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ART 48 & CUL TURE
21 THE PLAYGROUND OF SUPERLATIVES Review Art Basel 32 NEW PERSPECTIVES “Audemars Piguet Art Commission” 42 POP ART Charles Fazzino 48 FROM MYTHICAL CREATURES & FACETS Sculptor Ben Foster 52 POP-ART-KUNST Charles Fazzino
54 HUNTERS AND COLLECTORS Interview with Mario Mazzoleni 58 OBSESSED WITH BLUE Conor McCreedy
64 FOR LOVERS OF GREEN SPORTS Golf in the Caribbean 70 WAKE UP IN PARADISE Dream accommodations of the Dominican Republic 72 BUSINESS MEETS STAR CUISINE Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Starnberg
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102 ON THE STREETS OF MODENA Maserati Levant 110 SIMPLE ELEGANCE McLaren's design director in conversation
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152 154 THE CULINARY HEART Gourmet paradise Monaco
TRENDS 31 ART & CULTURE 69 TRAVEL 95 JEWELLERY 108 MOTION 133 FASHION WOMEN 142 BEAUTY 153 LIVING 165 CULINARIUM
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DEAR FRIENDS OF SAVOIR-VIVRE
EDI TO RIAL
The central focus of this present issue is art. However, we will not fall into summer doldrums, but instead let ourselves be inspired by works of art. In the last few months, especially in June, much has revolved around the well-known art fairs. Be it the Venice Biennale, which has just taken place again, the last one in 2017, or of course the flagship – Art Basel in June 2019. Discover the highlights of this year’s Art in Basel. A portrait of the South African artist Conor McCreedy goes well with this. The artist Ben Foster lives in New Zealand in an Alpine region where sky, mountains and sea almost meet. Opposites attract each other there. Nature and Homo sapiens collide in his sculptures. The result is an exciting interplay between emotions and forms. The portrait of Ben Foster is our cover story in this issue. Of course, our watch fans won’t miss out either! We have two articles on the history of Rolex and on the Richard Mille brand. We will also take you on a journey of some of the great complications and show you how they were made. 50 years ago, the Apollo 11 space shuttle landed on the moon. That was a highlight of modernity, and Omega was there. Older readers still remember that moment sitting in front of a black-and-white television. Next we present an exclusive interview with McLaren’s head of design and the fascinating journey we embarked upon with the Maserati Levante. Speaking of summer, Enzo Enea’s beautiful gardens should not be missing from this overview. With this in mind, I wish you much joy, fun and entertainment with the summer edition of PRESTIGE!
Marc A. Huerlimann Editor in Chief
Francesco J. Ciringione Publisher
ART ART && CULCULTURE TURE
Â© Alexander Gray
ART & CULTURE
© David Aebi
REVIEW ART BASEL
ART & CULTURE
SUPER LATIVE PLAY GROUND Author_Beat Krenger
ART & CULTURE
The largest fair in the art world is over and has left a lasting impression in many places. A remarkably large number of artists showed political and social commitment this year and questioned the change in values in these uncertain times. Especially impressive: women dominated in all categories. 50 years of Art Basel, 4000 artists, 290 galleries from 34 countries, 19 of which were emergent galleries that participated in the fair for the first time. For four days, the international art scene celebrated itself on the Rhine brilliantly as never before. Once again in 2019 there was a rush of visitors.
Whether climate change, the Me Too debate, migration or a shift in the global balance of power – our world is changing. For many people, this means uncertainty and turmoil. But also: to use art as an investment or escape route in such dramatic times. It was just in mid-May, at an auction in New York, that a rabbit sculpture by the US artist Jeff Koons fetched an incredible 91.1 million dollars. The highest price for a living artist’s work to date was thus again surpassed. Contemporary art is currently breaking one record after another. This was most impressive to see at the Unlimited, which offered a stage for large-scale or performance works. The Unlimited can also be called the Universal Studios of Art Basel – an ambitious show of 75 works that would otherwise overwhelm conventional galleries. Curator Gianni Jetzer has set out on this spectacular course for the eighth and last time. You can rely on his selection, as this year established names are included such as Paul McCarthy and Ugo Rondinone of ArtYoungsters, who have been the highlights of the best museums and exhibitions worldwide. The most impressive work at Un limited was an installation by Andrea Bowers, illustrating the development of the Me Too movement. 100 unrolled
paper texts on both sides of a 62-meter-long and four-meter-high wall formed a comprehensive documentation of sexual abuse. Each pigment print contained the name and occupation of one of the people accused during the debate, followed by their excuses and an up-to-date summary of the details of accusations, job status and legal action. Sitting on office chairs, visitors could take a close look at the Me Too monument. An LED lettering hung over the “Open Secrets” wall which continuously illuminated the words “TRUST WOMEN”
in various colours. Concept artist XU ZHEN®, already being trafficked as the Chinese Andy Warhol, got to the bottom of the change in values in our society with his work Nirvana. Six casino gaming tables were lined up at the center of the installation. However, these were not gambled on with chips or poker cards, but several performance artists completed six colorful sand mandalas. Two contrary worlds collided spectacularly. Readiness to take risks met Zen. Sand mandalas have an ancient tradition in Tibetan Buddhism in which they primarily serve meditation and are ritually destroyed to symbolize the transience of existence. The motivation of many artists to question our capitalist system was like a thread running through this year’s fair.
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A necessary new beginning was the subject of many discussions. The artists provided answers and food for thought or asked uncomfortable questions. And an unusually large number of women did so in an impressive way at Art Basel. Old master Liliane Lijn fascinated us with an installation of monumental sculptures which she wrapped in feathers. The eyes of the bird people were embodied by red laser pointers that take aim at each other. The interplay between visions of the future and religious deities from an almost forgotten time has been wonderfully turned upside down by Lijn. Cosmopolitan Fiona Tan has cap tured a seemingly normal day with her 16-minute video work ’Elsewhere’ for Art Basel – filmed from the window of her studio in Los Angeles. Aesthetically composed city shots in HD format (rhythmically flashing car taillights in traffic jams, anonymous high-rise fortresses in a haze of smog) merge with a spoken appeal to a world that is slowly but surely falling apart. The immersion in Mika Rottenberg’s Cosmic Generator was thought-provoking. For her work, the artist from Argentina visited numerous factory shops, shot several videos of them and supplemented them with still shots from film in which the human being virtually disappears behind the overflowing abundance of goods produced. Here, day labourers work hard in the smallest of spaces to keep capitalism going. The 43-year-old is particularly interested in the feelings of the protagonists, thus her film work came along as if CNN, together with David Lynch, had realized a cinematic adaptation of the modern working class, its hopes
and dreams. A new work by the artist Joan Semmel proved that Art Basel could also score classically. The nude portrait of an older woman stretches over nine metres. Painted with precision and beauty in large format. When force, wit and elegance collide in the art world, nobody celebrates this as intelligently as Kris Lemsalu. The artist from Tallinn is the shooting star of the moment. Most recently, the likeable eccentric was seen at the Biennale di Venezia and on the cover of the art magazine "Monopol" with a burning toothbrush in the corner of her mouth. The Temnikova & Kasela Gallery presented this 34-year-old Estonian along with her exuberant fantasy world ’Time after time is our time’ as part of the statements at Art Basel. She soaked watches, handprints and pieces of carpet in liquid porcelain paste, which were then dried and fired in an oven. But Lemsalu not only processes everyday objects for her brightly colored art alchemy, but also questions
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Â© Stefan Stark
ART & CULTURE
IMPRESSION ART BASEL
social relationships. Criticism of the art world, the search for meaning in everyday life, and reflections upon the exploitation of nature often come to the fore. Last year, before the young artist got off to a good start, Kris Lemsalu exhibited her works at the Liste in Basel. Since 1996, the Art Fair, which takes place parallel to Art Basel in the old buildings of the Warteck Brewery, has been a hotspot for up-and-coming small and medium-sized galleries. Joanna Kamm was the first woman to hold the Liste sceptre in her hand this year. “I’m not interested in turning something upside down. It is more important for me to point out the social importance of young artists and the decisive role of galleries. They are the ones who discover these artists with a willingness to take risks, and often without reinsurance, give them their first solo exhibition and present their works at trade fairs. This must be supported,” explained the new director of the Liste in an interview. 77 galleries from 33 countries were guests at the Liste this year and 21 galleries exhibited for the first time in mid-June, spread over five floors. The aim was to be able to personally discover them in rooms full of branches and hidden corners. “Every room is different. It’s easy to get lost and then come across art that captivates, irritates, or pleases,” said Joanna
Kamm ahead of the fair. And added: “You grow at the Liste, and at Art Basel you then prove that you have established yourself.” During Art Basel this year, as in every year, the best young Swiss talents who were invited and honoured by Pro Helvetia to the Swiss Art Awards were duly celebrated. Among the 72 finalists, numerous women were in the spotlight in Hall 3. Artists such as Simone Holliger, Nicole Bachmann, Ruth Erdt and Sophie Jung thrilled with new works that will be remembered for a long time to come.
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THE FUSION OF ART AND PRECISION 33
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Since 2015, the luxury Swiss watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet has dedicated itself to art with the in-house “Audemars Piguet Art Commission”. Every year an artist is selected who works with the firm and presents the company through his or her perspective. Author_Nina Merli Images_Audemars Piguet
It was an eye-opener when the company invited British photographer Dan Holdsworth to the Vallée de Joux as part of the planning for the 40th anniversary of the iconic Royal Oak watch: his images, a mix of fog and barren, jagged rocks, were in complete contrast to everyone’s perception of Audemars Piguet, which was usually viewed as a place in the style of a typical postcard – with a blue lake and sunshine. Therefore, Holdsworth’s pictures were not exactly what one had expected for the ad campaign. But Audemars Piguet recognized the power of the subjects of his paintings and accepted his entirely different perspective. This experience led to the watchmaker changing both its internal and external forms of communication which led to running the ad campaign with Dan Holdsworth’s images. THE ARTIST AS VISIONARY This visual change of direction has given Audemars Piguet more than a new advertising image: the realization that the artistic perspective can draw attention to trends that can be of great
The new Art Basel Lounge created by Audemars Piguet: Designer and sculptor Fernando Mastrangelo.
chronization of organisms and explored the underlying mathematical rules of self-organization of the elements that seem at first sight unconnected: fireflies, computers, crickets, sounds, and electromagnetic pendulums. His idea: He wanted to build a tropical ambience in a tent to unite Japanese fireflies and electronic impulses – but to realize this he needed scientific support. Audemars Piguet organized collaboration with entomological laboratories in Japan, Thailand, France and England. Naturally, Audemars Piguet, as the official partner of Art Basel, is much more than just a sponsor for the artists since the newly commissioned art works, which are supervised by a guest curator and selected by an international advisory body, do not disappear into an art collection, but instead are presented to the public at the same time as Art Basel in Basel, Hong Kong or Miami Beach. Still, the art commitment of the watch manufacturer goes beyond the Art Commission. Large-format special projects are being created together with contemporary artists. The g allery Perrotin has brought forward a pop-up installation by the French
value to the company. And thus, Audemars Piguet has been the official associate partner of Art Basel since 2013, and in 2014 the “Audemars Piguet Art Commission” was launched. Every year this ambitious program chooses a new artist to accompany him or her in the realization of a new project. These projects bear witness to a fruitful dialogue between two very different areas of creative activity – contemporary artists and watchmakers – and at the very same time it becomes a symbol of the innermost values of the company. In implementing the artist’s vision, Audemars Piguet gives them a free hand. The only condition: The work must deal with the topics “origins, precision and complexity.” Not only will the artist be financially supported, but access to advanced tools, craft know-how and cutting-edge technology will be ensured to enable the implementation of new, creative works of art. The first commissioned work, “Synchronicity”, which was unveiled as part of Art Basel 2015, came from the Swiss artist and composer Robin Meier. Meier’s work explored the natural self-syn-
he did when he visited the cradle of watchmaking for the first time. “We have tried to push the boundaries so far that one only marvels at the sight,” says the artist. The works of the Norwegian artist Jana Winderen, to be presented at Art Basel in Basel, are also likely to be exciting. For Winderen studied Fine Arts at the Goldsmith University of London, as well as mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology at the University of Oslo. The idiosyncratic artist Jana focuses on audio environments and ecosystems that are difficult to access physically and acoustically. She looks for sounds from hidden sources, frequencies that cannot be perceived and derives the inspiration for her works from all over the world: “In the last twelve years, using hydrophones, I have made recordings of rivers and coasts, the Arctic Ocean at the North Pole and glaciers in Greenland, Iceland and Norway. In the depths of the oceans there are invisible but audible soundscapes, most of which we have no idea of.” Winderen’s project promises surprises and requires of the visitor a certain dose of experimentation and openness. And in the end, that’s exactly what the Audemars Piguet Art Commission stands for, which would not have been created without the openness of the company. Olivier Audemars, co-owner of Audemars Piguet, once said in an interview: “Artists have the ability to see things differently. It is important to occasionally borrow the glasses of an artist and look through them.” How right he is.
artist duo Kolkoz. In 2014, for the Art Basel edition in Miami, a partnership was entered into with the Peabody Essex Museum and the artist Theo Jansen. This year, visual artist Ryoji Ikeda has been invited to exhibit at the 58th Venice Biennale. Ikeda’s latest work, created with the support of Audemars Piguet, will be shown as a special project during the Biennale Arte 2019. PAST AND PRESENT IN DIALOGUE Audemars Piguet also has a new lounge concept built for this year’s Art Basel. “The Vallée” was designed by Brooklyn-based sculptor and designer Fernando Mastrangelo and unveiled at Art Basel Hong Kong. Mastrangelo is known for his sculptures in natural materials such as salt, sand and stone. Inspired by his visit to the hometown of Audemars Piguet, Mastrangelo’s design allows visitors to experience the Vallée de Joux through seamless progressions of shades and textures, walls, showcases and pieces of crushed local boulders. Behind the watchmaker’s bench appears a layered wall of sand, rock salt, silicon and limestone, a dismantled replica of the Combe Noire quarries, in the Vallée de Joux. By the process of deconstruction and reconstruction of materials and time, Mastrangelo’s lounge initiates a dialogue between past and present. With his work, Mastrangelo wants to take visitors “on a journey through the Vallée” and hopes that they will fare just as
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POP CHARLES FAZZINO NOT ONLY SHAPED THE STYLE OF 3D TECHNOLOGY, HIS WORLDWIDE POPULARITY HAS STEADILY GROWN SINCE HIS BEGINNINGS IN THE 1970S. IN THE MEANTIME HE HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT REPRESENTATIVES OF CONT EMPORARY POP ART AND IS REPRE SENTED IN GALLERIES ALL OVER THE WORLD. Author_Anna Karolina Stock
The American artist Charles Fazzino, son of a Finnish sculptor and an Italian designer, was born in 1955 in Westchester County, in New York State. Enthusiastic about the pop-up picture books his mother gave him as a child, Fazzino developed a fascination for three-dimensional art very early on. At the age of 15 he first appeared as an artist when he presented various drawings at an exhibition in Bedford Hills and was able to sell more than two thirds of them. Later Fazzino studied art history at the Parsons School of Design and attended the famous
ART & CULTURE
art school The New York School of Visual Arts. In 1977 he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Although Fazzino is artistically very versatile – from lithographs, etchings and pencil drawings to oversized acrylic paintings – he has been specializing more and more in 3D pictures, which in some cases show a lot of detail by placing several image levels one behind the other which thus creates an impression of spatiality. The breaking open of two-dimensionality as well as the dynamic arrangement of a variety of levels brings his works of art to life. Together with the luminosity of his c olour palette, this creates an attractiveness that is difficult for the observer to escape. Numerous gallery owners have discovered Fazzino’s exceptional talent and exhibit his works which allowed him to make a living from his art at an early age. Charles Fazzino is not only an outstanding artist, but also an affectionate storyteller and a true New Yorker. His colorful and comic-inspired paintings speak of the pulsating, lively life of the major metropolises – especially his hometown of New York. His favourite motifs include Broadway, the Guggenheim Museum, Central Park, Wall Street, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty. Fazzino’s trademark is not the apple for nothing, it symbolizes the Big Apple and is represented in many of his art works. Regardless of the motif, Fazzino’s 3D constructions always show the world as he experiences and perceives it: positive, colorful, dynamic. A glimpse in passing does not do justice to his works. Rather, they demand a detailed viewing, combined with a little wink, because they are peppered with pop-cultural references and satirical observations of everyday life. Over a career spanning more than 30 years, the Pop Art artist has shown his limited works in hundreds of exhibitions around the world and is now represented in galleries in more than 20 different countries. For the cities of Böblingen, New York, Munich (Fastnacht 1997), Zurich (Sächsilüüte Festival 1999) as well as for the most popular morning show in the USA – The Today Show on NBC – he has already realized concrete commissioned works. Among his prominent collectors and fans are Bill and Hillary Clinton, Julia Roberts, Steffi Graf, Michael Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Carlos Santana and sports icon Michael Jordan.
A R T IN 3DFORMAT
Come Fly With Me Come Fly Away in NYC
Itâ€™s London calling
NYC Apple Cutaway
ART & CULTURE
BEN’S ANIMAL WORLDS
Sketch of «Bear and Ballerina» for a customer in Switzerland.
ANIMALS BETWEEN SEA & MYSTICISM 48
A typical sculpture by Ben Foster: a falcon.
THEY They seem like mysterious mythical creatures, the animal sculptures of the artist Ben Foster from Kaikoura, a place on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, located in the middle of the Maori region, which is a place that offers the ideal ground for this multifaceted type of sculpture. Kaikoura became famous for its progressive new form of eco-tourism in a poetic landscape with an infinite horizon where mountains and a wild sea seem to meet. And it is exactly the place that the sculptor Ben Foster has always sought and where he now lives with his partner Sabrina Luecht, an eco-activist. It all started with an education in the visual arts at the Eastern Institute of Technology in Napier, a coastal town in New Zealand. His parents had an artistic lifestyle, his mother was a tailor and his father worked with wood. Always on the move, modern nomads so to speak. Ben first earned his living making furniture, but it constantly drew him towards sculpture. The three-dimensional expression was his personal form; he could not have chosen better. In between, Ben earned his money by restoring luxury boats and sometimes ended up in very exotic harbours. But again and again he was drawn back to sculpture – his actual purpose. This was followed by training at the Polytechnic Institute for Technology in Christchurch, New Zealand. Here his
teachers confirmed for him that creating art need not remain just a dream, that he definitely had the necessary talent and requisite know-how. After graduating, Ben travelled to Kaikoura, where he had spent some time with his family on holiday. And he really arrived! This was the place where every thing was as he imagined it to be: dramatic scenery with mountains and sea, wild animals you could be close to. From whales, seals and dolphins to rare bird species. And with plenty of room for his exuberant imagination. And then came his great love in the form of the charming eco-activist Sabrina Luecht, who originally comes from Berlin.
The artist and his sculpture
And in Kaikoura she also found her ideal place of longing. She was lucky and found an exciting job with a big wildlife trust. The couple lives with four dogs and several other rescued animals in a cosy wooden house with lots of space. The environment is very natural, abstract and yet very homely. As a sculptor, Ben Foster has had various solo exhibitions since 2010 and has gradually become a well-known sculptor in the international art world. He is in constant contact with customers, galleries and dealers from Asia to Europe. His works have their own special charm: the technique of aluminium sheet with a surface reminiscent of Japanese origami art makes them appear feather-light, multi-faceted, three-dimensional and yet in Bens beloved dog Archie
constant motion. Experts say they connect perfectly with the landscape in which they are created. They form a kind of magic unit, embody the interplay of light and shadow and appear extremely lively. A highlight from Ben’s work: a large sculpture for a client in Zurich, Switzerland. Where a bear and a ballerina merge. Magical, wonderful, monumental. Ben’s starting point is always a detailed sketch, which – like everything else – is of course made by hand in his studio. “Thank God the new technology enables me to be connected with the whole world and at the same time to work in this wonderful place, Kaikoura,” says the sculptor. A place where heaven and earth meet and he can take a walk with his favourite dog Archie along the thundering sea.
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“ART IS LIFE” Mario Mazzoleni is considered one of the most prestigious gallerists in Italy and the most important collector of Andy Warhol’s works. In a house fire, he would still save his family first. “I’m not a materialist,” says Mazzoleni. What, in his eyes, makes a picture too expensive; what makes Warhol so special as an artist, and why does he not replace a missing maternal love with his collector’s lust.
Author: Ina Resiak Photo Credits: Mario Mazzoleni, Andy Warhol
top left: Marilyn Castelli Fondazione Mazzoleni ANDY WARHOL BASSA by Andrea Santorum top right: Mick Jagger Nuova Fondazione Mazzoleni ANDY WARHOL BASSA by Andrea Santorum bottom: Mao Sfondo Salmone Fondazione Mazzoleni ANDY WARHOL BASSA by Andrea Santorum
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Another artist you appreciate very much: Andy Warhol. What makes his works so special? Warhol was a genius. Eccentric and talented. I had the pleasure of meeting him several times. His works have become increasingly popular with collectors over the years. Like no other, he knew how to market his work. But there was a lot of skill behind it. He strongly influenced the contemporary art scene. The factory idea was brilliant and led to a series of similar projects around the world. It is unfortunate that there is no second one like him. A thousand Andy Warhols are needed. Is there a work of art that you really want to have? I would say that I already own his most interesting works and relics. Starting with Michael Jackson’s guitar, signed by the pop star and Warhol himself, including the invitation to Marilyn Monroe, also the exhibition of the gallery Castelli, all the way up to the “Mao”. My last acquisition was a purple electric chair, the 85th of a total of 250 pieces. A beautiful historical work. Is it reprehensible to collect art for purely monetary interests without understanding its beauty? Absolutely, yes. It is incomprehensible to me how art can be regarded as mere merchandise. I only purchase and collect works of art that inspire me, that tell a story. I would never exhibit a painting in my galleries that I do not like or which does not convey a message.
PRESTIGE: Mr. Mazzoleni, do you remember the first work of art that you purchased? MARIO MAZZOLENI: Very much so. It was a beautiful drawing on wood by Gianfranco Ferroni, a major Italian painter. I bought it directly from him, with my savings, when I was fifteen. Sotheby’s scored a record $157 million last year with Amedeo Modigliani’s Lying Act (on the left). Is not that absurd? The art market is developing more and more in this direction. I would not say absurd, but certainly exaggerated. As long as there are interested parties who are willing to pay such sums for a painting, prices of this magnitude will be here for a long time. I like the fact that there are people who would rather spend such sums of money on a piece of art than on a yacht.
What do you say about Sigmund Freud’s thesis: collectors compensate for the deprivation they suffered as a child through lack of maternal love? I admire Sigmund Freud, a great thinker, and of course he is right. As for me though, it is pure passion. I grew up with pictures under my bed. I’ve always breathed art, I’ve been vaccinated, do you understand? And that’s why my foundation is so important to me, it’s about creating my own museum in order to bring art closer to the younger generation, to make it available to them free of charge.
When is a picture too expensive? If the price exceeds the quality. Regrettably, art today is much more about marketing and less about technique. Just with up-and-coming young artists, do I see plenty of improvisation. Important galleries promote critics who sympathize with works that have little substance and content. What’s important is to strike a good balance. The quality should justify the price.
It has been found that creative people are less aggressive. By bringing art closer to young people, would it also motivate them to create some? Over and over again I see so many works of art and buildings devastated by vandals without respect for our past and culture. Young people are often distracted by the wrong things, they prefer a tablet to a book, and go to the mall instead of the museum. That is precisely why museums should be accessible free of charge to everyone under the age of 21.
Have you spent too much on a picture? No, my foundation is very vigilant regarding price and quality. Which artwork has left you with a lasting impression regar ding art? I was born in the land of Caravaggio. Already as a child his sculptures fascinated me. For me, Caravaggio is the greatest artist of them all.
Because whoever understands art affirms life, at least its beauty? That’s the way it is. Art is emotion, it is life. It is our duty to love her.
ART & CULTURE
OBSESSED WITH BLUE
He is chic, slim and barefoot in light blue suede slippers with a perfectly fitting suit – of course in blue, his “signature”. To be McCreedyblue™, it would have to be a bit lighter: The characteristic, luminous cobalt blue, which the 32-year-old South African developed and produced, is so present in his headquarters at Zurich’s Schipfe that the artist knows exactly how to intensify its effect with a somewhat deeper blue nuance. Anyway, with Conor McCreedy one has the feeling that nothing is left to chance. As free, fluid and energetic as his artistic style is – with large, abstract and confident blue “swooshes” – so his business sense is just as good, with strictly limited collaborations with luxury brands that help him carry his colour worlds out into the world. His sheer enthusiasm for painting does the rest. In conversation, Conor, the private person and art connoisseur, appears relaxed and in a good mood. When he talks about his art, he sits upright, speaks faster, and his gaze – already intense with his piercing blue eyes – intensifies. Suddenly you no longer see the well-dressed dandy, but the artist who has to release this energy while painting, and suddenly you feel the need to get yourself to safety.
THE MOMENT Iâ€™M FORBIDDEN SOMETHING, OF COURSE I WANT IT MORE. 60
ART & CULTURE
Born into a well-known, long-established South African family, Conor was, by his own account, an “extremely undisciplined” child. “I was a disruptive student. Still today I hold the record for being given the most reprimands in my boarding school, and I even collected lashes before they were banned.” He was a highly gifted troublemaker, who always wanted to prove himself. Already at the age of 18 he had “mastered all colours” and needed a new challenge when painting, which he found in a single nuance of blue. “I have spent the last decade – even a little more – painting only with this colour. Yes, it can be frustrating. But it’s also a great challenge. And I love challenges!” Conor McCreedy is the kind of man who rises to the challenge. His story, which led him from an aborted art course at the Pratt Institute in New York to London and (again and again) South Africa, is currently being told in Zurich. For about two years now, the artist has been at Schipfe, directly on the Limmat. Here, in a discreetly pompous mansion, are the “McCreedy Headquarters”, which stretch over three floors and two buildings. On the ground floor there is a showroom and studio where his drawings are created, on the first floor there is painting, right next door Conor throws dinner parties for his collectors and patrons in the “Dining Room” and then finds in his eclectically furnished library the peace and quiet that he urgently needs over and over again. Here, amid hundreds of books, illustrated books and artefacts from his travels, he seems to have found an almost perfect mix of routine, discipline and nature. “I love being the host and when people have a good time with me,” he says. “I’ve worked hard to make it this far, and sometimes you just have to let go and throw a party.” Although McCreedy stresses that he was much wilder at a young age, he still seems pretty restless for 32. A balance to his self-imposed blue celibacy while painting? Well possibly, he says. “I never get out of control when celebrating; everything in moderation. But unfortunately I’m also a complete hypocrite and constantly contradict myself, because I’m obsessed with one colour, and there’s no balance for me, it’s a damn obsession.” And despite the fact that McCreedy is one of the very few artists whose style is bound to one colour, he is already drawn to the next challenge: he wants to be disciplined by a new colour.
He has been experimenting with a “McCreedyred” for over a year now, and his best buyers already own some of these works –of which not a single online picture is yet available. “Red is a completely new league, and I’m not sure if my energy reserves are sufficient. Blue is my baby, my child … I’ve spent more than ten years raising it. When I use red it exhausts me completely, it is a completely different energy. While blue is balanced, fresh and cool, red has something crazy, captive and is extremely sensual. I would like to explore this new, warmer side within me. My whole life could change with it. Maybe then I will become more relaxed, more passionate ... not quite as structured and uptight as with blue. Look, I’m already starting to sweat!” The conversation remains animated as he talks about his upcoming projects. One of them is based on a wild idea to which he received the answer "Conor, it simply can’t be done! His reaction? In November, he will unveil a gigantic stone sculpture at a ceremony for thirty of his most loyal collectors and patrons in his homeland of South Africa, the so-called “cradle of mankind”. He is currently having it erected by a team of five engineers, geologists and paleontologists and will then paint it with McCreedyblue™ . Also in planning? A museum of his own in which he will present his own steadily growing collection of contemporary art in addition to his own works, as well as an illustrated book with his works. “I told you: I love challenges!”
I TOLD YOU: I LOVE CHALLENGES! 62
INTERIOR DESIGN BY BRUNO STEBLER
HAUTE COUTURE OF INTERIOR DESIGN
When dreams come true The perfect symbiosis of picturesque beaches and attractive top golf courses makes the Dominican Republic the perfect destination for lovers of green sports. Author & images _ from the Tourist Board of the Dominican Republic
Varied golf courses on the Caribbean Sea.
Casas del S XVI: In the boutique hotel Casas del XVI modernity merges with tradition.
A popular retreat: the luxury resort Casa de Campo Resortâ€‰&â€‰Villas.
red to be the golf course with the largest number of holes in the western hemisphere – sea view included. The Los Mangos Golf Course of Pete B is also located in Puerto Plata, which offers 18 different courses, nine of them with breathtaking sea views, for an unforgettable golf experience.
In October 2018 the Dominican Republic was named the best golf destination in the Caribbean and Latin America for the fourth time by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. At the end of 2017, the World Golf Awards also named the island holiday destination the best golf destination in the Caribbean for the fourth time. In March 2019, the legendary PGA Tour took place at Puntacana Resort & Club for the second year running. The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, on the Tom Fazio designed Los Corales course, awaited the guests. The course impresses with its six ocean-facing courses between rocky cliffs, coral reefs and the Caribbean Sea. Golfers enjoy over 26 varied top-level courses by renowned designers, and among the highlights are the golf courses of the luxury resort Casa de Campo Resort & Villas Teeth of the Dog, The Links and Dye Fore. This diversity is complemented by the Cap Cana Punta Espada Golf Course, the first Nicklaus Signature course in the Dominican Republic. In Puerto Plata, to the north, golfers can look forward to the jewel of Robert Trent Jones Sr.: the Playa Dorada Golf Club, which is especially popular because of its exceptional greens. The Playa Grande Golf Course completes the offer. It is conside-
VARIETY AND LUXURY In the Dominican Republic vacation dreams come true: 600 kilometers of endless beaches, 29 blue flags that stand for cleanliness and sustainability, and the year-round warm climate ensure the ideal time out. But this popular long-distance destination is also known for its generous luxury offers. In addition to the wide selection of excellent flight connections, holidaymakers can choose from excellent hotels of various categories in the upmarket segment: from all-inclusive hotels dedicated to the Adults Only concept to small but fine boutiques, small luxury hotels and Leading Hotels of the World – including attractive wellness and spa offers. In 2019, this long-distance destination was named “gastronomic capital of the Caribbean” for the second time. Guests can enjoy delicious delicacies and also Merengue dance and music, which since the end of 2016 belongs to the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. The diversity of the country allows its guests to combine their holidays with historical and cultural attractions, excursions in unspoilt nature, water sports and golf at one of the top level courses. TRADITION VERSUS MODERNITY The boutique hotel Casas del XVI consists of four different, lovingly restored “Casas” (houses) of the 16th century, distributed in the beautiful colonial city of Santo Domingo. Casas del XVI is a concept in the luxury category in which modernity merges with tradition. Among them is the Casa de Árbol, once visited by aristocrats and one of the most beautiful in the district. Casa de los Mapas was restored in the 19th century and boasts a lush courtyard with its own pool. Guests can also stay at Casa Macorís, which was originally part of the Dominican convent and is just a few minutes walk away. The exclusive offer is rounded off with the latest building, Casa de los Diseñadores. The name is dedicated to the great architects of the Dominican Republic. In the immediate vicinity are the important sights of the Dominican capital such as the Alcázar de Colón, the Cathedral Santa María la Menor and the transit street “Calle de Las Damas”. Guests in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, can also look forward to the new Hotel Doña Elvira. Modern comfort and the charm of the historic colonial world are written in capital letters here. The tastefully renovated house from the 16th century has a total of 15 rooms and suites, which are equipped with the latest amenities. Wellness moments are experienced by guests in the SPA Jacuzzi Massage as well as in the pool and whirlpool area. Travelers can enjoy Asian and Caribbean delicacies in the spacious dining rooms. The courtyard invites travellers to linger over a cocktail in the evening. FOR REST AND RELAXATION In La Romana, located in the southeast of the country, there is the luxury resort Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, which has already won several World Travel Awards. On more than 2,800 hectares with more than 2,000 villas and its own marina,
Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa.
Eco Lodge Cabarete: In the new Cabarete Maravilla Eco Lodge & Beach, emphasis is placed on sustainability.
The luxury resort “Amanera” is located in the north of the Dominican Republic.
the hotel complex stands for privacy and personal service. For over 40 years, the resort has been a popular retreat for personalities from politics and show business such as Julio Iglesias, Shakira and Beyoncé. In addition to luxurious hotel rooms and suites, guests have access to a variety of villas with three to seven bedrooms, private gardens and swimming pools, a lounge area and a golf cart. A total of 13 varied restaurants provide culinary moments. Wellness enthusiasts will enjoy the spa facility with its holistic approach and enjoy soothing spa treatments and massages. In the artist village Altos de Chavón, travellers enjoy the ambience of a replica of a Mediterranean village from the 16th century and also a visit to the church of Saint Estanislao. Numerous restaurants are also available. New is the Chilango Taquería, which awaits its guests with delicious dishes. Visitors also enjoy the breathtaking view of the Chavón River. The wide range of hotels in La Romana is complemented by the five-star Catalonia Royal La Romana Hotel. It is part of the extensive Catalonia Dominicus resort and is dedicated to the Adults Only concept. Peace, quiet and relaxation are the top priorities here. A total of 117 luxurious rooms in various categories are available, including twelve 35 square metre Privileged Deluxe Swim Ups with cosy terraces and direct access to the swimming pool. An absolute highlight are the eleven 55 square meter rooms of the Duplex Suite and Pool, distributed on two floors, with wide terrace and your own swimming area, including deckchairs.
a three-story bungalow and a tree house with exotic decorations by local artists. In the immediate vicinity of the complex, guests have direct access to the private beach. In the 2,700 square metre garden, holidaymakers have the opportunity to swim in the pool or lagoon with a waterfall. The hotel also has its own organic vegetable garden. Hot water and electricity are generated by solar panels. Natural wood from the surrounding area was used for the sustainable building materials, which won the Eco Luxury Award. The guests taste fusion cuisine from top chefs in the restaurant, which specialises in fish dishes. The large BBQ area invites guests to barbecue. Freshly prepared cocktails such as Mojitos and Banana Mama are offered in the bar.
IN HARMONY WITH NATURE In the north of the Dominican Republic lies the port city of Puerto Plata. The luxury resort “Amanera”, which belongs to the luxury hotel group Aman, is located in a sublime place, built above the crescent-shaped Playa Grande Beach, framed by a lush green jungle and the breathtaking mountains “Cordillera Septentrional”. Green sports enthusiasts are in good hands here as the extensive resort is the first golf integrated Aman, located on the famous and recently renovated Playa Grande Golf Course. For a true wellness experience, visit the Casa Colonial & Spa Resort boutique hotel in Playa Dorada. The highlight is the 1,100 square metre area for your beauty wishes. Holidaymakers with a taste for sustainability will find it at the new Cabarete Maravilla Eco Lodge & Beach. The tranquil grounds amidst lush natural surroundings comprise 15 suites and apartments, including seven luxurious eco-suites, two penthouses,
TOURIST BOARD DOMINICAN REPUBLIC www.godominicanrepublic.com
One-piece halter neck with ruffle detail at centre front and flower print from the “Summer Swim 2019” collection.
Thanks to the 47.3 megapixel full-frame sensor, the Leica Q2 is the perfect companion for all applications on the street, a nd for architectural, landscape and portrait photography. WWW.LEICA-CAMERA.COM
Three new colours adorn the seasonal "SS19" case series, inspired by the glittering ocean of the French Riviera.
With a rich blend of vitamin E and rich oils, this luxurious limited edition body oil cares for the skin and provides a natural-looking, sun-drenched radiance. WWW.LAMER.EU
WAKE UP IN PARADISE
“LE SIVORY” LET YOURSELF UNWIND
On the idyllic Samana peninsula, the Caribbean feeling can be enjoyed just as well. Here, kilometres of dream beaches, coconut palms and crystal-clear water await you. The “Sublime” is a luxurious oasis of well-being for families with high expectations and is located directly on the beach of Bahia de Coson. This exclusive holiday resort with only 76 residential units, 24 of which are villas in modern design, is located on the northern peninsula of Samana near Las Terrenas in the middle of a large, well-kept tropical garden. The most striking feature one observes when entering the resort is certainly the pool area with one pool for adults and one only for children. However, both pools are connected by many small pools with sun-beds. The beach is paradisiacal and lets you forget the stress of daily life. You can walk along the wide sandy beach to Playa Bonita. The passage to the sea is very flat. There is also no entertainment at the resort, as is often the case at other resorts. Nevertheless, there are a variety of activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, sailing, kitesurfing, snorkeling and diving. The two hotel restaurants offer Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine. The grill restaurant that includes a bar, located directly on the beach, is especially delightful. In the evening you can enjoy the gentle sea breeze which carries the scent of grilled scampi or a tender piece of beef fillet. WWW.SUBLIMESAMANA.COM
Pools are connected with sun-beds.
Le Sivory is committed to sustainability and its natural environment.
“SUBLIME SAMANA” THE GREEN ISLAND PARADISE
Two small fishing villages and a few huts by the sea were the origins of Punta Cana in the 1960s. Today, this Caribbean destination has become one of the most popular on earth, thanks to its magnificent white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters that make it so unique. The newly renovated Le Sivory Punta Cana by PortBlue Boutique is guaranteed to be one of the best boutique hotels in Punta Cana. Although the “Sivory” is now also an all- inclusive hotel, it is located in Uvero Alta, far away from the enormous all-inclusive hotel resorts for which Punta Cana is mostly
known. After a 50-minute drive from Punta Cana airport you arrive at the small resort surrounded by magnificent scenery. For those who want to save themselves the trip, there is also a helicopter service available on request. In 55 air-conditioned and spacious rooms, all with a balcony, couples of all ages and nations spend their well-deserved holidays. It is the type of holiday resort that only invites you to relax and unwind. Here, privacy and discretion are of utmost importance. The resort is embedded in a calming and natural environment. You will not experience frantic activity anywhere, neither at the pool, on the beach nor in one of the three selectable restaurants. Guests have the opportunity to indulge in Asian, Caribbean or international cuisine. On the golden sandy beach, the tranquillity is only interrupted by a slight swell. The passage to the sea is level and sloping. There are also no hawkers who get on your nerves. The pool area is not very deep and serves rather for cooling and a little splashing about. Guests can end the day with a game of billiards after a delicious dinner. WWW.PORTBLUEHOTELS.COM
SAVOIR VIVRE MOMENTS Author_Georg Lutz
Image_Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Starnberg
THE CONFERENCE HOTEL VIER JAHRESZEITEN IN STARNBERG (D) FOCUSES ON A COMBINATION OF BUSINESS OFFERS AND HIGH-END GASTRONOMY. PRESTIGE WAS ON SITE AND CONDUCTED AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR OF SALES TOBIAS BAUMANN AND STAR CHEF MAXIMILIAN MOSER.
… then there are the usual sugar bombs like candy bars and chips. We want to reward ourselves after stressful meetings … … No, there are other ways. We make our muesli bars ourselves, and when it comes to brainfood we also make sure we offer high-quality products and healthy solutions. Especially during coffee breaks there is a great danger of going in the wrong direction and counteracting a healthy breakfast and dinner.
The Starnberger Fünf-Seen-Land (Five Lake Region) is one of the most popular regions in Germany. On the one hand, one is close to the pulsating metropolis of Munich, on the other hand the lake landscape with its alpine panorama offers an impressive tranquil landscape. This is the setting for the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Starnberg. We were there and met a variety of different guests: McLaren owners who were on a rally towards Tyrol, trade fair guests from all over the world who visited Intersolar, the leading trade fair for solar industry, and participants in business meetings. In the Hemingway Bar everyone met up again for a glass of rum.
You don’t have Mars or Snickers available? We reward our guests differently. If they have had a hard day, they can end the day with a culinary experience. Here you can reduce the hectic pace and its mental and physical consequences in a targeted way.
PRESTIGE: You are a hotel with a focus on business customers. The business world is usually in stress mode. But with your philosophy you also want to be an oasis of tranquility. How do you manage this tightrope walk? TOBIAS BAUMANN: You are right, we do have many business guests. They often make a conscious decision: they want to leave pulsating Munich behind for a certain time. Here in Starnberg they simply have more peace and quiet. We are only a five-minute walk from the lake shore. This is one way to enjoy a high quality of life. The lake with the alpine scenery is simply a fantastic panorama. This ambience is also reflected in the calm atmosphere of our establishment.
You offer your guests an “international”, but also a “regional” cuisine. Can you go into more detail? We are happy to use regional products when the market offers them. Our fish comes from Lake Starnberg – the whitefish for example – is a very high-quality product. The meat of a wild fish is firm and, in contrast to the farmed species, also low in fat. Nevertheless, sometimes I don’t want to miss out on a turbot from Brittany. We are concerned to use the best and most suitable products. I think there are two trends in today’s kitchens. The first trend is towards an ever more elaborate and sophisticated kitchen. Molecular gastronomy is an example of this. The opposite trend is that simpler is better. Your colleague Vincent Klink from Stuttgart is a prominent representative here. For him, salmon does not necessarily belong in a Swabian Maultasche. How do you position yourself here? Extremes are always in vogue and are repeatedly out on display by the media. But molecular gastronomy is already on the decline again. I am not attached to any ideology. It is always important for us to have a top product. Every dish, i.e. basic recipe, needs interesting support. Sometimes a building block
You are close to the metropolis of Munich and yet offer a very different environment. That’s exactly right. How is this philosophy actually put into practice? Let’s take for example the culinary field. On the one hand, we are told every day by the media how important healthy food is; on the other hand, our everyday life is characterised by convenience food and junk food. In the office, things have to move fast – even during breaks. How do you resolve this contradiction? MAXIMILIAN MOSER: We have many conference guests here who deal with business topics. During the breaks …
Relaxing moments can be experienced here.
HERE IN STARNBERG THEY SIMPLY HAVE MORE PEACE AND QUIET.
place in the bar of your establishment: not only twentieth century’s world literature such as “The old Man and the Sea” or “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, but also thick cigars and leather armchairs. What do you want to offer your guests under the Hemingway label? TOBIAS BAUMANN: For us, Hemingway represents real bar culture and rum. With over 150 varieties, we have the largest selection of rum in southern Germany. You have to experience the atmosphere here for yourself. When you take a seat in the heavy leather armchairs and enjoy a top rum, you are in another world. The bar manager has a Brazilian background and knows the South American fever – you simply have to try the unusual drinks ... This is savoir-vivre in its purest form.
from molecular cuisine helps us to do this. But that’s not where the focus lies. We want to positively surprise the guest from course to course. That’s why we don’t focus on pure regional cuisine or take Asian cuisine as our sole role model, which some people do, but rather on the right combination for us. We manage to keep the tension between the courses high. So the introduction can be a Bavarian composition, followed by an Asian course. This is not a problem for us, but always a creative challenge.
There are now quite a few comparable four- and five-star hotels with similar services in the Munich area. How do you classify yourself here? In 2016, we took another developmental step. The focus was on culinary development in the direction of top gastronomy. Let me refer again to our kitchen and Mr Maximilian Moser. We also have a live cooking station during coffee breaks where you can get fresh panini, wraps, wholemeal waffles and smoothies. We offer good and healthy food throughout the day. In addition, no other meeting hotel in the Munich area can present a Michelin star. This is a real unique selling point!
Do you have a personal favourite drink from the Hemingway Bar? – don’t say you love each and every one. My favourite is our “Old Cuban”, which our bar chef mixes for me. Rum is on the rise again. I’m already following a trend again, as I am still with gin. But now there are also bars with exciting drinks on the beverage menu in other hotels. What makes the ambience here so remarkable? It’s a special feeling for our guests to be here rather than to sit in a zero-eight-fifteen hotel bar. Guests from Starnberg and the surrounding area also come to the Hemingway Bar. On weekends you sometimes have to look for a place to sit. This confirms our decision to continue with it.
You don’t see the danger of arbitrariness? No.
How do you cope with the different target groups? They don’t meet very often. During the week, business people and meeting guests shape the scene. On weekends the setting is dominated by holidaymakers and people looking for leisure time. Our strategy of focusing on quality has also proven its worth. Only five or six years ago, during the weekdays of the summer holidays we had the challenge of having to push in order to achieve good occupancy rates. That has changed, we are well on course.
The good products and the culinary creations must be disco vered and developed. How do you do it? By looking at and testing products in very different places. I regularly visit wholesale markets in Munich, regional butchers and, of course, fishermen by the lake. We also have suppliers. But you’re right. Really new discoveries usually have to be made by yourself. That also takes time, which I gladly take for our guests. Do you have a personal favourite at home? It is not to be taken for granted to be at a workplace where you can work with the best products and have a lot of creative freedom. In my private life, I appreciate simplicity. At home I don’t make a fillet of beef, but appreciate a Bavarian light meal. There are now not only two restaurants here, the gourmet restaurant Aubergine and the restaurant Oliv’s, but also the Hemingway Bar. I have some specific associations with the name Hemingway, whose portrait hangs above the open fire
WAT CHES & JEW ELLERY
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
CREATIVE EVOLUTION INSTEAD OF DESIGN REVOLUTIONS
In the early 20th century, Hans Wilsdorf never even dared to dream that one day Rolex would be one of the world's most important watch brands. In the end, however, courageous entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and design consistency more than paid off. Rolex is regarded as both an icon and a legend in its own time. Author_Gisbert L. Brunner
Rolex Datejust 36 millimeter introduced 2018 reference 126231
Rolex Datejust 41 millimeter reference 126334
The English actress and singer Evelyn Layhe
Today almost nothing works without design. From the automobile to the train: everything is designed. Freaky members of the designer generation indulge in frustration-reducing designer drugs in exalted designer furniture. Researchers also give their research a design. And with good reason: the term stands for nothing other than design. And logically, no object can avoid that. Consequently, those watches that are among the oldest machines of mankind have always been designed. There were never any serious discussions about their shape when they were worn in the pocket. Apart from a few exceptions, they were round. Just like the movements that ticked in the cases. Just like the circles that describe the constantly rotating pointer tips. Analogous to the infinite cycle of coming and going. Round is the starting from and the return to the origins. Things were somewhat different with wristwatches. In the 20th century they gradually became synonymous with portable timepieces. Wristwatches were ideally suited to the era of departure, liberation from traditional constraints and gender emancipation. HANS WILSDORF AND THE PERFECT WRISTWATCH A man who recognized the future significance of the ticking objects and consistently used them for his business success, came from the Bavarian city of Kulmbach. After his business education and his first career steps in Switzerland, Hans Wilsdorf moved to London in 1905. In the British metropolis, he took on the subject of the wristwatch in an inimitable way. Under the name Rolex, which he had invented and registered in 1908, he created an unprecedented worldwide success. At the beginning there were round pocket watch derivatives. Robust and, above all, precise, because the highest value was awash with all marketing water. The fact that water was able to almost freely penetrate the movement and cause considerable damage was an immensely disturbing fact. In this regard, a watch on your wrist was naturally exposed to much greater demands than one in your pocket. In particular, if you did not take it off while washing your hands. This was especially the case with the popular edged models, as the bezels and case backs were regarded as critical points. Other weaknesses were the winding and hand-setting crowns, including the shaft leading to the movement.
In the early 1920s, when the wristwatch only had around a 35 percent market share, Hans Wilsdorf tackled this problem enthusiastically. 1923 brought a patent for hermetically sealed cases with an internal movement container, developed by the Swiss manufacturer Francis Baumgartner. Because the bezel had to be completely unscrewed to clamp down the tension spring and that the sealing materials used promised no long-term safety, Rolex relied upon a purely mechanical design without any problematic materials: 1. hermetic housing closure, by screwing together of the individual water-resistant parts to each other, 2. as well as appropriately interlocking glass of synthetic material, and 3. a winding and hand-setting crown, which reliably protects the movement from moisture, even in daily use. To this end, the screw crown was invented by Georges Peret and Paul Perregaux in 1925 and fit perfectly. Rolex acquired this idea and in 1926 applied for patent protection for the waterproof “Oyster” casing. The first public appearance of the ticking “oyster” was not long in coming. On October 7, 1927 an escorted Mercedes
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
Gleitze was attempting to cross the English Channel in world record time. What the young London typist did not quite manage, the “Oyster” succeeded without any problems. After 15 hours and 15 minutes her watch was still ticking, completely unaffected. Hans Wilsdorf was worth a front page advert on London’s “Daily Mail”. In the early 1930s he had Evelyn Layh photographed with an octagonal “Oyster”. The wrist of the British singer and actress stylishly dipped into a fishbowl. With the invention of industrial production and the commercial distribution of this watch case, the topic of the waterproof wristwatch could in principle be checked off. Although over the years Rolex has rigorously optimized its “oyster”, the basic design principles haven’t been fundamentally changed up to the present day. EVEN THE WINDING ITSELF In spite of all the euphoria a small flaw may not be forgotten: Initially a manual wind movement ticked in the sealed cases. Also, there was a limited regular energy supply created by turning the crown. For this reason, it had to be screwed on and then carefully closed again. In view of this associated potential danger, Hans Wilsdorf stated: “The logical consequence of the Rolex-Oyster was the creation of the automatic watch, whose movement automatically winds itself and ensures that the gear is uninterrupted.” Now the time has come for the technician and partner Emil Borer. His philosopher’s stone was “the invention of an automatic winding mechanism that rotates without a sound, shock-free and without buffers”. He achieved this ambitious goal in 1931 with the 7.5 mm thick, unparalleled and therefore naturally patented, caliber NA 620, with a unidirectional central rotor. Even the slightest arm movement led to powering the tension spring. Six hours on the wrist generated energy for 35 hours. Incidentally, the early “Oyster Perpetual” models were nicknamed “Bubble Back” because of their bulbous shell. Once again, the future was marked by continuous development. Notwithstanding regular new designs, not one iota has changed in the course of the following decades on the proven rotor principle and the “perpetual” philosophy. Rolex does not fight for every tenth of a millimeter in diameter and thickness. Priority is given to reliability, longevity and officially tested accuracy.
Rolex wristwatch with spring cover, ca. 1916
First Rolex Oyster still with manual w inding movement
DATE "JUST IN TIME" In 1945, Hans Wilsdort celebrated the 40th anniversary of his company in Geneva, and the director-general did that using his own ingenuity. Of course, the jubilee was accompanied by a suit able wristwatch. It combined all previous Rolex achievements, such as the sustainable waterproof “Oyster” shell, the automatic winding mechanism with a continous rotating rotor and the official chronometer certificate. The culmination was an easily readable window date at “3”. At midnight, “just in time” switched to the next day. The commentary at the time was: “Without exaggerating, one can describe this creation as a synthesis of all of Switzerland’s modern watch science”. This could be one reason why the round “Datejust” not only developed into a chronometric legend, but also made advances in the USA to become the wristwatch of the 20th century. After all, it was about the – almost – perfect and therefore not the least immensely successful everyday wristwatch. The above restrictive word “almost” refers to the fact that
First Rolex Submariner, 1953
the Geneva-based manufacturer also continuously optimized this mega-classic over the following decades. In the usual subtle way, so that its distinctive characteristic unconditionally remained. At the the company’s anniversary, Rolex had already said farewell to anything other than round cases of the “Oyster Perpetual”. Reports of their performance and resilience boosted sales. For example, the Milanese Professor Cutolo raved about his watch, which disappeared during a seaside holiday on Capri into the depths of the Mediterranean. The inconsolable scientist asked for help from some professional divers who were working on sunken Italian warships for. Three days later, the good piece was found and “lifted”. Because the stormy sea had kept the timepiece moving, it ticked unabated. Another exemplar fell into Shawnigan Lake. A few months later, it was found in near-perfect condition. In addition, there was also that “Oyster” that survived a plane crash. Four years after the tragic event, it reappeared, without damage to the movement.
Rolex Daytona Cosmograph and a Rolex brochure
ROLEX, SPORTS AND ADVENTURE After the end of the Second World War, adventure, professional acclaim, sports and the conquest of the world increased the myth. At 11:30 am on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay hoisted the first flag on Mount Everest: with a Rolex. Since 1950, Hans Wilsdorf has offered mountain climbers and adventurers pre-production models for the journey to the summit of the world’s highest mountain. Nowadays, they are on everyone’s lips, such as the “Explorer”. This name was not mentioned at the time. Rather, they were classic “Oysters” with a redesigned dial. A long leather strap allowed it to be worn over clothing so the time could always be read. The return of said reference 6098 to Geneva was accompanied by the following lines in the New Zealander: “The watch worked perfectly, in the most extreme heat to extreme cold, and in the thinnist air over 22,000 feet. It seemed immune to rockslides, constant vibration or ice, and ran precisely without it having to been wound even once. Such a watch is new to me.” In the same year, 1953, Rolex presented a special model for underwater operations. Since then, the “Submariner” has enjoyed a fantastic reputation. After five months of testing and 132 diving trials, the Cannes Deep Sea Research Institute confirmed its outstanding features. No wonder that James Bond, the top British agent in “Dr. No” looked at the dial of the “mother of all professional diving watches”. Features such as a matte black dial, robust housing with functional dive-time rotating bezel and side protection for the screw crown, lush lighting equipment for optimized telling of time as well as an equally robust and precise automatic movement gave this sporty timepiece immortality. This also applies to the “GMT-Master”, which in turn was launched in 1953. The impetus for the creation was provided by the managers of Pan American Airlines (PanAm). They asked Rolex for a time zone wristwatch that could simultaneously display the reference and local time. As so often before, Hans Wilsdorf tackled the task himself. And once again, he solved it during his extended morning private time. Specifically, he came up with the brilliant idea in the Paris hotel “Ritz”. In 1954 the first prototypes of the cosmopolitan newcomer were available. 1955 was the official launch. One of the two hour hands represented the respective local time. The other rotated once every 24 hours
Brochure for the Rolex GMT-Master, 1956
First Rolex GMT-Master II, 1982 Right side: Rolex Explorer, reference 214270
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
around its axis, and corresponded with a suitably designed rotating bezel, thus preserving the reference time. Disturbing reflections in the cockpit initially obscured a plastic glass rim with a back-printed acrylic glass inlay. Incidentally, Pan Am ordered two different models. The staff in the air looked at a black dial, while those on the ground a white one. The reference 6542 hit the bullseye when it was also worn by Pussy Galore in “007 Goldfinger”. In 1960, 20 out of 21 aircraft navigators rated the professional features as particularly helpful. In 1982, real advances brought the production of the “GMT Master II”. For the first time, its local time hand could be adjusted independently in both directions by a screw crown. STOPPED TIME In 2000, Rolex eliminated the last gap in the range of in-house 4130 caliber movements. Connoisseurs know that it is an automatic movement with ratchet chronograph. The history of the “time keeper” for the wrist dates back to the 1920s, when Hans Wilsdorf presented simple one push-button models. In 1937, the patron presented the first specific catalog. As of 1939, the first watertight “Oyster” chronograph was acquired. Its fascinating epithet "Daytona" was given to the Rolex “Cosmograph”, which was presented in 1963, the following year, due to their sponsorship of an auto race in Florida. In 1988, the automatic era started with the caliber 4030, a modified Zenith “El Primero”. Since then, there has been unprecedented hype. If you would now like a “Daytona” with a steel case, you either have to wait a very long time or pay substantial premiums on a parallel market. This criterion is not recent, but refers to all sport models in fine steel: the demand exceeds the supply, and Rolex would not dream of eliminating the problem by increasing production. This philosophy undoubtedly serves to preserve value. In the medium and long term, the risk of losing money by buying a Rolex is extremely low. Covetousness also awakens the fact that a Rolex on the wrist never looks old. Especially in Geneva, design revolution is a foreign term. For generations, the technical aspects and the appearance of wristwatches with the crown logo have undergone careful evolution. There is simply no reason to turn the decades known and proven into a creative redesign. The term “recognition value” is written by the traditional manufactory, based on the principle that a watch may have any shape, the main thing is, it’s round.
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
HISTORY OF A LEGEND
There are objects that apparently never go out of fashion – their design is confirmed by the passage of time. One such immortal icon is Omega’s “Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch”, which now celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Author_Iris Wimmer-Olbort
The version of 1965 f lies to the moon.
“The Speedmaster is one of the most coveted watches in the world – and for good reason.” Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega, is based at the brand’s headquarters in Biel, Switzerland, and holds a new limited gold version in his hand. With this, Omega is celebrating a grandiose anniversary, and Aeschlimann is visibly proud: “The Speedmaster was the first watch to be worn on the moon. This is particularly relevant this year as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The Omega Speedmaster can rightly be called the most famous chronograph in the world”. But the history of the watch began over 60 years ago: in 1957 Omega launched the Speedmaster and addressed the sportsman, who was enthusiastic about both cars and speed, with the chronograph. This was displayed with the tachymeter scale on the bezel. A novelty, by the way,
For the 50 year jubilee of the moon landing
Hour of birth of the «modern» Speedmaster with the new gauge 861
"Mark III": the first automatic chronograph from Omega
«Speedsonic»: the first electronic Speedmaster
because until then these scales for measuring speeds were only available directly on the dial. The designer Claude Baillod came up with the idea for this, and his design was aimed at the greatest possible functionality and readability. He designed a black matt dial with white indexes and recessed chronograph counters. The robust, water-resistant case had a diameter of 39 millimetres, and the Lémania 321 hand-wound calibre from the 1940s was chosen for interior use. Factory and equipment came together to form a perfect whole. Something that not only attracted the attention of car enthusiasts. Even astronauts bought the Speedmaster for private use and took it on board during their space missions to check the instrument panel clock with its help. Independent of this, NASA set out in search of suitable wristwatches. Undetected, ten different chronographs were purchased from a watch dealer in Houston and subjected to initial tests. Four watches apparently failed immediately, the other six were further tested and were not spared. They had to withstand extreme temperatures, acceleration and vibration, were mercilessly subjected to shocks, corrosive gases and destructive sound waves. The only watch that survived all the tests and even met NASA’s fivesecond daily rate deviation requirement was the Speedmaster. In March 1965, it therefore received the title “flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions”. Omega took this opportunity to add “Professional” to its name. From then on the chronograph from Biel was worn by astronauts on all manned space flights and was also present exactly 50 years ago when the “Apollo 11” mission made its way to the moon. On 21 July 1969 the time had come: Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon; however, he had left his Speedmaster on board in order to have a reliable replacement timepiece available there. The Speedmaster came to the moon a quarter of an hour after Armstrong, on the wrist of Buzz Aldrin. In 1970 the “Apollo 13” mission was a big test for the wristwatch when the electrical system in the space capsule broke down due to an explosion on its way to the moon. In order to bring the three crew members back to Earth alive, the ignition of the engines was successfully calculated with the help of the Speedmaster.
As much as the Speedmaster had proven itself – Omega did not want to stand still so modified the legendary chronograph again and again. It followed with models having automatic and even quartz movements, case variants in gold and even models with a liquid crystal display. A major change took place very early: The original model from 1957 had a stainless steel bezel with a imprinted tachymeter scale. The second edition already had the black aluminium bezel. In the 1960s, the case was slightly asymmetrical to protect the crown and pusher. 1968 was also an important year when the watch was equipped with the modified manual winding caliber 861. Its successor, the 1861, still operates today in the “Moonwatch Professional Chronograph” from Omega’s current collection. Among the extraordinary models of the past decades are the first electronic Speedmaster, the “Speedsonic” from 1973, as well as a quartz prototype for NASA with the designation “Alaska IV” in 1979. 1987 saw the first automatic chronograph in the line. The addition of complications brought the Speedmaster a moon phase display in 1985 and a perpetual calendar in 1991. In 2005 Omega launched a Speedmaster with new movement mechanics and equipped the classic with mechanical movements with coaxial escapement. In 2016, a further developmental step followed, which demonstrates Omega’s innovative strength: The brand launched the first Speedmaster with the “Master Chronometer” certificate. In particular, this title stands for high resistance to magnetic fields. The Speedmaster has undergone numerous changes over the years, but the classic with manual winding movement and Hesalite glass is an integral part of the collection. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, it is once again in the spotlight – also thanks to limited special editions. The most important is the “Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition” – a model in gold that commemorates the celebration of the first moon landing in 1969, when a limited gold watch was also issued. Today’s special edition has a burgundy bezel and a new gold alloy called Moonshine Gold, which is lighter and brighter than yellow gold.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin with the jubilee Speedmaster in gold
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
Despite such innovations – according to the president and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann – the Speedmaster has always remained true to its fundamental aesthetics: “The striking auxiliary dials and the tachymeter scale have not been touched. They are at the core of the Speedmaster design, and fans would never forgive us for deviating from this classic look.” Nevertheless, the Speedmaster is not a museum piece: “It is constantly evolving and the future holds many exciting innovations in store. Nevertheless, the cult watch will remain true to itself, promises Aeschlimann:
The firt Speedmaster in bicolor look with gold
A coveted collector's item: the first S peedmaster with automatic movement
Special edition model «From the Moon to the Mars»
“Even though in the future, the Speedmaster will often adapt to the passage of time, it will always be unmistakably a Speedmaster.” Omega fans appreciate that. Omega brand ambassador George Clooney summed it up as follows: “Some things are simply classics, and whatever has this status you want to have again and again. You would get angry if they changed. Sure, we also want new technologies – our smartphones, for example – but it would break our hearts if the classics were to change anything that we love them for.”
WATCH WINDERS & ACCESSORIES FOR THE SOPHISTICATED ENJOYMENT
PRETTY COMPLICATED WATCHMAKING MECHANICS WITH HELPFUL ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS Author_Gisbert L. Brunner
Autor_Gisbert L. Brunner
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
So-called complications, especially those of the mechanical kind, traditionally belong to clockmaking like salt to the sea. PRESTIGE presents the most important and the best-liked.
So-called complications, especially those of the mechanical kind, traditionally belong to clockmaking like salt to the sea. Amongst the earliest are alarm clocks. In addition, calendar movements have also been known for centuries. Tourbillons inspire visually oriented people and proven precision fanatics. World time indicators are particularly addressed to cosmopolitan people and globetrotters. In turn, chronographs are by far the most widely used. The striking mechanism is the most intricate additional function in relation to skills and technique. And the range of complications knows almost no limits. Experienced technicians keep coming up with new things. And gifted watchmakers can combine almost anything in one movement. For instance, the union of a drag indicator chronograph, perpetual calendar and minute repeater all in one case may call itself the “Grand Complication”. PERPETUAL LASTS THE LONGEST In regards to mechanical watches, date displays and calendars are fundamentally nothing new. They have been used for several centuries in clocks. Of course, the simple ones have a decisive shortcoming: Their display accuracy is a maximum of 92 days per year, from 1 July to 30 September. Also, even though the first of October has come, it indicates the 31st. In that case, it’s time to lend a hand. So whoever doesn’t like this situation should resort to the perpetual calendar. It knows and takes into account the length of the different months in normal as well as in leap years. Of course this takes a correspondingly tremendous, mechanical effort. The rear derailleur, which is located under the dial, consists of up to around one hundred parts. The most important component of conventional constructions is the
tional pull of the earth plays an important role in wearable watches. In the vertical position, it influences the accuracy rate, especially when the center of gravity of the balance regulator consisting of balance and balance spring is not exactly in the center of the balance wave. Abraham-Louis Breguet was aware of this fact as early as the end of the 18th century. Furthermore, this watchmaker and inventor had discovered that the said problem areas could only be eliminated in the short term. Sooner or later the mistakes will inevitably reappear. Therefore, he bet on a compensating zero-sum game, the same which is practiced today in wristwatches, using the extremely popular tourbillon. Balance, balance spring and escapement are housed in a filigree steel cage which constantly rotates around its axis. Consequently, the movement loses a little bit of time, for example in the first half of the minute but in the subsequent 30 seconds gains back the same amount of time. In the traditional construction, the bogie is front and rear mounted. In 1920, Alfred Helwig, a teacher at the Glashütte watchmaking school, and his pupil Conrad Richter, presented a “flying” construction with two
so-called monthly cam, which can also be described as memory. Different deep indentations in the perimeter represent 28, 29, 30 or 31 days. In addition to the traditional under the dial switching mechanism, there are also those in which a sophisticated system of gears interact. The advantage: The calendar can be set backwards and forwards. Incidentally, the perpetual calendar draws to a close at the end of February 2100. According to the Gregorian calendar, adopted in 1582, the leap day in all secular years that are not divisible by 400 must be cancelled. With this in mind, 2200 and 2300 will also not have February 29th. The annual calendar offered in 1996 by Patek Philippe can be considered to be the little brother to the perpetual calendar. Again, the rear derailleur hides under the dial. Manual corrections are unnecessary from the beginning of March until the end of February. Last but not least are the so-called four-year calendars, which display accuracy ranges from leap year to leap year. TOURBILLON Time passes with absolute uniformity. Whoever wants to measure this most precious commodity of humanity must divide it into small pieces, add them up and present the result in a suitable way. Even tiny differences in these sections would disturb the intended precision. There are many reasons for this. The gravita-
dian consequently runs. When traveling eastward, the clocks must be set forward, to the west on the other hand, they must be set back. Canada and the US were the first states to introduce this useful world-wide time system. Other countries followed to a greater or lesser extent. Wristwatches with a clever time zone presentation have been around since 1937. A distinction must be made though between models with a world time indicator and those that display only two or three time zones. The former with "heure universelle" usually map all 24 time zones simultaneously, represented by well-known cosmopolitain cities. Frequent flyers, however, prefer models that use two hour hands. The hand responsible for the respective local time should, as far as possible, The one responsible for the respective local time should, as far as possible, adjust itself independently of the minute hand in one-hour increments. It does not matter if the operation is done with the help of a crown or that of pushers. A second hour hand moves around its axis in 24 hours. Ironically, on a trip to distant lands it preserves the respective home time. Primarily bankers and stockbrokers turn to designs with independently adjustable 24-hour hands. Rather the exception than the rule are wristwatches which are able to represent all 37 zone times, including those with half or quarter hour deviations.
backward positioned bearings. Thus, the front bridge was omitted. In the patented “Exo-Tourbillon” by Montblanc, the balance oscillates outside the cage. As a result, it can have a significantly larger diameter, which in turn benefits the accuracy rate. Finally, spherically designed and three-dimensional rotating tourbillons take into account the fact that wristwatches constantly occupy different positions. The effort involved is logically reflected in hefty prices. DO STAY WITH ME! CHRONOGRAPH The desire to be able to hold on to precious time for a while is as old as humanity itself. Chronographers make this desire at least seem to come true. A practical additional mechanism makes it possible to start, stop and reset the mostly centrally positioned chronograph hand using a push button. The basis of this design is a normal movement with an hour, minute and small second hand. Irrespective of the switching status of the stop function, it keeps running. A connection is established between the two modules by a wheel-, friction- or oscillating pin coupling. Stopped time intervals up to one minute can be read from the hand of the chronograph. Minute and (if applicable) hour counters register longer time periods. High-quality versions have a three-dimensional ratchet wheel for controlling the three functions. Simpler ones are satisfied with a flat cam. A cost-effective design does not minimize reliability. “Flyback” calibers allow a direct restart of the chronograph without a time-consuming intermediate stop. By the way, only in 1969 did watchmakers succeed in combining the chronograph with a self-winding function.
THE WRIST ALARM Undoubtedly, the alarm clock was the earliest additional function added to mechanical watches. Although often hated, one can hardly argue against its meaningfulness. The first mechanisms did their noisy job in stationary clocks and thus primarily at home. Otherwise, they rang out from church towers to the citizens of entire communities. Eventually, as of the 16th century mobile alarm clocks became available. Of course, they have very little in common with the current ones for the wrist. The origin of wrist alarms began in the late 1940s and the technology was anything but magic. As a rule, the designers supplemented a normal movement with an additional mechanism for sound, which had its own energy storage. To generate the alarm signal, a small hammer hit a sounding body which could be a bell, a double caseback, the case edge or a chime. In order for the alarm clock to come into action at the desired time, an adjustment device was needed. Of course, at any given time it must also switch off. And with some models, a special indication on the dial signals the respective switching status of the alarm transmitter.
CHRONOGRAPHIC COMPARATIVE The enhanced version, compared to the normal chronograph, is called the “Rattrapante” (Fly-back hand). The complex split- second mechanism allows for additional applications. Simultaneously, two or more processes can be stopped, provided that they start at the same time and have different durations. In addition, it is possible to determine the intermediate times, which is important in races. For this purpose, you can stop the fly-back hand any time while the actual chronograph continues. After reading, the two hands are again synchronized by a simple push of the button. The split-second mechanism calls for a sophisticated clamp mechanism. Watchmakers mount these either over the chronograph on the back or – as in the early years – directly under the dial.
THE ACOUSTIC DIMENSION OF TIME Ironically, one of the most complex additional functions makes little sense. Only after the activation of any kind of triggering mechanism does a repeater watch amaze the audience on a regular basis. Depending on their design, they announce the current time acoustically, in a more or less accurate way. A distinction is made between watches with a quarter-hour, eighth-hour (7½ minutes), 5-minute or minute striking mechanism. The latter lets
TIME FOR THE WORLD In 1884, according to an international agreement during the first meridian conference in Washington DC, time shifts by one full hour every 15 degrees of latitude, analogous to the movement of Mother Earth around the sun. The starting point is the observatory in Greenwich, through which the zero meri-
Repeater watches endure based upon the quality of their sound which is made by two pairs of hammers and chimes. For example, Carrillons with Westminster bells have three of them. The hammers are tuned to the length and strength of the chimes which must strike as hard and precisely as possible for a fraction of a second and then immediately stop. The extra-long chimes and the lightweight cases made of titanium or carbon fibers, for example, promise the superior sound of a “Cathedral”. If you want something more complicated, you should wear a "Grande Sonnerie" on your wrist. On request, it will strike the hours and quarter hours automatically “in passing”. Repeater watches are truly sophisticated divas. Due to the high technical and manual requirements, they remain real rarities even in times of computer-controlled raw material production. With the construction and production of the components, it is still far from complete. All parts must then be finely finished, manually assembled into a fine-sounding microcosm and coordinated with each other. That in turn requires time, which accoding to Benjamin Franklin, is money.
you know to the minute what time it is right now. It first announces the number of hours with a low tone. Then, double tones indicate the quarter of hour which has passed after the top of the hour. Finally, a high tone sounds for each of the additional minutes. Special attention is given to 12:59. First there are twelve low sounds. This is followed by three double strokes and another 14 high sounds. All in all there are 29 sounds which take between 20 to 25 seconds of concentrated listening and counting. For this acoustic dimension of time, about 100 components must accurately cooperate. Unfortunately, most of them hide under the dial. A small spring tensioned by a slider or pusher provides the necessary driving force. In addition, fine mechanisms have an intelligent “all-or-nothing security”, which prevents faulty strikes. A prerequisite for the precise repeater of the time is the exact synchronization of the mechanism with the pointer position. Therefore, the assembly of the pointer takes place only at the very end in accordance with what is actually struck. In order for this to happen at a moderate speed, it also needs a “cruise control”.
Bracelet in white gold with Xpandable diamonds (14.79 carats) and sapphires (24.05 carats). WWW.PICCHIOTTI.IT
JE WEL LERY
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
With its latest collection called "Lotus Cluster by Harry Winston", the company presents a s tunning line of diamond jewellery. The ring has a round brilliant-cut diamond central stone, masterfully framed w ith s maller diamonds. WWW.HARRYWINSTON.COM
Ruby red earrings with white diamonds set in 18 carat white gold.
BEYER WATCHES & JEWELLERY
From the in-house jewellery studio of Beyer Watches & Jewellery: Sapphire Ring Fleur-de-Lis Rainbow in White Gold with a 14 sapphire rainbow (10.86 carats). WWW.BEYER-CH.COM
Nearly undestroyable: RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough
© Wee Khim
WRIST WATCHES OF A DIFFERENT KIND
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
RICHARD MILLE IS NOT GOING TO GIVE IN TO ANYTHING NORMAL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. SINCE 2001, THE EQUALLY CREATIVE AND ENTERPRISING FRENCHMAN HAS OFFERED WRISTWATCHES THAT ARE SECOND TO NONE. IN TERMS OF DESIGN, T ECHNOLOGY, MATERIALS AND ULTIMATELY, PRICE.
Author_Gisbert L. Brunner
Whenever Richard Mille speaks enthusiastically and passionately about his wristwatches, at some point the slogan “racing machines for the wrist” comes up. And so in the vast majority of models he truly hits the nail on the head. His creations deliberately have nothing to do with traditional timepieces. Born in 1951, this Frenchman wants to be, and has to be different, because that’s his chronometric business model. Therefore, they are creatively and mechanically assembled in his own studio, and of course, with an out of the ordinary price tag. Whoever would want to call a Richard Mille their own, must lay out on the seller’s table a minimum of 50,000 Swiss francs. The top range goes well beyond one million Swiss francs. Of course there are plenty of exclusivities for the considerable sums involved, and you are in good company. To the illustrious clientele of the Frenchman, who has an insatiable passion for fast cars and four-wheeled vintage ones, belongs a variety of celebrities from all continents. He personally knows many of his customers, also many of them are personal friends, and many belong to the circle of so-called “multiple offenders”. “We sell around 4000 products a year, from 1500 to a maximum of 2000 people. I know something about our customers who have all of our products, without exception, since the RM001. They are not collectors in the usual sense. They do not lock their watches in a vault and keep them there for a lifetime, but instead, wear their watches, and thus our watches, which I appreciate and love very much.” Of course, this is not a coincidence. The success of Richard Mille results from a considerable and extensive experience in the field of exquisite luxury goods, and ample intuition. After studying marketing, he began his professional career in 1974 with Finhor, the French watch company. When the Matra group swallowed up his employer in 1981, this visionary man first switched over to Seiko. Next, he quickly rose to become CEO of the Paris-based jeweler Mauboussin. The acquisition of several shares in this company created the foundation for a separate company of his own. After his dismissal in 1999 and the sale of his shares, Richard Mille took the decisive step of becoming self-employed. The place where this happened: Les Breuleux, a small town in the western Swiss Jura. For the development of complicated timepieces such as the RM 001 Tourbillon, the newcomer cooperated with Renaud & Papi, the development and production company of Audemars Piguet. In 2001, a sensational Tourbillon, came as an edition of 80 pieces on the market. Despite the sta-
Watch studio with Richard Mille
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
tely price of $135,000 and the fact that Richard Mille was still a largely unknown player in the luxury business, the edition sold out surprisingly quickly. By the way, the collaboration with Renaud & Papi has lasted until the present day, and the mother company, Audemars Piguet, has taken a ten percent stake in Richard Mille. The basic movement (Ébauche) is also supplied by Vaucher, a member of the Parmigiani group from Fleurier. The Richard Mille Group currently includes Horometrie SA, Montres Valgine and the factory dedicated to the production of casings, ProArt SA, which opened in 2013. There are about 70 employees on the payroll at their headquarters in Les Breuleux. Although sales figures are not published by the company, it is estimated that annual revenues will be in the order of 220 million Swiss francs. There are no rumors about a sale to the French Kering Group, which includes Girard-Perregaux, Gucci and Ulysse Nardin, among others. “We are profitable, we enjoy our work and we are not afraid of competition.” After Richard Mille had initially focused mainly on men’s watches, the women of the world now also have the same opportunity. Women generate about a quarter of the sales. Richard Mille landed a real coup with the colorful candy collection presented at the Geneva Watch Salon in 2019. It is truly convincing proof of the degree of freedom the elite company can take in the watch scene. “From my experience, I knew that the business of classic luxury watches at the highest level can be very boring. With my brand, I deliberately did not want the hint of retro, nor replicas of any kind, only refreshingly new things at the most sophisticated level. My maxim has always been: we have to be open to the whole world. This is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for new watches. Then boredom ends, the business suddenly becomes very interesting and exciting. It brings variety, is fun and, in the end, also pleases our customers, who each own 30 or 40 of our watches.” Just how right Richard Mille’s conception of the sophisticated profession is that the ticking offspring from the colorful world of delicious sweets were sold out in no time. Actually, one would have to call the existing spectrum of ten models a creative rebellion. Art director Cécile Guenat is responsible for the sensational look. His “Sweets Collection” includes four models with two-tone ceramic casings and decorative elements in enamel or black chromed titanium. They are called “RM 07-03 Cupcake”, “RM 07-03 Marshmallow”, “RM 37-01 Sucette” and “RM 16-01 Réglisse”. Six different tastes, namely lemon, strawberry, blueberry, lychee, kiwi and cherry, satisfy the so-called “fruit line”. Each of these everyday wristwatches will yield 30 pieces at the end of production. Immediately, rash associations with the contents of a gumball machine are proven wrong. The expert’s eye looks through a magnifying glass to bring light to the art of watchmaking at the usual high level. Paired with the ingenious design refinements. In stark contrast is the almost indestructible “RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough”. It pays homage to a sport where hard-boiled and well-heeled gentlemen meet. With a pony, it is by no means enough to play Polo for four or even eight periods (“chuckas”), at seven minutes each. One of the world’s best is Pablo Mac Donough. Born in 1982, the Argentinian with a 10 Handicap suffered not only many, but also, very severe fractures during his career. Because he therefore knows exactly what is important, Richard Mille asked him for his expert input. This resulted in a limited edition of 30 wristwatches. The acquisition of one requi-
The watches of Richard Mille are developed in this building
Richard Mille RM07-03 Myrtille
res a well-stocked bank account though, because the eye-catching creation will reflect around one million Swiss francs in your budget. The time-bolide indeed packs quite a lot on the forearm. In the TPT carbon casing, the complex manual wind movement is suspended by two mini cables. In Thin Ply Technology (TPT), a machine places layers upon layers, 30 microns thick and resin- impregnated, alternately rotated 45 degrees apart. In an autoclave, everything is heated at six bar pressure to 120 ° C and cured. The lightweight, yet extremely durable, case fits in perfectly with the philosophy of Richard Mille. “My legitimacy results from the seriousness with which we tackle things. Acting on spontaneous ideas or to take the decision to follow after something that is currently in fashion or could come into vogue, is not my style. What we do has to be substantial, because I hate gimmicks. In my watches there is not a screw that does not fulfill a very specific purpose, that’s why it’s important for me to always stay consistent. When I introduce a new material, it must have a special purpose, such as lightness, firmness, resilience. The beauty of the material also plays a role. I always look around, curiously, to see what’s out there. For example, I would never use a new material just because it’s new. It must serve my goals.” The unusual architecture of this exceptional timepiece requires two separate boards. The first, attached directly to the casing, holds the innovative clamping mechanisms. Two micro- cables made of braided steel, diameter 0.27 mm, holds together the motherboard with the complete gear train that includes sensitive rotation. Both cables run over a total of ten mini pulleys. The anchoring is served by four clamping elements, each with one screw for tightening the cables. The construct is reminiscent of a spider with its web and ensures a stabilised balance of the entire microcosm. The rest is done by using grade 5 titanium to make the boards and bridges. This lightweight but highly durable material guarantees the necessary rigidity and is impact resistance. Of course, it is not enough with these devices. The glass also
View to the automatic movement through the transparent display back of the RM07-03 Marshmallow
© Marcelo Endelli
Richard Mille RM07-03 Marshmallow
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
shows forward-looking expertise. Commercially available sapphire would shatter in no time by the impact of a polo ball. Therefore, in cooperation with the acknowledged expert Stettler, a laminated glass “à la car” windshield, never before used for watches and therefore also patented, was created. Because a thin polyvinyl film can be found between two sapphire disks, the glass can move, but never break into several pieces which would damage the precious movement. “When you are open to many things, activities, when you walk around with open eyes and ears, you encounter people and trends that have a stimulating effect. If you then also find partners from different areas, you are faced with permanent challenges. Polo has different requirements than car racing or tennis. This sets goals that can be achieved with ideas. In the beginning there are meaningful functions or displays, then you have to think about the right materials. Eventually everything flows together, and a suitable watch is created. That’s why I also rely heavily on titanium. “Speaking of titanium: Ferdinand A. Porsche first used the solid, long-term stable, yet very lightweight material, for watch cases nearly 40 years ago. The pioneering achievement of Richard Mille is to use it for what is inside. Even tiny screws can be made from grade 5 titanium, although its price point can somehow take your breath away. One kilogram costs a good 20 million Swiss francs. For watchmakers, working with this extremely hard material borders on being a nightmare. Despite all technological advances, the rejection rate is up to 40 percent. Accidental scratches somewhere on the movement are unavoidable and require rigorous elimination. “That explains to some extent why the price of my watches don’t just arise from my imagination, but are seriously calculated. The development of a model sometimes eats up several years, and that is for extremely low quantities.” The ease in which chronometry could be associated with carbon and titanium initially did not necessarily inspire me, Richard Mille confesses. “I remember a customer to whom I presented our first full titanium construction. He asked me why was it so light. In his view it didn’t make sense, because he connected worth with weight. A few years later, we had a platinum watch, and the same customer wanted to know why it was so heavy, uncomfortable.” That’s what happens when you’re always ahead of the game: for designs, movement assemblies and regularly with new materials. In the end, for Richard Mille, boundaries are only there to be surpassed, sooner or later.
Pablo Mac Donough
View of the automatic movement of the Richard Mille RM37-01 Sucette
Where the heart of the Maserati myth pulsates
THE CA R
Maserati Levante S Q4 GranSport Engine: V6 twin turbo engine Displacement: 2979 cc Power: 316 kW / 430 hp Max. Torque: 580 Nm at 1750 rpm Weight: 2109 kg 0 –100 km / h: 5.2 s Top speed: 264 km / h Consumption: 10,9 l Price: from CHF 106’200.– Top equipped test car: Fr. 128’179.–
THE HOTELS Milano: Excelsior Hotel Gallia Piazza Duca dʼAosta 9, Mailand, 20124 Tel. +39 026 78 51 Modena: Hotel Cervetta 5 Via Cervetta, 5, Modena, 41121 Tel. +39 059 23 84 47
THE RESTAU R A NTS Ristorante Franceschetta 58 Via Vignolese, 58, Modena, 41100 Tel +39 059 309 10 08
A ND OTHER GOOD A DDRESSES Panini Museum Via Corletto Sud, 320, Modena, 41126 Tel. +39 059 596 21 81
M ASER ATI SHOW ROOM Viale Ciro Menotti, 322 Modena, 41121 Tel. +39 059 590698
NOWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD CAN LOVERS OF FAST CARS AND GOOD FOOD GET THEIR M ONEY’S WORTH AS MUCH AS IN MODENA. WE VISITED THE CITY WHICH LIES IN THE HEART OF THE NORTHERN ITALIAN PROVINCE OF EMILIA ROMAGNA, IN A 430-HP MASERATI LEVANTE. 105
“Maserati owners from all over the world come to us at the wheel of their cars. Not only because they want to, but above all because they can”, explains Alessandro Conte, sales consultant and walking Maserati encyclopedia, in the showroom at Viale Ciro Menotti 322 in Modena, where the Italian sports car manufacturer has been based since 1940. As if proof was needed, one of the few right-hand-drive Mistral Spyders from the early 1960s is currently on display in the showroom. Its Australian owner had obviously traveled extensively across Europe before leaving the classic for a few months in the airy exhibition hall, built by renowned star architect Ron Arad. This is evidenced on the windshield, which sports highway vignettes from Switzerland, Austria and a “Corsica Ferries” sticker. One of the reasons for the success of Maserati has always been the unique combination of powerful sport motor in a car body that is suitable for traveling. Two days earlier, we made our way from Switzerland in the Levante, the first off-road family car in the history of this Italian sports car brand. We’re looking for illustrations of the living myth of Maserati, which seems to be present even in this new category of sport utility vehicles, SUVs for short. This is evident after only a few kilometers on the faces of passers-by. Our Levante S Q4 GranSport is a real eye-catcher, not only because of its bright blue color called “Blu Emozione” – aha, it is not only the colors that contain the Maserati feeling – but also its athletic appearance with the trident in the middle of a large grille, and above all, by its sound. This reminds us, in the lowspeed city traffic, of the sonorous hum of a motor boat. However, this sound is limited only to the two selectable driving modes. In normal or even efficiency mode, the 430 hp twin-turbo engine drives quietly, with a more restrained hum. SPORTILY DRIVING ON THE OLD PASS ROAD On the highway, in the more comfortable normal mode, hardly any noise penetrates into the interior, which is furnished with exquisite materials. The miles just fly by. To avoid the summer traffic jam at the Gotthard, we choose the A13 over the San Bernardino. Shortly before the tunnel we turn right onto the old pass road. After a few hairpin turns in sports mode, it becomes clear: even the SUV from Maserati is great fun in the mountains. Despite being five meters long and weighing 2.1 tons, the Levant is amazingly agile. The now well-audible 430 hp of the three-liter V6 twin
turbo engine precisely delivers a fast and smooth-switching eightspeed automatic torque converter to the rear wheels, with electronic control of the front axle when needed. According to the official data sheet, the Levante S Q4 accelerates in just over five seconds from 0 to 100 km / h, and I don’t doubt it for a second. Sportily, we drive past impressive mountain scenery up the pass and then down again, heading south. After a night stop in the fashion metropolis of Milano, we reach Modena shortly after noon the next day. Year after year the relentless increase in the flow of toursts seems to have not as yet reached this almost sleepy-looking town. In the pictoresque center of the city, which owes its wealth mainly to the production of fast cars, the locals cycle comfortably on bicycles through the car-free roads and streets. We walk past the statue of Luciano Pavarotti, one of the many world-famous citizens of Modena and a confessed Maserati fan, to the picturesque Piazza Grande, a UNESCO heritage site. Modena is also the birthplace of the great Enzo Ferrari, duly honored in a modern museum next to his father’s former workshop. At hourly intervals, the legend of the red racing cars is told on the big screen, which still inspires hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic race car fans to this day. From here, you can book actual pilgrimages to the production sites of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati, all within a half hour drive. CHEESE AND VINTAGE CARS: ON THE PANINI ESTATE A wonderful time-travel through the history of Maserati can also be experienced by appointment only a few kilometers south of Modena on one of the largest private properties in Italy. Around 600 powerful cows graze in the meadows around Hombre Farm, supplying organic milk for one of the best Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses in the world. Right next to the cheese factory and the stables is an inconspicuous barn with a dozen old tractors lined up in front of the side porch. A glass door reveals a direct view of the harbingers of the most important Maserati collection in the world. The owner of the estate and the classic car collection is the Panini family whose name is ubiquitous every four years during the football World Cup. In fact, it was the football trading cards that contributed significantly to the wealth of the family and enabled them to own the farm and the Maserati collection. GOURMET BURGERS IN «FRANCESCHETTA 58» With luck, that same evening we were able to reserve two seats at “Francescetta 58” just outside the old town center. Modena is not only world famous for its fast cars, but also for its great cuisine. The big star in town is Massimo Bottura, which is a three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana which has been voted for the second time the best restaurant in the world by the San Pellegrini list. This leads to actual pilgrimages by gourmet fanatics and makes it impossible to reserve a table for months on end. The “Franceschetta 58” is a somewhat simpler offshoot of the Mother Osteria, but the menu is a real treat even in this simple and relaxed environment of a former tire workshop. The house’s specialty, a tasty burger, is authentically served in a paper box, a real fast food revelation. The next morning we visit the halls of the Mercato Storico Albinelli, taste some Parmigiano and a little Culatello, and marvel at the high prices of the small round vials in which the Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena is sold, another Modena world- wide export hit.
Then we arrived at the destination of our trip: the headquarters of Maserati at Viale Ciro Menotti 322. We were already expected by the sales consultant, Alessandro Conte. With passion and impressive detailed knowledge, he led us through the various areas of the modern and airy showroom, where he only gave advice and never tried to sell us anything. “Anyone who comes to us for advice gets a very analogue experience,” he explained to us in the corner where there were leather samples. “Maserati needs to be experienced. You must be able to touch the different fabrics and leathers, see the wooden covers in the right light and combine them.” In addition to the full range of rims and equipment options, the two-track history of Maserati is dipicted under a glass display cabinet with small model cars: on and off the racetrack. All important models are lined up in chronological order.
PRODUCTION IN THE CRADLE OF THE BRAND Behind the modern office wing with the showroom still lies the Maserati factory of Modena. While the Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante models produced in disproportionately large quantities are being rolled off the production lines at Turin, the two sportiest models, GranTurismo and GranCabrio, are still being built in the cradle of the brand and in the immediate vicinity of the engine supplier Ferrari – exclusively 13 units per day, and so it should remain. This journey has shown us: The Maserati myth has much to do with passion for what one makes, craftsmanship, love of perfection and tradition. All this is omnipresent in Modena and the province of Emilia Romagna. Rich with impressions and culinary delights, we make our way home to the north.
With his collection in the Maserati Museum in Modena, Umberto Panini created an aficionado’s dream.
TR EN DS
CARL F. BUCHERER The new "Heritage BiCompax Annual" picks up on the elegant shape of the historic model, but the stainless steel case increases to a contemporary diameter of 41 millimetres. WWW.CARL-F-BUCHERER.COM
MO TION by
GUCCI Lined cashmere leather gloves with the iconic web detail of the house: green and red stripes.
Short-sleeved, Âu nlined nylon jacket with hood. This model can be folded up and stored in a belt pouch.
Flattering leather helmet with a tight fit and a carbon fibre shell that protects against impact.
EVERYTHING FOR A McLaren Automotive stands for sports cars with a clear line: not just the body of the cars, but also and especially, the interior. Here you will not find any extraneous detail. The one responsible for this simple elegance is the design director Robert Melville.
REASON Images_ McLaren Automotive
THE GOOD SOUND The entire design team consists of about 50 to 55 people, and should continue to grow. Rob Melville says: “We are currently working on new technologies that allow 3D visualization using augmented intelligence, giving us the opportunity to examine, scrutinize, and spotlight designs in detail.” But until that happens, McLaren continues to rely on one of the oldest materials in the world: clay. Thousands of years old, it is still the best tool to analyze the design of a car. “In the first few weeks, the designers produce numerous drawings,” says the design director. “Of these, two remain at the end, which we then make an full size car out of clay.” This gives the entire team a real impression of the car. Walking around the model. Touch and get a feel for it. Caress the body and wonder if it will withstand all the aerodynamic demands. LIMITED MODELS AS USPD The clay model must also survive the wind tunnel. 145 meters long and four meters wide, hidden in the lower parts of the McLaren Technology Center in Woking, a small English village about a 25 minute drive from London. The headquarters was initiated and staged by Ron Dennis, the former team boss of McLaren and former co-owner of the group. An architectural masterpiece whose design was inspired by racing and is now home to the people who are responsible for indescribable models produced every year. Like the 720S Spider which we have already mentioned and has been presented in Geneva, or the McLaren Speedtail which was also shown. A three-seater (!!!), in which only 106 have been built and are already sold out, although the production is just now up and running. One reason for this precision is that each car is made entirely according to the wishes of the future owner. Whether the interior or exterior – only the shape of the car is set, everything else can be chosen freely, up to the color of the carbon: champagne, gold or silver – feel free!
A little bit more is always possible – definitely. But the question should be: Is “more” really needed? More can also mean confusion, distraction. More can mean a higher error rate. So with 720 hp, the “horses” take it badly if you press the wrong button. If just one “horse” spins out, everything is lost. And even if there is “just” 570 hp or 675 hp – a McLaren forgives no mistakes. Especially if it is a street-legal sports car. For the past ten years or so most of the companies known only from Formula One have been building HP-powered cars that impress with their power, elegance and terrific driving pleasure – even off the track. EVERYTHING FOR A REASON A look back at the 2019 Autoshow in Geneva – Test drive the new 720S Spider, the test sessions are already sold-out, and the newly designed Speedtail is not yet built. At the same time, a conversation with McLaren Automotive design boss Robert “Rob” Melville. A cool guy with the dream job par excellence. “My father was an engineer and my mother an artist,” he says. “Both inspired me and have always supported my plans. They didn’t shape me, but removed any hindrances.” The result is a creative mind that incorporates a great deal of functionality in all of his designs. Therefore, he is in just the right place at McLaren Automotive. The top credo of the sports car manufacturer: “Everything for a reason.” Instead of the moto “everything can be done, nothing need be done” the moto that applies in the factories is “only what must be done, can be done.” Reduced to the essentials in order to ensure the greatest possible driving pleasure, that is a McLaren. TIME IS LIMITED “We need about 18 months from the initial idea to the finished car,” explains Rob Melville. “Starting with the first drawings we submit to the engineering team, through the production of a life- like model made of clay, all the way to final acceptance.” How ever, before any of the designers put the first line onto paper, the design director sets the goal. “It’s up to me to create a vision and to monitor, over the implementation period, whether everyone is still on board,” he says. “I set the strategy and make sure that all key points and principles are clear.” He also defines the development plans, organizes coaching and clearly communicates the look and feel. “As simple as possible. Little leeway, no misunderstandings,” to put it in his own words.
EASY TO MAKE
A CAR JUST FOR YOU However, the bespoke process is also standard on other models, after all, a McLaren is not a car but a friend. A companion, which should perfectly fit you and which everyone likes to show off in public. By the way, that’s what Rob’s kids like to do. Three in number, the youngest member of the Melville gang recently asked her dad to drive her to the school in the new 720S Spider. “My argument that the school was exactly a three-minute walk up the street, was not heard,” recalls the design director and laughs. Sure, he also brings a car home, but then they have to get in line after all, because with the exception of the Speedtail, all models are only two-seaters. The children are less bothered, but his wife is the “victim”, he says with a mischievous grin – after all, she has to entertain the waiting people at home. IDEAS PROVIDE LIFE When asked about the source of inspiration for his designs, Rob answers, “People and nature.” In the first case, it is the thought process and views of others that make him think. In nature, it is the functionality above all that inspires him. Shapes have evolved over years to enable the plant or animal to survive. Everything has a purpose, is a perfect interplay. And that’s what a McLaren is all about. “We are not following any trends,” explains the design expert. “For us, as in nature, the philosophy of biomimicry is at the heart of creating the best aerodynamic shape.” In other words, horizontal lines provide a targeted distribution of air over and beneath the front. Flowing and smooth materials guarantee the perfect air flow. The technical areas, however, are stronger, darker. They are signs of stability and control. These are power places where the numerous horsepowers have a safe home. “Our design is based on what works and looks good,” says the visionary. “With the car, we give people the feeling that they can take a risk. The car is a partner, who communicates with the driver at all times.” EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE Finally, asked about his favorite model, Rob’s response is almost as fast as the sports car itself: “I love all models.” Short break and a supplement: “I like the body of the 720, the concept of the Double Skin Door.” The reason: it makes sense. It’s the “more” that defines every new McLaren car. Meaningful or superfluous? Functional or an Ad-Piece? A McLaren is characterized by 50 years of motorsport and the knowledge that the power should be implemented roadworthy. And that every “too much” means more weight. For example, five years were spent working on a sports seat weighing only five kilos. A McLaren is “easy going”. In all respects. Get in, start and enjoy. Every curve, every track with a view. More is always possible, definitely. More McLaren is not possible – you don’t believe it, then try it out yourself.
CUSTOM KITCHEN DESIGN ONE OF A KIND FULLY PERSONALIZED
“DREAMS ARE A PROCESS TO REALITY.” 120
J. In J. Balvin’s story, success follows success – he is the new superstar of the international music scene and co-founder of a new second wave of reggaeton, which with its irresistible rhythm is once again reaching Europe. He has been supplying Colombians with catchy tunes since 2010, and five years later he is singing to half the world. Today, J. Balvin belongs to the ranks of world stars of music. According to Spotify, with over 55 million listeners per month, he is the most streamed artist in the world. And with almost 12 billion views on YouTube, he also occupies 1st place. In contrast to many urban artists, José Álvaro Osorio Balvín initially grew up in a prosperous environment in the capital Bogotá. Born in Medellín on 7 May 1985, the Colombian spent a sheltered and happy childhood until former business partners cheated his father and his marketing company went bankrupt. The family was confronted with its shattered remains and has to move to a poorer area. From now on Balvin lives there between two worlds, because nowhere is he accepted anymore. For his former friends, he is now a ghetto child, in the new residential district he remains the spoiled big shot. So Balvin takes refuge in music. He is not only interested in traditional cumbia but also in American bands like Metallica and Nirvana. When he gets an electric guitar from his parents, there is nothing else for him anymore. After a first overseas stay in Oklahoma, Balvin moves on to New York City to study English and music. It’s a hard time for the young Colombian, who lives with his aunt in Staten Island and just keeps afloat with low-paid part-time jobs. Two years later, the now 19-year-old returns home, where he takes courses in international marketing. The knowledge gained helps him use his music and his performances in clubs in order to increase his presence and reach in social media. Then his tireless work is rewarded in 2009 with his first recording contract, with EMI Columbia. A year later, his debut album “Real”, already celebrates national success.
With his third album in the autumn of 2013, “La Familia”, Balvin achieves his breakthrough in the USA. The hit single “Yo te lo dije” hits the US Latin Charts and is awarded double platinum. Thanks to the collaboration with the Romanian singer INNA and her “Cola Song”, the South American is able to enter the European charts for the first time and establish his first Spanish-speaking fan base. However, Balvin has only been among the international superstars since his album “Energía” (2016), which was rewarded with diamond, platinum and a Grammy award. Collaborations with international artists like Daddy Yankee, Pharrell Williams, Pitbull, Camilla Cabello, Nicky Jam etc. followed. The remix of “Mi gente” with Beyoncé is number 1 on iTunes in over 50 countries. Together with Cardi B and Bad Bunny, Balvin lands the summer hit of the past year with “I like it”. Thanks to his popularity and reach – his video clips sometimes reach over a billion views – Balvin has become a valuable brand ambassador for many labels. For Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer and President of the LVHM Watch Group Division, the young artist is a “game changer“ who became the ambassador of TAG Heuer in Latin America in 2017 / 18 as the shining example of a new generation. In collaboration with the luxury label GUESS, the fashion-conscious Balvin 2019 contributes to its summer collection.
VIN Thanks to his upbringing and positive attitude, José Álvaro Osorio Balvín has always remained down-to-earth, despite the fame and hype surrounding him. Especially after the plane crash in the Bahamas in August 2016, where his private jet crashed shortly after take-off. Miraculously, Balvin survives the tragic incident unharmed. Since then he has gratefully celebrated his life – without drugs, cigarettes or excessive alcohol consumption. He much prefers to enjoy his wealth with exquisite watches and expensive cars and enjoys what he has achieved: being a role model that inspires people to change their way of thinking. For example, the young people in Colombia who, thanks to him, would now much rather become reggaeton stars than dreaded drug bosses or mafiosi.
“I AM NOT A SAINT OR THE BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD, BUT I BELIEVE IN TOLERANCE AND ACCEPT OTHERS AS THEY ARE, WITH ALL THEIR VIRTUES AND MISTAKES. AS DIFFICULT AS IT MAY BE.” 127
Reggaeton has its roots in the Caribbean. Almost all the islands claim the
origin of this musical genre as their own. These include Panama, Cuba, Jamaica, the D ominican Republic and Puerto Rico. With the Puerto Rican Daddy Yankee and his hit "Gasolina", the first Latino/Reggaeton rhythms came to Europe in 2004. Over the past few years, Colombian artists such as MALUMA or J. Balvin have been at the top of a second, unstoppable wave of r eggaeton.
PHOTOGRAPHER_Tatiana Gerusova ART DIRECTOR_Nicolai Marciano MODELS_ Xian Mikol, Kara Del Toro, Sofia Jamora, Gabriela Giovanardi STYLIST_Veronique Droulez, Sita AbellÃ¥n HAIR_Robert Steinken MAKE UP_Rob Sargsyan All clothes are courtesy of JBalvinXGUESS Vibras capsule collection
T R E N D S
Dolce & Gabbana Dolce & Gabbana’s 2019 spring collection “Ready-To-Wear” features closely fitted, tailor-made jackets and flounce dresses. WWW.DOLCEGABBANA.COM
The “DiorSoStellaire1” sunglasses in horn-coloured frame with angular oversize shape made of acetate.
W O M E N
“Nil-Minaudière” with summery shades of colour on shiny lamb and calfskin leather. WWW.CHLOE.COM
BE AU TY & WELL BE ING Â© Michelle Chaplow
© Michelle Chaplow
TIME OUT AT THE WA TER SANUS PER AQUAM – HEALTH THROUGH WATER. EVEN BETTER: HEALTH AT THE WATER. THAT’S WHY WE’VE TESTED THREE LUXURY HOTELS THAT OFFER NOT ONLY FIRST-CLASS SPAS, BUT ALSO BEAUTIFUL BEACHES. Authors_Nina Merli & Steffi Hidber Images_ Parkhotel Vitznau, Hotel Castello del Sole, Les Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo
© Klaus Lorke
The Parkhotel Vitznau was closed for three years for renovation work, until the historic building was reopened with great pomp in 2013. It was an elaborate renovation, but worth it in every respect: Timeless charm in over one hundred year old walls meets here the latest technology and absolute luxury. From the outside as well as from the inside, the Parkhotel is reminiscent of a small, very noble castle. Princess for a day? No problem here. Above all, the unique location, directly on the shores of Lake Lucerne, is overwhelming. The view from the Parkhotel seems to be part of the 5-star program anyway: The whole building is architecturally oriented towards the almost dramatic panorama. For example, the large Infinity Pool leads swimmers from inside to outside and rewards them with a unique view of the lake and mountains. STYLISH SPA, FIRST CLASS TREATMENTS Such a luxurious establishment can only have an equally luxurious spa, we thought before our visit. Correct, we know now after we have tested it. If you book a face or body treatment at Parkhotel Vitznau, you will be treated with products from La Prairie. The Swiss luxury brand has been researching skin ageing since its inception and is famous for its rare ingredients: platinum, gold, white caviar and caviar. Bliss: the state you are in when you have experienced the three-hour “Swiss Bliss” treatment in the Parkhotel Vitznau. The treatment promises an intensively firming and tightening effect. And indeed, after the treatment the complexion looks fresh and luscious, the skin is completely moisturised, so that even small expression lines disappear. If three hours of non-stop pampering is a bit too much for you, you can also book the complex body and facial treatment separately. In addition to the La Prairie treatments, various wellness massages such as a warm herbal compress massage or a Rigi massage with marmot oil can also be booked in the spa. Both double pages: Spa pearl at Vierwaldstättersee – the Parkhotel Vitznau
ÂŠ Michelle Chaplow
PANORAMA INCLUDED But even without a treatment, a visit to the spa during a stay at the Parkhotel Vitznau is a must. A special eye-catcher in the 1500 m² wellness oasis: an aquarium wall behind the snack bar with over 1200 exotic fish. Side windows provide a view of the large outdoor pool, which is one floor higher, and in a rear relaxation room, alternating plays of colour create a futuristic flair – reminiscent of the stylish James Bond films of the 1960s. You can sweat in the Finnish sauna at 85° or in the sanarium at 60° – the brave can then cool off in the ice-cold plunge pool or in the ice grotto. If you want to save yourself this kick, relax in one of the relaxation rooms or even better: in a garden deck chair where Lake Lucerne presents itself in all its splendour – and the term wellness suddenly makes even more sense. Here, on the shores of the lake, is the lakeside terrace, where you can have lunch, dinner or enjoy an aperitif. Of course, the Restaurant Focus (17 GaultMillau points, 2 Michelin stars) and the Restaurant Prisma (15 GaultMillau points, 1 Michelin star) also offer, in addition to first-class food, an "unobstructed view of the lake", as the panorama is, as already mentioned, part of the programme in this hotel.
CASTELLO DEL SOLE “100 hectares of pure happiness. And a million reasons to come back, time and time again” is the slogan of the Castello del Sole. Very true, we think the “Castello” really has a lot to offer. There is, for example, the huge private park in the Maggia Delta, where the original Castello del Sole was built in 1532. A morning walk in the park before starting the day? Wonderful! Or how about a little jogging around the “Terreni della Maggia”, the adjacent sustainable farm that supplies the 5-star house with wine, rice, corn and other natural products? Our favourite place is quickly found: the private beach “La Spiaggia” directly on the shores of Lake Maggiore. In the shade of the trees, lying in a hammock, the burden of everyday life falls off your shoulders, even before you enter the spa.
Surrounded by ancient trees and a endless terrain: Castello del Sole in Ascona
BEING ONE WITH NATURE A close connection with nature is of great importance at Castello del Sole. The hotel belongs, along with the “Storchen” and the Hotel Widder in Zurich, to the “Living Circle – Luxury hotels fed by nature”. As the name suggests, these three hotels have dedicated themselves entirely to having a close connection with nature. At dinner in the gourmet restaurant “Locanda Barbarossa” (18 GaultMillau points, 1 Michelin star), for example, we enjoy a risotto made from local rice from the “Terreni della Maggia” (by the way, the only 100% Swiss rice available). And also the wine we drink comes from the “Terreni”. The local connection is also not lost in the spa. The signature treatments in the 2,500 m² of pure luxury in “SPA & Beauty” at the “Castello” include treatments with VinoAqua-Therapy®, which are based upon product ingredients from the hotel’s own vineyards. Their spa also has its own cosmetic line of Vineasole- Cosmetica® cosmetics, which is based on grape seed oil mostlt pressed from grape seeds produced in the hotel’s own vineyards. Grape seed oil has a high antioxidant effect, vitalizes and protects mature skin. Two ingredients in particular make the oil exceedingly valuable in the field of anti-aging: procyanidins, special flavonoids that strengthen blood vessels and firm the skin, and reservatrol, which has a direct effect on the aging process. Vineasole products are another plus: They contain no chemical preservatives or dyes and are produced without paraffins, surfactants or PEG compounds – again in harmony with nature. A highlight, however, is the Vinoaqua therapy: First the body is prepared for the next steps with a cell renewing peeling. This is followed by a vitalising Chardonnay bath (on request you can also choose the soothing Merlot bath) and a purifying body pack with subsequent massage. If you still feel tense afterwards, you urgently need a longer break. Since we travelled to this test with a child, we would also like to mention the lovingly run Kidsclub. Wellness and children are normally a contradiction in terms, but the “Castello” manages to reconcile the parents’ need for peace and the children’s thirst for action – so after the treatments there is even time to enjoy the generous spa to the full.
WWW.CASTELLODELSOLE.COM Spa hotel with one’s own beach for additional relaxation for example with yoga. Les Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo.
LES THERMES MARINS DE SAINT-MALO
ideal for most guests. Sipping a glass of Pinot Noir with a lobster salad and commenting on the rapidly rising tide before going to bed is a delight – that’s pure Brittany. The to-do list of every visit to the Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo should also include: tasting the delicious local speciality “Caramel au beurre salé” at the extensive breakfast buffet, never missing the whole-body algae pack at the thalassotherapy treatments and absolutely meeting in the hotel’s own Cap Horn restaurant for a drink in the harmonious hotel bar before dinner – with the most beautiful view of the sea and the passing locals in their colourful wind jackets. One could easily cosy up in the hotel during a thalasso stay and leave it only for Kneipp treatments in the surf or for walks “intra muras” in the charming little town Saint-Malo. But it would be a pity, because the surroundings offer so much beauty. Those who do not arrive with their own car can – as we did – have a rental car delivered directly to the hotel and go on a tour of discovery. Jersey can be reached by catamaran ferry in less than 90 minutes. Also the UNESCO cultural heritage of mankind Mont-Saint-Michel is only 45 minutes away from Saint-Malo and is an absolute highlight at high tide, as well as at low tide. The fact that Cancale’s famous oyster farms are right on the way should please many a gourmand: you won’t be able to take a more luxurious snack break on any other road trip.
Zurich-Paris-Rennes. After a five-hour journey to Brittany, it’s time to take a deep breath, recharge your batteries and do something good for body and soul. The fact that you are facing an extraordinary time out becomes clear as soon as you check in at the Grand Hôtel des Thermes. Time seems to have stood still here. And this in an extremely charming way. The traditional 5-star hotel on the Plage de Sillon in Saint-Malo has been attracting spa guests and connoisseurs from all over the world since 1881. What was once good enough for the Russian aristocracy will now offer us four days of wellness with a seawater bonus. Above, on five floors, there is Grand Hotel luxury with stunning views of the beach and sea, and below, one of the largest Thalasso spas in the world. The Thermes Marins de Saint-Malo offer a unique wellness experience with seawater in an area of over 5,000 m². This water is pumped directly from the sea in front of the hotel, filtered and heated to play the leading role in a huge range of “soins”. Whether for a three-, five- or seven-day stay an individual treatment programme is put together for the guest, which then serves (in a waterproof laminated pencil case) as a ticket for the wellness course in the spacious thermal baths. The predominantly French guests float in their cosy bathrobes from treatment to treatment and strengthen their connective tissue and loosen tense muscles with each application. If the therapeutic seawater programme is a little too intensive for you, you can start your stay with an extremely relaxing flower bath followed by a relaxing massage, as we were allowed to do. Although classic detox and minceur programs are very popular here (the hotel’s own Art Deco restaurant “La Verrière” offers more than 20 dishes under 350 calories), the combination of seawater spa and enjoyment in the Cap Horn restaurant is
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© Karen Fuchs
THEBEAUTY OF THE IMPERFECT Oppenheim Architecture is a somewhat different architectural firm, because the imperfect is the goal, the “little bit different” way. It’s not about prestigious objects, but instead, it’s about the uniqueness of nature. It’s not about being someone, it’s about what is. Wilma Fasola Author_Wilma Fasola
© Karen Fuchs © Karen Fuchs
GLF Headquarters Miami, Florida, USA This approach utilises the immediate area of the building by adapting the surrounding stacked containers. The customer's wish to create a strong presence through the elements of simplicity and transparency was stylishly implemented. Clear lines and the targeted use of exposed concrete, glass and steel make the office complex a highlight in the heart of Miami.
“Daring and sensitive, romantic and restrained, demanding and fleeting”– this is how the team behind Oppenheim Architecture describes its projects themselves. Buildings that respect nature, villas that blend into the landscape, and residences where the stay becomes an emotional experience. Founded in 1999 by Chad Oppenheim, the architectural firm now has offices in Miami, New York and Basel. Their portfolio ranges from single-family homes through hotels to entire cities. And their secret of success is basically a very simple thing, if you can allow it as an architect. Instead of perfectionism, Oppenheim focuses on imperfection. DARING & SENSITIVE “Each of our projects is based on the same philosophy,” said Chad Oppenheim, chairman behind Oppenheim Architecture. “We love the incomplete, the imperfect, and we celebrate some kind of primitive architecture.” The focus of every project is the place, where it should be. Nature is the fundamental element and idea generator. “It’s not about creating something that’s never been there,” says the founder. “Our job is to create something that sensitively fits into the landscape without ruining it.” As a result, he and his team spend a lot of time getting familiar with the site. This includes visits at any time of day or night to study the different lighting conditions. What effect does the sun have on the place when it rises? What does the sky look like in the afternoon? What kind of mood does wind and rain bring? Likewise, you become familiar, through direct contact, with the human environment. Who lives next door? What kind of culture is there?“And together with our customers, we create a diagram of their everyday life,” says Chad Oppenheim. “Only then can we really build the house that makes them happy. It is important to make the journey together, from the first idea to completion.”
Rusted sections on the roof beams, weathered stones and 250-year-old wood – each one a natural one-of-a-kind piece. Inside you find recycled wooden floors, leather elements, vintage furniture and even more wood. Even the bed on the first floor of the three-storey building was “sunk” into a wooden-lined bunk. “As a kid, when I was skiing in Aspen I was immediately mesmerized by the insane buildings on Red Mountain,” says Chad Oppenheim. “To finally have had the opprotunity to design not only a chalet here, but my own, has made two of my dreams come true.” Because besides the wish of little Chad to own a house here, desire number two was the architect’s classic dream: to design your own home. “The ability to test things, to make one’s own philosophy tangible to the smallest detail is the dream of every architect,” admits the Wabi-Sabi-influenced boss. “And that only works when building your own house.”
ROMANTIC & RESERVED The Oppenheim Architecture projects are all designed according to the “Wabi Sabi” principle. This Chad Oppenheim got to know and appreciate during his time in Japan. It is based on Zen Buddhism and deals with the aesthetics of simplicity, incompleteness. How this can be implemented in the form of a house or a residence can be impressively shown in the Chalet “La Muna” in Aspen, Colorado. Here, where the billionaires of the world spend their ski holidays, Oppenheim Architecture has created a grandiose residence. Based on an existing chalet, which had been disfigured over the previous 30 years by various attempts at reconstruction.
DEMANDING & FLEETING Incidentally, the same applies to his comrade-in-arms. While studying at Cornell University in New York, Chad Oppenheim met the Swiss Beat Huesler. After that, however, each went their own ways and independently established their own architect’s office. Later, at a call for bids, the two ran into each other again, moreover, they were convincing in the final round, they decided to engage in a longterm relationship. Oppenheim Architecture Europe, based in Basel, was born, and exactly ten years ago. Of course one wouldn’t settle down somewhere in the Swiss border metropolis, but instead in one of the two self-designed farmhouses. “The house itself dates back to 1743,” explains Beat Huesler. "We must respect that fact , so wherever possible we have not changed the use of the space." So to say: Where once the apartments of the peasant family were, they can still be found today. And the traditional features were largely retained or merely reinterpreted. At the same time, existing materials were reused. The wood, which once was used as panels in the house, today adorns the exterior facade. And even with the new annex, in which today you will find the residential residence, you will find the simple and imperfect rule. “We challenge each new project,” says Beat Huesler, “by focusing on nature as such and continuing to make the landscape the main focus”. To emphasize this point once again, with the words of Chad Oppenheim: “Our projects should not become stars that outshine natural conditions. They should subordinate themselves and make the place where they are the experience.”
© Börje Müller
© Börje Müller
Kirchplatz Residence Muttenz-Basel, Switzerland The old farmhouse, which Oppenheim has extensively renovated, is still reco gnizable in today's design. And this is what we wanted. Materials have been recycled and supplemented with new, elegant elements. In addition to a family residence, the building also houses the Swiss office of Oppenheim Architecture.
IMPERFECTION And here too, Oppenheim Architecture’s portfolio is a prime example. The “House on a Dune” is located in the Bahamas, right on the beach. But even if you are already standing on the cool floor of the beach house, you still feel the sand under your bare feet. Designed as a holiday residence, it is nestled in the stunning surroundings of Harbor Island. “Molds washed clean by computer programs are not our thing,” says Chad Oppenheim. “We design it naturally. In the case of the House on a Dune, we focused on the essentials, used materials found on site and made absolute freedom, in terms of enjoying the landscape, our motto.” A kitchen, four bedrooms – that alone makes it clear: this house is a meeting place. An encounter of people with nature. A place of harmonious coexistence.
A palm-frond roof made of native cedar wood, colors that come from the surrounding nature, and simple openness to the present – this villa lives. “When guests enter this house, they do not say that it looks good. They say that it feels good,” said Chad Oppenheim. “And that’s the biggest compliment.” The seamless transition between outdoor and indoor experiences makes House in a Dune a unique experience, like all projects that Oppenheim Architecture creates. The inspiring factor is that the culturally diverse locations are mutually beneficial. Experiences in building a Swiss chalet become the basis for unusual elements in a city residence in New York. And to incorporate the culture of Miami in a building in St. Moritz provides for a surprise, or for just a little flaw, that is usually not quite suitable, just for the "imperfection".
© Börje Müller
DESIGN GOES GLOBAL
“WHERE IS THE SOFA FROM MINOTTI? Even if the name itself is not widely known, the style is immediately recognizable. And if you ask a lifestyler or a passionate furniture insider, a respectful expression covers their face. What a label! With the highest glamor factor ever, timeless elegance, the best materials, perfect design and timeless quality craftsmanship. That’s what it’s like. Some people dream of owning a piece – a sofa, side table, pouf or something else. Otherwise, at least to rent an eye catcher for an event or a party. (Incidentally, renting furniture has become one of the megatrends in Europe). Minotti furniture also retains its value for a long time – recently I looked for a large suede pouff online for a friend which was manufactured a number of years ago and which is no longer available. And found it! Although for a lofty price. Minotti produces such hot products. They are in demand. There is a reason for this.
NEVER HEARD OF IT! BUT WONDERFUL.” 151
This Italian furniture company based in Meda, Lombardy, is committed to elegant, timeless design. Craftmanship at its finest, as befits its tradition. It was founded in 1948 by Alberto Minotti, a carpenter, as just a simple craft business. However, since the sixties, has already slowly turned into a real industrial company. When his father died at far too young an age in 1991, both sons, Renato and Roberto, took over the business and began to realize their vision of an international company. They succeeded thanks to their great endurance and clear strategy. An important next step was the collaboration with the internationally re nowned architect Rodolfo Dordoni. In 1998, he began to design even more distinct, future-oriented forms – and from then on he has held onto his role as a kind of creative director. Today, this is what constitutes the company’s signature DNA. Today, Minotti employs 205 people, operates in 63 countries, owns 34 flagship
stores and approximately 300 qualified dealers worldwide. According to the “Handelsblatt”, sales in 2017 amounted to around 115 million euros. The most exciting furniture novelties were shown at Salone del Mobile Milano 2019: For example, the Daniel collection’s seating area with matching coffee tables, a new armchair called Lawson, and a dining table called Wedge by Nendo Design. Meanwhile, Minotti’s 3rd generation is leading the company into the future. Alessandro and Susanna Minotti shape future projects within the framework of the Minotti Studio and have been reinventing the company again. Materials, optics, marketing and new visions are being explored. The Minotti Studio has just been greatly expanded and is now a kind of research laboratory within the company. Indoor and outdoor areas are being redefined, their feasibility meticulously reviewed, new materials researched, projects for public and
© Federico Cedrone
TIME LESS DESIGN
private spaces are also being worked out. At www.minotti.com/projects you can get an idea of how visionary this can be. The projects range from property in Tel Aviv to Beverly Hills, and from Ukraine to Mexico. And the latest highlight: Minotti 2018 Hospitality, a project with a furnishing concept intended for public areas, such as hotels. Clear, futuristic, thoughtful, and a great example of what future living can look like. Very inspiring. Soon during your vacation in L.A., Miami or anywhere else, you might encounter unusual furniture or rooms which are abstract, technologically more interesting, or exceptionally beautiful in terms of craftsmanship, if so, then it may very well be a Minotti. Made in Italy, of course.
The architect and designer Rodolfo Dordoni
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2.03 square kilometres of pleasure – Gourmet paradise Monaco Text_Thomas Hauer
Just seven minutes after take-off from the Côte d’Azur Airport in Nice, Monacair’s azure-blue helicopter, which is also regularly used by the royal family as an air taxi, is already landing again on the Fontvieille helipad. While the plane floats towards the surface of the water, an impressive skyline rises into the cloudless sky before the eyes of the passengers. With around 19’000 inhabitants per square kilometre, this small spot between sky and sea, which defiantly clings to the steeply sloping rocky coast, is one of the most densely populated countries on earth. At the same time, the principality of parks and gardens bursts; the old town attracts visitors with its typical Provencal squares and narrow alleyways, full of small cafés and cosy brasseries; global luxury labels vie for well-heeled customers along elegant promenades; and important museums and theatres shine. But wait, we have just arrived. A shuttle limousine is waiting less than 20 metres from the helicopter's landing place. Our destination: the Carré d’Or around the sophisticated Place du Casino in the middle of the pulsating centre of Monte-Carlo, the most famous of the nine districts into which the mini-state is divided today and whose name is often used synonymously for the whole of Monaco. Framed by probably the most famous casino in the world, the Hôtel de Paris opened in 1863 – a veritable grande dame who, after a four-year makeover, now shines in new splendour, even though it has lost a little of her former, slightly morbid charm through the aggressive facelift – as well as the no less luxurious Hôtel Metropole, to which the French star designer Jacques Garcia has left his mark. The culinary heart of the principality also beats here. After all, there are five Michelin-starred restaurants within a radius of just 250 metres. A world record. The most famous is undoubtedly the “Louis XV”, which was ennobled by Michelin in 1990 as the first hotel restaurant in the world with three stars – the nucleus of today's global gastro empire by kitchen legend Alain Ducasse. Officially, the restaurant has been called “Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l'Hôtel de Paris” since its reopening in the old location - not least because the “brand” Ducasse has long since outweighed the name of the monarch in the age of global kitchen stars. For years, the res taurant has been congenially managed by Executive Chef Franck Cerutti, one of Ducasse's oldest companions, and Chef de Cuisine Dominique Lory. The cautious redesign of the gourmet temple also lost a little of the magical aura that, thanks to lavishly decorated stucco walls and ceilings, made guests think of mirrored state rooms in Versailles or the interior of a stately Loire palace. Above all, we miss the colossal flower arrangement that once formed
Le Louis XV_Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris
© Pierre Monetta
the heart of the “Louis XV” and has now been replaced by a spacy service station. But these “postmodern” expressions, which were imposed upon the restaurant by the design duo Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, actually fit almost seamlessly into the historical ambience and the still cultivated kitchen philosophy of a Mediterranean kitchen that appeals more to the heart than to the intellect. And this is to be understood as a compliment. In short: here you can afford – at least on your plate – to do without unnecessary tandiness and tinsel. The result: arrangements so aesthetic that you hardly want to eat them. But that would be foolish, because connoisseurs along the Côte d’Azur will find it hard to find a second similarly purist star-studded kitchen. You should definitely try the signature dishes highlighted in the menu – for example Gamberoni from San Remo with caviar and light fish jelly. But there are also dishes such as crispy Pain au blé truffier with young vegetables and sorrel, reminiscent of Ducasse’s Neutralité concept, which he so masterfully stages in his second three-star restaurant in Paris’ Plaza Athénée. Since the end of last year, Claire Sonnet, the first woman to choreograph the 18-strong service, which provides its service with the nimble lightness of a ballet ensemble. The head sommelier Noël Bajor, who has held this position for more than 20 years, is still the master of the restaurant's impressive wine cellar. Ducasse’s newest address in Monte-Carlo is called “Ômer” – a gastronomic sharing concept that found its home in a hall designed by Pierry-Yves Rochon on the ground floor of the new R otonde wing of the Hôtel de Paris and just opened in January. Together with chef Patrick Laine, Ducasse takes guests of the “Ômer” on a culinary voyage of discovery along the shores of the Mediterranean. The regularly changing mezze variations are a must. And for those who have always wondered what a Shawarma or Kebab à la Ducasse might taste like - the “Ômer” provides the answer. If you still have an appetite, take a detour to the new luxury complex Monaco One right next door, or more precisely to “Mada One”, where the Monegasque gilded youth like to enjoy an after-work drink with matching snacks – at least if you are in the unfortunate position of having to work hard. The evening ends in style with chill-out vibes and a drink in the Buddha bar, which is located in the eastern part of the casino building. On the other side of the Place du Casino, at the end of a long, slightly sloping driveway, there is the already mentioned “Metropolis” and - like the Hôtel de Paris – is one of the leading hotels in the world, which has been voted the best hotel in France/Monaco in 2018 and where in 2004 Joël Robuchon, who unfortunately died last year, became the second kitchen titan to move into Monaco's district. His culinary legacy in cludes not only the “Yoshi”, the best fine Japanese cuisine, but also the “Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo”, a veritable “Restaurant gastronomique” with an open kitchen under the long-standing Executive Chef Christophe Cussac, over which two of the coveted Michelin stars sparkle. But first to the “Yoshi”.
Left: Le Louis XV_Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris Right: Restaurant Mirazur_Menton
© Eduardo Torres
TR AV EL TIPS General travel information about the Principality of Monaco: www.visitmonaco.com
HOTEL A ND RESTAU R A NT TIPS MONACO Hôtel de Paris – legendary hotel icon with glamour factor www.hoteldeparismontecarlo.co Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l'Hôtel de Paris – since 1987 Monaco’s first address Ômer – modern interpreted classics of Mediterranean cuisine for sharing Hôtel Metropole – 2018 voted best hotel in France / Monaco by “Condé Nast Traveler” www.metropole.com Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo – twice the best dépendance of the culinary all-rounder Yoshi – one of the best Japanese r estaurants outside Nippon More hotels and restaurant tips www.montecarlosbm.com For example: Mada One - Aperitif and afterwork in Monegasque Salon Rose – simple but great restaurant in the rooms of the casino
MENTON Mirazur – France's most recent t hree-star restaurant in a specta cular panoramic location www.mirazur.fr
DON'T MISS A visit to the Thermes Marins – luxurious spa, wellness and beauty t emple with dream views of the marina and skyline.
© Eduardo Torres
finally a side trip to the Brasserie de Monaco in the Route de la Piscine, where the beer brewed in the principality is served, is the well-deserved reward. But Monaco’s immediate surroundings also hold numerous culinary treasures in store. For example, “Mirazur”, located just a few kilometres from Monaco, near Menton, is France’s newest addition to the illustrious circle of three-star addresses. Like a swallow’s nest, the restaurant, from whose minimalist guest area you can enjoy a wonderful view of Menton, is just a stone’s throw away from the Italian border on a steep slope between the narrow coastal road and the foothills of the Maritime Alps. Surrounded by a terraced kitchen garden, Mauro Colagreco and his team have been delighting gourmets from all over the world with their genuine cuisine since 2006. Sometimes playful, sometimes straight forward – but always of stunning quality and freshness. At the same time, the plates are as artfully arranged as still lifes, seem simple at first glance, but on closer inspection prove to be extremely subtle and well thought-out works of plate art. But above all, they are simply a lot of fun. For example, the beetroot baked in the salt crust with Oscietra caviar cream, the stuffed morels accompanied by fresh bean seeds or the pigeon breast with wild strawberries. And Colagreco is getting better every year, as can be seen from the growing list of awards. The “Mirazur” is currently ranked third on the prestigious list of the World’s 50 best restaurants. No wonder, after all, this likeable exceptional talent with Italian-Argentine roots earned his culinary spurs from the greats of the trade, such as Bernard Loiseau, in “L’Arpège” by Alain Passard, with Guy Martin – and of course also Alain Ducasse, although it was above all the revolutionary vegetable cuisine of Passard at the beginning of the 2000s that had a decisive influence on Colagreco's own style. Many of the herbs, vegetables and fruits that are processed in the kitchen of “Mirazur” come from their own cultivation. One of Colagreco’s five gardens, which are cultivated by his nephew, even belongs to the neighbouring former villa of the Belgian King Albert I. Its repertoire includes no less than 40 different tomato varieties and 30 types of citrus fruit. Colagreco finds the rest of his goods at small producers in the region or at the colourful market in Ventimiglia, one of the most beautiful in Italy. In short, even the most widely travelled gourmands will discover a completely new dimension in Mediterranean cuisine in “Mirazur”. It’s worth it. Promised.
Didier Gomez’s straightforward but by no means cool interior design captivates with muted colours, the finest ebony, natural stone and fine silk fabrics. A small Japanese Zen garden stretches out in front of the room-high window front. The perfect backdrop for authentic Japanese gourmets. In fact, sushi and sashimi, prepared by chef Takeo Yamazaki directly at the guests’ table during dinner, are of sensational quality. Nowhere else in Europe have we eaten this better - except perhaps for the “Yamazato” in Amsterdam's “Okura”. Signature dishes also include the marinated black halibut from the grill and the buttery Teriyaki chicken. The sommelier recommends a considerable selection of the finest Japanese sake before enjoying a Matcha tea, which is also foamed by hand at the table. In “Robuchon Monte-Carlo”, on the other hand, Cussac, in the spirit of his mentor, is focusing on classic French-Mediterranean cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. And of course Robuchon’s immortal classics should not be missed either. Above all the sinfully good puree made from “La Ratte” potatoes and lots of butter or the boneless quail filled with foie gras. The monumental dessert trolley is also great, offering around two dozen different desserts. Also worth a visit: the hotel's exclusive pool area, designed by Karl Lagerfeld, where the walls are adorned with large-format photographs of the master, who has immortalized some of his favourite models in the style of antique heroes. Then the decision for a slimming treatment in the neighbouring Givenchy Spa – one of only three worldwide – is all the easier. But Monaco has much more to offer Foodies than star gastronomy. You shouldn't miss trying local specialties like Barbajuan, small fried ravioli with different fillings, or Sokka, a kind of pancake made of chickpea dough. A visit to the two daily markets is also worthwhile. The Marché de Condamine, partially roofed, is located just below the palace on Place d’Armes, while the M arché de Monte-Carlo is located above the Place du Casino on Avenue Saint-Charles directly on the French border. At the market stalls, “Cœur de Bœuf ” tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and baby artichokes are so artfully draped as if they were precious items in the Tiffany’s display. Between meals, Monaco is best explored on foot – there’s practically no point you can not reach by walking, even if it’s quite steep up or down endless flights of stairs. Besides a visit to the palace, a side trip to the Musée Océanographique should also be on the agenda. After all the enjoyment of art and culture,
A SPARKLING LOVE RELATIONSHIP Ten more years to go until the 300th anniversary of the oldest French Âchampagne house, which has survived the most momentous stock market crash in history and two world wars. The latter with nearly 10,000 champagne bottles in stock and just two customers in Paris. But despite all the vagaries of fate, the traditional house continues to flourish. Ruinart. A champagne that once tasted, is never forgotten, and has always nurtured a unique lifestyle. The Art de vivre.
RUINART & ART DE VIVRE
Author_Helena Ugrenovic Images_Ruinart
The Ruinarts were a middle-class family of cloth merchants in Champagne. While Nicolas Ruinart worked in the f amily business, his uncle Dom Ruinart, a visionary monk, during his trading trips across Europe noticed the growing enthusiasm that champagne had triggered at the royal courts. The clever monk recognized the future potential for the production of “wine with bubbles”, which could be made from the wines of his native Champagne, and then transmitted his knowledge and visions to his nephew Nicolas. This was a time when Louis XIV ruled France, the king of pomp, the guru of court culture, the one who copied the aristocrats of Europe, patron of art and science, the pro-
genitor of the “Louis XIV’s style” and who was responsible for the heyday of French culture. The Sun King is also the one who granted the Royal Decree on May 25, 1728, that wine no longer must be transported exclusively in barrels, but also in bottles. On September 1, 1729 Nicolas Ruinart realized his plans and founded the champagne house Ruinart. But it is not just a “wine with bubbles” in which 170 bottles were sold in 1730. It was a unique lifestyle, Art de vivre, in which Ruinart lives from the first day of its founding for now almost three centuries, expressing its commitment to the arts through collaboration with numerous artists.
ONE MILLION SPA RK LES In a glass of champagne, there are up to a million effervescent sparkling pearls. It is these fine bubbles that create the personality of the champagne and make up its identity. Only when the cork discreetly pops and the champagne, which has been fermented a second time in a bottle, comes into contact with the small i rregularities on the edge of the glass does the
SPARKLING ART Through its close and long-standing relationship to the world of art and design, R uinart is a committed advocate of contemporary creations and a partner in numerous and important art fairs around the world. Each year, the oldest champagne house in history commissions a new contemporary artist or designer to create an art project to artistically honour the house’s cuvées, history and wine cellars. Two years ago, the sculpture artist Jaume Plensa deconstructed the multilingual works of Dom Thierry Ruinart and, to a certain extent, broke them down into individual words, which in turn were broken up into letters and numbers like tiny, completely different cells ultimately yielding a complex whole. The sculpture “A silent witness”, is a sculpture of elements that reflect many languages. This sculpture of numbers and letters of eight different alphabets, Latin, Greek and Arabic which were of particular importance to Dom Thierry Ruinart, as well as Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Hindi, is anchored to the ground like grapevines in the earth. It is a reference to the roots of Dom Thierry Ruinart’s champagne. In 2018, Chinese artist Liu Bolin captured the extraordinary expertise and dedication of the champagne house with fascinating, breathtaking images. He placed himself and others against the background of different scenes in which they disappeared as if camouflaged. The painting “Deep Underground” takes place in the cellar and in the production facility,
the artist first moves into position with arms stretched out, he literally blends in with the elements of the cellar.
sparkling evervescent play begin as the fine bubbles burst into life, drawing out all the champagne’s
THE ARTIST OF THE YEAR FOR 2019 Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, calls himself a “low-tech illusionist,” someone who explores our collective memory to challenge it more effectively, using a variety of media such as photography, sculpture, and video, as well as a wide range of materials. He always questions our relationship to reality and memory. In his collaboration with the Ruinart champagne house, Vik Muniz succeeds in capturing the deep relationship between man and nature, winemakers and grapevines, with seven works of art, and by also illustrating the creative tension that can turn adversity into miracles, or how hard work leads to miracles. True to his artistic work, Vik Muniz first takes a lot of time for his thoughts and observations before embarking on the creative process and his artistic stay in Reims. He wants to express through his work what cannot be transported through language, which brings about the creation of some thing extraordinary, which has been translated through a creative process. SHARED ROOTS It is a traditional Maison Ruinart vineyard, located in the Montagne de Reims which is at the same time the northernmost of Europe. Vik Muniz spent many hours in Sillery and alongside Frédéric Panaïotis, Ruinarts cellar master. There, between
aromatic f lavors.
BOTTLE STRONG BOTTLE The design of the Ruinart champagne bottle is striking for its unusual silhouette and a tribute to the heritage and craftsmanship of Maison Ruinart. The Ruinart bottle first appeared in 1735. When viewing the p ainting “The Oyster Breakfast” by Jean-François de Troy, the observer will have witnessed the first champagne tasting in history.
the golden green leaves of the vines, the Brazilian artist captured the relationship between man and nature and is fascinated by the lengthy process of producing Ruinart champagne. These are the hands of Frédéric Panaïotis, which embody this unique relationship and are the subject of Vik’s artwork. Inspired by the idea of complex processes, the multi-talented artist creates a series of works based on vines represented by blackened pieces of wood and charcoal. The leaves of the chardonnay grapes, emblematic of the Ruinart taste, give it new life together with the natural elements that he finds in the vineyard of Sillery. Vic Muniz believes the rockier the path, the better the result. The “Chardonnay Leaf” is a huge, varietal representation of the chardonnay leaf, which consists of leaves, shoots and twigs from the Sillery vineyard. He produces the work in one of the UNESCO World Heritage wine cellars of
Maison Ruinart in Reims. The work “Flow Hands” shows the smart hands of Frédéric Panaïotis, the cellar master at Maison Ruinart, who holds a vine, and it seems that the strong tendons and muscles flow smoothly into the gnarled wood, so that the boundaries between man and nature have blurred. This composition was first photographed by Vik Muniz and then recreated with blackened wood and charcoal. In Maison Ruinart’s chalk cellars, Vic Muniz has also created an interactive and artistic installation consisting of 2800 bottles of Dom Ruinart, equipped with a special LED system. The installation c ombines the tradition of Entreillage, the ancient process of manually plugging bottles which are on wooden rails, with the most innovative technology. The idea for this work came from a visit to Maison Ruinart, which the artist calls a “unique and magical place”. FOOD FOR ART It is a project driven by the idea of bringing art and gastronomy together and combining these two creative worlds through an authentic encounter between artist and chef. This innovative program by Ruinart is intended to promote the exchange of emerging talents from the international food scene and create culinary experiences, freely interpreted through the interplay between the current Ruinart artist and the wines of the Maison. Launching the “Food for Art” project where dining meets art, artist Vic Muniz and the two-Michelin-star Paris chef David Toutain have joined forces to create a root-based menu.
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RUM IN A BARREL SAILING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
The first rum was spotted in the 17th century in the Caribbean. In contrast to many other sugar cane spirits, good rum is characterized by long maturation in wooden barrels. The relation to sun and sea is
ALIEN A TURNING POINT
central. Rum and the Atlantic Passage have a long history. In former times a cup of rum was imbibed after a successful performance of the crew. Now there are again cargo sailors on the likes the “Avontuur” – a gaff schooner – that rock the rum in wooden barrels across the Atlantic and don’t let it spoil in metal containers. This is not only a message of pleasure, but also an ecological and fair sign. Will the time of sailing ships return?
“Alien” came to European cinemas in the fall of 1979. This cult film is in many respects a break in the tradition of science fiction. It was unheard of up to that point to have a woman in the leading role, who fights against a horrifying creature and survives as the last of the crew of the spaceship “Nostromo”. The monster itself was created by the Swiss HR Giger. Quite a few viewers were pursued by the monster in their dreams. That's no wonder either. HR Giger dealt with the combination of death, sex, occultism, biomechanics and Freud. The sexual-psychological aspects left the viewers pinned to their chairs. The look of the spaceship fits in well with this. Normally, spaceships are fast and look magnificent. The “Nostromo” rather gave the impression of an old unseaworthy spaceship. The “Nostromo” is unctuous and fatally ominous. The apocalypse is still palpable today.
SEX EDUCATION OVER THE COURSE OF TIME
Beate Uhse would have turned 100 in October 2019. She was a pilot and, after the Second World War, a businesswoman for items sold under the counter, such as sex education brochures. The products, which were sold under the cloak of secrecy, were officially marketed under the inhibited term “matrimonial hygiene”. This keyword alone illustrates the drastic change in the topics of sex education, gender roles and sexuality - more precisely, how they are dealt with in society. In the early 1950s, Beate Uhse seized the opportunity and opened her first shop. At that time this was breaking a taboo against the moral concepts of the then still powerful social institutions, such as the church.
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