Page 1

Luxury Without Compromise

THAILAND

9 485001

Issue 53. 195 baht

772315 > 09/2019

ro b b re p o r t . in .th


Contents 16

18

22

Editor’s Letter

Objectified

Auction

24 Best Of The Best Typically, when we want to acquire an object of the highest quality, we automatically think of names such as Porsche, Breguet and others of their ilk – brands that more often than not have their roots in the west. So, for this year’s annual salute to the creme de la creme of luxury, Robb Report Thailand stays close to home. Welcome to our first Best of the Best edition that honours brands with origins in Asia.

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CO L L E CT IO N

©Photograph: patriceschreyer.com

Villeret

PENDULUM: M FL. SIAM PARAGON PENDULUM: 1ST FL. CENTRAL WORLD PMT THE HOUR GLASS: 1ST FL. CENTRAL PHUKET FLORESTA KING POWER: RANGNAM, SRIVAREE, SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT, PHUKET & PHUKET AIRPORT

+662 +662 +667 +662

610 252 663 205

9423 4494 3888 8888


Contents

94

78 Time

Time

94 Wheels

Art Imitates Life

Crystal Clear

Thunder Cracker

A display of serene enchantments is the inspiration behind Jaquet Droz’s latest mesmerising release.

The use of this material is taking horology to new heights. Precision and attention to detail are apparent in the production of each timepiece.

Luxury has it that less is more. This favourite family supercar has just been given a subtle upgrade with a whole lot of noticeable impact.

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104

106

Wings

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82

Water

Water

Leaving the Nest

Tiers of Joy

Perfect Ports

Jet-setting is about to get a little more comfortable. This new series assures to leave all your travel woes in the periphery.

An Italian destination is gaining traction as new megayachts complement the restaurants and vineyards of Ancona.

These harbours come with the finest in on-site entertainment and other additions that make docking a dream.

SEPTEMBER 2019


RARE AND MAGNIFICENT JEWELS LONDON GENEVA HONG KONG Tel: +852 2110 2232 moussaieff-jewellers.com info@moussaieff.com.hk


Contents

118

114 Technology

Travel

122 Travel

Quick Off the Marq

In the Middle of Nowhere

Caught in the Act

Garmin has long been catering to the outdoor enthusiast. Its newest venture is a range of luxury watches for the versatile adventurer.

Subtle nuances of comfort set against the magnificent backdrop of nature are all the appeal of this Mongolian escape.

Never miss a moment with this companion on hand. The Leica CL camera imparts creativity in all proportions to the avid photographer.

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134

142

The Art of Appreciation

Grape Strides

Savour

Post-event

Beyond mere expressions and emotive manipulations of a space, here’s what to look out for if you’re thinking of investing in art pieces.

Michael Baum is revolutionising wine making. Through the use of technology, he aspires to create transparency in the production of each cuvee.

This year’s King Power Royal Charity Polo Cup pays tribute to the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the founder of the Thailand Polo Association.

Homes

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Horse Play


THAILAND

EDITORIAL

PRESIDENT

K A R I S H M A T U L S I DAS

M I C H A E L VO N S C H L I PPE

EDITOR-IN- CHIEF

(k.tulsidas@imv.com.sg)

ELLEN BOONSTR A

CONTENT CONS ULTANT

(e.boonstra@imv.com.sg)

D R A K K R AWAT PAY E S R I N A RO N G

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

ADVERTISING SALES AND MARKETING C H I DA T E I N S O N G R U S M E E

DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARK E TING

O N J I R A PAT U M K AW I N

SALES AND MARK E TING MANAGER

JAC Q U E L I N E DA N A M

CHIEF S UB-EDITOR

FINANCE ALLISA NOR AINI

WEI CHAN

WRITER

HE AD OF FINANCE

ART

FINANCE MANAGER

(a.noraini@imv.com.sg)

LE THU TRANG T H AO T R U O N G

A R C H A N A G OW DA

DESIGNER

DESIGNER

KENNY NGUYEN

PICT URE EDITOR

CONTRIBUTORS

HUIYING SOH

ADMINISTR ATOR

DIGITAL STEVEN KHU

REGIONAL HE AD

A D I S O O N, A N D R E W L E C I, B RYA N G O H, C E L I N E YA P, C H A R M A I N E TA I, C H R I S DW Y E R, DA N I E L L E C U T L E R, DA RY L L E E , D R C H E T T H A S O N GT H AV E E P O L , H A N N A H C H O O, I RO S H I N I C H UA , JA N I C E O’L E A RY, JAS O N TA N, J O S H S I M S, J U L I A Z A LT Z M A N, M A R I A N N E L I M, M AV I S T E O, N I N G C H O N G, N O E L L E WO O N, PA I G E R E D D I N G E R, R E N Y I L I M, T U P T I M M A L A K U L N A AY U T H AYA , V E E R A DA S O N GT H AV E E PH O L , W E I-Y U WA N G

PR & EVENT AND MARKETING CONSULTANT

PRODUCTION

PREPRESS I M V R E PRO

A N N A T S I R E L N I KOVA

Printer Percetakan Zanders Sdn Bhd, 16, Jalan BK 1/11, Bandar Kinrara

GROUP PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

R.S.V.P. PR & L I F E S T Y L E C O M M U N I CAT I O N S AG E N CY, S I N G A P O R E

47180 Puchong, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Published by Indochine Media Pte Ltd 1 Syed Alwi Road, #02-02 Song Lin Building, Singapore 207628. Robb Report Thailand® is a registered trademark of Robb Report Media, LLC. ©2018 Robb Report Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Published under licence from Robb Report Media, LLC 11175 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA.

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ROBB REPORT GLOBAL

AD SALES REPRESENTATIVES

DAV I D A R N O L D

P U B L I C I TAS

E VP, MANAGING DIRECTOR

LO N D O N

EMILIA ERR ANTE, SALES EDITOR

PAU L C RO U G H TO N

emilie.errante@publicitas.com

CRITINA CHEEVER

LIBBY CHEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR

EDITOR IN CHIEF

CHINA

libby.chen@publicitas.com

VICE PRESIDENT, LIVE MEDIA

H O N G KO N G

E LYS E H E C K M A N

MICHELE LI, GENER AL MANAGER (SALES)

VICE PRESIDENT, BR AND & COMMUNICATIONS

michele.li@publicitas.com

DA N I E L B O R C H E R T

INTERNATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR

O B E RO N M E D I A

PENSKE MEDIA CORPORATION

I TA LY

JAY PE N S K E

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CHAIRMAN AND CEO

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G E O RG E G RO BA R

VIALE GIULIO RICHARD 1/B 2014 3 MIL ANO TEL: +39 02 874 5 3

CHIEF OPER ATING OFFICER

K E N D E L A LCA Z A R

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE

D E BAS H I S H G H O S H

MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MARK E TS

S T U D I O -R I B O U D

KEVIN L ABONGE

VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS & LICENSING

FRANCE

MAGALI RIBOUD

(mriboud@studio-riboud.com)

G U RJ E E T C H I M A

SENIOR DIRECOR, ASIA 130 RUE DE COURCELLES 75017 PARIS, FR ANCE TEL: +33 142 563 336 FA X: +33 142 563 331

L AU R A O N G A RO

EDITORIAL & BR AND DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL

RO B B R E P O R T.I N.T H

RO B B R E P O R T T H A I L A N D

RO B B R E P O R T_T H A I L A N D

Robb Report Thailand is published by Indochine Media Pte Ltd, registration number 201214107E. Indochine Media has taken every reasonable care to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of the information contained in this publication, but accepts no responsibility for the content of advertisements published, and no liability for mistake, misprint, omission, typographical error, loss or damage suffered as a result of relying wholly or in part on the content of advertising or editorial published herein. Indochine Media reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or advertorial for any reason. All artwork designed by Indochine Media or any part of this publication may not be reproduced in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by means – graphical, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording, taping, etc – without prior permission in writing from the Publishers.

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SEPTEMBER 2019


Editor’s Letter

WE ARE LIVING in a time that humans have been working towards for thousands of years. This is the age of infinite possibilities. Anyone who doesn’t comprehend and appreciate the evolution of man could easily take plenty of things for granted (congratulations Gen X for being perfectly comfortable with both analogue and digital!). We are fully aware that each year, every creation that enhances our well-being is the product of somebody’s dream, and just as we are about to settle, some creative minds will come up with an even

better rendition. Similarly, Robb Report Thailand refuses to stand still and continues to seek beyond the conformity and compile only the finest, most incredible all-round creations to date. As you enjoy this fresh copy of an exclusive printed edition, be ready to dive into our online platform for regular updates on the constant improvements to the products and services that we enjoy. The future looks exciting because the best is yet to come.

Dr Akkrawat Paye Srinarong Editor i a l Dir ector

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Objectified

Turning Heads

The Lamborghini Huracán Evo, as its name suggests, is an evolution of the 2014 Huracán. But it’s so much more than a mid-life refresh. Changes to its bodywork may be subtle to the untrained eye, but along with changes to its undertray, aerodynamic downforce has been increased and drag decreased. All the better to take advantage of its new 640hp, 5.2-litre V10 inherited from the Huracán Performante, complete with the latter’s high-mounted tailpipes. On the inside, the centre console has been updated to make way for a new 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system. A new colour, Arancio Dryope, is also available through Lamborghini’s Ad Personam personalisation programme. www.lamborghini.com

R O B B R E P O RT

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Objectified

The Cliffhanger

Turkey-based architectural studio Hayri Atak is taking ‘living life on the edge’ to extreme ends, literally, with its newest design proposal. It has conceived a conceptual boutique hotel built within the edge of a cliff called Preikestolen in Norway, with a cantilevered glass swimming pool that extends out precariously 610m above the fjord below. The hotel entrance is situated atop the cliff, while the five-tiered structure will also feature oval balconies on each level, granting guests panoramic views of the surrounding mountainous landscape. www.hayriatak.com

R O B B R E P O RT

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Auction

Off the Block

George Daniels’ Space Traveller I Auctioned by Sotheby’s in London for £3.6 million. Setting a world auction record for a timepiece by an independent watchmaker, George Daniels’ legendary Space Traveller I also achieved the highest price for a watch at auction this year. This is the most revered of the 23 pocket watches made by the worldrenowned horologist and is often referred to as ‘the most important English watch of modern times’. Daniels completed Space Traveller I in 1982 to commemorate the 1969 American moon landing, building it with solar and sidereal times, equation of time, phases of the moon, and utilising his famous independent double wheel escapement.

www.sothebys.com

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WORDS: RENYI LIM. PHOTOGR APHY: STUDIO SEBERT.

We keep you up-to-date on the hottest lots under the hammer.


Auction

Panerai’s The Rösel Radiomir

A Lewis Chessman

Auctioned by Artcurial in Monaco for €110,500.

Auctioned by Sotheby’s in London for £735,000.

This rare Radiomir dating from the 1940s is an exceptional Panerai diver’s watch that was formerly the property of Helmut Rösel, a frogman of the German navy during World War II. The 46mm timepiece, which features a mechanical 618 calibre, a steel case and a military strap, was accompanied by a commando compass, a military decoration and Rösel’s combat swimmer badge.

Carved from walrus ivory and measuring 8.8cm, this star lot of Sotheby’s Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art auction was purchased for £5 by an antiques dealer in Edinburgh in the 1960s. As one of the most famous chess pieces to have survived from the 13th century, this is the first additional piece to have been found since the initial discovery of the Lewis Chessman hoard in northern Scotland around 1831.

www.artcurial.com

www.sothebys.com

BB King’s Gibson ES-345 Lucille Prototype Guitar

Portrait of Jacqueline with Smooth Hair by Pablo Picasso

Bidding starts on 21 September in Los Angeles.

Bidding starts on 12 September in London.

An unsurpassed collection of BB King’s instruments, stage-worn jackets, jewellery, awards and personal items will be auctioned in Beverly Hills, including his stage-played black Gibson ES-345 prototype (which carries a top estimate of US$100,000). It was gifted by Gibson to the King of the Blues on his 80th birthday and was heavily used by him. The name ‘Lucille’ served as a reminder never to fight over a woman or run into a burning building.

A total of 250 works by modern, contemporary, pop and British artists will be offered at Phillips’ Evening and Day Editions auctions. One of the modern highlights is an exceptional group of portraits by Pablo Picasso, led by linocuts of his second wife Jacqueline Roque. Portrait de Jacqueline au cheveux lisses (Portrait of Jacqueline with Smooth Hair) was created while the artist was in his 80s and displays his mastery of a variety of printmaking techniques.

www.juliensauctions.com

www.phillips.com

ROBB REPORT

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Best of the Best 2019 - Asia

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“I’m a man of simple tastes, I’m always satisfied with the best.” – Oscar Wilde

ROBB REPORT

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TR AVEL

Hotel that makes you feel like a royal

AS THE WORLD’S sixth-largest private residence, Umaid Bhawan Palace more than lives up to its reputation for phenomenal palatial grandeur. And rightly so, since it remains the principal home of His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur and his family. Thanks to Taj Hotels’ sensible restoration of its 65 bedrooms and suites, all featuring the original art deco design and antiques, guests can follow in His Highness’s royal footsteps and gain a fascinating insight into a contemporary regal lifestyle. For the ultimate royal experience, arrive at the palace in one of the Maharaja’s vintage cars and check into The Maharani Suite; its terrace overlooks

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10 hectares of private gardens, Mehrangarh Fort and if you’re in luck, you’ll spot the occasional strutting peacock. An expansive master bedroom decked out in rose pink, black and chrome gives you the space you need, along with a drawing room, dining room and treatment rooms for massages and yoga (prices start from 375,000 Indian rupees). The bathroom alone is something to behold: carved out of a single piece of pink Italian marble, you’ll find a bathtub, jacuzzi and steam room. It also makes for marvellous fun when you’re trying out the bath menu’s many options, such as the energising Rani Padmawati milk bath.

WORDS: RENYI LIM.

Umaid Bhawan Palace, India


TR AVEL

Most luxurious hotel on wheels

WORDS: RENYI LIM.

Maharajas’ Express

WHEN A TRAIN’S Presidential Suite is named Navratna – the Sanskrit word for ‘nine precious jewels’ – it’s an excellent indication of the opulence you can expect on board Maharajas’ Express. Enter your cabin and you’ll find two interconnected bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom that comes with a bathtub and shower. There’s also a sitting room that doubles as a dining area, and you’ll come to realise that there are few others like this in the world. From the moment you begin your journey in New Delhi, travelling through captivating Indian cities including Agra, Varanasi and Lucknow, you’ll

be chugging along in style. To fully appreciate the journey and destination, we recommend selecting the eight-day itinerary (the Presidential Suite is priced at US$26,070 per person). Each cabin or suite has a dedicated butler service to tend to every need, while the other facilities include two fine-dining restaurants, and a charming Observation Lounge with its own bar. In the languid evenings after a day of sightseeing at Bandhavgarh National Park or the Taj Mahal, return in a chauffeur-driven car and work your way through the Safari Bar’s spirits list, all served in hand-cut crystal glasses.

ROBB REPORT

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SAVOUR

Bars that make vertigo worth it

Moon Bar, Banyan Tree Bangkok DAZZLING 360-DEGREE skyline views await at Bangkok’s newly renovated Moon Bar, adjacent to the aptly named Vertigo al fresco grill restaurant. Given that the bar sits on the 61st floor, it does get fairly chilly and windy, but there’s nothing a drink can’t do to settle your nerves. Pop by just before golden hour ends and enjoy a walk (and sundowner) around the perimeter as the city lights spring to life. Signature cocktails include Vertigo Sunset and Moon Romance, no doubt a less-than-subtle reference to the restaurant and bar. Those who prefer a glass of spirits should check out its whisky collection, which is said to be one of the capital’s best.

AS FAR – AND as high – as rooftop bars go, At.mosphere tops the list, sitting at a staggering 122 floors, some 420m above Dubai. On a clear day, the world’s tallest bar’s jaw-dropping views can stretch up to 80km away. The drinks will keep you on your toes; champagnes, wines, spirits and cocktails are top of the range with prices to match. Carefully crafted libations like Naia meld Moët & Chandon rose, fruitflavoured liqueurs and 24-karat gold to delicious effect, while Damah uses black pepper for a slightly pungent kick. Window tables are on a first come, first served basis, so get there early. And should the views not be enough, take the elevator to At the Top Sky, Burj Khalifa’s observation deck, which sits at 555m.

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WORDS: CHRIS DW YER.

At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa, Dubai


SAVOUR

Most well-stocked wine bar

WORDS: CHRIS DW YER.

Grand Lisboa Hotel, Macau WHILE THERE IS no shortage of stunning wine lists around the world, there’s no bigger or better wine bible than at Macau’s Grand Lisboa Hotel. It runs to a mind-blowing, back-breaking 585 pages, but thankfully guests are offered an iPad to thumb through. You’ll find over 17,000 labels of every imaginable location and vintage, totalling almost half a million bottles. If you have a favourite wine, no matter how obscure, there’s every chance it’s in there. The beauty is that the wines are served throughout its 15 star-studded dining and drinking establishments, including Robuchon au Dôme and

Cantonese restaurant The Eight, both of which come with three-Michelin-starred badges of pride. The wines are locked away in cellars located in the basement, where they’re stored in separate areas according to its best-kept temperature. Looking for a bottle of Château Margaux from 1900? Not a problem. The 1929 Château Haut-Brion? Right away, sir. The legendary Domaine Romanée Conti 1959? Consider it done. Be prepared to shell out top dollar on a bottle, though there are also numerous options – why wouldn’t there be? – to suit all budgets.

ROBB REPORT

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SAVOUR

Whisky that earns its space beside Scottish single malts

Yamazaki ONE CANNOT BRING up Asian spirits without considering the global juggernaut that is Yamazaki. The distillery single-handedly catapulted Japanese whisky into the limelight when its Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 was named World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015. Since then, demand has skyrocketed and prices have gone up accordingly; in 2018 a 50-year-old Yamazaki was auctioned at Sotheby’s for US$300,000. While there is a degree of truth where the incredible demand is simply due to it being overhyped, there is also no getting around the fact that

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Yamazaki makes a darn fine whisky. No single characteristic upsets the balance as everything works in harmony. It’s no surprise that Japanese whisky is technically accomplished as its history stretches much further back. The craft was brought to Japan in the 1920s by Masataka Taketsuru, who had travelled to Scotland to learn the manufacturing techniques of Scotch whisky. In the decades since, Yamazaki has lived up to what has become a Japanese tradition: studying a foreign craft, treating it with the utmost respect and infusing it with its own distinct quality.


SAVOUR

Paul John SITTING ON THE coast of Goa, India, is the distillery of Paul John. Its whiskies are created from six-row barley grown at the foothills of the Himalayas, with this varietal imparting a big and buttery characteristic to the brand’s typical profile. Of its collections, the 50 per cent ABV Kanya is particularly well received, bagging the title of best Asian whisky in the 2018 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. Named for the Indian counterpart of the star sign Virgo, Kanya is an unpeated expression. Aged for seven years in American white oak casks, Kanya is fairly mature by Paul John standards, given that the tropical climate results in quicker maturation. Soft and creamy on the palate, it has a distinct honey character that persists from nose to finish, with hints of oak and spice. Just 1,500 bottles are available.

W O R D S : W E I -Y U W A N G .

Kavalan KAVALAN CAME OUT of nowhere. The Taiwanese distillery, a passion project by billionaire Lee Tien-Tsai, was established in 2005. Kavalan’s rise was extraordinarily quick, bagging over 200 awards, and with an output of nine million litres since its founding, it has become one of the world’s largest whisky producers. Part of the reason Kavalan was able to make an impact so quickly is that Taiwan’s hot and humid climate meant there was a much faster ageing process than traditional Scotch. It takes just four years to age the whisky at the Kavalan warehouse, while bearing the flavour of whiskies that have been aged for at least 15 years elsewhere. The brand is also quite willing to experiment, using not just ex-bourbon casks, but sherry, port and brandy casks too.

ROBB REPORT

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SAVOUR

best Wine to go with your meal

THE ART OF dinner conversation might be lost but for the exemplary Ao Yun. The evening grows young as you’re drawn by what this enigmatic presence tells you about its origins; a flash of fresh summer-at-the-races glamour; a glint of earthiness, savoury and sweet like spice. Born of LVMH’s unthrottled attempt at making a flagship wine in China, Ao Yun is endlessly fascinating company. Its subtlety and sheer finesse can be described as oriental, even exotic, while its power recalls classically well-balanced Bordeaux. Its 2014 blend is Ao Yun’s second vintage and has a more complex

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flavour than the 2013 blend. The full-bodied wine has flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg, with hints of red dates, a cultural nod to the wine’s origins. To appreciate the wine, one needs to know Ao Yun’s terroir, including its people. The stunning villages of Adong, Xinang, Sinong and Shuori dot the foothills of the sacred Meili, in the vicinity of the World Heritage-listed Three Parallel Rivers of Salween, Mekong and Yangtze in Yunnan, the province of China with the greatest diversity of wildlife and culture. How apt for a wine of great beauty that moves with the clouds.

W O R D S : J A S O N TA N .

Ao Yun


SAVOUR

Chef you’d hire to cook for you

WORDS: MARIANNE LIM.

Garima Arora

TRUST GARIMA ARORA, the first Michelinstarred female Indian chef and winner of this year’s Best Female Chef at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, to impress both in and out of the kitchen. At 32 years old, the Mumbai-born culinary maestro has led her Bangkok-based dining establishment, Gaa, to receive a Michelin star just 18 months after its opening. Its claim to fame: the ability to pair Thai ingredients with age-old Indian techniques and reimagine gourmet dishes. It is hard to believe that Arora only started cooking at 21, working her way through Le Cordon

Bleu, Noma, Gaggan, as well as the kitchen of Gordon Ramsay, before taking her place as a recordbreaking trailblazer. While dishes such such as liquid banana bread, duck doughnut and unripe jackfruit may not sound particularly appetising, it’ll make you think twice about judging a dish by its name. The affable chef is also glad to share her inspirations as well as ingredients she experimented with that failed to make the cut. And don’t be shy to ask questions. The erstwhile journalist is more than glad to be on the receiving end of interviews.

ROBB REPORT

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SAVOUR

Best restaurant for... An adventure-filled evening

AT ULTRAVIOLET, THE devil is in the details. The adventure begins even before one has set foot in the restaurant as diners are told to gather at a specific location before they’re escorted to the actual venue, which is a less flashy area away from The Bund. They’re then led into a room that has only one table and a set of 10 executive-like chairs surrounded by four walls. It may sound slightly anticlimactic, but once the plates arrive, the Shanghai-based restaurant proves that good things come to those who wait. Opened in 2012 by French chef-owner Paul Pairet, the restaurant treats diners to an immersive

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experience. The table and walls are lit up with projections that change as your courses do, complete with sonic accompaniment through the speakers to engage all the senses. Lest you wave it off as a gimmicky act with overpriced European morsels that will inadvertently fail to impress, satisfy or worse, fill you, take the plunge and make a booking. This, of course, isn’t for the diner who only wants to kick back and enjoy a hearty meal over casual conversations. But for those looking to be inspired, thrown off guard or even challenged, this is the place for you.

WORDS: MARIANNE LIM.

Ultraviolet, Shanghai


SAVOUR

To celebrate an engagement

Odette, Singapore

ODETTE, THE BRAINCHILD of Julien Royer that most recently dethroned Gaggan to be Asia’s best restaurant, is the epitome of romance in more ways than one. Located in a cosy corner within the National Gallery Singapore, the two-Michelin-starred restaurant changes its menu regularly, but its artful presentation and flavours are constant. Created as a love letter to Royer’s grandmother, the contemporary space (designed by Singapore artist Dawn Ng) exudes a feminine, fairy tale-like ambience with curved seating arrangements, baby pink hues and a hanging mobile of origami-like ornaments – no doubt an intimate space. Opt for the corner seat by the windows for more privacy.

for a casual yet delicious meal

Den, Japan

FOUNDED BY CHEF Hasegawa Zaiyu in 2007, the restaurant deviates from the polished style of traditional kaiseki cuisine. There are just eight seats at the chef’s table, allowing diners to engage with the chefs should they wish to or simply enjoy the meal while taking in the atmosphere. Dishes are also not served all at one go, allowing Zaiyu to take note of a diner’s comments on a particular dish and swiftly modify the next if need be. The Tokyo gem puts the spotlight on Japanese home-cooked food, offering an unorthodox yet somewhat familiar rendition of it. Accolades and long wait-list aside, what ultimately makes Den a stellar after-hours hangout is its warm hospitality that makes guests feel completely at home.

ROBB REPORT

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SAVOUR

Resort that will make you consider going vegetarian

IF IT TASTES good, it probably isn’t healthy, and if it’s healthy, it probably doesn’t taste good. But forget that misconception, especially if you’re at Como Shambhala Estate, Bali. The estate is the base for Como Shambhala Cuisine, a wellness arm under Como Hotels and Resorts to experiment, test and roll out its dishes worldwide. Enjoy an Acai Bowl filled with bee pollen, granola, banana and berries, or Real Toast, a summertime sandwich topped with heirloom tomatoes, avocado and cucumber. Those looking for something savoury can opt for a spiced lentil curry with moringa and spinach, chilled soba noodles or a fluffy egg white mushroom omelette. Snacks are equally appetising, with the likes of broccoli fritters with parmesan, or crackers with a

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cashew hummus dip. The brews are not to be missed either; the long black is infused with ginger, manuka honey and cold-pressed coconut oil. Those who can’t do without their meats can get their fill of lobster rolls, steak frites, spiced lamb samosa and even chicken schnitzel should you crave something more filling. Take it from us though, after trying the estate’s Shambhala Cuisine menu, you’ll naturally lean towards the ‘greener’ dishes without feeling like you’re missing out on anything. The best part? You don’t have to head to Como Shambhala Estate, Bali for your fill of wellness – unless you want to sample the newest dishes fresh from the kitchen. Como Cuisine in Dempsey also offers a fairly extensive selection, with separate breakfast, brunch and beverage menus.

W O R D S : C H A R M A I N E TA I .

Como Shambhala Estate, Bali


PROPERTIES

Most stunning mansion with a nine-figure price

WORDS: RENYI LIM.

Overthorpe, Hong Kong

KNOWING FULL WELL the speed at which Hong Kong’s real estate market moves, you’ll want to be quick about Overthorpe, listed at a guide price of HK$400 million through Sotheby’s International Realty. Not only does it sit in prime position at the highest point of The Peak, but with six bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one partial bath, and a twotier rooftop that lends itself wonderfully to al fresco entertaining, it’s bound to get snapped up swiftly. Beside a serene front garden with a feature waterfall, Overthorpe’s avant-garde design includes a large terrace that extends the length of the living

room, an open bar next to the kitchen, a wine cellar and a sauna. The interior, which spans just over 208 sq m, doesn’t scrimp on the details and comes designed for those determined to enjoy a thoroughly luxurious lifestyle, be it in the open master suite or the balcony attached to one of the large bedrooms. Through the house’s glass walls, you’ll take in the 360-degree views that stretch across Victoria Harbour, Mid-Levels, the South China Sea and the rolling mountains around it – a panorama available to only the most fortunate who choose to reside in one of Asia’s most vibrant cities.

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PROPERTIES

Best Private Members’ Clubs in Asia

1880 Singapore MARC NICHOLSON, FOUNDER of 1880, remembers a childhood when conversations and dissent were par for the course at home. He wanted to bring a similar experience to the private club he now runs, which launched in December 2017 at The Quayside. Apart from hosting 20 to 25 events a week for its members, 1880 has a much loftier goal: to spark fun and thought-provoking conversations. These conversations are ignited over power talks, secret suppers, themed brunches and wine and spirit tastings, amongst numerous others. The club keeps its membership capped at 2,000, and we’re told that the interview process is quite stringent. Sophie Fitsall, head of events at 1880, explains: “Our style and character is all about inspiring

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conversations; everything we do is exercised at a very high standard, with the aim of members and guests walking away having learned or experienced something different and elevated.” Not one to do things by halves, the club pulled out all the stops when it hosted the Singapore International Film Festival annual gala dinner and its one-year anniversary party on the same evening late last year – with just a 25-minute turnaround period. What started as an elegant, formal dinner event for 190 guests completely morphed into a party arena for a new 500-strong crowd. The entertainment lineup for the evening? A burlesque performance by one of the club’s global ambassadors, Sukki Singapora, and an electrifying jazz session led by Alemay Fernandez backed by a 10-piece band.


PROPERTIES

WORDS: ALLISA NOR ANI.

Soho House Mumbai and Soho House Hong Kong SOHO HOUSE WAS founded in London in 1995 as a private members’ club and now has 23 clubs under its umbrella. Soho House Mumbai opened in late 2018 as the brand’s first Asian outpost. It’s since become the go-to spot for India’s A-list celebrities and the who’s who of Mumbai. The club is set in a 10-storey building overlooking Juhu Beach and is home to 38 bedrooms, a library, members’ floor, gym, rooftop pool, a 32-seat screening room and two restaurants, Cecconi’s Mumbai and The Allis. Design features include charming dashes of modern Indian, with art deco-styled tiled floors complemented with Jaipur textiles. The main members-only restaurant is bathed in a gorgeous shade of teal accentuated with elegant chandeliers, while the bathrooms have vintage mirrors and marble

fittings. A collection of over 200 artworks adorn the walls and furniture around the house. Next month will see the second Asian outpost open in Hong Kong. Occupying a 28-storey tower, the club will boast views of Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour and Victoria Peak, with key design features inspired by the city’s rich film history. You’ll also find a 1970s-inspired Pool Room, a swim-up bar, a House Studio to host exhibitions, and a snazzy screening room. Soho House, however, is notorious for its selective club membership policy. An invitation to be part of the Soho House family is restricted to those from the creative class, thus eschewing the common perception that wealth and status is the only prerequisite for access to private members’ clubs.

ROBB REPORT

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GROOMING

Spas that will make you feel like a new person

Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamami SAID TO RELIEVE aches and pains, improve blood circulation and expel toxins from the body, the Turkish hammam – essentially a hydrotherapy bath – is one of the oldest bathing traditions in the world and continues to be revered for its relaxing and invigorating properties. The best, of course, are found in Turkey and you can’t go wrong at the city’s oldest bathhouse, Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamami. Set within the old city, the hammam dates back to 1556 and was built by Süleyman the Magnificent for his wife Hürrem Sultan at an excellent location

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between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. It was designed by the chief Ottoman architect of that period, Mimar Sinan, and features that era’s signature stained glass windows and domes. It recently underwent a three-year, US$13 million renovation and reopened in 2011. Spa goers will find cold, warm and hot rooms, each designed to rid the body of toxins and prepare it for a luscious body scrub. Spring for the ultimate package, a 110-minute indulgence which includes a Turkish bath (of course), a skin-refining peel, body clay mask and a full-body aromatherapy massage.


GROOMING

Amanpuri AMAN’S WELLNESS PROGRAMMES are worldrenowned and it’s tough to pick just one. But if we had to choose, it’d probably be Amanpuri in Phuket. The 31-year-old resort unveiled its newly renovated Aman Spa, which features 12 fully equipped treatment rooms, saunas, jacuzzis, plunge pools and fitness areas dedicated to Muay Thai, Pilates, yoga and more. As part of the Aman Wellness programme that the resort established in 2016, it set up a Holistic Wellness Centre, where guests undergo a health check before the resort’s specialist doctors and practitioners tailor a programme specially for them with the aim of boosting their well-being. Of course, the entire programme is supplemented by the spa offerings as well, including massages, body wraps and more.

WORDS: K ARISHMA TULSIDAS.

Ananda Spa AT THE FOOTHILLS of the Himalayas is one of India’s most famous retreats, and for good reason: Ananda Spa sprawls across 40 hectares on the Maharajah’s Palace Estate. Established in 2001, it quickly became India’s premier retreat for those seeking rest, respite and rejuvenation. Each programme starts with a one-on-one session with the resident doctor, who will customise the guest’s schedule for the stay: this includes fitness sessions, yoga, meal plans, massages and more. Essentially, a holistic programme to take guests one step closer to their wellness goals. At the 2,230 sq m spa, there are more than 80 treatments available and they follow traditional Ayurvedic practices administered by expert therapists. The spa also comes equipped with a steam room, sauna and Kneipp hydrotherapy area.

ROBB REPORT

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GROOMING

Skincare so good you don’t need plastic surgery

ANYONE WHO’S TRIED the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence swears by its rejuvenating powers. That is, if they’re able to get past the slightly pungent smell in the first place. But once they do, the verdict is unanimous: cleansers, serums and sunblocks can be swapped out, but the Facial Treatment Essence is a must-have in their beauty arsenal. And this is no hyperbole: legend has it that SK-II’s founders noticed the impeccably smooth and youthful hands of workers in a sake brewery. They harnessed the chemical compounds and developed Pitera, a nutrient-rich ingredient that promises to work magic on the skin. Don’t just take our word for it: John Legend recently released a catchy jingle called Oh, Pitera extolling its virtues, as part of a social media campaign featuring

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James Corden, Chlöe Grace-Moretz, Naomi Watanabe and Kasumi Arimura. The jingle is part of SK-II’s Bare Face campaign, which promotes the fact that the Facial Treatment Essence is the only product you need to achieve crystal clear skin. The product was launched more than 35 years ago and was the first ‘essence’ that was 90 per cent comprised of one active ingredient, Pitera. This ‘miracle water’ –as fans call it – fortifies the skin’s barrier function and ensures that it is thoroughly hydrated. Fans swear by it, but also acknowledge that results are slow. But those who see improvement simply can’t turn back, and that is the power of this Japanese essence that has reigned supreme for almost 40 years.

WORDS: K ARISHMA TULSIDAS.

SK-II


GROOMING

Barbershops for a classic wet shave

WORDS: K ARISHMA TULSIDAS.

The Mandarin Barber

SET WITHIN THE hallowed walls of Hong Kong’s institutional Mandarin Oriental hotel is one of the city’s oldest – and most famous –barbershops. The Mandarin Barber, as it’s eloquently called, was established in 1963 and remains the go-to for dapper and discerning gentlemen in need of a touch of pampering. The institution specialises in the art of the traditional shave, executed by a team of specialists. The experience starts from the moment you enter the premises, which harkens back to the 1930s Shanghai era. The refined space boasts dark wood panelling, marble floors, leather seats and modern oriental accents, all the trappings necessary to reassure you that you’re taking a step back in time –

before the advent of a certain brand that starts with a G and ends with an E. Lean back on one of the six barber chairs and let the team work their magic. Warm towels are placed on your face to open the pores, while the therapist gently massages your face to stimulate blood flow. A pre-shaving oil, courtesy of Truefitt & Hill, is applied on your beard, before the Geo F Trumpers shaving cream is lathered on using a brush made of badger hair. Using three different Japanese shaving blades, the barber then proceeds to shave your beard, using slow, measured strokes. For the entire pampering ritual, men can also opt for hair services, manicures or pedicures.

ROBB REPORT

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TECHNOLOGY

Television that will turn your room into a movie theatre

Samsung QLED 8K

FANCY A NEW screen? So do we. But there’s a lot more to buying a TV than simply putting down your money for it. The future is coming at us faster than you think, so how do you ensure what you take home today is still relevant tomorrow? The key is to stay ahead of the game. Far, far ahead. Samsung beat its competitors to the punch by launching the world’s first QLED 8K TV, the Q900R. While 4K displays still remain cutting edge, you can obviously expect a lot more from an 8K. It contains 33 million pixels, equivalent to four times the resolution of UHD and 16 times that of full HD. Available in the screen sizes of 65, 75, 82 and 98 inches, the Q900R boasts QLED technology, a proprietary panel technology developed by Samsung for its best televisions.

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The Power of AI Upscaling Granted, 8K entertainment is nowhere near to being a thing, yet. But thanks to Samsung’s 8K AI upscaling, low-quality image content have become a thing of the past. Plug in any content and the Q900R will automatically convert it into content with stunning 8K resolution with AI upscaling*. Not only that, it also enhances overall picture quality by reducing noise and restoring edges, making it clearer and sharper than an ordinary television ever will. Quantum Dot technology expresses 100 per cent real colours* in over a billion shades, coupled with the powerful 8K Quantum Processor to transform flat images into a deeper, more true-to-life experience with peerless clarity. Rest assured that your favourite shows will be seen as what the filmmaker intended it to be.


W O R D S : H A N N A H C H O O . * D E TA I L E D D I S C L A I M E R S A P P LY.

TECHNOLOGY

One Clever Master Like true love, smart and user-friendly technology isn’t always easy to find. Samsung has, however, done a great job with providing easy access to a whole buffet of features. The whole point of technology is to make your life easier, and with Samsung’s One Master Remote Control*, half the work is done for you. Everything can be controlled from a single device, from managing various connected household devices (your robot vacuum and smart lighting, for instance)* to optimising the viewing experience. And on days when you don’t feel like lifting a finger, you can take advantage of Samsung’s hands-free Bixby* voice assistant. The selection of streaming services is equally impressive. With its Intuitive Smart Hub, you can surf the web, Netflix* or Amazon Video*. Amazingly,

you can still be entertained even when the TV is not turned on. The Magic Screen* function is perfect for a little disappearing act – you can blend it into the background to match your decor, upload your best memories and play it as a slideshow, or select from a wide range of beautiful art pieces* from well-known photographers and artists and customise them to fit your living space. Goodbye, Messy Cables Here’s how we feel about messy cables – out of sight, out of mind – and Samsung’s One Invisible Connection* does just that. It eliminates clutter by allowing you to connect a translucent cable that integrates the data and power source together, from the back of the TV to the One Connect Box*. You can also connect your devices to the One Connect Box to increase the TV’s freedom of movement.

ROBB REPORT

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TECHNOLOGY

Audio system for that concert arena quality

IF YOU HAVE yet to experience surround sound, then this sophisticated soundbar by Sony could be a game changer. It’s one of the best-performing soundbars around, made to fill a room with crisp, resonant audio. And with a length of 47 inches, it can be slotted stylishly beneath any 4K TV at 55 inches or larger. The HT-ST5000 is loaded with a ton of features, such as sound enhancement and adjustment tools, wireless audio streaming and a nifty touch panel. But most importantly, it is packed with 800W of power,

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4K HDR support and a large subwoofer, providing a punchy bass and high dynamic range. But it’s not just about the muscle – there’s musical refinement, too. Play Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and be impressed by the rich, rounded vocal quality. It helps that there’s Dolby Atmos that comes along with it. Virtual surround sound is combined with wavefront technology, bringing you a natural, threedimensional sound field and transcendent cinematic feel to even the most uneventful episode of Days of our Lives.

WO R D S: H A N N A H C H O O.

Sony HT-ST5000 soundbar


FASHION

Eyewear that will make you gladly forgo contact lenses

WORDS: RENYI LIM.

Rigards

WHEN IT COMES to sources of inspiration, Rigards’ eyeglasses are often moulded around the most obscure – but also incredibly ingenious – points of reference. The array is dizzying: there are designs shaped after the half-moon tsutenkyo bridges of Edo gardens, the Hanzi and Kanji character for ‘eight’, the ancient homes of the Inca empire, and early glacier glasses and motoring goggles. The materials, too, are enough to make you cast away your standard plastic frames, ranging from natural horn and lead-free pewter to copper and off-

cuts of high-grade solid wood. Not to worry though, only horn that has dropped off the buffalo via natural causes are used. Most princely of all are Rigards’ .925 sterling silver eyeglasses (from US$1,300), which channel Zen aesthetics through an upward-curving saddle bridge for even weight distribution and a signature handhammered finish. While Rigards stands strong on its own, it has also produced collections with Chinese fashion designers Ziggy Chen and Uma Wang.

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FASHION

Most thought-provoking designer

IF THERE’S ANYTHING that social media or the listings on mega-resale site Vestiaire Collective have proven, it would be that women are still hungover from Phoebe Philo’s exit from Celine. But what happens in China, when the country is seemingly obsessed with brands like Gucci and their local market is rife with ‘inspired’ designerwear? You get young, fearless designers like Guo Yirantian, who is injecting softness and wearability for the general population. A graduate of the London College of Fashion and an admirer of Hussein Chalayan and Martin Margiela,

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Guo doesn’t believe in dressing the one per cent of the population, though we can certainly see her clothing’s appeal to them. The materials used are sumptuous; luxurious knitwear and handsomely cut wool coats are tailored into everyday dresses that you wouldn’t think twice about pulling on. Why, then, is it thought-provoking if it holds a torch to the Philo-sophical way of designing? Guo proves that the made-in-China stamp isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s time to shake off the thoughts about Taobao being the only thing you should be shopping from in China.

W O R D S : B R YA N G O H .

Guo Yirantian


FASHION

Designer you’d hire to fill your wardrobe

W O R D S : B R YA N G O H .

Kim Seo Ryong

ASK ANYBODY TO name today’s big three archetypes of fashion and you’d get this response: Gucci’s Wes Anderson characters, Saint Laurent’s waifish baddies and Balenciaga’s Eastern-bloc boys. What do you do then when you’re not in the mood for eccentric, sexy rock or post-Soviet Union? You turn to Kim Seo Ryong, a South Korean native who bucks the ‘don’t only pop stars who wear too much eyeliner wear this look his country is famous for’ trend. Previously a womenswear designer who branched into menswear, Kim doesn’t romanticise fashion or vie for traction and buzz on social media.

He does away with the street, the hardness and the gaudy and looks towards the livin’ la vida loca way of designing menswear instead. It may take some time to have a feel of the look he’s going for, but you’ll want to wear a lot of his retro Studio 54-meets-handsome classics: bright silk shirts, velvet tuxedo smoking jackets, leopard-printed coats and slim cropped cigarette trousers. For the sartorially shy though, Kim also has a perennial selection of menswear staples like suits and shirts that will appeal to corporates. That, and the fact that his clothes actually flatter the Asian silhouette.

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FASHION

Shoes you’d walk 10 miles in

CALL IT FATE. Masaru Okuyama never thought he’d become a shoemaker. The Nihon University College of Art graduate was working for a local jewellery company, which subsequently posted him to Hong Kong where he discovered his passion for shoemaking. It led to him to become a protege of the renowned Japanese cordwainer Chihiro Yamaguchi. Having adjusted to the working style of the Hong Kongers and realising the city would make a central location for international business, he made Hong Kong his base and set up shop in 2008.

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Recognition followed quickly; in 2010 Okuyama won a gold medal at the German International Shoemakers’ Competition in the category for custommade shoes. Today, he regularly travels for trunk shows, meeting potential customers and showcasing his made-to-order and bespoke collections. Okuyama’s catalogue touts a slightly more daring continental style of footwear, with varied, fashionable styles including wholecuts, single monks, side elastics and dangerously Gallic two-eyelet derbies. His bespoke service starts at HK$38,000.

W O R D S : W E I -Y U W A N G .

Masaru Okuyama


FASHION

Shoes that transcend seasonal trends

W O R D S : W E I -Y U W A N G .

Yohei Fukuda

YOHEI FUKUDA AND his five apprentices only produce about 10 pairs of shoes per month, but that is not unexpected for one of the top bespoke shoemakers in Japan, and indeed the world, with customers around the globe jockeying to get a pair. His wait-list is 200 orders deep, with an expected wait time of three years. It is the exquisite attention to detail that has caught the eye of these connoisseurs. Fukuda’s typical shoes are oxfords of a classic persuasion, though more contemporary in style with a longer vamp and chisel toe, and usually with at least some

brogue perforations. In other words, the house style is evergreen modern-classic that will never be outof-date – useful, as Fukuda expects 20 to 30 years of service from each pair. There is also an English sensibility to the construction, which betrays Fukuda’s founding experiences in Northampton. A serendipitous visit to a shoe museum there set him on the cordwainer’s path, which included a job at the John Lobb factory and repair work for George Cleverley. These days, Fukuda is based at his workshop in Tokyo, where a bespoke pair starts at US$4,600.

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PROPERTIES

Penthouse with a million-dollar view

South Beach Residences

THIS STUNNING PENTHOUSE at South Beach Residences ticks plenty of boxes when it comes to luxury living in the Lion City. Its location is unbeatable; the residence is situated at the heart of downtown Singapore. South Beach Tower is just a stone’s throw away, it takes less than 10 minutes to get to the financial district and you’re just 20 minutes away from Changi Airport. Transport links such as the Esplanade and City Hall MRT stations also mean that property prices in this area will retain their value. The crown jewel of the Residences is no doubt the unit that occupies the uppermost floors: a three-storey

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penthouse on levels 41 to 44. The 43rd floor lends itself to a double-height ceiling and windows. Under the stewardship of acclaimed local interior design firm Peter Tay Studio, the penthouse features a mixture of materials like coral, onyx, marble and champagne gold-coloured stainless steel to give a muted yet luxurious feel. The three-bedroom apartment also comes fully furnished; sofas and armchairs are by Wendelbo and Poltrona Frau, the dining table is from Lema, and outdoor lounge chairs are by Paola Lenti. Take the lift straight to level 42, which is the main entrance to the penthouse. You’ll be greeted by a cosy


WORDS: ALLISA NOR AINI. THE LIVING ROOM IMAGE IS AN ARTIST’S IMPRES SION .

PROPERTIES

living and dining area along with an open-concept dry kitchen. The interior has been deliberately designed to allow owners to focus on the views as natural sunlight pours through the glass sliding panels that can be pushed to the side for a seamless transition from outdoor to indoor living. Here, you’ll also find a staircase that doubles as an art gallery; a display of artworks follows you on your journey to the rooftop deck, where you can relax in the plunge pool, in the steam room or at the sheltered terrace. Level 41 is where you’ll find all three bedrooms, including the master suite where you can enjoy views regardless of whether you’re at the balcony, dressing area or bathroom. While pretty stunning on its own, the penthouse boasts a million-dollar view of the neighbouring arts and entertainment precinct, which includes the Esplanade, National Gallery Singapore and the Padang.

You’ll not only enjoy the mesmerising cityscape at night, but also be treated to unobstructed views of fireworks displays during National Day and New Year’s celebrations, along with a bird’s-eye view of the Singapore Grand Prix. A host of exclusive privileges also awaits the future owners of the South Beach penthouse. These perks include access to the hotel-residential services offered by the neighbouring JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, which range from spa treatments to gastronomical experiences at a wide variety of F&B establishments such as Akira Back and Madame Fan, a Chinese theatre-dining concept led by famed restaurateur Alan Yau. Residents, of course, will also get to enjoy a range of concierge services. A team of residential hosts is on hand to help make restaurant bookings or arrange transport for residents. Other notable perks include complimentary jogging amenities, bag and luggage assistance, and even pet care and courier services.

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ART

Most prolific artists

Luo Zhongli BORN IN 1948 in Chongqing, China, Luo Zhongli is a modern and contemporary artist who first studied oil painting at Sichuan Fine Art Institute before travelling to Belgium for further studies. Although Luo grew up in the city, he had spent a decade living on Daba mountain, where he experienced life in the rural areas of China. His sensitivities towards life in the rural areas are regularly featured in his work, especially in his most acclaimed oil painting, Father, created in 1980. In an era where only prominent public figures were painted, Luo was lauded for his depiction of a Chinese peasant. His artwork gave a voice to the labourers in rural China. Nature, humanity and everyday experiences of the common folk are themes that are recurrent in Luo’s paintings.

FILIPINO ARTIST RONALD VENTURA is most known for his bold, dynamic paintings and sculptures. His works are surreal, a fusion of cartoons, graffiti and human forms. The 46-year-old adds complex layers of graffiti, pop art, and realistic human and animal forms to create a juxtaposition of style and emotion, which also reflects the multilayered national identity of the Philippines And despite having his art sold for millions of dollars at art auctions, the soft-spoken artist doesn’t seek international acclaim, instead choosing to focus on his current and future projects. It takes time to appreciate his work; while not apparent at first, you’ll come to learn that Ventura’s art imitates his life. His thoughts and views add layer upon layer to his artworks, making them all the more intriguing.

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WORDS: NOELLE WOON.

Ronald Ventura


DESIGN

Architecturally stunning building

WORDS: NOELLE WOON.

Weihai Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China IN THE MIDST of Shandong’s black pine forest lies Weihai Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, created by GLA Architects. With clean stone walls, cool tones and an orderly, symmetrical layout, it’s hard to believe that the original site was in a state of disrepair, strewn with decaying houses. While Weihai Hospital is modern and sleek, it is reminiscent of the traditional Chinese style architecture. The 8,000 sq m hospital, designed by lead architect Zhu Peidong and his team, is a collection of buildings connected by oriental gardens that create an experience akin to a traditional

Chinese courtyard. Featuring impressive waterscapes in its courtyards, the hospital also offers visitors and patients picturesque and calming scenes. Besides catering to the needs of patients, Weihai Hospital also serves to preserve the surrounding Japanese black pine forest. Its half-open central garden faces the forest, creating a spatial structure that coexists with the surrounding natural elements. Traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of utilising natural remedies to heal ailments – perhaps it is only fitting that Weihai Hospital is nestled in the arms of nature.

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WHEELS

Best full-sized luxury saloon

IT’S DIFFICULT TO understate the importance of the LS to Lexus as a brand. The LFA supercar and LC grand tourer may have grabbed headlines in recent years, but the LS is the car that Lexus built its reputation on. Prior to 1989, Lexus didn’t exist, but that year it debuted the LS400 and boy, was it good. It set the benchmark in its segment for refinement and build quality, and it sent the Teutonic competition running. The intervening years have seen the LS lustre diminish somewhat, with its segment rivals catching up to it, and the Lexus was seen as dowdy and even geriatric. But the fifth-generation car rights the wrongs of the past decade, and it’s sensational. Most of all, it no longer tries to live up to the competition and instead, it’s finally comfortable in its

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own skin. The pleated fabric door cards and cut-glass door panels (both available on a per-order basis only) are uniquely Lexus and most importantly, uniquely Japanese. The new LS also has a new-found spring in its step, and quite possibly for the first time in its history, displays confident handling abilities. This ties in well to its sweeping, fastback-esque silhouette. A deliberate move, says chief designer Koichi Suga during an earlier interview with us. “Lexus aspires to be a different, amazing lifestyle brand, and if the LS remains a boxy limousine, it wouldn’t communicate that message to customers,” he said. And with an interior and ride quality fit for even the fussiest of businessmen (or indeed, an emperor), the LS is a worthy addition to this list.

WORDS: DARYL LEE.

Lexus LS


WHEELS

Hypercar that will give McLaren a run for its money

W O R D S : C H A R M A I N E TA I .

Fenyr SuperSport

THE ABU DHABI police force recently made news for an unlikely reason. Four years after testing W Motors’ Lykan HyperSport, it decided to bite the bullet and make a purchase. Now, adding another hypercar to its existing fleet won’t make heads turn, except that it’s slightly surprising, given that the Fenyr SuperSport, the Lykan’s younger, more ferocious sibling, has recently entered the market. Excessive details on the Fenyr SuperSport have been scaled back, a slight surprise given that the Middle East is known for its slightly ostentatious taste. Gone are the diamond-encrusted headlights – which means it comes at a more affordable price of just US$1.9 million (the Lykan HyperSport is said to go for at least US$3.4 million). But price aside, it has been designed with peak performance in

mind, offering small but nevertheless outstanding improvements to the already impressive specifications that the Lykan is equipped with. The Fenyr SuperSport features a 3.8-litre twinturbocharged flat-six engine that generates 800hp at 7,100rpm, and reaches a peak torque of 980Nm at 4,000rpm. It also does the century sprint in 2.8 seconds, clocking the same timing as the McLaren P1, but beats the P1 in a heartbeat with a top speed of 400km/hr. While only seven Lykan HyperSports were made, W Motors will be producing a very generous 25 Fenyr SuperSport units each year, with a run of up to 100 units. Which gives the Abu Dhabi police force a slightly longer lead time to mull over its purchase. But let’s hope it won’t wait another four years.

ROBB REPORT

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WHEELS

Best compact sports car

TO SAY THE Mk.V Supra’s gestation was troubled would be a bit of an understatement. The Mk.IV car bowed out in 2002 to much wailing and gnashing of teeth for a good number of reasons, among them its legendarily bulletproof inline-six engine and also its starring role in the Fast & Furious movie franchise. In the nearly two decades in between model generations, the Supra has gone through two concepts (one of them a hybrid, for reasons completely unknown to anyone except Toyota) and a lot of fodder for the rumour mill. In fact, fans of the Supra almost gave it up as a lost cause. Until one day when the Internet received word that the upcoming Supra would be a joint project with BMW’s upcoming Z4 roadster. And why not, really. BMW had the three-litre twin-turbocharged inline-

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six sitting around on the shelf that Toyota absolutely needed to use for heritage reasons, plus it could save some money (a lot of money, if we’re being honest) on development costs. Oddly enough, fans didn’t really take umbrage with the fact that the new Supra was to be a joint project with BMW, instead choosing to pick on the car’s design, complaining that it wasn’t as low-slung or as wide as promised by the FT-1 concept car in 2014. Still, we like the new Supra. If nothing else because it’s a remarkably daring move from Toyota to make a (relatively) low-cost sports car in a world dominated by ballooning price tags from premium brands. The new Supra is shaping up to be a working-class hero just like the fourth-generation car was. And there’s plenty to like about that notion.

WORDS: DARYL LEE.

Toyota Supra


WINGS

Best all-electric aircraft

W O R D S : C H A R M A I N E TA I .

Alice, Eviation Aircraft

THE DAWN OF electric aircraft is now hovering above us in the form of Alice, the world’s first fully electric plane. Alice, a prototype by Israeli company Eviation Aircraft, made its debut at the Paris Airshow in June. The aircraft is powered by a lithium-ion battery, and on a single charge can fly up to 1,040km – just slightly farther than the distance from Singapore to Hat Yai, Thailand. The design of Alice doesn’t take after a conventional aircraft. The fuselage is rather flat at its base, with a slightly curvier ceiling and larger windows. The single-aisle cabin boasts all-window seats and can carry up to nine passengers and two pilots. Those seated in the front will also enjoy a clear view of the cockpit.

While the cabin has a rather low height, seats can be adjusted and swivelled to face the windows or towards the aisle. The aircraft’s battery powers three rear-facing pusher-propellers; one located at each wingtip and the third on its tail, which also sports a unique V-shaped design to reduce drag and increase efficiency. Eco-friendliness aside, how much does one expect to spend on an electric flight? According to reports, a 160km flight on a turboprop Cessna Caravan uses about US$400 of fuel. With Alice, costs are expected to be at just US$12 for the same distance. While Alice is only expected to enter service in 2022, the company is already in discussions with airlines and seaplane operators that are working on converting their existing fleet to electric.

ROBB REPORT

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Make it a Date

W O R D S : A D I S O O N. P H OTO G R A P H Y: J E A N - DA N I E L M E Y E R .

The ultra-handsome and functional Ref. 5235 is Patek Philippe’s latest annual calendar and pays tribute to the watchmaker’s legacy of innovation.

WHILE PATEK PHILIPPE is best known for introducing the first perpetual calendar wristwatch in 1925, what is not so well known is that its less complicated cousin, the annual calendar, was also invented by the brand, and surprisingly, only fairly recently in 1996. The difference between the perpetual calendar and the annual calendar is that the former does not need adjustment to its calendar indications until the year 2100, while the latter requires adjustment once a year in February to account for the differing number of days of that month, depending on the leap year cycle. With Patek Philippe being the originator of the annual calendar, the complication has always been a staple of the brand, with quite a few variations over the years and in the current collection. Yet out of them all, the most unique variation has to be the Ref. 5235 and its rare dial presentation. The hands for the time indications – hours, minutes and seconds – are spread out to various parts of the dial instead of being centrally mounted. Called the regulator dial, the design comes from old regulator clocks that watchmakers used as a reference timekeeper to regulate watches, with the unique dial layout making it easier to view accurately the state of each hand. As the only regulator style dial in the collection, the new Ref. 5235/50R-001 (on facing page) offers a unique experience of reading the time and recalls the

old days of watchmaking. Here, the hours are read from the 12 o’clock subdial, the small seconds from the six o’clock subdial, and the minutes, taking prime position with a centrally mounted hand, read from the edge of the track around the whole dial. With the time indications spread out in this way, there was possibly a danger of having a crowded dial if the calendar indications were done with pointer hands. Thankfully, the dial retains a relatively clean look through the use of aperture windows for the day and month indications, and the date aperture coexisting within the small seconds subdial. Ref. 5235/50R-001 comes with a dial in striking graphite and black, and is dressed in a vertical satin finish with white transfer printing for the text and circular tracks. Along with the rose gold case, the overall presentation is one of elegance and sophistication. It replaces Ref. 5235G-001 in white gold that was launched in 2011. While Patek Philippe watches are appreciated by connoisseurs, there are particular models that tell those in the know that the wearer has ascended a rung in their understanding of watchmaking. Departing from the usual presentation of the time, Ref. 5235, with its rarely seen regulator dial combined with an annual calendar, is without a doubt, one of these models. www.patek.com

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Good as Gold Among the new Ladies Automatic Nautilus timepieces from Patek Philippe are two aureate models that shine without the distraction of diamonds.

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The Goods | STYLE

WORDS: YONG WEI JIAN.

The rose gold bracelet is fitted with a new fold-over clasp with an integrated adjustment system.

DIAMONDS ARE ALMOST inevitable for feminine timepieces. Yet, there are times when the dazzle of precious stones distracts from the sheer beauty of a well-designed watch – Patek Philippe’s Ladies Automatic Nautilus is proof positive. Previously, the Ladies Automatic Nautilus in rose gold came only with a diamond-set bezel. In 2019, Patek Philippe offers two new models with solid gold bezels for a purist expression of a legendary look. Conceived by the visionary Gérald Genta, the Nautilus takes its singular form from a porthole. Its case features an octagonal bezel with softened angles and bevelled flanks as well as two side protrusions that emulate the lock and hinges on the aquatic aperture. The straightforward combination of polished and satin finishes is all the embellishment needed to enliven the smooth dimensions of the Nautilus. To further the appeal of Genta’s design, the silvery or golden opaline dial of the Ref. 7118/1R captivates with gently undulating horizontal grooves

The calibre 324 S C self-winding movement can be admired through the sapphire crystal caseback.

– a feminine signature of the ladies’ Nautilus. The applied hour markers and hands in rose gold are made luminous for excellent readability, while an applied rose gold frame subtly draws attention to the date. Both newcomers receive a slight upsize to 35.2mm, and house the self-winding calibre 324 S C with a power reserve of up to 45 hours. The movement is meticulously hand-decorated with straight and circular Geneva striping and flaunts a golden rotor engraved with the Calatrava cross, all displayed through the sapphire caseback. The rose gold bracelets are fitted with an integrated adjustment system to accommodate 2mm to 4mm of extra length, and boast the same finishings as the case. Ostensibly, austere elegance wins out against the drama of diamonds as the unadorned versions of the rose gold Ladies Automatic Nautilus make the stronger impression. www.patek.com

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The Cartier Baignoire AllongĂŠe plays with the malleability of gold to achieve this interesting effect.

Legacy and Style Pierre Rainero has the hefty task of preserving Cartier’s storied heritage.

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The Goods | STYLE

Pierre Rainero, image, style and heritage director at Cartier.

W O R D S : D R C H E T T H A S O N G T H AV E E P O L . P H OTO G R A P H Y: C A R T I E R .

EVERY YEAR AT Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, Cartier outdoes itself with incredible timepieces and jaw-dropping jewellery. Pierre Rainero, image, style and heritage director, explains the inspirations behind these novelties and unpacks the importance of preserving Cartier’s styles and legacy to direct the brand’s design ethos. What is your main task at Cartier? The legacy of the past creates the legacy of the future and we must preserve this legacy effectively. The most important task for everyone at Cartier is to work with the legacy of the future and create beauty that will eventually become the precious value in future. How would you describe Cartier in terms of its style? Cartier’s style is all about beauty and harmony. Therefore, we depend on our vision of proportion, structure and choosing the right colours. One good thing about Cartier is its openness to new designs. So, the style of Cartier evolves through time. Today, the challenge for the designers at Cartier is to present the design that is already well-known to everyone but with new elements. What else should Cartier have for its core values? Beauty is an important value in our work. Our designs must present the finest craftsmanship and stay in the brand’s principle of aesthetics. The technical details may serve only as the basis for the conquest of beauty or even not appear on designs at all. We want people to fall in love with our designs or objects.

What inspires Cartier’s designers to create different case shapes? We have two approaches. First, we take the pure geometrical shapes directly to create our design. Second, we further develop the existing shape into something new. For example, when we work on the Chinese Tank timepiece, we take the Chinese art of decoration as our inspiration. What are the highlights from Cartier this year? For Cartier Baignoire, we took the design from the past to recreate a timepiece with the same proportion and size. However, the previous version had a smooth surface but with fine curves on an angle. For the new version, we have a timepiece for ladies which has the round shape called doubler in French and is set with diamonds. It is not quite pure geometry, but more of a blending of shapes. We want the diamond setting on the timepiece to be able to shine naturally at every angle. Cartier Baignoire Allongée is a piece of art and the result of extending the round shape to become an oval. Because gold is a soft material, it can be extended to form the oval shape. Meanwhile, the surface of this novelty gives the sensation of touching a thorn. This is an idea from nature and represents the perspective of our artisan. At the same time, this kind of surface decoration allows the jewellery set on the timepiece to shine more brilliantly. www.cartier.com

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Time

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Jewellery

Exquisite, rare gemstones, such as this 6.63-carat yellow diamond, take centre stage in Piaget’s Golden Oasis high jewellery collection.

P H O T O G R A P H Y : E T I E N N E D E L A C R E TA Z .

Style


The Goods | JEWELLERY

Hot Colours With coloured diamonds consistently hitting record prices on the auction block, there’s no better time than now to start investing in them. Tamara Moussaieff of Moussaieff Jewellers tells us more.

MOUSSAIEFF JEWELLERS’ DEVOTION to coloured diamonds is no secret and because it is a family business, this passion is carefully transmitted from one generation to the next. Tamara Moussaieff, who has been in charge of selecting and buying stones for more than 30 years, sheds some light on this small but rarefied segment of the diamond industry.

WORDS: CELINE YAP. PHOTOGR APHY: CHRISTIE’S HONG KONG.

How did the house build up such prestige in the coloured diamond market? Tamara Moussaieff (TM): Moussaieff’s enduring prestige in the coloured diamond world and its unique place in the world of haute joaillerie is the result of an enduring commitment to excellence, rarity and supreme quality in its pursuits. Mr Moussaieff’s family originated from Bukhara located right at the heart of the fabled Silk Route through which all top specimens of precious stones and diamonds passed. Thus, Mr Moussaieff in a sense inherited his highly selective and knowledgeable vision. When Mr and Mrs Moussaieff opened their shop on Park Lane in 1963, coloured diamonds were not in the investor category in London. But Mr Moussaieff would not relinquish his instinctive passion for them. In 1982, prices suddenly shot up in the West as appreciation of coloured diamonds took hold. Thus, Moussaieff was firmly ‘on the map’. Please articulate the difference between buying coloured diamonds because they are beautiful and buying them for investment. TM: Brown, grey, cinnamon, cognac, light yellow and the other cheaper colours should be bought for visual pleasure, decorative value and their ‘fun’ elements. Investment diamond purchase has to be taken a lot more seriously. Here, the prospective investor must be prepared to invest large amounts of money and must also mobilise his psyche and emotional resources. Similarly, the returns and rewards are not only about it being worth more money or the resale factor, but also about the satisfaction of being able to bequeath to grandchildren an easily transportable small object of highly concentrated value. What are the most exciting investment diamonds today?

This 3.43-carat Bubble Gum Pink diamond ring, designed by Moussaieff, fetched HK$58.8 million at Christie’s Hong Kong auction.

TM: The most exciting diamonds for investment today are reds, pinks and top-quality blues, greens and vivid yellows (preferably from the Zimmy mine). Truly red has caused excitement among serious investors who sometimes are happy to pay three million per carat for smallish stones. Pink has made headlines, specifically when aligned with historical colourful figures such as Marie Antoinette when sold at auction. Top-quality pink diamonds are a hot item for investment now because of the imminent closure of the Argyle mine in Australia, which to date has been an important source for them. Brazil is not producing much in gem quality, which leaves us with auction houses and estates. Blue diamonds never fail to create a buzz when those of a large size and top quality are sold at auction. For example the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue fetched US$4 million per carat. Mrs Moussaieff’s exemplary pioneering spirit is shown when in 2009 she payed US$1.3 million for a 6.04-carat vivid blue emerald-cut diamond. At the time this was regarded as outrageous, almost insane, but the market followed with a steady increase in prices since. The ‘method’ in Mrs Moussaieff’s ‘madness’ is this: she recognised the potential future value of the combination of the four superlatives embodied by the diamond: namely excellent cut, excellent symmetry, flawless clarity and vivid colour. www.moussaieff-jewellers.com

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The New Norm High jewellery sheds its staidly reputation as these maisons put a modern spin on extravagant baubles.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Balcone clip, Bud of Love earrings and Lover’s Path bracelet, and Rose Montague necklace (facing page).

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The Goods | JEWELLERY

Love, Actually

WORDS: K ARISHMA TULSIDAS. PHOTOGR APHY: SONIA SIEFF.

Van Cleef & Arpels ROMEO AND JULIET serve as the muse of Van Cleef & Arpels’ latest high jewellery collection. The French maison, which launched a ruby-centric high jewellery collection earlier this year, released its second collection in the space of five months at Paris’s Hotel d’Evreux in early July. Three main inspirations dictated Van Cleef & Arpels’ interpretation of Shakespeare’s 1587 tragedy: love, the architecture of Verona and the Renaissance costumes of that period. Iconic scenes from the play, too, have been depicted as precious jewels. Take for instance the Balcony clip, where the lovers express their ardour for one another. The balcony and its door are studded with brilliant- and baguette-cut diamonds, while emeralds and tsavorites of differing sizes represent the foliage. For the wearer, there is a secret hiding at the back of the balcony. Here, Romeo and Juliet, sculpted in rose gold, can be found holding hands. It’s a sweet detail, but it’s the execution and attention to detail that impress. Not all the designs are literal, of course: the Kiss at the Balcony earrings feature intertwining symmetrical locks studded with brilliant-cut diamonds and calibrated rubies that abstractly represent the passion of the kiss. The earrings are detachable, a recurring theme in the collection. Many of the jewels in the 100-piece collection can be detached, but of particular note is the Verona

necklace, which can be transformed into a long necklace, a short necklace, a necklace and bracelet, two bracelets and a clip – the seamlessness of the structure and the intricate craftsmanship are an accolade to the maison’s Mains D’Or, who’ve applied a deft and refined approach to the construction of the piece. Here, a 23.86-carat Burmese emerald-cut blue sapphire nestles amidst the angular forms and swirling curves that depict Verona’s architecture. There are many, many impressive stones in the collection, but a particular highlight are three rare Colombian emerald-cut emeralds weighing 14.17 carats, 13.71 carats and 11.90 carats respectively in the Lover’s Path bracelet, which allegedly costs above US$15 million. The cuff is wrought in white gold, but the emeralds are set within yellow gold prongs to further emphasise their mesmerising green-blue hue. Van Cleef & Arpels also makes use of vibrant coloured stones to portray the different emotions and protagonists – the Capulets (Juliet’s family) are wrought in red, while the Montagues (Romeo’s) are represented by blue. The Romeo and Juliet clips are rendered in blue and red stones (black lacquer, rubies, coloured sapphires, spessartite garnets, lapis lazuli, white and yellow diamonds), while the bouquet that Romeo extends towards his paramour features purple sapphires. The clips can only be sold together so as not to separate the couple.

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Happy Days

Piaget

THE WORD ‘EXUBERANT’ does not typically come to mind when one thinks of high jewellery, but this is exactly what’s playing in my head as I peruse Piaget’s latest collection, Golden Oasis. It continues on the path it set forth in 2016, when it launched a campaign called The Sunny Side of Life. Conceived as an ode to the joys of life, this direction has led Piaget to a singularly cheerful style in recent years (a tribute to the extravagant jewels it created in the 1960s to 1980s), evinced by the use of marquise-cut diamonds, asymmetric designs, goldsmithing and audacious plays of colour. This vivaciousness is once again explored in Golden Oasis, where the focus is on larger and rare stones. A repertoire of yellow diamonds, blue sapphires and green emeralds can be seen alongside sapphires of all hues, pearls, mandarin garnets and more. The highlight is the Golden Hour suite, which features a medley of yellow and white diamonds basking in the spotlight – the maison reveals that it took the gemmologist department a year to find the ideal stones of harmonious colours and sizes. In the centre, a rare and vivid yellow diamond weighing 6.63 carats instantly draws you in. The collection is split into three chapters: Play of Light, Desert Minerals and Native Bloom. The third chapter houses the Luxuriant Oasis suite, where a luscious necklace drips with marquise-cut emeralds

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and diamonds. Again, it was a challenging year-long endeavour to find the perfect marquise-cut emeralds for this piece and the results are worth the wait. Despite its seemingly stiff-looking construction, the necklace is wonderfully articulated. It hugs the curves of the neck and sits as if made of silk – this writer can personally testify. Constructed with wearability in mind, the dangling diamond drop, a pear-shaped, brilliant-cut stone weighing 3.01 carats, can be detached and worn with a white gold chain. Piaget rarely works with pearls, but this year is an exception as it has dedicated an entire suite to the beauties of the sea. The Irresistible Attraction suite draws inspiration from the dancing water motif that can be seen in the Play of Light chapter. Here, two rows of Akoya pearls are punctuated with mandarin garnets. The combination of the traditional pearls with the orange-hued stones makes for an unexpected, but striking, aesthetic. The collection’s cheerful theme can be seen once more in the Desert Sunbow suite, where Piaget proves again that it is a master of goldsmithing. The gold is hammered and sculpted with such precision that it resembles the bark of a tree. The texture is purposeful, organic and lends a semi-matte finish that pairs beautifully with the brand’s signature marquise-cut diamonds, pink sapphires and rubies for an overall exotic aesthetic.


The Goods | JEWELLERY

PHOTOGR APHY: E TIENNE DEL ACRE TA Z.

It was a challenging year-long endeavour to find the perfect marquise-cut emeralds for this piece and the results are worth the wait.

The Rising Star ring with a fancy yellow diamond and colourless diamonds in white gold. Facing page: the making of the Luxuriant Oasis transformable necklace.

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Sky High

Chaumet FRENCH JEWELLER CHAUMET has long looked towards nature for inspiration for its high jewellery creations, and this year is no different. It turns its gaze towards the celestial skies for Les Ciels de Chaumet collection, which has been interpreted using a threepronged approach featuring nature, art and symbolism. While the inspiration might have its roots in Chaumet’s archives, the execution is steeped in 21st-century design codes. The pieces are characterised by a certain lightness that can only be achieved by deft goldsmithing so the metal is barely seen, and clever craftsmanship that seemingly allows light to pass through the creation to give it that sense of etherealness. This can be seen in the Lueurs D’orage necklace that emulates that moment when the dark clouds part to allow the sun to peek through. Spinels and sapphires, punctuated by lightning-shaped onyx, segue into the sun, which is represented by yellow sapphires. Despite its stature and opulence, it does not seem heavy or rigid at all. Chaumet’s refined craftsmanship shines through the openworked concept and the use of different shaped stones that somehow just fit together. This piece is detachable and can be worn in several ways for different occasions. This is also the collection’s most expensive creation as dangling from the piece is a gorgeous 37.68-carat imperial topaz. There’s been a shift towards non-typical gemstones

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in high jewellery collections in recent years. Multicoloured sapphires, chrysoberyls, garnets, tourmalines and more feature heavily in the collection, all mishmashed together, sometimes within the same piece. It’s a playful and heady concoction that reveals Chaumet’s eye for combining seemingly disparate tones under one harmonious compendium. The Soleil de Minuit chapter, for instance, combines red and blue spinels, chrysoberyls, indicolite tourmalines, rhodolite garnets, multi-hued sapphires and diamonds to stunning effect. Where this playful mix of colours can be seen as well is in the Passages necklace, which takes its cues from a shooting star. The star of this piece is the irregularly shaped black opal, weighing 29.4 carats. The rays of the shooting star are punctuated by multi-coloured Paraiba tourmalines and diamonds of differing cuts and sizes. Another unexpected surprise in this collection is the use of rock crystal for the Glorious Sun tiara. Having been the jeweller to Napoleon Bonaparte and a number of royal families, Chaumet has been crafting tiaras for almost two centuries and continues to do so. The Glorieux Soleil tiara is a lightweight creation that highlights a cushion-cut fancy intense yellow IF diamond weighing approximately 2.51 carats, surrounded by 21 pieces of rock crystal to emulate solar flares. Lightning bolts emanate from the centre, and it’s said to resemble the sun motif from the gate at Palais de Versailles.


PHOTOGR APHY: CHAUME T.

The Goods | JEWELLERY

Chaumet’s Passages necklace and Soleil brooch (facing page).

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Russian Odyssey

Colour Play

Chanel’s Aigle Cambon cuff

Dior Multicolore Anglais ring

CHANEL’S MODUS OPERANDI for its relatively young high jewellery line is to dig into the archives of Gabrielle Chanel’s well-documented life and zoom in on one particular aspect. This time, the French maison has based its high jewellery collection on Russia, but prefaces the storytelling by letting us know that Gabrielle has never been there. What’s the link, then? The collection is inspired by Gabrielle’s Parisian dream of Russia and her personal and professional links to the country. Le Paris Russe de Chanel collection is divided into several chapters and there are many recurring motifs that pay homage to her creativity as well as the country’s riches. We start with the Aigle chapter, where the twoheaded eagle motif has two meanings: it’s a symbol of power in Russia and is an animal dear to Gabrielle. The Aigle Cambon has a strong imperial influence and showcases the maturity of the craftsmen at Chanel’s high jewellery studio as the diamonds are set in prongs that have been fixed onto a sizeable piece of quartz, not a stone you’d see very often in high jewellery. It’s a difficult endeavour, given the delicate nature of quartz, but Chanel’s craftsmen and designers have successfully managed to convey an element of lightness, freedom and light through the open-worked swirls of the diamonds.

WE’VE COME TO expect the unexpected with Dior high jewellery and its 20th anniversary collection, Gems Dior, is no exception. Designed by creative director Victoire de Castellane, the collection is an exuberant ode to this milestone. This time, there is no overt influence from Paris, Palais de Versailles or nature, which have long been recurrent themes for Dior’s high jewellery lines. Instead, it’s a heady cocktail of colour, colour and colour. This is Dior’s most extensive high jewellery collection to date with 99 pieces. There are three main themes – monochrome, gradient and polychrome – and the focus is solely on the gemstones. As the name suggests, monochrome features stones of the same hue but in different shapes and sizes. The bold and vivid tones of sapphires, rubies and emeralds have been used for this line and the effect is mesmerising. Linked by barely any metal, the stones come together in a deliberate manner that eschews convention. On the other end of the spectrum is polychrome, where contrasting coloured gemstones find harmony in tension. This clash of colours makes for striking conversation pieces and also emphasises de Castellane’s ability to find perfection in imperfection. Case in point: the matching earrings that are of different sizes and echo Dior’s forward-thinking spirit.

Chanel

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Dior


The Goods | JEWELLERY

Nature’s Bounties

Mikimoto

PHOTOGR APHY: DIOR, CHANEL, MIKIMOTO.

The Jardin Mysterieux brooch with a natural conch pearl.

MIKIMOTO MIGHT BE known for its pearl jewellery, but this year, it wants to shift the focus to a smorgasbord of coloured stones with the launch of its Jardin Mysterieux collection. Here, it relies on a host of brightly coloured gemstones to cultivate this garden-inspired collection, which takes its cues from royal Parisian lawns. The piece de resistance is the collection’s namesake necklace, an elaborate creation studded with Akoya cultured pearls and flowers festooned with sapphires, spinels, tanzanites and diamonds. This purple and pink piece also highlights a 37.94-carat morganite. At first glance, the creation is ultra feminine and even classic in its design, but the execution and attention to detail reveal that Mikimoto is focused

on taking its traditional pearl jewellery to a younger audience. This can be seen in the asymmetric nature of the necklace, where the flowers seem to be growing at random, emulating nature’s whims and fancies. Of course, it being Mikimoto, there are plenty of splendid pearls in the collection. But what really caught my attention were the natural ones. A couple of brooches feature conch pearls – pretty, pink stones that are among some of the rarest and most exquisite pearls in the world. Unlike other pearls, conch pearls cannot be harvested, making the appearance of two such pearls in this collection very special. Another natural pearl in the collection is the oblong, natural freshwater pearl that doubles as the body of the whimsical Swan Brooch.

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The Goods | TIME

Wings of Genius

There’s a new Blancpain aviation watch and it’s been around longer than you think.

The propeller-shaped red gold oscillating weight is an obvious reference to the watch’s affiliation to aviation.

BLANCPAIN HAD A short but illustrious history making aviation watches for the French and American military. Around the same time that it was making Fifty Fathoms, the world’s first true dive watch, the company answered a call by the French Ministry of Defence. In the early 1950s, the ministry had issued a request for a high-precision chronograph that its pilots could use on missions. As with all military-specified equipment, there was a stringent list of demands that the ideal watch needed to fulfil. Because it was to be used by fighter pilots in the cockpit and at all times of the day and night, legibility was key. The ministry stipulated that the watch must have a black dial with contrasting luminous hour-markers and hands. And because the timepiece was required to assist pilots in synchronising attacks, precision was also of utmost importance. For this reason, the ministry required a flyback chronograph that allows multiple short laps to be

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taken instantaneously. In addition, the watch was to have a small seconds hand because every second counts in times of war. Blancpain’s aviation watch served the French military well and the armed forces of other nations started hunting for a similar instrument. American military pilots approached Blancpain’s distributor in the US, Allen V Tornek, for assistance. They had come to know of Blancpain through their counterparts in the navy who were using Fifty Fathoms. For the pilots, Blancpain custom-made a dozen or so prototypes and after that, its journey with aviation timepieces grounded to a halt. Since this timepiece, called Air Command, never made it into the civilian world, not much was known about it. But instead of letting it fall into oblivion, Blancpain decided to give Air Command a new lease of life. This is Blancpain’s first new pillar in years and it opens up a new segment themed on military aviation for watch


The Goods | TIME

WORDS: CELINE YAP. PHOTOGR APHY: BL ANCPAIN.

A tachymeter scale running around the chapter ring indicates speeds based on a 1,000m distance.

aficionados to obsess over. And with such a storied past, the Air Command is certainly off to a great start. The modern remake retains the key design elements of the historical piece, such as the ratcheted countdown bidirectional rotating bezel. Ratcheted so that it can be easily handled by thick gloved hands. Bidirectional so that it’s more convenient for the pilots to start a countdown. Reminiscent of historical watches, all the numerals, markers and hands are painted with aged SuperLuminova. Instead of the usual pale green hue, Air Command was given a beige, almost orange, colour that works wonders in the nostalgia department. Many vintage timepieces have a box-shaped crystal made of mineral glass or Plexiglas. For Air Command, Blancpain has updated it with high-quality scratchproof sapphire crystal while retaining the distinctive box shape. And for the first time, Blancpain used it on both the front and the back. View the watch

from its side and you’ll see how elegant it looks with the raised edges. Another important update is the black ceramic bezel insert, which is longer lasting and offers a richer and darker tone than standard anodising. Even if you’re not usually a fan of fancy rotors – the watch comes with a rotor styled like a three-blade propeller – you will appreciate how this one allows for unimpeded views of the movement, and adds a nice pop of colour. Precision ranks high in the mind of an aviator, and Air Command delivers it with the Calibre F388B, a high-frequency vertical-clutch column wheel chronograph accurate to the nearest 10th of a second. For the first time, this aviator’s chronograph is made for the civilian world but as a 500-piece limitededition watch, which means it’ll still be as exclusive, indeed elusive, as it was during the glorious 1950s. www.blancpain.com

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Nature in Miniature The Jaquet Droz Magic Lotus Automaton is a watch so Zen it’s literally one with everything.

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The Goods | TIME

WORDS: CELINE YAP. PHOTOGR APHY: JAQUE T DROZ.

It took Jaquet Droz’s artisans around 210 hours to decorate the dial.

THERE ARE WATCHES, and there are watches that leave you completely amazed. Jaquet Droz’s Magic Lotus Automaton is one of the latter. Resembling a miniature diorama of a Japanese Zen garden, it speaks volumes about Jaquet Droz’s centuries-old artisanal flair. Everything is three-dimensional, lovingly handcrafted and brimming with life. The inspiration came from a historical automaton made by Pierre Jaquet Droz, where a water fountain flows freely within a bird cage thanks to an ingenious tromp l’oeil device. In this timepiece, a specially constructed device geared to the movement causes the blue mother-of-pearl dial to rotate for 30 seconds each time the button set within the crown is pushed. As the mother-of-pearl dial rotates, it takes a little spotted orange koi round and round with it. This auspicious fish swishes its tail from left to right, navigating little obstacles along the way. It also moves up and down, ducking beneath the lotus leaves or rising up to peek above the water. Across the pond, a little lotus flower with its handcarved mother-of-pearl petals floats gracefully on the water. Each time it passes underneath the black onyx dial or the majestic hand-painted lotus leaves, its centre stone changes in a random fashion. From blue sapphire to yellow sapphire to red ruby, it changes four times for every rotation and the same stone is never seen twice in a row. And the fact that it’s more a feat of micro-mechanical engineering than magic doesn’t make this effect any less enchanting.

Like the little koi, a dragonfly at nine o’clock moves on an up-down trajectory. You might miss it if you’re not being observant because it’s so tiny and its wings are an iridescent blue like the water. But as the dial moves, the dragonfly, serving as the power reserve indicator, gradually makes its way to the nearest lotus leaf, landing atop it just as the animation stops. Winding up the movement sends it back to the original position once more. Even the parts that do not move are magnificent. So much handcraftsmanship has gone into the gold structure carrying those grand feu enamel-painted lotus leaves, the mother-of-pearl lotus flowers and the gold reed stems. All four stages of the lotus life cycle present themselves in this watch, from an unopened bud to full bloom, to fallen flower, and finally to the seed pod with seven diamond seeds. Fully wound, the Magic Lotus Automaton can stay animated for eight 30-second bursts. If you’re just wearing it for the time, however, it stays powered for up to 68 hours, which is more than enough to see you through the weekend. Jaquet Droz spent three years perfecting this over 500-part movement in order to achieve such impressive results. Although, who are we kidding? No one’s going to be able to resist playing with the mechanism over and over. Now if only it had sound. www.jaquet-droz.com

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The Goods | TIME

Time Rewind

THE PAST IS a perennial reference point for watchmakers, many of whom boast a history spanning at least a century, if not two. But this year, brands finally delivered what collectors have long been looking for: remakes of their important historical watches. Ultimately, the new model drives up prices of the original in the secondary market, which in turn creates even more demand for the modern timepieces, resulting in a very fruitful circle for brand and collector alike.

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W O R D S : PA I G E R E D D I N G E R . P H OTO G R A P H Y: N I C O L A R I C C A .

Turning back the clock has never been more rewarding.


The Goods | TIME

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda

Breitling 1959 Re-Edition Ref 806

When it comes to dive watches, few are as iconic and collectible as Fifty Fathoms, and Blancpain outdid itself this year with the re-release of its Barakuda model from the 1960s. The new version is nearly identical to its predecessor, save for whiter accents on the hands, a new uni-directional bezel with a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal and crisper two-tone hour markings accented with radium-type SuperLuminova. The new model requires deep pockets and fast action. With only 500 available worldwide, you will have to go to great lengths to get one.

Breitling released several throwback models this year, but the watch that’s been creating all the buzz for the brand is the 1959 Ref 806. The redux, which is limited to 1,959 examples, is an exact version of the original. Attention to detail was so rigorous that even minute features such as the number of beads around the bezel and the unsigned winged logo are true to the first model. There is one difference worth noting, though: the new version comes with an entirely new in-house manufacture movement, the calibre B09.

www.blancpain.com

www.breitling.com

Zenith El Primero A384 Revival

Glashütte Original Seaq 1969

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its famous El Primero automatic chronograph movement, Zenith has given the legendary watch, which was instrumental in saving the watchmaker from the 1970s quartz crisis, a new limitededition release. Fifty El Primero box sets were launched earlier this year, followed by the debut of three El Primero A386 pieces, each of which is limited to 50 examples. Predictably, all of them were spoken for within weeks of their release. Not to worry, though: Zenith has just launched an unlimited version of the A384, a replica of the first model equipped with the El Primero, completing the retro trilogy.

Glashütte Original’s Spezimatic Type RP TS 200 wasn’t quite the decorated luxury piece you’d expect from the brand today. Back in 1969, the East German watchmaker was all about sturdy reliability and the watch was a perfect example of function over form. With its new Original Spezialist collection, however, Glashütte is reviving the old dive watch with a trio of SeaQ timepieces, the most important of which is the limited-edition 1969 model. Side by side, they’re virtually identical, though the original’s old radium Arabic numerals, indexes and hands now come in luminescent green Super-Luminova. Just 69 examples have been made.

www.zenith-watches.com

www.glashuette-original.com

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The Goods | TIME

Crystal Clear Transparent and incredibly durable, though notoriously tough to craft, these sapphire-crystal watches are right at the cutting edge.

WHO NEEDS ICE when you can have crystal? It may not seem like the obvious choice for a luxury material in comparison to blingy gems, but sapphirecrystal watches are the height of watchmaking art and showstoppers in their own right. Sapphire crystal is the second-hardest naturally occurring material on Earth after diamond; as a result, just carving and shaping the case requires handmade diamond-tipped

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tools. The painstaking process to cut, machine and polish one timepiece (sometimes 200 hours or more) is so precarious and difficult that a company can make at most a handful each year. But for hardcore watch collectors, an even bigger appeal is the 360-degree views of the serious mechanics reserved for this level of craftsmanship. These five brands are leading the pack in 21st-century watchmaking.


WORDS: PAIGE REDDINGER. PHOTOGR APHY: CAMILLO BÜCHELMEIER.

Jacob & Co Astronomia Ceramic Black Among the mesmerising movements worth featuring in sapphire crystal, surely Jacob & Co’s Astronomia takes the cake. Like a mini mechanical universe for your wrist, the entire inner workings of this watch move around the circumference of the case, and are visible from every angle. The piece includes an hours and minutes dial rotating every 10 minutes on the central axis, a one-carat diamond with 288 facets spinning in 30 seconds on its axis, a magnesiumlacquered globe turning in 30 seconds, a gravitational tourbillon cage revolving alternately in two directions and a patented differential gears system. Even if its functions aren’t clear to you, its cosmic magnificence, set against an aventurine backdrop, needs no explanation. Limited to 18, www.jacobandco.com

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Bvlgari Tourbillon Saphir Gerald Genta Special Edition Unidentified flying object or centuries-old mechanics encapsulated for the future? While Bvlgari is accustomed to dreaming up out-of-this- world creations, its watchmakers outdid themselves in 2016, when they introduced this 53mm skeletonised tourbillon timepiece with sapphire bridges. There is only one – of 30 – left in the world of the DLC-coated version of the sapphire crystal watch that is secured with Super-LumiNova columns, which illuminate like space beams. Any takers? www.bulgari.com

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Hublot Big Bang Unico Perpetual Calendar Sapphire Hublot, known for developing its own high-tech materials, turns out more sapphire crystal-cased watches than most, if not all, other brands today, despite how difficult they are to produce. This 45mm version comes with three major complications: a chronograph, a perpetual calendar and a moon phase. The movement is skeletonised with a coating of anthracite and ruthenium, and to make the time easier to read, the watch has large white hour and minute hand markers and a red arrowshaped hand to indicate the chronograph. Limited to 50, www.hublot.com

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Bell & Ross BR-X1 Chronograph Tourbillon Sapphire When Bell & Ross debuted the original version of this beauty in 2014, the watchmaker proved it was bent on spreading its wings beyond its aeronautical tool watches. Taking a spin in the world of haute horlogerie, the company introduced the BR-X1 Tourbillon Chronograph, but the latest version comes in an all-sapphire crystal case to highlight the skeletonised movement for extra visual effect. Limited to five, www.bellross.com

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Girard-Perregaux Quasar Girard-Perregaux’s new CEO, Patrick Pruniaux, is on a mission to modernise the 228-year-old watchmaker and the 45mm Quasar is a prime example of the new direction. The sapphire-crystal case highlights the brand’s famous 135-year-old three-gold-bridges movement, here rendered in titanium and coated in a black PVD treatment with ruby bearings. Thanks to the lightweight combination of sapphire crystal and titanium, it’s as easy on the wrist as it is on the eyes. www.girard-perregaux.com

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Dream Machines Wheels

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Water

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Wings

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Technology

Fewer lines, cleaner surfaces and a high level of precision heighten the modernity and sophistication of Range Rover Evoque’s design.


Dream Machines | WHEELS

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

Evoque-ative Once More

W O R D S : DA RY L L E E . P H OTO G R A P H Y: R A N G E R OV E R .

The second-generation Evoque gains quality, features and style, but the incisive drive that so defined its predecessor is somewhat lacking.

WHEN THE RANGE ROVER Evoque made its debut in LRX concept form 11 years ago, the world was a very different place. For starters, it didn’t have the proliferation of crossovers that we now see today. And while it’s overstating things a bit to say that the Evoque – which made its full production debut in 2011 – was solely responsible for that, you can’t deny that it was a catalyst in that evolutionary explosion and the standard by which the genre would come to be judged. Not too shabby, since prior to the LRX concept and Evoque, ‘stylish’ was not a word you’d utter in the same sentence as ‘Range Rover’. These days, there are sporty-looking mid-sized SUVs from just about any manufacturer you care to name. Which makes the task of the second-generation Evoque all the more onerous. Not only will it have to surpass its predecessor, it will have to do so against cars from manufacturers far larger than the comparatively small Jaguar Land Rover Group. So, the strides gained by the new Evoque over its predecessor only seem all the more impressive. Its sheetmetal, to these untrained eyes at least, looks better pressed, the creases more precise and the curves less crude. Copper-coloured accents dot the exterior (though that’s only something you get by paying for First Edition models) and the new Evoque also now features door handles that retract flush with the body when the vehicle is in motion. A pretty slick touch that made its debut on the Velar.

Speaking of the Velar, the new Evoque looks more blocky and muscular against its predecessor. The net effect is to make it look like a junior version of the Velar than a ‘true’ compact SUV. It’s surprising how much more presence the car now has, since the new Evoque is just a millimetre longer overall, though its wheelbase has grown by a whopping 21mm. It’s also pretty telling that the new Evoque is launching with just one body style: a five-door. Contrast that with the previous Evoque, which had three-door body styles, in both hardtop and convertible forms. So, I’d probably be on the money in saying that the new Evoque has grown up. There’s also a pretty good argument to be made that the Evoque in its second iteration absolutely had to do all the above as it’s not just playing in a field of one anymore – it had to become more sensible, more luxurious, more feature-rich. On that front, it’s mission accomplished for the new Evoque, especially where its interior is concerned. The length of the dashboard, coupled with how you sit fairly deep in the car and the airiness afforded by the full-length glass roof, makes the Evoque feel like you’re in a much larger car. It’s still nominally a car in the compact class, but the above, coupled with a taller bonnet line, an overall height 14mm higher and the 20mm extra kneeroom in the rear bench, makes it seem like a car a size up. Stands to reason, then, that the new Evoque has interior quality befitting a mid-sized, mid-range

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

The motor is peppy, propelling the car from a standstill to 100km/hr in 7.5 seconds, and the transmission is perky and quick on the uptake.

premium SUV. And while the old model still had bits that were a hangover from its dark years of Ford ownership, the new Evoque is all Land Rover, and that’s a good thing. A pair of touchscreens loom large in the centre stack, with the upper one controlling the infotainment system functions (electrically retracting and folding flush with the dashboard when the car is parked) and the lower one controlling its drive modes and air-conditioning. Where the new Evoque loses out over its predecessor is in the handling department. And boy, does it lose out big. Where the previous Evoque was one of the most incisive cars in its segment, this new one has gone all soft. The steering is vague, overly light and highly geared. Where the old Evoque was flickable, and encouraged you to treat it rather roughly, the new model feels decidedly more ponderous, a possible consequence of its longer wheelbase. Add to that how its suspension tune feels bafflingly mismatched. It feels over-sprung and under-damped, so there’s a high initial breakaway point leading to some jiggle, and once you get past that, there’s just wallow to be had. Pitch the new Evoque into corners and it displays a stubborn reluctance to lean on its suspension, leading to a sense of vagueness and a sensation of the tyres not biting. In short, it’s woolly, distant and frankly, not very much fun. Thankfully, you can’t level (much) criticism at its powertrain. First Edition models come with a 249hp, two-litre engine (non-First Edition ones make do with a 200hp one) hooked up to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The motor is peppy, propelling the car from a standstill to 100km/hr in 7.5 seconds, and the transmission is perky and quick on the uptake. Oddly enough, you can’t do manual overrides on the fly with the shifter paddles. To do so, you’ll have to knock the gearbox into its sport mode. In all fairness to the Evoque, it’s a mild annoyance at best, though its mild hybrid architecture is a slightly

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less mild annoyance. Not that I’ve got anything against such systems, which harvest energy from braking, shutting off the engine at speeds below 17km/hr and redeploying the energy during acceleration from a standstill to take some strain off the engine. Think of it as less of a ‘proper’ hybrid system than as a regular old start-stop system with extended functionality. Again, not that such systems are bad, but its implementation in the Evoque feels rough around the edges. The car lurches during deceleration, similar to suddenly disengaging the clutch in a manual car and there’s a split-second delay and judder when the engine restarts. It’s more forgivable since it’s Land Rover’s first attempt at such systems, but against similar systems deployed in some Audis and Mercedes-Benzes, the one in the Evoque looks half-baked. That said, you can at least turn off the start-system, which cures all the ills above, but you’ll have to do without the small amount of fuel savings (no exact figures are available) that it brings. Still, I don’t think that a car that sips fuel will be high on the list of priorities of people who are willing to drop S$221,999 on a car (First Edition models cost S$254,999), not least on a car like the Evoque. It’s a bit pricier than its compact crossover competition (Audi Q2, BMW X2, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Jaguar E-Pace), but it’s also clearly a more premium product and broadly speaking, is more spacious on the inside. In gaining all those more practical, more sensible qualities, the Evoque might have given up on some of its more defining traits (handling, mostly), but whether or not that’s a bad thing is entirely dependent on your point of view. To my mind, the new Evoque is a bit of a cookiecutter, me-too car. In making the new Evoque a less compelling emotional proposition, Land Rover has somehow made it a more compelling proposition overall. Get my drift? www.landrover.com.sg


Dream Machines | WHEELS

The panoramic roof option enhances the Evoque’s sense of space.

Specifications Engine: 1,997cc, 16 valves, inline-four, turbocharged Power: 200hp at 5,500rpm Torque: 320Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm 0-100km/hr: 8.5 seconds Top speed: 216km/hr Transmission: Nine-speed automatic Fuel consumption: 7.9 litres/100km VES Band C1: (S$10,000 surcharge) Price: From S$221,999

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

Thunder Cracker Fresh from the mildest of mid-life updates comes the Mercedes-AMG C63 S.

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

WORDS :DARYL LEE. PHOTOGRAPHY: MERCEDES-BENZ.

The changes to the most powerful compact car Mercedes-AMG has in its line-up is, to put it mildly, mild.

MID-LIFE REFRESHES are not for carmakers to make sweeping changes to their products. That is, unless you happen to be BMW – see the updated 7 Series if you want to get an idea of what I’m getting at. But the car here isn’t a BMW, it’s a Mercedes-Benz (or more accurately, a Mercedes-AMG). And so, the changes to the most powerful compact car it has in the line-up is, to put it mildly, mild. So mild, in fact, that even when comparing the two cars side by side, I had trouble telling them apart. Changes to the exterior bodywork are limited to a new grille with vertical chrome slats, reprofiled front bumper, chunkier side skirts, tailpipe garnish and thicker rear diffuser. On the inside, the biggest change is the new digital instrument cluster. The faux carbon fibre dial background looked cheap for a car that Mercedes-Benz is asking just shy of a half-million dollars for. Unfortunately, it still hasn’t been able to do anything about the glossy carbon fibre trim panel that dominates the entirety of the centre console. On the drivetrain front, the four-litre V8 with its twin-turbos and 510hp is carried over from before,

The interior resembles that of a sports car.

though its seven-speed automatic gearbox has now given way to a nine-speeder. In keeping with the enneadic theme, there’s a nine-stage traction control system, selectable through an F1-style rotary knob

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

on the steering wheel that also controls the drive modes. Speaking of new steering wheel functions, and in addition to the above, a new tab across from that knob controls various functions including the stability control, start-stop system, exhaust flaps, dampers and manual / automatic modes for the gearbox and the like. The new knob / tab control scheme is probably the best new feature on the C63 S, relocating important functions to within easy reach and away from a cluttered and partially occluded (because of the infotainment system knob / touchpad) centre console. Blink-and-miss changes to the C63 S aside, one thing most certainly hasn’t changed, and that’s the way it drives. This isn’t a bad thing because it’s still one of the most engaging and most brutal compact saloons money can buy today. The V8 pulls like a locomotive, makes a noise like a titan gargling rocks and the fact that it looks to the casual observer no more threatening than an entrylevel C180 is just the icing on the cake. Unlike other newer performance cars on the market today, the C63 S remains rear-driven only. This gives it a distinct sense of danger, and despite the presence of chunky tyres, 700Nm from 2,000rpm is a number that requires you to approach the car with some degree of respect. Stability control and a sophisticated traction control can only save you from so much stupidity.

Its brakes are also worthy of special mention. Stopping power is terrific, as expected, and more than sufficient for street use, but more amazing is the amount of finesse they have. Whether scrubbing off just a bit of speed to help you into corners or for big, stompy stops, the ability of the brakes is immense. Of course, not all is perfect in the world of the C63 S, and much of that criticism can be levelled at its new nine-speed gearbox. Yes, it’s exceptionally direct and has dual-clutch levels of shift crispness on both up- and downshifts, but it lurches at low speeds and it hunts on the kick-down. And perhaps because of the number of ratios in the gearbox, something always seems to be happening with it. In Comfort mode, it shifts up so early that the merest flex of your right foot results in the kick-down, sometimes of up to two gears. And in Sport, it holds onto gears for far too long. This is less of a problem in Sport+ or Race, where you actually do want to be in gear for as long as possible, but in Sport, which I assume is for spirited driving on public roads, it’s just a little unbearable. In spite of all that, the C63 S is a car I’d get in a heartbeat. I’d get two, come to that. www.mercedes-amg.com

The V8 pulls like a locomotive, makes a noise like a titan gargling rocks and the fact that it looks to the casual observer no more threatening than an entry-level C180 is just the icing on the cake.

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The AMG spoiler lip reduces lift at the rear axle, thus supporting neutral handling characteristics at high speeds in particular.

Specifications Engine: 3,982cc, 32 valves, V8, turbocharged Power: 510hp at 5,500-6,250rpm Torque: 700Nm at 2,000-4,500rpm 0-100km/hr: 4 seconds Top Speed: 290km/hr (electronically limited) Transmission: Nine-speed automatic Fuel Consumption 9.9 litres/100km VES Band: C2 (S$20,000 surcharge) Price: S$483,888 (including COE, excluding options) The 4.0-litre V8 engine from Mercedes-AMG impresses with explosive power delivery and finely controllable power output.

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

Bold New Look The facelifted BMW 7 Series heralds a strong new look for a classic favourite.

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

W O R D S : DA RY L L E E . P H OTO G R A P H Y: DA N I E L K R A U S .

If there was ever a BMW that is meant to be a statement, surely the 7 Series qualifies.

THERE IS A new BMW 7 Series this year. On the one hand, it is not that new – it is a facelift, which means the underlying G11/G12 platform from 2015 is largely the same. On the other hand, it is quite significant. This is a dramatic change centred around the most iconic of BMW visual elements: the front kidney grille. It is now fashioned as a single piece (though still bisected), 40 per cent larger and more aggressively slatted. The bonnet has also been resculpted and the front end is 50mm taller than before. It is a bold statement, one that has been a bit divisive. Over the years, the front end of 7 has lost some of its laid-back sportiness, instead moving in the direction of a more deliberate, wilful visual statement that distinguishes it from its smaller siblings. Then again, if there was ever a BMW that is meant to be a statement, surely the 7 qualifies. This facelift indicates that BMW is leaning into it, with a taller, more upright front that is more headturning as it pulls into a hotel driveway. The headlights are a slimmer, more angular take on the four-eye look, and the taillights are also slimmer,

with a full-width light strip for daytime running lights. Other improvements include extra soundproofing in the rear areas, including glass windows that are five millimetres thicker for an even quieter ride. The interior sees a few minor changes that subtly enhance the experience, such as reorganised steering wheel controls for the driver assistance systems. The wireless charging tray – previously hidden beneath the centre console armrests – has been moved forward to a more accessible location so a phone can always be seen by the driver. The latest Operating System 7.0 sees the fully electronic instrument cluster revamped with a more intuitive layout and additional functions, such as a permanent space for an excerpt from the navigation system. (This means the driver can have up to three navigation elements at once: the main output on the 10.3-inch central display, the aforementioned excerpt on the instrument cluster and an even more brief instruction on the head-up display.) It might sound like overkill, but on unfamiliar roads it is quite reassuring, and enables the passenger to change settings or radio stations without the fear of interrupting the driver.

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is a genuine attempt to insert some personality.

Slimmer headlights feature BMW Laserlight technology.

Another new specification is the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. This is a voice-activated digital aid that responds to ‘Hey BMW’ (or a custom name). It can deliver on the mundane (‘what is that warning light’ or ‘how long before I have to refuel’ for instance), but is also programmed to respond more organically. ‘I’m tired,’ for example, will blast cold air, play energetic music and change the ambient lighting into something flashier. It is a genuine attempt to insert some personality, as seen in the difference between responding to ‘take me home’ in lieu of something more mechanical like ‘set destination to home’. Voice recognition technology being what it is today, the experience is not as seamless as a futurist might want it to be, but the system is a learning one that will respond better to users over time. A full complement of high-tech driver aids is, of course, available. The Reversing Assistant memorises the last 50m the car travelled before stopping and can reverse along that same line automatically. This trivialises backing out of parking spaces and driveways.

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As for how it drives? Well, the 7 is still one of the sportiest limousines around and still supremely stable, quiet and comfortable. The new 740Le xDrive, recently released in Singapore as the Pure Excellence variant (S$506,888), is a particularly intriguing option for old-school fans. For the first time, it mates a BMW inline-six engine to a plug-in hybrid, which is a much more satisfying setup than the two-litre inline-fourbased system it replaces. Here is a car that offers all the advantages of the hybrid – such as efficiency, silent driving on all-electric mode and pre-conditioned air – but with a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The hybrid powertrain offers a combined total output of 394bhp, good enough for a 0-100km/hr time of 5.1 seconds. All-electric mode hits a maximum of 140km/ hr and a rated range of 54km, which are improvements over the old version. This, then, might be the definitive template for the 7 series going forward – a hybrid, but backed up by the classic choice of a BMW inline-six. www.bmw.com


The luxury sedan features Evasion Aid, which uses steering interventions to support the driver in sudden evasive manoeuvres.

The tailpipe finishers now have a wider and more distinctive chrome trim.

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The Falcon’s non-stop range and ability to land at small airports makes it an attractive proposition for jet-setting business travellers.

Leaving the Nest With the design locked in, the first Dassault Falcon 6X business jet will be assembled in early 2020.

NO ONE HAS really experienced an ultrawide-body business jet yet, but that opportunity has just gotten a lot closer. Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 6X has completed its critical design review, meaning the plans are set and manufacturing can begin. The first Falcon 6X is on track to be built by early 2020. Gone will be the narrow tube many jet-setters are used to travelling in. Instead, the cabin will stretch 2.6m across and have 2m of headroom. Natural light will infuse the interior via 30 huge windows and a galley skylight, the first in business aviation. The French aerospace company announced the project last year when it became clear

that the much-anticipated and long-awaited Falcon 5X would never get off the ground because of enginesourcing issues. The production schedule calls for the Falcon 6X’s first flight in 2021 and deliveries to start the following year. “Completing the design review and releasing the aircraft to the manufacturing process is a significant milestone,” says Eric Trappier, Dassault’s chairman and CEO. “It demonstrates our confidence in the airframe and engine design.” Touted as the largest cross section of any purposebuilt business jet, the cabin measures 2.59m wide and


Dream Machines | WINGS

W O R D S : DA N I E L L E C U T L E R . P H OTO G R A P H Y: F E L I X N E N DZ I G, A D R I E N DA S T E .

The 6X will seat 16 passengers in three lounge areas, allowing for all kinds of configurations.

Dassault’s unique cabin air filtration and circulation system make for a more comfortable flight.

12.3m long, with 4.4 cubic metres of baggage space. The 6X will seat 16 passengers in three lounge areas, allowing for all kinds of configurations, such as a large entryway, crew rest area and a spacious rear lounge. The aircraft will reach a maximum speed of Mach 0.90 and have a range of 10,186km. It can fly directly from Los Angeles to Geneva, Beijing to San Francisco or Moscow to Singapore at its long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.8. At Mach 0.85, the 6X has a range of 9,445km, connecting New York to Moscow, Paris to Beijing or Los Angeles to London. And it will all be powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada Pure Power PW812D engines, each with 57.8kN to 62.3kN of thrust. The longer range and smoother flight are the result of an ultra-efficient wing,

which minimises the impact of turbulence, and a nextgeneration digital flight-control system that regulates all moving surfaces, including a new control surface called a flaperon. The latter boosts control during approach, especially on steep descents. The cockpit will feature a third-generation EASy III all-digital flight deck as well as Dassault’s FalconEye Combined Vision System, a head-up display with enhanced and synthetic vision capabilities, and the FalconSphere II electronic-flight-bag software suite. With the 6X, it seems the previous Falcon’s failure to launch will be all but forgotten. www.dassaultfalcon.com

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Dream Machines | WATER

Tiers of Joy This six-deck flagship yacht is a sign of things to come along Italy’s east coast.

THE WEST EDGE of Italy gets all the flashbulbs, with famed ports like Naples, Savona and Viareggio, where some of the country’s most renowned boats are built. But tucked in along the Adriatic Sea across from Croatia sits a cluster of superyacht shipyards in

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the Marche region’s city of Ancona. Ten years after the economic downturn, this area hums with major activity. Vineyards and their wineries are bearing fruit and making increasingly delicious wine, Michelin is bestowing restaurants with stars, and shipyards such


Dream Machines | WATER

WORDS: DANIELLE CUTLER.

Panoramic iews and natural light define the private owner’s deck.

as newcomer Palumbo are quietly turning out yachts while other regions of Italy soak up the limelight. Ancona is the major port of the Adriatic, but the only hint of that is the traffic leaving this ancient city – with Roman remnants dotted throughout – in the evening. Palumbo Shipyard’s Columbus line recently launched the 80m megayacht Dragon, the shipyard’s new flagship. Not only is this full-displacement steeland-aluminium yacht the largest in the fleet, it is also the first in its new Classic range. The exterior design by Hydro Tec takes cues from old-school ocean liners and is a preview of the even larger boats to come from the brand. Dragon’s highlights include a glass elevator joining all six decks of the yacht – not a common convenience among such large vessels – as well as the oversized, lower-deck, multi-area beach club that opens on three sides and the sundeck’s swimming pool with a waterfall-bedazzled grotto. The main deck plays host to four large guest cabins and a VIP suite, all done up in neutral elegance with

low-key but tasteful art and fine attention to detail. The lower deck – which houses 10 crew cabins – has another guest accommodation as well. The owner claimed the entire upper deck, which features an expansive suite with a bedroom boasting 180-degree views as well as a roomy private office and lounge space for invited guests. A large stern terrace is included in this private area, as is a forward balcony. Luxury yacht architect Francesco Guida worked with the owners to design the bespoke interior, which clocks in with 2,300 gross tons of volume. Two MTU 16V 4000 engines propel Dragon to a top speed of 17 knots, while four fin stabilisers should keep the ship’s roll at a minimum both under way and while anchored. At its cruise speed of 12 knots, the vessel has a range of 6,200 nautical miles, roughly the distance from California to Hawaii and back. It will make its world debut at the 2019 Monaco Yacht Show this month. www.columbusyachts.it

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Dream Machines | WATER

Perfect Ports Here’s a look at five superyacht marinas around the world that go the extra nautical mile to make docking a dream.

Coral Sea Marina Resort The location: Whitsunday Islands, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Slips: 520 total, with a few for vessels up to 80m. Details: thanks to berths with five-metre draft, boats can dock here yearround and enjoy the beauty of the Whitsundays. Unique features: local suppliers deliver fresh meats, seafood and produce to the marina directly; two helipads for guests’ use; jet ski and jet-boating adventures; on-site ocean club spa for massages and manicures; and complimentary concierge cars. Best suited for: adrenaline junkies looking for adventure.

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W O R D S : J U L I A Z A LT Z M A N . P H O T O G R A P H Y : C O R A L S E A M A R I N A R E S O R T: B R O O K E M I L E S .

Dream Machines | WATER

Port Ferdinand Yacht and Beach Club Residences The location: Barbados, one of 28 island nations in the Caribbean. Slips: 120, for vessels up to 27m. Details: the community includes private villas with direct access to private berths, boat upholstery and cleaning services, personal chefs. Unique features: a floating wave attenuation system prevents large storms from causing hull damage. The marina also serves as a safe haven for the endangered hawksbill sea turtle. Best suited for: privacy seekers who still want to be out during the hurricane season.

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Dream Machines | WATER

Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina The location: Port Douglas, a one-hour drive from Australia’s Cairns Airport. Slips: 135, with 20 dedicated to superyachts up to 50m. Details: Queensland’s northernmost marina and the gateway to the farthest outer reefs; has an on-site brewery as well as other cafes and restaurants. Unique feature: the only place in the world where two UNESCO World Heritage sites meet: the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Best suited for: sports-fishing enthusiasts looking to catch some huge marlin.

Luštica Bay The location: Montenegro, along the Adriatic Sea, about 225km from Port of Split, Croatia. Slips: 176 total planned, but only 85 complete so far; for vessels up to 45m. Details: this planned port is entirely new and still being built, taking inspiration from Côte d’Azur seaside villages. Currently the boutique Chedi Luštica Bay hotel and spa are on-site, but six more resorts and plentiful dining and shopping venues are in the works. Unique features: a driving range and eventually a nine-hole golf course; access to nearby hiking and a private beach. Best suited for: yachties looking for lots of company and needing a few days on land.

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Dream Machines | WATER

Port Denarau Marina The location: Fiji, in the heart of the South Pacific between Momi passage and Lautoka. Slips: 56, for vessels up to 85m; and 16 swing moorings. Details: a new Bellingham Marine floating jetty can accommodate superyachts. Unique features: first marina in the South Pacific to be accredited level 3 Clean Marina And Fish Friendly status; live music, a new retail centre, nine bars and restaurants, medical services, trike and jet ski rentals. Best suited for: island hoppers looking to sail to Fiji’s more than 330 tropical islands.

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Dream Machines | WATER

Floating Beauty

W O R D S : D A N I E L L E C U T L E R . P H O T O G R A P H Y : K E L LY D O W N E Y.

Riva, the builder of beautiful Italian pleasure boats, goes big.

JUST BEFORE SUNSET on a steamy June evening in Venice, Italy, men in black-tie hop off sleek wooden water taxis and limo tenders in front of the historic Arsenale, while the female passengers, dressed in strappy, shimmery finery, step cautiously so as not to catch their pencil-thin heels in the gaps of the planked docks. Sipping champagne, they make their way down a candlelit blue carpet along the water’s edge into the canopied party. The ambience and mood of the festivities befit a royal marriage. But the entrance that the assembled guests await with increasing anticipation is not that of a bride in a flowing white gown. Rather, it’s a marine vessel: Riva’s new flagship yacht, the Riva 50M, or as Alberto Galassi, CEO of Italian parent company Ferretti Group, later calls it, Riva Cinquanta Metri. The crowd of yacht owners and the like will have to wait. First comes dinner, prepared by Galassi’s childhood friend – and Michelin three-star chef – Massimo Bottura, who brought along the entire staff of his Osteria Francescana in Modena to do the cooking. After dessert the orchestra kicks in, spotlights sweep the horizon and fireworks light up the starry sky. Finally it’s here: the 50m Race, Riva’s largest vessel, grandly cruises into the water space in front of the venerable Venetian shipyard. The captain gracefully turns the superyacht this way and that, as if Race were preening down a catwalk, giving the crowd a look at each side of the yacht. Although much, much bigger than the Aquaramas and Floridas of old, the multi-deck superyacht is still clearly recognisable as

a Riva thanks to its head-turning silver hull, glossy mahogany handrails and teak flooring that flag this boat as Aquarama kin. “You can tell a Ferrari from other sports cars. You can tell a Riva from other boats. That’s the mission,” Galassi explains over lunch at Hotel Danieli the next day, his buoyant and humorous mood reflecting the success of the prior night’s gala. To be sure, for many yachting enthusiasts, the name Riva conjures up beautiful and speedy wooden boats helmed by the likes of Brigitte Bardot, George Clooney and Pierce Brosnan, both on-screen and off. Founded in 1842 on the shore of Italy’s Lake Iseo by Pietro Riva, the company became known in the 1950s for the runabouts that sped along Italian lakes and the Mediterranean: elegant, well-crafted polished-wood pleasure boats. Riva started with Ariston, then revealed Tritone (the first two-engine yacht), Sebino (the company’s first series) and, soon after, Florida, made famous by Bardot (hers was a 1959 rendition). In 1969, Riva started building in fibreglass, which it still uses today, although it continued to produce runabouts in wood until 1996, when the last Aquarama Special was completed. Commissioned by the serial-yacht-owning son of a man who started a well-known automotive company, Race is the first example of what Galassi says will be not only a new line of superyachts but also a new era of building for Riva. Designed inside and out by Officina Italiana Design – the studio founded by longtime Riva designers Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta – along

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“You can tell a Ferrari from other sports cars. You can tell a Riva from other boats. That’s the mission.”

From the stylish stainless-steel accents of the radar arch to the silver hull, Race possesses Riva’s recognisable attention to detail.

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with Ferretti Group’s engineering team and the Ferretti Group Product Strategic Committee, the yacht has a profile that’s simple and clean, with a long foredeck, central superstructure and aggressive prow, all packaged in a metallic-paint hull that Galassi describes as the antithesis of a “white whale”. It is also the manifestation of a wish that creative force Carlo Riva shared just before he died in 2017 at age 95. “This is the dream of Carlo Riva coming true,” Galassi says. “He told me one day, ‘Make a stainlesssteel displacement Riva like we did in the ’60s’,” referring to the Caravelle and Atlantic motor-yacht series – steel boats, conceived by Carlo, that were considered the superyachts of that era. Race, hull No. 1 of the new series, is constructed of steel and a light aluminium alloy and features a main-deck master suite with a private lounge (for the owner to watch his beloved auto racing), outfitted with a comfy white-leather U-shaped sofa, a flatscreen TV and Ferrari memorabilia. This uncommon layout is made possible by the lower-deck placement of the kitchen, which is typically just aft of the master on the main deck. (A dumbwaiter connects all decks for easier food and beverage service.)


Fireworks, spotlights and a live orchestra welcomed Race into the lagoon in front of Venice’s Arsenale.

The master bedroom is decorated in greys and creams, a masculine yet sophisticated nod to the owner’s request for quiet tones. (Race’s owner selected Micheli for the interiors; subsequent Riva 50M buyers may bring aboard decorators of their own choosing.) A drop-down terrace provides an over-the-water relaxation space, incredible views and sea breezes. Four more staterooms reside on the lower deck and a captain’s cabin is off the high-tech wheelhouse, equipped by Team Italia. A Ferrari racing seat takes centre stage at the helm. Crew quarters are forward of the lower-deck cabins. Overall, the yacht accommodates 12 guests within its cavernous ninemetre beam, in addition to nine crew. Throughout the yacht’s interior, soft fabrics, leather and neutral colours add to the feeling of serenity – as do the vessel’s generators, which, emitting less than 40 decibels of sound, are just a quiet hum, even when standing next to them in the engine room. A pair of MTU Iron MAN 8V 4000 M63 engines produce 1,360hp each, propelling Race to a 15-knot top speed and providing a range of 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. The skydeck, the uppermost of the four decks,

will likely be a favourite spot for guests, thanks to the requisite hot tub, bar and lounging areas. The shadesupplying radar arch is in bold black, with stylised stainless-steel details easily seen from afar – a unique sight. “Get a look at the exterior navigation lights,” urges the fine art-loving Galassi over lunch. “They are (like) a sculpture.” The 50M’s water-level beach club stows a Williams Dieseljet 625 tender when the space is not in use by seaside sunners. But haul that thing out and you can open up the transom door and side hatch to take advantage of this sea-level entertainment deck and its breezy, open-air lounge with easy access to the water. Besides kicking off a new superyacht series for Riva, the 50M lets the brand claim a spot at Ferretti Group’s new Superyacht Division in Ancona, Italy, where subsequent vessels will share construction space with the company’s other large bespoke yachts. Another thing they share: fulfilling ocean-lovers’ deepest desires. “At the end of the day,” says Galassi, “you’re buying a dream.” www.riva-yacht.com

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Dream Machines | TECHNOLOGY

Quick Off the Marq No longer satisfied with dominating the wearables industry, Garmin has entered the premium smartwatch category with its Marq collection.

Garmin used optical bonding and alignment, water pressure testing, and thermal, shock and abrasion trials to create the Marq collection.

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Dream Machines | TECHNOLOGY

WORDS: CHARMAINE TAI.

From left: the Garmin Marq Expedition, Captain, Driver, Aviator and Athlete smartwatches.

WHEN GARMIN WAS founded in 1989, it was born out of a bold vision: to provide tools for outdoor adventurers. Since the release of Forerunner 101 – the brand’s first smartwatch – in 2003, it has slowly climbed the ranks alongside Polar and Suunto to be an athlete’s watch. This upward trajectory has been punctuated with the launch of Marq, a collection of five watches that coincidentally celebrates the brand’s 30th anniversary. There’s one for every pillar of Garmin’s key market: the Driver for racing enthusiasts, Athlete for sportsmen, Aviator for pilots, Captain for divers and regatta racers, and Expedition for those who live for the great outdoors. Prices range from S$2,399 to S$4,199, effectively marking Garmin’s foray into the luxury smartwatch segment. For comparison’s sake, the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 is priced from S$1,800; Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Connected Watch V2 is available from S$3,400 and Montblanc’s Summit 2 retails from S$1,495. The Marq collection isn’t for the athlete looking to buy a luxury watch. It’s for the man in the boardroom who enjoys performance sports, but wants to do away with the hassle of changing watches between workouts. Garmin has done away with silicone straps for Marq (with the exception of Athlete). Driver and Aviator come with a titanium shell bracelet, Captain sports a lovely blue jacquard woven nylon strap and Expedition is dressed in classic calf leather. Apart from a ceramic bezel inlay, the screen is protected by a domed sapphire crystal, which means the watch will survive a tumble on a dirt road or more. Like other Garmin models, each Marq watch is equipped with GPS and can track your speed, route

and distances for running, swimming and climbing to name but a few. It also has the ability to measure heart rate and oxygen levels. Each timepiece has its own unique set of features. Driver comes preloaded with over 250 racetrack maps and calculates track timing and lap time repeatability, while Aviator displays flight paths and weather reports, and can direct you to the nearest airport when necessary. Captain provides coastal charts, port conditions, wind speed, water and air temperature, and tide information. Athlete is a clear winner for all-rounded sportsmen. Besides showing you how you’re performing, it can also predict if you should take a day to rest because tomorrow’s workout would do you more harm than good. But Expedition is probably the most impressive; it features topographical and elevation mapping, and is equipped with an altimeter, barometer and compass. With all the nifty features, the battery life does drain quite a bit, especially on GPS mode when the watch lasts for up to 24 hours. On normal smartwatch mode, the watches last up to 12 days, a rather impressive feat compared to others in the market. Weight may also pose an initial drawback. Of the five, Aviator tips the scales at 144g, which may interfere with training. But those who are used to wearing chronographs or GMTs will barely notice a difference. The brand hopes that Marq will produce a halo effect in the smartwatch market. Looking at how Garmin has continuously delivered the best of its technical capabilities while refining the design, it won’t be long before that happens. www.garmin.com.sg

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Dream Machines | WHEELS

Well-suited for VR WHILE TRANSPORTATION TAKES us ever closer to sci-fi with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft, entertainment edges toward making Ready Player One less movie make-believe and more next door. London-based Teslasuit – with manufacturing, operations and R&D in Minsk – enters the game with full-body haptic gear so you can feel and touch everything that’s happening in the virtual experience. Although immersive gaming is the obvious use, cofounders Dimitri Mikhalchuk and Sergey Khurs intend the suit for multiple applications, including fitness training and kinesthetic learning – think perfecting your golf swing. The two-piece wireless suit, made of a smart fabric with an embedded minicomputer, uses tiny electrical impulses to track motion and heart rate as well as deliver feeling and even stimulate targeted

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muscle groups. All of which could help athletes improve muscle memory, correct errors to prevent injury, help with rehabilitation to remedy muscle asymmetries or prevent atrophy from degenerative diseases and ageing. The innovative apparel, which is washable and can be tailor-made, uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to connect to devices and is already compatible with most VR headsets as well as iOS and Android phones and PCs. Its cool factor is off the charts, but we also applaud how fast the Teslasuit has gone from concept to market: the first prototype launched in 2013 and the suit won awards this year. Much faster than VTOL status, which lingers in beta. teslasuit.io

W O R D S : J A N I C E O ’ L E A R Y. P H O T O G R A P H Y : T E S L A .

This haptic ensemble will give you all the feels, but the applications go far beyond gaming.


The Resource

P H O T O G R A P H Y : V I S I T B R I TA I N / J A S O N H AW K E S .

Savour

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Travel

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Money

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Homes

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Art & Design

Bovey Castle stands on 111 hectares of beautiful countryside within Devon’s Dartmoor National Park.


The Resource | TRAVEL

In the Middle of Nowhere Discover the richness of the Mongolian landscape and nomadic lifestyle at the Three Camel Lodge ecolodge.

All 40 gers of Three Camel Lodge are handmade using a latticed wood construction and covered with layers of felt and canvas.

THE VOICE OVER the phone had a hint of an American accent. “I am Susie and I will be accompanying you on your flight from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad.” Susie, a Mongolian national educated in the US, was my guide at Three Camel Lodge. Whisking me through the airports in a country where most natives barely speak English, she became indispensable to my experience, volunteering to be my photographer, schedule manager and all-round personal assistant. Three Camel Lodge, one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World and the only luxury ecolodge in the Gobi Desert, delivers an upscale, tourist-friendly version of the traditional, freespirited Mongolian lifestyle, which typically involves

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journeying alone in a felt-encased mobile ger with a herd of animals. The lodge is an amalgam of comfort, style and sustainability in a remote, exotic and authentic setting. My journey towards the lodge was punctuated by frantic sheep gathering around our SUV as we drove through unmarked dirt roads in the seemingly neverending steppe. Upon arrival at Three Camel Lodge, we were hosted in an oversized ger, where the reception sits adjacent to a boutique stocked with exquisite cashmere and handicrafts. I stayed in my own private ger, a latticed wooden construction covered in felt and canvas and adorned with hand-painted custom woodworks of mandarin,


The Resource | TRAVEL

WORDS: IROSHINI CHUA . PHOTOGR APHY: NOMADIC E XPEDITIONS, MICHAEL KLEINBERG.

Positioned at the crossroads of the Gobi’s diverse desert ecosystems, Three Camel Lodge lies within the habitats of many animal, plant and bird species.

azul and lemon shades. But it’s the mesmerising allround view that captured my heart: not only did it face south and overlook the mesmerising steppe and the rugged Altai Mountains, but the oculus also offered a star-gazing experience from the comfort of my bed. In terms of food, I was spoilt for choice: the Bulagtai Restaurant is housed in a massive ger and serves Mongolian and western dishes using fresh seasonal produce harvested from a nearby organic farm. Dino House, fashioned after the traditional Mongolian sum (temple), features artefacts and leather chairs. It spills into a terrace with cosy swings; a perfect spot to take in the stark landscape over a cup of hot chocolate. Over the next few days I discovered the region with Susie. For this time-starved traveller, a twonight expedition to the expansive Gobi Desert was wanderlust gold. It was a delight to spend the morning exploring the verdant Yol Valley National Park. Jerboas scuttled and dodged into burrows, mouths stuffed full of grass as we approached, surprising us with their speed on scrawny rodent legs. Wild sheep stared at us suspiciously from the mountain outcrops as golden eagles soared above us. Contrary to the emptiness the word ‘desert’ suggests, there is an astonishing array

of biodiversity in the pristine area, including snow leopards and gazelles. We hiked to view ancient petroglyphs adorning hundreds of rocks in Havtsgait Valley. We drove to Moltsog Els, an area covered in sand dunes, rode twohumped Bactrian camels and visited a camel herding family. After watching a short documentary in the Lodge’s private cinema on Dr Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration for dinosaur eggs in 1923, we were driven to the very same site known as Flaming Cliffs. Here, I enjoyed a private picnic while the cliffs were bathed in the orange glow of the sunset. The Lodge even arranged a mini Nadam-Festival so I could enjoy the Mongolian tradition of archery, wrestling and horse riding. Between excursions, I discovered the steppe in a few ways: hiking, cycling, electric biking and my favourite, galloping through the desert on horseback. Underneath the blue sky, the endless plains stretched endlessly as the sound of rushing wind and galloping hooves broke the quietude, whilst the sheer power and speed of my steed left me joyfully breathless. www.threecamellodge.com

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The Resource | TRAVEL

Wild Things For its raw beauty and remote tranquillity, Dartmoor is worth a detour the next time you fly to London.

The garden at Hotel Endsleigh was created by Humphry Repton for John Russell, the sixth duke of Bedford.

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The Resource | TRAVEL

WORDS: MAVIS TEO . PHOTOGR APHY: CAROLE DR AKE.

It’s common to experience a fog so dense it creeps up mysteriously and seems to hide all kinds of beasts imaginable.

A THICK MIST is swirling around the hilltops and it’s impossible to see beyond the wild ponies grazing in front of us. We are in Dartmoor National Park in the southwest of England, which some locals say is the country’s last true wilderness. Dartmoor is also infamous for its capricious weather – it’s common to experience four seasons in a day, and a fog so dense it creeps up mysteriously and seems to hide all kinds of beasts imaginable. The best way to explore Dartmoor National Park is on horseback and with a guide. There are few roads, so travelling by car offers limited views. It’s also incredibly easy to get lost thanks to the lack of prominent landmarks, which is why I enlisted the services of Liberty Trails (www.liberty-trails.com), a company specialising in luxury riding tours in Dartmoor. There’s another reason why I have chosen to explore Dartmoor with someone who knows it well: the bogs, which can trap and kill an unsuspecting hiker or rider. I follow Rachel Brockington, my guide, over the hill. We come to a valley vastly different from the velvety vale where we leave behind the mist and ponies, between a large canvas of startling blue and a vivid green expanse of land marked by dips and punctuated by granite boulders. The terrain here is rough and so strewn with rocks that we can only move at a brisk walk. Then the terrain evens out. We pick up pace for a canter along a babbling brook. All around us is the muted but busy chirping of ground nestlings. Our ride the next day takes us across wide peaty areas where sheep and cattle graze, and mysteriouslooking gigantic granite hilltops called tors loom. Dartmoor is also rich in archaeology. We pass a collection of stones arranged by Druids into a fertility circle. Eerie and enigmatic, desolate and dreamy, Dartmoor is all these and more. In the midst of this wild land of sprawling valleys, marshy bogs and forbidding tors, the well-heeled will be pleased to know there are luxury experiences to be enjoyed. Elaine Michelle Prior, founder of Liberty Trails, is adept at finding or creating them. For one, Elaine’s husband and business partner, Robert, is always on standby at the next pit stop with posh nosh and warm drinks (or port and whisky if you fancy).

Explore Dartmoor and its mystical landscape on horseback.

He also organises day trips to bucolic towns in Dartmoor, while Elaine works with Dartmoor’s top hotels and country manors to provide accommodation. One of them is Bovey Castle (www.boveycastle.com), a stunning heritage mansion on a 111-hectare estate, with panoramas of the national park. Besides a wellappointed spa, Bovey Castle also offers activities like falconry. Besides an award-winning restaurant, it also has a well-known spa on site. The other is Hotel Endsleigh (www.hotelendsleigh. com). With 40 hectares of gardens to explore, guests can walk amongst the secret grottos, ancient trees and exotic plants on their own or led by the head gardener. Long corridors, antiquarian botanical paintings and plush ottomans lend a sepia-tinted charm to the place. While l love the eclectic charm of my suite with its woodland-themed wallpaper and mustard chaise lounge, the jewel in the crown for me is the food. Though the ingredients are local, there’s an unmistaken touch of Italian influence (hardly surprising when one learns that the owner is from the Rocco Forte hotelier family). I resist licking the sauce off my plate after polishing off a cabbage parcel filled with umami scallop and crabmeat. As I tuck into the strawberry cheesecake cannoli paired with refreshing basil ice cream by a crackling fire, I think to myself that one cannot possibly ask for a more genteel end to exploring England’s wild side.

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The Resource | TRAVEL

Caught in the Act The Leica CL keeps you in the present as it captures unexpected moments.

I COULD SING high praises about the specifications of the Leica CL. The 24MP camera shoots at a rate of up to 10FPS, has an equivalent focal length of 28mm, an ISO range of up to 50,000, a shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second and records 4K video at 30FPS. Plus, it weighs less than 500g with the ‘pancake’ lens, making it convenient to tote around while on holiday. I could rattle off even more numbers to keep the avid photographer intrigued, but as they say: show, don’t tell. And that’s where the Leica CL truly delights. After all, moments can’t be recreated, only captured. And it’s in the most unexpected instances that you’ll discover the Leica CL’s prowess. Camera in hand, I explore the newly opened TwinPalms MontAzure in Phuket. Just before sunset, I walk along Kamala Beach, where the resort is located. It’s low tide and a local is in knee-deep water, holding a cast net. There’s no zoom on the pancake lens, and I’m not about to get seawater on the camera, so I loiter on shore. As the man leans in and uses his body’s momentum to cast the net forward, I fire the Leica CL away, capturing frame after frame.

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The man makes it look easy and almost effortless, though not quite graceful. He drags the net to shore: he has caught five small fish. He walks back to the sea once again and I leave with photos to remember my trip by. sg.leica-camera.com

Scan the QR code to view more photos of Twinpalms MontAzure shot on the Leica CL.

WORDS: CHARMAINE TAI. PHOTOGR APHY: CHARMAINE TAI USING THE LEICA CL.

The Leica CL delivers pristine image quality with a 24MP sensor, fast autofocus and a continuous shooting rate of up to 10FPS.


The Resource | ART

Street Cred

PHOTOGR APHY: DANIEL BR ADICA, MAISONSUPERB.

With greater collector fervour and ballooning auction results, street art seems to be finally reaching the mainstream. Robb Report Thought Leader and founder of The Culture Story, Ning Chong, explores its rise.

IN APRIL, SOTHEBY’S Nigoldeneye sale in Hong Kong made international headlines as it set new auction records for street artists including Kaws, Futura and Stash. From the personal collection of Bathing Ape founder Nigo, many of the works went for many times over their initial estimate. Case in point: The Simpsons-inspired Kaws painting that sold for a record US$15 million. Rumour has it that the buyer could be Justin Bieber. Not a far-fetched assumption, as street art has long found favour with proponents of hip-hop and pop. Jay-Z, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Swiss Beatz (husband of Alicia Keys) are all avid collectors. Closer to home, King of Mandopop Jay Chou was seen shopping at Art Basel Hong Kong last year and posted a picture with Kaws. The celebrity equation has certainly helped propel street art to the masses, as a single post on social media can reach millions of followers across the world. But while these early signs are promising indications that street art has found fans in millennials, only time will tell whether this is sustainable. The next five to 10 years will be crucial in determining

whether street art can reach the status of mainstream art collectibles. There are many variables that can contribute to this growth: for instance, whether more street artists are signed up by powerful galleries such as White Cube and Hauser & Wirth, or whether popular museums like Guggenheim and Tate Modern start doing shows with names other than blue-chip ones such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Of course, this must be sustained by a healthy collector appetite as well. Veteran art collectors are, for lack of a better word, predictable. They always look for quality, rarity, prestige and value. And street artists who have been signed on and represented by the world’s top bluechip art galleries, such as Gagosian and Perrotin, have seen their artworks enter many illustrious private collections and corporate holdings, with collectors competing for their works on the secondary market. When one thinks of street art as a serious collecting genre, there are only a handful of highly regarded artists who enjoy robust activity in primary and secondary markets.

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Street art slowly shed its image of being a citydamaging evil to an art form, propelled in part by The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and its landmark exhibition Art in the Streets.

Some, such as Banksy and Futura, enjoy cult-like status, while others like Kaws have become household names thanks to their signature art styles that can be seen on mobile screensavers or even T-shirts. Off the Streets The roots of the street art movement can be traced to the 1970s and 1980s, when youths in Brooklyn would write their names over and over again for the sake of fame, fun and notoriety. The early generation of writers, such as Futura 2000, Dondi White, Fab 5 Freddy, Haring and Basquiat, expressed themselves with aerosol cans on pavements and underground railway train carriages and stations. The goal was to be seen, and gradually by the mid-1990s, the emergence of street art coincided with the rise of other art forms like rap, R&B, hip-hop, breakdance and street fashion – and it ballooned into a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Street art slowly shed its image of being a citydamaging evil to an art form, propelled in part by The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and its landmark exhibition Art in the Streets, which organised the first major institutional presentation of street art’s historical narrative and development in 2011. Since then, there have only been a handful of artists who have taken street art off the walls, bringing their art to the masses. Who are these cultural zeitgeists today? In June, Virgil Abloh (Louis Vuitton’s men’s artistic director and founder of OffWhite) collaborated with Futura for OffWhite’s spring/summer 2020 runway presentation in Paris, where supermodel Gigi Hadid and singer Celine Dion were spotted in their designs. The most popular and well-known street artistcum-designer today has to be Kaws – otherwise known

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as Bryan Donnelly – an American artist known for his subversive and instantly recognisable aesthetic of figurative characters and motifs. The recent debut of the Kaws x Uniqlo collection caused a frenzy in some stores in China. In July, Kaws erected a 40m-long Companion sculpture at the base of Mount Fuji, Tokyo. Kaws: Holiday is one of the most prolific travelling public art exhibitions, beginning in Seoul in 2018, later moving to Taipei, Hong Kong (an oversized Companion inflatable balloon was floating in Victoria Harbour) and Virginia Beach in the US. Full Fervour My own love affair with street art has been a relatively recent one. In the last 18 months, I’ve travelled to Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai and Hong Kong to look at street art and visit artist studios. In June, I flew to New York to visit the second edition of Beyond the Streets, a showcase of over 150 international street artists in a 9,290 sq m space in the hip area of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was truly a feast for the eyes, covering the history and evolution of street art, including artists such as Shepard Fairey, Faile, Invader, Guerilla Girls and Crash. Before my voyage to New York, The Culture Story marked its second anniversary with a critically acclaimed solo exhibition by Futura titled Constellation. We showcased 30 new paintings in Gillman Barracks, attracting over 2,400 visitors across 10 days, and it was almost a sold-out show. The overwhelming response and positive feedback from local fans and regional visitors, who had flown in specially to meet their idol, made a clear and distinct impression – street art is big, it has arrived and it is here to stay.


Los Angeles-based artist Gajin Fujita’s convergence between street art and traditional Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock printing was featured in Beyond the Streets.

Futura preparing for his Constellation show at Gillman Barracks in Singapore.

Sans Titre 15, 2018, an acrylic-and-aerosol-oncanvas work by Futura.

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The Art of Appreciation What are the ABCs of investing in art? We dissected the topic at a recent panel discussion in Singapore at Concourse Skyline Penthouse by Robb Report, a home that could easily double as an art gallery.

ART WEARS MANY hats. It’s subjective. Emotional. Liberating. Accessible. And, it’s also a form of investment. But regardless of the reason, there’s one simple rule to keep in mind: buy only what you enjoy looking at, whether it makes you think at a deeper level or simply because it sparks joy. In July, we held an art investment talk at Concourse Skyline Penthouse by Robb Report. Topics

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included how to start a collection, learning what to look out for and whether a gallerist’s collection is determined by the investment value of the artwork. The panellists comprised Mae Anderson, chairman of Art Outreach Singapore; Audrey Yeo, founder of Yeo Workshop Art Gallery; and Valter Spano, director of Partners & Mucciaccia. We highlight some of the most resounding questions.


The Resource | HOMES

W O R D S : C H A R M A I N E TA I . P H O T O G R A P H Y : D A V I D B AY A N D H A Z I R A H R A H I M .

Panellists Mae Anderson, Audrey Yeo and Valter Spano debated the intricacies of art investment.

Are there any buying patterns you see in Singapore art collectors? Mae Anderson (MA): I promote art to non-art audiences. People here tend to buy emotionally, eclectically and impulsively. Those who make purchases where the value of each artwork is in the five-figure range tend to go for well-known names. The market here is very aspirational as we’re dealing with first- and second-generation wealth and the art represents what you’d like to be seen as or thought of. Audrey Yeo (AY): Yeo Workshop focuses on emerging artists. Ironically, being a ‘young’ gallery, we have clients who are seasoned collectors. We sell to foundations, museums and families. Those who come to us usually already have blue-chip art (art that’s expected to increase in value regardless of economic conditions) so they’re looking for something different. There are technology-type collectors too who don’t want paintings. Thirty per cent of my revenue comes from new media art, including audio and video art. For those who’re intending to have an art collection purely for investment purposes, what should they invest in? MA: Oil paintings are still one of the safest to invest in and their returns are there. Look at modern artists (who produce oil paintings); their works hold in value. Artworks above one metre in size sell well.

What’s the right amount to pay an artist who has just entered the industry? AY: Oil paintings by fresh graduates should cost about S$2,000. It’s easy to check prices at the emerging level. Prices in the market are fairly objective. For example, everyone knows what a graduating doctor, lawyer or banker gets in the first five years, and what they’ll get when they’re at the CEO or CFO level. It’s the middle you’re unsure about, especially if they didn’t begin their profession in the same industry. It’s the same with artists. How does one check on prices for artists in their mid-careers? AY: That’s where gallerists come in and you can ask them why it’s priced as such. Factors like art medium, artist CV, number of museum shows an artist has and the gallery that represents the artist should be taken into consideration. How do you justify the prices to a collector who is just starting out? Valter Spano (VS): Many collectors buy shoes, cars or bags for a few hundred thousand dollars and think that it’s worth the price, even though most products will depreciate in value. But when it comes to paintings, they feel like they’re making the buy of their life. They think, ‘How much money are we going to make

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The Concourse Skyline Penthouse by Robb Report is home to a number of exquisite and exclusive artworks.

tomorrow?’. As such, I advise clients to always buy with the intention to keep. You need to look at the painting and enjoy it. Apart from art forms, how do galleries differentiate themselves from each other? AY: We have a particular set of artists we concentrate on. We develop emerging artists and mid-career artists. We have nothing that costs over S$100,000. Our collectors’ price points are also at that level. How do art galleries go about choosing which artist to represent? AY: I usually take them from top art schools and I don’t just look at the work that they produce. I look at the artists, I examine their studios and interview them like you would a doctor or lawyer to see if I can trust him or her. I need to ensure that my artists will remain artists and not suddenly quit after a few years. Why is there a need for a gallerist when information is already available online? MA: A good collection is worth much more than individual pieces. And that’s exactly what you want your gallerist for. You want them to understand your point of view, to be your eyes, ears and educator. Galleries are one of the first points of contacts and reference when collectors purchase art. How

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do you work with clients who want to know if a particular piece of art will complement a room? AY: We work with interior designers and these experts are better qualified when it comes to expressing opinions. Sometimes, I work with art consultants who represent the collectors, instead of collectors themselves. The consultant will know the taste of the family and be able to negotiate with us. Will artificial intelligence take over art buying? MA: While algorithms and technology can move volumes, for serious collectors, you’ll still want expertise, knowledge and nuances that machines can’t replicate. What’s good is that you have access to information. A lot of younger artists sell directly, but it’s hard to understand how they price the pieces. AY: We’ve had a guy coming around the galleries trying to sell virtual reality technology. To be honest, VR is very realistic. And given that more people see our stuff online than they do in person at the gallery, I need to make sure we have nice photography. But a large auction house got in trouble for that because the images in their catalogue were nicer than the original artwork. I go personally to the printers to check the colour proofs and make sure that the colour printed in our catalogue is true to the artwork. I’ll also tell the potential buyer that certain pigments can’t be printed and reflected in the image, so it’s best to see


The Resource | HOMES

the original painting in person. If an artwork is under S$10,000, you can buy online. Anything above that, you view it in person. What advice do you have for those who are looking to invest in art? VS: Regardless of investment or collecting out of passion, it’s important to remember three things. First, buy what you like. A thousand people can view a single painting and you’ll get 1,000 reactions. Second, know your budget. Start at a level that you’re comfortable with and stick to it. Third, don’t be impulsive. Do your homework and find out more about the artist, the artwork and even galleries representing him. MA: Whether you’re just starting out as a collector or are seasoned, art fairs are the way to go. In Asia, Art Basel Hong Kong is the place to visit and there are many fringe activities. Dubai’s fairs display pretty

good collections too and focus on design. Art Week in Singapore’s a good place to start too. But for everything else, the relationship with your gallerist is paramount to how your collection would look. What about your personal collection at home? Are the pieces bought as an investment? VS: No, I enjoy every piece of art I have at home. It’s so important to love what you buy. AY: I don’t represent any of the artists that I’ve bought paintings from. I collect what I like. MA: I buy emotionally. I buy art that speaks to me, to represent when I got married, when I had children or those that tell the story of places I love. You need to go through that before you can be more comfortable and discerning with artwork that you’ll never part with, and what you want to sell.

“Whether you’re just starting out as a collector or are seasoned, art fairs are the way to go.”

Valter Spano, director of Partners & Mucciaccia.

Jyoti and Kumar Balasingam with Michael von Schlippe.

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Treasure Trove Just how much can art transform a house into a home? For those intending to purchase art with the intention to keep, pay a visit to the Penthouse and view the artworks on display. There are more than 20 pieces of art throughout, including paintings, photographs, sculptures and art installations. Here are some highlights.

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Artwork: Porcelain sculptures

Artwork: Silenzio!

Location: The Library

Location: The Portal

Variety is no doubt the spice of life. And that’s what you’ll get at The Library, particularly where art pieces are concerned. More than 10 porcelain sculptures by Lladró have been carefully curated for the room to ensure a coherent design aesthetic. The black Arabian Pure Breed comes in a limited series of just 300 pieces and stands out for its black satin finish, which highlights the steed’s muscles. Also equally impressive is Dazzle Macaw Bird. The bird is painted with the ‘dazzle’ camouflage technique, where thick black and white stripes are used break up its outlines.

The Gallery – a blank canvas that connects The Mediterranean Escape to The Master’s Haven – features an installation by Leica called Silenzio!. It’s a series of still images by Parisian photographer François Fontaine, whose inspiration came from still images from classic films. The set of images is shot on film and the blurriness is an attempt to portray what it’s like when you’re in a dream, have just woken up or have a hazy view. As for the emotions he’s trying to convey, Fontaine told Leica in an interview: “In this work, the images that worked well suggested suspense, fear, desire, the main themes running through this series.”

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Artwork: Trailing A Violet Haze

Artwork: Orchid chandelier and table lamp

Location: The Portal

Location: The Armoire (Hers wardrobe)

Deriving his inspiration from the colour purple, American artist Frank Holliday shot to fame for his neo-abstract artworks that have earned him numerous awards and accolades. Represented by Partners & Mucciaccia in Singapore, Holliday has displayed a couple of his works at the Penthouse. The incredible texture and details of Trailing A Violet Haze reveal themselves progressively with purposeful swirls of conflicting hues coming together in a harmonious explosion. Holliday executed this oil-on-canvas work in 2013, which was first shown in Asia as part of a solo exhibition at Partners & Mucciaccia in Gillman Barracks in 2015.

Two unconventional works of art brought in by Affluency Singapore are the Orchid chandelier and table lamp by Nathalie Ziegler, which are displayed in The Armoire. Both pieces are mouth-blown and hand-cut using Saint-Just glass, with copper and silver woven into the pieces. To ensure the Orchid chandelier’s perfect positioning in the ceiling, the Parisian glass artist specially flew in to Singapore to install this piece. The flower table lamp is also delicately mouth-blown and hand-cut by Ziegler and features chromatic elements of copper and silver.

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Grape Strides Michael Baum is reinventing the way we consume wine by applying a Silicon Valley approach to Burgundy.

“I SUPPOSE THAT it started as a hobby but it’s turned into a business,” says Michael Baum, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and, more recently, the owner of Chateau de Pommard, the French winery and estate established 1726 – making him the first American to own such an estate in Burgundy. It’s not only a new venture for him, but a new venture of its kind. Baum, 57, made his money as the creator of six technology start-ups, five of which he sold and the last of which, the machine data engine Splunk, went public with a record-breaking US$5 billion IPO. He’s not alone in being a Silicon Valley king investing in wine, of course, although he’s looked well beyond Napa Valley and back to the old world. “In California they talk of old vines and they mean around 35 years old. Here they mean 120 years old,” he laughs. But with that long tradition comes a guarded industry somewhat stuck in its ways, ways which Baum – an outsider in terms of his nationality and professional background – aims to change. “Burgundy has a tradition that’s powerful but limited, which only appeals to a certain audience. And historically producers have sold to wholesalers so they haven’t had to think about their brand,” he says. “At Pommard we’re taking a more Silicon Valley model – 90 per cent of our sales are direct to the consumer. And I have ambitions to apply tech to the wine business.” That’s likely to include the use of genetic analysis of the soil, for example, which is something Baum’s team at Chateau de Pommard is investigating with a view to better understand what type of plant best suits what type of soil (and Pommard is unusual in having several distinct soil types across its land). “There’s a place for laboratories in making better wine, which is something Napa Valley is understanding. But here in France it’s all nose and palate,” says Baum. 

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Indeed, it’s because most wine lovers’ noses and palates are somewhat limited that, following successful beta testing, next year Baum will launch Vivant, a platform / app to help subscribers better buy and understand their wine. “The world of wine is complex – from the grape varieties to the chemicals used, from vintages to how best to pair it with food – and understanding what you’re actually drinking is not easy,” Baum argues. “But the more you know, the more you enjoy. So we’re taking what we’ve introduced at Chateau de Pommard – wine experiences and vineyard visits – and we’re reaching more people by putting that on a digital platform.” Subscribers will be able to scan any microchipped bottle in order to get a complete assessment of the wine, 24/7 access to a personal wine adviser as well as live broadcast wine experiences around the world. “The idea came about 18 months ago when I was at a wine event in Shanghai,” recalls Baum. “People who didn’t speak English kept coming up to me with pictures of their experience at Pommard. They loved that human connection. The question was how to scale that up? How do I connect, say, a wine lover in Shanghai with an expert in Argentina?” Vivant’s utility is also timely because, Baum argues, younger generations are paying very close attention to what goes into their wine: transparency, he says, is set to be a major industry trend, which is why the whole process behind Pommard wines will be trackable – using Vivant – from the budding of the plant to the shipping of the crate. “More people are waking up to the idea that they don’t want to drink wine with chemicals in it, though there’s a lot of resistance in the wine industry to giving up convenient agricultural methods,” says Baum. “And it’s been lousy at giving information about what’s in


The Resource | SAVOUR

WORDS: JOSH SIMS. PHOTOGR APHY: SERGE CHAPUIS.

At 20 hectares, Château de Pommard is the largest private vineyard in Burgundy.

their wines because there’s no regulation. So I’d hope that we can encourage change across the industry, because it was going to take (an outsider) like us to drive change.” To this end, as Californian progressiveness might also dictate, Baum is leading a push on biodynamism in wines, both for Pommard’s own production – its Clos Marey Monge wines are now 100 per cent biodynamic with its other wines close to being so – but with it also acting as a leading curator of the growing number of biodynamic, organic and responsible wines (to use Baum’s three tiers) now available. It is, he concedes, a small beginning. “Go into most restaurants and ask for a biodynamic wine and you normally get a blank stare,” he says. “But that also represents a huge opportunity.” And exploiting opportunities is what the career of Baum – a self-confessed nerd – is all about. “Sure, I get excited about tech,” he says. “And now I get excited about wine. But it’s the combination of tech and wine that gets me most excited.” Michael Baum bought Château de Pommard in 2014.

www.chateaudepommard.com

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East of Italy This Neapolitan pizza is a long way from Naples.

THE WORLD’S BEST pizza is in Japan. The mere printing of such heresy is likely making Neapolitan nonnas faint and proud pizzaiolos gesticulate in anger (even more so than usual). But it might actually be true, thanks to a dedicated core of Tokyo chefs who are devoted to perfecting the wood-fired Naples pie. Their single-minded commitment to the humble pizza has made them shokunin, a Japanese term that means ‘master craftsmen’ and involves a total immersion into the daily, repetitive tasks of creation.

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The Tokyo pizzaiolos hew closely to Neapolitan tradition, but in their deep, deep study of pizza’s intricacies, they’ve introduced tiny changes, such as using a ‘salt punch’ – throwing salt right into the oven so it will bake into the crust – or moving the pizza closer to the fire to promote a more charred crust and a smokier Japanese-wood flavour. To experience Neapolitan-style pizza at its highest level, get thee to Japan immediately – and arrive hungry at these three restaurants.

WORDS: JEREMY REPANICH. PHOTOGR APHY: JEREMY REPANICH.

Tsubasa Tamaki at his Tokyo restaurant Pizza Studio Tamaki.


The Resource | SAVOUR

Margherita pizza from Savoy.

Seirinkan

Savoy

Pizza Studio Tamaki

Susumu Kakinuma is the godfather of Japan’s Neapolitan pizza movement. More than two decades ago, he arrived in Naples to learn the region’s careful art of dough, sauce and cheese, but no one would give him a job. So, he spent a year eating and watching. When he returned home, he taught himself and opened Savoy in 1995. He built the business but eventually left in 2007 to open Seirinkan, which has only two pizzas on the menu: the margherita (mozzarella di bufala, tomato, basil and olive oil) and the marinara (tomato, garlic, olive oil and oregano). Kakinuma, who invented the Japanese ‘salt punch’, also replaced Italian olive oil with a Japanese variety.

It would be easy to wander right past Savoy. Located near the Roppongi Hills luxury development, the restaurant, with its rickety steps and faded awning, makes for an unimpressive sight among the gleaming boutiques. The DIY motif continues inside as diners belly up to a bar that curves around a pizzaiolo who has just enough space to navigate the hulking black pizza oven behind him. As at Seirinkan, your options are limited to the classics, but once the pizza arrives you won’t mind a bit: the bright saltiness of the pie, the fruity olive oil, the slight acidity of the tomatoes and the perfect char on the crust make this one of the best pizzas you’ll ever bite into.

Though Tsubasa Tamaki trained for years under Kakinuma and the purists at Savoy, his pizzeria has garnered a loyal following for signature pies that take the old-school wood-fired Neapolitan beyond the basics. There’s a smoked mozzarella, pecorino Romano and basil variety, and a Diavola with sausage and olive. Patrons can even – gasp! – choose their own toppings. Tamaki’s methods add extra flavour, too. In addition to throwing salt punches, he brings extra smokiness to his crust by adding Japanese maplewood chips to his fire. If you’re ready to take your pizza pilgrimage further, this is the place to be.

www.theseirinkan.com

www.savoy.vc

www.pst-tk2-ad.com

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The World’s First AI-Created Whisky

SWEDEN, A NATION of unspoiled architecture and blue archipelagos, isn’t typically known for its whisky. But for 20 years, Swedish whisky has been making a name for itself. Meet Mackmyra, Sweden’s first whisky distillery. Known for its innovative spirit, it develops recipes out of locally cut peat and juniper twigs to appeal to the Nordic palette. It works out of a Gravity Distillery, which uses the force of gravity to aid production and reduce carbon footprint, and it also happens to be creating the world’s first AIgenerated whisky. Expect notes of aniseed, ginger, white pepper and a palate of fine oak, pear and tobacco. The golden yellow single malt was created by an artificially intelligent distiller, born out of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and Fourkind’s AI cognitive services. Whisky isn’t just differentiated by the ingredients, but also by the wooden cask it is stored in. The liquid gradually takes on the cask’s colour, aroma and flavour, which are also attributed to previous contents like sherry. This process can generate thousands of recipes, but it is up to the master blender, who devotes an entire lifetime to tasting, tweaking and experimenting. Thus, the job of Mackmyra’s AI is to augment and

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automate the most time-consuming process in the creation of whisky. The distillery’s machine learning model is fed with Mackmyra’s legacy recipes, sales data and customer preferences. The algorithm’s ability to assess and sift through the vast amount of data enables the distillery to be equipped with over 70 million recipes predicted to be popular and tasty. The work of a master blender, though, isn’t at risk. “While the whisky recipe is created by AI, we still benefit from a person’s expertise and knowledge,” says Angela D’Orazio, Mackmyra’s master blender. “The whisky is AI-generated, but human-curated.” Jarno Kartela, a principal machine learning partner at Fourkind, adds: “I envision AI systems generating recipes for sweets, perfumes and maybe sneaker designs. Many of these have been attempted, but largescale adoption is still lagging. We are showing the way forward and these new AI solutions can be used to generate products that retain the spirit, look and feel of the brands behind them, while at the same time being new and unique.” www.mackmyra.co.uk

WORDS: HANNAH CHOO. PHOTOGR APHY: SHUT TERSTOCK.

Sweden’s Mackmyra Distillery is seeking aid from a machine, courtesy of Microsoft and Fourkind.


Special Feature

FUTURE-PROOF YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION What jobs will your children have when they grow up?

EVER SINCE DELL TECHNOLOGIES and the Institute for the Future published their report The Next Era of Human Machine Partnerships in 2017, there has been much discussion about what the future holds for the job market. It’s hard to predict whether many of today’s jobs will still exist and what new professions will arise. There’s no doubt the world of employment will continue to undergo drastic changes as it has done historically. One of the best ways for children to future-proof their careers is to develop the skills and mindsets to be able to adapt to these inevitable changes. At KIS International School students develop their academic knowledge through the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme alongside a curriculum that also encourages the development of skills and mindsets that set them up for future success. In today’s world, where children will increasingly become global citizens, it’s crucial to have an appreciation and understanding of different cultures, backgrounds and perspectives. KIS boasts an environment with students from 55 countries and

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nurtures international mindedness on a daily basis. Students learn that their fellow classmates may have differing opinions and priorities, but learn to respect each other’s perspectives. Furthermore, by operating in such a multicultural setting, students hone their skills in collaborating and communicating. The ability to think critically and reflectively also contributes to being successful at university and in life beyond. Being able to understand the complexity and interconnectedness of real-life issues is an invaluable asset. The IB programme at KIS International School teaches higher-order thinking. Learning is interdisciplinary, meaning that students are encouraged to make connections between subjects. To understand climate change for example, it is not enough to simply look at the scientific component of the issue; instead students are also taught to see the humanities perspective, the economic perspective and so on, in order to gain a better understanding of the issue and to see the bigger picture. Other competencies that are developed at KIS International School are self-management skills.


Special Feature

KIS students are encouraged to challenge preconceptions and be risk-takers in solving problems in unconventional ways. KIS students can use augmented reality to learn about the importance of water.

Older students share their passion for reading with younger pupils at buddy reading sessions.

Computer science is just one of the many things students can learn about at KIS International School.

In any career, be it freelance, full-time or remote, it is important for employees to be able to efficiently manage their time, be organised, proactive, selfmotivated and able to handle setbacks. All of these skills are an integral part of the IB programme and students at KIS learn to reflect on how successful they are at applying these skills to their learning. Employers place a high value on creative thinking and innovation, especially those who are seeking to challenge the status quo, develop new technologies, or invent creative solutions. This means that simply learning knowledge passively is not enough for today’s students. They have to be taught to challenge what they know, think out of the box and explore new paths that will help move our world forward and contribute to solving problems in the future. Through debates with teachers and classmates, KIS students are encouraged to challenge preconceptions and be risktakers in solving problems in unconventional ways. Finally, one of the most important skills to be successful in the future is to be a lifelong learner. When students at KIS learn how to be a good learner and how they learn best, they become equipped with the self-knowledge needed to always stay up to date with the latest developments in the world. They can adjust to new ways of doing things, new technologies and new jobs. In fact, they may well become the innovators who make the world a better place. To visit KIS International School, please contact admissions@kis.ac.th

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Prince William and Prince Harry in action.

Horse Play This year’s edition of the King Power Royal Charity Polo Cup was played in memory of the Thailand Polo Association’s founder and his commitment and passion for the sport.

THE KING POWER Royal Charity Polo Cup 2019 in July was one of the London’s most talked-about social events. The competition was held on 10 July in memory of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the late founder of the Thailand Polo Association. As a tribute to the keen polo player, King Power donated £1 million to 15 charities in the UK, including African Parks, the English Schools Swimming Association and the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund. Amongst the VIP guests at the Cup were Prince William, who also made opening remarks, Prince Harry, the Srivaddhanaprabha family and King Power executives. The two teams competing were King Power, headed by Prince William and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, and Tarmac, headed by Prince

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Harry and Apichet Srivaddhanaprabha. The trophy was awarded to the King Power team, who narrowly gained victory with seven points to six. Duty-free empire King Power, which was founded by the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, has been sponsoring the Royal Charity Polo Cup for the past five years because it believes in catapulting talented Thai polo players to the world stage. This belief was inspired by the sentiments of Vichai, who had a deep passion for sport, especially horse racing, polo and football. In the past, Thai polo players have won many polo awards, including the Thailand Polo King’s Cup, the Cartier Queen’s Cup, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup and the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Cup.


POST-EVENT

King Power donated £1 million to 15 charities in the UK.

W O R D S : V E E R A D A S O N G T H A V E E P H O L . P H O T O G R A P H Y : T H A I L A N D P O L O A S S O C I AT I O N .

Vichai’s sons, Apichet and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.

Prince William, Prince Harry and the Srivaddhanaprabha family.

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Robb Reader

A Gift Inherited

TANATAT CHAWALDIT EMBODIES the beliefs that his Chinese family instilled in him when he was a young man: the values of wisdom, honesty and family piety. His father’s love of carpentry craftsmanship survives today through Tanatat’s leadership at the family-owned SB Furniture, which he helms together with his younger brothers. In the past 50 years, SB Furniture has successfully gained recognition throughout Thailand and abroad. The real CEO in the family is our mother. She makes the decisions and we execute them and follow her direction. She is the core within the family and very much revered and respected. The Chinese traditional culture values harmony, benevolence, wisdom, honesty and loyalty to their elders. It is this ‘family constitution’ that leads to our success. Subsequently we all learned from my father to perform our duties and to value our customers above all else. In the last two years, there have been many disruptions and changes and we moved along, side by side with growth. To be at the forefront of the industry, the business has expanded deeper to interior decorations, walls and floorings. I consider

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myself between generations. I am very proud to have followed my father and mother’s way of business, but I also incorporate and accept new thoughts and ideas of Generation 2. Hence I am known as 1.5 among the family! To keep abreast I have completed the Top Executive Program in Commerce and Trade (TEPCoT), learning alongside with the next generation. I am also involved in the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary. We are experts in bedrooms and walk-in closets. For me, a dedicated room as a walk-in closet indulging different types of functionality, bottom fold-up drawers, shoe racks, see-through shelves for accessories, rotating closet racks for shirts, suits, trousers, is what makes every morning getting dressed an enjoyable event. My wife makes all the decisions in furnishings. Her good taste allows her to explore other brands besides our own. I like Italian and German craftsmanship for their colours and styles. We follow the various furniture fairs in Europe and now one of the biggest is in China. Today’s generation has their goals focused in many directions due to the availability of choices and their many capabilities. To be open to their choices, advising them well, is my top responsibility.

W O R D S : T U P T I M M A L A K U L N A AY U T H AYA .

SB Furniture’s Tanatat Chawaldit on straddling the fine line between two generations and upholding his family values while taking his business forward.


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C OV E R D E S I G N E D BY PAU L S M I T H

C OV E R D E S I G N E D BY S A N TO N I

C OV E R D E S I G N E D BY K E A N E T RO

C OV E R D E S I G N E D BY PH I L L I P PL E I N


The Last Word

‘Tis better to have loved and lost…

AT SCHOOL I was force-fed Latin. For my ‘O’ Level I was asked to read Pliny’s Letters, and try to translate them into English words that a bored, jaded examiner might find acceptable. The one I remember most relates to Pliny’s words upon being apprised of the death of a friend and mentor, Gaius Fannius. “Gaius Fannius is dead,” I remember translating from the Latin, “and this news has disturbed me greatly/hurt me/pissed me off (I forget which version I used). He was a man of learning and intellect/cool dude, knew things… and I learnt well from him/stole some of his ideas.” With an equal degree of maudlin sentiment, I have to announce that after many years and a wonderful relationship, my Blackberry is no more. He is dead, and I will miss him, “having become accustomed to his presence over many years”, and having sought his guidance on so many things, unimportant and trivial alike. The greatest regret for Pliny, however, was that Gaius Fannius had left so much work unfinished, and that’s how I feel about Arthur. We had been together since the advent of push mail – Blackberry’s initial USP – and soldiered on to the end – the point at which Arthur couldn’t comprehend what an app was, and

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only enabled me to surf the Net with the speed of a snail on Valium. WhatsApp announced that it no longer supported Blackberries; Blackberry replied with “Sorry, what’s WhatsApp?”, and the end result was a result that signalled Arthur’s end. I have been forced, therefore, through tragic circumstance, to get smart and own a handheld device that actually does what everyone (it seems) has been doing for years. I find myself no longer being able to sit, like King Canute, and refute the tides of innovation that were threatening to engulf me. As when fire was first invented – a great innovation, by the way (right up there with the wheel, sliced bread and plastic) – it took people a while to discover the joys of barbecuing. It’s the same with me and my spanking new smartphone, who knows exactly where I am when I don’t, and can make dinner reservations. “While life suffices, let us set to work, that death may have as little as possible to destroy.” Pliny got it. Arthur’s time was done. While his parting is such sweet sorrow, my Google assistant will remind me, tomorrow, that it’s time to bid a heartfelt goodbye to an old and dear friend.

W O R D S : A N D R E W L E C I . I L L U S T R AT I O N : S H U T T E R S T O C K .

In Memoriam – Arthur Blackberry (2003-2019).


H OW LO N G I S FO R E V E R ?

HYT BOUTIQUE S I A M PA R A G O N S H O P P I N G C E N T E R , 2 N D F L O O R 9 9 1 R A M A 1 R O A D , P AT U M W A N , L U M P I N I 1 0330 BANG KOK T: + 6 6 - 2 6 1 0 - 9 9 2 3


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Robb Reportthailand ISSUE 53  

Robb Reportthailand ISSUE 53  

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