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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

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Blush ‘n Shimmer Bridal jewellery 2010 Page 12

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Nokia C3 reviewed Hyundai Santa Fe test drive


WHAT’S HOT this week

Team Smartbuy Editorial Anushya Mamtora anushya@thehindu.co.in

Ketaki Bhojnagarwala ketaki@thehindu.co.in

Mahananda Bohidar mahananda@thehindu.co.in

S. Muralidhar muraliswami@thehindu.co.in

Design Bryan Gaughan aqua@thehindu.co.in

Balakrishnan designkbala@thehindu.co.in

Advertising Contact R. Diwakar

Sound calling Philips SHB Series

ramdiwakar@thehindu.co.in

Web Advertising Contact N. Amarnath amarnath@thehindu.co.in

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Philips has launched three new Bluetooth headsets that you can flaunt this Diwali. The lightweight Philips SHB1400 comes with a rechargeable USB and ensures a secure and comfortable fit. With the Philips SHB6110 you can enjoy wireless stereo music and switch seamlessly to calls. The Philips SHB7110 (in pic) offers you the luxury of touch and gesture control with efficient noise isolation. All Bluetooth headsets fully support Bluetooth Stereo (A2DP). Rs 1,799 (SHB1400); Rs 3,999 (SHB6110); Rs 6,999 (SHB7110)

Cover Photo : Mirari

Connect and share Amkette Flash Link Flash Link from Amkette is a plug and play device that allows for easy file-sharing and syncing between computers, at speeds of 480 Mbps. In addition to file transfer, you can use the device to share an internet connection and CD/DVD drives. Professionals who want to switch between their office desktop and travel laptop can even choose to sync Outlook. In addition, the device comes with an onboard memory of 256MB for essential storage needs. Rs 990

No strings attached Logitech M310 The Logitech M310 connects up to your computer with the help of a tiny nanoreceiver, which features Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless technology. Soft rubber side grips means the mouse is comfortable in your hand, even after hours of use. Laser tracking ensures scrolling and text selection is a breeze. Battery life is estimated at 12 months, and you can save power with a handy on/off switch and smart sleep mode. Rs 1,245

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Viewer’s delight Viewsonic VX2250wm The 22-inch VX2250wm-LED, while delivering excellent picture quality, also caters to the ever-growing eco-conscious viewer. With a slim, sleek design and powerful 1920x1080 resolution for crystal clear quality, the VX2250wm provides a stylish and sophisticated display while simultaneously saving about 40 per cent more energy than a regular monitor. Rs 8,999

On the move Acer TravelMate 8000 Series This new series of notebooks by Acer is powered by a 6-cell battery that gives you over 8 hours of juice when the PowerSmart Manager is enabled. The laptops come with a choice of Intel Core i3 and i5 processors. Sizes range from 11.6-15.6-inches, and weight starts from 1.5 kg upwards. To give you the ultimate protection for on-the-go usage, the top exterior is built with magnesium alloy, and the Disk Antishock safeguards the laptop in case of accidental falls. Rs 23,999 onwards

Fingers on the fly! Razer Anansi Designed specially for MMO gameplay, the Razer Anansi gives hardcore gamers the choice to use up to seven times more commands than the usual 12 ability keys that a standard keyboard offers. It also lets you switch between 20 gaming profiles with a single button. The Razer Anansi also features over 100 fully programmable keys, on-the-fly macro recording, five additional gaming keys and the ability to customise the key backlighting from over 16 million colours. $100 (Available from December)

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TABLET preview

Specifications OS: Android 2.2 CONNECTIVITY: HSDPA 7.2, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, A-GPS, 3.5mm, DLNA SCREEN:7-inch, 600x1024 pixels PROCESSOR: 1 GHz CAMERA: 3-megapixel with LED flash, 1.3-meg for video calls STORAGE: 16/32GB internal, microSD slot BATTERY LIFE: 4000 mAh, 1000 min talk, 1500 hrs standby SIZE/WEIGHT: 190x120x12mm / 380g


Picking up the Tab!

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fter being the star attraction at IFA this year, the hotly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Tab has made its Indian debut just in time for Diwali. The drool-worthy device is right on top of our shopping list. Does Sammy have a winner in the Galaxy Tab? Here are our first impressions. The build quality is great and the device can be held easily even with one hand. The 380g tablet can live in your jacket pocket or bag without a worry. The open Android platform is working wonders for a lot of manufacturers, not only in the handset space but also tablets. The OS is highly customisable and gives access to the smorgasbord of apps already available – critical from a functionality point of view. The 7-inch tablet runs the latest version of Android, i.e. 2.2, and Samsung seems to have got the basics right from the word go. You can make voice calls, even video calls, thanks to the front-facing cam, a feature that its nemesis, the Apple iPad missed out on. The 7-inch screen is perfect for video conferencing. The main snapper is 3-megapixel and comes with an LED flash. There’s a 1.3-megapixel camera at the front for video calling as well. Of course, having a large screen works equally great for other things like web browsing, multimedia and navigation. Flash 10.1 is supported, and you can work on multiple windows as well, using multi-touch to organise your view with ease. As with their flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S, Swype is pre-loaded for text input, and Samsung’s ‘Social Hub’ integrates all your communication: e-mail, SMSes, IM and social networking updates. The split-screen layout works well for previewing your e-mails.

Apps Thinkfree Office lets you view, edit and create office docs, while the calendar syncs smoothly with Google, Facebook, and MS Exchange. Reader’s Hub aggregates e-books, magazines and newspapers in a single app, and is perhaps, the most useful and exciting app on the Tab.

Multimedia If you like your dose of entertainment on the go, it makes for a great PMP too. The SoundAlive 3D audio offers 5.2 surround sound. Not only can this baby play full HD vids, it supports DivX and other popular codecs right out of the box! For TV connectivity, you’ll need a separate dock though. However, if you have a DLNA-compliant TV, you can use its AllShare feature to stream media wirelessly. The screen is responsive, the processor zippy, and DivX playback butter smooth. The media playing capabilities are superb, and reason enough to tilt the balance in the Tab’s favour.

Accessories Samsung plans to have a range of accessories, right from docks to external keyboards available for the Tab.

Our Verdict IFA 2010 marked the debut of quite a few Android-based tablets but none of them were a patch on the Galaxy Tab. Compact, yet highly capable both in terms of hardware and software, staying connected and productive on the road is no longer a challenge with one of these. The Tab seems to be the most polished of the lot and will set the benchmark for others to follow. Rs 38,000

T3 India


SMARTPHONE review

SMS, SNS, VFM…go 4 C3 in to IM accounts such as Windows Messenger and of course, Ovi Chat. Surfing the web, on the Nokia C3, isn’t disappointing (at least for someone who’s never had the taste of touch screen smartphones). The pages load up quickly (we used the Airtel Mobile Office network to browse the internet on the handheld) and browsing wasn’t exactly a painful affair, although some websites looked too tiny on the display even when zoomed in to about 125 per cent. The battery life, like most other budget Nokia phones, is amazing. With about two bars left on the indicator, the phone didn’t bite the dust before 24 hours or so. As with other Nokia handsets, you can connect your headphones to the 3.5 mm jack that’s on the top panel right next to the power connecter slot. The sides have little apart from the microUSB and microSD card slot on the left under hinged covers.

Mahananda Bohidar ith the cell-phone fast becoming an extension of ourselves, many of us want to believe that our choice of handset must reflect our personality. For example, right after graduating from college, you often think about your image. You want to form the right kind of impression in front of your next counsellor, employer or even the cute girl you’ve been dating. A business phone might make you look like a self-important, busy executive and a music phone maybe way too ‘fun’ as you sit for your MBA entrance group discussions. To bridge the gap, Nokia has introduced the C3 which provides you services that keep you connected with work and at the same time give you the freedom to stay in the loop with your best buds. Here’s what it holds in store.

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Turn-offs The looks The C3 offers little that you can’t predict in terms of looks and functions. You have the full-QWERTY keyboard, the D-pad at the centre and four customisable keys. With a 2.4-inch display, the body panels are offered in three colours – Slate Grey, Hot Pink and Golden White - with a metallic sheen that gives the phone a youngish look. The screen itself is sufficiently bright and despite its cut-throat pricing it doesn’t look like there have been compromises on the quality of the display. The body has a fullQWERTY keypad with well spaced-out keys, something that only business smartphones from Nokia have had to boast of till now. Running on the old Symbian S 40 interface, you have the option of just one home screen, but most of it is customisable. Much of the screen real estate is occupied by three translucent bars, to the right of the screen. You can choose from a list of about 15 apps and widgets to have these spaces as shortcuts. Despite the lack of a touch screen, accessing these options is till quite convenient with the ‘Up’ or ‘Down’ buttons on the rim of the D-pad. Apart from letting you access these functions, pressing these buttons also activates the menu to personalise your home screen. If ‘keeping it simple’ is your thing, you can do away with these widget bars and have a plain-looking home screen.

The goodies For those of you addicted to Facebook, Twitter and similar social networking hubs, Nokia C3 has its in-built ‘Communities’ which keeps you connected to multiple SNS ac-

With a budget phone, you have tell-tale signs of where the company has tried to cut down on features to offer the C3 at the price that it does. The build quality as I have mentioned before doesn’t exactly look like that of an economy phone, but after a couple of days of use, some keys, the Space Bar, in particular felt ‘plasticky’. It was a rather ‘unsteady’ press after a few days of typing on it. Despite the 2-meg camera with Carl Zeiss optics, the results weren’t all that great. Even pictures taken indoors, in well-lit situations gave us grainy images. The camera also lacks a flash, which means you can forget about taking pictures at night or in low-light conditions. Both the music player and radio are stripped down to the basics and have absolutely no fancy features. Also, the S 40 can’t afford to allow multitasking which means you can’t take down that note while your music plays somewhere in the background or are downloading the latest apps from the Ovi store.

Our verdict

Photo: R. Ravindran

counts. You can personalise it for Facebook updates and the latest Tweets to show up on your home screen. And there’s respite for IM-addicts too. On the C3, apart from Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger you can also sign

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Nokia might still be struggling to get the smartphone formula right, but when it comes to budget phones it still knows a trick or two. So, while it compromises on certain multimedia and software details, it succeeds in providing an easy-to-text, SNS-focused phone. If you are looking for a first, budget handset with decent communication and social networking capability, the Nokia C3 could be an option for you. Rs 7,249 Love: – Neat looks, amazing battery life Hate: – No fancy features, old interface


AUTO focus

Photos: S. Muralidhar

Hyundai adds another City to its kitty S.Muralidhar espite Hyundai’s success with its sedans and sports utility vehicles in the other mature and more demanding markets, the Indian car buyer’s fixated perceptions about the brand have been a big reason for the relatively muted response here to its cars above the hatch category. The quality and safety awards that Hyundai’s big cars are winning abroad have made it a brand to reckon with even in a market like the US. But, even though the Elantra, the Tucson and the Terracan were all packaged like a typical Hyundai – with a lot of value and competitiontrumping features – they just couldn’t make much headway in terms of volumes. Last month, Hyundai brought its best-selling SUV – the Santa Fe – to India. Will this sports utility (also named after another American city like the Tucson) help Hyundai break away from the mould that it’s been cast in? The Santa Fe has the wares needed for Hyundai to fight back that image. The first generation of the Santa Fe was launched in the year 2000 and the model has sold more than two million units worldwide until now. An upgraded version of the second generation Santa Fe was launched late last year and this is the model that has now been launched here.

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Design In keeping with the current trend worldwide, the new Santa Fe’s design is more crossover than rugged sports utility. Though Indians have till now preferred sports utility vehicles with a butch-stance, the acceptance for crossovers is catching on. The Santa Fe will also have an advantage since it is a seven-seater. The new Santa Fe is one of the most understated and elegantly designed Hyundais in recent times. Easy flowing

lines that meet and end with a purpose bring symmetry and a universal appeal to its design. There is nothing Oriental about its looks. The front of the Santa Fe is dominated by the rectangular, dual-barrelled headlamps and a wide, simple threeslat bonnet grille. The oval Hyundai logo sits in the middle of the body-coloured grille, which also features a chrome surround. The big front bumper with a dual-tone (painted/unpainted) finish and the large integrated airdam give


the Santa Fe its SUV looks at the front. There is also a skid plate just below and behind the bumper that adds to the SUV stance and is also meant to protect the engine bay. Hyundai is positioning the Santa Fe as a luxury SUV. So, in keeping with the Indian preference for chrome there are blingy bits along the side and rear of the car too. Large 18-inch alloy wheels fill out the arches and add to the Santa Fe’s overall muscular stance. Door mirrors are heated and feature integrated LED turn indicators. At the rear of the Santa Fe, the hatch door gets a non-traditional handle. Though it is hinged at the top to the C-pillar, it gets a handle very similar to a side-opening door. The rear of the Santa Fe also features an integrated roof spoiler, rear wiper-washer and twin exhausts.

Interiors The simplicity of the Santa Fe’s design is carried over into the interior too. I step in and get behind the wheel and there is immediately a sense of luxury that envelopes me. A symmetric, pleasing dashboard greets me. Almost sedan-like, the dual-tone dark grey and light brown dashboard theme is divided a stripe of wood and silver inserts. The centre fascia is contrasted in silver paint finish and is again very understated and functional with all the knobs and controls in the right place within reach for the driver. The chunky, leather-wrapped, four-spoke steering wheel also offers the driver an array of controls for the music system and the cruise control. Dual zone automatic airconditioning is standard. Blower control is possible even for the third row of seats. The instrument cluster features chrome-ringed dials and in addition to the speedo, odo and other standard displays, it also includes gear shift indicator to prompt the driver and help improve fuel efficiency. The leather seats in the Santa Fe felt really comfortable during my test drive from Bengaluru to Coorg. With enough bolstering to offer good thigh and back support, the seats can keep seven occupants on the three rows comfortable during long drives. The driver’s seat features ten-way electrical adjustment. With all the three rows in use, the rear luggage area is still not exactly voluminous, but it still better than many other SUVs in the segment.

Performance One of the best features that could give the Santa Fe a leg up is its R 2.2 CRDi engine. This is one refined diesel engine from Hyundai that combines power with excellent NVH characteristics to give the Santa Fe a clear lead in the class. The 2,199cc diesel engine offers a total of 197 horses at 3,800 rpm; that is class-leading power. Much of that power is also delivered pretty linearly from about 1,500 to 2,000 rpm. The engine also puts out 42.9 KgM of peak torque from as low as 1,800 rpm, again class-leading, and it showed every time I stepped on the throttle. The engine is ably aided by an electrical variable geometry turbocharger (EVGT) that offers turbo boost based on electronic control and inputs from an array of sensors. In addition to the turbocharger, piezo electric injectors help reduce emissions by fine tuning fuel injection based


on driver demand. The Santa Fe’s engine is one of the quietest diesel units that you can find. Once you are seated in the cabin, the engine is barely audible during idling. It is more apparent, of course, since you expect to hear it clatter. Even during hard acceleration, the NVH packaging helps to keep out much of the engine, gearbox noise and only a bit of the turbo whine seems to seep through. Paired with the 2.2-litre engine is a six-speed manual gearbox with well-matched ratios to offer good driveability in both city and highway driving. The relatively short throw gear-shift stick offers crisp shift quality overall, though it is a bit notchy compared to other Hyundai transmissions. An electronic torque on demand four wheel drive system is also offered, with the option of locking or engaging full-time 4WD. Hyundai has also loaded the Santa Fe with a considerable level of safety equipment. Six airbags, including side and curtain airbags will attempt to protect the occupants with reduced deployment forces to ensure lowered injury risk. An intelligent rollover sensor also monitors the vehicle’s angle and deploys the side and curtain airbags if it predicts a rollover. The Santa Fe is also offered with active head rests and ABS as part of standard equipment. Hyundai says that the 235/60 R18 tyres that the Santa Fe is offered with features a new compound that has a higher concentration of Silica, which helps provide much better grip on wet surfaces and also reduces rolling resistance. During my test drive, I found the ride quality in the Santa Fe to be comfortable on the highway, despite the suspension feeling a bit firm, the vehicle also managed to handle the potholed sections on some of the roads near Coorg. Only a few really big craters on the road left a jarring note for the cabin occupants.

Bottomline The Santa Fe is the most powerful and most torquey SUV currently in its size segment and in the price category ranging all the way from Rs 16 lakh to Rs 23 lakh. It can take on the likes of the Ford Endeavour, the Chevrolet Captiva, the Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Outlander in all the performance parameters and in terms of overall value. Hyundai has also sensibly chosen to offer a regular two-wheel drive version too at a lower price of Rs 21 lakh, in addition to the 4WD variant priced at Rs 23 lakh (both ex-showroom, Delhi). Most buyers in this segment will not be taking their vehicles out off-roading often and even as a safety measure the need for the four-wheel drive feature is less likely to be felt in city driving conditions. Further, the Santa Fe’s 4WD is on demand and not full-time, thereby offering the option of being deactivated, a feature that can potentially help improve fuel efficiency. All of these combined with the fact that the maturity of the market here is improving by the day, Hyundai just might have a winner on its hands. The Santa Fe will not rake in the big numbers for Hyundai like its hatches do, but, it just might help it break the jinx.


It looks like the competition is lined up sizewise right to left. But except for a 50mm length advantage and a more butch stance the Santa Fe can hold itself against the Toyota Fortuner. The Mitsubishi Outlander is a 5-seater and the more fashionable of the three. For buyers who didn’t have any other option in the Rs 20 lakh plus SUV category, the Santa Fe can be a good bet

Interior features include a cluster ionizer to provide clean air and to suppress bacteria growth. Central armrest features chiller section. 6-disc CD changer music system also has USB port and iPod connection. Blue LED lighting looks cool at night. The steering is adjustable for rake and reach and with the driver’s seat adjustment offer the best position


MELANGE luxury redefined

Boss at Night The super hit fragrance Boss Bottled has a new addition to boast of. Night. The intensely seductive, rich, woody and musky scent is captured in a sleek deep midnight blue bottle. Available at select lifestyle stores. Rs 3,800 (100ml)

Precious palm candy

Classy glassy Murano Pochette perfect A classy evening rendezvous just met its perfect companion. Tod’s limited edition clutch for India in silk satin with a round rhinestone closure is minimal yet so overwhelming. Black, cream, green or pink, pick one or all at its boutiques. Rs 1,02,000

It’s honey bees, lady birds, dragonflies, frogs and ants all the way for Bracialeto, as it unveils its new animal collection of bracelets, lariats, rings and earrings in brightly hued Murano glass. Available at select boutiques. Price on request

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An embellished ethnic ensemble is incomplete without a luxe hand-crafted clutch. Meera Mahadevia’s latest ‘The Classic Collection’ in precious metals and stones, and hand woven fabrics like brocade, ‘tanchoi’ and ‘jamawar’, is regal to hold. Available at select boutiques. Price on request

Golden peep-toes Glittering with gold, a tinge of black, a bow detail and semi-laminated calf skin. Fendi’s Deco Golden pumps are stylishly crafted and make for a wow buy. Available at its store in Emporio Mall, New Delhi. Rs 37,750


Bridal trends: ’tis the season to be sparkly

Tanishq’s Tamil bride

Anushya Mamtora blushing bride peeps into the aarsi ‘mirror’ ring to coyly take a look at her groom. The little pieces of barrette twinkle when she moves her head. And the gorgeously crafted gold waistband wrapped around her waist is a head-turner. It’s that time of the year again. When along with the wedding bells that will resound in the backdrop, the highlight will be the treasures from your grandma’s trunk or the jewellers’ best wares. It’s an arduous task to select that one striking piece that will leave your guests spell-bound. Is it okay to experiment with some funky and unusual pieces or take the safe route? Thankfully, the little events that surround your wedding provide ample opportunities to sport different styles of jewellery. Here are some jewellery trends for this bridal season which have been in demand for the main ensemble as well as trousseau. Which one do you want to dazzle in? The choice is entirely yours.

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Back to your roots The dazzling ‘kaashmalai’ that a Kerala bride dons, the classic Rajasthani ‘jadau’ set, Gujarati ‘haath-phools’ or the long ‘maanga harams’ of Tamil weddings. Wedding jewellery steeped in tradition never goes out of fashion. And the flavour this season is to go back in time and bring out select pieces that blend in with your culture and family history. While the easiest option is to rummage through your mother’s or grand mother’s collections, there are many jewellery stores that specialise in jewellery patterns of the yore. Tanishq for example reiterated the trend with the launch of its Wedding collection specific to different communities, with pieces rooted to the art and craft form and culture of each state.

Traditional, with a twist There are also exquisite jewels for those who don’t want to leave their roots behind yet want to add a dash of modern-

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ity to their bridal ware. Mirari has experimented with a Punjabi bride’s pride - the red and white ‘chudas’ – which they wear for a long period even after the wedding. Mira Gulati has used white diamonds and rubies to craft single line bangles, a precious substitute to the lac ‘chudas’. If one were to attend a traditional South Indian wedding, the ‘oddiyanum’ or waist band shimmering in gold cannot be missed. But brides today want to opt out of the gold bling look and buckle up something classy. Jaipur Gems has created a few pieces to give the traditional a classic touch. It designed a special waist band for a bride where it teamed a large diamond and white gold piece with strings of small pearls to loop around the waist and its stores still display a diamond version of the long gold

Butterfly brooch: Saffronart

Tarun Tahiliani’s Forevermark jhumkaas


JEWELLERY trends Rose’s cuff in diamond and precious stones

Mirari single line bangles

‘haaram’. The ‘karan-phool’ which the bride wears to hold up her heavy earrings has also transformed from a mere gold link to a stylised ear wrap piece.

Statement pieces Brides who do not want to pile on necklaces of varied lengths resembling a wedding metal armour, are now opting for one statement neckpiece that will make up for all the bling. Usually in the form of a bib or short necklace, these statement pieces have a large attractive pendant to grab eyeballs. For the wrists too, brides prefer wearing a stun-

ning jewelled cuff for the reception rather than stacking up matching bangles. Another piece that has caught the fancy of brides is a large funky cocktail ring that can be flashed in the pre engagement functions. Apart from Indian brands like Minawala and Popley, international jewellers like de Grisogono, Faberge, Cartier and others have colourful and exotic large rings that can be the centre of attention in your pre-wedding ensemble. The solitaires in your engagement ring can do the talking after that! What can also add a dramatic touch is a classy hair accessory. While it is difficult to team one with your traditional attire, it pairs well with fusion wear.

Dismantlables When will I ever wear my wedding jewellery again? This is perhaps the most common predicament among brides across communities. Bridal jewellery tends to be so heavy and grand that one tends to think twice before sporting it at another do. But jewellers are making it easier. Maangtikas that can be converted into pendants, pendants into brooches, earrings that can be made smaller and pendants that are dismantlable to the last ruby. It’s the season to opt for easy mix and match rather than complicated ones. Go dazzle!

Trousseau must-haves

Minawala Cocktail ring

Mirari’s hair accessory

Kirtilal’s parrot waist-band

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Whether you wear these for the wedding or not, it’s great to stock up some elegant pieces of jewellery with the budget you have set for yourself. Instead of spending it all on a heavy kundan set or gold and ruby ‘haaram’, it’s best to pick a variety of styles and techniques to add an eclectic touch to your wedding trousseau. Here are some interesting pieces you can look at: Maangtika or Netti chutti: A simple one with rubies and emeralds or just plain diamonds that can be used with ethnic wear Trendy waistband: In strings of pearls or easy flowing metal links that can be paired with western dresses too Brooch: White gold studded with brilliant white diamonds or exquisite pearls is a winner all the way. You can also look at some colourful ones Precious bag: In Swarovski crystals for a contemporary look or hand crafted in gold, silver and precious stones in aesthetic designs for an ethnic get up Kurta buttons: Diamond, ruby and emerald studded buttons add class to an ethnic kurta and can be teamed with other attires post-wedding as well


TASTER’S choice

Uncorking the value of liquid investments A. Craig Copetas ndian wine-investment guru Meenu Kohli’s mantra is: Don’t get high on your own supply. “Wine is an asset class,” says Kohli, Director of Winetage Investments Ltd. in Paris. “My clients would never dream of asking for a taste, which is somewhat regrettable,” the Bordeaux analyst from Mumbai adds, tempted to break her fiduciary responsibilities with an investmentgrade 2003 Les Forts de Latour Pauillac. “Why take the risk?” Kohli reckons, sipping reluctantly. “Wow,” she quips, “This is a terrific wine.” To glug or not to glug, that’s the question that niggles investors, who this year poured between $300 million and $500 million into some seven global wine funds that boast a turnover of about $3 billion. So who’s doing the sipping? “Millionaires and billionaires are the ones who can afford to enjoy the end product,” Kohli says, “but you only need an annual income of €80,000 to €100,000 to become an investor - so long as you understand that the value of any wine is no indication of its quality, that French Bordeaux is the only wine worthy of investment and that the exit from the investment must be quick and easy.”

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Double liquidity “We do have the odd few investors who we send bottles to for drinking,” says Steven Lim, Chief Executive Officer of SG Trust (Asia) Ltd., the Societe Generale SA unit that handles SG Private Banking’s $100 million Ultimate Wine Fund portfolio in Singapore. “Double liquidity” is how the 54-year-old wine investor describes his clients who like to taste their transactions. “The minimum investment is $300,000.” Back in Paris, amid the 35,000 bottles of wine in the cave at Le Royal Monceau Raffles hotel, sommelier-in-chief Manuel Peyrondet wags a corkscrew at those involved in lay-away wine funds. “They cause great sadness. Soon nobody will remember what a great Bordeaux tastes like. No restaurant can afford the millions required to buy and then store a Bordeaux for the required 10 years,” he says. Kohli’s Winetage is in the business of seeking folks willing to invest at least 5,100 pounds ($8,076) in the wine fund. Secret storage “The wine sits in a guarded warehouse, like gold bullion or copper ingots,” Kohli says, pointing out that investment wine pays no tax duty. “Don’t even think about opening the original wood case, otherwise the price drops dramatically.” As for deals, Kohli says the best “short-term returners” over the past few years have included 2003 Margaux picked up for around €700 a bottle and 2000 and 2008 Chateau Petrus at about the same price and now worth €1,000 to €1,500. The luncheon Pauillac second-pressing

Photo: Bloomberg

2003 Les Forts de Latour, which in Paris retails for €157 a bottle, could have been scooped up by investors five years ago for €40 a bottle. “Bordeaux is the benchmark and the best thing about them is they’re as volatile as gold and fixed deposits,” adds Kohli. Investing in Lafite Kohli’s research shows that the financial crisis caused high-net-worth individuals to lose a quarter of their wealth and become disillusioned with traditional investment vehicles. Instead of continuing to borrow money against the security of their remaining assets, many have put their money in Bordeaux. “A top Bordeaux has a 50-year life span,” Hibberd adds. “We’ve seen a massive global demand for investing in Bordeaux brands produced in limited quantities.” Hibberd says the mother of all liquid-investment benchmarks is Chateau Lafite Rothschild. “Only 20,000 cases are released annually, 250,000 bottles,” Hibberd explains of the Pauillac uncorked for anywhere between €550 and €3,900 a bottle for any vintage after 1982. “The rate at which Lafite is now being poured is diminishing.” Over at Winetage, Kohli designs portfolios that include 85 per cent of the top Bordeaux vintages. “The rest are my dark horses,” Kohli says with a convincing smile. “The key to a successful wine portfolio is getting beyond

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the usual Bordeaux propaganda issued by the Chateaux,” says Kohli, who got hooked on the market while scouring wine lists to find the perfect German Riesling to drink with spicy Indian food.Kohli’s private cave contains 600 bottles. “They’re mostly Bordeaux, financial instruments,” she says. “Burgundies are not well developed as an asset class and I don’t want to play with them on my investors’ money because I can’t chart the same viable risk-reward ratio that I can using Bordeaux classifications that go back to 1855.”

Targeting India At the same time, Kohli says she suspects her industry’s future in large part rests with the rarity value of the Pinot Noir grapes of Burgundy. “India is the next big market for investment wines and part of my master plan,” Kohli says. “A lot of our prospective Indian clients insist they want to taste what they’re investing in and Burgundies are of great interest to them. In India, you drink whisky and vodka, but you drink.” Kohli stares at what’s left of the investment-grade Pauillac on the table and takes a final sip. “You can’t drink share paper,” she sighs. (The author writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)


EVENT meter

Fun at Fashion Week Adding to the spate of fashion extravaganzas, Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week saw a diverse mix of top notch and promising designers showcase their Spring Summer 2011 collection. Some eye-catching pieces included JJ Valaya’s beige saris with interesting borders, Kavita Bhartia’s eclectic tunics and leggings, Wendell Rodricks’ Kunbi Tribe collection, Ashish Soni’s white and black chic ensembles, Nida Mahmood’s quirky collection and Anita Dongre’s Shop for Change Fair Trade cotton range. Tarun Tahiliani took the bow as the grand finale designer as he displayed his The New Democracy collection which included textured handloom and daytime silhouettes that took the form of saris, dresses and goddess kaftans in shades of sand, ivory, beige, ecru, taupe and charcoal. Also showcasing their collection at the Fashion Week were Meera & Muzaffar Ali, Roma Narsinghani, Varun Sardana, Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna, Nalandda Bhandari, Jaya Rathore, Chandrani Singh Flora and others.

In high spirits At Prego, the Italian restaurant at Taj Coromandel, Distell Group Limited celebrated an evening of premium wines from the Nederburg Wineries from Paarl, South Africa. A variety of wines were served with a special menu designed by Chef Giovanni. A choice of the sumptuous gorgonzola cheese soufflé or Venetian style cod was presented along with Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp white wine with subtle notes of lemon and grass. The second course brought to the tables Nederburg Pinotage, a mildly sweet red, which Chef Giovanni had chosen to pair with parma ham ravioli and artichoke risotto. The main course ended with semicooked tartare or a vegetable mosaic and parmesan cheese sauce along with a Nederburg Shiraz, a medium-bodied red. To end the dinner on a peppy, fruity note Amarula Cream was presented as the dessert liqueur along with a choice of berries strudel and pear flan.

Tick-tock, the Weil and Seiko clock Chennai was the favoured destination for international watch brands Seiko and Raymond Weil this month as they set up shop at the Express Avenue mall in association with Zimsons. Raymond Weil launched its second exclusive boutique which not only houses its wide range of watches but also its pens and cufflinks collection. The month also marked the opening of Quartz-inventor Seiko’s first boutique in India which is special as it incorporates the key design elements from the brand’s award-winning stand at Baselworld ‘The Cube’. Apart from its historical pieces and special editions, the boutique has Seiko’s popular collections of watches and clocks.

Smartbuy

15

November 3, 2010



Smartbuy issue dated November 3, 2010