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And Hollywood Is Ready to Play By Jacqueline Woodson Photographs by Annie Leibovitz


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F E AT U R E S

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READY FOR LENA B y JAC Q U E L I N E WO O D S O N

Garnering accolades and a passionate following for her work on breakout shows such as Masters of None and The Chi—and appearing in Steven Spielberg’s new ilm, Ready Player One—Lena Waithe is taking over screens big and small. The star and creator opens up about inluence and inspiration, from the Harlem Renaissance to Time’s Up. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz.

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V.F. PORTRAIT: JANE FONDA

Clockwise from above: The sinking of the El Faro (page 80); Eddie Lampert (page 102); Priyanka Chopra (page 86).

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THE LAST WORDS ON THE BRIDGE B y W I L L I A M L A N G EW I E S C H E

The El Faro, a 790-foot commercial cargo ship, vanished near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin, in October 2015, taking with it all 33 crew members. After the ship’s audio recorder was salvaged, a transcript from it revealed El Faro’s fateful inal hours. Illustration by Yuko Shimizu.

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CHANGE AGENT Spotlight on humanitarian and actress Priyanka Chopra, who will soon appear in two new movies as well as the third season of her hit series, Quantico. By Krista Smith. Photograph by Sebastian Kim.

ON THE COVER Lena Waithe wears a T-shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren; long necklace by David Yurman. Hair products by Evolving Textures. Makeup by AJ Crimson Beauty. Hair by Felicia Leatherwood. Makeup by Rebekah Aladdin. Set design by Mary Howard. Produced on location by Portfolio One. Styled by Jessica Diehl. Photographed exclusively for V.F. by Annie Leibovitz in Los Angeles. For details, go to VF.com/credits.

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CH OP RA PH OTO GR A PHE D BY S EB A STI A N K IM ; J U MP SUI T BY RA L P H L AU RE N COL L E CT IO N; N E CKL AC E BY FO UNDRÉ . L A MPE RT P HOTO GR A PHE D BY N IG EL PA RRY. I L LU STR ATI O N BY Y UKO S HI MI Z U. F O R D ETA I L S , GO TO VF.CO M/C RE DI TS

For nearly six decades, the actress and activist has left an indelible mark on pop culture. With her Netlix series, Grace and Frankie, in its fourth season and a new HBO documentary, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, airing this summer, the icon has plenty more to say. By Patricia Bosworth. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.


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MAXIMUM DESTINY Spotlight on 26 black women who have founded start-ups that have passed $1 million in funding. Now these entrepreneurs are aiming a thousand times higher: “unicorn” status. By Margot Lee Shetterly. Photograph by Mark Seliger.

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THE SHARP SHOOTER B y DAV I D F R I E N D

V.F. portraitist extraordinaire Mark Seliger has made a career of capturing some of the most elusive icons of popular culture. Mark Seliger Photographs, to be published next month, provides a thirty-year retrospective of his personal best.

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MELROSE FACE

Clockwise from above: John David Washington (page 41); Obandonment (page 58); Ivanka Trump (page 60).

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WA S HI NGTON P HOTO GRA P HE D BY WI L L I A MS + HI R A KAWA ; CL OTH I NG BY L OU IS V UI TTO N . P HOTO IL L UST RAT I O N BY MAT T DOR F MA N ; PHOTOG RA P H BY SH EL L E Y L IP TO N/ I CO N SP ORTS WI RE / GE TT Y I MAGE S (OBAMA). PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEX WONG/GETT Y IMAGES (TRUMP). FOR DETAILS, GO TO VF.COM/CREDITS

Spotlight on Patrick Melrose, the ive-part Showtime series based on Edward St. Aubyn’s novels of upper-crust British life, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. By Henry Alford. Photograph by Julian Broad.

THE DEVIL TO PAY B y W I L L I A M D. C O H A N

Hedge-fund wunderkind Eddie Lampert, who merged Kmart and Sears in 2005, has been widely criticized for his debt-loving management of the once iconic stores. In his irst extended interview since a frightening kidnapping episode 15 years ago, Lampert doubles down on his vision for the brands in the age of Amazon. Photographs by Nigel Parry.

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VOICES OF A REVOLUTION By CLARA BINGHAM

In April of 1968, as protests over the Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. reverberated across the country, the New York City campus of Columbia University became the epicenter of a youthquake that pitted students against the administration, the police, and even The New York Times. Herewith, an oral history of those cataclysmic days and nights a half-century ago.

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TENDER HEARTS Spotlight on the new ilm On Chesil Beach, starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle, and adapted by Ian McEwan from his novel. By David Kamp. Photograph by Charlie Gray. VA N I T I E S

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STATE OF WASHINGTON Style inspiration from Back to the Future. Culture Club: This month in music, fashion, and art. Hot Type. My Desk: Amy Sherald’s studio in Baltimore. International beauty must-haves. COLUMNS

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STARRY NIGHT By MARK SELIGER

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OBANDONMENT B y JA M E S WO L C OT T

More than a year after Barack Obama’s departure from the White House, the former POTUS seems to be thriving, free of the demands of political life. But bereft Democrats are aching for him to get back to work. Photo illustration by Matt Dorfman.

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SWAMPLAND B y E M I LY JA N E F OX

As Ivanka Trump begins her second oicial year in D.C., her accomplishments have been subsumed by the Trump administration’s quagmires. How will the First Daughter continue to survive in a West Wing where allegiance to her father and her husband may be mutually exclusive? ET CETERA

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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LETTERS La La Land

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CUMB E RB ATCH PHOTO GR A PHE D BY J UL I A N B ROA D . P HOTO GR A PH BY TI M HO UT ( B O OK S) . I LLUSTRATI O N BY SAM KE RR

Clockwise from above: Benedict Cumberbatch with Patrick Melrose co-stars Blythe Danner and Allison Williams (page 100); Hot Type (page 46); Amy Sherald (page 48).

At Vanity Fair’s Oscar party, the pop-up studio was the perfect refuge for stars, from Jordan Peele and Gary Oldman to Allison Janney, Lupita Nyong’o, and more.


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Editor RADHIKA JONES Managing Editor CHRIS GARRETT Creative Director CHRIS DIXON Executive Editor DOUGLAS STUMPF Features Editor JANE SARKIN Creative Director (Fashion and Style) JESSICA DIEHL Photography Director SUSAN WHITE Deputy Editors AIMÉE BELL, DANA BROWN, STEPHANIE MEHTA Associate Managing Editor ELLEN KIELL Fashion Director MICHAEL CARL Legal Affairs Editor ROBERT WALSH Director of Special Projects SARA MARKS Copy Editor PETER DEVINE Research Director DAVID GENDELMAN Beauty Director SUNHEE GRINNELL Executive West Coast Editor KRISTA SMITH Art Director TONYA DOURAGHY Photography Research Director JEANNIE RHODES Deputy Art Director KAITLYN PEPE Deputy Director of Special Projects MATT ULLIAN Associate Legal Affairs Editor CHRISTOPHER HICKMAN Associate Copy Editor DAVID FENNER Production Director PAT CRAVEN Research Editor MARY FLYNN Reporter-Researchers BRENDAN BARR, SIMON BRENNAN, SUE CARSWELL, DAVID GEORGI, BEN KALIN, WALTER OWEN, MICHAEL SACKS Assistant Copy Editor ADAM NADLER Editorial Finance Manager GEOFF COLLINS Articles Editor DAN GILMORE Senior Photography Producer KATHRYN MACLEOD Senior Photography Research Editors ANN SCHNEIDER, KATHERINE BANG Accessories Director DAISY SHAW-ELLIS Photography Editors CATE STURGESS, RACHEL DELOACHE WILLIAMS Associate Editor LOUISA STRAUSS Assistant Editors BEN ABRAMOWITZ, MARY ALICE MILLER, JULIA VITALE Special Projects Manager ARI BERGEN Art Production Director CHRISTOPHER GEORGE Copy Production Director ANDERSON TEPPER Assistant to the Editor DAN ADLER Assistant to the Managing Editor SARAH BRACY PENN Fashion Editor RYAN YOUNG Market Editor ISABELLA BEHRENS Menswear Market Editor CHRISTOPHER LEGASPI Vanities Associate ISABEL ASHTON Fashion Associate KELLI ORIHUELA Features Associate BRITT HENNEMUTH Associate Editorial Business Manager CAMILLE ZUMWALT COPPOLA Features Assistant SAMANTHA LONDON Research Assistant TAYLOR SMITH Beauty Assistant NORA MALONEY Editorial Assistant DANIELLE WALSH Production Assistant KRISANNE MADAUS Editor-at-Large CULLEN MURPHY Special Correspondents BOB COLACELLO, MAUREEN ORTH, BRYAN BURROUGH, AMY FINE COLLINS, NICK BILTON, WILLIAM D. COHAN, MARK SEAL, GABRIEL SHERMAN Writers-at-Large MARIE BRENNER, JAMES REGINATO Style Editor–at–Large MICHAEL ROBERTS International Correspondent WILLIAM LANGEWIESCHE London Editor HENRY PORTER Paris Editor VÉRONIQUE PLAZOLLES European Editor–at–Large JEMIMA KHAN Editor (Los Angeles) WENDY STARK MORRISSEY Our Man in Kabul TOM FRESTON Our Man in Saigon BRIAN MCNALLY Our Man on the Street DEREK BLASBERG Architecture Consultant BASIL WALTER Editorial Consultant JIM KELLY Senior Editorial Adviser WAYNE LAWSON Editor, Creative Development DAVID FRIEND

vanityfair.com Executive Digital Director MICHAEL HOGAN Editor MATTHEW LYNCH Deputy Editor KATEY RICH Digital Managing Editor KELLY BUTLER Senior Photography Editor CHIARA MARINAI Audience Development Director KIA MAKARECHI Executive Video Producer ERIC LEFFLER Social Media Director JEFFREY TOUSEY Projects Editor ALYSSA KARAS Line Editor KATIE COMMISSO Executive Awards Editor ANNA LISA RAYA Hollywood Editor HILLARY BUSIS Staff Photographer JUSTIN BISHOP Hollywood Correspondents REBECCA KEEGAN, NICOLE SPERLING Film Critic RICHARD LAWSON Senior Staff Writers JOSH DUBOFF, JULIE MILLER, JOANNA ROBINSON Staff Writers LAURA BRADLEY, KENZIE BRYANT, YOHANA DESTA, ERIKA HARWOOD, HILARY WEAVER Associate Line Editor RACHEL FREEMAN Supervising Video Producer TRACI OSHIRO Hollywood Video Producer JUSTINE DEL GAUDIO Social Media Video Editor ELLA RUFFEL Lead Producer JARONDAKIE PATRICK Associate Producer ERIN VANDERHOOF Associate Photography Editor LAUREN JONES Assistant Line Editor CYNTHIA ORGEL Photography Associate JORDAN AMCHIN Editorial Assistant SARAH SHOEN Senior Social Media Manager DANIEL TAROY Social Media Managers CHRISTINE DAVITT, RHIAN SASSEEN Photography Assistant LAUREN DISHINGER Senior Manager, Analytics KRISTINNE GUMBAYAN

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Contributing Editors HENRY ALFORD, KURT ANDERSEN, SUZANNA ANDREWS, LILI ANOLIK, ROBERT SAM ANSON, JUDY BACHRACH, CARL BERNSTEIN, PETER BISKIND, BUZZ BISSINGER, HOWARD BLUM, PATRICIA BOSWORTH, MARK BOWDEN, DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, ALICE BRUDENELL-BRUCE, MICHAEL CALLAHAN, MARINA CICOGNA, ADAM CIRALSKY, EDWIN JOHN COASTER, RICH COHEN, JOHN CONNOLLY, SLOANE CROSLEY, STEVEN DALY, BEATRICE MONTI DELLA CORTE, JANINE DI GIOVANNI, LISA EISNER, BRUCE FEIRSTEIN, NICK FOULKES, STEVE GARBARINO, PAUL GOLDBERGER, VANESSA GRIGORIADIS, MICHAEL JOSEPH GROSS, LOUISE GRUNWALD, BRUCE HANDY, DAVID HARRIS, JOHN HEILPERN, REINALDO HERRERA, CAROL BLUE HITCHENS, A. M. HOMES, LAURA JACOBS, SEBASTIAN JUNGER, DAVID KAMP, SAM KASHNER, MICHAEL KINSLEY, FRAN LEBOWITZ, ADAM LEFF, DANY LEVY, MONICA LEWINSKY, MICHAEL LEWIS, DAVID MARGOLICK, VICTORIA MATHER (TRAVEL), BRUCE MCCALL, BETHANY MCLEAN, PATRICK MCMULLAN, ANNE MCNALLY, PIPPA MIDDLETON, SETH MNOOKIN, NINA MUNK, ELISE O’SHAUGHNESSY, EVGENIA PERETZ, JEAN PIGOZZI, WILLIAM PROCHNAU, TODD S. PURDUM, JOHN RICHARDSON, LISA ROBINSON, DAVID ROSE, MARK ROZZO, RICHARD RUSHFIELD, NANCY JO SALES, ELISSA SCHAPPELL, GAIL SHEEHY, MICHAEL SHNAYERSON, SALLY BEDELL SMITH, JAMES B. STEELE, MATT TYRNAUER, CRAIG UNGER, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, ELIZABETH SALTZMAN WALKER, BENJAMIN WALLACE, HEATHER WATTS, JIM WINDOLF, JAMES WOLCOTT, EVAN WRIGHT, NED ZEMAN In Memoriam SNOWDON (1930–2017), A. A. GILL (1954–2016), INGRID SISCHY (1952–2015), FREDERIC MORTON (1924–2015), CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS (1949–2011), TIM HETHERINGTON (1970–2011), DOMINICK DUNNE (1925–2009), DAVID HALBERSTAM (1934–2007), MARJORIE WILLIAMS (1958–2005), HELMUT NEWTON (1920–2004), HERB RITTS (1952–2002)

Contributing Photographers ANNIE LEIBOVITZ JONATHAN BECKER, MARK SELIGER, LARRY FINK, TIMOTHY GREENFIELD-SANDERS, SAM JONES, JONAS FREDWALL KARLSSON, NORMAN JEAN ROY, GASPER TRINGALE Contributing Artists HILARY KNIGHT, ROBERT RISKO, TIM SHEAFFER, EDWARD SOREL, STEPHEN DOYLE, ROSS MACDONALD

Communications Executive Director of Communications BETH KSENIAK Deputy Director of Communications LIZZIE WOLFF Communications Manager OLIVIA AYLMER Communications Assistant HARRISON VAIL UK ANNABEL DAVIDSON

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Contributors Senior Photography Producer RON BEINNER Special Projects Art Director ANGELA PANICHI Digital Production Manager H. SCOTT JOLLEY Associate Digital Production Manager SUSAN M. RASCO Production Manager BETH BARTHOLOMEW Associate Editor S. P. NIX Assistant Photography Editor JAMES EMMERMAN Accessories Editor ALEXIS KANTER Associate Market Editor ALYCIA COHEN Art Assistant ALISON LENERT Photography Production Assistant EMILY LIPSON Photography Assistant JULIAN TAFFEL Stylist DEBORAH AFSHANI Editorial Assistant LINDSAY SCHNEIDER


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CONTRIBUTORS

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ “A photo-essay can seem too intimate, but Lena was fearless about opening up her life for our photographs,” says Contributing Photographer Annie Leibovitz. For this month’s cover shoot, Lena Waithe, the Emmy-winning writer and actor, showed Leibovitz around her Los Angeles apartment, including her resplendent shoe closet. Leibovitz also photographed Jane Fonda for the V.F. Portrait on page 78.

WILLIAM D. COHAN In “The Devil to Pay,” on page 102, Special Correspondent William D. Cohan examines billionaire Eddie Lampert’s controversial efforts to salvage Sears and Kmart—much-diminished brands that have faced particularly hard times in the Amazon era. “Lampert is an intellectual and a true believer,” says Cohan, to whom the retail mogul gave his first in-depth interview in 15 years. “An investor with a smaller mind probably would have pulled the plug already.”

MARK SELIGER

JACQUELINE WOODSON

What began as Mark Seliger’s bold experiment is now a much-anticipated tradition, and the photographer returned for the fifth year in a row to create, with Instagram, his instant-portrait studio inside the Vanity Fair Oscar party. As the Hollywood elite streamed in for their portraits, which begin on page 26, Seliger captured the glamour—and the surprising intimacy—of the biggest party of the year. “There’s a beauty to the spontaneity of it,” he says. A book of Seliger’s most iconic portraiture comes out in May.

CLARA BINGHAM

PHOTO GR A PHS BY TOB I A S E VER KE (B I NG HA M ), J O HN KE L SE Y ( SE L IGE R ) , A N N IE LE I BOVI T Z ( LE I B OV IT Z) , B EOWUL F S HE E HA N ( WO O DSO N ) , GA SP ER TR IN GA L E ( COH A N)

In “Ready for Lena,” on page 66, National Book Award–winning author Jacqueline Woodson highlights many of the formative influences—both cultural and personal—she shares with her subject, screenwriterproducer-actor Lena Waithe. “Writing about Lena felt like coming home to my younger self,” says Woodson, whose new young-adult novel, Harbor Me, will be out this summer. “When I found out it was going to be the cover story, I was like, ‘Yas! That’s exactly where she belongs.’ ”

Fifty years after the Columbia University student uprising, journalist Clara Bingham tracked down 25 of the landmark protest’s participants to assemble the oral history on page 108. “The Parkland high-school shooting took place when I was nearing the end of my interviews,” says Bingham. “These brave high-school students, who had the moral authority that adults could never muster, took to the streets. I was watching history repeat itself.” Bingham’s book Witness to the Revolution came out in 2016.

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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n a cold day at the end of January, I lew to Los Angeles for my irst Vanity Fair cover shoot. Our subject had initially caught my attention through her television work—playing Denise, the wise, occasionally wiseass lesbian sidekick to Aziz Ansari’s Dev on the Netflix series Master of None—and then through her speech at the Emmys last fall, when she became the irst black woman to be honored for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. “The things that make us diferent, those are our superpowers,” she said, accepting the award

for an episode in which Denise comes out, a story based on her own experience. “The world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.” When I thought about the kind of person I’d like to see on the cover of Vanity Fair, I thought about Lena Waithe— a member of the new creative elite remaking entertainment for her generation. And now here I was, watching Annie Leibovitz focus her lens on Lena. The truth is, Lena made my choice easy. She’s been busy since her Emmys speech went viral. She’s the critics’ darling in her bigscreen debut as Aech in Steven Spielberg’s sci-i fantasy Ready Player One. Her new series, The Chi, debuted on Showtime in January and was renewed for a second season. She joined Time’s Up, working on behalf of women and the L.G.B.T. community in the quest for more equitable representation and compensation in Hollywood. The pilot of her show Twenties has been picked up by TBS, and she’s turning her unoicial mentoring program

into a pipeline for writers of color looking to break into Hollywood. This is Lena Waithe’s year, and we’re delighted to mark it. What kind of writer do you enlist to write about a writer? In this case, one who’s having a bit of a year herself: Jacqueline Woodson, the National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming, who was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress in January. She is now traversing the country to address young audiences, but found time in her schedule to see Lena at Sundance and in Los Angeles. Jackie’s proile conveys a deep connection between observer and subject—as do Annie’s photographs, the result of a day spent at home with Lena, during which our cover star made breakfast for her iancée, producer Alana Mayo, and worked on her laptop and (like any sensible TV aicionado) watched an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

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A NN IE LE I B OV IT Z

lew to L.A. again more recently, to host the Vanity Fair Oscar party. It was a night of celebration, with moments of glory and introspection captured in photographer Mark Seliger’s studio portraits. The news out of the movie industry over the past nine months has been grim at times, but the optimism in the air at our party was infectious. I don’t think I was the only person who left that night feeling excited about the stories a new guard in Hollywood has to tell. I’m excited, too, about the stories in this issue. Emily Jane Fox checks in on the dilemmas of Ivanka Trump, after her irst year as an oicial adviser to the president. William Langewiesche explores the almost inexplicable sinking of the cargo ship El Faro in the Bahamas in 2015. William D. Cohan talks to hedge-fund billionaire Eddie Lampert, sitting for his irst in-depth interview in 15 years, about the ill-fated merger of Kmart and Sears; also, in a startling exclusive, Cohan tracks down the ringleader of the aborted 2003 kidnapping that nearly cost Lampert his life. As a new student-led movement rises up around gun control, Clara Bingham speaks to the leaders of the Columbia University student uprising, which happened 50 years ago this spring. And Cecile Richards, the outgoing president of Planned Parenthood, leaves us with her thoughts on life, liberty, and the Supreme Court. Here at Vanity Fair, we’re still just starting our new chapter, but we share Richards’s current state of mind: ired up, ready to go.

RADHIKA JONES, Editor 20

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LETTERS

LA LA LAND Tom Brokaw’s Hollywood days; Weinstein’s woes; and suggestions for next year’s Hollywood cover

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just inished your Hollywood Issue—you knocked it out of the park! I read every word: loved Tom Brokaw’s piece, the investigation into Harvey Weinstein, the Eric Roberts profile, and the backstory on the Annie Leibovitz shoot—that was truly great. SHAUNEEN HENRICK New York, New York

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hat wonderful story Tom Brokaw wrote about his first days in L.A. [“To Live and Dine in L.A.”] was really enjoyable. There was an ironic touch for me. I grew up in one of those houses in Brentwood that Brokaw describes, the ones built by Frank Capra, with the screening room where all the big stars would come to see movies every Saturday night. (We were “the Bel-Air circuit.”) My father was an agent, and my girlfriend’s mother was a stand-in for Katharine Hepburn. However, the only thing we were interested in was Tom Brokaw. After school, we would get a box of Van de Kamp’s chocolate-chip cookies and drive to NBC in Burbank to see if we could get a glimpse of him going in to do his evening broadcast. We actually did see him once and plotzed. My friend went into journalism because of him. The irony that he was in awe of our lifestyle cracks me up. We thought he was a very cute god.

of Weinstein as a self-centered bully, it also highlighted the fatal laws in charitable giving and nonprofit governance. Theoretically, someone who believes in the mission of a charitable organization should just give, without expectation of return or the need to buy a Hollywood experience. Sadly, all too often charities are caught in a tug-of-war with egos dangling dollars like the proverbial carrot in front of the horse, and are led astray from their core purpose to make deals with the Devil, such as AmFAR did. And Kenneth Cole’s being AmFAR’s chair for 13 years? That’s just bad gover-

nance. Any charity with such long-serving board members does itself a disservice by not introducing new leadership and energy every few years. MARLA O’BRIEN Kelowna, British Columbia

Letters to the editor should be sent with the writer’s name, address, and daytime phone number to letters@vf.com. All requests for back issues should be sent to subscriptions@vf.com. All other queries should be sent to vfmail@vf.com. The magazine reserves the right to edit submissions, which may be published or otherwise used in any medium. All submissions become the property of Vanity Fair.

More from the

V. F. MAILBAG

Los Olivos, California

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iven Tom Brokaw’s legendary journalistic integrity, I hope he doesn’t mind my setting the record straight: it was Claus Ogerman, not Nelson Riddle, who arranged and conducted Reprise’s 1967 album Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim. JOHN KEIL Beith, Scotland

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loved every story in your February 2018 edition, which (save the cover story) could have been proclaimed the “Sex, Power, and Greed Issue.” In regard to “Bacchanalia 2.0,” by Emily Chang, tech moguls thinking they re-invented the orgy as enlightenment? Hello—Caligula! While “The Other Harvey Scandal,” by William D. Cohan, reinforced the picture

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“Thank you for telling us about the film Jane [“The Goodall Days,” by Mark Seal, Hollywood Issue]. I look forward to watching it (again),” writes Judy Briemle, from Livermore, California. “However, if the film was made in 1962, as the article explains, and it was lost for 60 years, then it has not been found yet.” Forgive us for living four years in the future … chalk it up to wishful thinking in the age of Trump. “Witnessing the era of Annie Leibovitz is like being alive in the era of Leonardo da Vinci.” The Mailbag has been wrong before, but this sounds a great deal like fan mail. Go on, Shehryar E. Qureshi, of Islamabad, Pakistan. “It’s astounding how she continuously reimagines a simple composition into something I want framed and hung on my wall to gaze at and admire day in and day out.... I am writing now to present the new V.F. establishment with a humble petition: do what you will with this magazine, but please, oh please, don’t tamper with the great Leibovitz.” That Hollywood Issue didn’t captivate all our readers, however. “What is it with (mostly) men wearing dress shoes with no socks? Every issue, there’s another one,” writes Elizabeth Ryland, from Lexington, South Carolina. “Wear socks.” And Kit Leonard Dennis, of Los Angeles, wonders, “What if, next year, the Hollywood Issue cover featured the men in clingy outfits, lying sexily down, and the women upright in tailored ones?” Finally—and we do mean finally—we’ve received this anonymous note: “On the Web page it states, ‘All submissions become the property of Vanity Fair.’ I am a published poet (and lyricist). I have written a topical poem re Trump. If I submit that to you, what are the implications of the statement from the Web page as concerns my rights to the work I created? (This is a great poem, and you will want to publish it.)” Where to begin?

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IL L USTR ATI O N BY J OR DY VA N DE N NI E UW EN DI J K

FRANCINE GRESHLER FELDMANN


B EAUT Y

Eye players

N iquesa 18c t rose-gold r ing with red spinel

JEWELLERY

Ring the changes

Three new products targeting the delicate eye area from cult cosmetic surgeon Dr Sebagh have hit the market, but that doesn’t mean you can only choose one. Whether it’s de-puffing and attacking dark circles, plumping and refreshing the skin, or creating an instant lift, there’s a powerful cream for each problem.

drsebagh.com

Often confused with rubies, spinels are gemstones with as much romance, history and fire as their better-known counterpart. Niquesa’s use of a cushion-cut red spinel—set in 18ct rose gold and surrounded by a richly concentrated mix of smaller, paler pink spinels and white diamonds— is a beautiful example of the stone’s versatility. No rose-tinted glasses are required. niquesa.com

T he S oiree silk-satin jumpsuit by S eren

L AU N C H

Joyful jumpsuits Ten years spent deep in the luxury sector means Lucia Dailey knows a thing or two about dressing up, and for her, the jumpsuit was her constant go-to. Cue her new label Seren London, a superbly luxurious range of jumpsuits in silk or silk satin, an ever-evolving range of prints, and just six perfect styles—from backless to dungaree-style, but each as suited to day as they are to evening wear.

seren-london.com

C O L L A B O R AT I O N

Actively fashionable

T he Jour ney S hir t collec tion by Tur nbull & A sser

L AU N C H

Peanut Maldives woven leather tote by M ichael Kors

Shirt up!

L AU N C H E milia Wick s tead X Bod yism S ienna ac tive wear

Tote d’Azur The official line for the Michael Kors Spring 2018 collection is “All About Ease”, and one look at any of the pieces is enough to convince us of that. Retro Riviera-chic two-piece swimsuits, woven bags, weightless chiffon and palm prints run amok across a range that will look at home anywhere on the planet, as long as it’s hot. michaelkors.co.uk

Designer Emilia Wickstead’s clothing may be associated more with ballrooms and boardrooms than boxing rings, but her collaboration with luxury wellness brand Bodyism changes all that. From high-necked, long-sleeved crop tops and matching leggings to the chicest windbreaker you’ll ever see, the range of active wear also includes a yoga mat and designer bottles for hot or cold drinks.

Don’t even think about calling it easy-care; the new Journey Shirt collection from royal shirtmakers Turnbull & Asser has been two years in the making and features all the high-end details you’d expect from the Jermyn Street legend, including three-button or double cuffs, classic collars, and 11 refined styles. It’s also available in both plains and patterns. Have shirt, will travel.

bodyism.com

turnbullandasser.co.uk

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THE OSCAR PARTY

Starry Night

It was an evening when the Time’s Up movement stood up, The Shape of Water took home the gold, and the whole town came to party. Vanity Fair and Instagram invited portraitist MARK SELIGER to create an opalescent pop-up studio on the site of V.F.’s 24th annual Oscar soirée, in Beverly Hills. The pictures tell the story 26

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From left: Regina Hall, wearing Tadashi Shoji; Donald Glover, wearing Gucci; Tracee Ellis Ross, wearing custom Balmain; Ava DuVernay, wearing Armani Privé; Sarah Jones, wearing Michael Kors Collection and Alice and Olivia;

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Rashida Jones, wearing Valentino; Lena Waithe, wearing Ralph Lauren Purple Label; Dr. Ivara Esege, wearing Hunt Couture; Angela Bassett, wearing Teresa Helbig; Marianne Jean-Baptiste, wearing Revolution; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, wearing Dior; Shonda Rhimes, www.vanityfair.com

wearing Chiari Boni; Mark Bradford, wearing Gucci; Gabrielle Union, wearing Prada; DeRay Mckesson, wearing Patagonia and Ralph Lauren Purple Label; Chuck Lightning, wearing Carl Ulysses and Neil Barrett; Janelle Monáe, wearing custom Christian Siriano.

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Jennifer Garner Actress, wearing Atelier Versace.

Lupita Nyong’o Actress, wearing Armani Privé.

Timothée Chalamet and Luca Guadagnino Best-actor nominee, Call Me by Your Name, wearing custom Berluti; director, Call Me by Your Name, wearing Prada.

Gal Gadot Actress, wearing Armani Privé.

Chadwick Boseman Actor, wearing Givenchy Haute Couture.

Amy Adams Actress, wearing Christian Siriano.

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PRO DUCE D O N LO CATI O N BY RON B E I NN E R A N D RU TH L EVY; SE T DE S I GN BY THO MA S T HUR NAUE R; ST YLE D BY JUSTI N K E NNE DY

Allison Janney Best supporting actress, I, Tonya, wearing Brandon Maxwell.

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For more portraits from Vanity Fair’s OSCAR PARTY, V IS IT VF.COM .

Gary Oldman Best actor, Darkest Hour, wearing Prada.

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Tiffany Haddish Actress, wearing custom Brandon Maxwell.

Ava DuVernay Director, producer, screenwriter, wearing Armani PrivĂŠ.

Sam Rockwell Best supporting actor, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, wearing SSS World Corp.

Paris Jackson Model, actress, wearing Atelier Versace.

Holland Taylor and Sarah Paulson Actress, wearing custom Christian Siriano; actress, wearing Marc Jacobs.

Jordan Peele Best original screenplay (and best-director nominee and best-picturenominee producer), Get Out, wearing CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC.


Fairground

Vanity Fair’s Oscar party welcomed a dazzling array of Hollywood heavy hitters to walk the blue-and-white carpet and celebrate at the most glamorous party of the year

Donald Glover

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER Shortly after winning Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4, Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Jordan Peele, and more of the night’s victors celebrated by joining Vanity Fair editor Radhika Jones at her inaugural V.F. Oscar party, in Beverly Hills. Inside a custom-designed structure alongside the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Saoirse Ronan, Kobe Bryant, and Salma Hayek Pinault enjoyed the customary post-Oscars In-N-Out burgers; Angela Bassett, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Spike Lee caught up by the bar; Amy Adams and Elizabeth Banks hopped into a photo booth; Tiffany Haddish and Gal Gadot gave Frances McDormand celebratory hugs; and Thomas Keller served gourmet fried chicken and creamsicle truffles to guests coming off the Apple Music dance floor. When Allison Janney eventually made her way out, toward the Uber departure lounge, the actress was asked where she would place her Academy Award. Exhausted by the excitement of the evening, she deadpanned, “My bed.” — J U L I E M I L L E R 32

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P H OTOG R A P H

BY

JUSTIN BISHOP

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Fairground

The venue was a custom design production by Pete Barford—between th

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(1) Willem Dafoe, Joel Coen, and Frances McDormand. (2) Zoë Kravitz and Daniel Kaluuya. (3) Guests arrived at the party in Genesis cars. (4) Radhika Jones and Allison Janney. (5) Greta Gerwig and Krista Smith. (6) Sarah Paulson and Tracee Ellis Ross. (7) Isla Fisher and Leslie Mann. (8) Kerry Washington and Monica Lewinsky. 35

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n—with architecture by Basil Walter and site he Wallis Annenberg Center and Beverly Hills City Hall

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PAG E 3 5 : PH OTO GR A PH S BY H A N NA H T H O M SO N (7, 8 ), J UST I N W E IN E R (3 ), J UST I N B IS HO P (ALL OTHERS). PAGE 36: PH OTOG R A PH S BY J U ST I N B IS HO P ( 1, 3 , 6 , 7 ), H A N NA H T H O M SO N (A LL OT H E R S )

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(1) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. (2) Naomi Campbell and Sean Combs. (3) Jon Hamm and Joan Collins. (4) Zendaya. (5) Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o. (6) Roger Deakins. (7) Shanina Shaik, Jasmine Tookes, Sara Sampaio, Lais Ribeiro, and Stella Maxwell. (8) Faye Dunaway and Emma Watson. A PRIL 2018


Fairground

The scene—studded with stars, shiny gold s into the night. The only do

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(1) Spike Lee and Angela Bassett. (2) Anne Wojcicki and Brian Grazer. (3) Saoirse Ronan. (4) Sam Rockwell and Gary Oldman. (5) Lin-Manuel Miranda. (6) Nicole Flender, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, and Marc Chalamet. (7) Mindy Kaling and B. J. Novak. (8) Drake. (9) Matt Bomer and Janelle Monáe. AP RIL 2 018


statues, and almost 2,000 In-N-Out burgers—continued well wnside? A whole year until it happens again 1

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(1) RuPaul Charles. (2) Kendall Jenner and Armie Hammer. (3) Emma Stone. (4) Ava DuVernay and J. J. Abrams. (5) Margot Robbie. (6) Among the bar offerings were cocktails from Belvedere, Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker, and Dom Pérignon champagne. (7) Salma Hayek Pinault and François-Henri Pinault. (8) Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, and Olivia Munn. www.vanityfair.com

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ž^‡ LX^— V X ž^‡ ^Xž€ –9OO ^X 6XOŬ^V


ST YLE D BY RYA N YOUN G ; G ROOM IN G BY YV E TT E SHE LTO N; F OR D E TA ILS , G O TO V F. COM/ C R E D ITS

Washington wears clothing by Louis Vuitton; hair products by Miss Jessie’s; grooming products by Cole. AGE: 33. PROVENANCE: Los Angeles. GROWING UP: Washington waited to act, despite being the son of Denzel and Pauletta. “I knew every one of my father’s lines in Glory—I broke the VHS tape—but I hid my love of acting to make it as my own man. Football was the best route to obtain my independence.” He was signed by the N.F.L.’s St. Louis Rams in 2006. “I was in a whole other business, but I always wanted to dip into the arts. My parents were 100 percent supportive—my mom’s my biggest fan, my father’s tough love.” HBO: His on-screen break was in familiar territory, as wide receiver Ricky Jerret on Ballers, returning with a fourth season this summer. “I’m nothing like this guy, I swear, but it’s therapeutic playing Ricky—there’s something deep down in me that I’m putting into this character.” THE DANCE: In January, Washington made his Sundance Film Festival debut to raves as a criminal, Bobo, in Monster, and as Dennis, a Brooklyn cop, in Monsters and Men. “It was like a championship weekend, pushing the work forward and supporting everybody’s films.” IN THE WORKS: This year, Washington appears on the big screen in Old Man and the Gun, starring Robert Redford, and in Spike Lee’s Black Klansman, as Ron Stallworth. “I was overjoyed to help tell his story. Lee is so confident in who he picks that, as his actor, your confidence soars.” — KRISTA SMITH

John David Washington

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WILLIAMS + HIRAKAWA

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VA N I T I E S

Wish List

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Channel Marty McFly with a zap of Back to the Future 80s nostalgia

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H A R R O DS . L U X U R Y J E W E LLE RY, LO WE R G RO U ND FLO O R beegoddess.com


VA N I T I E S

Culture Club

AYR opens up shop ... Midnight magic ... A new book on the groove

Midas Touch Lucia Echavarría’s Magnetic Midnight has launched a truly exquisite debut collection of evening bags. Inspired by the traditional weaving practices of Colombian artisans, the intricately designed minaudières are handcrafted and dipped in gold for a showstopping finish. (magnetic-midnight.com)

PHOTO GRAPHS BY K AT HARRI S/AYR (AYR), © BRUC E W. TAL AMO N (E ARTH, WI ND & FI RE ; WO NDE R); FO R DE TAI LS, GO TO VF.CO M/C RE DI TS

AYR co-founders Max Bonbrest, Jac Cameron, and Maggie Winter.

Instant Classics

L

ike most successful entrepreneurs, Maggie Winter, Jac Cameron, and Max Bonbrest—who made their irst cuts at J. Crew, Madewell, and H&M, respectively—saw a void in the marketplace and knew how to ill it. The trio had struggled to ind elevated fashion basics that were made to last, so in 2014, they founded their own brand of seasonless women’s-wear essentials. AYR, which stands for All Year Round, ofers attractively priced, socially conscious favorites for the efortlessly stylish: think vintage-

Boogie Wonderland “Taking a photograph of a singer on stage is the easy part. The hard part is gaining their trust,” writes Bruce Talamon in the introduction to his electrifying new book, Soul. R&B. Funk., published next month by Taschen. In the early 1970s, as a young black kid

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inspired denim, cashmere crewnecks, and camel-hair coats. Incubated by Bonobos, one of the irst major digital clothing brands, AYR gained a cult-like following as an online store—but now the founders want to conquer real-life retail. Following successful pop-ups from the Hamptons to Venice Beach, this month AYR opens its first permanent flagship, in SoHo. The bright, beautiful store is the ultimate destination to experience AYR’s impossibly lattering its in luxe materials. (ayr.com)

Earth, Wind & Fire in 1978. Right, Stevie Wonder in 1975.

from Los Angeles, Talamon had plans to go to law school, but instead found himself backstage and front-row as soul, funk, and R&B entered the American mainstream. Capturing the infectious spirit of the decade from 1972 to 1982, the book features images of legends like Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, the Jackson 5, and more.

www.vanityfair.com

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VA N I T I E S

Culture Club

Dazzle, obsess, and take a stand ...

Obsessions (from People We’re Obsessed With)

RACHEL FEINSTEIN Artist

Ê“The Scott Walker Prom at the Royal Albert Hall with Jarvis Cocker.”

Ê“Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari. I recently fell in love with it while listening to books on my Audible app at my studio.” Ê“The Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory—I’m making a series of new sculptures with them in ceramic.” New pieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre and Amrapali, coming soon to Net-a-Porter.

Clickbait

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etail behemoth

Net-aPorter is expanding

DAVID SEDARIS Author

PHOTO GRA P H F RO M PO J CH EE W IN YA PR A SE RT P HOTO GR A PH Y /GE TT Y IM AG ES ( CHE R RY T RE E) . F I LM STI LL © J OS E PHI N E ME CKSE P ER . I L L USTR ATI O NS BY KATE CO P EL A ND . F O R D ETA I LS , GO TO VF.CO M/ C RE DI TS

Ê “Philip Guston paintings (all periods).” Ê “The TV show Togetherness.

its already extensive selection with this month’s launch of a dedicated ine-jewelry and watch platform. The new destination

is homing in on increasingly prevalent online luxury shoppers by stocking big-draw brands, from Anita Ko and Boucheron to Cartier

and Tifany & Co. If that isn’t enticing enough, the site will also ofer a try-beforeyou-buy service, plus a gemology-trained team of personal shoppers to educate clients about the baubles on ofer.

Purchases will be available for sameday delivery in major cities—count the minutes until your new timepiece arrives. (net-a-porter.com)

The cast has remarkable chemistry, and the writing is terrific. So of course it was canceled.”

Ê “YouTube videos of people stealing packages off front porches and getting caught.”

Women’s Work ISSA RAE Writer, producer, actress

Ê “Col3trane’s album, Tsarina— he’s only 18 and so dope!”

Ê “@Khadi, the funniest person on Instagram.”

Ê “The Trello app.” AP R I L

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At the inauguration of Donald Trump last year and the Women’s March on Washington the following day, artist Josephine Meckseper saw more than hot-pink hats and protest signs—she witnessed a love story in the passionate resistance. For her film, Pellea[s], debuting this month at the Whitney Museum, in New York, the German-born artist follows a D.C.-driven love triangle and celebrates the lives of women as activists on the street and screen. www.vanityfair.com

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Hot Type

Poet laureate Tracy K. Smith’s new book of poems, and more ...

Alive and Well

I

f you’re not familiar with the extraordinary oeuvre of Mozambican writer Mia Couto, Woman of the Ashes (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is a good introduction. Based on historical events (with layers of magic realism, Achebestyle allegory, and folklore ladled on top), Couto’s ninth novel is the irst in a trilogy. It tells the story of Imani, a 15-year-old girl who inds herself playing a pivotal role in a 19th-century culture clash between an African emperor and Portuguese colonialists. Couto treats his characters to a world of blazing speciicity, and yet Imani is also a vessel for our more contemporary battles: “I wasn’t born to be a person. I’m a race, I’m a tribe, I’m a sex, I’m everything that stops me from being myself.”

Imagine me and you: Curtis Sittenfeld has her inger on the pulse of our intimate relationships with You Think It, I’ll Say It (Random House), her irst story collection. Media maven Joanna Coles takes an explanatory swipe at dating and romance in Love Rules (Harper). In The Female Persuasion (Riverhead), Meg Wolitzer’s latest epic of American life, she pursues the friendship and mentorship between two women: “Greer didn’t really know why Faith took an interest. But what she knew for sure, eventually, was that meeting Faith Frank was the thrilling beginning of everything.” — S LOA N E C R O S L E Y

PHOTO GRAPHS © MI LTO N GL ASE R (PO STE RS), BY TI M HO UT (BO O KS); FO R DE TAI LS, GO TO VF.CO M/C RE DI TS

Paris/New York and 50 Years of Vespa, from Milton Glaser Posters: 427 Examples from 1965 to 2017 (Abrams).

As readers of “Hot Type” know, Sloane Crosley is something of a literary omnivore. Her life, too, seems to be all over the map, judging from the madcap essays of Look Alive Out There (MCD). Here she is scaling the peaks of an Ecuadoran volcano, searching for the mythical “Chupacabra” in Vermont, stumbling into a swingers’ scene among the pot-smoking hippies of California. Crosley can even draw witty epiphanies out of the simple act of doing laundry in her Manhattan apartment building or going to the local Rite Aid. And when she ponders deeper questions—family, fertility, the theft of her domain name—she strikes a pitch-perfect comic poignancy. —ANDERSON TEPPER

In Short Clarice Lispector

sparkles under The Chandelier (New Directions). Cleo Wade assembles the affirmations in Heart Talk (Atria). Leslie Jamison breaks the addiction-lit mold with The Recovering (Little, Brown). Michael Benson tells a HAL of a good story in Space Odyssey (Simon & Schuster). James Comey demands A Higher Loyalty (Flatiron). Diplomacy is on the decline in Ronan Farrow’s War on Peace (Norton). Jennifer Palmieri gets epistolary and empowering with Dear Madam President (Grand Central). Cherokee chiefs 46

battle beneath John Sedgwick’s Blood Moon (Simon & Schuster). Shahriar Mandanipour’s soldier is haunted by Moon Brow (Restless). Richard Flanagan’s First Person (Knopf) features a spectral scribe. Michelle Dean culls the clever in Sharp (Grove). Steve Israel whips out the Big Guns (Simon & Schuster). William Vollmann is in No Immediate Danger (Viking). David Gahr’s Bruce Springsteen (Rizzoli) was born to run. Steven J. Zipperstein uncovers crimes

of the Kishinev Pogrom (Liveright). Masha Gessen and Misha Friedman seek Stalin in Never Remember (Columbia Global Reports). Alex Wagner abstracts ancestry in Futureface (One World). Ondjaki transports us to Transparent City (Biblioasis). Åsne Seierstad follows a father’s pursuit of his daughters in Two Sisters (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Magdalena J. Zaborowska

voyage chez James Baldwin dans Me and My House (Duke University). William Middleton has Double Vision (Knopf) for art-world avatars. Christopher Petkanas’s Loulou & Yves

are a match made in Saint Laurent (St. Martin’s). New York is for the very young in Iris Martin Cohen’s The Little Clan (Park Row). Ruth Rogers, Sian Wyn Owen, Joseph Trivelli, and Rose Gray

invite you to dine at the River Cafe London (Knopf). Wade in the Water (Graywolf) with the lyrical Tracy K. Smith. Rex Sorgatz explains it all in

the Encyclopedia of Misinformation (Abrams Image). But Julian Barnes tells The Only Story (Knopf).

—S.C.

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My Desk

Amy Sherald was recently catapulted into the public eye, as the artist behind Michelle Obama’s iconic official portrait. Here, V.F. takes a peek at the painter’s desk in her Baltimore studio

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(1) Me fulilling

my squad goals with Barack and Michelle Obama in the Oval Oice. They’re both so relaxed I quickly forgot about my nerves. (2) I bought this sweatshirt in support of local 48

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Baltimore writer Kondwani Fidel’s literacy campaign. (3) Meditation beads, because stress is real and centering is necessary. When I get to the studio I read for 20 minutes

before I paint to quiet my energy, and I usually have these in hand. (4) I listen to podcasts during the day because it keeps me focused and, as the day progresses, I turn to music for company. (5) Letters from young students PHOTOGRAPH BY

who had no interest in the arts, but are now excited by the painting of the former First Lady and are learning about portraiture in school. (6) The jack-in-thebox is a reminder that

FLOTO + WARNER

my inner child needs to always be present and entertained. (7) Wonderful images from students who created portraits in the style of my paintings. They remind me of why I do what I do. (8) I’ve always wanted a farm

with animals, but for now I have my “tiny desk farm.” (9) The paintbrushes I use are from a woman-owned brush company and are manufactured by hand.

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VA N I T I E S

Beauty

1. Poetic Scents This spring, John and Clara Molloy, the husband-and-wife team of Memo Paris, launch a new fragrance label, Floraïku, available exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. The collection of 11 scents, based on loral notes, takes inspiration from

Japan, from the haiku motif to the bento-box packaging. Consisting of three categories—Secret Teas and Spices,

2. Less Is More Enigmatic Flowers, and Forbidden Incense—plus two “Shadowing” accords to enhance or lighten any aroma, the perfumes feature bottle caps that double as traveling cases. (£250 each; Harrods)

—SUNHEE

Contouring made simple with the Face Trace stick.

Leading makeup artist Gucci Westman’s new beauty line,

debuts at Barneys New York in April, with six simple, clean products. The packaging is minimalist, but the cosmetics are designed to make your complexion glow while actively improving your skin. (£35–£49; westman-atelier.com)

Westman Atelier,

GRINNELL

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AS H TO N

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Burnt gold and soft taupe for wildlife-inspired shades.

Perfume as poem, Floral nature penned in three, Caught in a bottle.

3. Nailing It Neo-Pop. Stand out with new shades Fab, Hella, Birdie, and Chillin’. (£13 each; jinsoon.com) — I . A .

4. Go for Gold “Save the elephants!” has always been a rallying cry for Sylvie Chantecaille (above), the founder of Layer for a Pop-art finish!

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Chantecaille Beauté. Her passion

meets her profession this spring in a limited-edition Eye Palette that features elephants and lions, with proceeds going

cells vertically and laterally for a contoured appearance. Introduced in Gold Recovery Mask celebration of the brand’s 20th launches in April. This 24k-gold-infused irming anniversary, both products herald potion addresses skin beauty from the inside out. (£76 for palette, £268 for mask; chantecaille.com) to their conservation through two nonproit organizations. And a luxurious

—S.H.G. AP RIL

MA P BY DAVI D MA L A N / GET T Y IM AGE S; FO R DE TA I L S, GO TO VF. COM / CRE DI TS

JINsoon’s latest collection is a graphic collaboration with Korean artist Hyang Sook Yun: the riotous, Andy Warhol–inspired line of nail lacquers is aptly named

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Left to right: Mexican vlogger JuanPa Zurita, Gambian activist Jaha Dukureh and London rapper Tinie Tempah

Facing the future together At the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, former Secretary-General of the United Nations KOFI ANNAN is inspired by the passion of today’s young leaders to bring about global peace PORTRAITS BY RICARDO PINZÓN HIDALGO


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ooking back at some of the media headlines from the past year, it is all too easy to conjure a bleak picture of the state of our world, and in particular the struggles younger people face on a daily basis. But now is not the time to lose faith in humanity. We must renew and strengthen our international systems: from epidemics to climate change, we need to set aside our narrow self-interests and realize that we are in this world together, for better or for worse. Whether it is refugees fleeing Rakhine province in Myanmar, the women and children enslaved by ISIS in the Middle East, or the victims of the terrorist attack in Manchester, one fact remains the same: our youth too often

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pay the price for the mistakes of previous generations, and are disproportionally afected by conflict and violence. A One Young World survey of 2,000 youth leaders from around the world found that more than half of respondents said that they had experienced conflict during their lifetime, with 60 per cent of them living in fear of terrorism within their own countries. Tragically, violent and brutal conflicts are often fought by young people. Yet they are not just victims of the imperfect and confusing world they were born into; they also shape and define their societies. When we look at the young leaders, we see that they are already transforming their world. Peace is a universal goal, but it is not enough to sign a peace deal and lay down arms—that is only the beginning. The voices of victims must be heard in order to build a lasting and sustainable peace. Youth must have a place at the peace table. Experience has shown me that a peace agreement that


British playwrights Joe Robertson (left) and Joe Murphy with (centre) director Stephen Daldry

ortunately, the young are resilient and optimistic. I have seen their passion and enthusiasm through my work with Extremely Together, an initiative started by my Foundation with the support of One Young World and the European Commission. This initiative has brought together 10 incredible and youthful leaders from around the world who have launched the first peer-to-peer guide on dealing with extremism. I encourage younger people everywhere to join the cause of peace. For those who do, I ofer them some pointers from experience, which I believe are vital in building lasting peace. The first is trust—the essential element for moving beyond conflict. It must be built, step by step, into a momentum of confidence and inclusion.

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Second, if a peace process is to succeed, it must be inclusive and based on a frank dialogue that includes all sides and all generations in society. Third, and most importantly, the voices of the victims, whoever they may be, must be heard and carefully considered. Justice and resolution require both political leadership and people’s commitment. he One Young World Summit in Bogotá gave me an insight into the passion, creativity and joie de vivre of today’s youth. The energy around the Summit was tremendous, and the diversity of the delegates, who come from diferent cultures, religions and ethnicities, was harnessed by a sense that we are in this world together and together we must build a global culture of peace. In Bogotá, I met with Laura Ulloa, a Colombian who was kidnapped by militants from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) when she was only 11 years old and held hostage for seven months. She now works to reintegrate former militants into society and shows a maturity and understanding for reconciliation that is far above and beyond her years. There were other moving stories that I heard as well. One of them was from Ousmane Ba, a Guinean. His story was a

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ignores them cannot last; nor will reconciliation prove durable if it does not encompass those who have sufered the most, whatever their age. Several generations have been caught up in the Colombian conflict, which has lasted half a century and devastated hundreds of thousands of lives. But the Colombia peace process shows that even the most protracted of conflicts can eventually be resolved peacefully when there is the political will to do so.


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Dutch model Doutzen Kroes

Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

One Young World founders Kate Robertson and David Jones

Colombian legal reform campaigner Natalia Ponce de Leรณn


Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the UN from 1997-2006

Social media entrepreneur and humanitarian Jérôme Jarre

testament to the passion and potential of African youth. As a civically engaged teenager in 2009, Ousmane encouraged a group of friends to join a protest against the junta government that had come to power in the coup d’état the year before. He went to the protest with seven of his friends—only three of them made it home. Eight years later, Ousmane is a prominent peace campaigner, working especially to promote the rights and education of women in Guinea.

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s a West African myself, it fills me with pride to see young men like Ousmane leading the way in such important global issues. As he proclaimed himself a feminist and received a massive cheer from the gathered delegates in Bogotá, Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia and a fellow Nobel Peace Laureate, also clapped and cheered. He, too, recognizes and understands that it is an imperative for the world that we allow the voices of youth to be heard. Bogotá was inspiring. Better connected, better educated and more aware of events beyond their own borders than any previous generation of global youth, these young people are able to connect and collaborate across the world, to inspire

each other and develop solutions to even the most intractable and entrenched diferences and problems. It fills me with hope to know that the flexibility and innovation of the next generation can be of great value in the peacemaking process.

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he path to peace is fraught with difficulties and dilemmas. But the reward is worth the struggle. An inspiring example can be found in Colombia: the peace process reminds us that we must never lose hope. It also reminds us that patience and persistence are indispensable qualities for successful peacemakers. We need hope and strong leadership. Not just leadership from government and global bodies, but a leadership where everyone plays a role. In societies emerging from conflict, it is up to each individual and institution to stress what unites us over that which sets us apart. Let us remember that you are never too young to lead, and never too old to learn. We often talk of future leaders. But I saw in Bogotá that many young people are already leaders. With their remarkable dynamism, insight and enthusiasm, they are energetically seeking a fairer and more peaceful world. I wish them every success. 


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American model and Bollywood star Nargis Fakhri

LGBT activist John Edison Restrepo and FARC kidnap victim and peace campaigner Laura Ulloa

Women's rights campaigner Trisha Shetty


JAMES WOLCOTT

OBANDONMENT While Barack Obama revels in the perks of the post-presidency, the Democratic base longingly wonders if he’ll ever again direct his gaze their way

his is strictly, sketchily anecdotal, so don’t strap me to the wall and drill for data, but listening to fellow liberal neurotic Democrats over the last year, I detect a sense of abandonment. Of Obandonment, to be more precise. Obama, Obama, where art thou? The Bat Signal scours the city night in vain for thee. Think of it, treasure the memory: A president who didn’t brag about himself. Who made it about “we,” not “me.” Who could lankily stride around the Oval Oice without getting winded. Occupying the White House for eight years, Barack and Michelle Obama conducted themselves beautifully and irreproachably, elevating the national tone, embracing the once excluded, and leaving 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue radiating an afterglow rare for presidents and irst mates, second terms usually being brutal and humbling. Their afterglow persists, giving their absence a keener pang, but the halo efect they left on governance, integrity, and diversity was turned into a bent hubcap on Week One of the Trump presidency; it’s been Satyricon ever since unDESPERATELY SEEKING SANITY der a chief executive whom His followers political consultant, analyst, may lament President and Never Trumper Rick Obama’s absence, Wilson has crowned our but he is looking for a new world order. “Kentucky Fried Nero.” The contrast between the recent Then and the nonstop Now is painful, poignant, and demoralizing … one stabbing reminder after another of what we have lost. 58

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The unveiling of the official presidential portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery on February 12 iconicized the couple with a provocatively fresh re-envisioning: Kehinde Wiley’s Obama seated in a sylvan setting against a wall of foliage suggesting a more colorful outield wall in Chicago’s Wrigley Field, his posture and gaze firm, direct, resolute, and a trifle stern; Amy Sherald’s Michelle not the White House Wonder Woman we remember, a lexer of impassioned energy, but a contemplatively chill queen in repose, the volume of her skirt serving as throne. Political pundits turned overnight art critics complained that the Obama portraits “didn’t look like them,” but that’s the traditional croak of philistines who have their realist expectations confounded. The Obamas never did anything the orthodox way, and the portraits underscored their precedent-shattering sophistication. Crowds were less kvetchy. The portraits drew 72,000 visitors to the museum in the irst week, many of them no doubt thirsting for a reminder of what a real president and First Lady look like instead of the Tussauds living waxworks we have now. Symptoms of Obandonment: sudden gusts of wistfulness, accompanied by plaintive sighs; intermittent patches of malaise; pausing on the sidewalk for no apparent reason; opening the medicine cabinet and staring fondly at the pharmaceuticals, those little friends in pill form; wishing Joe Biden were your grandpa. This ache of absence comes with grumbles of resentment from some in the choir. So, goody for them, Barack and Michelle get to sky of into the azure and enjoy vacation after vacation, idyll after idyll, while the rest of us schmoes plod along on this endless cattle drive. (“Just tone it down with the kitesurfing pictures,” John Oliver, host of

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ust when we’re on the edge of being fully irked with him, Obama rolls his Kirlian aura of Retired Champion to David Letterman’s premiere Netlix talk show, reminding us all over again of what we once had, the contrast between his ease, suavity, decorum, quick-wittedness, and gestural coherence and the hectic buffoonery of his successor (who wags his arms like Robby the Robot) almost too much to bear. As he did in the interview conducted by Prince Harry for BBC Radio 4 (which preceded the Uncle Dave hoedown), Obama sought to calm and uplift the weary and worn, ofering reassurance and the glimmering prospect of this-tooshall-pass, while Michelle professes it explicitly, emphatically. Addressing the free-loating anxiety, skidding morale, and morbid fatalism of tremulous Americans after the brontosaurus destruction of President Trump’s irst year in office, the former First Lady, appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, urged people to tune out the headlines and focus on daily acts of kindness and empathy: “All we have is hope.” I esteem Michelle Obama from sole to crown, but frankly, if all we have is hope, we’re farkakta’d. But as she famously said, “When they go low, we go high,” and on March 8 The New York Times reported that the Obamas were negotiating with content colossus Netlix to produce original programming, discussing, among other possibilities, “shows that highlight inspirational stories.” Which is faithful to the political catechism they teach, though not as exciting a prospect as, say, a series starring Barack and Michelle as masked crimeighters. The Obamas possess a special charisma that makes them seem almost detachable from political realities, a holographic independence. It’s an illusion, this divorcement, but it helps to explain why Obandonment hit so hard once

THINK OF IT: A PRESIDENT WHO DIDN’T

BRAG ABOUT HIMSELF. HBO’s Last Week Tonight, vented last year on Late Night with Seth Meyers. It’s not a good look while “America is on ire.”) The Obamas get to land a joint book deal in the ballpark of $65 million, which is one hell of a ballpark. Obama gets to deliver speeches to Wall Street irms for hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop while millions of Americans (whom I’ve never actually met but am certain exist) have to make do at Costco. O.K., maybe he’s earned his perk walk, his frolics in the holiday sun, but still! AP RIL 2 018

they vacated center stage in the power arena. In part, Obama’s reliable veto pen fostered an emotional over-reliance. How could it not? For most of his tenure, his presidential veto was the only Excalibur against Republican obstruction and sabotage. (Which, remember, was Senator Mitch McConnell’s master plan from the outset of Obama’s presidency—oppose everything with a single partisan uniied no.) But as Obama’s personal Jedi mastery grew, foiling the worst excesses of Republican rollback, the political fortunes of the Democratic Party at

large became enfeebled. Under Obama’s presidency, the Democratic Party didn’t lourish—it atrophied. This can be chalked up to the natural cycle of incumbency, the party in charge traditionally losing seats in the midterms, but the numbers are still sobering. “In his eight years in oice, Obama oversaw the rapid erosion of the Democratic Party’s political power in state legislatures, congressional districts and governor’s mansions,” reported Clare Malone in an article for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight in January 2017. “At the beginning of Obama’s term, Democrats controlled 59 percent of state legislatures, while now they control only 31 percent, the lowest percentage for the party since the turn of the 20th century. They held 29 governor’s oices and now have only 16, the party’s lowest number since 1920.” Malone points out that the weaknesses of the Democratic Party are structural and long-brewing, and can’t be dumped solely on Obama’s beach towel. But there’s no question that the grassroots wave enthusiasm that helped drive Obama’s election victories petered out at legislative crunch time. This is attributable partly to the decision to fold Obama’s original organizing machine—MyBO, later Organizing for America (OFA)—into the Democratic National Committee, where it was subsumed into the mother ship. There were sensible reasons for this at the time, but the result was a rinky-dink sideshow, as reported by Micah Sifry in an extensive investigative piece for The New Republic called “Obama’s Lost Army,” in February 2017.

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bama is aware of the need to rebuild troop strength. Reinforcements are being trained and readied. In 2017 the Obama Foundation held three Training Days—the first in Chicago, the next two in Tempe, Arizona, and Boston—to teach organizing skills to a new generation of activists from all over the country and world. Many more of those days will take place in 2018. It’s not as sexy to the media as a superstar mogul summit at Davos or Aspen, but it shows that the Obamas haven’t forsaken teaching and inspiring rookie activists to become the change agents of tomorrow. Obama plays a long game, doing his patient best to bend the arc of history an extra bend toward justice. Hence, the Obama Presidential Center, to be built on the South Side of Chicago, will be more than a museum—according to its Web site, it will function as “a living, working campus—an ongoing project where we will shape, together, what it means to be a good citizen in the 21st century.” It’d be nice to return to the 21st century and make it our home again. There’ll be a lot of tidying up to do after Donald Trump and his fellow debauchers are inally evicted.  www.vanityfair.com

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LETTER FROM WASHINGTON

SWAMPLAND

PLEASE CLAP Trump in Hyderabad, November 2017.

One year after Ivanka Trump entered her father’s administration, her friends in Manhattan are turning their backs and her husband and father are steeped in a legal nightmare. What’s an heiress to do? By

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EMILY JANE FOX

or Ivanka Trump, the evening of November 28 was supposed to be the culmination of nearly six months of careful planning, both political and personal. In late June, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi had lown to Washington, D.C., for an oicial state visit with President Donald Trump that included a meet-and-greet with American C.E.O.’s, a tour of the Indian-American diaspora in northern Virginia, and a wide-ranging White House conversation that touched on immigration, Pakistan, defense alliances, the

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changing locus of power in the Indo-Paciic region, and various pleasantries and vagaries surrounding their countries’ strategic relationship. “The two leaders will look to outline a common vision for the partnership that’s worthy of India’s 1.6 billion citizens,” noted Sean Spicer, then the White House press secretary, incorrectly inlating the country’s actual population by nearly 300 million people. Trump and Modi’s meeting was consummated by a gropy man hug. And, as if to further seal their union, before he had even returned AP RIL

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PHOTO GRA P H BY CAT HA L M C NAUGH TO N /R EUT E RS

to New Delhi, Modi invited Ivanka Trump, 36, to speak at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad that winter. Modi, it seemed, was following an emerging playbook for dealing with the Trump administration. Given the nearly indecipherable actor occupying the West Wing, various foreign dignitaries—German chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe—have demonstrated their support for the United States government not only by meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago or Trump Tower, or humoring his ainity for large-scale billboard imagery of himself, but also through lavish displays of lattery directed at his favorite child, who also happens to be among his top advisers. The Hyderabad invitation would be Ivanka Trump’s third solo trip abroad on behalf of the administration since she officially took a governmental position as a special assistant to her dad, last March, one year ago. “The sun rises and sets with Ivanka,” one person close to the White House told me recently. “These guys saw it clear as day, and whether they thought it would help them better understand the guy, or get them in good with him, they were right.” The Global Entrepreneurship Summit did not disappoint. After landing at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at three o’clock in the morning, Ivanka was ushered to her hotel by a phalanx of 17 vehicles, 10,000 members of the police, and representatives of various local media outlets, some of whom dubbed the trip a “royal visit.” Hyderabad, sometimes labeled “Cyberabad” for the specific area of the city where various technology companies (Google, Microsoft, Facebook) have set up oices, had spruced itself up for her 36hour swirl: potholes were illed; roads were repaved. Ivanka’s likeness adorned billboards throughout the city. Authorities brought in closed-circuit security cameras and sniffer dogs; schools were shut down owing to the exacerbated traic congestion. Workers placed welcoming swan statues beside roadways that the First Daughter might traverse. Hundreds of people stopped by a local market to pose for selies next to an Ivanka mannequin. Trump emerged from the 18-hour flight and subsequent car transport ready for the occasion. She wore hair extensions in a Drybar-style loose wave; her traveling makeup artist seemed to have amply applied highlighter on her cheekbones upon touchdown. She also made a post-light wardrobe change into a $1,298 velvet Tory Burch jacket adorned with mother-of-pearl sequins, embroidery, and beads, in the style of traditional Indian AP RIL 2 018

prints. It was a sartorial nod to Hyderabad, which had historically been known as “the city of pearls.” The summit’s theme, “Women First, Prosperity for All,” dovetailed with the narrow agenda of women’s issues that Trump had carved out for herself, irst on the campaign trail and then in the administration. Her keynote speech touted a commitment to female entrepreneurs, like herself. “After my father’s election, I saw an opportunity to leave my businesses for the privilege of serving our country and empowering all Americans, including women, to succeed,” she said. “Our administration is advancing policies that enable women to pursue their careers and care for their families, policies that improve workforce development and skills training, and policies that lift government barriers and fuel entrepreneurship so that Americans can turn their dreams into their incredible legacies.” Prime Minister Modi called the event “wonderful.” And the Indian media mostly ate it up, too. One local fashion critic referred to Trump, favorably, as an “Indian Barbie doll.” Back in the U.S., however, Trump was critiqued for her sartorial assimilation. (DailyO, an Indian opinion Web site, referred to her as a “botoxed Barbie.”) The most stinging rebuke came from a New York Times article about Trump’s decision to wear clothes made for the most part by American designers. In the piece, published the day after her departure from India, a spokesperson for Tory Burch pointed out that the brand did not work with Ivanka Trump at all. Privately, according to three people familiar with the situation, Burch had also made comments about Ivanka’s decision to wear her

after she returned to Washington, D.C. Given the various headaches and distractions concurrently facing the Trump administration—staf upheaval, the mounting Robert Mueller investigation, another looming government shutdown, botched Obamacare-repeal efforts—the alleged Burch comments could have been disregarded as a trivial afair. But, like her father, Ivanka Trump can be sensitive about criticism, particularly of the trivial variety. She did not forget the remarks, and it got to the point where a White House oicial spoke about the situation with Burch, according to people close to Ivanka, who were perplexed that she cared deeply about something that no one in her position ought to care about. “These are some of the most powerful people in the world, I mean literally,” one person who knows both Ivanka and Burch told me. “And this warranted any kind of attention? You’ve got to be kidding.” (A White House oicial said that Ivanka wasn’t aware of the outreach until after it took place.)

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or a decade since she joined the Trump Organization and began appearing on The Apprentice, Ivanka Trump has largely portrayed herself as a more palatable simulacrum of her father. It’s a role that she has tried to perfect in the White House. In public, both on trips abroad and while appearing on Fox News, or while addressing a town hall on an issue within her portfolio, Trump comes across as articulate and thoughtful. Friends describe the private Ivanka as surprisingly normal: someone who likes to gossip and swears like a sailor. But she is also susceptible to many of the weaknesses that characterize her father: Ivanka is an un-

TRUMP RELISHES HER ROLE IN THE WHITE HOUSE BUT

KEEPS CLOSE TABS ON THE FRIENDS SHE LEFT BEHIND. brand in such a public setting. (According to a spokesperson, Burch was not involved in the public comment in the Times piece.) Much as Trump relishes her role in the White House, she still very much keeps close tabs on the group of friends that she left behind in Manhattan, which includes various moguls, heirs, power divorcées, business leaders, and fashion designers. And, as can happen in the relatively insular world of New York society, Burch’s alleged comments made their way to Trump soon

abashed striver and politicker, with a preternatural talent for self-promotion and a deep conviction that many rules don’t apply to her. For Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, her husband and fellow White House adviser, the decision to uproot their comfortable New York lives to enter the unknown of Donald Trump’s administration was always about business—about the understanding that connections forged in the swamp could benefit careers upon return to the private sector. In some ways, after all, it was a conwww.vanityfair.com

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IVANKA FIRST Global summits, ill-fated Instagram posts, sartorial mishaps, and the child tax credit: a detailed chronology of Ivanka Trump’s year in Washington

Ê JA N UA RY

at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, alongside

2 9, 20 1 7 :

Ivanka posts a photo of herself in a metallic one-shoulder gown, and her husband in a tuxedo, with his hand placed on her behind, before they attended a black-tie dinner in D.C.—the weekend her father’s so-called Muslim ban went into effect.

Ê F E B R UA RY

world leaders, is derided as a sign that the Trumps are turning America into a banana republic.

Ê AU G U ST

Jared and Ivanka fly off in a Trump Organization helicopter for a two-day

2 , 20 1 7 :

golfing getaway in Vermont.

After months of a customerboycott campaign and poor sales, Nordstrom announces

Ê NOVEMBER

it will drop Ivanka Trump’s eponymous brand.

ÊMARCH

2 9, 20 1 7 :

“one of the most remarkable people in the world.”

names Ivanka an adviser to the president, with her

father saying in a statement that the administration was “pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as First Daughter.”

Ê N OV E M B E R

in hell for people who prey on children.”

2 5, 20 1 7 :

Ê N OV E M B E R

Merkel at the W20 Summit in Berlin, where she is met with

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media dub “a royal visit.”

Her second book, Women Who Work, is released to universal pans and unimpressive sales.

Ê D EC E M B E R

expanded child-care tax credit that Ivanka lobbied for.

20, 20 1 7 :

Ê F E B R UA RY

26, 20 1 8 :

In a televised interview following her trip to the Olympics,

Pope in Rome.

Ivanka tells NBC’s Peter Alexander that it’s “inappropriate” for him to

8, 20 1 7 :

Ivanka’s decision to temporarily

ask her about the sexual-abuse allegations against her father.

fill her father’s seat onstage

a Democrat (the Kushner family has long supported liberal candidates), an implicit step back from the values perpetuated by the Trump administration, which included his brother and sister-in-law. In November, however, Rose was ired after several women came forward alleging sexual harassment and workplace misconduct. Josh Kushner’s sit-down had yet to be taped.

20, 20 1 7 :

Congress passes tax-reform legislation that includes an

Ivanka joins her father on his 10-day trip abroad, greeting the Saudi royal family, privately praying at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem, and meeting the

Ê J U LY

28, 20 1 7 :

She arrives in Hyderabad, India, at the prime minister’s invitation, for a women’s entrepreneurship summit—a whirlwind trip local

groans from the audience.

Ê M AY

1 5, 20 1 7 :

Weeks before her father endorses Roy Moore in the Alabama special election, Ivanka tells the Associated Press that “there’s a special place

Ivanka sits on a panel with German chancellor Angela

Ê M AY

3, 2017:

During a trip to Tokyo, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe calls Ivanka

The White House officially

ÊAPRIL

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After the violence in Charlottesville,

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ast April, barely a month into her job, I met Ivanka Trump in her room at the Hotel InterContinental in Berlin. I was traveling among the pool of reporters on hand to cover her first trip abroad as part of the new administration—a panel appearance with Angela Merkel; Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund; and Queen AP RIL

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tinuation of how they had both always lived their lives, leveraging their parents’ successes to further their own opportunities. “They’re used to a lot of things coming easy,” one friend noted. “It’s not that they didn’t work hard, or that they weren’t smart. But their last names have always been their thing.” One year later, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. As Ivanka begins her second oicial year in D.C., she can point to successes such as her role in the administration’s taxreform bill, her work to expand the childcare tax credit, an increasingly fat Rolodex of world leaders, and the various bipartisan dinners that she and Kushner have hosted at their Kalorama home. (According to one friend, the couple decided to host the dinners after they realized how few lawmakers in D.C. lived in actual homes.) But these accomplishments have been subsumed by the administration’s manifold quagmires: the botched Muslim ban, Charlottesville, Twitter insults, petty nicknames, West Wing infighting, the Russia investigation. Ivanka’s integrity as a champion for women’s issues, meanwhile, has been diminished amid her father’s dismissal of his various sexual-assault accusers, alleged payofs to a porn star and a Playmate, and his decision to stick up for a stafer who allegedly abused his former wives rather than to express sympathy for his accusers. In late February, Ivanka Trump attempted to castigate an interviewer for asking about her father’s alleged sexual transgressions under the guise that it was “inappropriate” to ask a daughter such things. Left unsaid, however, was the unavoidable point: while Trump often seems to outrun his own bad press—even his most appalling debacles—his daughter does not possess the same immunity. Many of the rules do apply to her. As a former friend put it to me, “Now their names are kind of their downfall.” Trump and Kushner’s descent into Washington has proved far more chilling than even many of their critics anticipated. In fact, even some of their most committed supporters appear to be taking a step back. In the fall of 2017, Josh Kushner, Jared’s younger brother, was in touch with The Charlie Rose Show. Throughout the campaign, many in the media speculated about what Josh, a venture capitalist who runs Oscar, a health-care company predicated on the Afordable Care Act, might think of the fact that his brother was working in an administration that intended to dismantle Obamacare. Now Josh seemed ready to answer the question. According to people familiar with his thinking, Josh Kushner was set to sit down with Rose to come out as


Máxima of the Netherlands. It was Trump’s initial foray into international relations, and she seemed undaunted by the challenge. In a loral print Michael Kors dress and Ivanka Trump pumps, she poured herself some hot water and lamented her inability to sleep on the overnight light. She apologized for her voice, which was hoarse. “I deinitely sound more sultry,” she said, though her public voice is typically already a whisper. Having not slept much myself, I joked that she might be able to use her sotto voce to start some sort of side hustle. “You mean as a phone-sex operator,” she deadpanned. That is what I intimated but would not have fully articulated to a First Daughter or White House oicial. She gamely did it for me. It was the sort of disarming rejoinder her father could have made. “That’s who she is,” the long-standing friend of Trump’s told me when I recalled the story, adding that she is largely funnier and less self-serious than most people assume. It’s a generally unobserved point because, in part, Trump is so intently focused on her professional life. Like her father, Ivanka prefers to work with her own people, to play her own game, no matter the protocol. Soon after the couple arrived in the West Wing, Kushner would FaceTime with old friends to efectively recruit them to work in the administration. (One friend repeatedly reminded him that FaceTime was not the most secure form of communication.) They were successful in recruiting Reed Cordish, a Baltimore real-estate heir who was introduced to his wife by Ivanka, to join as an assistant to the LIKE FATHER, president focused LIKE DAUGHTER on infrastructure. Below, leaving The couple also Joint Base Andrews; right, brought on Josh in Riyadh, Raffel—who years May 2017.

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earlier had performed public-relations services alongside Hope Hicks for the companies of both Ivanka and Jared—to do their West Wing media bidding. (Both Raffel and Hicks announced in late February that they would be stepping down from their jobs.) Ivanka hired Dina Powell away from Goldman Sachs. (She resigned at the end of the year and recently announced she was returning to the investment bank.) In doing so, they efectively set up their own faction within the West Wing—a kids’table foil to the adult day-care center run by

invited some of her childhood friends and New York social pals to a separate White House holiday party, and they took a tour of the residence alongside the First Daughter, who was stopped at every turn by revelers looking for a selie with her. But other friends were turning away. Shortly before the Tory Burch incident, Trump and Kushner’s friends openly talked about why the couple’s names had not appeared on the inal guest list for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Halloween

IVANKA DEFENDS HER FATHER PUBLICLY,

BUT PRIVATELY IT IS KUSHNER SHE STICKS UP FOR. Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and now John Kelly, among others, who, unsurprisingly, viewed them as a nuisance, if not a threat. Washington is, by nature, a transactional place. But at times Trump’s and Kushner’s political impulses have seemed aimed more at their New York constituency than at the administration. Colleagues in the West Wing told me they were “furious” that the duo attended the annual Allen & Company media mixer in Sun Valley, where they hung out with James Murdoch and some of their Manhattan circle. The decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was greeted with protests around the globe, but Kushner’s role in the process was cheered in certain precincts of the northeastern Modern Orthodox community. “The guy was a hero,” one person who attended the White House Hanukkah party, shortly after the decision, told me. “There were a lot of handshakes and pats on the back.” Ivanka

party, co-hosted by Wendi Murdoch, a close friend. (Murdoch declined to comment.) The couple also appeared to turn insular. During the heat of Trump’s campaign, in August 2016, they decamped to the Adriatic with Wendi Murdoch aboard billionaire businessman David Geffen’s yacht. This past summer, they took a Trump Organization helicopter to Vermont for a two-day vacation. For Ivanka’s 36th birthday, in October, Jared threw a surprise dinner at the Trump Hotel in Washington attended largely by members of their immediate family and the Trump administration. “We wanted to protect them,” the old New York friend told me recently, as I’ve previously reported, referring to his admonitions to the couple before they left for D.C. “But you can’t protect people when they’re voluntarily sticking their head into the fucking guillotine.” In truth, friends and acquaintances were already pulling back from the couple dur-

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D’OH Above, at the W20 Summit, Berlin, April 2017; right, at the Western Wall, May 2017.

ing the campaign. What was the upside of getting entangled in all the talk about Mexicans’ being rapists and the boasting about grabbing people by their genitals? Some members of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, on East 85th Street, started a petition to stop Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who had overseen Ivanka’s conversion to Judaism, from giving a blessing before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, over the summer of 2016. (“The whole matter turned from rabbinic to political, something which was never intended,” he wrote in an e-mail to members of his community. “Politics divides people.”) Many of the community members and friends who initially distanced themselves from the couple assumed it would be temporary; Trump wasn’t going to win the election, and soon enough they could forget that the campaign ever happened. It played out differently, of course. Temporary fractures became more permanent. In an interview with Forbes, Kushner announced his own purge of people who had dropped the couple over their politics, a process he deemed “exfoliation.” Ivanka dealt with the slights in her own way—strategically sticking to issues that dovetailed with her women-focused lifestyle brand, so that the stench of the rest of the campaign wouldn’t cling to her after the election, and tuning out all the noise in the meantime. “She has a high conviction in what she’s going to try to achieve while she’s there, and an understanding that this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” the long-standing friend of Ivanka’s recently told me. “If she can move any needle, all the other stuf falls to the wayside.” 64

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or a brief moment, that seemed plausible. After the Trumps’ unlikely tax-reform victory, a person close to Ivanka Trump told me that she was fully emboldened. She and Jared headed to Mara-Lago during Christmas, feeling a renewed sense of opportunity and perhaps also relief that they had put a recent series of scandals, such as the Roy Moore iasco, behind them. But the enthusiasm was short-lived. In early January, Michael Wolf’s Fire and Fury portrayed Trump as a quasi-senile Falstaf overseeing a court in open revolt. Then came renewed West Wing tensions, the Stormy Daniels controversy, Karen McDougal, Trump’s comments about arming teachers, and the decision by Rick Gates, his former campaign and transition aide, to cooperate with Robert Mueller. For someone whose name has always been her thing, there was only one direction to pivot: home. Initially, after Charlottesville, many friends expected that Trump and Kushner would pack up and return to New York before the 2017 school year. By the fall, an idea was loated within their circle that Ivanka might soon return for an honorary job at the U.N. and Jared could assume a position on the re-election committee—a theory that was reinforced when Ivanka expressed pleasure at what they had already accomplished and Kushner ally Brad Parscale took a job on Trump’s re-election campaign. (Kushner also has urgent business to attend to. His family business is facing increasing pressure regarding 666 Fifth Avenue, its over-leveraged asset, whose $1.2 billion mortgage comes due next year.) Now the current bet is that the TrumpKushners will stay through May or June, until school wraps up, if they can make it that far. “What are they coming home to here?” the

old friend told me recently. “A bunch of people who haven’t exactly been counting down the seconds since they’ve been gone.”

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f all Ivanka Trump’s similarities to her father, perhaps the most evident is the efect of her childhood on her current disposition. Donald Trump, who grew up in Queens and attended military school, endeavored to make his name in Manhattan and has displayed an ainity for men in uniform. Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, has long shown the scars inlicted during her parents’ divorce. “Even before the divorce, Donald did nothing for the kids,” one old friend of Ivana and Donald Trump told me recently. “When they were on vacations or on summer break, he had a habit of disappearing in the morning and not coming back until night.” Another longtime associate of the family told me that he would often lament Donald Trump’s parenting to his face. “I would say, ‘Donald, would you even know if your kids were in Europe?’ And he wouldn’t, because he didn’t [know] when they were.” Ivanka Trump’s childhood was one of lonely privilege. “Her parents essentially had very little to do with her,” one classmate from Choate Rosemary Hall told me, referring to her as a fancy “latchkey” kid. Another Choate classmate remembered that when she would stay with Ivanka in New York on weekends away from school, there was a tremendous amount of love and afection between her and the family’s nannies, the housekeepers, the elevator attendants, and her maternal grandmother. I asked if that extended to her relationship with her parents, and the classmate told me, “It was just a very diferent kind of love.” In an interview with Britain’s Mail on Sunday in 2000, a 19-year-old Ivanka reAP RIL

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vealed her own adolescent fears about marriage. “I never, ever want to get divorced,” she said. “I think I’m quite good at judging what people are like, and I could never be with someone whose motives I was constantly questioning. And I certainly couldn’t stand worrying about whether he’d run of with the irst blonde who came along once I got my irst wrinkle.” It’s hard to square Ivanka Trump’s insecurity with her defense of her father, given his alleged improprieties. But after covering Ivanka Trump for two years, I believe one explanation is that, like her father, she is, at her core, selfpreserving. And in Kushner, Trump may have found the stability she craved. She certainly worked for it. The Kushners, who are practicing Orthodox Jews, struggled with the fact that Ivanka was not Jewish, and a year after the couple started dating, they broke up. They tell friends that it wasn’t over the religion issue, though Ivana Trump wrote in her memoir that her daughter had told her otherwise. Eventually, they re-united and Ivanka agreed to convert to Judaism under the supervision of Jared’s father, Charles Kushner. With Rabbi Lookstein, whose shul is Modern Orthodox, she studied the Torah, agreeing to observe Shabbos with Kushner’s family and committing to learn Jewish laws and traditions. “She’s such a perfectionist and takes everything, and herself, very seriously,” a former close associate told me. “So when she says she’s converting, she will read every book and learn every recipe and start participating with his family to do all the holidays.” She was reportedly gifted a Swarovski crystal-encrusted leopardprint mezuzah in celebration. Ivanka has undoubtedly spent years protecting and defending her father publicly, but privately it is Kushner she sticks up for, even AP RIL 2 018

to her father directly. One campaign oicial recently recalled a moment from the campaign when Ivanka burst into her father’s oice on the 26th loor of Trump Tower to advocate for her husband. “I need to talk to you,” this person recalled her saying. “You don’t give Jared the support he needs. He’s left his business to be a part of this. You have no idea what he’s sacriicing to be here and how hard he is working for you.” Then it became personal: Ivanka told her father that his lack of appreciation hurt her and, notably, hurt her relationship with her husband. According to this campaign oicial, the elder Trump caved immediately. “All right, all right, all right,” this person recalled him saying. “What does he want?” Kushner may have provided Ivanka Trump with emotional security, but his family also ofers another form of protection. Very few people have a real sense of how much Donald Trump is actually worth, an enigma reinforced by his refusal to release his tax returns. But long before he ran a presidential campaign, he ran a business into the ground a few times, reportedly borrowing $20 million from his family in order to avoid personal bankruptcy. (Trump has denied borrowing from his family.) His companies have declared bankruptcy four times. Ivanka grew up between a gilded triplex in Trump Tower and a 118-room waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, but, as one old friend of Ivanka’s described those places to me, “they’re like living in very fancy corporate housing.” Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump enjoy lavish lifestyles, to be sure. But their lives are less public and extravagant, with weekends in upstate New York or Westchester, and vacations hunting in the Canadian bush. Ivanka

I’M WITH HER Left, with Kushner in Washington, D.C., January 2018; above, meeting the Pope, May 2017.

and Jared live on Park Avenue, go out most nights, and vacation in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The younger Trumps are rich, certainly, but they are not the Kushners. When the latest version of the couple’s ethics disclosure was made public over the summer, it showed that they reported as much as $212 million in income since the beginning of 2016, with only about $12.6 million coming in from Ivanka, and the rest from Kushner. Their combined net worth was estimated at as much as $761 million, according to the iling, with the bulk of that coming from his holdings.

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osh Kushner’s crisis of conscience may presage the events of Ivanka’s next year in D.C. As Mueller’s investigation narrows in on Trump’s closest advisers, and closes in on answers to key questions—Was there collusion with Kremlin agents? Was there obstruction of justice?—the West Wing may soon become a zero-sum environment pitting colleagues and, perhaps, even family members against one another. According to one longtime friend of the president, as I have previously reported, if it came down to Donald Trump saving himself or defending his son-in-law, there would be no hesitation. “If you think he’s going to tie himself to the kid, you don’t know anything,” this person said. “If it’s going to cost him his legacy, not a chance.” According to one former Trump adviser, the president is keeping Kushner around, in part, because he fears letting him out of his sight—particularly if he gets indicted. Which invites the question: If Ivanka Trump had to choose between her husband and her father, what would she do?  www.vanityfair.com

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READY FOR LENA With a breakout TV series, a historic Emmy, and a propulsive role in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, screenwriter-producer-actress Lena Waithe is re-writing the rules for the next generation

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n your life, if you’re lucky enough, you are born during a moment in time when the world is ready for the change you’re bringing. So all that’s left for you to do is your work. If you are a child named Lena Waithe, you find your passion on the television screen, or, as you call it, your Third Parent. Your mother, knowing that in front of the screen you’re safe from the streets of Chicago, allows you unlimited watching. The Cosby Show and A Different World bring you beautiful people, families you understand, and lots of laughter. And because when your grandmother watches with you she controls the remote, you watch old reruns of The Jeffersons,

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Good Times, All in the Family, and realize as you watch these people that this is what you have—words and characters and story. These are the tools these shows are giving you. So you lean into the screen. Already you know there isn’t a mirror the television is holding up to you; there isn’t a child like you on the screen. Not in the 1990s. Not yet. So you ind your strength and a deep belief in yourself in the streets and family dinners of Chicago—a place you call home, a long way from your grandmother’s own Arkansas. You’re clear-eyed and queer from the womb, born as part of a larger Lena Waithe, narrative—that of the Great Migration. Already, photographed in there is resistance running through your veins. Los Angeles. Already, at seven, you know your own dream. So you gather a posse around you. And in Waithe wears a shirt by Marol; hat by your 20s, you move to California, thirsty, eager, Worth & Worth; ready. Slowly, the bigger world begins to see you. necklace by David Yurman. We see you, Lena Waithe. We see you.

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f you haven’t heard of Lena Waithe, check yourself for a pulse. She is disrupting the hell out of Hollywood. As the irst black woman to nail an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Lena—along with a crew of other black creatives—is sending a message to the world that Black Brilliance has arrived in Hollywood and has not come to play. Lena and I sit down to dinner for the irst time, at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Having spent the past week in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival, both of us are beyond happy to be rid of our snow boots and winter coats. And because I’ve arrived at the restaurant a few minutes before Lena, I’ve had time to do what many of us do when we walk into spaces like this—count the Blacks. Now that Lena has joined me, there are two of us. In this moment the shine is on Lena. She is all dapper and grace as she enters. Broad-shouldered and fast-walking, she lashes a smile at our hostess and emphasizes her please-and-thank-yous with our waitress. When she sits down across from me, she immediately removes her cap, and I smile, having grown up watching the boys and men around me get chastised for not removing their hats fast enough, for attempting to wear hats at the table, for even considering walking into someone else’s home or a restaurant with their heads covered. Lena’s locks are well oiled and tightly twisted, draping down past her shoulders—a femme contrast to the shaved sides of her head. I begin to see that this is who Lena is: a woman coming at the world from many diferent places, quick-moving and fast-talking yet soft-spoken and thoughtful, cursing a mile a minute while bringing a new vibrancy to language. Relaxed yet ready. On the butch side of queer but with delicate edges. Star power with kindness. And it’s working. “Here’s the irony of it all,” she says after the conversation gets going. “I don’t need an Emmy to tell me to go to work. I’ve been working. I’ve been writing, I’ve been developing, I’ve been putting pieces together and I’m bullets, you know what I’m saying?” I do. On the critically acclaimed Netlix series Master of None, for which she won her Emmy, Lena, 33, also plays the role of Denise, a young lesbian and close friend of Aziz Ansari’s character, Dev. While Denise was originally written for a straight woman, who would eventually become a love interest of Dev’s, Waithe’s character has added a depth, humor, and black-girl queerness new to the screen. She’s wry, lovely, and lovable. And while Lena’s Denise seems to be handpicked from Lena’s life story, Waithe brings to this character something diferent. Denise is more reserved than Lena. It’s not so much an innocence but angles smoothed over, the product of a quieter past. Many of the people in my own queer world would have blinked past the show had it not been for Waithe’s character. For so many of us who have not seen an out Black lesbian front and center this way, her arrival is a small, long-awaited revelation. Her arrival is our arrival. And then there’s the Showtime hit The Chi, created and executive-produced by Lena, which follows inter-related characters on Chicago’s South Side. With Common as an executive producer and Rick Famuyiwa directing, the show has been picked up for a second season. The credits keep on coming, though. Waithe produced the comedic dance ilm Step Sisters. She is the writer-producer of the recently green-lighted TBS television pilot Twenties, which is loosely based on her early years in Los Angeles and tells the stories of three black women making their way in Hollywood. And she appears this month in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which is adapted from Ernest Cline’s 2011 science-iction novel, following contestants pitted against one another in a virtual-reality world.

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When she’s not producing, acting, writing, or creating, Lena is working hard to pull more people of color and queer artists into ilm and television both through her role as co-chair of the Committee of Black Writers at the Writers Guild and through her work with aspiring writers via Franklin Leonard’s the Black List—a platform by which people can pay to get feedback on their material from established professionals. But right now Lena is ordering an oyster appetizer, sitting back, and chatting with me about, among other things, our time at Sundance. Kindred is the vibe I’d put to this evening. Lena and I have not spent real time together before, but there’s a deep knowing between us. We talk about our families, our girlfriends, East Coast versus West Coast, and the movies that didn’t quite work at the festival. Lena’s family, like mine, was similar to the ictional Cosbys—not in wealth, by any means, but in the way the young people on the show were expected to respect their elders. Separated by more than 20 years, we were both raised by our mothers and grandmothers. We both came out when we were young and have amazing women helping us to stay aloat: my partner is a physician; Lena’s iancée, Alana Mayo, is the head of production and development for Michael B. Jordan’s media company. (Like me, Alana grew up a Jehovah’s Witness.) By age seven, we both knew what we wanted to be. We both started our lives in the Midwest—me in Ohio, Lena in Chicago. When our parents separated, our mothers returned to their mothers’ homes. My mother’s mantra was: Turn of the TV and pick up a book. But Lena, after coming home from school, was permitted as much television as she wanted. “I was watching a lot of movies I shouldn’t have been watching,” Lena tells me, laughing. “Like Boyz N the Hood. Also a lot of ratedR shit. Jungle Fever. But that’s the joy of having a single mom. She was like, I can’t hover over you. Watch what you want. Just don’t repeat what you hear and don’t do what you see.” When Lena was 12, her mother moved her and her sister to the suburbs: Evanston, just north of Chicago. “She was saving up and maybe a little bit wanted to get out of the South Side. Even though I was going to a good school [in the city], Turner-Drew, which was like an early magnet school which she found, because that’s the kind of shit she did.” Lena says this with true gratitude. “So half of that year I was still on the South Side and the other half I moved to Evanston and went to Chute Middle School. It was like a fuckin’ Benetton ad.” At one point, Lena goes silent. It’s when I ask about her father. She tells me he died when she was 14. “He had substance-abuse issues, which my mom told me about later, but … ” Her voice trails of. Maybe another writer would have pushed her for more. But in that moment I only want to sit with her in the quiet, to muse, wordlessly, about the strength of mothers and grandmothers and the many levels to our survival.

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rowing up, I leaned into books, inding small parts of myself in the writings of Mildred Taylor, Audre Lorde, Virginia Hamilton, and Walter Dean Myers. Lena, meanwhile, found her mentors on the screen in the comedy writing of Susan Fales-Hill (A Diferent World, Suddenly Susan), Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single, Lush Life, Black-ish), and Mara Brock Akil (Moesha, Girlfriends, Being Mary Jane). “They didn’t get their shine,” she says of these early black women in comedy. “They were constantly banging on the doors.” In contrast, she says, “I rolled up and all I had to do was tip it and walk through.” AP RIL

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“Her honesty was glaring,” says Steven Spielberg. “She couldn’t hit a wrong note.”

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Somewhere over the course of the two decades between us, we both found the works of James Baldwin. His writing was as relevant in the early 2000s for Lena as it was for me in the 70s— indeed, as it was for the young queer black artists coming before us in the 50s and 60s. And still, this evening, as Lena and I talk across the table, over her trule pasta and Sprite, and my burger and Cabernet, a deep reverence comes over us. Here we are now because Baldwin was there then. And I think about the young people who ran to their screens to watch Lena’s Master of None episode in which her character came out to her mother. How social media blew up with her thank-you speech at the Emmys. (“I love you all and, last but certainly not least, my L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. family… The things that make us diferent, those are our superpowers.”) How her work is part of a continuum of people doing their work. “How has the Emmy changed me? It got me all these meetings that I go in and say I’m too busy to work with you—you should have hollered at me. You can take my call when I call you about this black queer writer over here who’s got a dope pilot, or this person over here who’s got really cool ideas, or this actress who’s really amazing but nobody’s seen her.” Because we both know that, even as Hollywood’s doors are being shaken, there is still so much work left to be done.

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ena came up as an assistant to director Gina PrinceBythewood (Love & Basketball), whose father-in-law, an orthodontist, ixed my smile 30 years ago—just in keeping with Small Black World magic. Lena tells me she came to Hollywood in 2006 with no family, no friends, and no money. After working with Prince-Bythewood, she became a production assistant on Ava DuVernay’s scripted directorial debut, I Will Follow. “She would make the cofee,” DuVernay explains. “She would close the gate; she would take out the trash; she would run things from one part of the set to another.” Through it all, the director noticed real promise. Now that Lena is catching major ire—at a time when TV showrunners and ilmmakers of color, especially women of color, are getting the opportunity to tell their tales—there seems to be a sea change. Or am I being naïve? “Is this different than any other time?,” DuVernay asks me rhetorically. “It’s a good time, but it’s not the irst good time we’ve had, and previous good times have not become That.” She reminds me that a similar moment existed in the 90s, thanks to ilmmakers like Prince-Bythewood and Julie Dash, the irst black woman to have a theatrical release, with her groundbreaking ilm, Daughters of the Dust, not to mention Kasi Lemmons’s Eve’s Bayou, and, on the queer side, Cheryl Dunye’s AP RIL 2 018

The Watermelon Woman. At that point and now in this one, DuVernay notes, you can easily count the black directors. It has been the same, she maintains, for women’s creative progress through the years. “We can look at other times in the history of art where it’s been the case where you’ve had a cluster or lurry of women who have been doing strong work that’s been recognized by the mainstream and feeling like it’s a moment, feeling like there’s a big culture shift. But, really, when you look at it and you’re sober about it, you’re talking about women that you can count on two hands—and this industry has many hands.” Yes, she acknowledges, black artists are blowing up the screen, with everything from Kenya Barris’s Black-ish to Donald Glover’s Atlanta, to Issa Rae’s Insecure. But this isn’t yet “a moment,” DuVernay reminds me. The director of A Wrinkle in Time (budget: $100-million-plus) says, “If no other black woman makes a ilm more than $100 million past me for another 10 or 15 years, if no other woman wins an Emmy for writing, for the words that come out of their head, then we’re kidding ourselves that we’re in a moment that makes any diference other than momentary inspiration.” Lena explores this terrain, too. “The hardest thing about being a black writer in this town is having to pitch your black story to white execs,” she says. “Also, most of the time when we go into rooms to pitch, there’s one token black executive that sometimes can be a friend and sometimes can be a foe. I wonder if they think it makes me more comfortable, if that makes me think that they’re a woke network or studio because they’ve got that one black exec. It feels patronizing. I’m not against a black exec. I want there to be more of them.” For all that, Lena contends, “it was a symbolic moment when Moonlight literally took the Oscar out of La La Land’s hand. It is a symbolic moment when Issa Rae’s poster is bigger than Sarah Jessica Parker’s. Now the hands that used to pick cotton can pick the next box oice… See what I’m saying? There’s a shift that’s happening. There’s a transition of power. But we still aren’t in power.” When I ask Lena if she thinks we’ll ever have our lesbian Moonlight, she is quick to tell me we’ve already had it. “Pariah,” she says, referring to Dee Rees’s stunningly rendered 2011 feature about a young black lesbian coming out. “I fuck with that movie really hard. I thought it was really beautiful.”

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t is a few days earlier, on a cold night in January, following a blizzard. Sundance is in full swing and I’m watching Lena work magic in one of the hottest and most pumping rooms in Utah—a venue called the Blackhouse. Co-founded by Brickson Diamond, in 2006, the Blackhouse Foundation came into being after the few black folks who’d been attending Sundance grew tired of seeing so few reflections of themselves on the Park City streets and of seeing so few black films. So Diamond, a graduate of Harvard Business School, along with two friends, Carol Ann Shine and Ryan Tarpley, created a place where their peers could gather to educate, network, and igure out how to break the white ceiling of Hollywood. During this year’s festival, the Blackhouse hosted panels and parties from 10 in the morning until midnight, Friday through Monday. Its impact is evident. In 2007 there were seven black ilms at Sundance. Come 2018, the count was closer to 40. “If you build it,” Diamond says, “they will come.” Tonight the Blackhouse is hot, the drinks are being poured, the people are excited to be here, and the D.J. is dropping beats that are hard not to move to. Outside, a long line awaits entry to the main event: a discussion examining cinematic diversity and www.vanityfair.com

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inclusion. In attendance: Radha Blank (Empire, She’s Gotta Have It), Jada Pinkett Smith, Poppy Hanks (whose production company, Macro, specializes in works by people of color and is the force behind Dee Rees’s Oscar-nominated Mudbound)— and Lena Waithe. As a Sundance neophyte, I try to stand out of the way of a futile attempt to clear the dance loor and set up chairs for the panel. I hesitate to inform the D.J. that, in the history of black folks, no one has ever left the loor when a Prince song was playing. And now, not even two years after his death, Prince’s music in the room is a heartbreaking and sobering reminder that, as black creatives, we don’t have a lot of time to get the work done. The room is already filled with beautiful people. A woman who worked on the costumes for Black Panther is one of the few who are able to negotiate heels tonight. Everything she is wearing, I want. Next to her, my friend Chris Myers is discussing the Sundance debut of Monster, a ilm based on a book by his father, Walter Dean Myers. Cards are exchanged, selies are taken, bodies are pulled into long embraces. The crowded room, illed with everyone from crew to cast to producers, feels like a family reunion. Nearly 100 years after the Harlem Renaissance—the AfricanAmerican intellectual and artistic movement of the 1920s—I can feel in this pulsing room what it must have been like to sit among the likes of Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes—people who were dreaming themselves and their work beyond the moment in which they were living. Tonight feels as energized and ready as that vibrant corner of Harlem must have felt a century ago. This new Black guard is no longer ighting for a seat at the table; they’re convening their own. And yet, while some call this surging West Coast energy “the Hollywood Renaissance,” I am with Ava DuVernay. We need to see how far past this now it goes, before we can own it. When John Amos, the dad from Good Times, walks into the Blackhouse, the crowd parts. People whip out phones for selies, which he graciously allows. For so many, Lena included, this is where the journey into black television began—when we irst saw ourselves relected back through the characters of J.J., Michael, and Thelma. As a young child, looking for mirrors of myself in episodes of The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, it wasn’t until shows like Good Times and The Jefersons blued into our darkened living room that I could inally say, Yes, some part of that is me. With the chairs set up and the music suspended for a while, Lena sits onstage alongside the other women. She pays homage to the creators of A Diferent World as her fellow panelists echo their agreement, tell her to say it, nod in memory and reverence. “We as artists can do whatever the fuck we want to do,” she urges the audience. “We just have to do it really, really well… You have to write and develop and wait for the world to catch up to your art.” Later, Justin Simien, creator of the Netlix comedy hit Dear White People, tells me that Lena has not only worked like mad but also “created systems, and now she’s got almost 100 mentees going to writing classes, and evaluating each other’s work.” In fact, she recently announced an initiative with the Black List that lets upstart writers submit scripts to be judged on a point scale. “Get an 8 or above,” Lena tweeted, “[and] my team will read your script.” “She turns nobody away,” says Simien. The pair met at a writing workshop and became best friends. It is Waithe, he insists, who pushed him to take the leap and create Dear White People. “When Lena decides that something is true, it becomes true.”

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Writing on a laptop, Waithe channels her muse.

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Waithe takes in an old episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (above) and sits in L.A. traffic (below).

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Waithe and fiancĂŠe Alana Mayo in their kitchen, in Echo Park, California. Waithe (below) fixes her coif.

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“There’s no box you could put her in,” says Common, an executive producer of The Chi.

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ena and I meet for brunch, this time in West Hollywood. She sports her signature ensemble: hoodie, with a snapback logo cap. Today’s hat says, REBEL EIGHT. Another favorite is Chance the Rapper’s “3.” I ask her whom she likes to wear and she quickly spits out a list of queer and black designers. Sheila Rashid; Knoxxy’s brand, DVMN Pigeon; Nicole Wilson. Lena considers her personal style her own mode of selfexpression, irrespective of the circles she travels in, which, in professional Hollywood, tend to be largely white and, often, male. As much as anyone appreciates a compliment about their “look,” she says she doesn’t need it. “Being black and gay, having dreadlocks, having a certain kind of swag, and dressing the way I do,” she explains, she is sometimes told by certain well-meaning admirers or fashion wannabes, “‘That’s dope, you’re cool.’ I don’t feel validated by that… I don’t want to be White. I don’t want to be straight. I don’t want to blend in… I try to wear queer designers who happen to be brown and makin’ shit.” I reach out to Common—who signed on as an executive producer of The Chi in 2015—for his read on Lena. “There’s no box you could put her in,” he says. “It’s not only [the fact that] I admire her, but I feel like I’m just somebody who sits and listens, looks at her work, and is like, ‘Man, this is really great writing!’” He points out the pure poetry of it, the humor, the deep honesty. Steven Spielberg echoes this. When I speak to him, he says, simply, “I adore her.” In Spielberg’s new ilm, Ready Player One, Lena’s character is part of a group that bands together to save a futuristic world. And while I know that sounds like every sci-i movie ever made, this one is diferent. This one is No way, did he just … ? and Wait a minute … did that really … ? diferent. It’s hard to say more without spoiling the plot. When I attended a screening, I was beyond surprised to walk out of the theater already planning to return with my family, saddened only by the fact that once again it was the white straight people who found love. Lena’s acting chops, though, are on point here again. Spielberg says of her audition, “She was accessible at a glance. Her honesty was glaring. And she couldn’t hit a wrong note, because she found a way to be herself on-camera. I suddenly felt like I had hit the jackpot. The magic hadn’t walked into the room—until Lena did.”

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few days before Lena is scheduled to speak at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood ceremony, where she is being honored, our talk turns to her work as an activist and in the Time’s Up movement. As she reads out loud to me from her upcoming speech, her voice is a mixture of immense excitement and barely concealed fear: “Being born a

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Waithe’s gay Black female is not a revolutionary act. Being collection of proud to be a gay Black female is.” choice At the event, which takes place just before the footwear. Oscars, Lena talks about the importance of coming out in Hollywood—and explains it through her love for The Wizard of Oz. “There’s this moment in the movie,” she says, “when Dorothy’s presence interrupts the peace in Oz, which forces all the Munchkins to go run and hide. So Glinda the Good Witch tells them … to stop hiding. She tells them to come out: ‘Come out, wherever you are. Don’t be afraid.’ It’s interesting how things you hear as a kid take on a whole new meaning when you are an adult.” The day after her speech, pictures of her in a beautifully tailored gold paisley suit lood social media. The country is taking notice, sending love. “I have a ton of mentees,” she tells me over the phone. “They’re all people of color. Some of them are poor. And I’m just trying to help them learn how to be great writers; and for those that have become really good writers, I help them get representation; and those that have representation, I want to help get them jobs. That to me is a form of activism. I was doing this before Time’s Up was created. I am doing it now. Activism is me paying for a writer to go to a television-writing class.” It is during one of these conversations that I ask her about what happened with her friend and Master of None co-star, Aziz Ansari, who, in a controversial online article, was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman he once went on a date with. (Ansari stated that their sexual activity was consensual.) Lena gets quieter, more thoughtful. “At the end of the day,” Lena says, “what I would hope comes out of this is that we as a society … educate ourselves about what consent is—what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like. I think there are both men and women who are still trying to igure it out. We need to be more attuned to each other, pay more attention to each other, in every scenario, and really make sure that, whatever it is we’re doing with someone else, they’re comfortable doing whatever that thing is, and that we’re doing it together. That’s just human kindness and decency.” And then, a day or two later, we hop on the phone to scream about the success of Black Panther. We just have to. And Lena, being Lena, has already broken down the context of this moment. “You see history books—A.D. or B.C.?,” she asks. “I feel like the world felt one way before B.P. and will feel forever changed A.B.P. These execs are all looking around and saying to themselves, ‘Shit, we want a Black Panther; we want a movie where motherfuckers come out in droves and see it multiple times and buy out movie theaters.’ And because we also live in a town of copycats, there are going to be a lot of bad black superhero movies coming because everybody ain’t Ryan Coogler!” Lena, naturally, comes back to the beginning, returning to the roots of her storytelling. “I used to watch TV with my grandmother a ton. I watched a lot of old [classic sitcom] TV. And it gave me an education in using your platform to protest, but without being preachy. And how you can use TV characters, ictitious characters, as a way to speak to who we are as a society. “I am tired of white folks telling my stories. We gotta tell our shit. Can’t no one tell a black story, particularly a queer story, the way I can, because I see the God in us. James Baldwin saw the God in us. Zora saw the God in us. When I’m looking for myself, I ind myself in the pages of Baldwin.” Then she adds, “I didn’t realize I was born to stand out as much as I do. But I’m grateful. Because the other black or brown queer kids are like, ‘Oh, we the shit.’” Lena lashes a huge smile, then shakes her head with wonder.  P H O T O G R A P H S C O N T I N U E O N P A G E 7 6 AP RIL

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Mayo and Waithe at home.

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Jane Fonda, photographed at Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, in Calabasas, California. Fonda wears a coat by Dior Haute Couture; sweater by Vince; skirt by Co; boots by Fiorentini + Baker; hair products by R+Co; makeup by L’Oréal Paris. 78

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PORTRAIT

Jane

FONDA The actress is having a moment, with two movies, a hit Netflix show, and, this May, an HBO documentary about her life. On the heels of Fonda’s 80th birthday, longtime friend and biographer PATRICIA BOSWORTH marks the star’s special place—artistic and political—in the firmament Photograph by ANNIE LEIBOVITZ

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ST YLE D BY D E BOR AH A FS HA N I; HA IR BY TE D DY CHA RL E S; MA K E UP BY DAV ID D E LE O N; SE T DE S I GN BY THOMA S TH UR N AUE R ; PROD UC E D ON LO C AT ION BY PO RTFO LI O O NE ; F OR D E TAI LS , G O TO V F. CO M/ CR ED ITS

’m on my way to a storage bin,” Jane Fonda laughs, in a rush. It’s early morning in Hollywood. And Fonda likes to get up at the crack of dawn. She’s looking for a few odds and ends as she decorates her new house in L.A. “[It has] an elevator and no his-and-her bathrooms,” she explains. “Just hers. I’m living by myself again and I love it. I have my health and my work.” She adds, “I never expected an old fart like me could last so long or be so lucky.” We’ve been friends forever. I started writing about her during the 1970s, when she was speaking out against the Vietnam War. In the intervening years, while collecting two Oscars (for Klute and Coming Home), she has become one of Hollywood’s most iconic—and politically engaged—actresses. And even now she is basking in the realization that, suddenly, there’s a Jane Fonda moment. Last summer she jetted to Venice with Robert Redford for the premiere of their movie Our Souls at Night, and ilmed Book Club—with Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen. In December she turned an energetic 80. (Those years hawking her exercise videos have sure paid of.) Next month HBO will air the documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, directed by Susan Lacy, which premiered at Sundance in January. “I think it’s pretty damn powerful,” Fonda says. And, with all that, she still looks stunning. “It’s a miracle,” I say, ribbing her. “It takes

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a lot of money,” Fonda retorts. She’s admitted to having plastic surgery because it has given her “a decade more to survive in the business.” In reality: “I have a fake hip and a fake knee and a fake thumb. Just call me the Bionic Woman!” She’s most pleased about the fact that her Netlix series, Grace and Frankie—a comedy about the overlooked issue of ageism—has begun its fourth season and is funnier and more poignant than ever. Among the topics she and co-star Lily Tomlin confront: having trouble masturbating because of arthritis in their wrists; being denied a loan because they may die before they can pay it back; and their continuing troubles with love and loss. (The fourth season opened, outrageously, with Tomlin dancing amid a crowd of animated dildos.) As for future plans as an octogenarian, Fonda admits, “I haven’t a clue.” She says she’ll accept any acting job that will help pay for the causes she believes in: “I’m an actress and an activist.” Recently she and Tomlin returned from a week-long campaign in Michigan demanding equal pay for tipped restaurant workers, most of whom are female. “From Jane Fonda I’ve learned that power can be born at the intersection of art, politics, and friendship,” the playwright Eve Ensler once observed. “Jane is proof that any of us can use our lives, our statures, our resources to serve something beyond ourselves.”  www.vanityfair.com

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NO SURVIVORS The search lasted for seven days and covered more than 180,000 square miles of ocean.

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WO RD S on the

BRIDGE A recording salvaged from three miles deep tells the story of the doomed El Faro, a cargo ship engulfed by a hurricane By W I L L I A M L A N G E W I E S C H E APRIL 2 018

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In the darkness

before dawn on Thursday, October 1, 2015, an American merchant captain named Michael Davidson sailed a 790-foot U.S.-flagged cargo ship, El Faro, into the eye wall of a Category 3 hurricane on the exposed windward side of the Bahama Islands. El Faro means “the lighthouse” in Spanish. The hurricane, named Joaquin, was one of the heaviest ever to hit the Bahamas. It overwhelmed and sank the ship. Davidson and the 32 others aboard drowned. They had been headed from Jacksonville, Florida, on a weekly run to San Juan, Puerto Rico, carrying 391 containers and 294 trailers and cars. The ship was 430 miles southeast of Miami in deep water when it went down. Davidson was 53 and known as a stickler for safety. He came from Windham, Maine, and left behind a wife and two college-age daughters. Neither his remains nor those of his shipmates were ever recovered. Disasters at sea do not get the public attention that aviation accidents do, in part because the sea swallows the evidence. It has been reported that a major merchant ship goes down somewhere in the world every two or three days; most are ships sailing under lags of convenience, with underpaid crews and poor safety records. The El Faro tragedy attracted immediate attention for several reasons. El Faro was a U.S.-lagged ship with a respected captain—and it should have been able to avoid the hurricane. Why didn’t it? Add to that mystery this simple fact: the sinking of El Faro was the worst U.S. maritime disaster in three decades. To the outside world, the irst hint of trouble came with a phone call that Captain Davidson made from El Faro’s navigation bridge to the owners, a shipping company called TOTE, and speciically to the safety-and-operations manager, a former captain named John Lawrence, 82

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who was listed on the ship as the oicial point of contact, or “designated person ashore.” The time was 6:59 A.M., just after dawn. Lawrence was dressing for work at his home in Jacksonville, and he just missed answering. When he got to his cell phone he saw that the call had come in from a satellite number and that a voice mail had been left. He listened to the message, which sounded calm, even nonchalant. It was 33 seconds long: Captain Lawrence? Captain Davidson. Thursday morning, 0700. We have a navigational incident. I’ll keep it short. A scuttle popped open on two-deck and we were having some free communication of water go down the three-hold. Have a pretty good list. I want to just touch—contact you verbally here. Everybody’s safe, but I want to talk to you.

There was no background noise. To Lawrence, this did not sound like a message of distress. He began to dial the satellite number to return the call. Meanwhile, Davidson, having failed to get through, dialed TOTE’s emergency call center,

a company that provides after-hours services primarily to physicians. At 7:01, the operator answered. Sounding less casual than he had in his message to Lawrence, Davidson said, “This is a marine emergency. Yes, this is a marine emergency.” The operator said, “O.K., sir.” “Are you connecting me through to a Q.I.?” “Q.I.” stands for “qualiied individual.” He used the term to mean a designated person ashore. The operator answered, “That’s what I’m getting ready to do. We’re seeing who is on call, and I’m going to get you right to them. Give me one second, sir. I’m going to put you on a quick hold. So one moment, please.” She paused. “O.K., sir. I just need your name, please.” “Yes, ma’am. My name is Michael Davidson. Michael C. Davidson.” She paused. “Your rank?” “Ship’s master.” “O.K. Thank you.” She paused. “Ship’s name?” “El Faro.” “Spell that. E-l … ” Davidson said, “Oh, man! The clock is ticking! Can I please speak to a Q.I.?” His voice crackled with tension. “El Faro. Echo Lima Space Foxtrot Alpha Romeo Oscar. El Faro!” “O.K., in case I lose you, what is your phone number, please?” He gave her two numbers. She said, “Got it, sir. Again, I’m going to get you reached right now. One moment, please.” While he waited, Davidson used a handheld radio to call the ship’s chief mate, who was on a lower deck checking on a cargo hold that was looding massively. Another operator at the call center came on the line. She said, “Just really briely, what is the problem you’re having?” Her request appears to have been a procedural requirement at the call center. Davidson had already been waiting for ive minutes and at one point had impatiently muttered, “Oh, God!” Now he answered in a resigned monotone. “I have a marine emergency and I would like to speak to a Q.I. We had a hull breach—a scuttle blew open during a storm. We have water down in three-hold with a heavy list. We’ve lost the main propulsion unit. The engineers cannot get it going. Can I speak to a Q.I., please?” The operator said, “Yes, thank you so much.” She paused. “One moment … ” She patched him through to Lawrence. On the phone at last with his peer, Davidson sounded calm again. He said, “Yeah, I’m real good. We have, uh, secured the AP RIL

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source of water coming into the vessel. A scuttle was blown open by the water perhaps, no one knows, can’t tell. It’s since been closed. However, three-hold’s got a considerable amount of water in it. We have a very—very healthy port list. The engineers cannot get lube-oil pressure on the plant, therefore we’ve got no main engine. And let me give you a latitude and longitude. I just wanted to give you a heads-up before I push that—push that button.”

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awrence was in his kitchen, scribbling notes. He was surprised at the mention of the button—an electronic distress signal—because the ship’s predicament, though concerning, did not sound so dire initially. Lawrence knew about a hurricane brewing somewhere of the Bahamas, but it did not cross his mind that Davidson might have sailed right into it. Davidson said, “The

swell is out of the northeast. A solid 10 to 12 feet. Spray. High winds. Very poor visibility. That’s the best I can give you right now.” He did not know the wind speeds because the ship’s anemometer was in disrepair and had been for weeks; it is now believed that the winds were sustained at 115 m.p.h., with higher gusts. As for the waves, Davidson appears to have underreported them, perhaps as a matter of professional style. El Faro was in fact struggling to endure steep breaking waves 30 to 40 feet high, and was occasionally encountering waves still higher. These monsters were smashing over the ship, knocking containers overboard, and boiling across a lower second deck that by design was watertight below but open to the sea. That second deck was the location of the scuttle that had been opened. Threehold was a cavernous two-deck space below it, just aft of midship. Lawrence asked for a measure of the list.

Davidson said, “Betcha it’s all of 15—15 degrees.” Fifteen degrees is steep. Lawrence said he would inform the Coast Guard. Davidson said, “Yup, what—what I wanted to do. I wanna push that button.” Lawrence thought he should get out of the way by getting of the phone. He said, “You do your thing, captain.” Davidson said, “O.K. I just wanted to give you that courtesy so you wouldn’t be blindsided by it, and have the opportunity. Everybody’s safe right now. We’re in survival mode now.” II. Beyond Reach

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hose were the last words heard from El Faro. One minute after the phone call ended, the ship sent out a distress alert by satellite. Thirty seconds later, El Faro sent the Coast Guard a security alert message, a signal that contained the ship’s coordinates as

COLLISION COURSE The captain of El Faro, heading southeast, thought his ship could avoid Hurricane Joaquin, heading southwest JACKSONVILLE

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ANATOMY OF A DISASTER Clockwise from top left: a portion of the wreckage of El Faro, located a month after the sinking; the ship, pre-hurricane and without its cargo, in Baltimore; the ship’s recovered data recorder on its way to the National Transportation Safety Board.

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On the morning of the fifth day, the Coast Guard announced officially what was already known: it was likely that El Faro had sunk. The search for survivors continued for another two days—ultimately covering more than 180,000 square miles— and turned up a couple of oil slicks, three empty immersion suits, three more life rings, and a 20-mile stretch of loating dolls from a container that had burst open.

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ven before the search for survivors ended, two separate but collaborative investigations got under way, one by the Coast Guard and the other by the National Transportation Safety Board (N.T.S.B.), a small federal agency with no regulatory powers but authority that stems from its independence and prowess. How could a catastrophe like this have happened? El Faro was 41 years old when it died—well past normal retirement age—but it was not a decrepit rust bucket. In port it was regularly visited by the American Bureau of Shipping, a private “classiication society” whose services were engaged and paid for by the ship’s owners, and to which the Coast Guard, for want of manpower and expertise, has partially delegated inspection authority. The ship’s paperwork was in order. Admittedly, El Faro had sailed into an intense hurricane that no ship, no matter how seaworthy, should have tangled with—a move that would have to be explained. It was unlikely that there would be a single AP RIL

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well as drift speed and direction. The ship also sent a similar message to TOTE, which arrived by e-mail on Lawrence’s phone. At 7:38 A.M., a Coast Guard petty oficer in Miami rang Lawrence in his Jacksonville kitchen. After some preliminaries he said, “O.K. Do you have contact or direct communication with the vessel?” Lawrence said, “I did. They called me. I was just actually trying to call them back, and I couldn’t. The satellite is dropping the call. I can give you the phone number.” He gave him the number, though it did not matter. It is now known that, sometime in the 39 minutes since Davidson left his message, El Faro had already sunk, and its crew was in the water beyond reach of rescue, at the center of an impenetrable storm. By midmorning, people began to fear the worst. Having checked the latest dispatches from the National Hurricane Center, the Miami rescue-coordination center went into full-blown emergency action. It asked that Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters divert from their meteorological mission and look for the ship. Conditions in light

were so rough that the pilots were unable to descend below 10,000 feet. By the third day, the storm had reversed course, as meteorologists had anticipated it eventually would, and was moving to the northeast, clobbering islands as it went but leaving room in its wake for a massive search to begin. Seven military aircraft covered 30,581 square miles of ocean that day and found two debris ields, including three life rings, one of which bore the stenciled name El Faro. On the fourth and ifth days, searchers found two empty life rafts and El Faro’s starboard lifeboat, which was loating vertically with only its bow above the surface. When it was recovered, it was found to have been mortally damaged, crushed on both the left and right sides. After an orange immersion suit was spotted in the water, a Coast Guard helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer down to investigate. The swimmer found human remains inside, in such an advanced state of decomposition that he couldn’t identify the gender. Before the body could be recovered, the helicopter was called of to investigate a report of a second immersion suit with a possible survivor. The crew was unable to ind it, and when they returned for the corpse they could not relocate it, because a marker beacon they had left behind had failed.


cause or culprit, because there rarely is. Most signiicant aviation and shipping disasters, as well as industrial catastrophes, are eventually determined to be “system accidents”—the result of a cascade of small errors, failures, and coincidences. Absent any one of them, and the disaster would not have occurred—a truth that is not knowable in real time, only in retrospect. Much could be discovered through the Coast Guard’s public hearings and analysis of the reams of documentation that pertain to any U.S.-lagged ship. It was also essential to go out and ind the wreck, survey it, and bring up the ship’s digital voyage data recorder. That task was arduous, but the ship was found resting upright on a sandy plain 15,400 feet beneath the surface, and the recorder—a circuit board barely 2.5 inches long—was eventually retrieved. It contained the final 26 hours of conversations among nine doomed people on the bridge. The audio quality was poor, but a technical team was able to extract most of the spoken words and produce a 496-page transcript, by far the longest in the N.T.S.B.’s history. The transcript is a remarkable document—an unadorned record of nothing more than the sounds on the bridge. The people involved are identiied in the transcript only by their shipboard ranks, but the names of the oicers are part of the public record, and in the time since the tragedy other names have been revealed. It is now possible to know with reasonable certainty what occurred. III. A Safety-First Man

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he story begins with the captain, Michael Davidson. He grew up near the waterfront in Portland, Maine, and at age 16 got his irst maritime job, on a local harbor ferry. He graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy, a state college overlooking the port of Castine, on Penobscot Bay, in 1988. He then began sailing on oil tankers between Alaska and West Coast ports. He stuck with the Alaskan route for the next 15 years, rising from third mate to the rank of chief mate. The Gulf of Alaska is notoriously rough, and Davidson sailed through count-

less storms, some of hurricane strength. He was by no means a cowboy. He was a bythe-book mariner with a reputation for being unusually competent and organized. By training and temperament he was a safetyfirst man. Eventually he switched to drycargo ships on the East Coast, and went to work for one of the big American shipping companies, Crowley Maritime. He was a man at peace with himself. But then, in 2012, an incident rocked his career. Crowley Maritime asked him to take his ship down the Chesapeake from one port to another, and Davidson refused because a surveyor had found that the steering gear was unreliable and in need of immediate repair. For the sake of the ship, Davidson instead engaged two tugs to tow it to the destination. This cost money. It is said among merchant mariners that, yes, a captain has the authority to refuse orders he deems to be unsafe—but probably only once. Davidson went of on vacation, and when he returned was informed by Crowley that he no longer had a job. He signed on with TOTE as a lowly third mate, and had to work his way to the top again. Eventually he was given the San Juan run and El Faro to command. Had Davidson been afected by the punishment he had received? Safety was still irst for him, but he may no longer have been the secure man he once was. Another issue lurked in the background. El Faro and its sister ship, El Yunque, were soon to be sent to Alaska and replaced on the San Juan run by two new, state-of-theart vessels. Earlier in the year, Davidson had sought a position as captain of the irst of them but had come up short. Having earned the highest marks on his latest annual performance review, he was holding out hope that he might yet command the second new ship. He was carefully courteous to the TOTE oice personnel, including John Lawrence, whom he called before he pushed the distress button as he was about to drown. In Jacksonville, the loading for the inal run started at one P.M. on Monday, September 28, and continued on Tuesday un-

til shortly after sundown. The weather was balmy, with light winds and mostly overcast skies. Far out in the Atlantic, a tropical depression had been defying forecasts for several days, intensifying rather than simmering down and stubbornly progressing toward the Bahamas on an unusual southwesterly heading rather than turning around and hooking harmlessly back to the northeast, as the meteorological models kept expecting it to do. A day before El Faro’s departure, the tropical depression had become a tropical storm named Joaquin.

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avidson had been monitoring the forecasts and knew of the difficulty the forecasters were having. He had two routes available to him. The irst was a straight shot that would take him past the Bahamas through the open ocean for two and a half days and 1,265 miles on an unwavering southeast heading of 130 degrees, directly to San Juan. That was the normal way to go. The question was the hurricane. The second route ran south through the Florida Straits, then east along Cuba through a sinewy narrows called the Old Bahama Channel. This route would have placed a string of wave-breaking islands between the ship and the storm. The problem was that it added 184 miles and more than six hours to the trip. The schedule would be thrown out of whack. Davidson opted for the straight shot. El Faro was a fast ship—supericially rusty but solid and powerful, the equivalent of a 1970s muscle car—and the timing of the forecast indicated that he could slip past the Bahamas before Joaquin moved in. El Faro cast of at 8:07 on Tuesday evening. Six hours later Joaquin became a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds greater than 74 miles per hour. The eye lay 245 miles east-northeast of San Salvador, the outermost island of the Bahamian chain, and was slowly moving in that direction. Think of the storm as the right-hand stroke of a V, heading toward the point at the bottom. El Faro, the left-hand stroke of the V, was 550 miles to the northwest and also

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heading toward the point—though Davidson believed they would pass the bottom point well before the storm arrived.

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f America’s real-life political drama feels short on hope and a hero, we now have Priyanka Chopra. The dynamic actress stars on ABC’s hit thriller Quantico as F.B.I. agent Alex Parrish, perpetually gone rogue for the sake of humanity. “She’s a tough girl, living in a man’s world,” says Chopra of her character, “and she’s a leader in that man’s world.” The same could be said of Chopra, who broke barriers as the first South Asian woman to lead a prime-time network show in the U.S. But she was already a phenomenon in her native India. Chopra was crowned Miss World 2000 when she was 18, which she followed up with more than 50 films in Hindi, while steadily steering her talents toward Hollywood and an English-language music career that includes collaborations with Pitbull and Pharrell. “The hardest part of starting work in America, after having an almost 15-year career elsewhere,” says Chopra, “was to have to walk into a room and introduce myself.” This month, Quantico returns for its third season—terrorists and traitors, beware. And Chopra is boosting her profile Stateside with two feature films on the horizon: Isn’t It Romantic, a rom-com with Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth, in which Chopra plays a “bratty” yogi, and A Kid Like Jake, opposite Claire Danes and Octavia Spencer, about a gender nonconforming four-year-old. Of the latter, Chopra says, “I had to be a part of this. It’s such a relevant conversation right now.” In addition to serving as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she founded the Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education, an effort to give girls access to higher education. She shares humanitarian interests with her friend Priyanka Chopra, photographed Meghan Markle, so it may not be a surprise to see Chopra at the London among the royal-wedding guests come May. She has never NYC hotel, stopped traveling, and keeps homes in New York, where she in Manhattan. shoots Quantico, and in Mumbai, where she has a production Chopra wears a dress company, Purple Pebble Pictures. “I go where my work takes by Valentino; hair me,” says Chopra. “When you want something bad enough, you products by Pantene; makeup by Chanel. find a way of doing it. And I want the world.” — KRISTA SMITH

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PH OTO G RA PH

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SEBASTIAN KIM

ST Y L ED BY RYA N YO UN G; HA IR BY DAVI D VON C A NN ON ; MA K EUP BY Y UM I M OR I ; M A NI CU RE BY M A KI SAKAMOTO ; PRO DUCE D O N LO CATI O N BY 36 0 P ROD UCTI O N M A NAGE ME NT; F O R DE TA IL S, GO TO VF.CO M/C RE DI TS

hat was the situation at 5:57 A.M. on Wednesday, September 30, the morning after departure, when the voice recorder irst opens on the bridge. The chief mate, Steven Schultz, 54, was standing watch. Davidson was conferring with him at the chart table. An unlicensed seaman, Frank Hamm III, 49, was at the helm, monitoring the autopilot. He was the hand who always served with Schultz when Schultz was on watch. The ship was rolling in swells approaching from the left. Schultz said, “Got the swell,” and Davidson answered, “Oh yeah. Probably going to get worse.” They were discussing satellite images that showed Joaquin solidifying and growing. Davidson said, “Look. Remember how we saw this one the other day festering, and we talked about these are the worst?” “Hard to predict.” “Look at the total transformation.” Schultz mentioned the possibility of heading farther out to sea, passing over the north side of Joaquin, and Davidson pointed out that the storm was expected to reverse course and move north. “That takes your option out to top it.” Schultz suggested an alternative—widening slightly to the right to move south of the direct track line to San Juan, giving the storm a bit more space. He even mentioned the Old Bahama Channel. But then he said, “I would wait. Get more information.” For the initial 24 hours out of Jacksonville, El Faro had television reception and therefore access to the Weather Channel. Broadcasters were closely covering Joaquin, but with emphasis on its potential landfall in three or four days on the Atlantic seaboard. For marine weather, the ship’s crew had multiple options but used primarily two. The first was an Inmarsat C satellite receiver that automatically fed National Hurricane Center reports to a printer on the bridge nearly as soon as they were disseminated. These so-called sat-C reports arrived in text form and required the plotting of Joaquin’s forecasted positions on a chart, whether paper or electronic. In the case of this storm, the forecasted positions were known to be unreliable, not because of human incompetence but because the Hurricane Center’s mathematical predictive tools were having an unusually diicult time getting a handle on Joaquin. The resulting uncertainty C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 1 2 1


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s I was growing up, these were the women I wanted to be: triumphant at the highest levels of commerce, assailing stereotypes of what a successful businessperson looked like, with smarts and vision and the will to outwork everyone in sight. Being a “one or only” in the room where it happens, I knew, was part of the bargain, the number of black or female fellow travel-

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ers diminishing with each level scaled, like oxygen at the planet’s highest peaks. As a black woman who spent years working in finance and technology, I’m both giddy to know that it’s possible to fill a room with black female entrepreneurs who have raised $1 million or more in outside capital, and acutely aware of the reasons that it’s still only one room. All successful entrepreneurs imagine a

problem, a product, and a market. But because the default founder in Silicon Valley is male, and white or Asian, a black woman must also “envision herself being the person creating the product or service that is in the world,” says Jessica O. Matthews, founder and C.E.O. of the renewable-energy startup Uncharted Play—and then get funders to buy into that vision. The tech industry is an exercise in controlled failure, with as many A PRI L

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as 81 percent of all funded start-ups washing out before exiting; “fail fast” is part of the religion. But black women must guard against even the hint of failure with every arrow in the quiver, lest naysayers see a shortcoming as evidence that blacks or women are categorically unsuited for the business. Still, these women (the 26 founders shown here completed their $1 million or more in fund-raising before November 15,

2017, according to start-up accelerator DigitalUndivided) are the most visible faces of a revolution. Over the last two decades, black women have become the fastestgrowing dem o graph ic of entrepreneurs, owning nearly 60 percent of all black businesses. And if current efforts to diversify the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce have their intended impact, the number and scope of founders should

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increase as well: more than 90 percent of founders of “unicorns”—companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more—previously worked at top tech firms. That will mean more chances of finding “someone to identify with—someone to root for and aspire to be,” as Marla Blow, founder and C.E.O. of the credit-card venture FS Card, has put it. Representation matters, even in this rar— M ARGOT LEE SHE T TERLY efied air. www.vanityfair.com

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Johnny Cash, Las Vegas, 1992. Opposite, actor-director Denzel Washington, Beverly Hills, 2012.

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SHO He has spent 30 years deftly rendering some of the most elusive icons of popular culture. In a new retrospective book, Vanity Fair portraitist MARK SELIGER focuses in on his personal best 90

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e’s as lean and chill as a bottle of Lone Star. As stoic as a desert gecko. His southern politesse, honed in his boyhood Amarillo, charms all comers, as does his smile, a wide and winning Bert-and-Ernie gash. He is the largehearted celebrity portraitist Mark Seliger, veteran of such publications as Vanity Fair, GQ, and Rolling Stone, where he served for 15 years as principal photographer. And next month Abrams publishes Mark Seliger Photographs, a 30-year retrospective of his attempts to bottle starshine. As the images here attest, Seliger’s talent lies in exposing new aspects of overexposed personalities, a feat he manages time and again by rendering a subject’s inner shimmer. Like the best artists and journalists, he controls through cajoling. Beyond his “technical and artistic skill,” says actor John Slattery, who has sat for Seliger several times, he stands out because of “his empathy, his emotional intelligence.” “Mark has an amazing soul,” adds dancer Misty Copeland, explaining that during their shoots, “he made himself a fly on the wall, allowing me to be me.” Seliger, in effect, turns every photo session into an encounter, his subjects coming away feeling he’s the long-lost pal they’d been meaning to hang with but never found the time. The result? When a magazine needs to shoot Big Game, Seliger’s often the gun for hire. For whimsy and irreverence (to wit, his group portrait of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, nekkid). For vulnerability and tenderness (Lenny Kravitz lying in bed, embracing his daughter, Zoë). For intensity (Kurt Cobain’s disembodied noggin amid a tableau of severed doll heads, below). And all the while, Seliger, a photoholic, is forever at work on his secret personal projects (on Holocaust survivors, on transgender women and men, on portraits of famous friends wedged into his cramped studio stairwell), selections from which are woven throughout the book. Seliger—no surprise—is a killer guitaristsongwriter in his own right, and plays country rock at a Manhattan barbecue joint. His songs are like his pictures: bold, original, and polished Photos from to a high sheen. “As I look through the pages of Mark Seliger this book, I see people, not process,” observes Photographs, by singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett. “I see what Mark Mark Seliger, to be published sees in people. I see them through that kindness in May by in his eyes, and my imagination reels… I see Abrams; © by the photographer. — DAV I D FRI E N D their trust in him.”

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Clockwise from top left: writer Tom Wolfe, New York City, 2007; artist Frederick Terna, New York City, 1994; musician Carlos Santana, San Francisco, 1992; blues singer John Lee Hooker, Vallejo, California, 1990; jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, New York City, 2013; supermodel Natalia Vodianova, Rome, 2007. Book cover: grunge icon Kurt Cobain, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1993. AP RIL 2 018

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Clockwise from top left: actress Catherine Deneuve and musician Pharrell Williams, Paris, 2005; Bob Dylan, New York City, 1995; actor-filmmaker Justin Theroux, New York City, 2014; actor Jonah Hill, Los Angeles, 2010. AP RIL 2 018

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Clockwise from near right: musicians Sean “Diddy” Combs and Shyne, Versailles, 2012; Angelina Jolie, Palm Springs, 1999; musicians Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, Toluca Lake, California, 1992; Olympian Michael Phelps, New York City, 2008.

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n 2012, when it came time to publish a paperback version of the Patrick Melrose novels, the semi-autobiographical pentalogy by the English author Edward St. Aubyn, his American publishers had no trouble rounding up rapturous praise from a passel of distinguished readers: Zadie Smith, Bret Easton Ellis, Ann Patchett, Edmund White, Sam Lipsyte, and Alice Sebold. They might also have thought to ask a reader named Benedict Cumberbatch, who considers the books “the most exquisite achievements in 21st-century prose”—a fortunate view, given that Cumberbatch stars in the five-part adaptation of the novels that airs on Showtime in May. A darkly comic indictment of Britain’s upper class, Patrick Melrose, which also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Blythe Danner, follows its protagonist from age five, when he is abused by his father (played by Hugo Weaving) in a country house in Provence, through his young adulthood, when he becomes a heroin addict in New York and London, to his recovery from drugs and transition to fatherhood. “It was a hell of an arc to play,” says Cumberbatch. “Patrick’s life is a nonstop madeleine cake of horrors.” Portraying a character from age 25 to 45 was a significant challenge, Cumberbatch says—as was capturing the attitude and vocal mannerisms specific to Patrick’s class: “I went to a very posh public school, second to Eton, yet I had only one friend from the landed gentry. I’ve been trying to knock the corners off my accent ever since I left Harrow.” Cumberbatch consulted frequently with St. Aubyn, who, though he didn’t write the teleplay, made himself available to any cast member in search of biographical grist. In the end, St. Aubyn reports, there’s unexpected consolation to be found in seeing his alter ego brought to the screen. “I’ve spent 25 years being asked if I’m Patrick Melrose,” he says. “So it’s a great deal of relief to be able to say, ‘No, Benedict Cumberbatch is.’ ”

COST UME D E SI GN BY K E ITH MA D D E N; HA IR A N D MA K E UP BY KA R E N HA RTLE Y-TH OMAS , C AROL IN E G R E E N OUG H, AN D S UE NE W BOU LD ; SE T D E SI GN BY TO MAS BU RTON

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DEVIL to PAY When hedge-fund golden boy Eddie Lampert married Sears to Kmart, in 2005, many were skeptical. Now, with hundreds of stores closed and thousands thrown out of work, Lampert defends his strategies to WILLIAM D. COHAN, who also tracks down the ringleader of the 2003 kidnapping that could have ended Lampert’s life

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Few people on Wall Street are as polarizing as Eddie Lampert, the billionaire majority shareholder of Sears and Kmart. His friends say he is reticent, while his critics find him aloof. His pals talk about his very high standards, while some observers say he is condescending, overly critical, and disengaged. Some people praise his determination and persistence, while others see only inexplicable stubbornness in sticking to failed ideas. “His critics will say he’s not really a team guy. He is a team guy,” insists Lampert’s close friend David “Tiger” Williams, a well-known Wall Street trader. “The Eddie I know works incessantly because he’s a ‘igure-it-out guy.’” Williams believes that Lampert is a target for criticism because he is “a very shy person” and avoids the public eye. But Mark Cohen, who was C.E.O. of Sears Canada from 2001 to 2004, and now is a professor at Columbia Business School, says that Lampert is “the wizard behind the curtain, managing the business from Florida or Connecticut or aboard his yacht” via teleconference and taking from the company all he can. While admitting he runs the company primarily from Florida, Lampert counters that he has put a fortune of his own money into the business. Cohen responds that Lampert’s money is collateralized against hard assets, of which Lampert will take control if the company defaults on the loans. (A spokesperson for Lampert says that can happen only if Lampert is the highest bidder, and the purchase is approved by the bankruptcy court, “generally speaking.”) Once a wunderkind, who at 25 established his own hedge fund, ESL, Lampert is 55 now and celebrating the silver anniversary of managing his own money and that of a 104

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few select billionaires, such as entertainment mogul David Gefen, Michael Dell, Thomas Tisch, and the Zif publishing family. He has had legendary successes, such as his investment in AutoZone, the auto-parts retailer, in which he made a proit of around $750 million, at least 20 times his investment, and AutoNation, the car dealership, from which he has made $1.5 billion (and in which he still owns a large stake). He has also made winners out of Honeywell, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Liz Claiborne Inc. But today those triumphs are largely obscured by his worst mistake: the 2005 merging of Sears, the iconic retailer whose doorstop mail-order catalogue was once a fixture in nearly every American home, with the downmarket Kmart chain, which he had brought out of bankruptcy in 2003. Twelve years on, this blundering into retail has made him a poster boy for what some people think is wrong with Wall Street and, in particular, hedge funds. Under his management the number of Sears and Kmart stores nationwide has shrunk to 1,207 from 5,670 at its peak, in the 2000s, and at least 200,000 Sears and Kmart employees have been thrown out of work. The pension fund, for retired Sears employees, is underfunded by around $1.6 billion, and both Lampert and Sears are being sued for investing employees’ retirement money in Sears stock, when the top brass allegedly knew it was a terrible investment. (Lampert’s spokesperson responds, “ESL never encouraged anybody to invest in Sears Holdings stock. The associ-

ate stock-purchase plan began in 2006. It was perceived to be an efective employee retention and incentive tool.”) In 2013, Lampert, who was chairman of the board, had himself named C.E.O. of Sears Holdings, as the combined company is known. He’s had a rough four years since then. The company has sufered some $10.4 billion in losses and a revenue decline of 47 percent, to $22 billion. Those stores that remain open are often shabby, with minimal inventory and few customers. A year ago the company admitted, for the irst time, that there was some risk of its ability to continue as “a going-concern,” a technical accounting term that sent shudders through the ranks of Sears’s employees, vendors, and creditors, because it is often a precursor to a bankruptcy iling. On July 20, Lampert announced that Sears would allow its Kenmore appliances— one of the store’s most profitable brands, formerly sold exclusively in Kmart and Sears outlets—to be sold on Amazon. On his Sears blog, Lampert called it a “game-changing agreement.” But critics branded it as just the latest example of Lampert’s selling of the company’s assets in a desperate attempt to stave of the inevitable. “We suspect this is a move to beautify the Kenmore brand for divestiture and help alleviate some pressure, temporarily, of Sears as a going-concern,” Bill Dreher, an analyst at Susquehanna International Group, wrote his clients. The vultures are circling, waiting for Lampert to throw in the towel so they can try to make money by buying Sears’s discounted debt. But Lampert continues to claim that’s not going to happen if he can help it.

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he spate of negative media coverage and the dire predictions of Wall Street investors might explain why Lampert, generally regarded as reclusive, agreed to sit with me for an interview, in what his spokesperson calls his first “one-on-one first-person interview in several years,” which I calculate to be 15. (In May, Lampert did a short Q&A with Lauren Zumbach in the Chicago Tribune.) His desire to keep an unusually low proile may have something to do with the fact that he was kidnapped in 2003 and held for ransom by four young men over a long weekend. Lampert’s Greenwich estate its the image of how you’d expect a billionaire hedgefund manager to live. Assessed at nearly $26 million, it consists of six acres on a spit of land that juts into Long Island Sound. The main house is around 10,000 square feet, with a lot of stone and glass. After I was AP RIL

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buzzed through the security gate, a guard popped out of nowhere to usher me into a grand but sparely furnished room facing Long Island Sound. On the walls hung a few large, expensive-looking ine-art photographs. Suddenly, from a side door, Lampert emerged with two handlers from Teneo, the inancial-advisory and public-relations irm, who would monitor our conversation. Lampert looked it, if a bit awkward, in a gray polo shirt buttoned to the top. He was shod in a pair of brand-new “pure platinum” Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit sneakers. He, his wife (Kinga, 43), and their three children spend most of their time in Florida, where the children go to school. He made the point to me that, in Florida anyway, he’s not the least bit reclusive. “I’m out there like a normal person, and I really enjoy that,” he says. (Perhaps it’s just coincidence that Florida, unlike Connecticut and New York, has no state income tax.) He also has a home in Aspen. Lampert rarely visits Sears Holdings headquarters, outside of Chicago—some say only once a year, for the annual board meeting. Lampert dismisses any criticism of his longdistance management style, saying he’s a big believer in handing over power to his management team. “There are cultures where people work from home, and they still get things done,” he says. “The ability to trust people, the ability to empower people, that’s the model.” Mark Cohen, for one, isn’t having it. “He’s had a puppet board who have never pushed back in any way that anybody has ever seen, and why would they?” he says. “They’re all handpicked Eddie acolytes, and people have asked me for over a decade, ‘How does he get away with this—it’s a public company and why isn’t the board in action [given] the continued failure of the business?’ To which I say, ‘The board is meaningless … There’s no governance here whatsoever.’ ” Lampert’s spokesperson responds that the board “currently has six members … who are deeply committed to the maximization of stockholder value… [They are] deeply informed and involved.” Cohen points out that current Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin “has been a shareholder and a member of the board of directors of Sears Holdings from the day that the combined company was formed [until becoming Treasury secretary], so he spent 11 years at Eddie’s side… [With] all of Trump’s focus on jobs, job preservation, job creation, somebody ought to ask his secretary of the Treasury what his involvement has been for 11 years in the destruction of well over 100,000 jobs at Sears.” (A spokesman for Mnuchin declined to comment.) AP RIL 2 018

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ampert is no stranger to the plight of hourly workers, struggling to make ends meet, because he grew up as one. His early years were spent in Roslyn, New York, an aluent village on the North Shore of Long Island. His father was a successful attorney, his mother a stay-at-home mom, for him and his sister, Tracey, but when Lampert was 14 his father died of a heart attack. “That was the end of camp or going away to Europe like the other children,” his mother told The Wall Street Journal in 1991. She went to work as a salesclerk at Saks Fifth Avenue in Garden City for the next 20 years. “Eddie was very strong … trying to be the man of the family,” she recalled. During summer vacations he worked in a warehouse packing boxes. “There were a lot of times,” Lampert says, “when [my mother] came home, and it’s like, ‘I’m going to lose my job. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’ll have to sell the house.’ ” At Yale, which Lampert attended with help from inancial aid and student loans, he was the student who, at finals time, would move into the library and stay there. “He was very, very serious about doing the work,” says his friend Benjamin Bram, a founder of Watermill Trading. Lampert, Bram, and Steve Mnuchin (who was in the class behind the two of them) roomed together of campus. At Yale, Lampert made connections that would be important to his future. His membership in the elite secretive fraternity Skull and Bones opened to him a rareied world inhabited by the likes of George W. Bush and Stephen Schwarzman, now C.E.O. of the Blackstone Group. The holy grail among this set was Goldman Sachs, then, as now, Wall Street’s most prestigious irm. The summer after his junior year Lampert got a highly coveted Goldman Sachs internship. It probably hadn’t hurt his chances that Mnuchin’s father, Robert, was one of the irm’s senior partners, in charge of the equity division. After graduation, Lampert ended up in the risk-arbitrage department at Goldman, reporting directly to Robert Freeman, the partner in charge of the irm’s business of buying and selling stocks involved in takeover transactions. “[Eddie] just had a drive and ambition amongst a group of pretty ambitious guys that I thought was unique,” Freeman says. “He was like a young bucking bronco … on a fast track to be successful.” In February 1987, Freeman was led of the trading loor at Goldman by a U.S. marshal and arrested outside the irm’s Broad Street headquarters on charges of insider

trading. “If you were at Goldman Sachs and you were a person working for Bob Freeman, you probably saw your career lashing before your eyes,” says a former Goldman colleague. Eventually, Freeman pleaded guilty to one felony count of insider trading and ended up serving four months in a minimum-security prison in Pensacola, Florida. Lampert gave a deposition in the case but was never implicated in any wrongdoing. “It was certainly an experience that [Lampert] wishes had never happened and one that he learned a great deal from,” says Lampert’s spokesperson. After that experience, Lampert resolved to leave Goldman Sachs. During the summer of 1987, he met Texas billionaire investor Richard Rainwater on Nantucket. Over lunch Rainwater told Lampert, “There is life after Goldman.” Lampert took the advice to heart. A year later he left the irm and started ESL with $28 million in seed money from Rainwater. The fund, Lampert explains, was dedicated to long-term investing—something, he claims, few others aside from his hero Warren Buffett were doing at the time. Rainwater also introduced Lampert to important future clients, such as Gefen. Within a year, though, Lampert and Rainwater had a falling-out. According to The Wall Street Journal, their dispute was about ego, strategy, and turf. “He’s so obsessed with moving in the direction he wants to move that sometimes people get burned, trampled on, bumped into,” Rainwater said of Lampert. “I think he has gone about alienating himself from almost everyone who he’s come into contact with.” A former colleague agrees: “He’s really an extreme guy. There’s something odd about him, I think, his lack of emotional connection to people… It’s so important, but some people just don’t have that. They’re of in their own little world.”

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utoZone was Lampert’s biggest coup. After acquiring 30 percent of the company, he orchestrated a series of aggressive stock buybacks that had the efect of driving up AutoZone’s earnings per share by reducing the shares outstanding. The stock price went through the roof. In 2012, he sold his stock for between $500 and $600 per share—for a total of around $1.5 billion. “For people to say he knows nothing about retail is a little tiresome, because in AutoZone he made a bundle of fucking money,” says Tiger Williams. But there is a big diference between retailing auto parts and selling the thousands of diverse products—from pajamas to tracwww.vanityfair.com

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t 7:30 P.M., on January 10, 2003, the Friday before the week during which the finishing touches were to be put on the Kmart reorganization, Lampert went to get his car in the garage of his Greenwich oice building. Suddenly he was shoved into the backseat of a rented black Ford Expedition sport-utility vehicle and driven, blindfolded and handcufed, to a Days Inn, 55 miles away in Hamden, Connecticut. Four young men held him hostage for the next 28 hours in a $49-anight room. They told him that unnamed AutoZone oicials had ofered to pay them $3 million to murder him, and they taunted him with a shotgun. On Saturday morning, two of the kidnappers used Lampert’s credit card to go on an $800 shopping spree for electronics equipment. Lampert and two of the kidnappers, who had stayed behind at the Days Inn to guard him, settled on a $5 million payof. On Sunday, at around two A.M., one of the kidnappers drove him back to Greenwich and let

him out on a highway of-ramp to get the money, according to published reports. Why they would have made such a stupid move has not been answered until now. Lampert, who had not slept in days, walked the half-mile to the Greenwich police station. Tracing the stolen-credit-card transactions (the kidnappers had also purchased a pizza with one), police arrested four local men soon thereafter: Renaldo Rose, a 24-year-old ex-Marine; Shemone Gordon, 23; Devon Harris, 19; and Lorenzo Jones, 17. In the years since, Lampert has not talked publicly about the kidnapping, nor have the more puzzling aspects of the case been cleared up. When I asked him about it, he frowned. “You’re not going there, are you?” he says. “I don’t really want to talk a lot about it for a lot of reasons, but I know it’s not an unimportant event.” All he’ll say is that the experience was “not good” and “they could have made a diferent decision— let’s put it that way.” Did it change your life? I asked him. “Yeah, yeah,” he says. “I’m just not comfortable talking about it.” In 2004, Renaldo Rose, the ringleader, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released early, in July 2016, and returned to his native Jamaica, where he now runs the Foreign Ink mobile tattoo studio, out of a van. Reached by phone, he willingly gave his version of the kidnapping. He recalls that, after serving in the Marines, he “hooked up with some friends and they were already doing jobs.” They encouraged him to focus on wealthy local targets, and he read about Lampert in a news article “that showed he was one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest, at the time.” Rose says that after being abducted Lampert “freaked out and one of the guys started punching him in the head. So I had to yell at them: ‘Listen, you both calm down. Keep quiet and you’re gonna be all right.’ I made [Lampert] a promise, ‘Listen, you don’t give us no problem and we’ll let you go.’ And he did, so he never freaked out again after initially.” It still haunts Rose today that he might not have gone to prison had he killed Lampert and the other kidnappers: “So it was either like, O.K., get rid of everybody. [But]

with Shemone Gordon, [Lampert] was like family almost. He argued against all that. I still think we should have just got rid of everybody. But, I don’t know. I did have to consider that. Lampert … never gave any problems, so I kind of had to keep my word on that.” Rose dismisses the idea of the AutoZone executives ofering $3 million for Lampert’s murder as the fabrication of one of his cohorts. But he recalls an intriguing exchange that he says took place between Gordon and Lampert: “I heard Eddie. I heard some of the discussions, because there was even a discussion when it came to him buying Kmart. He was asking questions such as ‘When I get out of here, do you think I should do it?’ … He said he felt that Kmart was tied up with something with the Mob or Maia. They used it as a piggy bank. That was the irst time I’d ever heard. I’m like, ‘Shit. The Maia is still around?’ But he was really hesitant about doing it.” (Through his spokesperson Lampert denies he made such comments.) In the end, Rose says, the main reason he decided to let Lampert go was that his partners were so inept. By using Lampert’s credit card, against Rose’s instructions, his partners in crime had alerted police to their whereabouts. Rose says they released Lampert not to get the ransom money but to call of what was by then a hopeless caper.

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he next week Lampert completed the Kmart deal and soon set about his cost-cutting strategy. It yielded results. “His cash flow exploded, and he was being touted by the financial media as the next Warren Buffett,” remembers Cohen. In 2003, Lampert says, operating proit was around $400 million; the next year it was $900 million. In 2005 he decided that Kmart should buy Sears. “Kmart was a turnaround,” he says. “Putting Kmart and Sears together was a transformation.” Lampert explained his strategy for the combined company: “When we put Sears and Kmart together, part of the idea was we had all of these Kmart stores that were of-mall,” he says. “Sears C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 1 2 6

“THERE ARE DECISIONS MADE, INCLUDING BY ME, THAT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN THE BEST,” LAMPERT SAYS. 106

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tors to cosmetics—offered by Kmart and Sears. Nevertheless, Lampert’s success with AutoZone led him to believe he could handle rescuing Kmart, which had been ighting a losing battle with the big-box stores, such as Walmart. In 2003 he bought the majority of Kmart’s debt before the company went into Chapter 11, after which he took control of it. He immediately set about reducing inventory in the stores, slashing expenses, and cutting back on advertising. “Lampert has a view, which he shares publicly, that he doesn’t believe in the traditional manner of how retailers run their business,” says Cohen. “He thinks investment in stores is not appropriate.” “We were focused on getting each store profitable and running each store well,” Lampert explains. The plan, he says, was for the world to know that Kmart—which at this point was not in debt—had “undeniable inancial strength… Even people who didn’t think Kmart would last a year out of bankruptcy, they said, ‘Well, Kmart may still not be successful, but I get you’re not going out of business anytime soon with all that cash.’”


TURNING TABLES? Eddie Lampert, photographed at home, in Florida.


In April 1968, hundreds of students at Columbia University took over Fifty years later, they reflect on what went right

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campus buildings in an uprising that caught the world’s attention. and what went wrong By C L A R A B I N G H A M

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t Columbia University in April 1968, about a thousand students forcibly commandeered ive campus buildings, efectively igniting the mass student revolts of the 60s. The events that began haphazardly on April 23 soon grew into a public crescendo of awakening that changed the course of the American student protest movement. It was a year when political, racial, sexual, and cultural forces exploded into a “revolutionary volcano,” as novelist Paul Auster, then a junior at Columbia, described it. It was also the year when two widespread movements—civil rights and anti-war—combined forces to stoke a lame of youth rebellion not seen domestically in half a century. That spring 50 years ago, Columbia’s compact, six-city-block campus on Manhattan’s bohemian Upper West Side became a petri dish, fermenting and fomenting discord that would engulf the nation. By the end of the year, American deaths in Vietnam exceeded 35,000 soldiers. Anti-war protests multiplied, the draft continued to loom like a Sword of

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in 1964–65 had a campus of a major university been shut down by its students. The student rumblings of 1968 started in February, when two black South Carolina State University students, protesting a segregated bowling alley, were shot and killed by state troopers in Orangeburg. (A third young black man, a high school student, was also killed, as he waited to walk his mother home from work.) In March, students at the historically black Howard University, in Washington, D.C., staged a four-day protest and sit-in. But Columbia captured the attention of the nation because of its stature as an Ivy League college situated in the media capital of the world. The protest was so large (720 students arrested), it lasted so long (a week of building occupations, followed by a monthlong strike), and the police reaction was so brutal and bloody, that it was seared into the national conscience. As tens of thousands of high-school students all over the country organize demonstrations demanding gun-control reform from politicians in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, we may now be witnessing the first full-fledged American student protest movement since

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Damocles over the lives of 27 million young men, the peaceful civil-rights movement intensiied along with the increasingly militant Black Power movement, the sexual revolution and early feminism movement transformed gender roles, and the unstoppable popularity of psychedelic drugs and rock music (the musical Hair opened on Broadway that month) created an unbridgeable chasm of a generation gap. All of these movements for social change—including the conservative counterrevolutionaries—were out in full force on the Columbia campus that April. University president Grayson Kirk “was a walking anachronism,” says Paul Cronin, editor of the new, deinitive book on the Columbia student uprising, A Time to Stir: Columbia ’68. “He was clueless and unresponsive to the attitudes, needs, and demands of his students.” It turns out that Kirk and his board of trustees, members of New York’s corporate and media elites, were as out of touch with youth culture as President Lyndon Johnson and his F.B.I. director, J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover was so threatened by what he saw at Columbia that, in May, he ordered his agency to initiate a secret counterintelligence program, 2,000 F.B.I. agents strong, aimed at anti-war demonstrators and the New Left. Not since the Berkeley Free Speech Movement


the late 60s. “I got chills when I heard Emma González speak about her generation’s ledgling movement to stop gun violence,” said former ’68 Barnard/Columbia Students for a Democratic Society (S.D.S.) activist Nancy Biberman. A lifelong housing and social-justice advocate in the Bronx, Biberman is heartened by the new wave of protest that has roused high-school students from decades of apathy. “Imagine that a student movement might emerge again and play a catalyzing role in ending the slaughter of innocent people.” Our young people, in disturbing numbers, appear to reject all forms of authority, from whatever source derived, and they have taken refuge in a turbulent and inchoate nihilism whose sole objectives are destruction. I know of no time in our history when the gap between the generations has been wider or more potentially dangerous. —Columbia University president Grayson Kirk, April 12, 1968 Dear Grayson, … You call for order and respect for authority; we call for justice, freedom, and socialism. There is only one thing left to say. It may sound nihilistic to you, since it is the opening shot in a war of liberation. I’ll use the words of LeRoi Jones, whom I’m sure you don’t like a

university president Grayson Kirk and vice president David Truman in the aftermath of the unrest; right, activists Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown speak to the media.

pus] to protest the fact that six people, including myself, had been reprimanded for a previous demonstration [against Columbia’s ailiation with the I.D.A.]. PAUL AUSTER

JUAN GONZÁLEZ

(Columbia student activist): You cannot understand the Columbia student revolt without understanding that it happened three weeks after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, on April 4. At that point, it wasn’t a question of what career you were going to choose, it was a question of whether the country would survive a civil war. MARK RUDD

(Columbia student, S.D.S. leader): It was the perfect storm in terms of the events of the late winter/early spring of ’68. The three events were the Tet Offensive, the abdication of L.B.J., and the murder of Martin Luther King—those major events politicized everyone on the Columbia campus. ROBERT FRIEDMAN (Columbia student, Columbia Daily Spectator editor): It was a time of growing frequency of protests on campus over issues having to do with the draft and Columbia’s involvement with something called the Institute for Defense Analyses (I.D.A.), which was a think tank that was doing war research for the Pentagon.

(Columbia student): The Vietnam War was driving everyone crazy. Things were cracking apart and you felt that chaos was ruling now—nobody knew where we were going. The frustration of not being able to stop the war led me out to the sundial that day. ELEANOR STEIN (Columbia Law School student):

It started of as a protest about the disciplinary procedures against the I.D.A. Six, but it quickly became about both the gym and about the university’s ties to the I.D.A.

“It was a question of whether the country would survive a civil war.”

RUDD: At Columbia, the organizing dovetailed with all these political events, so that on April 23 we called a demonstration at the sundial [in the center of cam-

CRE DI TS HE R E

Opposite: Students for a Democratic Society members, including Ted Gold (left) and Mark Rudd (second from left); a Columbia S.D.S. button; a scene from the protest. Below,

whole lot: “Up against the wall, motherfucker, this is a stick-up.” Yours for freedom, Mark [Rudd] April 22, 1968

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STUART GEDAL (Columbia student, S.D.S. member): The thing that was diferent about April 23 was that the black students, the Student Afro-American Society (S.A.S.), and the S.D.S. had agreed to speak at the same demonstration. And this was completely new.

(Columbia student, S.A.S. member): I remember on April 23, when the movement started, we were protesting the gym that Columbia was building in Morningside Park. There were a lot of community objections to the gym, mainly because it was being built on a public park that Columbia had muscled from the city. Morningside Park is one of the few parks in Harlem. The university said the gym was going to be mixed-use, but it really wasn’t. The Columbia people would enter on the top loor, the Harlem-neighborhood people would enter on the bottom level. It was very bad visually. So the Harlem community was pissed of, and the black students were pissed of.

ARNIM JOHNSON

(Barnard student, S.D.S. member): The two strands of anger and disgust converged: what the university was doing to aid the war efort, and what the university was doing that was racist in our neighborhood. NANCY BIBERMAN

BRIAN FLANAGAN (Columbia student, S.D.S. member): In the Columbia S.D.S., there were two factions, the Praxis Axis and the Action Faction. The Praxis Axis believed in doorto-door organizing, the writing of manifestos, and teach-ins about Vietnam. The Action Faction was Mark Rudd, J.J. [John Jacobs], and other people—including me. We believed in brazen action and tools that electriied people and upped the ante, and that faction took over the Columbia S.D.S. in March of ’68.

We met at noon at the sundial. There were speeches. There was somewhat of a plan that the S.D.S. had developed to stage an indoor demonstration at the building which housed the [office of the] president, Low Memorial Library. But there were so many people, perhaps 500, at the sundial, including several hundred counter-demonstrators between us and Low library, that there was no chance to actually carry out the plan.

RUDD:

Finally, someone said, “Let’s go to the gym site.”

(Columbia student, S.A.S. leader): The students were trying to rip down the [12-foot-high] chain-link fence around the gym site, and some of the cops got in a wrestling match with the students, including a couple good friends of mine. Normally that would have led to arrests, but this old sergeant stepped in and separated them.

RAYMOND BROWN

RUDD: We left the gym site and went back to the sundial, and our runner came back and said, “Hamilton Hall is open.” So I said, “Let’s go to Hamilton Hall!” That was the main Columbia College classroom building and also where the deans’ oices were. So we all streamed in—it was several hundred people.

The idea was that it was a sit-in and that we would stay until we were arrested. A group of us started scouting out the rooms on the irst loor, and there’s Dean [Henry] Coleman, in his oice. He had interviewed me when I applied to Columbia, and I said, “You can’t leave.” He said, “What?” I said, “You can’t leave.” We pulled the door shut and posted a good friend of mine who was a lightweight-football player and three other people to keep the door closed. Coleman opened the venetian blinds of his window, which looked onto College Walk, and he got someone to get him an ice cream. GEDAL:

BROWN: Cicero Wilson, Bill Sales, Drew Newton, Mark Rudd, Juan González, Ted Gold, Nick Freudenberg, and I formed a steering committee, and we began to say, “If we’re going to have a real demonstration, we’ve got to whittle down a set of succinct demands. What are common demands that we can all embrace?” There was a back-and-forth process that took much of the day. RUDD: We wrote up a list of six demands, the irst one being to drop disciplinary action against the I.D.A. Six, then to stop the construction of the gym and disailiate from the I.D.A., and the last to grant amnesty to everyone participating in the demonstration. These demands became the rallying point of the whole strike.

The core of the S.A.S. black student group, about 20 of us, plus some sisters from Barnard, was organically more disciplined because we were smaller in number and knew each other well.

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JOHNSON: There came to be a growing friction between the S.D.S. people and the S.A.S. people, mainly because the white people didn’t know what they were doing. Their hearts were in the right place, but logistically they didn’t have it together at all. BROWN: We knew that we [the black students] occupied a key strategic place, that the university administration didn’t want to move on us, and this would keep the whole thing going. During the course of the day it had dawned on us that we were going to have to go at it alone, with support from the white students in some other way. Our leadership’s obligation was to make sure that none of our people got hurt. And we asked [the white students] to leave.

It wasn’t a complete shock, because that was the era of Black Power, and the idea of separation was very current. Now, the real reason why they asked us to leave, it turns out, was that they couldn’t deal with the S.D.S.’s lack of discipline. They needed some form of hierarchical leadership which would prepare them for the harsh confrontation that might be coming.

RUDD:

(Barnard student, S.A.S. member): This was the year when we were moving toward a very outspoken declaration of cultural pride, a separation from being enthralled with a European ideal. It just goes back to Hamilton Hall in many ways, where we said we can be part of the same struggle, but we as black people have to call the shots for ourselves. K A R L A S P U R LO C K - E VA N S

Low Memorial Library

We left Hamilton Hall just before dawn, straggling out with our guitars, book bags, and sleeping bags, and wandered over to Low library with a vague notion of going into the president’s oice. RUDD:

BROWN:

AUSTER:

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totally spontaneous, but hundreds and hundreds of people streamed in. People started bringing food, and militants came in from Harlem. There were rumors of guns, and the steering committee kept meeting. But at one point the blacks started meeting alone and caucusing.

RUDD:

The occupation of Hamilton Hall was

GEDAL: We’re chanting, “I.D.A. must go, I.D.A. must go, Gym Crow must go.”

Protesters outside the barricaded Hamilton Hall, dubbed “Malcolm X University,” April 27, 1968. AP RIL

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April 30, 1968; Majority Coalition members protest the protest, outside Low; Paul Auster (second from right) during the uprising.

(Columbia student, S.D.S. member): We barricaded [President] Kirk’s office and set up our irst white student building that was occupied.

TOM HURWITZ

By the time the sun rose, there were 125 to 150 people inside Kirk’s oice suite. The campus security arrived and took the Rembrandt painting off of the wall. They didn’t go near us.

male, but women and men were pretty much segregated on campus. So here are men and women, people from the neighborhood, radicals from diferent parts—all together. The buildings were all communes. We were a group of people who were basically total strangers locked in an empty building for several days. It wasn’t just that we were holding our ground against the university or against the police; we were actually creating a little micro eco-system.

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Hamilton Hall Life

GEDAL:

HURWITZ: A freelance photographer passed his camera up to me through the window, and I took the picture of [Columbia student] David Shapiro smoking one of Kirk’s White Owl cigars, which was in Life the next week. A few people who had done a lot of research on Columbia’s relationship with the I.D.A. went into Kirk’s iles and found evidence that Columbia had been directly supplying research on war material for the war in Vietnam.

(Columbia student): We were all living together, and we called it a commune. The spirit was of cooperation; everyone had to make decisions together; everyone had to speak; everyone had to act as a group. And it was men and women. Not only was Columbia College all HILTON OBENZINGER

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We had a constant stream of people [visiting Hamilton Hall]. Some of them high-proile, some just folks from the neighborhood who brought food and support. I immediately started reaching out to people like Bill Booth, the city’s human-rights commissioner, and the N.Y.P.D.’s assistant chief inspector Eldridge Waithe [who was African-American], who we had met with before. Manhattan borough president Percy Sutton, State Senator Basil Paterson, and people from the West Harlem Tenants Organization all came through and were supportive. My father, who was a civilrights attorney, represented H. Rap Brown [the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC], so I knew him, and I had met Stokely Carmichael [the former chairman of SNCC]. They both came by and talked to us and held a press conference outside of Hamilton Hall expressing their support. BROWN:

JOHNSON:

We had visitors from Harlem

community organizations and churches. They picketed outside and sent us plates of food. They were very conscious of our position as the irst [few classes of] black students at Columbia University. We were an extension of all the black communities all over the country. BROWN: Chairman Mao sent us a telegram pledging solidarity to the black students of Hamilton Hall. I wish we had preserved it. JAMES “PLUNKY” BRANCH (Columbia student, Soul Syndicate band leader): The main campus switchboard was at Hamilton Hall. So when we took over the building, we basically took over the phones for the whole campus. I manned the switchboard for 50 straight hours fielding calls from the press, parents, and administrators, who all wanted to know what was going on. It was April, so the acceptance letters had just gone out for the next incoming class, and parents were calling, saying, “Is Columbia under siege? What will happen next semester?” I was snarky and said, “We don’t even know if there will be a university here next year!”

Our parents were afraid for our safety—they were like, “The white people will kill you all.” From their perspective, growing up in the South, that was very real for them.

JOHNSON:

BROWN: We had an open phone line, and parents would call in and tell their kids to get out of there, and the kids would say AP RIL

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PHOTO GR A PHS : F ROM L E FT, BY PAUL KL E E /F RO M THE CO L L ECT I O N OF PAUL C RO N IN , CH A RL E S RUP P MANN/NE W YO RK DA ILY N EW S A RCHI VE /GE TT Y IM AGES , STE VE SCHA PI RO , J E R RY U PHA M / F ROM T HE COL L E CT IO N O F PAUL C RO NI N

From left: professors surround Low Memorial Library in support of the students occupying the building; police bust the protesters,


“The campus security arrived and took the Rembrandt painting off the wall.” no. We understood that you couldn’t have first-generation kids kicked out of school. (Barnard student): We all came from backgrounds where our parents essentially said that whenever you leave your home you’re representing the race. You have to speak with perfect articulation. You have to be an excellent student. MICHELLE PATRICK

BROWN: Nobody, from H. Rap Brown to Basil Patterson, presumed to tell us what to do. What they did say was “We understand you’re in this position where you’re counting on the fear of the police and the city administration that Harlem will react violently if you’re mistreated. I hope you realize it’s a gamble.”

For all of us on the outside, when H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael held a press conference on the steps of Hamilton Hall, they made the point that this liberation stood for the black movement, nationally and globally. They were saying, “We are standing by you. We are throwing our support to you. The whole world is watching, the black world is watching.” STEIN:

Media Coverage BIBERMAN: We were the irst northern, middle class, mostly white, Ivy League school to strike and occupy the campus, and we were in the middle of New York, the media capital of the world. FRIEDMAN: The publisher of The New York Times [Arthur O. Sulzberger Sr.] was a CoAP RIL 2 018

lumbia trustee and alumnus. The ties between Columbia and the Times were deep, and it showed up in their coverage. The whole week I would laugh at the things they missed and got wrong, the whole tone of their stories. John Kifner, a young reporter in his 20s, was one of the Times’s on-theground reporters; he got a good sense of what was going on on campus, but he would constantly complain about how his copy was mutilated by his editors. Every day we’d pick up The New York Times and they never acknowledged our presence. They showed no interest in us. We didn’t exist; we were invisible.

BROWN:

(Columbia student, S.D.S. member): I would talk to my father [Harrison Salisbury, who was an assistant managing editor of the Times] a lot, because the Times coverage of the demonstrations was pretty thin initially. I guess it was probably because all the sourcing came from the administration and the cops. Stuf that the students were thinking and doing was not part of the story. I also think that nobody ever adequately reported on the black students, their motivations, and what their experience at Columbia was.

leader, but I was very active in supporting it. [A few days after the takeover] we formed a ring around Low library to prevent radicals from getting in. VAUD MASSARSKY (Columbia student, Majority Coalition leader): It was like a siege. We wanted to stop all food and water going to the protesters inside to basically starve them out so they’d have to leave. This went on for three days straight.

(Columbia faculty): The so-called Majority Coalition was brilliantly named because it was the smallest student group, mostly athletes and conservative kids who were against the occupation. MICHAEL ROSENTHAL

STEPHAN SALISBURY

PATAKI: I thought it was hideously hypocritical that so many of these radical leaders were from families far wealthier than my family, and they were supposedly helping the oppressed by denying working-class kids like me an education. MASSARSKY: It was frightening. People were circling each other, there was a rumor about acid being thrown in people’s faces. There was a palpable sense that this could come down to bloodletting.

The faculty lined up to provide a bufer between students who were in the building and the Majority Coalition. You had these face-ofs every day outside Low library.

FRIEDMAN:

Majority Coalition GEORGE PATAKI (Columbia Law School student):

A large group of Columbia students created the Majority Coalition, which represented those of us who were against the radicals shutting down the university. I was not a

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being in the building. But if that was the function the faculty could play, it seemed like a modest contribution I could make. The kids were in Grayson Kirk’s oice; every now and then there would be the cry of “Garbage!” and they would hand the faculty these gigantic garbage bags. They had a wonderful time humiliating the faculty. Masses gather outside Low Memorial Library during the occupation.

Wedding

Reverend William Starr, and a cheesecake.

(Columbia student): My girlfriend Andrea Borof was a student at Barnard and I was at the Columbia School of General Studies, and we were living together of campus. When we moved into Fayerweather Hall during the occupation, a friend of mine came to us and said, “There’s a move on to get you two married.” We looked at each other and said, “Of course. Why not?” They smuggled in the campus chaplain,

STEIN: Reverend Starr did a little ceremony, and at the end he didn’t pronounce them husband and wife—he pronounced them “Children of the New Age.” Everybody started cheering and sobbing. Then we began beating drums—pots and pans—to the rhythm of the French student protest chant, Ce n’est qu’un début, continuons le combat! [It’s only the beginning, let’s fight on!] It

RICHARD EAGAN


wasn’t just a wedding—it became a statement of solidarity among the people who were there because of our collective beliefs. We felt that we put our lives on the line in that moment. EAGAN:

The next day, we were busted.

GONZÁLEZ:

In the week leading up to the bust the issue was: what would it take to get us to leave the buildings? It became a constant

battle over the degree to which we were willing to concede on some of our demands. BROWN: Because it was only three weeks after Harlem had just blown up over Dr. King’s assassination, you still had a great sense of tension throughout the city. Members of Mayor [John] Lindsay’s administration were on campus advising President Kirk that he couldn’t do anything that would harm the black students, because they didn’t want to

risk having another uprising in Harlem. And we understood that. We understood that our role was pivotal. GONZÁLEZ:

It was the black students who were the key. They would always say, “No. We’re sticking to the demands.”

BROWN:

We were the leaders. Nobody will ever get that straight, because it’s somehow counter to the American narrative. But we were the leaders.

RUDD:

There were abortive attempts at negotiation, arbitration, and mediation by the faculty. There were clandestine meetings with the vice president. But eventually, a week later, the administration inally called the police. The Bust

ROSENTHAL: I was going home on Tuesday, April 30, at about two A.M. I had been holding the line at the campus protest all day, and I went to the West End on Broadway and 114th for a beer; I learned from the bartender that the police were coming. PATAKI:

We look out the window onto Broadway and see bus after bus of T.P.F. cops, headed up north, presumably to the campus. The T.P.F. was the Tactical Patrol Force. It was a special unit in the New York City police, made up of big guys, six feet tall and taller, which dealt with street violence.

BROWN:

They must have had half the black senior officers in New York on-site at Hamilton Hall, led by Assistant Chief Inspector Waithe. I think there was a great determination that they were not going to kick any black students in their butts. But Harlem wasn’t going to rise up because some white cops were beating up some white kids.

PHOTOG R A PH BY PAUL K L E E /F ROM THE CO LL E C TI ON OF PAU L C RON IN

SPURLOCK-EVANS:

The police came into Hamilton Hall and handled us very gently—not at all characteristic of police oicers in general. They loaded us onto buses and took us downtown to the Tombs.

STEIN:

We heard that the students in Hamilton Hall had decided not to resist arrest, but to walk out in a dignified manner, standing tall. And that’s what they did.

ROSENTHAL:

I ran back to campus and saw dozens of plainclothes police pouring out of Low library, wearing Delphi, N.Y.U., and Stony Brook college sweatshirts, and they started beating the C O N T I N U E D O N P A G E 1 2 0 www.vanityfair.com

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S P OT L I G H T

TENDER HEARTS ith On Chesil Beach, which will be in theaters next month, Saoirse Ronan sustains an unbroken streak of acting excellence that has encompassed The Grand Budapest Hotel, Brooklyn, and Lady Bird. The film is set in the narrowest sliver of historical time, the immediately pre-youthquake Britain of 1962, when, as Ian McEwan writes in the novella upon which the movie is based, “to be young was a social encumbrance … a faintly embarrassing condition for which marriage was the beginning of a cure.”

are many films that have tackled this subject this way. Usually, it’s either a caricature, like American Pie, or overly sentimental.” For McEwan, the admiration is mutual. This is his second movie with Ronan; at age 13, she received her first Oscar nomination for playing the troublemaking Briony Tallis in the film adaptation of his novel Atonement. “I can no longer remember these characters as I once envisioned them,” McEwan says. “Saoirse had already kidnapped Briony. And now I’ll forever see her stalking the — DAVID K A MP beach as Florence.”

COSTUME S D E S IG N E D BY K E I TH M AD D E N ; HA I R A N D MAK E U P DE S IG N E D BY K AR E N H ARTL E Y-T HO MAS

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But the picture, directed by Dominic Cooke and co-starring Billy Howle, is tender toward its virginal newlywed protagonists rather than mocking and mean. “Satire creates distance. I wanted the reader, and now the viewer, to get right up close to them,” says McEwan, who handled the screenplay adaptation himself. In bearing and appearance—“certainly beautiful, but in a sculpted, strong-boned way,” as the book has it—Ronan is uncannily right for the role of Florence Ponting, the violinist who takes the hand (but not willingly much else) of her groom, Edward Mayhew. “The physicality of Florence is so important, because there is so much that isn’t said,” Ronan explains. “And Ian writes with such love and understanding. I don’t think there

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Billy Howle and Saoirse Ronan, photographed on location in Dorset, England.

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1968 Protests

C O N T I N U E D F R O M P A G E 1 1 7 shit out of people. No one was resisting. I was standing next to the 64-year-old English professor Fred Dupee when he was punched in the face.

PATAKI: From around the back of Low library comes this wave of T.P.F. guys just clubbing everybody in sight. I guess their orders were to clear the campus, which was incredibly stupid and counterproductive because many of the people outside the buildings were the anti-radicals—the pro-cop people. The radicals were all inside the buildings. BIBERMAN: I saw the university rabbi being beaten by police, and I saw random students who were beaten for just being outside on campus. These cops had been sitting on the perimeter of campus all week, pent up, waiting and waiting. As soon as they were allowed on campus, there was a mêlée. It was called a police riot, and I believe it. It was terrifying.

nard student. He lifted up his very long utility lashlight and slammed it on her head. And it wasn’t just once—it was again, and again, and again. She fell down and he kept beating her. STEIN: When the cops came, they were in full riot gear, and they had clubs and guns. I was linking arms with my best friend, Gus Reichbach, and they hit him really hard on the head with a blackjack, making him bleed copiously. I was trying to hold on to him, but they dragged him away and then they dragged me. I was wearing a short skirt. They handcufed my ankles and turned me over so they were dragging me on my knees on the gravel. I was super-scraped. My mother was outside yelling at the police, “That’s my daughter, get your hands of her!” I still have the scars on my knees. SALISBURY: The cops basically dragged every-

body out of the building by the hair and threw them into a pen outside.

It was a mistake to keep us sitting on buses for four days waiting to go in. Nobody on T.P.F. joined the police department to sit on buses. We were workers. We thought the students were a bunch of spoiled kids complaining about whatever they were complaining about, who needed a good spanking. GARY BEAMER (T.P.F. officer):

The police were forced to stand outside the campus for several days and watch crimes being committed—assaults, destruction of property, and preventing students who wanted to get an education from going to class. It didn’t sit well with most of the police. So naturally, when the green light inally came for the police to go in and restore order, they were pretty eager to do it. PATAKI: I remember running up the steps of Mathematics Hall, and there were T.P.F. guys on horses coming toward me, and I jumped of the steps and ran out onto Broadway. I was getting chased by a guy on a horse up Broadway. What are you going to do? The horse is faster than you are and the guy’s got a club, so I dove under a car. OBENZINGER: I remember vividly a cop with a

frozen grin on his face going up to a girl, a Bar120

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RUDD: After the bust, thousands of people

who had been on the sidelines just woke up and joined the strike because of the police brutality, and because of the violation of the university’s autonomy. Columbia exploded, and all classes were canceled for the rest of the semester. FRIEDMAN: There was a second series of dem-

onstrations in May and another police bust, which in many ways was more violent than the irst one. GONZÁLEZ: Ultimately, we won everything that

REYNOLDS: I helped load them onto the wag-

ons, and I noticed that most of them had cuts on their heads and were shaking. They were getting real experience in the ways of the world. The theory and practice of constitutional law are two diferent things, and they were getting a taste of it. They were a little bewildered, I think, because they hadn’t had much discipline in their lives, and their parents had never told them no.

we set out to do. We stopped the gym. We got the university to cut its ties with I.D.A. We got amnesty for most of the strikers, and Grayson Kirk resigned in August. BRANCH: The efect of Columbia was nationwide and international in terms of student involvement and the student movement. STEIN: I think Columbia is one of the events

in the Majority Coalition switched sides, just because the cops were nuts. Those who had been supportive of the administration and the police were completely demoralized.

that stood for increasing militancy in opposition to the war and in opposition to racism. Our slogan, adapted from Che Guevara’s “Two, three, many Vietnams,” became “Two, three, many Columbias,” since so many other U.S. campuses were occupied after that.

MASSARSKY: A few days after the bust there was

AUSTER: In ’68, we were very conscious of what

a real sense of despair and unhappiness on campus as a result of the police action. It just seemed that this was a family matter and that we should have been left to settle this amongst ourselves. It felt like an invasion, a violation.

was happening in the rest of the world. Just a few weeks later, the general strike in Paris happened. One placard read: COLUMBIA-PARIS.

PATAKI: Virtually all my friends who’d been MIKE REYNOLDS (T.P.F. officer):

couldn’t take my eyes of that motherfucker, and I said to him, “The story that you wrote in today’s paper was one of the most, if not the most, dishonest pieces of journalism I have ever seen in any publication. You should be ashamed.” He said, “I described a situation exactly as it appeared.” The room was quiet and our voices were raised. He left the party soon after.

Aftermath OBENZINGER: The next day The New York

Times’s A. M. [“Abe”] Rosenthal, an assistant managing editor, had a front-page story in which he said that we students were barbarians. The reporting was so skewed, and there were photos of vandalism in President Kirk’s oice, which we never did. I was reading all these lies. I was there. I saw what happened. What are you talking about? SALISBURY: When we got out of jail the next day, my girlfriend and I decided to go home and see my parents after this horriic experience. My parents were having a cocktail party, and all of the Times top brass was there. When we walked into the living room I made a beeline for Abe. I

BRANCH: Many of us would say that it was a turning point in our own politicization, if not radicalization. I got drafted, deserted, was on the run for 30 days, and they put me in the stockade for 30 days. As soon as I got out I was on the run again for three years, one month, and ive days, and wanted by the F.B.I. I went to San Francisco and started a very radical avant-garde African jazz group called Juju. OBENZINGER: After the strike, I had this feeling of

having crossed a major line. I had already ruined my [conventional] career and I was ready for a revolution. I graduated, ended up teaching on an Indian reservation, and got involved in the Native Americans’ rights movement. SPURLOCK-EVANS: When we occupied Hamilton

Hall, we became a family, and I gained a belief in the power of listening to others, of comAP RIL

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promise, and of politics infused with love. I’ve spent the rest of my life working with student activists trying to guide them toward staying nonviolent, and staying planted in equitable causes.

RUDD: At Columbia we created a model of student militance and audacity, and that was the lesson we took from it. I believe that’s what led to the formation of Weathermen.

STEIN: I joined S.D.S., and in the summer after the protest I led a delegation of students to Havana to meet with members of the Vietnamese resistance. That trip and the Columbia strike were turning points for me. I decided to leave law school, leave my husband, leave New York, move to Chicago, and work full-time on the Days of Rage demonstrations that happened in October of ’69.

FLANAGAN: Columbia was a main historical point in the development of the far left and the S.D.S. Weathermen faction. Look at the people from Columbia who were at the core of Weather: Eleanor [Stein], Mark [Rudd], J.J. [John Jacobs], Dave Gilbert, and Ted Gold. I was a foot soldier.

Shipwreck

very same map that had come in with the previous download, six hours earlier. The raw data on which it was based was at least 12 hours old. Davidson and Schultz decided that the storm would be a little too close for comfort when the time came to cross its bow. Working with a G.P.S.-based plotter, they made a slight right turn with a new heading of 140 degrees, creating a gentle dogleg that would pass 10 miles outside San Salvador Island and put them 50 miles from the hurricane’s eye. The winds were forecast to be only 40 knots. Davidson said, “I think that’s a good little plan, chief mate. At least I think we got a little distance from the center.” It was 6:40 in the morning, and the sun was coming up. Davidson yawned. He said, “Oh, look at that red sky over there. Red in the morning, sailors take warning. That is bright.” Davidson instructed Schultz to make sure that the crew checked the security and lashings on the cargo, and left the bridge for a while. A fresh helmsman and the third mate showed up to relieve Hamm and Schultz and stand the next four-hour watch. The third mate was Jeremie Riehm. He was 46 but looked younger. Schultz briefed him on the weather and the diversion; he explained that the options were limited but that if worse came to worst they could turn behind the outer islands and escape through one of several deepwater gaps to reach the Old Bahama Channel. After Schultz left the bridge, Riehm continued to study the weather. He said to the helmsman, “We’re gonna get slammed tonight.” The view from the bridge was of an endless ocean with no land in sight. Stacked high with containers, the massive ship rolled with a slow rhythm through swells coming in from the east. The sky was mostly clear. The wind was warm and slowly increasing. Davidson returned to the bridge. He engaged in some lighthearted banter, but his mind was on the storm. He said, “I mean, when we went through Erika this last … that’s the irst real storm I’ve been on with this ship. Ship’s solid.” Riehm said, “The ship is solid. It’s just all the associated bits and pieces. The hull itself is ine. The plant no problem. It’s all the shit that shakes and breaks loose.” Davidson said, “Just gotta keep the speed up

C O N T I N U E D F R O M P A G E 8 6 was expressed emphatically in the forecasts, and Davidson was aware of it.

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he second source for weather information was even more problematic. It was a subscription service called the Bon Voyage System (B.V.S.) that processed global weather data to produce its own forecast, primarily in the form of colorful weather maps which could be animated and over which a ship’s course could be laid. By the time the data was processed, it was up to six hours old, which in the context of Joaquin was obsolete. StormGeo, the proprietor of B.V.S., said during the N.T.S.B. investigation that “weather routing bulletins were sent to the ship, but not routing guidance, which was not ordered as part of the service contract.” (The Coast Guard report also noted that “El Faro crew did not take advantage of B.V.S.’s tropical update feature,” which would have provided hourly updates.) The B.V.S. map included a time stamp that showed when the processing had been completed, but gave no indication of the age of the raw data on which the forecast was based. Davidson knew that all the forecasts were uncertain, and that they sometimes disagreed. But how aware was he that when he looked at the B.V.S. maps he was looking into the past? He went down to his stateroom after his conversation with Schultz, and when he returned to the bridge he said, “All right, I just sent up the latest weather. Let us clear everything of the chart table with the exception of the charts.” Schultz opened the B.V.S. program. As it happened, according to the N.T.S.B. report, because of a software glitch, the map that appeared was the AP RIL 2 018

AUSTER: Some in those years became casu-

alties of their own righteousness and noble intentions, and the human loss was catastrophic. In the summer of 1969, I walked into a post oice with a friend who had to mail a letter. As she waited in line, I studied the posters of the F.B.I.’s 10 most-wanted men pinned to the wall. It turned out that I knew seven of them. BIBERMAN: I like to think that what we did at Columbia helped catalyze opposition to the war. We in the student anti-war movement did the best we could. But we were so young, and in hindsight we didn’t do enough. 

so we get goin’ down. And who knows? Maybe this low will just stall. Stall a little bit. Just a little bit. Just enough for us to duck underneath.” But the opposite happened. At 10:35 A.M. a sat-C report arrived, and Riehm took it to the chart table to plot positions. The helmsman said, “It’s moving away fast.” Riehm didn’t understand that he was joking. He answered, “Uh, no. It’s not moving away, not yet. I’ll show you that whole time-step forecast if you want. I mean, we’re going that way, and it’s going to go that way, and we’re on a collision course with it, nearly—nearly.” In other words, that earlier turn was not going to provide the expected margin. It is not known what, if anything, Riehm did with the information. V. Category 3

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hortly before noon, the second mate, Danielle Randolph, arrived with a relief helmsman to stand the next watch. The helmsman was Larry Davis, 63. Randolph was from Rockland, Maine, and like Davidson and three others aboard was a graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy. She was 34. Riehm briefed her on the navigation plan. Speaking of the captain, she said, “He’s telling everyone down there, ‘Ohhh, it’s not a bad storm. It’s not so bad. It’s not even that windy out. Seen worse.’” Now alone on the bridge with Davis, Randolph returned to the subject of Davidson. She mimicked him. “It’s nothing, it’s nothing!” She backed of the mockery and said, “If it’s nothing, then why the hell are we going on a diferent track line? Think he’s just trying to play it down because he realizes we shouldn’t have come this way. Saving face.” Davis said, “We’re getting sea swells now.” The swells slowed the ship. Davidson was in his stateroom. He had paperwork to do—a mandatory noon report to the TOTE office. He gave an E.T.A. for San Juan of eight A.M. on Friday, 44 hours ahead. Then he came to the bridge and said, “Damn, we’re getting killed with this speed.” Randolph answered him a little rebelliously: “Oh, yeah, I think now it’s not a matter of speed. It’s ‘When we get there, we get there,’ as long as we arrive in one piece.” Davidson was not so willing to sacrifice www.vanityfair.com

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Shipwreck the schedule. He said, “Yeah, well, we’re only doing 18.9 right now. I mean, we’ll pick up a little bit. Gotta get through this storm.” Taking Randolph’s lead, Davis said, “Yeah, through it.” A gulf seemed to be opening between Davidson and the crew on the bridge. He may not have noticed it. After he left, a man named Jeffrey Mathias showed up on the bridge. Mathias, 42, was one of El Faro’s chief engineers, but on this trip was serving as a supernumerary to oversee five Polish shipyard workers who had been aboard for weeks and were modifying the ship for Alaska service. When Randolph saw him, she said “Hi!” with a rising inflection. He said, “Look at you! All freshened up, huh?” She offered him a gourmet coffee, from freshly ground beans, and he said “Wow!” She laughed. She said, “We do not joke around up here when it comes to coffee!” “I guess not. Damn.” “Did you wanna see the storm? Did you wanna see the pretty pictures with the pretty, pretty colors?” Meanwhile, Davidson was back in his stateroom writing another e-mail to the home oice. It was addressed to John Lawrence, the designated person ashore, and cc’d to several other managers. The irst part of the e-mail was advisory in nature: it reported the deviation under way, described the plan for moving south of the hurricane, and delivered a revised E.T.A. for San Juan. This was exactly what TOTE expected. But then the e-mail went further. Concerned about Joaquin’s forecasted position over the coming weekend, Davidson wrote: *Question* I would like to transit the Old Bahama Channel on our return northbound leg to Jacksonville, Florida. This route adds an additional 160 nm to the route for a total of 1,261 nm. We will need to make around 21 knots for our scheduled 10/05 10:45 arrival time at Jacksonville pilot station. This precaution will take the uncertainty out of Joaquin’s forecasted track, and as you can see she really develops into a formidable weather pattern on 10/03 to 05 2015. I’m conident that Joaquin will track in a northerly direction once reaching the Gulf Stream current. I will await your reply before transiting Old Bahama Channel on our return leg to Jacksonville, Florida. Should you have any questions or concerns kindly contact this vessel. Best regards.

This e-mail emerged during the investigation after the sinking. At the time, TOTE was busy blaming Davidson by insisting that all routing and weather decisions were his alone to make, but here Davidson appeared to be asking permission for the Old Bahama Channel run. To make matters worse, it was answered by one of the cc’d managers, the director of ship management, Jim Fisker-Andersen, who was in San Francisco at the time. FiskerAndersen wrote, “Captain Mike, diversion request heads up through Old Bahama Chan122

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nel understood and authorized. Thank you for the heads up. Kind regards.” Authorized? Was that what went on at TOTE? At the very least, the use of that word indicated a superior attitude by an armchair mariner toward a captain tangling with a hurricane at sea. Worse, it raised the possibility that Davidson had taken the straight-line course for San Juan because he had been ordered to do so. TOTE oficials denied this vehemently. Fisker-Andersen told investigators that he wished he had used another word. The use of this one certainly added fuel to the wrongful-death litigation that ensued. (All 33 wrongful-death cases have since been settled at signiicant expense to the company.) But no evidence emerged in the investigations of direct interference in navigational decisions by any managers at TOTE. Davidson’s wife, Theresa, told the N.T.S.B. that her husband would have refused unsafe orders, whatever the consequences.

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hen Davidson inished sending the email he returned to the bridge and instructed Randolph to start keeping hourly logs of the weather. Wind direction and force, barometer. The wind would have to be estimated because of the faulty anemometer. Both Davidson and Randolph apparently believed they would be dealing with a Category 1 hurricane, and at some distance from the eye. Neither they nor the National Hurricane Center suspected that the storm would increase to a Category 3 and accelerate that very night. The wind was increasing, the sea was covered with whitecaps, and the swells from the east were rising. Davis said, “Knew it was going to start sooner or later.” Around four P.M., the sky started clouding over. Schultz, the chief mate, and Hamm, his helmsman, came onto the bridge to take the next watch. Randolph briefed Schultz, then went down to her cabin to write a note to her mother. It was later sent along with a batch of others via the ship’s oicial e-mail. At 4:46 P.M., Randolph and Davis returned to allow Schultz and Hamm to go to dinner. The sat-C printer delivered the latest weather, and Randolph took it to the chart table and began to plot it out. This was information from the National Hurricane Center only a few minutes old, and although it continued to contain forecasting errors, it got the current location of the eye about right. She said, “So at two in the morning … ” Davis said, “What?” “ … it should be right here.” She indicated a position just outside of San Salvador Island. “Let’s see where we will be.” She did some calculations and began to chuckle. “We’re going to be right there with it. Looks like the storm is coming right for us.” She laughed in disbelief. “Ahhh, you gotta be kidding me.” Davis said, “We’re going to get our ass ripped.” Randolph was a Mainer. Salt of the earth. She said, “We’re going to go right through the fucking eye.”

VI. Staying the Course

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chultz and Hamm returned from dinner. Randolph and Davis left. Davidson showed up around sundown. The sky was heavy with clouds. To Schultz he said, “I just sent you the latest weather.” It was the B.V.S. product depicting a forecast based on old data, with additional errors cranked in due to forecasting models. It was not exactly a iction, but it was a poor tool for attempting a close pass across the bow of a hurricane. They decided to turn the ship 10 degrees to the right, widening away from the storm for a second time. The new course would take El Faro to a point in the yellow outer fringes on the B.V.S. graphic, clear of the eye and the inner pink. It would also take them to the leeward or west side of San Salvador Island, which for a while would ofer some measure of protection from the hurricane’s waves. Having plotted the new course directly on the B.V.S., they made the turn at 7:03 P.M. With its engine running at maximum speed, El Faro was riding comfortably through large swells coming in from the northeast. Davidson was pleased. For the next 45 minutes, he and Schultz calculated G.P.S. waypoints and courses, and laid out a tidy plan for the rest of the trip, including a strong left turn in the open waters beyond San Salvador Island, and a straight shot across the bow of the hurricane directly for San Juan. They were not entirely complacent. Schultz mentioned the availability of a southerly escape route through a deepwater passage by Crooked Island, and Davidson suggested the alternative of sheltering behind San Salvador if need be. But neither man made a plan for such contingencies. Third Mate Jeremie Riehm appeared on the bridge for his eight-P.M.-to-midnight watch. He was joined by his helmsman. Schultz indicated the B.V.S. and said, “See the weather? We have the latest.” But the latest was old news. The map showed Joaquin as a Category 1 hurricane crossing their course well after their passage. It predicted an encounter with 50-knot winds. In reality, at that very moment Joaquin was morphing into a Category 3 hurricane, about three days ahead of schedule. Schultz gave Riehm a quick brieing. Riehm had been listening to a Weather Underground broadcast on the Weather Channel. He said, “I just hope it’s not worse than what this is saying, because that Weather Underground, it’s a lot. They’re saying it’s more like 85-, not 50-knot, wind.” Hamm handed steering over to Riehm’s helmsman. He was not due on the bridge again until four A.M. Riehm kept sounding a caution. “But what they’re sayin’ … They’re saying this is much more powerful than what this is saying right now.” He meant the B.V.S. forecast. No one reacted. Schultz and Davidson went below. For the next 20 minutes there was no conversation on the bridge. The ship was heaving and rolling moderately, and vibrating as usual with engine AP RIL

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power. The lights had been dimmed, but all was black outside. The ship was sailing on autopilot. Riehm said, “This thing might hit us pretty hard in the morning.” From his position the helmsman said, “Oh yeah?” Riehm invited him over to look at the B.V.S. They talked about it for a while. Riehm expressed his concerns about the Weather Channel broadcast. He said, “Let’s see how this thing goes. We can’t outrun it, you know. It’s more powerful than we thought. This is supposed to hook right here. It’s supposed to make this stop. Getting any closer, it’s gonna turn to the north. What if it doesn’t?” the helmsman asked. “What if we get close? We get jammed in those islands there, and it starts comin’ at us?” Riehm responded, “That’s what I’m thinking. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just being a Chicken Little. I don’t know.” Later Riehm said, “I have a feeling like something bad is going to happen. Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe it’ll just be all nice.” At 10:54 P.M. the sat-C printer delivered the latest from the National Hurricane Center. The intensity of the storm was now oicially registered. Joaquin had exploded into a Category 3 with maximum sustained winds of 115 m.p.h., and gusts to 138. Its current position was accurate to within 17 miles. It was moving south-southwest at six m.p.h. By eight in the morning, it was expected to be sustaining winds of 126, with gusts to 155. Riehm got on the ship’s internal telephone— the house phone—and rang Davidson. The recording microphones picked up only the bridge side of the conversation, but Davidson’s responses can be surmised. Riehm wanted him to come to the bridge. He said, “Hey, Captain, sorry to wake you… Naw, nothing, and, uh, the latest weather just came in, and thought you might want to take a look at it. So yeah if you have a chance … Just looking at the forecast and looking at our track line, which way it’s going, and, uhhh, thought you might wanna take a look at it.” Davidson seems to have asked him to explain. Riehm gave him the numbers and said, “So I assume it stays on that same—moves in that same direction for, say, the next ive hours. And, so, it’s advancing toward our track line and puts us real close to it.” Davidson replied for nearly a minute, during which time Riehm said, “O.K. … yeah, yeah … O.K. … O.K.” After he got of the phone Riehm plotted the storm’s predicted position and looked at the escape route, which would involve a strong right turn to the south into the passage past Crooked Island and on to the Old Bahama Channel beyond. He called Davidson back. He said, “So at 0400 we’ll be 22 miles from the center, with max 100 and gusts to 120 and strengthening.” Those speeds were in knots. He said, “So … the option that we do have— from what I can see—is at 0200 we could head south, and that would open it up some.” Davidson dismissed the plan with a thank-you and did not come to the bridge. Evidence suggests that he was still showing a preference for the AP RIL 2 018

animated B.V.S. graphics, which indicated the storm progressing more slowly. The swell was growing; the ship was moving more heavily now. At one point Riehm said, “We don’t have any options. We got nowhere to go.” The helmsman said, “Jesus, man, don’t tell me anymore. I don’t even wanna hear it.” Riehm laughed. “Oh.” Stuttering like Porky Pig, the helmsman said, “Th-th-th-th-th-these are ba-ba-ba-ba-big waaaves! Jesus—it’s a hurricane!” VII. The Wrong Way

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ust before midnight, Randolph arrived with Davis to stand watch. They were entering the partial shelter ofered by San Salvador Island, about 20 miles to the east, and the ship was moving more easily now. Riehm explained the situation. As always, Randolph tried to keep things light. She said, “This is the second time we changed our route, and it just keeps coming for us.” The ship was gently pitching up and down, not rolling side to side. The radar picked up San Salvador Island on the left and Rum Cay on the right. At 1:18 A.M., the ship took its irst big roll. Davis said, “Whoa!” Randolph said, “Oh! O.K.!” Davis said, “Biggest one since I’ve been up here.” Randolph said, “We’re right between the islands. Sooo, wondering why we’re rolling.” The answer was that the hurricane was not where the B.V.S. showed it would be, and as a result the ship was emerging early from the shelter that San Salvador Island had provided. Pitching more violently, the ship was starting to pound. Davis recommended slowing down. They were approaching the waypoint where Davidson’s route plan called for the signiicant turn to the left, taking the ship, as the captain believed, across the path of the hurricane in its yellow zone, a safe distance from the eye. Randolph did not want to do it. She called Davidson on the house phone and told him that the hurricane was now a Category 3. He knew that already. She proposed the escape route to the south and a smooth sail on to San Juan. He rejected her suggestion. Despite the uncertainties in the forecast, he was so convinced of his strategy that he was able to sleep. He had not yet even downloaded the latest B.V.S. package, e-mailed to his computer at 11 P.M. the previous night. He inally downloaded the package at 4:45 in the morning, when the data it was based on was 11 hours old. When Randolph got off the phone with him, she said to Davis, “He said to run it.” She meant the course as planned. She said, “Hold on to your ass!,” and laughed. El Faro entered a squall. Lightning lickered outside. Davis saw a series of mysterious bright lashes up at the bow—probably electrical connections shorting out in spray. Over the next hour, the conditions deteriorated, and the ship began to labor, unable to exceed about 16 knots.

By now, the stresses on the ship were enormous. Objects exposed to the wind were banging, breaking, and lying away. On Deck 2, one deck below the main deck where the containers were stacked, water began washing in through openings on the sides, swirling around the wheels of the cargo trailers secured there and washing out just as fast. This was not uncommon for El Faro, and no reason for concern because the deck itself was designed to be watertight and sealed of from the engine room and the cargo holds below. The ship kept smashing ahead. At 1:55 Randolph said, “Wooo! That was a good [wave]. Definitely lost some speed.” Davis said, “Damn sure don’t want to lose the plant.” He meant the ship’s engine. “Do a lot of things, but you don’t wanna do that.” The captain wanted full speed in order to cross the storm a good distance from the eye. In the Northern Hemisphere, the circulation around hurricanes runs counterclockwise. The winds right now were northerly and coming at the ship from the left side. If the B.V.S. map was correct, the eye lay ahead and well to the left. According to that model, the winds would become northwesterly (directly astern) as El Faro passed abeam the eye, and would shift to southwesterly and then southerly (on the right side) as the ship steamed into improving weather beyond it. But this never happened—meaning that the ship was heading toward the storm, not away from it. Up on the bridge at 2:42, Randolph had to sit to keep from falling down. She said, “Weeee! Look at that spray!” Then the irst of the really big waves reared just ahead. Randolph said, “Oh, shit! Oh, my God! Ahhh!” She strained audibly as the wave hit. Solid water—green water—was coming over the bow. At 2:54, El Faro took such a roll that Randolph said, “She’s righting herself,” as the ship came back. The ship kept getting knocked of heading. A steering alarm would sound, and the autopilot would slowly regain control. The helmsman said, “Just hold on, baby. We ain’t got but an hour to go.” He meant to the end of their watch. At 3:20 a wave clobbered the stern. Randolph said, “She just got popped in the ass.” The steering alarm sounded. Randolph spoke to it. “Yes, yes, I know. We’re trying.” The ship veered briely out of control. The helmsman said, “Hear that wind out there?” Randolph said, “Yeah.” He said, “We’re getting into it now.” She said, “Hello, Joaquin.” VIII. Rule of Thumb

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oaquin was wild. It was inding its way inside, whipping through the bridge. At 3:45, Chief Mate Schultz arrived for the next watch. He said, “So you can’t see a thing?” Davis answered, “Yeah. If anybody’s out there, they gotta be a damn fool.” The ship was drifting south of the track line. Schultz ordered a heading correction to the left. “It’s hard to tell which way the wind’s blowing, huh? We’re heeling to starboard. Must www.vanityfair.com

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Shipwreck be blowin’ port to starboard.” Hamm showed up for his turn at the helm. Randolph and Davis went below. Schultz said, “Don’t like this.” A huge wave reared up. Hamm said, “Hold on!” The ship slewed when it was hit, and the steering alarm sounded. Schultz got a report that a trailer on the second deck was leaning, and that some of the cords feeding the refrigerated units had been cut. The waves were coming about every 13 seconds, and the autopilot was having a hard time keeping up. The steering alarm sounded frequently. Hamm said, “How much longer of this?,” and Schultz answered, “Hours.” “What’s the gusts out there?” “I don’t have any idea. We don’t have any instrument that can measure it.” “Captain ain’t been up yet?” “Haven’t seen him. The second mate said she called him.” Not long afterward, Davidson entered the bridge. He said, “There’s nothing bad about this ride… I was sleepin’ like a baby.” Schultz said, “Not me.” Davidson said, “What? Who’s not sleeping good? Well, this is every day in Alaska. This is what it’s like.” Hamm said, “Those seas are for real.” Schultz said, “That’s what I said when I walked up here. I said this is every day in Alaska.” Speaking of the wind, Schultz said, “Can’t tell the direction. Our forecast had it coming around to starboard.” “It will,” Davidson said. “Eventually.” He left to get his glasses. When he returned he said, “It’s probably better of we can’t see anything, chief mate.” He lingered for a while watching the storm, which continued to intensify. Referring to the barometric pressure, Schultz said, “We’re at 970 now.” “Now?” “Nine ifty. Think it’s going to go down before it goes up.” Davidson said, “That’s the eye.” “Right.” “We won’t be going through the eye.” So that was that. But here’s a rule of thumb for the Northern Hemisphere: whether you are traveling by ship, airplane, car, or horse, if you have a wind from the left you are moving toward lower atmospheric pressure—and that means moving toward worsening weather. Davidson left the bridge to check on the galley. Immediately afterward the sat-C printer spat out the latest missive from the National Hurricane Center. It contained a reasonably accurate report on the eye’s current position. Schultz retrieved the page but did not have time to plot the coordinates. The house phone rang. It is not clear who the caller was, but the conversation was about problems with cargo on the second deck— the one the seas were sweeping through. The ship was listing to starboard, which was mentioned as 124

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a factor. Schultz did not seem too concerned, and said he would inform the captain. No sooner had he hung up than the phone rang again. This time it was the chief engineer down in the engine room. The conversation was brief. Schultz said he would get through to the captain right away. He rang the captain in the galley. “Captain—chief mate. The chief engineer just called… Something about the list and oil levels.” The time was 4:41 A.M. The hurricane was raging. Davidson returned in less than a minute. Schultz was trying to measure the list by looking at the ship’s inclinometer. He said, “Can’t even see the bubble.” Davidson got on the phone to the engine room. After he got of he said, “Gonna steer right up into it. Wants to take the list of. So let’s put it in hand steering.” He intended to feel his way upwind until the aerodynamic pressures were suiciently reduced that the ship would come closer to level. Beyond the windows all was blackness and driving spray. He did not know the wind’s direction except that it was coming from the left. Hamm started a slow turn into the wind. Davidson had been on the phone again with the engine room. When he got off, he said, “Just the list. The sumps are actin’ up. To be expected.” Schultz said, “Yeah, the oil sumps, I understand.” The sumps had pumps that supplied lubrication to the main engine, the plant. They had turned 35 degrees to the left. Hamm was now doggedly steering to the northeast through enormous unseen seas. The wind was still on the left. Schultz said, “Hangin’ in there?” And, “Still on course. You’re doin’ great.” The sea conditions were by now atrocious. They were no longer normal for Alaska. Schultz apparently volunteered to open a new B.V.S. package. Davidson said, “By all means, take a peek, bring up the weather again. You said the barometer’s coming back up?” Schultz said, “Yes,” and then corrected himself. “Six-zero, it’s still 9-6-0.” Again this was simple: so long as they had winds from the left, the barometer would not rise. Schultz may or may not have tried to open the B.V.S. package—the record is unclear. It was too late for such details, anyway. Though the oicers did not know it, they were about to enter the eye wall of the hurricane, where the storm would be at its worst. The ship was pointed almost directly into the wind, but Davidson had no way of knowing it. On a clean upwind heading any list caused by the winds should have come to an end; the list, however, continued and, if anything, was steeper than before, suggesting that something besides wind was causing it—such as looding. Mathias was now on the bridge. He had been checking conditions on the second deck. He said, “Cargo’s a mess.” Davidson said, “I don’t even want to think about it.” Hamm was having a hard time keeping his place at the helm. Davidson said, “Stand up. Hold on to that handle. Just relax, everything’s gonna be just ine. Good to go, buddy. You’re good to go.”

“Yeah, O.K.” Davidson said, “It sounds so much worse up here. When you go down below, it’s just a lullaby.” The recording was diicult to make out, but Schultz then appears to have reported the list at 18 degrees. Think of the angle of a wheelchair ramp and then multiply times four. IX. Flooding in Three-Hold

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t is unlikely that Davidson ever fully understood that he had sailed into the eye wall of Joaquin, but he must have realized by now that he had come much too close. As is usually the case, the catastrophe was unfolding because of a combination of factors that had aligned, which included: Davidson’s caution with the home oice; his decision to take a straight-line course; the subtle pressures to stick to the schedule; the systematic failure of the forecasts; the persuasiveness of the B.V.S. graphics; the lack of a functioning anemometer; the failure by some to challenge Davidson’s thinking more vigorously; the initial attribution of the ship’s list entirely to the winds; and inally a certain mental inertia that had overcome all of them. This is the stuf of tragedy that can never be completely explained. At 5:43 A.M., the seriousness of their predicament suddenly became clear. Up on the bridge the house phone rang. Davidson answered. “Bridge—captain.” He listened for 15 seconds. He said, “We got a prrrroooblem … ” He hung up and turned to Schultz. “Watch your step. Go down to three-hold. Go down to three-hold and start the pumping right now. Water.” Three-hold was a vast space below the second deck, just forward of the engine room. It was loaded with cars. The deck above it was awash in water—designed to be. The gaps in the hull that let water into the second deck just as easily let it out. The problem was a series of scuttles—heavy watertight hatches—that allowed access from the second deck to the cargo holds below. The crew had secured them the day before, in preparation for the storm. But if one had been overlooked or had failed, the flooding would be severe. The house phone rang. Davidson answered. It was an engineer calling in with a report. The bilge pump was not keeping up—water was continuing to rise. The source of the water was unknown. El Faro had a closed system of two interconnected ballast tanks—one on the left, one on the right—that were used to balance the ship during cargo-loading operations by means of water transfers. Davidson ordered the engine room to start transferring water from the starboard tank to the port tank in order to lessen the list, thereby distributing the lood waters more evenly. Five minutes later the chief engineer rang with the news that the source did indeed appear to be an open scuttle on the starboard side. Access would be diicult unless the lood waters could be lowered. Davidson said, “O.K., what I’m going to do, I’m going to turn the ship and get the wind on the starboard side, get everything on the starboard side, give us a port list, AP RIL

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(1) Lisa Skeete Tatum, co-founder and C.E.O., Landit. (2) Heather Hiles, founder and former C.E.O., Pathbrite (sold company to Cengage KEY Learning in 2015). (3) Marla Blow, founder and C.E.O., FS Card. (4) Helen Adeosun, co-founder and C.E.O., Care Academy. (5) Morgan DeBaun, founder and C.E.O., Blavity. (6) Jean Brownhill, founder and C.E.O., Sweeten. (7) Marah Lidey, co-founder and co-C.E.O., Shine. (8) Kristina Jones, co-founder, CourtBuddy. (9) Sherisse Hawkins, co-founder and C.E.O., Pagedip. (10) Etosha Cave, founder, Opus 12. (11) Tanisha Robinson, founder, Print Syndicate. (12) Catherine Mahugu, founder, Soko. (13) Alicia Thomas, co-founder and C.E.O., Dibs. (14) Kellee James, founder and C.E.O., Mercaris. (15) Viola Llewellyn, co-founder and president, Ovamba. (16) Reham Fagiri, co-founder and C.E.O., AptDeco. (17) Camille Hearst, co-founder and C.E.O., Kit. (18) Alexandra Bernadotte, founder and C.E.O., Beyond 12. (19) K. J. Miller, co-founder, Mented Cosmetics. (20) Nicole Neal, co-founder and C.E.O., Noodle Markets. (21) Amanda E. Johnson, co-founder, Mented Cosmetics. (22) Cheryl Contee, co-founder and strategic adviser, Attentive.ly. (23) Asmau Ahmed, founder, Plum Perfect. (24) Star Cunningham, founder and C.E.O., 4D Healthware. (25) Jewel Burks, co-founder and C.E.O., Partpic (sold company to Amazon in 2016). (26) Jessica O. Matthews, founder and C.E.O., Uncharted Power. Styled by Madeline Weeks; hair products by R+Co; makeup by MAC; hair by Fernando Torrent; makeup by Birgitte; set design by Philipp Haemmerle; produced on location by Una Harris; for details, go to VF.com/credits.

and see if we’ll have a better look at it.” It was an audacious plan. In a badly wounded ship, he was going to use the hurricane itself as a tool for damage control. He said to Hamm, “Put your rudder left 20.” Hamm said, “Left 20.” El Faro began to turn. The winds had further intensiied. The seas were mountainous. The hurricane shoved El Faro into a portside list. Water was now pouring out of the open scuttle. When it stopped, members of the crew would get it closed. Randolph showed up on the bridge. Davidson saw her and said “Hi!” with a rising inlection. He was obviously pleased to see her there. She must have been the best-liked person on the ship.

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efore long, Davidson got word that the scuttle had been secured. He asked Randolph to tell the engine room. She got on the AP RIL 2 018

house phone and said, “Yeah, the scuttle has been shut.” She got tongue-tied. She said, “The shuttle has been scut.” She chuckled. But the ship continued to list badly—now to the left. Water must still be coming in from somewhere. Then suddenly at 6:13 A.M. the ever present tremors of the ship’s propulsion stopped. Davidson said, “I think we just lost the plant.” Three minutes later, the house phone rang. It was the chief engineer. The problem was with lubrication-oil pressure at this angle of list. He said they were trying to bring the engine back online. Meanwhile, the ship had plenty of standby power for running the pumps and electrics. Davidson explained the situation to Randolph. A short while later, he asked her to prepare an emergency message for transmission to the Coast Guard and the company via the security alert system, but not to send it yet.

It was morning twilight, and the scene coming into sight was calamitous, with huge breaking waves, churning foam, and wind-driven rain and spray. The hull lay below the bridge, listing to the left, drifting without forward motion, and taking a pounding from the storm. There was a sound of multiple thuds in rapid succession. Davidson said, “That’s why I don’t go out there… That’s a piece of handrail, right?” Randolph decided that this was the time to grind her gourmet cofee. She said, “Cofee? Cream and sugar?” She added, “Sugar is ine with the captain, right?” Hamm said, “Give me the Splenda, not the regular sugar.” In reply to a question, Davidson said, “Should get better all the time. Right now we’re on the back side of it. O.K.?” But they were not on the back side of the storm, and conditions were not going to imwww.vanityfair.com

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Shipwreck prove. They were in the northern eye wall, and getting pushed to the southwest at twice the storm’s speed. Joaquin, meanwhile, was intensifying into a Category 4 hurricane. Davidson called the engine room. The chief engineer explained that he would not be able to get the lubrication pumps going until El Faro gained more of an even keel. When he got of the phone, Randolph asked, “They having trouble getting back online?” “Yeah, because of the list.” “Uh-oh.” Davidson punched in the number for John Lawrence and left the voice mail. He then called the answering service and encountered the operator—“Oh, God!”—before getting patched through to Lawrence. By the time he inished the conversation with Lawrence, full daylight had come. The chief engineer called, and Randolph told him there was nothing more that could be done from the bridge about the list. Davidson instructed her to send out the electronic distress signals, and she did. Speaking of the outside world, he said in an urgent tone, “Wake everybody up! Wake ’em up!” Schultz had returned to the bridge. He said, “I think that water level’s rising, captain.” “O.K., do you know where it’s coming from?” “At irst the chief said something hit the ire main. Got it ruptured hard.” The ire main had a large-diameter pipe that led from an opening in the hull to a powerful pump at the aft bulkhead at the bottom of three-hold. The pump was protected from the cargo by steel barriers, but the pipe itself was not. It was equipped with a shutof valve, as all through-hull ittings were, but that valve was now lying deep beneath the black waters of the flooded hold—and the cargo of cars was loating around and shifting wildly in the

Eddie Lampert

was sort of stuck in the mall, and Sears, before we made the acquisition, was starting to move off-mall.” Lampert’s vision was to keep Kmart and Sears stores as close to Walmart as he could get them. “That’s where all the people in town are going,” he says. He believed that Sears and Kmart were differentiated enough from Walmart to

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storm. Access to the valve was impossible. There are problems for which there are no solutions. After 10 minutes of considering all possible improvisations, the crew collectively ran out of ideas. X. “Everybody Get Off!”

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l Faro had two lifeboats, but they were outdated—not enclosed and launched on stern rails as modern lifeboats are, but hung from davits on El Faro’s port and starboard sides, open to the sky, extremely difficult if not impossible to launch from a listing ship in hurricane-force winds, subject to shattering against the ship’s steel hull, and certain to capsize in breaking waves. El Faro also had five inflatable life rafts, four of which were packed in canisters near the lifeboats. The life rafts were easier to launch but more difficult to board, and nearly as vulnerable in the storm. The only hope was to take to the life rafts. Davidson radioed to Schultz, who was somewhere on the ship trying to monitor the flooding. He said, “Hey, mate, chief mate. Just a heads-up. I’m gonna ring the general alarm. Get your muster while you’re down there. Muster all, mate.” Schultz answered, “Roger.” Davidson called the engine room and got a junior oicer. He said, “All right, captain here. Just want to let you know I am going to ring the general alarm. You don’t have to abandon ship or anything just yet. All right, we’re gonna stay with it. Is the chief there? Yeah, all is ine. When he’s got a minute just let him know I’m looking to talk with him. But let everyone know I’m gonna ring the general alarm.” When he got of the phone, Davidson said, “Yup,” as if to himself. Then he shouted loudly, “Ring it!” A high-frequency bell could be heard everywhere. Davidson said, “There you go.” Schultz called him on the radio. Davidson said, “Go ahead, mate.” Schultz said, “Everybody starboard side.” The starboard side was the high side, to windward.

be complementary, not competitive. He says he invested a lot of capital in Kmart stores but didn’t get a return on his investment. “I’m not sure Kmart on its own could ever be a great retailer,” he says. “But you put Kmart and Sears together, in combination they had a chance … Kmart had the locations and Sears had the brands.” Lampert also says that starting in 2006 he began making “countercultural investments in online commerce.” “I’m told, for about two years, Lampert actually attempted to run the business,” says Cohen. “So for about a year and a half or two years the inancial performance of Sears Holdings looked pretty good, but in fact all that he was doing was completely cutting capital expenditures and operating expenses.” Lampert’s spokesperson responds, “Managing capital expenditures and expenses tight-

Davidson answered, “All understood.” Hamm was trying to climb the slanted deck of the bridge, but he was exhausted from steering, and it was too steep for him. He said, “Can’t come back over!” Davidson said, “Hold on a sec. Take it easy there.” A radio call came in, possibly from Riehm. “Cap’n, you gettin’ ready to abandon ship?” “Yeah. What I’d like to make sure everybody has their immersion suits and, uh, stand by. Get a good head count. Good head count.” Hamm said, “Captain!” Randolph and Davidson were apparently on the high side of the bridge. The radio said, “Mustered, sir.” Randolph yelled, “All right, I got containers in the water!” Davidson said, “All right. All right, let’s go ahead and ring it. Ring the abandon ship.” The bell sounded: seven pulses followed by an eight-second ring. Davidson said, “Bow is down. Bow is down.” A transmission came in, someone yelling over the roar of the storm. Davidson yelled back. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get into your rafts. Throw all your rafts to the water.” “Throw the rafts in the water. Roger.” Davidson radioed, “Everybody! Everybody get of! Get of the ship! Stay together!” Hamm said, “Cap! Cap!” He was having a hard time climbing the deck. Clinging to the high side, unable to reach Hamm, Davidson kept urging him to try. Hamm said, “You gonna leave me?” Davidson answered irmly, “I’m not leaving you. Let’s go.” A low rumbling began and did not let up. It was the sound of El Faro going down. The last words heard on the bridge are Davidson’s. He is crying out to Hamm: “It’s time to come this way!” 

ly has been required, not optional, to improve the company’s operating performance and inancial lexibility in order to achieve its longterm transformation.”

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he combined company never really found its niche—which was supposed to be somewhere between Walmart, on the low end, and Macy’s, on the high. And then came the 2008 inancial crisis, when, according to Cohen, “Lampert stopped appearing to support the business in any conventional way and started to invest free cash low in derivatives. He hived of Sears Roebuck’s three consequential brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard— into a Caribbean-based wholly owned sub of ESL so the company was paying royalties to Eddie Lampert for the use of its own trademarks.” (Lampert’s spokesperson calls this “completely false … There is no CaribbeanAP RIL

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based wholly owned subsidiary of ESL nor any subsidiary nor any payments to ESL or a subsidiary of ESL for any of the trademarks.”) The company has been in steep decline ever since. “There are a lot of decisions made over a long period of time, including by me, that may not have been always the best decisions,” Lampert admits. “But I did have a point of view in terms of how shopping habits were going to change. I could have put a lot of capital in a Kmart or Sears store and it could look like Bloomingdale’s or it could look like Saks, but we didn’t have access to products that would be consistent with that. In other words, if I built an equivalent of Nordstrom’s, it’s not like all of a sudden Nike would be selling to us.” Or that Nordstrom’s customers would be coming through his doors. Instead, he says, he targeted his capital on improving his customers’ online experience. “I did believe that people are going to be one click away from the best possible experience, the cheapest price, and whatever product they want,” he says. “And I could have a better Web site than Nordstrom’s. I could have a better Web site than Bloomingdale’s. In other words, I don’t need to invest in ixtures, but I do need to invest in the features and the experiences.” But Lampert was evidently ahead of his time in trying to get Sears buyers to shop online. At the time they were just not comfortable enough with the technology to do so. Whatever the reason, Sears’s Web site never remotely rivaled the sales in the stores. Or on Amazon. Now that Amazon is eating Sears’s lunch, Lampert is faced with his latest challenge: staving of a Sears Holdings bankruptcy, and he is using every corporate-inance strategy in the book. n addition to making billions of dollars in loans to the company to provide Sears Holdings with more cash, he has announced the closing of some 300 more stores since the beginning of 2017. He sold Sears’s Craftsman line of tools to Stanley Black & Decker for around $900 million. He is considering the sale, or monetization, of the DieHard battery and auto-center brands. “Most of the big transactions that he’s been into, like the sale of Sears Canada stock or the sale of Lands’ End, have involved or are caught up in special dividends where he’s taken the cash out and returned it to shareholders,” argues Cohen, “and of course he’s the principal shareholder.” Lampert has spun of Lands’ End, Sears

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Hometown & Outlet Stores, Sears Canada, and Orchard Supply, each into its own public company. “We’re fighting to survive—that’s pretty clear,” Lampert says. His critics see things diferently. Robert Chapman, a California-based hedge-fund manager, calls Sears Holdings “a total shit show” that is in “secret liquidation” mode. He says he recently came out of a Kmart in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that ofered so many bargains he couldn’t believe his eyes. “He’s not calling it a liquidation sale,” he says of Lampert, “but if you’ve gone into one of the stores, it’s a liquidation deal.” Cohen says, “[Lampert] is a guy who may have harbored some notion of running this business, but if he did he’s pivoted to just simply manipulating it, if you will, for his own beneit… This is the creative destruction of a very weak brand [Kmart] and a perfectly viable brand [Sears], both of which together were doing something like $50 billion when he took over, and he’s getting away with it because he’s been able to treat this like a private company. No public company would ever allow a chief executive oicer to remain in their seat who was so intimately tied to these manipulations and presiding over the failure of a business like this. This is not normal, if anything is normal these days. This is certainly not normal.” Cohen believes that a bankruptcy iling is inevitable, and that Lampert will end up beneiting from it because he will be able to “walk away” from onerous store leases and other liabilities, such as the underfunded pension plan, and get rid of those assets that he hasn’t been able to sell. Since he’s the largest Sears Holdings creditor, Cohen says, “he’ll then bring this thing right back out as a new company, and he’ll become the new shareholder, and he’ll start this process all over again because Sears still has a substantial inventory of at least theoretically valuable real estate, and as long as there’s any plus value to any consequential outcome it’s all to his beneit.” For his part, Lampert says he is going to keep fighting for as long as it makes sense: “I believe in what’s possible, and we’re doing things that are necessary to keep the company going… It’s deinitely not just humbled me, but it’s expanded my awareness of real issues that exist in our society… I feel like I can make a contribution by being involved, O.K.?” Cohen takes a more cynical view. “This is all just a perversion of our free-market system,” he

says. “This is the actions of a controlling shareholder treating a company as if it is truly private, with no oversights, no constructive oversight whatsoever, with no intent to protect any of the requisite constituencies other than essentially himself.” Lampert’s spokesperson says, “There is no merit to the speculation that Mr. Lampert is working to beneit from the ‘liquidation’, ‘failure’ or ‘bankruptcy’ of Sears Holdings … All shareholders—and the Board of Directors that represents them—ensure there is oversight of their interest in the Sears Holdings, as do several other stakeholders (lending partners, the Pension Beneit Guaranty Corporation, vendors, employees, members, etc.) who have their own diferent interests in the Company. So, it is untrue and unfair to allege that the company is being manipulated to only serve the interests of Mr. Lampert.” espite Lampert’s optimism, Sears continues to decline. Many other big-box retailers had a surprisingly robust 2017 holiday sales season, but sales at Sears suffered mightily, down around 17 percent. Lampert once again tried to reassure the company’s suppliers and equity holders that it had enough cash to pay its bills as they became due. On January 10, he announced that he had arranged an additional $300 million of new loans to ease the terms on other loans that Sears already has, in order to buy more time. He also announced that Sears would ind another $200 million in cost savings not related to already announced store closings. Nevertheless, the fourth-quarter 2017 loss could be as much as $320 million, and Lampert announced he is going to close another 103 Sears and Kmart stores by this month. Despite everything, the Sears Holdings stock price has slumped to $2 a share, down considerably from the high of $134 per share some 11 years ago. Sears Holdings now has a market value of around $250 million, making Lampert’s nearly 60 percent stake worth $150 million. At the end of our interview, Lampert made it clear he’s not done yet. “Put it this way, if I consider all the other alternatives, they’re not great for a lot of people and I just want to be responsible. If I didn’t believe that this company could be transformed still—the window is deinitely shrinking—but if I didn’t believe that, I would try to take a diferent path. But I don’t know what that path exactly would be. It’s not a question of giving up or not giving up.” 

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VANITY FAIR IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ADVANCE MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS INC. IN BOTH THE U.S. AND THE U.K. THE U.K. EDITION IS PUBLISHED BY THE CONDÉ NAST PUBLICATIONS LTD. UNDER LICENSE. COPYRIGHT © 2018 BY THE CONDÉ NAST PUBLICATIONS LTD., VOGUE HOUSE, HANOVER SQUARE, LONDON W1S IJU. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. Vanity Fair April 2018, No. 693. The magazine is published monthly by The Condé Nast Publications Ltd., Vogue House, Hanover Square, London W1S 1JU (telephone: 020 7499 9080; fax: 020 7493 1345). The full subscription rate to Vanity Fair is £59.88 for one year (12 issues) in the UK. Overseas Airmail per year: €99 to the EU, £90 to the rest of Europe, $99 to the US and £99 to the rest of the World. Enquiries, changes of address and orders payable to Vanity Fair, Subscriptions Department, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 9EF. To subscribe on the Internet, visit www.magazineboutique.co.uk/vanityfair or e-mail vanityfair@subscription.co.uk, quoting code 7223. Subscription hotline +44 (0)844-848-5202 open Monday to Friday 8 A.M. to 9:30 P.M. Saturday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. Manage your subscription online 24 hours a day by logging on to www.magazineboutique.co.uk/youraccount. VANITY FAIR is not responsible for loss, damage, or any other injury to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork (including, but not limited to, drawings, photographs, or transparencies), or any other unsolicited materials. Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork, or other materials for consideration should not send originals, unless speciically requested to do so by Vanity Fair in writing. Manuscripts, photographs, and other materials submitted must be accompanied by a self-addressed overnight-delivery return envelope, postage prepaid. The paper used for this publication is based on renewable wood ibre. The wood these ibres are derived from is sourced from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources. The producing mills are EMAS registered and operate according to highest environmental and health and safety standards. This magazine is fully recyclable—please log on to www.recyclenow.com for your local recycling options for paper and board. TO FIND CONDÉ NAST MAGAZINES ONLINE, VISIT www.condenet.co.uk ; TO FIND VANITY FAIR, VISIT www.vanityfair.co.uk.

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PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE

Cecile Richards As she steps down after 12 years running Planned Parenthood, the veteran activist—whose book, Make Trouble, is out next month—reveals the meaning behind her blue Shirley Temple cup and her affinity for the witches of Salem

hat is your current state of mind? Fired up, ready to go. What is your idea of perfect happiness? A taco truck on every corner. Which historical figure do you most identify with? The witches of Salem. Which living person do you most admire? United Farm Workers organizer Dolores Huerta. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself ? Impatience. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Patience. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Smugness. What is your greatest fear? Steep clifs. What is your greatest extravagance? Extra-virgin olive oil and my KitchenAid mixer (with pasta attachments). What is your favorite journey? Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. On what occasion do you lie? Only when asked how much butter is in the piecrust. Which living person do you most despise? Politicians legislating away women’s rights. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “There’s no way Donald Trump tweeted that. And that he’s still president.” What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband (and 136

VAN I T Y FA I R

www.vanityfair.com

fellow organizer), Kirk Adams, and our rescue dachshund, Ollie. When and where were you happiest? January 15, 1991. Walking up Congress Avenue in Austin, with thousands of others, to see Mom sworn in as governor of Texas. What is your greatest regret? That my mother, Ann Richards, didn’t live long enough to be on Twitter. What is it that you most dislike? Papaya. Which talent would you most like to have? Playing the alto saxophone. What do you consider your greatest achievement? My three wonderful kids: Lily, Hannah, and Daniel. What is your most I L L U ST RAT IO N

BY

RISKO

treasured possession? My blue Shirley Temple cup. The Reverend Billy Graham baptized my mom with it when she was a girl. Where would you like to live? Rome. What is your favorite occupation? Making trouble. What is your most marked characteristic? A penchant for saying things that piss people off. What do you most value in your friends? Discretion and love of New Orleans—my favorite city. These two go hand in hand. Who are your favorite writers? Haruki Murakami, Ann Patchett, and Barry Unsworth. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Tintin. Who are your heroes in real life? The doctors, nurses, and staf at Planned Parenthood health centers across America. What are your favorite names? Today? Sonia, Elena, and Ruth Bader. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? A yoga goat or a therapy pet. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A sea otter in Monterey Bay. How would you like to die? With my boots on. What is your motto? “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” AP RIL

2018


Please turn the page to view Supplement


ON TIME

SPRING 2018

“The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights” — J. P A U L G E T T Y

The

Precious M ETA LS Issue PLUS THE WATCH THAT MELTED IN THE SEA and other stories, by WEI KOH; A HISTORY of GOLD by MATTHEW HART; STELLA TENNANT on HER HOROLOGICAL TASTES; THE GOLD CRISIS of the 1970s REMEMBERED by PHILIPPE STERN and JACK HEUER; 50 of the GREATEST GOLD BRACELET WATCHES as chosen by INDUSTRY EXPERTS; and much, much more!


Tambour Horizon Your journey, connected.


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Every day the planets bring about their own revolution, in the shape of the fascinating rotation of the heavens - true poetic astronomy. Van Cleef & Arpels has captured this perfect mechanism in its creations : the course of the sun, the ballet of the stars, the enchantment of a glittering sky. Measuring time takes on a sense of wonder and escape.

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Midnight PlanĂŠtarium Poetic Complications watch automatic mechanical movement, pink gold case. Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Earth revolve around the Sun in real time.


SPRING 2018

STOPWATCH TIME TO SHINE

| 17

Your essential round-up of goings-on in the watch world, including News, Modern Classic, Tool Time, Auction Report, and Hero Watch

FEATURES A MODEL TIMEKEEPER

| 36

STELLA TENNANT’s routine may not be quite as hectic as it was during her modelling heyday in the 1990s, but these days a sundial helps keep her on track T H E VA N I T Y F A I R O N T I M E 2 0 1 8 G O L D P O L L

| 43

“What’s your favourite gold bracelet watch?� We asked 50 industry experts and received some surprising answers M A S T E R S O F M E TA LWO R K I N G

| 50

Meet the men who forge miracles in gold, platinum and more arcane metals A L L T H AT GL I T T ERS

| 52

Rolex, Piaget, Chopard, Hublot, A. Lange & SĂśhne, Audemars Piguet, Corum: all have storied relationships with gold, recounted here by NICHOLAS FOULKES 2 5 G O L D FAC T S

Above: stunning women’s models from Watch Report ( page 89). Below: Stella Tennant wearing her Chanel Code Coco watch ( page 36)

| 61

ANDERS MODIG counts down the 25 need-to-know facts about that most alluring metal GOLD CAL A MIT Y

| 68

Legendary watchmaker and TAG Heuer honorary chairman JACK HEUER looks back on the day in 1971 that Richard Nixon withdrew the US dollar from the gold standard—and the ensuing chaos unleashed upon the watch industry S T E R N WA R N I N G

| 71

Despite its strong position to counter the quartz crisis of the 1970s, the upsurge in the price of gold challenged Patek Philippe’s production. Honorary chairman PHILIPPE STERN looks back on a challenging decade for the family business THE ETERNA L LUST FOR GOLD

| 72

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From Wall Street to Senegal, the world is as obsessed with gold as it has ever been. But where exactly does the compulsion to seek out the metal originate? By MATTHEW HART PLU NDERING T HE PERIODIC TA BL E

| 80

Iridium, titanium, aluminium, silicon‌ unobtanium? A select few watch brands are pioneering new and exotic materials to make watches lighter, shinier, more robust and more beautiful, writes WEI KOH WAT C H R E P O R T

| 89

The ultimate watches in the ultimate metals. They’re not all gold—but it helps

ETC E D I T O R ’ S L E T T E R | 13 C O N T R I B U T O R S | 15 E X P L O D E D W A T C H BAUME & MERCIER CLIFTON BAUMATIC

| 100

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Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Letter

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he 1970s was a great decade for gold: President Nixon took the dollar of the gold standard and, by the end of the decade, the yellow metal, which had been worth around $35 an ounce, was trading at $850. It was also a great decade for gold in the movies: 1974 alone saw the late Sir Roger Moore (see Vanity Fair On Time 2012) star in the two major ilms about the precious metal: The Man with the Golden Gun and Gold, based on Gold Mine, the novel by Wilbur Smith (see Vanity Fair On Time 2014). Both featured rousing theme songs with lyrics by Don Black, the former interpreted by Lulu, the second by Jimmy Helms. Of the two ilms, Gold is perhaps rather more profound, opening as it does with the line: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dyinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; every day for Goldâ&#x20AC;?, pondering whether it is worth risking life â&#x20AC;&#x153;just to put a charm around a ladyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neckâ&#x20AC;? and, of course, asking the question: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why is there this lust for gold?â&#x20AC;? Forty-four years later and we are still asking the same question: why is there this lust for gold? It is, of course, a question that has perplexed greater minds than mine, but gold has a magic that other minerals simply cannot match. Oscars, Olympic medals, the fabled city of El Dorado, the metal that paved the streets of Dick Whittingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s London, credit cards, the top tier of the British Airways Executive Clubâ&#x20AC;Ś the aspirations of mankind, however grand or trivial, always seem to come with a glint of the yellow stuf. This issue of Vanity Fair On Time attempts to explain the perennial appeal of gold and how its charms continue undimmed over the millennia from the ancient world to our times. Matthew Hart, who has written a history of the metal, provides us with a lively personal account of his quest to better understand the timeless allure of a mineral for which many are prepared to risk their lives. While I am too much of a coward to risk my own life, I am nevertheless of a somewhat magpie disposition and always

T

drawn to the shinier things in life. I have long been attracted to the yellow metal and so has the watch industry. Enshrining a precious horological movement within a case made of gold is to pay it the sort of respect that medieval clerics showed when they housed the holy remains of saints and martyrs in caskets and receptacles crafted from the most precious of materials. Indeed, this issue of Vanity Fair On Time is a reliquary of sorts: containing an examination of the place and role of precious metals in watchmaking. Our resident list-maker par excellence, Anders Modig, provides the deinitive 25 need-to-know facts, so you will never ind yourself at a loss when the conversation turns towards the yellow metal. Of course, gold is not just yellow; it can be pink and white. But then it can also be honey, green or even magic, and this issue gives the backstory to some of the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most inventive ways with gold, whether it is turning coins into timepieces or making it so robust that it is harder than steelâ&#x20AC;Ś or indeed anything else. The creation of these magical alloys takes the skills of some pretty high-powered 21st-century alchemists, and we are lucky enough to have brought together some of the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inest minds where metal is concerned and taken them down into the appropriately secure environment of the vaults at UBS, underneath the city of Geneva, where we photographed them for the Vanity Fair On Time spring term school photograph. And to prove gold must be respected, two industry titans recall the damage gold caused the industry back in the 1970s. Finally, to remind us that all that glitters is not gold, the inimitable Wei Kohâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;quite possibly the most famous Singaporean aliveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;turns his razor-sharp mind and rapier wit to the many other metals, precious, rare and just downright strange, which todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s watchmakers have on handâ&#x20AC;Ś should you, for some unfathomable reason, prove unmoved by the siren song of gold. â&#x20AC;&#x201C;NICHOLAS FOULKES

VANITY FAIR .-3(,$ Editor NICHOLAS FOULKES Managing Editor HOLLY ROSS Art Director SCOTT MOORE Deputy Art Director AMANDA BEER Art Editor ANJA WOHLSTROM Designer RUSSELL PROWSE Copywriter SARAH EDWORTHY Copywriter THOMAS BARRIE Photo Editor ZOE GAHAN Deputy Photo Editor TANJYA HOLLAND PARKIN Associate Publisher CLARE SCHIFANO Associate Publisher, Creative Partnerships CLAIRE SINGER Digital Advertising Director LUCIE BURTON Senior Advertisement Director EMMA HEUSER Jewellery Advertising Director EMMA SAMUEL Brand Strategy Director NICKI SINGH Fashion Advertisment Manager EMILY ELLIOTT Beauty Advertising Director OCTAVIA THOMPSON Account Manager ANNELIESE GERRARD Digital Editor ISOBEL THOMPSON Creative Partnerships Manager CHARLOTTE SUTHERLAND-HAWES Senior Production Controller HELEN CROUCH Senior Production Co-ordinator SAPPHO BARKLA

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Publisher TIA GRAHAM Publishing Director KATE SLESINGER

COPYRIGHT Š 2018 THE CONDĂ&#x2030; NAST PUBLICATIONS LTD, VOGUE HOUSE, HANOVER SQUARE, LONDON W1S 1JU. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. NOT TO BE SOLD SEPARATELY. THE PUBLISHER HAS ENDEAVOURED TO ENSURE THAT ALL INFORMATION IS CORRECT AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRESS, BUT DOES NOT ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ERRORS AND OMISSIONS.

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PHILIPPE STERN Philippe Stern is the man behind the glorious anachronism that is the hand-inished watch in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world of mass production. He irst joined Patek Philippe in 1963, eventually to take the reins from his father Henri. It was his grandfather, Charles Stern, who acquired Patek Philippe in 1932. In 1989, he created the Calibre 89 to celebrate the irmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 150th anniversary, and a decade later, the Star Calibre 2000. He also launched a number of projects to expand the company, including the cutting-edge workshops in Plan-les-Ouates; the Patek Philippe Museum; and the restoration of the Patek Philippe sales salons in Geneva. His own son, Thierry, now runs the business; Mr Stern serves as honorary president. Here, he writes about the trials his company faced in the early 1970s.

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Stella Tennant irst took up modelling as an art student in 1993, when she was spotted by fashion writer Plum Sykes and shot by photographer Steven Meisel for Vogue. Chosen as the face of Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, hers quickly became some of the most famous features of the 1990s alongside fellow British models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, and she appeared in campaigns or on the catwalk for Versace, Prada, Balenciaga and Gucci, among others. As well as modellingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;she was most recently on the cover of Vogue in Septemberâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Stella is creative director of Holland & Holland and helped relaunch the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothing collection along with Isabella Cawdor. For Vanity Fair On Time she writes about the peace aforded by her home in Scotland, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;profound connection to timeâ&#x20AC;? she feels thanks to the sundial in her garden, and her Chanel Code Coco watch.

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OWEN SILVERWOOD Owen Silverwood is an established photographer and short ilm director working within the ield of still life. His aesthetic is considered and striking, combining the technical and graphic. He takes a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing inspiration from the worlds of ilm, music, nature and science, and has shot stills and motion projects for clients including Vogue, Creative Review, Tifany & Co., Jo Malone, BMW and the band London Grammar. For Vanity Fair On Time, Owen shot the Watch Report, a stunning portfolio of the most beautiful, seductive and aesthetically ground-breaking watches currently on the market, be they in gold or other alluring materials.

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Jack Heuer, TAG Heuer honorary chairman at 85 years old, deines himself as an electrical engineer; not as a watchmaker, nor as the heir to an iconic watch brand, though he is both of those things as well. He is the man who gave the world the Heuer Autavia, the Carrera, and the Monaco; he established Heuer as Ferrariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oicial timekeeper; he conceived the â&#x20AC;&#x153;1/3-2/3â&#x20AC;? ergonomic rule to help with dial legibility; and he led a family-sized company to international inluence on the chronograph market. A true veteran of watchmaking, for Vanity Fair On Time Mr Heuer looks back on the chaos caused in the industry by President Nixonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s declaration in 1971 that the US dollar would no longer be pegged to the value of gold, and relects upon how watchmaking came out stronger.

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MATTHEW HART Matthew Hart is a veteran reporter and author based in New York City. His most recent articles for Vanity Fair include A Diamond Too Big for the Ritz?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;about the disastrous, failed auction of the biggest diamond in the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and All That Glitters, an account of the global gold rush set of by a soaring gold price in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis. He has written eight books, including Diamond: The History of a Cold-Blooded Love Afair, and, most recently, Gold: The Race for the Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Most Seductive Metal. For Vanity Fair On Time, Matthew recounts a trip to West Africa in search of gold, against the backdrop of the extraordinary history of the metal, featuring everything from Mansa Musa of Mali, the richest man who ever lived, to the iconic gold watches of the early 20th century. 2/1(-&

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George Pragnell 5 & 6 Wood Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Tel. 0178 92 67 072 Harrods 87â&#x20AC;&#x201C;135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London, Tel. 0207 73 01 234 ¡ Owen & Robinson 22 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 23 Commercial Street, Leeds, Tel. 0113 245 3773 ¡ Watches of Switzerland 155 Regent Street, London, Tel. 0207 534 9810 Wempe 43 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 44 New Bond Street, London, Tel. 0207 49 32 299


VA N I T Y FA I R

On Time

STOPWATCH AUC TION REPORT p . 1 8 HERO WATCH p . 2 0 NE WS REPORT p . 2 6 MODERN CL ASSIC p . 2 8 BOOK CLUB p . 3 2

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ANY NEWS ON THE NEWMAN? s all the world now knows, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with Paul Newman dial that was originally owned by the Hollywood actor became the most expensive wristwatch ever auctioned when Aurel Bacs hammered it down at Phillips New York in October for an eye-popping £12.9m. The watch sold after 12 minutes of frenzied bidding, during which an opening ofer of £725,000 was instantly raised to £7.25m before the gavel inally fell at £11.24m—to which was added a not insigniicant £1.66m in buyer’s premium. But who bought it? Speculation is rife, but many believe the mystery telephone bidder could have been a representative of Rolex itself. It’s more likely, however, that the watch was snapped up by a private buyer who has been waiting for decades to add the “Holy Grail” to an otherwise deinitive collection.

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GET ON PARADE!

£4.

Who said “only”?

5M

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collection of 1960s and ‘70s he seventh edition of the biennial Only Heuer watches amassed by Watch charity auction—conducted by UK enthusiasts Richard Christie’s in Monaco in November— Crosthwaite and Paul Gavin realized made £7.7m, bringing the total raised since around £1m when it was hammered the event’s inauguration in 2005 to more than down by Phillips Geneva in a stand£25m. Of the 50 watches donated, the best alone sale entitled “Heuer Parade”. The performer—at a remarkable £4.5m—was a top seller was a 1962 Autavia with large unique titanium Patek Philippe Reference 5208, while an F.P. Journe flyback chronograph with a blue dial made £843,000. A subsidiary dials which realized £99,700. distinctive Audemars Piguet Royal Oak perpetual Other top performers included a very early calendar in black ceramic sold for £580,000. Autavia GMT (£54,000), a Carrera Yachting 54K £2 The surprise proved to be chronograph (£42,600) and the irst Autavia chronograph the sale of a left-handed produced last year to mark Tudor Black Bay Bronze Jack Heuer’s 85th birthday for £254,000. It was (£27,000). Crosthwaite used expected to fetch no the collection as the basis more than £4,000. All for three books about Heuer proceeds will go towards by watches which were illustrated research into Duchenne SIMON DE BURTON muscular dystrophy. with photographs by Gavin.

ON I T C U A RT R EPO

The room was Buzzin’

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gold Cartier model of the Apollo 11 lunar module Eagle that was presented to astronaut Buzz Aldrin during a visit to Paris in October 1969 sold for £108,000 after landing on the block at an online space memorabilia sale held by Boston-based RR Auctions. The model was one of three commissioned by Le Figaro as gifts for the crew of Apollo 11 when they visited France as part of the Giant Step world tour staged after Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first people to walk on the moon.

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A BREIT FUTURE?

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he watch world is waiting with bated breath to see what former IWC boss Georges Kern does in his new role as CEO of Breitling. Many expect him to focus on the irm’s heritage, hopeful that he will revive the fabulous Duograph split-seconds chronograph of the 1940s. A deliciously patinated specimen cropped up at Christie’s in Hong Kong recently, where it sold for an aboveestimate £23,000.

SPRING

2018

R O N G A L E L L A / W I R E I M A G E ( N E W M A N ) ; C O U R T E S Y O F P H I L L I P S , N E W Y O R K ( R O L E X D AY T O N A ) SHUTTERSTOCK (ANTIQUE PHONE, ALDRIN); COURTESY OF PHILLIPS, GENEVA (1962 AUTAVIA); TKTKTKTKTK (JACK HEUER); DAVID WILLEN FROM STUDIO WILLEN, ZURICH (KERN)

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S T O P WAT C H

BEEN IN THE WARS?

Nice Grill(e)s, bro

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nce considered absurdly kitsch, these Rolls-Royce grille watches made by Corum in the 1980s must now represent the ultimate in retro watch bling. The “his ‘n’ hers” creations realized £7,500 between them at Bonhams New York, more than double their estimate. With numberless dials behind the grilles’ vertical bars, t h e wa t c h e s we r e not intended for the meticulously punctual. But so long as one could waft to lunch in one’s Camargue for approximately 1pm, what the hell?

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ON AUCTI RT R EPO

Rolex Cosmograph bought new in 1980 by the leading American television reporter John Laurence more than doubled expectations to sell for £49,860 when it appeared at Sotheby’s New York. He paid £1,125 for the watch, which he proceeded to wear for the following 37 years around the world. Laurence made his name in 1970 with the award-winning CBS News documentary The World of Charlie Company, for which he spent ive months embedded in the Vietnam jungle with a US rile brigade.

Girl Power

WORTH PONYING-UP FOR

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orological associations with Ferrari have not, by and large, been a roaring success. One that seems to remain especially underrated is that established by the late Gino Macaluso, who partnered his GirardPerregaux brand with the Prancing Horse in the 1990s. The alliance resulted in some excellent and understated designs, few of which have attracted collectors—yet. However, we think this one-of perpetual calendar F50 chronograph in white gold might well prove to have been a bargain. It sold at Christie’s Hong Kong for a paltry £18,800.

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rtcurial kicked off 2018 by staging the world’s first sale of watches for women. The 92-lot event in Monaco featured watches from the 1900s, among which were several groovy Piaget designs from the 1960s and ‘70s, including two examples of an oval-cased model set with jade dials and emerald and diamond-set bezels similar to one Jackie Kennedy Onassis often wore. It sold for £8,570, helping the sale to a total of £409,200.

HERO WATCH YA C H T - M A S T E R

R E FE R E N C E

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olex registered the Yacht-Master trademark back in the 1960s while experimenting with a new chronograph model similar to the Cosmograph but with a larger, 40mm case. That watch was never put into production and the Yacht-Master name stayed on ice until 1992, when the original production model was released in yellow gold and bi-metal. The watch was probably intended as a more luxurious yachtsman’s version of the celebrated Submariner dive watch, but it proved to be considerably less successful commercially. In 1999, however, Rolex unveiled the superb Rolesium

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Reference 16622 version which combined a steel case with a distinctive platinum bezel and a solid platinum dial with a inish that generally appeared muted but, in the right light, came alive with an almost frosted quality. The watch was gradually phased out following the arrival in 2012 of a new steel Yacht-Master with a blue sunray dial. Now, however, the brilliance of the Rolesium 16622 is gradually being noticed—and prices are on the rise. Look for excellent condition examples with box and papers and, if buying “sight unseen”, remember that many 16622s were used for the purpose for which they were intended (i.e. sailing) and often sufered knocks and water damage as a result.

ANTIQUORUM CHRISTIE’S

BONHAMS

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 2007

LONDON, APRIL 2005

£3,485

ANTIQUORUM

£3,810

GENEVA, MAY 2006

ARTCURIAL PARIS, MAY 2008

£4,410

CHRISTIE’S AMSTERDAM, NOVEMBER 2009

£4,070

GENEVA, NOVEMBER 2010

£5,500

R O L E S I U M

ARTCURIAL MONACO, JULY 2014

SOTHEBY’S

ANTIQUORUM

HERITAGE

LONDON, JULY 2011

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 2012

DALLAS, OCTOBER 2013

£4,070

£3,560

£6,350

CHRISTIE’S DUBAI, OCTOBER 2015

£5,445

CHRISTIE’S CHRISTIE’S DUBAI, MARCH 2017

GENEVA, NOVEMBER 2016

£6,810

£5,190

£3,630

£7,840 

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SPRING

2018

SLIM AARONS/GETTY IMAGES (MR AND MRS DONALD LEAS WITH ROLLS-ROYCE); B O N H A M S ( G RI L L E WAT C H E S ) ; G E T T Y I M AG E S ( F E RRA RI F 4 0 ) ; TO M WA RGAC K I / W I R E I M AG E ( O N A S S I S ) ; A R T C U RI A L ( P I AG E T WAT C H E S )

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S T O P WAT C H

BUY

Watches with “masterpiece” cases made by Jean-Pierre Hagmann, a living legend who worked for Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet et al.

JOHN REARDON Christie’s New York

Complicated and rare vintage Patek Philippe pieces remain the best of the best in terms of collectability.

GEOFFROY ADER Artcurial Paris

Early vintage-looking pre-Richemont Roger Dubuis chronographs from the Hommage series. For me, the most beautiful of modern chronographs.

AUREL BACS Phillips Geneva

Any vintage Rolex Submariner, GMT, or Cosmograph you can get hold of—but only if it is in flawless condition.

STEFAN MUSER Dr Crott, Frankfurt

JONATHAN DARRACOTT Bonhams, London

DAVID HARE Gardiner Houlgate, Bath

ALEXANDRE GHOTBI Independent, London

ADRIAN HAILWOOD Wooley and Wallis, Salisbury TOBY SUTTON Watches of Knightsbridge, London

Modern complications in good condition and modern, high-end handmade watches by independent makers or workshops. Top-brand complicated wristwatches. Be prepared to hold for a while—they should come good in time!

Chronographs from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, especially Longines and lesser-known Swiss makes.

Breitlings from the 1940s to ‘60s. Great styling, lots of choice. Interest will rise if the new CEO delves into the back catalogue.

1930/40s large-size chronographs. Waterproof, steel-cased models with black dials are the most popular.

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HO LD

Sell modern Patek Nautilus watches while the mania is hot. Everyone wants a Nautilus and supply is very low, so resale prices are sky-high.

Vintage Vacheron Constantin wristwatches with unusual lugs from the 1940s and ‘50s. Prices will climb as collectors appreciate their rarity.

Rolex sports watches are still extremely strong—but for how much longer can the prices continue to rise?

Audemars Piguet’s forthcoming museum will reveal the brand’s strong heritage and patrimony, causing values to rise.

Any watch from your collection that you didn’t wear in 2017, in order to make room for new acquisitions!

The “forgotten stars” of Rolex— models with great history from the 1960s and ‘70s: the Datejust 1600 series and Milgauss reference 1019.

Panerai watches from recent years. The market has slowed, even for vintage pieces.

Smaller-sized Patek Philippe wrist watches from the 1940s to the ‘60s.

Vintage chronographs by Heuer, Rolex and Patek Philippe.

High quality, technical pocket watches by wellknown makers.

Vintage sports models from the 1950s to the ‘70s, especially Rolex, are achieving exceptional results internationally, but originality is vital.

Good quality repeating pocket watches. Some fine pieces seem greatly undervalued as the market is heavily focused on wristwatches.

Rolex Daytonas. Versions with pump chronograph pushers and screw-down pushers are equally desirable. Modern, grand complications from all but the highest-level brands. Only the top names will hold value in an oversupplied market.

Most Heuer models. We may have seen the top in the Heuer market in 2017.

COM-prehensive array Rolex S ubmariner made for the celebrated French underwater engineering firm COMEX and issued second-hand to one of its divers in 1980 recently appeared at Bonhams in London along with a whole raft of Comex-branded extras, including a Zippo lighter, a leather chequebook holder, two penknives, a tape measure, some golf tees—and even a Longines watch given to mark 10 years of loyal service. The COM-prehensive array was consigned by the diver along with his diving log books and letter of appointment. A collector rose to £60,000 for the well-used Sub, double its low estimate.

TO P

Watches by independent makers such as Roger Smith, Laurent Ferrier and Philippe Dufour. Time-only, precious metal strap watches from the best marques, 34mm and over. These pieces are undervalued.

Military-issued watches are on the rise.

ALL CHANGE

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ate 2017 saw Laurence Nicolas made global MD of jewellery and watches at Sotheby’s after 16 years at Dior, where she established the timepieces division. The auction house has appointed Sam Hines as worldwide head of its watch division, taking him from Phillips, who also lost specialist Paul Maudsley—rumoured to have left to work on a car-and-watch-related project of his own. Thomas Perazzi has left Christie’s after three and a half years to head up Phillips’ watch operation in Asia, and another industry veteran, Adrian Hailwood, has left family-owned auction house Fellows to join Woolley and Wallis.

ON AUCTI RT R EPO



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SPRING

2018

@ M I K E TAY I N S TA G R A M ( R O G E R D U B U I S WAT C H ) ; D R C R O T T AU C T I O N E E R S ( M U S E R ) ; C O U R T E SY O F S OT H E BY ’ S ( N I C O L A S ) ; PA S C A L PA RROT / SYG M A / G E T T Y I M AG E S ( C O M E X D I V E R S )

AU C T I O N E E R S ’


S T O P WAT C H

The stars were aligned

STRONG PERFORMERS

Japanese copper globe owned by the family of the late Xavier Givaudan of the perfume dynasty fetched £665,000 when it crossed the block at Piguet’s auction house in Geneva. Dating from the early 1600s, it was probably made for the ruling Tokugawa shoguns and showed the movement of the sun, moon and stars as seen from Edo (now Tokyo). The 65cm sphere was acquired from a Parisian dealer during the 1930s by Xavier Givaudan’s brother, Leon. The rarity was tipped to sell for around £75,000, but a 108-page report by Professor Christopher Cullen, an expert in the history of east Asian science, helped it to its final bid.

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model of a performing seal, a street sign for the rue Hans Wilsdorf, three sets of cofee spoons and a replica of a Greek urn were among 18 items of Rolex memorabilia that realized £27,570 between them when they cropped up at an Antiquorum sale in Geneva. The foothigh brass and steel seal (absurdly misdescribed as an “otter” in the catalogue) was balancing a globe topped by a Rolex crown on its nose. Top seller among the group was a hefty, Rolex-marked microscope once used in the factory, which sold for £4,135.

ON AUCTI RT R EPO

They took their time

LED ZEPPELIN? NO, SILVER...

e all know haute horlogerie requires care and attention, but time wasn’t of the essence in the case of an Audemars Piguet pocket watch recently sold at Sotheby’s, New York. Records show work began on its complex perpetual calendar, split seconds chronograph movement in 1907, but was then abandoned in the factory for 60 years before anyone took it upon themselves to complete the project. The mechanism was eventually housed in an Art Deco gold case before being sold to its first owner in 1968— just one year before the start of the so-called quartz revolution. Sotheby’s sold it for £72,550.

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C O U R T E SY O F G I VAU DA N ( P O R T RA I T ) ; C O U R T E SY O F P H I L L I P S ( M I DA S WAT C H ) ; ANTIQUORUM (POT AND SEAL); © MUSEUM OF FLIGHT/CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES (USS MACON); S H U T T E R S TO C K ( U S F L AG , C H RI S T I E ’ S S I G N , S OT H E BY ’ S S I G N , PA D D L E ) ; I S TO C K ( GAV E L )

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trio of silver-cased pocket watches that were used aboard the US Navy Zeppelin, the USS Los Angeles, in 1924 have been sold by Christie’s for £181,000. The watches were supplied to the Navy in 1917 after achieving high scores in the Geneva Observatory timing contests and were given their vital role on the Los Angeles, which was one of four Zeppelins in the US leet—and the only one not to come to a tragic end. Of the other three, the Macon crashed into the sea of Monterey Bay, killing two crew; the Shenandoah broke up over Ohio killing 14; and the Akron was destroyed in a storm of New Jersey, leaving 73 dead in the greatest airship disaster of all time.

AUCTION CALENDAR MARCH __17 __ Watches of Knightsbridge, London __23 __ Christie’s, Dubai

• APRIL __2 __ Sotheby’s, Hong Kong __17 __ Sotheby’s, London __24 __ Fellows, Birmingham 

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MAY __12 __ Dr Crott, Frankfurt __12 __ Phillips, Geneva __13 __ Sotheby’s, Geneva __14 __ Christie’s, Geneva __22 __ Bonhams, London (Knightsbridge) __23 __ Gardiner Houlgate, Bath __28 __ Christie’s, Hong Kong __29 __ Fellows, Birmingham

JUNE __13 __ Christie’s, New York __20 __ Bonhams, London (Bond St) __25 __ Fellows, Birmingham

• JULY __31 __ Fellows, Birmingham

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N E WS R E PORT By Nazanin Lankarani

COLLABORATION AND CUSTOMIZATION MUSIC TO MY EARS

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QDMSLBCP &CMPEC!?KDMPB CVNJ?GLCB b3FC ,?WD?GPF?QCTMJTCBOSGRC JGRCP?JJWMLKWUPGQR6FCL( F?LBCBKWMULU?RAFGLDMP? QCPTGAC?LBNSRMLRFC>QCPTGAC U?RAF(JC?PLRTCPWOSGAIJW FMUKSAF(JMTCBGR?LBBGB LMRU?LRRMR?ICGRMDDk

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HIGH-OCTANE COLLABORATIONS Roger DubuisF?QQGELCB? QGVWC?PN?PRLCPQFGNUGRF +?K@MPEFGLG2OS?BP?"MPQC 3FCGPAMJJ?@MP?RGMLF?Q NPMBSACBRUMCVACNRGML?J U?RAFCQRFC$VA?JG@SP TCLR?BMP2 GLQNGPCB@WRFC CNMLWKMSQCLEGLC GL?L CBGRGMLMDCGEFR GLRFC PCBMP?LECb P?LAGM PEMQk  ?LB GLb&G?JJM.PGMLk

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N E WS R E PORT By Nazanin Lankarani

AWARDS AND COMMISSIONS IT’S NOT A MAN’S WORLD

Omega was official timekeeper for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games in Korea. Its new Olympic Collection has five watches in the colours of the Olympic rings. Omega will also be keeping track of the Volvo Ocean Race this year. Longines will be official timekeeper for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia’s biggest sporting event. Hublot will be official timekeeper of the 2018 FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15.

THE BLUE LAGOON French artist Vincent Beaurin, whose sculptures are on display at the Cheval Blanc Maison, LVMH’s exclusive hotel in the Maldives, has designed a new watch dial made of sand collected from the blue lagoons of the Noonu Atoll. Hublot’s new Classic Fusion Cheval Blanc Randheli evokes the dark hues of the Indian Ocean and the turquoise waters of the lagoon under clear blue skies.

IWC MODERN CL ASSIC he clue is in the name. At the end of the 1930s, the International Watch Company of Schafhausen received an eccentric request from the 1 Portuguese market for a wristwatch equipped with a pocket-watch movement that could function with the precision of a marine chronometer. This early outsize watch was an anomaly in its time and it was not until the numbers of the year of its “launch” were rearranged in 1993 that the true beneit for IWC would become apparent with the launch of the hugely successful Portuguese range of watches. In those days the irm was run by the visionary Günter

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#MENTOO Also in Dubai, Louis Moinet won best tourbillon for its Space Mystery, the world’s first “satellite tourbillon” in which the cage is balanced by a rotating planet. Bovet 1822 was honoured for its “Amadeo convertible case system” that can transform its Monsieur Bovet wristwatch into a pocket watch, a reversed timepiece or a table clock. Hublot’s Big Bang Meca-10 Magic Gold won in the Best of the Best category at the Red Dot Awards.

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BY NICHOL A S F OULK ES Blümlein. Foreseeing the boom for big watches, he rummaged around the archives and decided that this was the perfect watch for the new era. (1) The large case diameter; (2) clear, legible dial; unadorned case design and (3) minimal bezel combined to become a highly recognizable visual signature. Its appearance in 1993 was part of the irm’s 125th birthday 3 celebrations and I was fortunate enough to attend the party in Basel; which featured—impossible to make this up—entertainment from a Swiss German comedian and a man who went on stage to rip and tear newspapers in such a way that they were made into pretty garlands.

SPRING

2018

ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOE MCKENDRY

OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPERS LET THE GAMES BEGIN

At the Eve’s Watch Awards last November, Aurélie Picaud, director of Fabergé Timepieces, was named Woman of the Year, while Audemars Piguet won Luxury Watch of the Year for its feminized Royal Oak Frosted Gold. Cartier will hold the 2018 Women’s Initiative Awards in Singapore. Drawn from 2,800 applicants from over 130 countries, the six winners will be announced on April 26. Each will receive $100,000 in prize money, with the 18 runners-up each winning $30,000. All 24 finalists will receive coaching and admission into an executive program at INSEAD, a business school in France. Alexandre Meerson continues “Project Anna,” in which women are invited to serve as muse to help the watchmaker grasp the “essence of what is meaningful for women”. Meanwhile, the MasterGraff Floral Tourbillon by Graff Diamonds won Best Ladies’ Watch at the Middle East Watch & Jewellery of the Year Awards in Dubai last November.


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AMBASSADORS NEW AMBASSADORS: THE NEXT GENERATION The French actress Marine Vacth, noticed in her role as a teenage call girl in Jeune et Jolie (“Young and Beautiful”), will be Chanel’s new ambassador for all divisions, including watches. Kaia and Presley Gerber, the children of supermodel Cindy Crawford, herself a veteran Omega ambassador, have joined the Omega family. “My journey with Omega has been incredible and I know that Kaia and Presley will enjoy working with the brand as much as I have,” Crawford said. In China, the actress Liu Shishi, of the series Scarlet Heart, is also now an Omega ambassador, and Longines

has enlisted actress and fashion icon Zhao Liying. Ms. Zhao appeared in the Chinese drama Duckweed, alongside fellow Longines ambassador Eddie Peng, and in Eternal Wave, a spy film set during the Japanese occupation of China alongside fellow ambassador Aaron Kwok. The young tennis star Denis Shapovalov has joined Cristiano Ronaldo, Tom Brady, ice hockey player Henrik Lundqvist, and footballer Tim Howard as co-ambassador for TAG Heuer. A Canadian born in Tel Aviv to parents of Russian descent, Shapovalov burst on to the international scene last summer when he defeated Rafael Nadal at the Montreal Masters at just 18 years of age.

T OOL TIME฀

AMBASSADORS: ATOP CLIFFS AND GLACIERS The aptly named Kenton Cool, one of Britain’s leading alpine climbers, is Montblanc’s new ambassador. Cool has climbed Mount Everest 12 times, including in 2009 with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, then 65, the oldest Briton to do so. Adventurer Ben Saunders wore his new Bremont watch—a follow-up to the custom-designed Terra Nova—as he attempted to become the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unassisted. The

expedition covered 1,033 miles, in temperatures dipping to -50°C, and Saunders consumed 6,250 calories per day while carrying only two changes of underwear. Saunders retraced the steps of his friend, Lt. Col. Henry Worsley, who died attempting the crossing in 2016. TAG Heuer will draw new ambassadors from “La Patrouille des Glaciers”, a team of ski mountaineers participating in one of the world’s toughest races, organized by the Swiss army.

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would harbour the watchmaker’s old arch-enemy: dust. Pitched against this is the watchmaker’s piped air supply, and—for the very lucky watchmaker—a piped vacuum. Extensible hoses are arranged to hover near the hand. Pressurized, iltered, dried air is permanently laid on by a silent compressor. A blast button on the nozzle scatters dust, dirt, and loose watch parts! To hoover up the most tenacious particles, the compressed air is routed through a special venture tube, generating powerful suction in its wake. The best of these machines is triggered by the change in the light striking the hose as the watchmaker pulls it towards themselves.

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WAT C H M A K E R ’ S C A N N E D A I R

here’s a pervasive image of the watchmaker—a silverhaired old gent sits hunched over some abstruse piece of mechanism, while around him a constellation of arcane tools, cogs, springs and metal shavings litters an ancient mahogany bench. This mental picture has been reinforced by illustrations like Norman Rockwell’s What Makes It Tick? or the supposed portrait of Perrelet, the now disputed inventor of the automatic watch. It’s a romantic image, but the best, most consistent work is performed on a bench that has more in common with a surgical theatre than the garrets of Geneva’s Cabinotiers. A cluttered bench


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ANNIVERSARIES AND TRIBUTES

Hamilton celebrates its first century of “timing the skies”. Though its history began with railroad watches, in 1918 Hamilton became official timekeeper for the first U.S. Airmail flights between Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York. Montblanc celebrates the 160th year of its manufacture Villeret, formerly known as Minerva, with a new collection unveiled at the SIHH and a new advertising campaign starring Hugh Jackman. Omega’s Seamaster is 60. Omega is planning new anniversary models to mark its own maritime history. TAG Heuer has released the “Monaco Gulf Special

Edition” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Gulf Racing Stripes, featuring the emblematic blue and orange racing stripes and the Gulf logo on the dial. Van Cleef & Arpels celebrated the 50th anniversary of its iconic Alhambra jewellery design with new editions of the “Sweet Alhambra” watch at the SIHH in January. Audemars Piguet is marking the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore with a re-edition of the self-winding chronograph and two versions with a tourbillon chronograph. Chopard won the Aiguille d’Or at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for the L.U.C. Full Strike, its first minute repeater, a crowning

achievement that marks the 20th anniversary of Chopard’s manufacture. F.P. Journe’s new “Anniversary Centigraphe” will mark the 10th anniversary of Journe’s Parisian boutique. Part of the proceeds of the sale of the anniversary watch, limited to 10, will be donated to the Parisbased Institute of Brain and Spinal Cord to support medical research on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other degenerative diseases. A. Lange & Söhne salute the late Mr. Lange by launching the “1815 Homage to Walter Lange”, with stoppable jumping seconds in a black enamel

dial. The one-off steel version, “as unique as the man whose name it bears”, will be sold in auction to benefit Children Action, a Geneva charity. Limited editions in yellow, white and pink gold will also be available. Baume & Mercier’s partnership with Indian Motorcycle has produced the Clifton Club Burt Munro Tribute, an automatic chronograph that celebrates the motorcycle racer from New Zealand.

BOOK CLUB BY NICHOL AS FOULK ES

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LONGINES: LEGENDARY WATCHES I COLLECT ROLEX AND PATEK, WHY SHOULD I BE INTERESTED IN A BOOK ABOUT LONGINES? I urge you to broaden your horizons—Longines has some extraordinary credentials, and its links with aviation are astonishing. Longines timepieces were deemed essential flying kit by Lindbergh, Howard Hughes and Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin, to name but a few. ANYTHING ELSE? It is written by that ultimate collector John Goldberger—a legend. THAT’S MORE LIKE IT! I thought that would get your attention, and there is an interesting historical introduction by Giampiero Negretti. TWO LEGENDS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE…HOW MUCH IS IT? Let us just say that it is reassuringly expensive. ARE THERE ANY MOVIE STARS? Kate Winslet and Audrey Hepburn have both featured in the brand’s advertising and Bogart’s watch appears on page 122. WHAT ABOUT WORLD LEADERS? There is a wristwatch decorated with the face of King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia on page 144, and a pocket-watch with a case that features Napoleon I on page 32. SOUNDS INTRIGUING. I told you so. WOULD YOU SAY IT IS WORTH STOCKING UP ON VINTAGE LONGINES IN ANTICIPATION OF RENEWED INTEREST FROM COLLECTORS? If I knew for sure I would be doing it myself, but as it sounds like you’re of a gambling inclination, then you might enjoy pages 72-73 which feature an interesting watch with roulette bezel.

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ARTS AND OPENINGS

NEW BOUTIQUES Just in time for Christmas, TAG Heuer opened a new store at 449 Oxford Street with model and brand ambassador Bella Hadid in attendance to cut the ribbon and launch the much-anticipated Link Lady Bella Hadid Limited Edition. Customers who had preordered the new timepiece were invited to meet Ms. Hadid when collecting their watches.

To celebrate its first London boutique at 30 New Bond Street, Panerai auctioned a unique Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo at Sotheby’s. Its new owner will meet the London boutique’s head watchmaker to learn the intricacies of the new watch. Van Cleef & Arpels plans to open new boutiques in Seoul, Changsha, Xi’an and Dubai before summer. Hublot plans new stores in Mexico City and Geneva, and its first boutiques in Jeddah, Casablanca, Macau and Amsterdam. This summer, Graff Diamonds will open its second boutique at 237 rue St Honoré in Paris. Designed by Peter Marino, the store will include a salon and a bridal room under diamond-faceted, seven-metre ceilings.

ARTISTIC COMMISSIONS Van Cleef & Arpels’s jewellery-themed installation, Noah’s Ark, a timeless mise en scène by American director Robert Wilson, will travel to Seoul from March 31 to April 29. Mr. Wilson said of his rendition of the Biblical story: “It is a journey along sensory sceneries; an abstract and fancy-free immersion into a fairytale. Inspiration is everywhere, in a light beam, a vision, a melody, a painting, an encounter, a sky, a word, a laughter, a tear.” Audemars Piguet’s third annual art commission, by the Los Angeles-based artist Lars Jan, was unveiled at Art Basel Miami. The piece, Slow-Moving Luminaries, consisted of an immersive pavilion that

addressed issues of climate change with a series of small, minimalist sculptures representing Miami’s buildings being submerged by rising ocean waters. Also at Art Basel Miami, Hublot unveiled the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski, a collaboration with French sculptor Richard Orlinski, known for his bright-coloured, multi-faceted beasts, in the annual “Hublot Loves Art in Miami” event.

have always liked Glenn Spiro. He has an air that suggests he has just hopped of his yacht after a month sailing the Aegean: his unvarying uniform is swept-back hair, sun tan, crisp opennecked shirt, blazer or dark suit, and carefree manner. It took me some time to work out that he is also a highly regarded jeweller: a man who takes what he does seriously, but has a good time doing it. Style aside, I also respect his afection for and knowledge of old Cartier. His favourite period, like mine, is post-war until mid-1970s, but he does occasionally stray into the earlier periods as recently, when he acquired a sensational 1930s Mah-jong set—I don’t play, but I igure it’s worth learning if Cartier is making the equipment. Also like me, he has great respect for Arnaud Bamberger, the quondam Cartier boss. Such respect, in fact, that he has persuaded him to come out of retirement and become honorary chairman of Glenn Spiro Enterprises Inc. Arnaud’s arrival coincides with Glenn’s

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entrance into the wonderful world of watches, with a collection of gem-set hidden watches. “I wouldn’t say we qualify to be in the watch business, it was just that I was designing something that by default lent itself to making a great timepiece,” says Glenn, with customary humility. The deal was struck over lunch at Chucs, the pocket-sized Mayfair restaurant that Glenn owns along with a few like-minded local plutocrats. It was a shrewd move for both men, as Arnaud’s suave manner, his Kent, Haste & Lachter suits, his friendship with HM The Queen and his convertible Bentley were simply wasted during his retirement, and it will be good for the industry to see them again. I have to admit that here at Vanity Fair On Time, we are a little hazy about what it is that an honorary chairman actually does, but we hope it allows Arnaud enough time to pursue his shooting career during the winter and permits enjoyment of his customary summers spent aboard friends’ yachts.

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ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOE MCKENDRY

IN PR AISE OF PL UT OCR AT S BY NICHOL AS FOULKES


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STEEL, 42 MM SELF-WINDING www.baume-et-mercier.com


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A Model

TIMEKEEPER Her family are late by nature, and for years the fashion industry kept her in a dizzying blur of timezones, but these days STELLA TENNANT feels naked without a timepiece on her wrist

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y first watch was a Swatch, which was appropriate for a teenager in the 1980s. It was one of those transparent ones: you could see all the workings of it. The irst thing I did was swap the horrible plastic strap for a very nice velvet ribbon, and I wore it for years. After that, I spent years without a watch. My dad never wore a watch. The Tennants I know are all late. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re late by nature. And as I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like to be controlled by the time, I felt that I was liberating myself and proclaiming my independence. So, it is ironic that I have been chosen as the face of the new Chanel watch. As I have grown older, however, I have learned that self-determination is largely an illusion and that time, even though it is a man-made invention, can be rather useful, so I got back into wearing a watch and these days I feel naked without a timepiece on my wrist. Checking the time becomes such a habit. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rude to be late and it is hopeless to arrive at the bank when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s closed, so you need to know the time. And the less time you have left, the DIAL C FOR CHANEL more you want to do with it, Stella Tennant so learning to manage your photographed at home time is an important part on December 18, 2017, wearing Code Coco of growing up. watch by Chanel I learnt that when my Watches, ÂŁ7,600, and career as a model took of. I clothes by Holland & didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wear a watch at the Holland beginning, but at one point I simply had to, and so the Hermès Cape Cod watch with the double strap that I still wear every day became a part of me. This Chanel watch is diferent; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as much a piece of jewellery and an accessory as it is a thing that tells the time. And it is interestingly designed. It looks like a domino and the closure is on the face of it. It looks like the absolutely JAMES BENNETT


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classic Coco Chanel handbag as it has that special opening that licks up. Best of all, it has a very nice little edging of diamonds. It is an elegant evening watch. Of course, when I was modelling very intensively I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know whether it was morning or evening, or what day of the week it was, for that matter. It seems magic now when I look back at it: I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how I did it, especially as we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have mobile phones. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how I ever found my driver or how we decided where we were going to meet. The thing I remember most was zipping around Paris on the back of a motorbike to save time, which I rather

liked as it was the only fresh air I enjoyed all week. Well, comparatively freshâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; back in those days it was very smoky backstage. The driver knew where he was going so that was my downtime between shows, or racing from a itting to hair and make-up. Time behaves strangely when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a model and it was all a bit peculiar for me. Waking up in the morning and taking Concorde to New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be there almost before youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d left. And then after a full day in New York, you might stay the night or get an overnight light back to Europe. The crazy schedule of fashion devours a modelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time pitilessly. It is

quite brutal. During the show season, you are doing ittings until very late at night and get up very early in the morning because you have to have so much hair and make-up to it in to make you look presentable for a show. I think my record for the busiest season was 70 or 80 shows in a month between Milan, Paris, New York and London: 25 in New York, 25 in Milan, 25 in Paris and maybe four or ive in London. Looking back, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all just a bit of a blur. I suppose thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the other thing about time, you experience it entirely subjectively and it really depends on what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing. We bought a lovely 18th-century

THE CR AZY SCHEDULE OF FASHION DEVOURS A MODELâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TIME PITILESSLY.

IT IS QUITE BRUTAL 

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A L L C LOT H I N G BY H O L L A N D & H O L L A N D . T H I S PAG E : N AV Y S H I R T, O RA N G E J U M P E R , S T O N E T RO U S E R S . P R E V I O U S PAG E : R E V E R S I B L E F U R G I L E T, T U R T L E N E C K J U M P E R , O RA N G E J U M P E R A N D T RO U S E R S

Stella wears clothing by Holland & Holland and her everyday Hermès Cape Cod watch with double strap: â&#x20AC;&#x153;When my career took of, this watch became part of meâ&#x20AC;?


TI M E , A H E RMÈ S OB J ECT.

Carré H Time, square like a Hermès scarf.


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house in Scotland and moved here 14 years ago. That was the irst time I slowed down as I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t travelling and modelling full time like I had been. The thing that I missed when I was working at full tilt was not having a sense of timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;because you move to diferent time zones and diferent seasons, or youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working in a studio where there are lashlights and no daylight. I ind all of those things rather disturbing to your natural rhythms and I like being settled, with more of a routine: planting my bulbs and knowing that I will see them in the spring. My garden in Scotland has helped me understand time in a completely diferent way. I connected with the seasons and the whole irst year was exhilarating for us because we were discovering the place. When the snowdrops came up, it was incredibly exciting because we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

came across a lovely sundial. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very plain; it has a slate disk with a bronze gnomon which casts the shadow over Roman numerals. It stands on a ine stone column and is now the centre of the garden. Everything radiates out from it, and I love itâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;my idea of a real holiday is telling the time via the sundial. I like that you have to adjust it every

THE SUNDIAL IS A PROFOUND CONNECTION WITH THE NOTION

OF TIMEâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;AND I LIKE THAT know they were there. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what was lurking in the ground or what would come out during the year. I ind the great thrill of moving into a place which hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been iddled with for a WATCH THIS SPACE long time is that it

gradually reveals its secrets. When we started clearing out the garden, there was a lot of overgrown shrubbery. We had great fun with chainsaws and bonires, and then inally we decided to clear a clump of holly, bramble and honeysuckle and, underneath it all, we

Clockwise from above: a grandfather clock that came with the house in Scotland; the old Paris MÊtro clock in the kitchen; Chanel and Hermès watches on the sundial



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now and again. Up in the north, the sun rises very early in the morning in the summer and very late in the winter, so it needs to be adjusted. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just read the time of day on a particular day; it also somehow relates to the changing of the seasons. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a more profound connection with the notion of timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and I like that. Inside we have a few grandfather clocks that came with the house. They never work, but to be fair I never wind them, so they just stand there quietly. In the kitchen, we have an old Paris MĂŠtro clock, and that does work. It is two feet in diameterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a little bigger than is strictly necessary for timing eggs, but it demonstrates how important time is in the kitchen: if we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t call everyone in to feed three times a day, then things get out of kilter. I tend to take my watch of in the kitchen. It is not where you will ind me wearing my Chanel watchâ&#x20AC;Śbut you never know. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wear diamonds at breakfast in general, however, there are exceptionsâ&#x20AC;Śsometimes you need an extra lift on a Monday morning.  SPRING

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Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no real question as to which of the precious metals reigns supreme. But which is the greatest watch ever to adorn a strap made of the stuff? We asked 50 industry experts

T Y P O G R A P H Y

BY

RUSSELL PROWSE


FOUNDER AND EDITOR, A BLO GTOWATC H

I hate to be clichĂŠd, but Rolexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gold bracelets are at the top of my list. It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just about how they look, or how well machined they are (which is extremely well machined, with 

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some of the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smallest tolerances), but also about the work that Rolex puts into them. For example, the Rolex Day-Date 40â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solid gold bracelets contain a ceramic tube in the middle of the links which is invisible to wearers. Its purpose is to help the gold, which is a softer metal than steel, wear well over the years and to prevent the links from stretching, which happened with similar bracelets in the past.

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Carlos Alonso PUBLISHER, TIEMPO DE RELOJES MAGA ZINE

Throughout the current series of Nautilus, the bracelets are real high complications competing with the watch, and that is saying a lot when it comes to Patek 2/1(-&

3'$(-$1 ! "2 ,("' ! +. & 3 . 6 3 " '  # , 2   + $ 7  " 4 $ 5 2  +. - 2 .   " . 4 1 3 $ 2 8  . %  / ' ( + + ( / 2  ! 31(-!14--$1 !14--$1 3!" "' -& -(".-& "'$.-&

Ariel Adams

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hatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your favourite watch? More specifically, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your favourite watch that can also be strapped to the wrist by a golden chain that will dazzle and delight as much as the timepiece itself? Vanity Fair On Time put the latter question to 50 watch experts from around the world, and the variety of responses didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disappoint. Certain classics seemed to spring to mind and cropped up repeatedly â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Audemars Piguetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seminal Royal Oak; Patek Philippeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nautilus on a bracelet made by Gay Frères Geneva; the Rolex ref. 5100 nicknamed â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Texanâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but other, less obvious names made the cut too. So take a moment to consider Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lobsterâ&#x20AC;? bracelet, the Art Deco finesse of the Van Cleef & Arpels Cadenas and the visual illusion of the Chanel Boy.Friend Tweed (whose gold strap looks a lot like the Scottish fabric). After all, there might be less written about them, but as our experts will tell you, the strap can make or break a timepiece.

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GOLD POLL


GOLD POLL Philippe. There are matte and polished surfaces, curved links with mirror inishing and gentle clasps, and they all it the arm like a kind of jewel. Sometimes I think that it is the only collection by Patek in which the bracelet might upstage the watch.

Aurel Bacs SENIOR CONSULTANT AT PHILLIPS IN ASSOCIATION WITH BAC S & RUSSO

In my view, a gold bracelet should not weaken the appearance of the watch, nor should it outshine the timekeeperâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;instead, it should meld with the watch case and form a work of art that cannot be changed as it was always meant to be how it is. Consequently, my all-time favourites are the original GĂŠrald Genta designs, or the Patek Philippe Nautilus reference 3700, or even the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak reference 4402â&#x20AC;&#x201D;but also the Rolex DayDate featuring the evergreen President bracelet. To me they are simply perfect, and should never be changed.

George Bamford FOUNDER, BAMFORD

Vivienne Becker

however, was the watch made available with the delicious gold bracelet it has always deserved.

FREELANCE JOURNALIST AND JEWELLERY HISTORIAN

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always loved the D de Dior watch, with its slightly cheeky retro style, and now I lust after the lustrous La D de Dior Satine TressĂŠe, its silky, intricately woven strap, like cloth of gold, or as Victoire de Castellane (creative director of Dior Fine Jewellery) calls it, a ribbon of metal around the wrist.

A gold bracelet should not weaken the appearance of the watchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it should meld with the case and form a work of art

Tim Barber WRITER, EDITOR,

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in love with the Piaget watches created during the 1960s and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;70s. The creativity of this brand had no limit. Yves Piaget understood that introducing jewellery techniques to watchmaking, using hard stones for the dial, would set the brand apart. When I discovered that a new womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s watch, with an intricate gold bracelet, would be launched during SIHH, I was overjoyed. The goldsmiths working in the manufacture know how to turn gold into a sensuous structure that looks like fur. The Piaget Extremely Lady is the epitome of Piaget style.

David Chang

Gisbert Brunner JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR

Introduced in 1976, the legendary Nautilus by Patek Philippe only became a global success decades later. It is no coincidence that retailers have to keep waiting lists for the Ref. 5711, wh ich has been manufactured since 2008. With a case diameter of 40mm and integrated wristband, the rose gold 5711/1R-001 is unarguably one of the style icons of our time. It is an eye-catcher but at the same time does not appear intrusive on the wrist. In addition, the fact that the watch simply does not lose value makes this sporty luxury wristwatch so desirable.

Simon de Burton

2/1(-&

A L L- I - C M AG A Z I N E

FOUNDER , WATCH I NA , A N D DIREC TOR ,

TELEGR APH WATC H EDI TO R

Very little beats the sheer presence and sheen of the 1970s Nautilus bracelets by Gay Frères for Patek Philippe â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the ultimate would be the wide version in yellow gold, best sported with a medallion or three. Of more recent designs, Bulgariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pristine Octo bracelet is a welcome addition to the canon, especially in its rare pink-gold variationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to see that in yellow.

FOUNDER,

BEIJING COLLECTORSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ASSOCIATION

WAT C H D E PA R T M E N T

One of my favourite allgold watches is designed by GĂŠrald Genta, with its porthole-inspired dial and a beautiful blue-grey face. It is the Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800G and the articulation of the gold bracelet fits the wrist in a wonderful way. It is slim in size, making it perfect for any scenario and with its classic, iconic design features and well-loved bracelet, what more could you want?

Isabelle Cerboneschi

JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR,

I like the Laureato Skeleton from Girard-Perregaux. It has high value for the movement and a comfortable sensation to wear. The case and bracelet are integrated in a good design, and it also feels like silk to touch. In China we love pink goldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it is very warm.

Dr Bernard Cheong AMBA SSADOR, FOUNDATION OF H A U T E H O R O L O G Y, G E N E VA

My favourite gold-bracelet watch is beyond doubt a TAG Heuer gold Monaco V4 with an original factorymade Monaco gold bracelet. This balances the square case of the V4; a custom-sized gold bracelet benefits many with small wrists like mine. No heartbreaking wastage of spare gold links.

ON TIME CONTRIBUTOR

Jonathan Darracott The Pierre Arpels dress watch from Van Cleef & Arpels proves that a manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all-gold bracelet watch can be elegant without being lash. It was designed by Pierre Arpels in 1949 as a strap watch with a bar attachment. Not until the recent resurrection of this classic model,

GLO B A L H E A D O F WATC H E S , BONHAMS

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is a classic design of a dress watch, unsurpassed by any other and absolutely timeless. It has one of the best automatic movements ever made (the

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GOLD POLL

CHIEF MERCHANT, HARRODS

My favourite gold-bracelet watch is undoubtedly Audemarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 37mm Royal Oak in rose gold with a diamond bezel. This is the watch I pick up almost every time over the rest of my collection at the moment and it works perfectly day or night, weekday or weekendâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;although the 60-hour power reserve means that I can take it of on Friday evening and still have enough power on Monday morning to start my week on time!

Zhixiang Ding PUBLISHER AND EDITOR, CHRONOS CHINA

One of my favourite full gold watches is the Piaget Polo. I remember during the 1980s Piaget had a wonderful campaign to promote their Polo collection with the slogan â&#x20AC;&#x153;Piaget time â&#x20AC;Ś measured only in gold!â&#x20AC;? This was not only brave, but full of conidence that no brand would dare express today. I have had an image in my mind of the Polo model with yellow-gold case and yellow-gold bracelet ever since, even though Piaget produced Polos in materials other than gold.

James Dowling CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, TELEGRAPH TIME

I am not a fan of yellow or rose gold, finding it rather too ostentatious; but I love the â&#x20AC;&#x153;stealthâ&#x20AC;? qualities of both white gold and platinum. One of my favourite white-gold bracelet watches is the Rolex 5100; their irst quartz watch, nicknamed the Texan and dating from 1970. They only made about 1,000 of these, all in solid 18ct gold, and around 20 per cent were made in white gold, back in the good old days when gold was only $35 per ounce. There is a heft to the watch noticeably absent from all current watches. I love its angular shape, which shows the inluence of GĂŠrald Genta and that it pre-dates the Royal Oak (which is similarly shaped) by several years. It looks nothing like most peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s idea of a Rolex. So not only does the white gold make it look like steel, but its profile renders it as inconspicuous as an oversized 1970s watch can ever look.

Jack Forster E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F, HODINKEE.COM

The single most important, iconic, and unforgettable gold-bracelet watch in the world is the Rolex Day-Date 36mm. Less apt to be mistaken for a Fossil than the 41mm version, the President is the gold bracelet watch that deines the genre. Accept no substitutes.

Elizabeth Doerr

Eric Giroud

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND CO-FOUNDER ,

OWNER AND DESIGNER,

Q U I L L & PA D

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

The understated Patek Philippe Calatrava is not naturally at home on a pink-gold bracelet, but as a beautifully skeletonized 

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My favorite gold watch bracelet is the Rolex President bracelet. It is very interesting because it has a very simple geometry. The

luidity of the links is exceptional and the proportions are very beautiful. This bracelet has a very good dialogue with light, which makes it very lively when worn, not to mention the fact that it crosses time with the great elegance that is modernity.

John Goldberger AUTHOR AND COLLECTOR

In 1953, Patek Philippe launched its irst automatic movement: perhaps the finest self-winding calibre ever made. It was housed in the Ref. 2526 case with an enamel dial, and the wristwatch was also available with options from an array of different gold bracelets. The elegant, very rare and unusual Lobster bracelet was manufactured exclusively for Patek Philippe by Gay Frères, Geneva. This 18ct gold Lobster bracelet, when mounted by Patek Philippe on the Ref. 2526 automatic watch, with its innovative 12-600 AT calibre, is both gorgeous and stunning in equal measures. The design of the bracelet is the pinnacle in the family of bracelets manufactured throughout the 1950s, exclusively for Patek Philippe, by Gay Frères.

The Rolex 5100 was made back in the good old days when gold was only $35 per ounce James Gurney E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F, QP MAGAZINE

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to think of a contemporary watch that was so completely conceived of from the very beginning as a bracelet watch as Piagetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first-generation Polo watches were at the end of the 1970s. The original Polo, irst unveiled in 1979, was a futuristic statement of conidence backed up by serious craftsmanshipâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a c ombi n at ion th at se em s a l mo st impossible now. 2/1(-&

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Helen David

Ref. 5180/1R-001, it would be hard to imagine it secured to the wrist in any other way. Every part of this watch beguiles the senses, each elegant component masquerading as smooth, luxurious gold jewellery: the fully visible and exquisitely decorated movement, the smooth, understated case with no real bezel to speak of, and, of course, the inely linked lexible bracelet, so reined it almost feels like mesh.

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30-jewel Cal. 12-600 AT) with a beautifully engine-turned, winding rotor that you will never see unless you take it apart. The case is water-resistant with a screw back; solid but elegant. The dial is white, hard-ired enamel, which means it will never discolour or change with age, and is just off-white to give it a sophistication you could never get with a pure white. Lastly, the bracelet is made from woven wire which gives it an open feel while being flexible, but also solid in structure, very diicult and expensive to make. We had a beautiful example at our Fine Watches and Wristwatches sale on December 13, 2017, which sold for ÂŁ50,000.


GOLD POLL

Joern Frederic Kengelbach

Justin Koullapis

Eve Makepeace

CO-FOUNDER, THE WATCH CLUB,

EDITOR,

E D I T O R-I N-C H I E F, R O B B R E P O R T G E R M A N Y

ON TIME CONTRIBUTOR

THE HOROLOGICAL JOURNAL

The Santos 2018 Collection from Cartier is a big hit. To create, from scratch, the metal bracelet for the first menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wristwatch in the world, originally made for Alberto Santos Dumont in 1904 with a leather strap, was quite a challenge, but Cartier succeeded very well. They created what I would call an Apple-like experience in a high-end mechanical watch: the changeable system is so easy to use, and the engineer even included the possibility of changing the overall length without any watchmaking tools. It remains so flat and elegant, as a Cartier watch should be.

Ken Kessler EDI TO R-AT-L A RGE , REVOLUTION MAGA ZINE

The Patek Philippe 1463 with Gay Frères braceletâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; although Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m one of those who acknowledges that gold is too soft a metal to serve as a braceletâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;my irst bi-metal Rolex showed wear after two yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;I admit that thoughts of Gay Frèresâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bracelets often enter my dreams. If my ship comes in, a gold grainof-rice GF bracelet on a Patek Philippe Ref. 1463 would do nicely.

Wei Koh F O U N D E R , R E VO LU T I O N A N D T H E R A K E , ON TIME CONTRIBUTOR

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got two favourite gold bracelet watches. The irst is a vintage Rolex Daytona 6265 with the champagne (gold) dial and subdials that are just going tropical. I purchased this from the Antiquorum auction of Rolex collector Davide Bleiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s watches. I remember I was phone bidding at Bentleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oyster Bar when I won it, and let out a huge shout. The second is my Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402 BA in yellow gold with slate-grey dial from 1978. Both of these watches are a little bit louche and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s precisely what I love about them. There is a sort of dĂŠgagĂŠ, irresponsible, libertarian ĂŠlan about wearing them. There is also something stunning about the gold from this era, a concupiscent libidinousness that undoubtedly expressed the prevailing social mores of the time. 2/1(-&

By late 1969, the gold price had plummeted, feebler than ever. What a year to launch the Rolex Quartz Texan, an enormous, assertive, gold brick of a watch. Its electronic innards and ingot-shaped bracelet links unabashedly lew in the face of convention then, as now. With most of the 970 pieces accounted for, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not to love?

Nazanin Lankarani JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR, ON TIME CONTRIBUTOR

I love P iagetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s H ig h Jewellery Gold Lacework Cuff Watch, produced in collaboration with the French goldsmith Sara Bran, who essentially takes a block of solid gold and chisels away material by hand to create a delicate cuff that is sculptural, poetic, and sensual, almost like a piece out of the Italian Renaissance. The diamond setting is the icing.

Sean Li EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, R E VO LU T I O N M A G A Z I N E

The Rolex GMT Master II in white gold has a quirky charm that I ind particularly appealing. The fact that it could easily be taken for one of its steel siblings makes it the ultimate stealth gold watch. Of course, the it and inish are absolutely impeccable, making it particularly comfortable on the wrist.

Tracey Llewellyn E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F, REVOLUTION MAGAZINE UK

I would have to choose the Rolex Beta 21 Ref. 5100 in yellow goldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very first quartz model, released in 1970 and at the time the most expensive Rolex available. Approximately 1,000 examples were madeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all of which were sold before the watchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oicial release. Nicknamed â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Texanâ&#x20AC;?, Ref. 5100 is a brave, bold and completely unapologetic example of 1970s luxury.

A l t h ou g h a d i f f i c u l t decision, my choice of favourite gold bracelet watch is a slightly ironic one. Audemars Piguetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Royal Oak was primarily launched in steel but, with its unique octagonal crown and bezel, with visible screws, pai red w ith the beauti ful Petite Tapisserie dial pattern in blue, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too beautiful not to win you over. With a love for all things utilitarian, the fact that this watch is designed as a sports watch but can be worn to the most elegant of functions only increases its desirability! After nearly 50 years, the design is still contemporary and relevant.

Marcus Margulies CHAIRMAN, TIME PRODUCTS

My personal preference has never really been for gold bracelet watches, as I find that the bracelet can often detract from a beautiful dial or an interesting movement. That being said, my deinition of the ideal bracelet is a design that suits both ladiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and gentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; watches, and one that will be comfortable on the wrist and adaptable to any wrist size. The best example of this, in my opinion, is the Rolex Day-Date, and also the Royal Oak and Nautilus bracelet, b o t h o f wh i c h we r e d e s i g n e d by GĂŠrald Genta.

James Marks COLLECTOR

The two words, â&#x20AC;&#x153;goldâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;braceletâ&#x20AC;? have, over time, become synonymous for me with the Rolex Daytona, and in particular the 6239 nonexotic dial. Consistently overshadowed by its more iconic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Paul Newmanâ&#x20AC;? brother, especially since Newmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Daytona was uncovered last year, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incredibly hard to ind. Its simple pushers and dial layout, unencumbered with multiple lines of text, express all the values that I love about the Rolex brand. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a watch for the jet set with all the requisite style and elegance that serves to make a vintage timepiece so desired.

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GOLD POLL

Takeshi Matsuyama

Oliver Pollock

EDITOR AND WATCHMAKING

FOUNDER,

HISTORIAN

LUXURY WATCHREPAIRS.COM

My favourite gold bracelet watch is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold. The watch was created using an old hammering technique from Renaissance Italy and, as such, I feel that the watch has a deep elegance to it.

J.P. Menicucci

I love the Audemars Piguet Roya l O a k Per p et u a l Calendar from their 2016 collection. Yellow gold has come back, and this piece will be a future classic. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great size at 41mm and has an automatic calibre 5124 movement. The perpetual calendar gives it that extra talking point, and is also a very useful function!

LEATHER CRAFTSMAN AND

Bill Prince

STRAP MAKER

own platinum Rolex Day-Date II with a platinum â&#x20AC;&#x153;Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;? bracelet and phantom dial. Despite the rather hefty proportions of the watch, along with its formidable weight, it truly is one of the most-comfortable-to-wear â&#x20AC;&#x153;on a daily basisâ&#x20AC;? watches that I own. The classic and legendary Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bracelet makes the watch itself aesthetically very elegant, but also very usable due to its seamless design, which has pretty much remain unchanged since 1956. Coupled with the fact that Rolex has only ever made the Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bracelet in precious metals since its creation, it is a clear winner for me!

DEPUTY EDITOR, GQ AND EDITOR GQWATCH & JEWELLERY

Truth be told, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be happy wearing any sub-40mm Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, in whichever material it might be profered, but the new 37mm Ultra Thin in 18ct gold with blue Grande Tapisserie dial meets all the requirements of a truly luxurious sports watchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;up to and including both a modicum of water resistance and (relative, of course) discretion.

How often can you wear a watch that evokes Cleopatra while being able to know the time? John Reardon INTERNATIONAL HEAD OF

Anders Modig

Paola Pujia

WATCH WRITER AND EDITOR,

E D I T O R- I N - C H I E F,

ON TIME CONTRIBUTOR

OROLOGI

I really love the sturdy yet flexible Audemars Piguet Royal Oak design made by GĂŠrald Genta in 1970â&#x20AC;&#x201D;to me, the two middle links grabbing hold of the oversized case lip are simply the epitome of link integration. The longevity of the design also shows in its adaptability for numerous executions, including the new frosted gold.

Laurent Picciotto OWNER AND PRESIDENT,

My favourite gold bracelet watch is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II in yellow gold, because of the combination of the double workings of its links. It is a sartorial masterpiece, with the big horizontal links and the little vertical parts. As well as this, I also love the Chanel Boy.Friend Tweed paired with a beige gold bracelet, because the way it is manufactured makes the strap truly look like tweed.

CHRONOPA SSION

Ahmed Rahman The only gold bracelet, for me, is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: the integration of the strap makes the watch comfortable, but the real difference is the way the brush has been applied to itâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not to be the shiny ostentation you get with most other watches. That is the main reason some people prefer not to use gold bands, but the Royal Oak could change their point of view. 

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WATCHES, CHRISTIEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

For my favourite bracelet watch in current production, I nominate the Patek Philippe Ref. 5131/1P. It has one of the few platinum bracelets in current production from Patek Philippe. Aesthetically, it is all about harmonyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;ive rows of links interlocked in a wave pattern. It its the wrist perfectly, yet reminds the wearer of its gravitas with its signiicant weight. For the uninitiated, it looks like steel from a distance, but the wearer knows the truth. The fold-over clasp snaps perfectly into place and holds the watch in the proper position for the wearer to glance down and see the cloisonnĂŠ enamel dial. It is a bracelet of understatement, quality and aesthetic simplicity.

COLLECTOR

Gianfranco Ritschel I have always had a soft spot for Rolex watches for a variety of reasons such as their utilitarian heritage, craftsmanship and â&#x20AC;&#x153;nononsenseâ&#x20AC;? aesthetics. When it comes to precious metals, and precious metal bracelet watches speciically, the one and only watch that stands out for me is my

T I M E   UU U T ?LGRW D?GP AMK

WATCH CONSULTANT, TIME TO TRAIN SARL

Without any doubt, the Piaget Gala Milanese is one of the most feminine and attractive gold bracelet watches on the market today. Such a luid continuity between the sensual 2/1(-&

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I am a really big fan of gold bracelet watches. In particular, I love vintage Rolex Day-Dates: I made all the boxes for the Glamorous Day-Date Auction at Phillips in 2015, and the colour of each box matched the colour of the dial of the watch inside. I have a few Day-Dates in my personal collection: my favourite among these is a really rare 6611B. It has three small diamond hour markers and the crown on the dial is very small.


GOLD POLL watch shape and the supple bracelet embracing the ladyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrist, it fully deserved the prize of Watch of the Year at the Grand Prix dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Horlogerie de Genève 2016.

Daryn Schnipper CHAIRM AN, IN TERN AT IONAL WATCH DIVISION, SOTHEBYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

My favourite gold bracelet watch is the vintage Bulgari Tubogas Serpenti from the 1960s. I love its powerful design and the sublime way it wraps multiple times around oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrist. Elizabeth Taylor made this model famous when she was shown wearing it in a publicity photo during the shooting of Cleopatra. How often can you wear a watch that invokes the image of Cleopatra while being able to know the time?

Jonathan Snellenburg DIREC TOR , WATCHE S AND CLOCK S , BONHAMS US

I would choose the Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 First Execution, a very fine and rare 18ct gold enamel-dial bracelet watch that appeared at The Art of Time sale in New York on December 4, 2017. The Ref. 2526 has the distinction of being the first automatic wristwatch Patek Philippe produced. Featuring a modern 36mm case with screw-down case back and sunresistant enamel dial, the Ref. 2526 was designed to stand the test of time. Considered one of the finest and best engineered automatic movements ever made, the 12-600 AT was Patek Philippeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first foray into the automatic movement world, and arguably its best. The overall beauty of the design is enhanced by an 18ct gold D-type brick guillochĂŠ Gay Frères bracelet.

George Somlo WATCH DEALER, SOMLO ANTIQUES

W hen I th i n k of an outstanding gold bracelet watch that represents both an era and an icon, I immediately think of the About Time collection made by Andrew Grima for Omega in 1970. Grima was a multiple award-winning jeweller who had worked with some of the most prestigious 2/1(-&

watch and jewellery brands in the world, and was supplier to the Royal Family. His unconventional, avant-garde designs for Omega were inspired by natural forms and the concept of â&#x20AC;&#x153;seeing time through gemstonesâ&#x20AC;?. A stand-out example from the collection would be the Pinkerton. It is viewed through a slice of pink tourmaline crystal, held within a case and bracelet textured like tree barkâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;completely breaking the mould when it comes to wristwatch design aesthetic!

Dr Rebecca Struthers WATCHM A K ER & CO-FOUNDING DIRECTOR, STRUTHERS

Good design never ages, which is why the Van Cleef & Arpels Cadenas is one of my favourite bracelet watches. The case has barely changed since it was first conceived in 1935 and it still represents one of the ultimate horological icons of Art Deco cocktail chic.

and sandblasting the case and bracelet is immense but is oh-so worth it when you see the results. The way the light catches the polished edges, particularly on the bracelet, is captivating, and in rose goldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; with the classic blue dialâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it is one of my all-time favourite timepieces.

Kim-Eva Wempe GENERAL AND MANAGING PARTNER, WEMPE

I admire the hand-crafted wristband of Breguetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rosegold Reine de Naples watch w ith it s s el f- w i nd i ng movement. Thanks to my familiarity with the goldsmiths in the Wempe jewellery atelier, I know what superb craftsmanship is needed in order to give the precious metal this textile structure, which is simultaneously firm and supple. Like the watch that AbrahamLouis Breguet once created for Napoleonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a perfect synthesis of watchmaking and the goldsmithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s craft.

Toby Sutton

Suzanne Wong

CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR,

EDITOR-AT-L ARGE,

WATCHES OF KNIGHTSBRIDGE

REVOLUTION MAGAZINE

It has to be the first automatic Rolex Daytona model in 18ct solid gold w ith wh ite porc ela i n â&#x20AC;&#x153;f loatingâ&#x20AC;? Daytona dial powered by the revered Zenith El Primero movement, from 1988 (my birth year).

Katharine Thomas VICE PRESIDENT & HEAD OF WATCHE S , SOT HEBYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; S NE W YORK

A Patek Philippe Twenty-4. Choosing a quartz watch, given my profession, might seem a faux pas. But Patek Philippe just always gets it right, from the proportions to the perfectly wearable design. A gorgeous everyday watchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;genuinely timeless.

Mark Toulson HEAD OF WATCH BUYING, AURUM HOLDINGS

For me, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in rose gold is the one I covet most. The extraordinary length of time spent cutting, polishing

I say th is w ith zero hesitation, as Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been obsessed with this watch for the last five yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak extra-thin automatic (nicknamed â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Jumboâ&#x20AC;?) in yellow gold, with yellow gold bracelet and gilt dial. The hint of brutalism in the architectural lines of the watch, combined with the unabashed decadence of the material, just really does it for me.

Carol Woolton JEWELLERY EDITOR, VOGUE

Who needs a watch when we carry phones? Not you. Nor me, so whatever I do put on my wrist has to have an added extra or two and must look like a jewel. The Cadenas by Van Cleef & Arpels has it all; a super-discreet upright dial and yellow gold, snake chain bracelet which clips shut like the modernist padlock after which it was named, with a polished patina of history. It was inspired by the Duchess of Windsor and she never wanted to wear anything as practical as a watch either. 

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Masters of

Metalworking 4

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1 . F R A N K S T A L D E R Cartier. 2 . T H E O C H R I S T E N Chopard. 3 . P H I L I P P E R I E D E R Montblanc. 4 . S É B A S T I E N R E C A L C AT I Hublot. 5 . L O I C I A M P I E R I Piaget. 6 . F R É D É R I C J E N N Y Hermès. 7 . P A S C A L L E G E N D R E Bulgari. 8 . Y V A N G R E M A U D Breitling. 9 . T I N O B O B E A. Lange & Söhne. P H O TO GR APH

BY

FREDERIC ARANDA


Materials engineer, head of production, research and development directorâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; whatever you want to call them, the people below share a very specific set of skills. Such is their expertise in shaping metal that we doubt they would even have much trouble escaping the vault beneath UBS Geneva, which is where we photographed them

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All that Glitters Gold doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just come in one formâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;oh no. It might come out of the ground in one guise, but enterprising manufactures have been finding ingenious ways to improve the stuff. By NICHOLAS FOULKES

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s one would expect, Rolexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monolithic building workshop stands a huge glass box, housing a three-dimensional in the Geneva watchmaking suburb of Plan-les- maze of pipes, tubes, levers, poles, and gauges with recondite Ouates is a place of order and precision. With functions. All of a sudden, a bright yellow lare of lame, noiseless the exception of ive large green letters and the beyond the glass, leaps from a large crucible and illuminates the shimmering silver igure of a visored, famous yellow coronet, helmeted and heat-protected individual, its exterior presents a Molten gold at the Rolex foundry, Geneva. Below: so that he looks for a brief moment like a glittering, opaque façade, a dark glass Oyster bracelet with ireman in the middle of an inferno. For a clif almost 150 yards long, rising more Everose Oysterlock clasp few seconds, it is as if a window has been than 100 feet into the Geneva sky. opened on hell, and 2,000-degree lames This measured calm is mirrored shoot out. But it is only a few seconds and behind the glass. This is supposed to be then, moving unhurriedly, the crucible one of the more industrial of Rolexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s four tilts forward and decants its contents as a major locations in Geneva and Bienne. It slow-moving river of molten gold. is where the cases and bracelets are made: It is hypnotic to see the most emotive where every year, hundreds of thousands of bezels, middle cases and casebacks, as metal on earth in liquid form. It bears well as millions of bracelet links, are little resemblance to the bars of gold stamped out of bars of gold, platinum and around me being transformed from dumb 904L steel (rather than the 316L stuf metal into living watch. It looks instead used in standard watchmaking), like a moving rope of light and then, all machined, polished and assembled. too soon, the rope of light breaks into One might expect a bit of noise and globules that decrease in size until, grime. But this is Rolex. The reception delivery of the last droplet of gold area would disgrace many executive completed, the satanic crucible returns to airport lounges. While not entirely its upright position and it is fed once more. Trappist, the level of noise is no more This is the Rolex foundry. A proliic than one would expect from an oice user of the precious metal, it is natural full of well-behaved librarians. Just in that Rolex should melt its own gold. case a germ might have strayed in, regularly stationed hand- Logic aside, there is something godlike about it, but for Rolex, sanitizer units ofer disinfecting opportunities, and notices this iery, theatrical process is just a natural step in a journey exhort staf to reach their 10,000-a-day step goal. towards vertical integration that began 20 years ago. It is the structural and environmental expression of a Rolex Rolexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gold-making facility was set up during the time Patrick watch: everything predicted and accounted for in a Heiniger was chairman. His stewardship of the brand between world of hushed order. In this building, the 1992 and 2008 was characterized by an almost maniacal desire to doors of the boulevard-broad corridors â&#x20AC;&#x153;ownâ&#x20AC;? every part of the manufacturing process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In 2000, we open into hangar-like workshops, decided to go over to making completely solid link bracelets and large halls of eicient activity or then we also decided to make our own foundry in order to be able empty spaces calmly to develop our alloys and to understand this type of activity awaiting occupants at because we wanted to know what was realistic to demand of our suppliers,â&#x20AC;? explains one of the leaders involved with the launch of some future date. There is, however, the foundry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were also concerned about transportation and one exception. At the quality of the material. If you have pores on the metal they the far end of a come from the foundry. If you have scratches, that usually happens c a v e r n o u s during transportation, so we said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Maybe, if we have our own

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foundry, we can increase the surface quality of our gold.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And the third point, as we went to solid links, was that by making it by ourselves we were able to circulate it faster than with suppliersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; production.â&#x20AC;? At the end of the 1990s, Rolex had a number of diferent suppliers, each with their own precious metal producers, so the alloys were made according to the process proposed by the supplier. With audible horror in his voice, he explains that at one time there were between six and eight diferent compositions of white gold in use: even though that was many years ago, the concept of such untidiness casts a shadow over our discussion. By 2005, they were making pink gold. Eighteencarat rose gold comprises a minimum of 75 per cent gold with the addition of copper for the pinkish tinge. Of course, this being Rolexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own pink gold, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it has a slightly stronger colour than standard pink gold and also features bluish nuances.â&#x20AC;? Like many Rolex innovations, this pink gold is distinguished with its own name, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everoseâ&#x20AC;?, and in its name lies the clue to its secret. Pink gold has a tendency to fade over timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the perfect deinition of a irst-world problem. But Everose better resists the ravages

of time and, â&#x20AC;&#x153;protected by several patents and a trademarked nameâ&#x20AC;?, Rolex is predictably tightlipped about how it achieves this. It is apparently to do with the small percentage of palladium that is included in the mixture, which bonds with, and locks in, the copper and ensures that the pinkish lustre endures. While I had seen tarnished gold in the past, I had no idea that pink gold is the blue denim of precious metals, fading over time. I am ashamed to admit that until I visited the Rolex foundry I was completely ignorant of this particular piece of grit in the oyster of life.

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olished, engraved, cabled and adorned Former designer Jean-Claude Gueit with countless motifs: gold is protean by recalls how at the time Valentin Piaget nature and lends itself admirably to the used to judge the quality of a design: â&#x20AC;&#x153;He dexterity of Piaget artisans who sculpt it would pick up the watch and pass his like a ray of sun.â&#x20AC;? hand over it, then he would say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;It feels Sculpted like a ray of sun â&#x20AC;Ś seldom has nice to the touch, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good, it will make marketing-speak been as lyrical as in this vintage a great watch.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? This advertisement from the 1970s. tactile, sensuous, For many years Piaget made braille-like quality gold watches, hence the slogan, would come to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Piaget timeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;measured only in define the pinnacle gold!â&#x20AC;?, and Piagetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passion for of Piagetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s art. the precious metal can be Mesh-like, traced back to 1961, when it woven, hammered, chased, acquired its very irst golddecorated, cabled, rigid, smithing workshops. lexible, extravagant, chasteâ&#x20AC;Ś I have long had a weakness whatever your taste, provided you for vintage Piaget watches from liked gold, there was a Piaget the 1960s, 1970s and early bracelet watch for you. Beginning 1980s. One of the deining with a gold wire wrapped around a characteristics of the maison at mandrel, Piagetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artisans created this point in time was its focus on wonders. Most famous is the Milanais the creation of watches with gold bracelet, for which spirals of gold are bracelets of magical suppleness and wound into one another, then pressed to Extremely Colourful Cuf watch in yellow miraculous textures, for both men create a woven structure. Similar, but gold, jade and diamonds. Above right: the Milanais and the Polonaise. All by Piaget and women. featuring gold spirals wound in opposite 2/1(-&

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Happily, the pendulum of fashion directions and then held together has now swung back towards the with pins, the Polonais can yield a chaĂŽniste. In 2014, the Extremely variety of efects that can resemble Piaget collection revived the cuff the cable knit of a pullover. watchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a more politically correct And then there are creations so sui renaming of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;slaveâ&#x20AC;? bangle generis that they can only be likened watches of the early 1970s. And last to the creations of couturiers and are year, a collection of cuff watches, described in the Piaget archives entitled Sunlight Journey, was simply as â&#x20AC;&#x153;assembled chainsâ&#x20AC;?: launched to showcase hand mixtures of polished and twisted engraving in styles that resembled gold rings, watch straps resembling raw silk and sunbursts. chainmail or mesh that drape over It was also in 2014 that Piaget the wrist. These brought back a signature technique wonderful, textured, from the 1960s called â&#x20AC;&#x153;palaceâ&#x20AC;? s h i m m e r i n g decoration; in which a bracelet creations begin life composed of small lat links, at the artisanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bench assembled very tightly and held as lacklustre lengths A technician creates Piagetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature â&#x20AC;&#x153;Palaceâ&#x20AC;? together with pins, is engraved by of gold wire and decoration by hand-engraving the small lat links hand. The efect is extraordinary: it undergo an almost magical transformation at the feels like the bark of a tree, but handles like silk. The most famous â&#x20AC;&#x153;palaceâ&#x20AC;? engraved watch was owned by hands of the chaĂŽniste. In recent decades, there has been less Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (see page 20) and featured an oval emphasis placed upon them, but these jade dial surrounded by diamonds and tourmalines. The sight skills never disappeared entirely, due in and the touch of it revives for me the intoxicating glamour of a part to Michel Grantcola, a now-retired time when the term â&#x20AC;&#x153;jet setâ&#x20AC;? was used un-ironically. Thus, I chaĂŽniste who kept a boxâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a treasure chest, was particularly glad to see that at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SIHH, Piaget reallyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;illed with fragments of various decided to make 2018 its year of the bracelet, with a range of bracelets and chains, which colleagues would watches fastened to the wrist by ribbons of gold with textures consult for inspiration. Some time ago, I spent mimicking fur, frost and wood. Alas, it pains me to say that Piaget have made a slight a very happy hour rummaging through its contents marvelling at bits of watch bracelets mistake: for some reason these watches are made only for that resembled, among other things, large gold women, whereas in the golden years these watches evoke, men igures of eight linked together and chevroned wore bracelet watches, too. I do hope that CEO Chabi Nouri will take note and address this deiciency. ribbons of cashmere-smooth gold.

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n 2016, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele carried of the Aiguille dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or, the highest award bestowed by the Grand Prix dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Horlogerie de la Ville de Genève for his revival of the legacy of the 18thcentury horological genius Ferdinand Berthoud. In 2017, he pulled of the same feat for his Chopard L.U.C Full Strike. As its name suggests, it is a minute repeater: sapphire crystal gongs, three patents, Poinçon de Genève and all that. Even the gold for the case was special: Chopard Fairmined. I cannot help thinking that Karl-Friedrich was a little bit embarrassed to win the big prize two years running. Besides, it is so out of character:

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it is not his style to let people know how good his stuf is. Typically, he makes something to much higher standards than is strictly speaking necessary, and then instead of bruiting it about the place, keeps very quiet and hopes no-one will noticeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;like the time he developed a tonneau-shaped movement for a tonneaushaped watch (even though most people make do with a round one). It is the same with gold. Ask most people where they get their gold and they tend to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;from the bankâ&#x20AC;?; typically, the Scheufele family went into more detail. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In 2010, we decided to certify ourselves with the Responsible Jewellery Council. The RJC already had a number of speciications you have to observe,â&#x20AC;? Karl-Friedrich says. But the way he and his family 2/1(-&

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saw it, the speciications for gold did not go far enough. So, in typical fashion, Chopard started to use Fairmined gold. Just as concerned consumers can trace the sources of fashion and food, Chopard wanted them to be able to do the same with gold, and Fairmined certiication, created by the Alliance for Responsible Mining, guarantees standards on issues as diverse as the freedom of association and the restoration of ecosystems. It costs about 10 to 15 per cent more to manufacture, and there is a $4/gram premium used for social improvements within the mining communities: which, for the time being, are in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. Baselworld 2014 saw the irst Fairmined gold watch, an L.U.C Tourbillon; the same year, Chopard made the Palme dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or trophy for the Cannes Film Festival in Fairmined gold. In 2015 came the announcement of a partnership with Swiss reiner, Precinox,  to establish the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s irst secure commercial export route for Fairmined gold from Bolivia to Europe. But it has not been entirely straightforward. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The gold itself costs a little more and then, of course, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the administration and production where there is a lot of additional work involved.â&#x20AC;? Chopard

has also had to develop what, using a gastronomic analogy, Karl-Friedrich describes as a two-kitchen approach: regular gold and Fairmined are worked on separately. This requires cleaning Chopardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in-house foundry and machinery between golds: a scrupulous division that continues right down to the gathering of the scraps generated during the manufacturing process. Ingots of Fairmined gold. In 2016, 600kg of Fairmined gold were Left: Aguille produced, 570kg of which went to dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or award with Chopard. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wanted to achieve Chopard L.U.C Full Strike awareness, at the end of the day,â&#x20AC;? he says, and his hope is that if larger mines become involved â&#x20AC;&#x153;we would like to kick of some movement with larger producers so that they would be able to ofer Fairmined gold in their selections.â&#x20AC;? And they cannot fail to take notice if he makes it a hat-trick and wins this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Aiguille dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or with another Fairmined watch. Provided he can overcome his pathological understatement of manner, that is.

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still remember the irst time I saw itâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a watch case executed in a brownish material that I was told was gold, and which I was invited to drag across the steel top of a bench in the newly opened metallurgy department at Hublotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HQ in Nyon, just outside Geneva. I gripped this strange material irmly and, like a Neanderthal scraping at the wall of his cave with a hand-axe, I pressed down and pulled it along the surface in front of me. To my amazement, a gash of gleaming steel opened up in the bench top. This, I was informed, was the future of precious metals: this was magic gold, and the only thing that could scratch it was a diamond. It is now a decade since work began on this new alloy, when, with the brand just sold to LVMH, the then CEO, now president of Hublot, Jean-Claude Biver, forged (excuse the pun) a partnership with Professor Andreas Mortensen of the EPFL (Lausanneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous Federal Institute of Technology). By 2008, the quality that had irst made gold popular with craftsmen and artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;its softness and malleabilityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;was irritating Biver. He had reinvented Hublot as the watch of the future: the fusion of traditional savoir-faire with new methods

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and materials, yet he was working with one of the most conventional of valuable metals, prone to scratching and oxidation. Much as medieval alchemists sought to transmute base metals into gold, Biver was now going to turn gold into a material more rugged, robust and hard-wearing than steel. Three years later, he succeeded, when he triumphantly announced that Hublot had made a gold with a hardness of almost 1,000 on the Vickers scale: four times harder than UU U T ?LGRW D?GP AMK  5

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hardened at very high temperatures to create a rigid, porous structure without altering the shape. After this, liquid, molten, 24ct gold is injected under very high pressure. This operation is performed under inert gas, at a high temperature and pressure to ensure that the molten metal ills the pores in the ceramic, causing the two to “fuse” into a single new material. It necessitated building a full metallurgical laboratory with, among other equipment, customized furnaces working at 2,200 degrees Celsius and under 200 bars of pressure, as well as a cold isostatic press working at 2,000 bars. As for Tutankhamun, I am sure that had he been able to get a 2,200-degree furnace working at a depth of 20,000 metres,

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chickimicki: one of the most expressive words in the German—or indeed any other— language. Germany is nothing if not a practical country; so they have distilled the concept of being lashy, arrogant, arriviste, brash and snobbish into one word freighted with deprecation and withering dismissal. If you are looking for a German brand that is the deinition of the opposite of schickimicki then you could do worse than visit A. Lange & Söhne in Glashütte. Lange is the archetype of Teutonic luxury: superbly engineered, self-efacingly unornamented, only marginally less solidly constructed than the Pyramid of Cheops, exquisitely inished and a source of enduring satisfaction to its owner. Since it was refounded in 1990, Lange has only made watches in gold and platinum. The use of platinum and white gold presents no aesthetic problems in that as a white metal it could easily be mistaken for a humbler material. However, yellow or 

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pink gold is unmistakeably … well … golden, and, for the true enemy of schickimicki-ness, this will never do, so a few years ago Lange developed a gold that was less brassy than yellow gold, and also lower in the coppery tints that give pink gold its roseate hue. The resulting distinguished, warm-looking metal that hovers discreetly between these two extremes is called honey gold (apparently one of the watchmakers at Lange is a part-time apiarist). Of course, Lange being Lange it would have been schickimicki to release a brand-new colour of gold for purely aesthetic reasons, without claiming material beneits, as CEO Wilhelm Schmid explains. “The original idea was to ind a material that was more scratch-resistant than normal gold or normal platinum,” he says. “And once we had arrived at a gold that was of the required colour and scratch resistance, by means of changing the composition of the alloy and subjecting it to various thermic treatments, its formula was patented.” Only after patenting it, and inding a foundry capable of 2/1(-&

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and had the ancient Egyptians mastered the art of cold isostatic pressing, I feel positive that Howard Carter would have found a burial chamber full of Magic Gold watches. But, alas, he died around 3,330 years before Hublot perfected the process, which is a pity as, given what I believe the Ancient Egyptians referred to as burial bling, he would have enjoyed wearing the new Big Bang Meca-10 Magic Gold in order to time his entry into the next world to the second.

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regular 18ct gold and getting on for twice as hard as hardened steel (around 600 Vickers), which explained why even in the hands of a weakling such as myself, it was able to slice through the steel table top, as easily as a surgical scalpel through skin. With his customary lair for a dramatic statement, JeanClaude Biver has described this as the biggest thing to happen to gold since the days of Tutankhamun. He has also said that the same can be achieved with other precious metals, and has patented unscratchable platinum. But for the moment, magic gold is the only magic metal on Hublot’s periodic table; not least because it is far from easy to make. This is no simple matter of heating up the gold, pouring it into a mould and then waiting for it to cool. First, boron carbide powder is shaped by cold isostatic pressing in moulds similar to the shape of the inished part: these pre-formed shapes are then

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The Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 Full Magic Gold watch. Opposite: A. Lange & Söhne Time Zone watch in honey gold


making it, did Lange understand just how much diiculty this new, understated gold would cause. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only then did we realize all the complications that go with it. Take a very simple thing: if we refurbish the cases, we have to laser the afected areas before we polish. With honey gold, you have to polish in an environment with no oxygen, so you have to do it in a gas-illed environment.â&#x20AC;? As it was a bespoke metal, and Lange did not have the facilities to make it, a foundry needed to be found. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Then that company went bankrupt. We kept our patent, but we had to find somebody to do it for us, which sounds much easier than it is in reality; because thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a market where you have 25 different suppliers. There are at best two.â&#x20AC;? One of whom was bankrupt. And, of course, there is a minimum orderâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;the smallest amount we can order is 50kgâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which, given that a Lange watch case is 80 grams or so, means around 600 watchesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; worth. Fine, if your production is in the hundreds of thousands; not so easy to deal with for Lange, with an annual production of around 5,000 and this new material

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reserved only for limited editions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It sits there eating into the cash lowâ&#x20AC;? says Schmid ruefully. The biggest diiculty is working with the material: if it resists scratches it also resists tools. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is even worse than platinum,â&#x20AC;? says Schmid. Platinum is actually cheaper than gold; the premium it commands and the rarity with which it is used in the watch industry can be accounted for by the diiculty of working the material. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They say platinum is eight times harder on the tools than goldâ&#x20AC;Ś and honey gold is more diicult than platinum.â&#x20AC;? It puts me in mind of one of my favourite lines from James Bond, spoken in the first novel, Casino Royale. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The trouble always is not how to get enough caviar, but how to get enough toast with it,â&#x20AC;? explains 007. Or, as they say in GlashĂźtte, the trouble always is not how to get enough gold, but how to get the tools with which to work it. Wilhelm Schmid puts it another way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you really think it through, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why very few companies have their own gold alloy.â&#x20AC;?

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tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the look. For me, the look is great. The surface is covered in thousands of little waves; waves that capture the light and then shine and sparkle. To be able to wear a watch which you feel and people could think is set with diamonds, and yet there is not a single stone on itâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good one.â&#x20AC;? With his characteristic boisterous enthusiasm, François Bennahmias, boss of Audemars Piguet, is explaining the appeal of frosted gold, the latest instalment of the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love story with the precious metal. A couple of years ago, AP launched one of its signature Royal Oak models in yellow gold. From the hoopla that surrounded it you would have thought that Audemars had invented the yellow stuf, rather than reintroduced yellow gold after an absence of seven years, signalling a readiness to move away from the dominance that pink and white gold have had over the industry this century. Now, with â&#x20AC;&#x153;frostedâ&#x20AC;? gold, Bennahmias has done it again. A couple of years ago he showed me a prototype Royal Oak that had a textured inish more accentuated than the usual mixture of satinated and polished surfaces that characterize the Gentadesigned classic. As its name suggests, it looks like a frost has

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settled on the watch. Although the prototype was made for a woman, I wanted one very badly, but couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t aford it. Three years later, he has inally brought out a manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s size: its lure is still strong and I still cannot aford it. It seems that I am not the only person touched by APâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love afair with gold watches. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Five years ago, we were selling 5,000 watches in gold. Now we are at 15,000 to 16,000.â&#x20AC;? That igure represents close to 40 per cent of the marqueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual production and with each gold Royal Oak weighing around 202 grams, Bennahmias says he gets through one and half tonnes of the stuf a year. I have a weakness for the textured surface treatment because it recalls the oeuvre of genius jeweller and goldsmith Andrew Grima, whose unconventional textured gold creations were the sine qua non of the sophisticated 1960s and 1970s jet set. Half a century later, it was another London jeweller who gave Bennahmias the idea to try something similar on the Oak. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It started because Carolina Bucci loved the Royal Oak that she got from her husband. We organized a visit to the factory for her and six or seven friends. When we saw each other again in London, a few months later, I saw some of her frosted

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jewellery and thought maybe we could do this on our watches. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how it started. We sent her a few parts, links from the bracelet: the results were great in terms of look, very bad in terms of feel. They were very harsh. So, I said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Let us try.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; What we did was very soft, but had no look, because the dents were not deep enough. We went back and forth seven times, to ind the right depth in the gold, while also keeping the softness.â&#x20AC;? At the start, each piece was done by hand in APâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s polishing workshops. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our polishers were dead by the end of the day,â&#x20AC;? says Bennahmias. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like 12,000 beats per minuteâ&#x20AC;Ś

At first it took anything up to two days to completely frost a Royal Oak; now, part-automated, it takes several hours bmbmbmbmbmbmb â&#x20AC;Ś so they went home shaking and we were breaking a lot of tools.â&#x20AC;? It is an intensive process. Each part is hammered, the components are then assembled, edges are polished and then the whole watch is hammered again. At irst it took anything up to two days to completely frost a Royal Oak; now, part-automated and part-completed by hand, it still takes several hours. With the 200-piece run of menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frosted watches sold out, Bennahmias is not inished. Next up is a Carolina Bucci edition that will use diferent colours of gold. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You are going to get a rainbow of gold from pink to yellow.â&#x20AC;? My guess is that Bennahmias might be getting through more than one and a half tonnes of gold this year.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold Quartz 33mm in pink gold

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aving a high-proile horological partner is part of what it is to exist in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brandaware world. Sporting events have long been linked to timepieces (Rolex with Wimbledon and Formula One, for example); as have popular music ensembles (the Rolling Stones and Zenith, Tears for Fears and Hublot); performing artists (Bryan Ferry and H. Moser); cars (take your pick); and even cigars (Hublot and Opus X and Zenith and Cohiba). However, these days there is a distinct shortage of horological brand ainity partnerships with economic movements. I say â&#x20AC;&#x153;these daysâ&#x20AC;? because, back in the early 1980s, Corum made a promising start as the preferred timekeeping partner of Reaganomics. In the irst year of his presidency, Ronald Reagan and his raven-black hair appeared on the cover of Time magazine with the bold headline

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reaganomics: Making It Workâ&#x20AC;?. The Gipper looked purposeful with his arms folded across his chest, displaying a coin-thin gold watch on a gold bracelet. The watch was coin-thin for the simple reason that it was a coin: a gold 20-dollar coin watch by Corum. Whatever the Valentine Brothers and later Simply Red had to say about Reaganomics in the hit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Too Tight (to Mention)â&#x20AC;?, it was clearly working for Ronnie. The coin watch is probably my favourite Corum, not least because it seems to have been a vital part of the equipment of U.S. presidents during the zenith of American power in the second half of the 20th century: as well as Reagan, it was worn by LBJ, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton, while its place in popular culture was assured when Andy Warhol acquired one for his collection. Corum did not invent the coin watch; Paul Maudsley, the

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Clockwise from above: Nixon accepting the gold Corum watch made from a specially minted inaugural medal; Reagan wearing a gold 20-dollar coin watch; Heritage Artisanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coin watch

former boss of Phillips Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s watch department, has in his collection an example from the mid-19th century. And, throughout the 20th century, the idea of a watch inserted into a coin was pursued by all the great makers, with Cartier, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin among them. The idea of making a coin into a watch sounds pretty bling, but the way these marques carried it out, the concept was rather subtle. The top of a coin was sliced of and hinged. The case band, milled to resemble the edge of a coin, featured a slight bump which, when pressed, would cause the â&#x20AC;&#x153;lidâ&#x20AC;? to spring open to reveal the time on a small movement inside. This mini-watch was also hinged so that, with the application of a nail under a little olivette, the tiny timepiece could be pulled up to be wound and set. At irst it was carried in the pocket, where, presumably, it could easily be mistaken for just another large gold coin. Some were adapted to wear

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on the wrist. I own a Vacheron Constantin from the early 1970s and I love it, but checking the time is no subtle matter, I have to extend my arm until there is no danger of the watch getting caught in the shirtcuf, ind the tell-tale bump, press it, watch the top spring open and then peer inside at the small watchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;nothing discreet about that. The Corum Coin watch put an end to all that. After all, having to open a coin to tell the time occupied valuable seconds andâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;apologies for the inevitable punâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;time is money. Corum was founded in the 1950s by a creative genius called RenĂŠ Bannwart who had headed up the then newly-inaugurated creation department at Omega during the 1940s. His inspired notion was to use the then new sapphire crystal watchglasses to cover the surface of the coin, maintaining the desirable slim proile, turning what other manufacturers used as a protective cover into the dial of the watch. Targeting the US market, Bannwart started slicing up $20 Liberty Eagle coins, but according to Rayner Hesseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s encyclopaedia of jewellery, Jewelrymaking through History, these watches risked being banned in the US because of a law prohibiting mutilation of its coins. Eventually, Corum was able to negotiate an exemption because the slicing of the coins took place in Switzerland rather than on American soil. However, it could be argued that American gold got its revenge on the Swiss watch industry, when Nixon took the dollar of the gold standard (see page 68).  ww w. v anity fair. com

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evo2 Easy to read and true to the original. Ergonomically designed watch case and lugs. Functionally designed crown. Sapphire crystal. Swiss Made. Available from John Lewis and other leading retailers. sales@bml-watches.com I +44 (0) 116 234 4656


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Should gold be measured in carats or karats? There is some confusion since in the UK carat can mean both the weight unit for gemstones, the equivalent of 0.2 grams, or the purity of gold. The word is thought to have derived from the seed of a Mediterranean plant, the carob, which was used by ancient traders as a standardized weight as the seeds were (erroneously) believed to have a consistent weight. The US keeps things separated with karat reserved for gold purity: diamonds are always judged by the four Cs of cut, clarity, carat and colour, and yellow-coloured, 100 per cent pure gold is measured at 24 karats.

Did you know that we have gold thanks to celestial collisions, that it actually does tarnish, and that collectors love tarnished gold watches? Vanity Fair On Time dives into the timekeeping aspects of the metal whose name derives from the shining dawn

1 High Vault-age How much gold is needed for the world economy? To give you an idea we have peeked into the US government’s gold reserve (above). As of December 31, 2017, when the Department of the

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Treasury’s most recent report was published, it had a grand total of 261,498,926.241 troy ounces, divided into gold bullion (bars and ingots) (top right) and coins, blanks and miscellany. In metric terms, this correlates to 8,133.53 tonnes, with a market value of just under $372billion based on the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Gold Price. When you consider that one Rolex Submariner (right) weighs in at just less than 300 grams, this would be enough to make more than 27 million Submariners. The word bullion comes from the French aristocrat and minister of finance under Louis XIII, Claude de Bullion.

The First Gold Watch Just what constitutes the first recognized portable timekeeper is a hotly contended issue, but the trend seems to have originated around Nuremberg in the late 1400s. These frontrunners were often spherical and carried around the neck in a similarly shaped case. This is the case for what is often referred to as the oldest watch around, the Pomander watch (above, right), or in German Bisampfeluhr, by the locksmith and clockmaker Peter Henlein, debatably from 1505. It was apple-shaped, and its outer case was wrought from copper and gold.

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On the Move

Lucky Number 14

If you have caught gold fever, you might feel the urge for a watch with a gold case. But why not go all the way and get a watch where the movement is also made of gold? Among contemporary watchmakers, F.P. Journe is the indisputable reigning Midas, with about 95 per cent of his watches having movements in 18ct red gold (above, right). â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no advantage to using gold really. I just want to make them more precious, add prestige and beauty,â&#x20AC;? proclaims the multi-award-winning Frenchman. Vacheron Constantin has a single gold calibre, the ultra-thin, manually wound 1003 (right). â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is 20.25 millimetres in diameter and 1.64 millimetres thick, and made in 18ct gold,â&#x20AC;? says Vacheron Constantinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heritage and style director Christian Selmoni.

5 Closed Case The most expensive gold watch ever sold is the Patek Philippe Graves Supercomplication from 1933 (below), which went under the Sothebyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hammer in 2014 in Geneva for ÂŁ17.6m. Its 24 complications are housed in a 74-millimetre yellow gold case, which weighs 250 grams. The whole watch weighs 536 grams.

Historically, 14-carat watches were in widespread circulation all over Europe and the US, as this was a way of making gold watches more accessible. Swissmade movements were often encased by local jewellers, and the 14ct watches tend to have slightly simpler, more affordable movements than the 18ct watches. Independent watch expert Geoffroy Ader from Paris points out two important waves for 14ct gold: the ďŹ rst was from the late 1880s in Eastern Europe, where, for instance, H. Moser & Cie produced 14ct watches for the Russian market (above, right). This Russian wave ceased with the Revolution, but 14ct watches proliferated, especially in Germany. A second wave came after the Second World War, when the US was a main importer for 14ct watches. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eventually, industry standardization led to most brands adopting the 18ct standard, thus 14ct more or less disappeared in the late 1960s, and since the 1980s, it has completely gone,â&#x20AC;? says Ader.

7 Gild-y by Association Manetti, gold leaf producer since 1600, has supplied the gold leaf for numerous architectural projects over many years, including clock dials. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For exterior gilding, such as a clock dial, you would use gold leaf of high purity, such as pure 24ct or 23.75ct leaf, which is made by adding a little bit of silver and copper to pure gold,â&#x20AC;? says Edward Marten from sales department of Manetti, â&#x20AC;&#x153;while for interior



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gilding you would use gold leaf of 22ct or 23ct purity. With our standard gold leaf for interior gilding, one square metre would contain around 2.5 grams of gold. This leaf is around 0.12 microns thick, but for exterior gilding we recommend a thicker gold leaf, ideally a minimum of around 0.15 microns, in order to increase the gildâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s durability. Gold of such high purity as 24ct or 23.75ct doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tarnish, but pollution can attach to the surface over the years without actually reacting with the gold itself, and you might need to clean this off the surface after a decade or so.â&#x20AC;? Manetti also produces edible gold leaf, which has one big difference: there is no copper in the alloy, since it is toxic to humans. The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous clock, Big Ben (bottom), also has gilded features, which are going to be part of the current renovations.

8 Time for Reformation John Calvin (above), the leading clergyman of the Protestant Reformation in Geneva, which gained momentum in the 1540s, forbade the jewellers of the city to create ostentatious gold jewellery. They thus turned to watches. Initially, these were predominantly brass, but soon the jewellers adorned them in gold and other precious materials and enamelling. 2/1(-& 

P H OTO G RA P H S : C O U R T E SY O F PAT E K A RC H I V E ( S U P E R G RAV E C O M P L I C AT I O N ) ; C O U R T E SY O F M O S E R A N D C I E A RC H I V E ( H . M O S E R & C I E . P O C K E T WAT C H N O . 1 6 9 1 5 0 D , C I RC A 1 9 1 0 ) ; A L A M Y ( B I G B E N ; C A LV I N )

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P H OT O G R A P H S : C O U R T E S Y O F C A R T I E R A R C H I V E S , PA R I S ( D E P LO YA N T B U C K L E ) ; Y O R I C K C H A S S I G N E U X ( C A N D A U X ; D AV I D C A N D A U X 1 7 4 0 F I R S T 8 ) ; R O L E X A R C H I V E ( W I L S D O R F ) ; B O N H A M ’ S ( 9 C T G O L D M A N UA L - W I N D C U S H I O N - FO R M RO L E X OY S T E R U LT RA P RI M A , R E F : 7 1 4 , C I RC A 1 9 2 8 )

White Noise The year 1912 was not only when Gene Kelly, Woody Guthrie and Jackson Pollock were born; it is also the year that white gold, invented in the 19th century, became commercially available. Early 20th-century alloys were made by fusing gold with copper, nickel and zinc, but due to allergic reactions palladium has become the preferred added metal. White gold was made to replace the scarce and expensive metal platinum for several reasons. Gold is slightly less dense—19.32 grams per cm3 compared to pure platinum’s 21.45 grams per cm3 —and it is also softer and easier to work. With platinum, you need approximately 30 per cent more time to work it, and the tools wear out much quicker.

WORKING WONDERS Watchmaker David Candaux in his workshop. Inset, left: the white gold A. Lange and Söhne Saxonia thin and (below) the D. Candaux 1740 “The First 8”

11 Can-daux Attitude

David Candaux has restored and worked on supercomplicated watches and clocks from the last 200 years

David Candaux is a young watchmaker who in 2017 launched his first watch under his own name. In his career, which started in his mid-teens, he has restored and worked on supercomplicated watches and clocks from the last 200 years. “When gold is used in clocks, I have mainly seen parts made of 18ct, sometimes 20ct or 22ct—and of course you sometimes see close to 24ct in the form of gold leaf for gilding decoration,” says the 38-year-old.

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Double Up

Nine Lives

Despite its strong mechanical properties, pink gold is, in fact, more flexible than steel and platinum. That is why Cartier, which invented the deployant buckle (left) all the way back in 1910, always uses 18ct 5N pink gold.

Nine-carat gold watches were sold more in England, where such a low content could still be marketed as a gold product. It was very widespread— this was even the beginning of what would become Rolex: German Hans Wilsdorf (right) laid the foundation of his watch empire through importing Swiss movements from Aegler, encasing them in 9ct cases from companies like

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Dennison in England (below, right). It worked for obvious reasons: he achieved a more affordable end product. “Another reason for doing this was the fact that a lot of the Swiss manufacturers at the time were movement makers; they did not produce entire watches,” says Mikael Wallhagen, senior watch specialist at Sotheby’s Geneva. “And at the time, branding was not that important—but as it became more and more important, brands became less inclined to sell their movements without further control of the end product, thus they started to make complete watches.”

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25 25 BRUSHED GOLD Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson on the set of Goldfinger, 1964. Below: Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph (left); Patek Philippe Ref. 201 pocket watch (right)

Handy Tools Casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann (above), who made the Philosophique Watch (left) for Audemars Piguet in 1982, doesn’t flinch when asked what his most important tool is when working with gold: “My hands, of course!” Next come the lathe, milling machine, saw and handDG les.

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Certified Gold

Affordable brand Frédérique Constant is, due to rising demand, increasing the number of gold-plated watches in its Horological Smartwatch and Manufacture collections. “We can guarantee the plating to be 10 microns, or 0.01 millimetres thick. But mostly it is between 12 and 14 microns,” says communications director Yasmina Pedrini, about the process that through electric galvanization that applies 18ct gold to steel cases.

14 Wheel Talk In the second half of the 19th century, Patek Philippe produced a considerable number of movements with some gold wheels. But only once in the 179-year history of Patek Philippe did they go one step further and execute the whole wheel train in 9ct gold. This was in the movements for the cushion-shaped Gondolo Chronometrie models produced between 1902 and the early 1930s for its Rio de Janeiro retailer Gondolo & Labouriau.

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“The best-sounding gold is 18ct 5N rose gold,” says Hagmann. He knows his gold, since he made the cases of famous minute repeaters like the softly curved, 35mm Patek Philippe 5029 Minute Repeater of 1997 (below). Every watchmaker tends to have secret recipes, whereas Hagmann is happy to share his mix supplied by Gyr: 750 parts per thousand (ppt) gold, 40 ppt silver and 210 ppt copper. Such a mix has a fusion temperature of 1,040°C, a working temperature of 650°C and a density of 15g/cm3.

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P H OTO G RA P H S : RO L L S P R E S S / P O P P E R FOTO / G E T T Y I M AG E S ( G O L D F I N G E R ) ; C O U R T E SY O F PAT E K A RC H I V E ( P O C K E T WAT C H R E F 2 0 1 ; 5 0 2 9 M I N U T E R E P E AT E R ) ; C H R I S T I E ’ S ( H AG M A N N ; P H I LO S O P H I Q U E WAT C H )

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P H O T O G R A P H S : S O T H E B Y â&#x20AC;&#x2122; S H O N G KO N G ( D AY - D AT E T R I D O R R E F 1 8 0 3 9 B / 1 8 0 0 0 , C I R C A 1 9 8 6 ) ; C H R I S T I E S , N E W Y O R K ( R O L E X 1 8 C T G O L D A U T O M AT I C T R I P L E C A L E N D A R W RI S T WAT C H ) ; A F A RC H I V E / A L A M Y ( C H RI S TO P H E R L E E A S S C A RA M A N GA I N T H E M A N W I T H T H E G O L D E N G U N , 1 9 7 4 )

Triple Whammy Tridor is not one type of gold. As the name suggests, it is actually three types of gold used side by side, and it ďŹ rst appeared at Rolex in the mid1980s on the bracelets of 36mm President Day-Dates, references 18239 and 18039B (right). These bracelets feature distinct, perfectly linear stripes running down the middle link: one stripe of red gold, followed by a stripe of yellow gold, white gold in the middle and then again yellow and red, surrounded by outer links made of white gold. Today Rolex is using another Tridor bracelet on theDG ve-piece Tridor Pearlmaster and on the ladiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Pearlmaster 29, both of which use their own pink gold formula called Everose.

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(below, left) for its hardness. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The alloy makes it a little bit lighter, but gives it the mechanical properties needed,â&#x20AC;? says Ferrier.

19 Tarnished Beauty Pure 24ct gold does not tarnish in natural conditions. (Okay; it could appear slightly tarnished in thousands of years, and would disintegrate in a few billion.) But since watches employ alloys, a slight tarnish will occur over time due to oxidization, or sometimes even from oil making its way out of the case. As there are no standard alloys, it is impossible to say how long it would take for 18ct gold to tarnish. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tarnish is a great sign for many collectors, since it shows that the watch has not been polished,â&#x20AC;? says watch expert Geoffroy Ader of aderwatches.com. Another thing that can occur over time is the gold changing colour. This is a chemical reaction due to the gold striving to return to its yellow origin, but according to Ader it is also a matter of quality during the manufacturing: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have been working with vintage watches for 23 years, and I have never seen a highquality watch from manufacturers like Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin or Audemars Piguet lose its colour, whether they are made of white gold or red gold. Losing colour is normally not a good sign, where the watch may have had its original gold colour altered

Go for a Spin As the spinning rotor is protected, it is possible to use a higher-grade gold here than on the case. For instance, most Patek Philippe rotors are crafted from 21ct or 22ct gold. The same goes for Vacheron. However, despite the fact that it would arguably be better for rotors to be heavier, Laurent Ferrier, who started his own brand in 2008 after working with Patek Philippe for four decades, uses 18ct rose gold in his micro rotors 2/1(-&

along the way, or it may have been extremely repolished over the years.â&#x20AC;?

20 Fair Call There are parallels between haute horlogerie watchmaking and artisanal gunsmithing, but there is only one weapon which resembles a threedimensional gold puzzle: Scaramangaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lethal weapon in the 1974 Bond ďŹ&#x201A;ick The Man With the Golden Gun. His gold cigarette lighter, gold cigarette case, gold cuff link, and gold pen could be assembled to ďŹ re a single 23ct gold dumdum bullet, whilst on his wrist was a gold Rolex Cellini King Midas (see page 17).

21 Heavy Metal Two of the major metals suppliers to the Swiss watch industry are Metalor Technologies SA and Gyr Edelmetalle AG, both based in Switzerland. Metalor is an international precious metals group with subsidiaries in 17 countries, whereas Gyr has a more direct watchmaking and jewellery approach.

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CSF2, a caesium-based atomic clock. Bottom: the Federal Institute of Metrology, Switzerland

It’s a Trap The very first portable watches had a precision of one hour per day. COSC certification gives you -4/+6 seconds per day. A Rolex typically varies two or three seconds a day. The Longines VHP (right) comes in at five seconds per year. Quite a feat—but when compared with atomic watches, really far off the pace. The rate of the first atomic clock from the 1950s was one second every 300 years. Today’s atomic clocks use caesium atoms, which vibrate 9.2 billion times per second and give an accuracy of one second per 79,274,480 years. Soon we will see the next generation: the ion trap clock, which will be around 100 times more accurate. And why is this part of this article? The information is normally transmitted with gold wiring. Silver is more conductive than gold, but due to its anti-corrosive properties, gold is the preferred conductor.



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Atomic clocks use caesium atoms, which vibrate 9.2 billion times per second

23 Flip a Coin There are always exceptions to the rule, and thus there are watches made of next-to-pure gold: gold coin watches are the purest. They are made with 23.9ct real gold coins. Gold coin watches, initially produced as pocket watches, have been put out by companies like Patek Philippe (top), Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and Piaget. Coin watches are, however, partly plated or utilize 18ct gold where needed. For instance, the soldered lugs are normally 18ct—otherwise the risk of ripping the pin out of the lug would be too great. The fastening for the glass and sometimes the edge might also be in 18ct gold to avoid damage. Thus you could describe these as starting with 23.9ct gold with an overcoat of 18ct—which is why auction catalogues and jewellers normally list this kind of watch as 18ct.

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25 Crash Course On August 17, 2017, gold became even more fascinating—for theDG rst time the old theory of how gold and precious metals come into being was proven and measured. It’s no wonder alchemists failed in their attempts to turn base metals into gold, since gold is forged in the cataclysmic collisions of neutron stars. In August 2017, scientists measured such a collision (below), which happened 130 million years ago in a galaxy called NGC 4993, and this stellar get-together resulted in a crash so powerful it literally shook space and time—and resulted in gold, silver and platinum as debris.

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P H OT O G RA P H S : C O U R T E S Y O F P T B ( C S F 2 C LO C K ) ; C O U R T E S Y O F F E D E RA L I N S T I T U T E O F M E T RO LO GY ( M I C RO S E M I 5 0 7 1 A ) ; N A S A / E S A / S C I E N C E P H O T O L I B R A R Y ( H U B B L E S PA C E T E L E S C O P E I M A G E O F G A M M A R AY B U R S T F R O M C O L L I D I N G N E U T R O N S TA R S I N G A L A X Y N G C 4 9 9 3 )

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The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 26570 OR with a gold bracelet (below) is the heaviest gold watch on the market. The rose gold version with a 42mm case, sometimes referred to as “the Puncher”, weighs in at 333 grams, according to WatchBox Studios.


Gold calamity ne used to say that the harsh time for the watch industry in the 1970s was due to the quartz revolution. I disagree. The development of less expensive watches based on quartz is a consequence of a global reason: the dollar drop against the Swiss franc. And this drop was directly linked to the abandonment of the gold standard that had ruled the world since 1946 and the Bretton Woods Agreement for monetary and exchange-rate management. In the 1970s, I was spending half of my time in the United States to drive the business. I was very aware of the economic situation. So, when on August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon addressed the nation about the USâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monetary troubles, I knew it was not a good signal for my company and for Swiss watchmakers. President Nixon explained that he had to defend the US dollar against speculators to protect his nation. Therefore, he had decided to cancel the direct and systematic convertibility of the US dollar to gold: the Nixon shock. Gold was to be paid US$35 from 1946 until 1971 and it raised inexorably up to $42.22 in 1973. And then, gold disappeared from the international agreements in October 1976, simply to become a raw material among others. The subsequent switch to loating exchange rates saw a sharp appreciation of the Swiss Franc. For Swiss watch makers, this meant our

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watches became so expensive that they were simply no longer competitive in key markets such as the US. The US dollar was the equivalent of CHF4.33 in 1974. In 1975, it dropped by 48 per cent within a few weeks and sales dropped even more, to 53 per cent. What could we possibly do against this new reality? For well over a decade, from 1960 to 1974, Swiss watch exports had been growing constantly on an annual basis. In 1975, however, the igures suddenly started to drop, which came as a shock to

Gold was not there any more to reinsure, protect and preserve international balance the entire industry. That year, the drop was 22.1 per cent in pieces and 16.6 per cent in value. From 1970 to 1979, the dollar lost 60 per cent of its value against the Swiss franc. Gold was not there any more to reinsure, to protect and to preserve the international balance. We had to draw the drastic conclusion that, in these conditions, we were not competitive enough to throw ourselves into this battle. The years 1975-1982 represent the toughest period of my lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and probably also for the entire Swiss watch industry.

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t Heuer, we had decided to develop the company through our own electronic division and we were committed to investing in its diversiication. In a way, Heuer-Leonidas had mastered the switch to quartz technology with the Microsplit and the Chronosplit. We were ready! But our successful â&#x20AC;&#x153;Microsplitâ&#x20AC;?, which was the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s irst pocket-sized LCD quartz stopwatch accurate to 1/100th of a second, had to be sold near its production cost to remain competitive. Everything was diferent on this new market: retailers, after-sale service, pricing, customers. Electronic devices were not the new mechanical chronographs; nor was quartz the new gold in this new world. But the paradox is that, while we were struggling with the results, with the consequence that we were lumbered with liquidity problems, Heuer was hip and trendy. The partnership with Ferrari was doing very well; it was ofering glamour, boldness and consistency to our brand. It was not solely a matter of chronographsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Heuer had a bright brand image. And if one timepiece from the 1970s should remain in the mind, the odds are that it would be the gold Heuer Carrera 1158 CHN, the one that was ofered to the famous drivers, with their name and blood type engraved on the caseback: 18ct gold, iconic bracelet, also 18ct gold with the Milanese mesh. Twist of irony or gold power? I let the reader decide â&#x20AC;Ś 

T A G H E U E R ( J A C K H E U E R , 1 1 5 8 C H , C H R O N O S P L I T 1 9 7 6 ) ; D M I T R I K E S S E L / T H E L I F E I M A G E S C O L L E C T I O N / G E T T Y I M A G E S ( B R O O K LY N B R I D G E ) ; HWG/AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK (NIXON ON TV); BLICKWINKEL/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO (GOLD BULLION)

It was the switch to floating exchange rates that forced the quartz revolution, says JACK HEUER

GOLD KEEPERS From left: Jack Heuer wearing the Manhattan 1978; the 1158CH; Brooklyn Bridge, 1973; Nixonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1971 television address; gold bullion; the Chronosplit 1976



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From left: Henri and Philippe Stern; the Calibre 3940; the Patek Philippe factory oice in 1910. Below: the 1977 Calibre 240

Stern Warning Patek Philippe honorary president PHILIPPE STERN recalls his time at the helm of the marque alongside his father during the turbulent 1970s

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usiness at Patek Philippe had dropped by three quarters. Things were so bad that each week the board of directors had to decide which of the gold cases in stock should be melted and sold to pay the workforce. I am not describing the situation at Patek Philippe during the 1970s, but during the early 1930s, when the Great Depression and bad debts seemed about to destroy Patek Philippe, which was still run by a descendant of the Philippe family. Happily, my grandfather and his brother, who supplied dials to Patek Philippe, did not want to see the irm fail and put together a consortium to buy it. Nearly 90 years later, Patek remains in the Stern family. By the 1970s, I was taking more responsibility for running the company, and at irst it seemed that things were getting better and better. Far from needing to melt cases to pay wages, I remember my father Henri Stern complaining that one of the biggest problems afecting sales was the slow pace of deliveries due to what he called â&#x20AC;&#x153;the

2/1(- &

shortcomings of our case suppliersâ&#x20AC;?. Even so, 1973 was a record year for the company, and nobody imagined how quickly things would change. The diiculties facing Patek in the second half of the 1970s were not due solely to the great â&#x20AC;&#x153;quartz crisisâ&#x20AC;?, which threatened to wipe out mechanical watchmaking: Patek Philippe had a strong electronics division and was more advanced in this ield than many Swiss irms. Global economic conditions also played a key role, particularly the luctuations in the price of goldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that was a major factor for a manufacture such as ours which made, and still makes, most of its timepieces in precious metals. Between 1973 and 1975, the gold price increased fourfold. That trend, combined with inlation, the adoption of loating exchange rates and the surge in the oil price, prompted a sharp slowdown in business. It was a diicult period. Just a year after he had been grumbling about production being unable to keep pace with demand, my father had very diferent concerns. In the company newsletter of December 1974, he wrote a frank, bleak, open letter to the staf: Ladies and gentlemen, through my many messages in this company newsletter, I have always tried to keep you abreast of the main events afecting our firm. I have often regretted that production, both our own and that of the watchesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; exterior, has not been able to meet the demand, whether in terms of quantity, or the deadlines requested. Over the past three months or thereabouts we have witnessed a radical change in the economy, which has suddenly run out of steam! â&#x20AC;Ś In view of the general trend in our business, your management has been obliged to take even more stringent measures by limiting our suppliersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; deliveries, and has stopped all acquisition of machinery â&#x20AC;Ś and expenditure of all kinds. To make better use of our workforce, we have transferred fifteen people to the Electronics Division, which, meanwhile, is struggling to make and deliver the backlog of orders. For my part, a few years later, to counter the rise in the price of our products aggravated by the soaring cost of gold, the strength of the Swiss franc and the weakness of the dollar, I had to take a uniquely radical step: introducing, for a transitional period, an indexed-billing system based on the current price of October 1, 1979, with indexation varying according to the gold price. Four months later, at the beginning of 1980, the gold price peaked at around $850 an ounce, which was very nearly 25 times the price it had been less than a decade earlier. It was a truly extraordinary time, as I explained in a letter that I wrote to our clients: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The high price of goldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and particularly its unstable rateâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;has placed us all before in a completely new situation.â&#x20AC;? It was a situation that I hope our industry never has to face again.  UU U T ?LGRW D?GP AMK  5

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THE ETERNAL LUST FOR

From the Aztecs to the Vikings and the sultans of sub-Saharan Africa, gold has held a semi-sacred place in the society and culture of almost every civilization in history. MATTHEW HART delvesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;literallyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;into just what it is that fuels our ancient hunger for that otherworldly glint



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EDGE OF THE WORLD The Catalan Atlas, produced in vellum in 1375 in Mallorca, features a depiction of Mansa Musa I (bottom right), the Sultan of Mali and very possibly the richest man in the world at the time




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t 4am, I sat on the balcony in my pyjamas. Beneath my bare feet, the grit of the desert. The black Atlantic Ocean hissed on the beach. A mile down the coast, the city was invisible, wrapped in darkness by another failure at the power plant. The only light was the light of my phone lapping at my face as I bent eagerly above the tiny screen for news of my addictionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; the gold price. I scrolled eagerly until I found it. Of course, it was up. It had been going up for years, smashing records in a sensational bull run that had swept a fever through the world. Gold fever! On the London bullion market, speculators were trading gold at stupefying volumesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;onetonne trades lew around like snowlakes in a blizzard. New gold products, not least watches, seemed to spill daily into an avid market, making the metal available to everyone with an ease of purchase never before seen in history. In America, you could buy gold as easily as ordering a pizza: the seller would deliver it to your door. The rising gold priceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the unstoppable ascent!â&#x20AC;&#x201D;had awakened an ancient appetite, a ravenous hunger for gold, and on every continent except Antarctica explorers were ransacking the Earth to ind it. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what had brought me to the coast of Africa on a February day in 2011â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the chase for gold. I went inside and put on a crisp white shirt, in honour of the vanished kings whose lands we would cross that dayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the fabled gold lands of the distant past. I made my way through the dark hotel. An Australian geologist named Martin Pawlitschek waited outside in a white Toyota SUV. He had a vacuum-lask of cofee and a box of almond tarts. We left Dakar at 5am. Every journey moves through time as well as space. History ripples against us as it constructs the present. That day we set out to cross the breadth of Senegal to an exciting new gold discovery on the Mali border. Every technological weapon that the modern gold explorer has at his disposal had been deployed to unmask the hidden gold. But what can unmask the human desire to possess it in the irst place? Where does gold get its value? What gives a gold watch its extra cachet? Gold has only a handful of industrial uses. Because the metal is so highly conductive, computer chips and cell phones

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contain minute amounts. Because of its relective properties, gold was used to coat the visors of astronauts, protecting them from the blinding rays of the sun in conditions not bufered by the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s atmosphere. Certain special kinds of window glass contain gold, and the metal has some esoteric medical uses. Horologically, the rotors of top-end self-winding watches such as A. Lange & SĂśhne, Audemars Piguet, GlashĂźtte and Patek Philippe are frequently made of 21-carat massy gold. But all the industrial uses lumped together account for only a fraction of gold demand. To ind a more fundamental rationaleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an answer to the question of why we want gold at allâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;we must go back through human history. As we struck out from the coast into the central plain of Senegal that morning, our path traversed the outer territory of one of the great gold kingdoms of the past, the Wagadu Empire. Founded in the seventh century by a ruler called Dingha CissĂŠ, the empire traded salt, slaves, and gold. The imperial mines, whose location was a state secret, supported an army of 200,000. With its vast wealth and military power, the empire survived for more than 400 years. An Arab merchant who travelled through the desert in the 11th century described the emperorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s court: â&#x20AC;&#x153;He sits in audience or to hear grievances against oicials in a domed pavilion around which stand ten horses covered with gold-embroidered materials. Behind the king stand ten pages holding shields and swords decorated with gold, and on his right are the sons of the kings of his country wearing splendid garments and their hair plaited with gold.â&#x20AC;? Late in the afternoon we crossed the Gambia River, leaving the plain behind and entering the Mako Hills. The landscape changed to a forested terrain broken by outcroppings of dusty-pink rocks. Geologically, the enormous feature we had driven onto is known as the KĂŠdougou-KĂŠniĂŠba Inlier. An inlier is an area of SKY/LINE relatively younger rock that has been thrust up into New York and an area of older rock. This London cityscape particular formation extends and the upsurge in the price of gold from Mali into Senegal. On the

since 2008; (inset) Rolex Sky-Dweller in 18ct yellow gold


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Mali side of the border, three gold mines operated on the inlier. There was no reason why the gold should stop at the border, and in 2003, when Senegal liberalized its mining code, explorers crossed the frontier and quickly found deposits. My companion, Martin Pawlitschek, worked for the Canadian company that was running Senegalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s irst gold mine, and was now scouring the area for new deposits. As night approached, Pawlitschek decided to break our journey at KĂŠdougou town. On a clif above the Gambia River lay a small hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a cluster of rondavels strewn in a palm grove, with a kidney-shaped swimming pool in the centre. I took my laptop into the dining room, an open terrace surrounded by oleanders and shaded by a thatched roof. It sat on the edge of the bluf above the river. I scrolled through my notes and thought about the gold rush that had brought us here. In the popular imagination, a gold rush follows a discovery. It is the discovery of a new deposit that sets of the scramble. That is what happened in California in 1849 and in the Klondike, in Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ALL MINE Dawson City, Canada, 1898. Below, clockwise from left: a mining stock certificate; gold nuggets; a prospector, c.1852; gold rotors by Patek Philippe; two by A. Lange & SĂśhne; and one by Audemars Piguet

MANSA MUSA GAVE GIFTS SO LAVISH THAT HE CRASHED THE PRICE OF GOLD Yukon Territory, in 1896. But the gold rush of the early 21st century was not like that. The powder keg that ignited it was not a single discovery, but the skyrocketing gold price, and the place it happened was the whole world.

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hen Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008 and triggered a global banking crisis, panicky money, looking for a place to weather the storm, lowed into gold. In the turbulent two and a half years between the annihilation of Lehmans and the time I opened my Mac on the bluf above the river, the price for an ounce of gold had ballooned from ÂŁ555 to ÂŁ996. When the gold price rises, it waves a magic wand above the land, creating potential mines. The deinition of ore is rock that can be mined at a proit. With the gold price rising, formerly unattractive depositsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;rock with a gold content too low to make a mine worthwhileâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;suddenly start to glitter. It is not God who makes a gold mine: it is maths. That night at the hotel, the sun sank beyond the purple massif of the Guinea Plateau. The river took on the colour of burnished copper. Boatmen drifted down the current, calling to each other. A night breeze blew through the oleanders. We met up with other members of Pawlitschekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exploration team. Darkness drew in. African masks hanging from 2/1(- &

posts seemed to lean closer to our table, as if to listen in, and a Belgian geologist who lived in Senegal began to talk about Mansa Musa. Mansa Musa was the most famous ruler of the Mali Empire, a kingdom even richer than the Wagadu Empire it supplanted, stretching along the Niger River. In the Middle Ages, this domain was a highly urbanized region adorned with palaces and great mosques. By some accounts the richest man who ever lived, Mansa Musa caught the western imagination when he made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324. He had a retinue of 60,000 soldiers and 12,000 slaves; heralds in silk livery went ahead of him with golden stafs and proclaimed the glory of the king; passing through Cairo, he made gifts of gold so lavish that he crashed the gold price throughout the Mediterranean world. In Europe, the king was known as the Master of the Gold. The famous Catalan Atlas of 1375, a masterpiece of European cartography, depicts him, a black king with a golden crown enthroned in the Sahara. In one hand, he holds an enormous gold nugget. After Mansa Musa, the empire declined and the mines were lost to history. In the 1980s, a Canadian businessman named Mark Nathanson, on a trip to Mali, heard about the mines, and decided to see if he could ind them. In a Spanish archive, he discovered a map that contained a UU U T ?LGRW D?GP AMK  5

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reference to Ophir, a fabulous city said to have been built of gold by a son of the Queen of Sheba. The map seemed to locate Ophir in the extreme west of present-day Mali, near the Senegal border, and Nathanson began a search through the towns and villages of the region. Finally, climbing a hill one day near a bedraggled village called Sadiola, he found an indentation illed with rocks, and quickly realized it was the blocked entrance to a tunnel. The villagers conirmed that their ancestors had mined gold in the hill, until the collapse of a mine 100 years previously had killed most of the adult men in the village, and the hill had been declared forbidden.

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he Belgian geologist who talked about Mansa Musa that night above the river had worked for the company Nathanson formed to explore the hill. He described his wonder at entering the tunnel. They had found the main gallery of a mine that had been worked for 900 years. Nathansonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mine went into production in 1996, producing 400,000 ounces a year, and even now, more than 20 years after modern technology began to devour the old site, it is still producing 70,000 ounces a year. It is located on the Mali part of the KĂŠdougou-KĂŠniĂŠba Inlier. The discovery of an imperial mine sent other explorers rushing to the geological formation, and the exploration camp I arrived at was only the latest. You could say we were pursuing not simply the gold price, but the history of gold itself. This pursuit was more immediate than I had thought, and involved a cat-and-mouse game being played out every day in the bamboo forest. On my irst morning in the camp, we had breakfast on a rise above the FalĂŠmĂŠ River. Bowls of thick white porridge did double duty as weights to hold down the corners of exploration maps. As they ate, the geologists bent over the maps with coloured pencils, cross-hatching the areas to target that day. We wrapped our sandwiches, stocked up on bottled water and piled into the waiting trucks. I headed of with a short, grizzled Quebecer named Michel Brisebois. In his youth heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d been a lumberjack but, discovering a passion for far-of places, he had calculated that a geology degree was more likely to get him there than his axe. Our driver that morning was a garrulous South African whose favourite subject was the kinds of holes diferent ammunition can make in your body. When he had exhausted that, he began a disquisition on the snakes and scorpions of Senegal, a list that included the emperor scorpion and the black-necked spitting cobra. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But worst of all is the puf adder,â&#x20AC;? he added cheerfully as Brisebois and I got out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People do not always die from the bite, but they are never the same again.â&#x20AC;? 

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THE ENTIRE VILLAGE WAS OUT MINING. A WOMAN GAVE US A SCORCHING SMILE AND SHOWED US A BRIGHT PIECE OF GOLD

MINE PRECIOUS A miner is dwarfed by the shadow of a digger a West African gold mine, 2006. Left: the gold nuggets that whole villages dig en masse to discover

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We struck of into the thick bamboo. While I tiptoed along in terror, Brisebois blithely chipped of bits of rock and searched for the pale, boxlike shapes winking with bright lakes that, in this geology, pointed to gold.

Above: Mali, where Mark Nathanson rediscovered a gold mine near what is believed to be the site of the ancient city of Ophir. Below: the mine, now known as Sadiola Gold Mine, in March 2011



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t the top of a ridge we came across a slot made by a backhoe, where a trenching crew had opened the hill for a look. What surprised me was what I saw at the bottom of the trenchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;another, deeper hole: neat, square, and obviously dug by hand. Brisebois said the local people had dug it. They were expert miners. The hole was buttressed with bamboo. They had found the exploration trench and, reasoning that the geologists must have discovered something encouraging, jumped in and took it further. Back in camp, Pawlitschek explained that artisanal miners worked the entire region. They watched to see where the geologists drilled. Later, they came back and sank shafts of their own. In the same way, the geologists sometimes drilled where the artisanal miners had been working. In the bamboo forest, gold-hunting lore was shuttling back and forth along the centuries like threads on a loom, weaving the past and present into the single cloth of human history. The next day I drove up into the forest with two Senegalese geologists to see if we could ind an active mining site. We followed a twisting red-dirt road to Bondala, a cantonment of small, rounded houses topped with conical thatched roofs. Not a soul was in sight. Finally, after driving down one track and up another, we spotted the tyre marks of a heavy vehicle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Their water truck,â&#x20AC;? said Djibril Sow, one of the geologists. We parked and followed the tyre tracks into the thicket, and came upon an astonishing sight: the entire village was out mining gold! Children dashed GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY about in the forest and turbaned women in


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An artisanal miner takes a break from digging for gold. Clockwise from below left: gold ore bagged and ready for assaying; gold-weighing scales at a market, Burkina Faso; the all-gold Cartier Santos Dumont introduced at SIHH this year

bright dresses smashed up rocks with mallets and panned the particles in enormous wooden calabashes. One of them gave us a scorching smile and showed us a bright piece of gold. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They call it, in their language, nara,â&#x20AC;? said Djibril Sow. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It means nugget.â&#x20AC;?

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he men did the digging, scuttling in and out of neat, well-made shafts that descended to a system of mining galleries as deep as 60 feet. The network spider-webbed for hundreds of yards beneath the forest. The women sparkled with simple gold earrings and bracelets of exceptional purity. I suppose the scene that day was not much diferent than it would have been in Mansa Musaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time, except that now the miners sold their gold to buyers who appeared from Mali on bush bikes, following their GPS to the latest mining sites. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry about the miners getting scammed; the exploration companies had established mobile phone coverage in the region. The miners all knew to the penny the latest bullion price in London. Speculators trade gold in many waysâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;bullion, futures, exchange-traded funds, royalty-streaming investments whose 2/1(- &

inanciers are repaid in metal. Those are just a few. A debate about goldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s place in the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monetary afairs thrashes around in an attempt to ind a logical explanation for gold having any value at all. For me, I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look further than the bamboo forest. We mine gold because we like it, and it seems we always have. In The Golden Constant: the English and American Experience, 1560-1976, a study of goldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s buying power through the ages, Roy Jastram, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, confessed to â&#x20AC;&#x153;a nagging feeling that something deeper than conscious thought, not an instinct but perhaps a racememory,â&#x20AC;? accounted for our attachment to gold. Who knows; perhaps this deeper-thanconscious thought or race-memory accounts for the phenomenal success of some of the high-end, all-gold watches introduced by Cartier and others. The earliest gold objectsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;tiny images of men and beasts fashioned more than 6,000 years agoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;betray tenderness, perhaps even love. Surely these are among the irst emotions to form in the human brain, making the construction of a shared society possible, and gold, soft and bright and indestructible, simply provided a way for these early people, our ancestors, to express what made them human.  UU U T ?LGRW D?GP AMK  5

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Plundering the

PERIODIC TABLE More sought after and rarer than gold, an increasingly exotic metal booty is adding creativity and function to contemporary horology. By WEI KOH

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kay, stop the presses. Because as you read this, three of watchmakingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most venerable maisonsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Breguetâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;are racing to create the irst wristwatch from unobtanium. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right: a metal so rare that, as its name implies, it is all but unattainable. In order to achieve this, and then craft cases to house their quintuple-axis tourbillon, crystalline cathedral gongs, decimal minute repeater with Morse code distress signal function, they have to ly to Pandoraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moon and deep-mine this ÂŁ40millionper-kilogram energy superconductor, allowing said chiming watch to blast sound at concussion-inducing levels louder than a Ritalin-addled Quasimodo ringing the bells of Notre-Dame. Not to be outdone, Richard Mille, grand master of alternative material innovation, is at the inal stage of crafting a watch case from a material that relegates even unobtanium to the bush leagues by its sheer badassitude. Because the RM0000 shall be made from none other than adamantium, the material that Wolverineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s claws are made of (Snikt!), the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hardest and most indestructible metal. Equally keen not to be eclipsed, Hublot is at the precipice of unveiling a Big Bang crafted of the same lodestone owned and used by 6BC philosopher Thales of Miletus and which has been magnetized by the forceield surrounding Zeusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lightning bolts. Okay, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve clearly caught me deep

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Clockwise from above: GĂŠrald Genta holding a gold and diamond watch in Geneva, Switzerland, 1979; the GeFiCa Moonphase Day-Date designed by Genta; the GeFiCa Bi-Retro Safari in bronze; a Luminox Navy Seal Carbon Compound 3505 similar to the one owned by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei (below), the one-time richest man in the world who expressed a â&#x20AC;&#x153;clear interest in exotic, non-conformist alternative materialsâ&#x20AC;?

in my Burgundian cups, and thieving liberally from James Cameronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Avatar, Marvel Comicsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; X-Men and Greek history respectively. But the point is that over the last three decades the watch industry has donned its collective eye patches, rolled up its pirate boots, raised the Jolly Roger and joyously plundered the periodic table for increasingly exotic metal booty as alternatives to the traditional safety of the stainless steel, gold and platinum triumvirate. And I, for one, love the creativity and function that these alternative materials have brought with them to contemporary horology. As an extremely overweight and overzealous cyclist, I was irst introduced to the amazing performance properties of titanium and carbon ibre through advancements in bicycle frame technology. Likewise, motorsport and aviation have all made powerful advances by embracing new materials. So why not horology? But where did this 

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unquenchable hunger for material innovation begin? Amusingly, the onset of the new material age had its genesis in two seemingly incongruous and unlikely venues. The irst is the sleepy Swiss German town of Schafhausen. The second is the oil-rich sultanate of Brunei. Why Schafhausen? Because this is where watch brand IWC is located and sometime in the early 1980s, they created, in collaboration with Porsche Design, the PD 3700â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s irst titanium wristwatch. Why titanium? Because the metal is incredibly light, totally resistant to corrosion, hypoallergenic, amagnetic and, like Wolverine, has some capacity for self-healing, in that scratches form an

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oxide layer over themselves. But machining titanium cases proved tricky, as the resulting sparks had a tendency to combust. Case manufacturer DonzĂŠBaume (now owned by Richemont Group) had to develop a special technique for titanium milling and became so adept that they were soon creating the cases for the titanium Audemars Piguet Ofshores,

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AP PHOTO/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK (GENTA PORTRAIT); COURTESY OF CHRISTIES (GEFICA BRONZE); WLDAVIES/ISTOCK (SAFARI); ELEMENT IN TIME NYC (GEFICA MOONPHASE); M A R K C U T H B E R T / U K P R E S S V I A G E T T Y I M AG E S ( S U LTA N O F B R U N E I ) ; I S TO C K BY G E T T Y I M AG E S ( C A R B O N ) ; D I D I E R G O U R D O N ( RI C H A R D M I L L E M 7 0 - 0 1 )

Panerai Luminor Marinas and Richard Mille watches. Consumers loved both the stealthy allure of the material and the lightness on wrists it provided. IWC is also the very irst luxury brand to create watch cases out of ceramic or zirconium oxide, and the fact that they pioneered the use of two of the most ubiquitous materials in modern horology deserves a major nod of respect. Okay, so why Brunei? Because this was the home of both Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah who was, in the context of the pre-tech billionaire era, the world’s richest man, and his slightly more #baller sibling, one Jefri Bolkiah. Prince Jefri was also the country’s inance minister. At one point he had billions of dollars in properties, homes, erotic artworks, cars, gem-set pimp cups, goldplated helicopters and, yes, watches. And it should be said that, for all his inancial lasciviousness, Jefri and his brother had great taste in timepieces. Both men were the primary clients for watch designer Gérald Genta’s special order watches, which they bought in such concupiscent multitudes that eventually their agent in Singapore, and primary service provider of the Bruneian Royal Family, was inspired to buy out Genta—the creator of such bespoke icons as the GeFiCa, at the request of three big-game hunters by the names of Mr Geofroy, Mr Fissore and Mr Canali—in the hopes of actualizing even greater proit. What was interesting about the orders received from the small but inancially mighty sultanate was that they expressed a clear interest in exotic, non-conformist alternative materials. Indeed it was said that, such was Jefri’s passion for lightweight exotic materials, he even had Genta craft him a minute-repeating tourbillon watch made in Iridium which was his pride and joy until he went swimming with it on and it melted. Not to be outdone, the Sultan has been photographed in recent years wearing many and various watches demonstrating that his passion for nontraditionalist case materials remains gloriously unabated. In the modern phase of exotic material experimentation, which really kicked into high gear in the last 15 years, the modern masters are Hublot, Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet. To this day my all-time favourite Richard Mille watch is the RM SPRIN G

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RICHARD MILLE ALAIN PROST IN NTPT CARBON FIBRE

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ichard Mille watches are light: so light that you forget that you have them on, which is entirely the point as they are worn by elite athletes such as tennis world number one Rafael Nadal in the heat of battle. For Formula One legend Alain Prost, Mille created a watch designed to be worn when cycling, which is the retired racer’s other passion. It is intended to be worn on the right hand so there is no contact with the crown, and features a case contoured to fit the wrist and hand juncture perfectly when on the drops of a race bike. It will be worn at the 2018 Tour de France by sprint legend Mark Cavendish in his attempt to match Eddy Merckx’s record of 33 stage wins. The case of the watch is made from NTPT, a proprietary carbon fibre that Mille machines his cases from and that exhibits the highest surface hardness of any carbon fibre I’ve experimented with. Case in point: I hit a Richard Mille NTPT bezel with a hammer at full strength and found it totally undamaged after retrieving it from across the room. Wow.

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009, made from a declassiied satellite material named Alusic. This is aluminium and silicon spun in a centrifuge so that they bond at a molecular level, yielding a featherweight yet super-hard metal that, combined with a movement crafted from aluminium lithium, resulted in the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lightest mechanical watch at under 30 grams (until it was beaten by Milleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s RM 27, created for Rafael Nadal using a carbon ibre case and weighing 20 grams). Audemars Piguet is also no stranger to exotic materials, exhibiting a past penchant for tantalum, a cobalt-based alloy named alacrite, and pioneering the



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technology for forged carbon ibre cases. Of these metals, tantalum exhibits a particularly appealing dark and stealthy lustre and was something of a signature material for the brand. Indeed, Audemars Piguet created their irst tantalum watch at the behest of none other than King Juan Carlos of Spain, who so badly wanted a stealthy AP that he had his gunsmith lame-blue his Royal Oak, with somewhat mixed results. What, then, are the most exciting 2017/18 watches crafted from the latest space-age materials? Here is the list of my favourites: AUDEMARS PIGUET CERAMIC ROYAL OAK PERPETUAL CALENDAR Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impressive about this damnably seductive Royal Oak is that, beyond its heart-stopping good looks, it features a ceramic bracelet in which every single

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link had to be cast separately. The process takes 300 hours to assemble and inish which makes it the most handsome andâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;considering that ceramic has a Vickers hardness second only to diamondâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the most robust Black Oak. It is particularly impressive that AP managed to brush-inish the ceramic to retain the modelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature surface inish. Add to this the manufactureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ultra-thin perpetual calendar complication and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no wonder this watch has a long waiting list, with watches on the secondary market commanding a huge premium. PANERAI LUMINOR 1950 LAB-ID CARBOTECH Based on its roots as a military tool watch used by Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gamma Commandos during the Second World War, Panerai has continued a tradition of material innovation prioritizing the values of robustness and a stealthy appearance. This has resulted in the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use of PVD-blackened steel cases as far back as the early 1990s with its Pre-Vendome Luminor

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GETTY IMAGES (CERAMIC POWDER; CARBON FIBRE BOBBINS); TIERO/SHUTTERSTOCK (CARBON FIBRE STRUCTURE); ALAMY (SILICON)

Clockwise from above: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in ceramic; raw ceramic powder which, in a solid mass, has a Vickers scale hardness second only to diamond; carbon fibre bobbins on a loom in a carbon fibre production facility; the Panerai Lab-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days 49mm, based on the military tool watch used by Italian commandos; the distinctive geometric structure of carbon fibre


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ZENITH DEFY LAB WITH AERONITH CASE

his watch represents the greatest leap in oscillator advancement since Huygens introduced the hairspring and balance wheel. The entire system runs at 15 hertz, with a monolithic silicon oscillator that vibrates with only six degrees of amplitude but with an error of only 0.5 seconds every 48 hours. Just as impressive is its case crafted from Aeronith, which transforms aluminium into an openpore metal foam. The voids in the foam are then filled with silicon, resulting in a metal 10 per cent lighter than carbon fibre.

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Marinas, the adoption of titanium beginning with the model PAM 36 as well as the use of a ceramic aluminiumbased composite, and now a proprietary form of carbon ibre named â&#x20AC;&#x153;carbotechâ&#x20AC;?. In addition to its carbotech case, the new Lab-ID is made unique by a 50-year service warranty thanks to a movement that eschews all oils or liquid lubricants, using a self-lubricating base plate and bridges made of tantalum-based ceramic and a silicon escapement. MONTBLANC 1858 CHRONOGRAPH IN BRONZE Here we switch gears from some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most advanced metals to one of its most ancient: bronze. Again, while it was GĂŠrald Genta who brought us the

irst bronze sports watch with the GeFiCa, it took irst Panerai with its f a m o u s Bronzo (of which there seem to be neverending iterations) and Tudor with its Black Bay Bronze to kick-start the bronze revival. Since then the material has become one of the most popular, prized for the way it develops a natural and unique patina. Davide Cerrato, formerly of Tudor and now watch boss at Montblanc, brought with him a little of this bronze magic and its use in the vintage-themed 1858 chronograph results in a genuinely charming timepiece.

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Clockwise from above: Urwerk UR-105 Bronze Samurai Piece, unique for Revolution magazine; the Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire 45mm; Harry Winston Z10 with Zalium case, which bears motifs intended to evoke the skyline of the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hometown, New York City; IWC Big Pilot Heritage Bronze, a watch that â&#x20AC;&#x153;bristles with pragmatic rootsâ&#x20AC;?. Facing page, from top left: Montblanc 1858 chronograph in bronze; a piece of raw copper ore

URWERK UR-105 BRONZE SAMURAI PIECE UNIQUE FOR REVOLUTION Since the Bronze Age, men have cast and decorated the material into ornate forms. My favourite application of bronze has always been the cuirass (breastplate), shield, spear, sword and greaves of the Spartan soldiers. In homage to the culture of warriors, URWERK, my own magazine Revolution and former Purdey engraver Johnny Dowell, aka King Nerd, have embarked on a series of thematic engraved unique bronze watches, with the samurai-themed UR-105 timepiece the irst amongst them.

IWC BIG PILOT WATCH HERITAGE BRONZE In one of the most charming launches of 2017, IWCâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the company that pioneered titanium and ceramic luxury watch casesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;ofers its iconic Big Pilot, whose iconography is based on the irmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legendary B-Uhren observer watches used in the Second World War, this time with a bronze case. The result is a watch that simultaneously bristles with pragmatic roots expressed by its massive hands, clearly demarcated dial, massive central seconds indicator and its distinctive luted crown optimized to be easily adjusted, even with gloves on in the cockpit, as well as a warmth expressed by the warm, glowing bronze case that will subtly take on a patina over time.

metal alloy that uses zirconiumâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the same material that ceramic is made fromâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to create a metal with a stunning grey stealthy hue not unlike that of tantalum, but much lighter and with extreme durability. This year Harry Winstonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature Zalium case is combined with a handsome blue anodized aluminum dial bearing motifs meant to evoke the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hometown of New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iconic skyline and bridges. Two retrograde indicatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;one for seconds and one for the day of the weekâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;add additional dialside kinetic pyrotechnics to create a dramatic, mechanical, microcosmic spectacle on the wrist. 

HUBLOT BLUE SAPPHIRE While Richard Mille was the irst to ofer a case made from sapphire crystal, Hublot, thanks to the modular construction of its case, was the irst to bring the price of a sapphire down from Milleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ÂŁ1.4million asking price to the much more accessible ÂŁ44,000. This year the brand also became the very irst to successfully create coloured sapphire crystal timepieces and this blue model is nothing less than majestic. HARRY WINSTON Z10 WITH ZALIUM CASE First introduced in Harry Winstonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Z1 triple retrograde chronograph sports watch, Zalium is a

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Wa t c h Report by

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P H O TO GR AP H Y

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O W E N S I LV E R W O O D

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DESIGN

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WILLIAM FARR




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STAY GROUNDED Facing page, clockwise from top left: Tudor Black Bay for Harrods; Hermès CarrĂŠ H; GlashĂźtte Original Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moonphase; FavreLeuba Sky Chief Date with 18ct rose gold bezel; Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grand Feuâ&#x20AC;? 40mm. This page, clockwise from top left: De Grisogono New Retro; Bell & Ross BR03-92 Nightlum; Nomos GlashĂźtte Metro Neomatik 39 silvercut 2/1(-&

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BLOOMINâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; GORGEOUS Clockwise from left: Van Cleef & Arpels Marguerite Secrete Watch in white and yellow gold, diamonds and sapphires; Harry Winston Mini Twist in 18ct white gold and brilliant-cut diamonds; Dior Grand Bal Plume; Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi; Chanel â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Esprit du Lionâ&#x20AC;? secret beryl watch; Glenn Spiro Reveal in 18ct gold, diamonds and rubies; the Graf Floral 

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SHIFTING GEARS Clockwise from left: Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike; A. Lange & SĂśhne Triple Split; Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1R.6-1; Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti Tourbillon; Richard Mille RM 11-03 McLaren; Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mysterieuse; Greubel Forsey DifĂŠrential dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;EgalitĂŠ; Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin 2/1(- &

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SCALE IT UP Clockwise from left: Cartier Santos Steel MM; Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatic 5367; Parmigiani Toric Qualite Fleurier; Patek Philippe Ref 5180/1R; Piaget Extremely Arty watch; IWC Tribute To Pallweber Edition â&#x20AC;&#x153;150 Yearsâ&#x20AC;?; Omega Seamaster Diver 300m; Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox

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ROUND THE BLOCK Clockwise from below: Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph; TAG Heuer Link Calibre 17 Chronograph; Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph; Bremont AlT1-C Blue; Breitling Chronoliner B04 Limited Edition; Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 40mm; Zenith Defy El Primero 21 44mm in black ceramic; Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Indian Burt Munro Tribute 1967 Limited Edition



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à¸&#x20AC; B AU M E

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Launched at SIHH, Baume & Mercierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Baumatic movement offers a five-day power reserve, COSC-certified precision of -4/+6 seconds a day, enhanced shock resistance, and resistance to magnetic fields of 1500 gaussâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all in a watch retailing for just under £2,300. Significantly, the Baumatic was devised in collaboration with the Richemont Innovation Manufacturing Service, the centralized R&D hub established by Baumeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parent company in 2017. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NICHOLAS FOULKES

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FLUTED CROWN T H R E E - PA RT C A S E OPEN CASEBACK LANCETTE HANDS DIAL RIVETED INDEX E N L A R G E D D AT E D I S C SILICON ESCAPEMENT BIDIRECTIONAL W I N D I N G SYST E M GEAR TRAIN SILICON HAIRSPRING STO P S E C O N D S SINGLE BARREL BIDIRECTIONAL O S C I L L AT I N G W E I G H T

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WAT E R R E S I S TA N C E : 5 0 M

M OVEM EN T CO M PO N EN TS: 1 83

CASE DIMENSION: 40MM

POWER RESERVE: 120 HOU RS

M OVEM EN T T H I CK N ES S : 4 . 2M M

M A G N E T I C F I E L D R E S I S TA N C E : 1 5 0 0 G

NUMBER OF JEWELS: 21

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Vanity fair uk april 2018  
Vanity fair uk april 2018  
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