Roll feel that we want to reach out with. You know, you have to become more edgy and more fashionable, while at the same time holding onto your traditions. After all, it’s all about styling and timeless design.


sur la terre time history

Patek Philippe: The Essence of Watchmaking

< Patek Philippe today main workshops and headquarters in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva. >

75


76

sur la terre time history

< 1989. Calibre 89. The most complicated portable watch ever made comprising 33 complications. >

WORDS: DĂŠsirĂŠe Mitterrand PICTURES: all rights reserved

Born of a partnership between a Polish count, Antoine Norbert de Patek, and a French watchmaker, Jean Adrien Philippe, Patek Philippe is the last family-owned watchmaking company in Geneva. Since 1839, the brand of the Calatrava cross has remained true to the craft of traditional Genevan watchmaking, even while enjoying full autonomy. Considered among the best watches in the world by amateurs and specialists alike, Patek Philippe timepieces, as refined as they are technically sophisticated, exist beyond the fads of fashion and are passed on from generation to generation.


sur la terre time history

77

< 1925/1927. James Ward Packard super complication pocket watch featuring the star chart at Warren, Ohio (USA). >

>>> When, in 1830, Antoine Norbert de Patek left his native Poland just as it had turned into a Russian province, he did not have the slightest notion that in seeking refuge in Geneva he would be the founder of what would become one of the greatest watchmaking dynasties of all time. It was exactly nine years later when, in 1839, he and a watchmaker friend, François Czapek, founded “Patek, Csapek & Cie”. A few years later, when Czapek left the partnership, Antoine Norbert de Patek created a new company,“Patek Philippe & Cie,” with Jean Adrien Philippe, a very inventive French watchmaker and engineer. It wasn’t long before the partnership bore fruit when, in 1851, Philippe and de Patek were appointed official watchmakers to Queen Victoria of England, who had just acquired one of the first keyless watches at the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace. The invention of the crown for time setting and winding, far more practical than the key, was a genuine technical revolution that literally turned the world of watchmaking on its head.

< Duke of Regla’s watch. >

< Queen Victoria’s watch. >


78

sur la terre time history

< An ancient workshop in Patek Philippe Museum, Geneva. >

< 1925. The first perpetual calendar wristwatch. >

< Men’s Grand Complications Ref.5101R. A rose gold version featuring a new silvery two tone dial replacing the 10-Day Tourbillon Ref.5101 in platinium. >

< A new rose gold version of patek Phillippe Chronometro Gondolo from 1925 >

Before long, most of Europe’s crowned heads and celebrities of the time were sporting a Patek Philippe watch, among them, the Duke of Regla, who acquired a repetition watch. Supplied with a large and a small chime, this little marvel would ring in the hour to the tune of a five-tone Westminster carillon. Five years later, in 1915, the indefatigably innovative brand created the very first complicated wrist watch for women (with a minute repeater).

watchmaker craft watches that were sold under the name of the legendary American jeweller.

As an avant garde brand, Patek Philippe went through a true expansion when it began its collaboration with Gondolo & Labouriau, which distributed its watchmaking creations in Rio de Janeiro. From 1902 to 1930, Patek Philippe crafted numerous special series of watches for the house. They were christened “Chrono-metro Gondolo.”

In a move too rare to attract notice, at the turn of 1851, Patek Philippe established trade relations with America, signing an exclusivity agreement with Tiffany’s in New York, which saw the

Between 1935 and 1955, Henri Stern, who took over management of the New York office, made fifty round trips to America, a feat that seems like nothing in today’s jet set world, but back then meant travelling by ship and hydroplane. Eventually, with the advent of commercial air travel, his journey became somewhat easier by aeroplane. Even after the outbreak of World War II, he maintained his commute to the US, far from daunted, Stern would transit through Portugal and the Canary Islands in order to make it to America.

While in 1922 the company created the first ever wrist-chronograph with a split-second hand and, ten years later, the by now iconic “Calatrava” timepiece, it is really in 1941, with the marketing of Reference 1518 (a perpetual calendar wrist chronograph), that the house captivated all the connoisseurs.


sur la terre time history

79

< The Patek Philippe Salons in Geneva. >

< Ladies’ Nautilus new collection. Left in rose gold with a diamond-set bezel and right in white gold with a charcoal dial. >

Still, the Great Depression did take its toll on the finances of the watchmaking brand and in 1932, in order to boost up the company, Charles and Jean Stern — so far exclusive purveyors of dials for the company — took a share in Patek Philippe. Their legacy would remain to this day where, under the direction of Philippe Stern (President) and his son Thierry Stern (Vice President), Patek Philippe prides itself on being the last independent family-owned watchmaking company in Geneva. The brand, world renowned for the elegance and technical sophistication of its watchmaking creations, has always managed to innovate

< The famous Calatrava Officier in a new yellow gold version. >

and renew itself even while drawing on its heritage. Take the stunning and immensely admired “Calibre 89,” the most complicated mechanical watch in the world, created for the 150th anniversary of the company; and the two other highly popular creations: the sportylooking “Nautilus,” created in 1976, and its counterpart the “Aquanaut,” launched some twenty years later.

d’Or” (1968), which offered a contemporary design that still makes it unique among all the other creations.

Other notable timepieces that have shaped the identity of the brand include the Reference “5004,” a new take on a 1940 model and, with its 407-part movement, the brand’s most complicated chronograph; and the “Ellipse

An innumerable array of creations — all suffused with boundless creativity coupled with a timeless elegance, which, again in 2009, gratified the most demanding customers. Under the theme “La vie en rose,” Patek Philippe

More recently, the “Star Caliber 2000,” featuring six new patented inventions, and the “Star Moon Tourbillon” with its integral representation of the celestial sphere, have set the world of horology alight.


80

sur la terre time history

< The entirely restored Art Deco building in the area of Plainpalais in Geneva. >

< A view from the inside of the Patek Philippe Museum. >

chose to stage reruns of its most iconic models, placed in pink-gold cases. Lastly, at the behest of Philippe Stern — a devotee of exceptional timepieces — Patek Philippe opened in 2001 a superb museum in Geneva containing a fabulous collection of antique watches dating from the 16th century to the present day, as well as an exhibit of enamel portrait miniatures. Located in the Plainpalais quarter, this 2,000m2 temple of watchmaking — with its 1,700 exhibited watches, 7,000 books on horology, and 200 machines and antique tools — is a modern, must-see Mecca for all lovers of quality watchmaking. The history of Patek Philippe is, first and foremost, a history of passion. Beyond the excellence of its know-how, the brand has always managed to pass down a feeling of exhilaration — not only within the company itself, but also among its clients. To own a Patek Philippe today fills one with the feeling of being a custodian of the very essence of quality watchmaking.

< The rose gold case and silvery two-tone satin-finished dial give this new version of the Chronograph Annual Calendar (Ref. 5960R) a soft retro touch. >


84

sur la terre haute property

A Pearl In The Desert A unique â&#x20AC;&#x153;proportunityâ&#x20AC;? has bloomed for interested landowners in Marrakech. Dar Selana is your glittering chance to live like a king against a Moroccan desert backdrop and the stunningly imposing Atlas mountain range, the 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of lush grounds that surround this sumptuous villa provide a luxurious oasis for anyone wishing to escape to the fantastic realm that only exists in North Africa.

>>> Sitting only about 15 kilometres outside Marrakech, Dar Selana contains several sumptuous buildings, including two main houses, a garage and staff quarters, as well as a 22m X 6m swimming pool and pool house. Designed by renowned Moroccan architect Karim El Achak from the Associati architectural firm, the main structures of the complex were completed in July 2008. While relatively new, however, the atmosphere and environment drips with a palpably languid luxury brushed with the rich lacquer of Moroccan style. Of course, while steeped in a definitive Moroccan tradition, Dar Selana is also seasoned with international decorative spices, with interior designs inspired by the Orient, the Middle East and other parts of Africa. Calming water features combine with immaculately manicured verdant vistas to create an oasis of smooth tranquility amidst the dynamic texture of the mountainous skyline. The exterior copper-sandy colour of the buildings, which meshes seamlessly with the natural beauty of the environment, belies the brightly hued scheme of the interior design. Punctuated by animal prints, tribal finishings and bucolic furniture, the African and colonial rooms pop in a rustic verve made all the more wild by its sweeping open spaces and endless natural charm. The rooms inspired by the orient,

however, are decidedly more minimalist, but no less impressive, with bright colours bouncing playfully off ornate statues and inspiring Asian works of art. Offset as it is by these bursts of international flair, the rest of the architecture simmers in the royal verve of a desert Moroccan palace, with intricate doors and doorways, a masterful use of tiles and woodwork and an impressive bevy of other features that accentuate its proud lineage.


sur la terre haute property

85

In terms of practicality and comfort of living, Dar Selana doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disappoint, with over 2,192m2 of living space, including private living and sleeping quarters, grand dining and relaxing areas, a veritable forest of private gardens, a small army of private bathrooms, about 15 WCs, the aforementioned swimming pool and a games room that will delight after drinking in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Where the sun does not make its presence known by shining into the bright rooms, the soft interior lighting takes over, bathing all of the ornaments and highlights in a gorgeous shower of radiance, perfectly befitting the heavenly feel of this resplendent retreat. Properties like Dar Selana are few and far between, and owning one of your own is like possessing a rare gem. This fabulous villa comes at a cost which can be obtained upon request, though expect to pay in excess of 10 million Euro, which some would consider a small price to pay for such a dynamic, breathtaking and most of all unique slice of earth-bound heaven. For all enquiries about jumping at this once-in-a-lifetime offer for Dar Selana, please contact Firefly Communications by calling (+974) 434 0630 or sending an email to info@firefly-me.com


v

86

sur la terre haute property

Maison A Features

• Cinema with outside entry • Dining room with fireplace • Large kitchen with cold room • Main living room with fireplace • Chinese Lounge with fireplace • African Lounge with fireplace • Covered terrace & courtyard overlooking the Atlas mountains • Traditional Hammam with jacuzzi, shower and WC • Master Suite (Syrian) contains a bedroom w/ fireplace, private patio w/ fountain, private bathroom, 1930’s-style study and a private terrace overlooking the Atlas mountains • Guest Suite (Burmese) contains a bedroom w/ fireplace, private patio, private bathroom, private garden w/ fountain and a private terrace overlooking the Atlas mountains

Other Features (Maison A)

• First Floor: Guest Suite (Moroccan) contains a bedroom w/ fireplace, private bathroom, private garden w/ fountain and a private terrace overlooking the Atlas mountains • Large Roof Terrace: A large covered salon facing the Atlas mountains also contains a dining terrace, pantry, storage and a guest WC • Basement: Along with necessities like a furnace room and laundry and linens, there is also room for a gym and a large storage area


sur la terre haute property

Maison B Features

• Large living room (salon & dining room) with fireplace • Kitchen • Rich corridor surrounding an open courtyard facing the Atlas mountains • Guest Suite (Indian) contains a bedroom w/ fireplace, large closets, private bathroom, private courtyard w/ fountain • Guest Suite (Colonial) contains a bedroom w/ fireplace, large closets, private bathroom, private courtyard w/ fountain • Foyer leading to: Single bedroom with bath, private terrace, dormitory with three beds, bathroom, private garden, private terrace • All suites in both houses open onto private terraces with views of the Atlas and access to the gardens

Other Features (Maison B)

• First Floor: Guest Suite (Tibetan) contains a bedroom w/ fireplace, private terrace facing the Atlas mountains, large closet alcove, private bathroom • Covered salon w/ fireplace ovelooking the Atlas mountains • Basement contains a large area with a cold room, space for laundry with linen closets, a furnace room and a large multipurpose space that can be converted into a gym or Hammam

The Pool Area

• 22m x 6m swimming pool with placement for an electric pool cover • The pool house contains two changing rooms w/ shower and WC, a large billiard and game room w/ fireplace, a small salon (open & covered) facing the Atlas mountains, a large dining room, a kitchen and a large underground storage area

87

Garage

• Fits two cars w/ storage space • Open shelter for four more cars

Staff Quarters

• Adjoining garage: Two staff apartments around the closed courtyard containing two rooms, each with a bathroom and WC • Adjoining Maison A: Apartment with two bedrooms, each containing a bathroom, WC and kitchen


88

sur la terre haute property

Alfardan Opens its Haute Property: One Porto Arabia

< From right to left, Omar Alfardan, Hussain Alfardan >

>>> Alfardan Properties has officially opened the first building available for lease on Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s man-made island paradise, The Pearl. If you are an avid reader of Sur la Terre, you will no doubt know that we have been following this particular Haute Property for some time now with great interest. In the past, we have likened it to a mythic tower and a masterful work of art. Since its opening to the public in December 2009, decadent Doha denizens will no doubt understand what we have been talking about all this time. With sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf from its 198 modern, open and spacious apartment units, One Porto Arabia taps into a luxury that is inspired by an Arabesque ĂŠlan and


sur la terre haute property

89

< Right to left, Omar Alfardan, Ali Alfardan, Khalil Sholy, Ahmed Hassan Bilal >

an international flair. Sophisticated and stylish, the minimalist inner environs offset the rich architecture of its exterior in an haute harbour harmony. To celebrate the landmark occasion of its opening, Alfardan Properties marked the event with a sumptuous gala dinner, a musical show from a live string quartet and a fantastic display performed by a retinue of fire dancers. Of course, the night was also attended by the crème de la crème of Doha’s high society, including members from the Sur la Terre team. The grand opening of One Porto Arabia signals a new era in Qatar-based property, and it has been ushered in with aplomb by Alfardan Properties.

< Right to left, Omar Alfardan and Muhibullah Mani >


sur la terre joysticks

91

Call of Duty: Modern Bayonetta (Xbox 360) Lord of the Rings Warfare 2 (PS3) Online: Siege of Mirkwood (PC) By press time, the newest title in the Call of Duty series of games will have been out for a few months, which may make some of our readers wonder why we’re covering it now. Well, we are including it this time because, simply put, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of the best games in recent memory, and we thought it deserved a bit more time in the spotlight. Using the premise that Russia has invaded the United States with designs of global supremacy, the game spans the world in war-torn action, as you lead a grizzled team of US military operatives in defending America from occupation. This record-breaking title is a thing of pure adrenalised beauty, even though, the most recent campaign in this popular warthemed series is not starkly different from its predecessors. It takes a more streamlined single-player focus, which largely entails sneaking around stuff, defending stuff and, of course, blowing stuff up, all in the name of peace and freedom! Enhancements come in the form of multiplayer and cooperative play upgrades, with new weapons, new vehicles, new missions and newer, crisper graphics. If you were not one of the near-5 million people worldwide to get the game in the first 24 hours of its release, it’s never too late to jump on the meat wagon!

Are you a pistol-packin’ amnesiac witch whose 500 year sleep has recently been interrupted by a mysterious ages-old war? No? Well, the heroine of Sega’s newest third-person action title Bayonetta is, and she’s not too happy about it. Set in and around the fictional city of Vigrid, the game sees the confused, yet immensely powerful Bayonetta slowly remembering her part in an ongoing battle between two ancient sects of magic, the lunar-powered women of the Umbran Witches and the solar-fuelled men of the Luen Sages. The fast-paced, sometimes convoluted story of Bayonetta is what you’d expect from Hideki Kamiya, the creator of such classic titles as Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe. At the same time engaging and enigmatic, the cool style and substance of the story merges together seamlessly with a gameplay that is very much like the aforementioned Devil May Cry, but with its own little twists, such as the “witch time” feature, which allows Bayonetta the matrix-esque ability of slowing down time and doling out mayhem between the minutes. Slick, a little scary and gothically chic, Bayonetta has been picking up multiple accolades for its playability, design and plot-driven narrative, all of which succeed in making this one a musthave game for the Xbox 360.

Once again, Middle Earth is coming to the Middle East with the newest expansion pack for the fantastically popular massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, The Lord of the Rings Online. LOTR Online has regularly received rave reviews for its loyalty to the original J.R.R. Tolkien source material, its intuitive and absorbing gameplay, its sheer vastness and of course its incredible graphics. The dark forests that now make up the gloomy area known as Mirkwood used to be known as Greenwood the Great before being enshrouded in shadows by Lord Sauron and Morgoth, and it’s up to you to turn it back. Siege of Mirkwood is loaded with a newer, more responsive combat system, a higher level-up cap (now at 65) and several other small tweaks that make the game an allaround smoother experience. While still not perfecting the process (barely touching the great Skirmish system from its last iteration), Turbine, Inc., the game’s developer, has still ironed out many of the kinks to make this newest expansion the one game to rule them all; the one game to find them; the one game to bring them all, and in the awesomeness, bind them! See what we did there?


92

sur la terre chapters

The Sand Fish: A Novel from Dubai

Maha Gargash Maha Gargash’s The Sand Fish allows a wonderful glimpse into the world of the Arabian gulf of the 1950’s. Gargash explores Dubai before the bright and shiny exteriors of today took over. Her Dubai is a world of tradition, culture and history. The Sand Fish tells the story of seventeen-year-old Noora who, mourning the death of her mother and the mental unravelling of her father, must find a way to reach womanhood without succumbing to the pressures surrounding her. When faced with the prospect of having to marry a wealthy, much older pearl merchant, Noora escapes to a nearby village and eventually meets another man. What she finds there is a brief encounter with attraction and freedom. When she returns home, however, familial trouble ensues. Readers will rejoice in Gargash’s vivid style of storytelling and her artful weave of scenery and prose. The Sand Fish is a coming-of-age tale of a woman who tries to break free of her shackles and establish her life according to her own ideals, without being forced into marital “bliss” and a life of servitude. Dubai and the Emirates sparkle, free of the glitz and glam we know today, and are presented as a colluded world ripe with local cultural idiosyncrasies through the eyes of a feisty and steadfast heroine.

Pride & Prejudice and Zombies

Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith The writing style of Jane Austen is a lot like an apocalyptic zombie plague. It’s slow moving, a bit life-sucking and it can easily eat away at your brains with ravenously rotted tedium. It is for these very reasons that Seth GrahameSmith decided to spice Austen’s most prominent literary “classic” with the exciting whirlwind of flesh-rending, teeth-gnashing excellence that only the hordes of the undead can provide. He deftly explores the Austen tome about maintaining social stature and poise in 18th century England, interjecting hot zombie action wherever appropriate. The story follows a parallel universe version of the Bennet family, the daughters of which have not, as in the original, been brought up with social manners and grace, but instead with a robust knowledge of martial arts. The Bennet girls, led by Elizabeth, have been instructed as such to combat the onset of the aforementioned plague of “unmentionables.” Other than zombie-laden mayhem, however, the plot follows that of the original: Girl (Elizabeth) meets boy (Mr. Darcy), boy is uppity and mean to girl and her family, girl hates boy and vice versa until, through a series of events, boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after ... WITH ZOMBIES!

The Diamonds Ted Michael

Reminiscent of Gossip Girl and The In Crowd, The Diamonds introduces the reader to a world of privilege, self-entitlement and overindulgence. However, unlike the aforementioned novels, The Diamonds is more than just rich teenage scheming, as plot twists on justice, morality and democracy create depth with more than average predictability. Every high school has its “it” crowd. Beautiful, privileged and powerful, the ‘Diamonds’, as they call themselves, certainly don’t disappoint. Leader of the pack is Clarissa; stunning, envied and dominant, she is queen bee at Bennington academy and rules supreme over her posse. Marni, our heroine starts off as part of the elite, but messes up when she gets a little too close to Clarissa’s ex-boyfriend Anderson. Kicked out of the crowd, Marni becomes a Stonecutter, the anti-carat movement trying to overthrow the absolute Diamond monarchy. Readers are taken through high school mock trials that draw upon the American constitution, playing along a skewed system of principles within the confines of Bennington High and its social hierarchy. Very relatable in its portrayal of friendship and betrayal, The Diamonds will have you hooked not only for the exciting plot twists but also for its take on the meaning of democracy.


sur la terre tunes

93

Contra

Animal

Jewellery

Just like everyone else, our first bite of Vampire Weekend’s new album Contra was the song “Horchata” - a peppy little number that marries together a heavy drumbeat with a digital Casio keyboard-driven kaleidoscope of Caribbean steel drums, and a faint hint of spicy African soul. This would be an eclectically ethnic mix in more than just ethos if it were not fed to indie hipsters through the whinny vocals of New York cityboy frontman, Ezra Koenig. In a way, that’s how Vampire Weekend has always been, meshing together polite, yuppie, Upper West Side Manhattan sensibilities with a sort of digitally exotic diaspora. In any event, we really, REALLY like Contra. Energetic tracks like “Cousins” make us want to run around the office like a sugar-fed five year old, while others like “White Sky” remind us of a good episode of FRIENDS in the way it paints a whitewashed, bright-day ode to New York City. The boys get as synth-rocky as they can in tracks like “Giving Up the Gun,” and while pumped with more machine gun shredding than we’re used to from them (even though it’s not much), it’s still VERY indie and chilled-out enough to be called relaxed rock. Of course, they use the very same devices of the modern indie scene to pump up songs that would otherwise be slow dance numbers, like “Diplomat’s Son.” In terms of “deep” music, Vampire Weekend may still rock with corked-fangs in Contra, but while it may not bring you back from the dead, it certainly doesn’t suck.

You might be tempted to dismiss Ke$ha’s debut album Animal as yet another teen pop album, but take a listen before passing hasty judgment. Following her collaboration with Flo Rida on “Right Round”, Ke$ha has now released her own hit song “Tik Tok”. The ballad that venerates a night out broke records with over 600,000 downloads in one week and transformed Ke$ha into an international pop starlet. Animal continues her frivolous take on music and quite literally makes you want to get up and dance. It’s clear that Ke$ha isn’t trying to make us ponder the musical undertones of her songs, but just wants listeners to have a good time. Lyrically speaking, songs such as “Backstabber,” “Hung over” and “Kiss and Tell” ring true to her life experiences and sound familiar to all of us. She combines well-known scenarios with her catchy use of electro pop and synthesisers to create songs that will have you tapping your foot. For those seeking to listen to something a tad slower and darker, songs such as “VIP” will have you drifting deep into thought. A shout-out to our very own Steve Paugh comes in the form of “Stephen,” which he has been blasting in the office ever since. Produced by Dr. Luke who has also been behind stars such as Britney Spears and Katy Perry, Animal is a fast paced, feel good collection that is sure to energise you.

We’ve been hearing good things about the classically trained/experimental UK artist Micachu for a while now, and when we finally got our hands on a copy of her new album, Jewellery, we were understandably excited. Micachu and her band, The Shapes, have been called avant-garde and dadaist in nature, and while a bit pretentious, we would tend to agree. We like to think of their style as what would happen if Punk and Synth got together, had a kid and then raised it in a garage with a distortion pedal and a drum machine, feeding it nothing but sugary breakfast cereal and Mountain Dew. Digitally disjointed, yet dancey, Micachu blasts her listener with a grungy slur through an infectious beat. Some of our favourite tracks on Jewellery are the slower-paced (but not plodding) “Turn Me Well,” which draws you in its top notes with crisp drops of a metallic downpour before melting into an enticingly haunted vocal flow. “Lips” amazingly whips a guttural punkish rockabilly start into an entirely listenable beat. Alternatively,“Golden Phone,” starts off as an arthouse dancer before blooming into a rock-laden wonderland, and then shifts back in on itself in a welcome cacophony. Not being particular fans of experimental noise, we have to admit that we have fallen for the dystopic shimmer of Jewellery, and think that this might finally bridge the gap between “weird” and “wow.”

Vampire Weekend

Ke$ha

Micachu


94

sur la terre flicks

The Book of Eli

Leap Year

The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond

Post apocalyptic America, bandits, cannibals and what seems to be the coming of the next prophet in the form of none other than Denzel Washington, all add up to give you the Hughes Brothers’ latest flick, The Book of Eli. One in a slew of recent post apocalyptic films, The Book of Eli presents us with scorched landscapes that are oddly familiar. Making his way through the charred countryside is the apparent saviour of what is left of planet Earth, Eli (Washington). He holds in his possession the sole remaining copy of the Bible, and is determined to take it West in an attempt to redeem humanity. Through Eli’s westward journey, we see remnants of our current existence either burned down or completely destroyed by the “Flash,” which seems to have torn a hole in the sky and let a deadly blaze scorch the Earth. Our hero eventually reaches a town and meets villainous, “Sheriff” Carnegie, (thespian genius Gary Oldman). That’s when all hell breaks loose. The Book of Eli is the tale of a lone man, Bible in hand, making his way through the American wasteland in order to save civilisation. It’s all very Johnny Cash. Moviegoers will glow with both Washington’s and Oldman’s performances, both of whom catapult an otherwise recurring formula into this year’s must-see action flick.

Anna (Amy Adams) is your classic successful city gal who has it all. She is a successful “stager” (she visually sets up apartments in order to sell them), she is dating a handsome cardiologist and generally lives the good life. She truly does have it all; well, except for one particular and essential piece of jewellery, the lack of which currently leaves her left ring finger slightly cold and unadorned. After long awaiting an engagement rock from her current beau, she takes things into her own hands, or rather her own ring finger,. Packing her bags, she hops a flight to Ireland in an effort to propose herself on Leap Day, the Irish tradition that claims women may propose to men on February 29th and not be turned down. The Emerald Isle of Ireland is shown in all its glory thanks to the cinematographic genius of Newton Tomas Sigel, as Anna gains a companion in shape of Declan (Matthew Goode), and goes through the classic rom-com transformation of uptight and spoiled to adventurous and likeable. While Adams’s character is anything but endearing, her portrayal is commendable due to her ability to put a sweet spin on even the roughest edges. Predictable? Maybe. Life-changing? Pvrobably not. However, this year, Leap Year will at least have you leaving the theatre feeling warm and fuzzy.

Tennessee Williams has been one of America’s most treasured playwrights for decades. As such, his pieces have been venerated for generations and read by many students during their scholastic endeavours. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond is his latest incarnation in film. Many of his stylistic trademarks echo through the film, which describes a debutante’s life in the 1920’s. Fisher Willow (Bryce Dallas Howard) has just returned from Europe to the confined southern existence she calls home. Spoiled and bored of life, Fisher is forced to make her silk stocking debut in Memphis, ensuring that her aunt’s $5 million estate won’t be fed to the local church. As a debutante, Fisher must be accompanied when attending the ball. Enter Jimmy Dobyne (Chris Evans), your classic country-boy Williams character who manages to stir quite a few emotions in his upper crust date. Their relationship is thrown into limbo when one of Fisher’s expensive diamond earrings disappears and an early 20th century clash of classes ensues. Perhaps not on par with his other classics, like A Streetcar Named Desire, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond still manages to resonate with Williams nuances throughout its plot, making it delightfully archetypal and reminiscent of his body of work.


sur la terre clicks

95

Garfield ... Minus Garfield

Can’t You See I’m Busy!

Van Cleef & Arpels Online

Ah, Garfield, ever the endearing cartoon cat. Armed with an insatiable hunger for lasagna and a sardonically acidic wit, this lovable scamp has joked his way into hearts all over the world since Jim Davis first drew the wildly popular comic strip way back in 1978. As rife with hilarity as Garfield has always been, however, there has been a renewed attention to the classic comic in recent years, not by focusing on its main protagonist, but rather by removing him. The non sequitur/absurdist “Garfield Minus Garfield” phenomenon has been going on for a while now, but its true champion is a man named Dan Walsh. By using Garfield’s geeky owner Jon Arbuckle as its focus and erasing Garfield altogether, Walsh and other practitioners of this “art form” have created a world of creepiness and despair that is just downright hilarious. The project sheds light on the underlying oddness of the Garfield strip, particularly in the way that Jon openly has conversations with himself (via his cat), and is even more pathetic than he first appears. We admit that it may seem strange to have a website (and a book, now available at Amazon.com) based on such a premise, but the hours we had sifting through the pages of http://garfieldminusgarfield.net were stiflingly giggle-filled.

Are you a hardcore online gamer who, on a daily basis, gets pestered and ripped from your intense sessions by silly little things like “work” or being forced to “excel in your career?” Well, stress no more, ye boardroom button-mashers, for the great gods of “the interwebs” have delivered unto us www.cantyouseeimbusy.com. Cleverly designed for covert gaming, each of the three games currently on the site appear to be work-related programmes, such as you might find in Microsoft Office, thereby belying their inherent purpose of fostering procrastination. “Breakdown,” for example, looks like a Word document, but in actual fact is a Pong-like game wherein the player tries to eliminate as many words on the page as possible: it’s like reverse work! “Leadership,” on the other hand, puts you at the helm of a tiny rocket ship, steering it through the perilous stalactites and stalagmites of a spreadsheet graph, while “Cost Cutter” sees you eliminating colour-coded data from an otherwise professional flow chart. While your colleagues are gathered around the water cooler, peering over their shoulders for upper management and whispering warning cries like “Quick, look busy,” you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you already do.

Van Cleef & Arpels has been getting their precious rocks off for over 100 years now, but that doesn’t mean that this French old-timer isn’t d-o-w-n with the k-i-d-s. Not only are they still considered to be one of the foremost jewellery houses on the planet, with beautifully rendered, timeless pieces worn by Hollywood’s hottest hoi-polloi, they also have one of the coolest websites that we’ve seen, which is particularly impressive when compared to the sometimes boring online presence of other brands. Heralded with an ethereal soundtrack of soft ambient sounds and an almost fantasy jungle appearance, www.vancleef-arpels.com leads you through a comprehensive tour of its lush history and into its shining present. All of its current offerings are available in highdef brilliance, from the gorgeously intricate sea-themed L’Antalntide to its welcomingly pastoral Magic Lahambra. Each page’s layout is captivating in an effervescent natural beauty, made all the more bubbly with digital movement like gently lapping waves and dewily dripping flowers. Of course, even these pale in comparison to the unbridled beauty of Van Cleef & Arpels’ classic creations, but as a frame to such artwork, there isno better.

Garfieldminusgarfield.net

www.cantyouseeimbusy.com

www.vancleef-arpels.com


96

sur la terre snapshot

< Photographer: Dana Ali Bin Ali >

Perhaps timeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definition of coal is the diamond. ~ Kahlil Gibran Created from intense pressures, at the will of nature herself, the jewel represents a twinkling light in the darkness of time. The perfect stones we find adorning the trinkets and tiaras of royalty and the rich are even more incredible in their existence than their aesthetic brilliance. They truly are the work of the fates and each one, in its almost arbitrary existence, is a unique and wonderful occurrence. The picture not only celebrates the craft of freeing light, crystalline beauty from the rough, jagged prison in which it has been encased for millennia, but also the simplicity and clarity of the stones, which unlike those that unearth them or wear them, will remain forever ageless.



SLTSpecialEdition2010