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AN UNMISTAKABLE STYLE In 1924, Montblanc created a writing instrument that became an icon of writing culture: the Montblanc MeisterstĂźck. Its functional, attractive design, the innovative ink-feeding system and its hand-engraved gold nib with an iridium tip have made this fountain pen the writing instrument of our times.
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Letter from the Editor
When I contemplate the amazing changes we’ve undergone recently—the merger of Jack Ryan with Lex Tempus—and what that brings to our clients, I realized that Timepiece Magazine reinforces and advances our goal of making our customers’ quest for the foremost in luxury lifestyle products, easier than ever. As a lifestyle magazine, Timepiece informs and entertains. We rove from topics on the history of horology to the making of a watchmaker, from scotch whisky to ocean racing, and a wide ranging look at some of the most marvelous places in the world to spend time with your family and friends. Now, Timepiece will also reflect the growing range of lifestyle products we offer you through Lex Tempus. In this issue, we bring you the story of Pierre Jaquet-Droz and his three amazing programmable automata, built 240 years ago; the machine that replicates human activity when testing a watch; and an in-depth look at travel types and places to visit; and a little guidance on the fine art of wine tasting. While sitting here savoring my coffee, I’m reflecting, for some reason, on the British television series Mr Selfridge, which explores the history of Harry Gordon Selfridge and his new flagship retail emporium—opened more than a hundred years ago in London, England. He designed it to be a desirable destination for a unique shopping experience. Why am I thinking about this? I’m thinking about the immense shift in customers’ retail shopping experience. Today, a unique shopping experience is right at their fingertips—at any time, and from anywhere. Enjoy this issue of Timepiece Magazine.
E. Mark Baran
Automata that Write, Draw and Play Music
Why Pierre Jaquet-Droz built his programmable automata— the greatest marketing strategy ever created.
The Making of a Watchmaker – Part IV
A rare glimpse into the journey of becoming a master watchmaker.
The Machine that Mimics Human Activity
Is the Fleurier Quality Foundation Certification a step too far or a certification too many?
What Vacation Type are you?
Do you delight in adventure, culture, flora and fauna, history, winter escapes, or yoga and fitness? You might find the right vacation among our six listed vacation types—or at any rate, some ideas.
Swirling, Sniffing and Tasting Your Wine
Check out the etiquette of wine tasting at home and in a restaurant.
Around the world in 80 watches – Series 5
Available at w w w . L E X T E M P U S . c o m
Automata that Write, Draw and Play Music Why Pierre Jaquet-Droz built his programmable automata By MĂĄire Oâ€™Callaghan
magine. No laptops. No iPads. No smart phones. Only automata. The purported precursors of computers.
Artistic, inventive and visionary people do the work that is beyond the reach of an automaton or computer. Computers cannot parse nuance or summon the vast imaginative powers displayed by painters, musicians and writers. The imagination is far beyond a computer. And the acts of the artist, the flow of creativity that gave us John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” paintings (1827–1838), Clara Schumann’s “Valses Romantiques” for piano (1833–1835), or Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884), are impossible. I would argue that the work of the artist is not necessarily impossible. Of course, automata or computers can’t hope to mimic human beings in their imaginative scope. Nevertheless, a mechanical genius had the imagination to build a fully self-contained programmable writing machine and other automata that are still “self-operating” today: the extremely complex automata—the Draughtsman, the Musician, and the Writer—were all built between 1767 and 1774 by Pierre Jaquet-Droz assisted by his son Henri-Louis and by Jean-Frédéric Leschot, whom he took in at a young age after his mother died. These automata are considered to be the modern computer’s ancestor— and amazing ancestors they are. Today, for us the shine is off our smartphones, laptops, and tablets—they are now integral parts of our daily lives. But in the eighteenth century, the automata built by Pierre Jaquet-Droz shone—and they still shine today. The definition of automata comes from the latinization of the Greek word αὐτόματον meaning “automat,” which means “acting of one’s own will.” It usually describes moving machines, especially ones that resemble animal or human actions.
The Draughtsman draws and the Musician plays
The Draughtsman is a young boy made up of 2,000 parts. He draws four different pictures with a graphite pencil in his hand: a dog with “Mon toutou” (“my doggy”) written beside it; a dancing royal couple; Cupid driving a chariot pulled by a butterfly; and a portrait of King Louis XV. These are all directed by a series of cams—rotating metal disks that move levers at a predetermined time and direction. The Draughtsman moves in his chair and periodically blows on his pencil to remove dust. The Musician is a young woman made up of 2,500 parts. She can play five different songs on her custom-built organ. She actually plays the organ, striking the keys with her independently moving fingers. The Musician breathes. She moves her head to read the sheet music, and follows her fingers with her head and eyes. She also mimics the movements made by a human player; for example, balancing her torso.
The Writer writes
Of the three automata built by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, the Writer was considered his pièce de résistance. More than 240 years ago, Pierre Jaquet-Droz designed and built the boy automaton. Carved from wood and measuring just 70 centimeters or 28 inches tall the automaton contains 6,000 parts and 40 replaceable cams, enabling it to write a sentence of up to 40 characters. It is a self-operating, programmable machine capable of writing in cursive with a goose feather quill. Incredibly, not only does it do that, but it also automates the motion required to create letters, while simultaneously controlling the varying pressures that are required of a quill. Unprecedented for its time, the Writer consists of a “programming” wheel, making it possible for it to pick the words it wants to write. It is truly remarkable that the height of the letter mounted by the wheel translates directly to the height of the cam stack. The “memory” is made up from a set of cams and connecting rods that transform rotary into linear motion. The motion controls the letterforming mechanism—of more than 4,000 components. The Writer can, therefore, write any text as long as it does not exceed 40 characters on three lines. He can also dip his quill into an ink pot while his eyes and head follow the movement of his hand. As you can see, the Writer, like his fellow automata, can act the role of the artist: they can produce writings, drawings and music.
Automata set the stage
These highly complex automata still work perfectly. I wonder, will we be able to say the same about our desktop computers, laptop computers, notebooks, or tablets? Today we have high technology turnover and soaring obsolescence rates—the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 20 million computers were thrown out in 1998, and by 2005 that number had more than doubled. It makes it all the more remarkable that the Writer and Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s other two automata survived these many years in perfect working order. Pierre Jaquet-Droz designed and built his automata with no lasers to measure with, no processor to work it out, or software to manipulate the technology—it was little more than gears, springs, cams, and levers. Pierre Jaquet-Droz and his son combined all the technical developments known in the eighteenth century to produce machines that faithfully imitated human beings.
Automaton at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA Photo: travelchannel.com
Today, automata such as this would be run by a software program, but Pierre Jaquet-Droz created his automata without the benefit of our technology. As well, he made his task more complicated and challenging as he placed the mechanism inside the body of the automata—the mechanical wheels and synchronization of the movements were all in miniature. Think about a “doll” just 70 centimeters or 28 inches tall with 6,000 parts and 40 replaceable cams inside its body.
These incredibly complex inventions of Pierre Jaquet-Droz are an integral part of the history of industrial automation and computers. Here are a few other revolutionary inventions that also set the stage for today’s technology:
From 1738 to 1747 – Pierre Jaquet-Droz devoted himself entirely to clockmaking, producing a series of longcase clocks, or grandfather clocks, that had increasingly sophisticated movements—they surpassed anything that had been manufactured earlier. From there, it was a natural progression to add music and automata, such the repeater watch with a singing bird automaton, to his movements. He quickly drew the attention of wealthy clients to his increasingly innovative and complex automata.
1755 – Tragedy struck. Soon after the birth of his two children, Julie in 1751 and Henri-Louis in 1752, his wife Marianne Sandoz and daughter died. From then on, Pierre Jaquet-Droz devoted himself entirely to clockmaking.
1758 – George Keith, Lord Marischal, Governor of the principality of Neuchâtel, advised Pierre Jaquet-Droz to present his clocks abroad. For a visit to Spain, Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his father-in-law, and a young hired hand named Jaques Gevril, built a carriage designed to carry six longcase clocks. Imagine traveling with six longcase clocks—all 6 to 8 feet tall.
1759 – Pierre Jaquet-Droz returned to La Chaux-de-Fonds. With the money he earned from his sales in Spain, he was able to devote himself exclusively to making watches, clocks and automata.
From 1768 to 1774 – His three complex automata—the Draughtsman, the Musician, and the Writer—were presented at European courts.
1801 – Joseph Marie Jacquard invented the mechanical Jacquard loom. Today, computers control the modern Jacquard loom in place of the original punched cards.
1837 – Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace’s work on the Analytical Engine. If it had been built, it would have been digital and programmable. Even so, it would have been slow. In her notes on the Analytical Engine, Ada Lovelace said, “Mr. Babbage believes he can, by his engine, form the product of two numbers, each containing twenty figures, in three minutes.” Today, a computer can do the same thing in well under a millionth of a second.
1942 – Famous film star Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil were awarded a patent for a “secret communication system” for use in radio-guided torpedoes—a device that eventually revolutionized mobile communications. After sitting in US Navy files for decades, the device became a constituent part of GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. 1943 – The engineer Tommy Flowers designed Colossus, the name of a series of computers developed for British codebreakers. The prototype, Colossus Mark 1, was operational at Bletchley Park on February 5, 1944. Alan Turing’s use of probability in cryptanalysis contributed to its design.
From the automata of Pierre Jaquet-Droz to personal computers on our wrist, technological developments have progressed at an accelerated rate. Even so, the Draughtsman, the Musician, and the Writer, do not need a software program or the latest technological developments—they continue to work just fine without them.
The events that led to the Automata
Pierre Jaquet-Droz, 1721 to 1790, and his son Henri-Lois, 1752 to 1791, were Swiss watchmakers and engineers educated in mathematics and physics. Following is a brief look at the life of Pierre Jaquet-Droz and the events that led to the building of his automata: •
What was the purpose behind building and spending years traveling and presenting his automata? They were advertisements and entertainment toys. They were designed specifically to improve the sale of watches and mechanical birds among the nobility of eighteenth-century Europe. The greatest marketing strategy one can imagine. To this day, these three automata continue to give prominence and prestige to the name of Jaquet-Droz from their home at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire of Neuchâtel—where they have lodged since 1906. Today, they are still drawing, playing music and writing. Visit them some time. And when you watch them, remember that Pierre Jaquet-Droz designed and built these self-operating programmable automata more than 240 years ago—from thousands of miniaturized parts, connecting rods, and hundreds of cams. When you watch these automata mimicking human action you realize that even though technology has developed beyond our wildest imaginings, the passion and creative genius of the individual spirit remains unchanged. Today, Pierre Jaquet-Droz would have felt right at home in our highly developed technological world.
1721 – Pierre Jaquet-Droz was born on a small farm (La Ferme de Sur le Pont) in Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the capital of the watchmaking industry for over a hundred years. When tutored in clockmaking and precision mechanics by older relatives from the Brandt-di-Grieurin, Sandoz and Robert families, he was captivated by the craft.
Part The Making of a Watchmaker
The journey to become a master watchmaker continues By MĂĄire Oâ€™Callaghan
n September 2014, Bas Quadaekers started his studies at Vakschool Schoonhoven in the Netherlands—one of the finest clock and watch schools in the world. Another three years, and he will be a master watchmaker and able to begin his career. It has been a privilege to follow the steps Bas is taking while learning the art of watchmaking. It is rare to have such a “diary” to follow. The series of articles we have created from Bas’ diary will record his complete journey—an in-depth look into the making of a watchmaker. This is what Bas has learned since Issue 4 of Timepiece Magazine:
Date and day/date mechanism - Clock movements
Bas learned how the date and day/date mechanism works. To understand the mechanism he has worked on two of these movements: the FE 233-66 and the FE 233-70. He also did some work on clock movements, again repairing toothed wheels and testing them in a movement. He said, “It takes a lot of practice to get really good at this.” Finally, he made a tool that is used for finding the centre of a round plate: “You place the tool on the round plate and then mark an X in the middle with a marker. It’s really handy. As you can imagine, I had to work very precisely otherwise the tool is useless.”
Automatic winding system
Bas recently learned how the automatic winding system works and he started working on the ETA 2824-1 movement. It is the most common automatic watch movement. He also learned about the history of the automatic watch—in both German and English.
As for movements in general, Bas regularly receives movements to work on that are in rather bad condition: the balance hairspring is often bent or tangled and Bas needs to bend this back into its “normal” spiral shape, which is extremely challenging. He said that it is one of the hardest things to accomplish in watchmaking and that it takes many hours of concentrated hard work to become really good at it. Bas clarified, “Fortunately, the movements that a watchmaker works on are generally not as messed up as some of the ones we get in school because usually only a watchmaker opens the caseback. There are, obviously, exceptions.”
Bas made a tool that he finds handy, a balance holder. He had to file a square brass plate (3.5cm by 3.5cm) and then drill a hole in the middle and “insert” a screw thread into that hole. After that, he took a steel rod that he turned to a point on the lathe, polished it and filed the top so it wouldn’t be sharp. Bas then turned the screw thread on the rod, both M3 screw threads, so he can attach it to the brass plate. Bas said, “Now every time I take the balance bridge off the main plate I can hang it on my holder so I won’t damage the balance.”
Seiko caliber 7009
Bas worked on the Seiko caliber 7009, but due to the movement being old and to people treating them badly, it was quite damaged. Bas stated, “The movement was in okay condition, but the hairspring was a bit of a disaster so I had to take the balance wheel off its bridge and try to bend the hairspring back into it’s original shape, this was very difficult to say the least.”
Bas’ fascination with his chosen profession continues. He has the passion along with the determination and motivation to achieve his goal of becoming a master watchmaker. His time at Vakschool Schoonhoven prepares him well for his occupation, providing endless opportunities to learn the hand skills and mental skills he will require. There is a growing need for watchmakers such as Bas. Parallel to the surging interest in horology and the recovery of the watch industry over the past 20 years, is the demand for service and repair. As well, since the watchmaking industry has turned around, there is a corresponding need for master watchmakers. You can follow Bas’ progress in our next issue of Timepiece Magazine.
The Machine that Mimics Human Activity The Fleurier Quality Foundation Certification By MĂĄire Oâ€™Callaghan Do we really need a machine that replicates human activity to test a watch in its entirety? Is it a step too far or a certification too many?
If I were buying a watch, I would want a watch with the Fleurier Quality Foundation certification—FQF La haute horlogerie certifiée—because it is not only the first of its kind, but it is also the only qualitative horological certification for finished watches. Think about it. A decade ago, the terms “haute horlogerie,” “luxury,” or “prestige,” were left to your imagination. They were pretty meaningless in the horological world. If you bought a watch with any of these nouns and adjectives attached, what were your expectations? And when your imagined expectations were not met, and you were disappointed because your expensive, prestigious watch just didn’t cut it, how did you feel about the brand you bought? In early 2000, that situation started to change. KarlFriedrich Scheufele, President of Chopard Manufacture, and Michel Parmigiani, President of Parmigiani Fleurier, were both interested in creating a uniform definition of “haute horlogerie” and “prestige” watchmaking. Together, they expanded the idea: What defines horological quality? What does the buyer expect? What conflicts would result from the quest for quality and the requirements of series production? The answers to these questions led them to forging the toughest and most comprehensive certification in the watchmaking world. In 2003, Michel Parmigiani joined forces with some great names in the watchmaking industry—Chopard Manufacture S.A., Bovet Fleurier S.A., and Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier—to set up the Fleurier Quality Foundation with the purpose of establishing new aesthetic and technical criteria dedicated to the certification of finished watches. On September 27, 2004, the Fleurier Quality Foundation (FQF) hallmark was inaugurated. The Fleurier Quality Foundation is independent from the brands it represents; thus, it ensures impartial judgement and guarantees no preferential treatment or any accommodating concessions. The FQF certificate is the most stringent and the most difficult certification to achieve. Its five criteria take account of all aspects of reliability and resistance that affect the life of a timepiece, and combines them with high aesthetic requirements and guaranteed Swiss provenance.
The five FQF aesthetic and technical criteria: 1.
100% Manufactured in Switzerland – The materials, the design and the project’s theoretical conception can come from anywhere in the world, but timepiece production must be done entirely in Switzerland.
2. COSC Certified Movements – COSC is a neutral body dedicated to evaluating high-precision watches according to a set of specific tests involving changes in temperature and position spread over several days. 3. Chronofiable Testing – This test subjects the watch to the forces of time, simulating six months of wear and tear in 21 days while pushing the watch to the limits of its resistance to magnetic fields and humidity. 4. A Finish of Exclusive Aesthetic Quality – Several exclusive aesthetic finishing criteria are laid down in an extremely precise set of specifications. 5. The Fleuritest – The Fleuritest machine features a wear simulator that is rare and unrivaled in the watchmaking industry. The Fleuritest was developed solely for the Fleurier Quality Foundation and is undoubtedly the most impressive and the most exclusive test in the world. The test replicates human activity. Imagine a large propeller performing three-dimensional movements. The propeller is linked to a computer so that it recreates daily life situations such as putting on a pullover, playing tennis, or looking for something in a bag. Calmer phases follow that are aimed at corresponding closely to a full 24-hour cycle on the wrist. Your timepiece is being tested for each aspect of your daily life. The Fleuritest machine measures the timekeeping precision of the watch with absolute accuracy—it tolerates no differences outside the range of 0 to +5 seconds per day—making it one of the most demanding devices in existence. This is one of the few tests in the world to deal with the finished product: a fully cased-up watch ready to be sold. When the watch has passed this final rigorous testing, the Foundation issues a certificate specifying the number on the movement and the case. Your watch is then entitled to the certification: FQF La haute horlogerie certifiée.
When you buy a timepiece bearing the FQF logo you have a guarantee that it has been tested in its entirety for precision in all circumstances, for robustness and durability, as well as for the impeccable quality of its aesthetic finish. Is this a step too far or a certification too many? Especially when you consider the founding brands Bovet, Chopard, Parmigiani Fleurier, and other prestigious brands such as Bremont, Corum, and Grand Seiko, whose timepieces have, unequivocally, peerless pedigrees. Is it not just icing on the cake? Not when you consider the Fleurier Quality Foundation certification resulted from Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and Michel Parmigiani’s vision of creating a uniform definition of “haute horlogerie,” “luxury,” and “prestige” watchmaking. Today, we know what defines these terms. We have a uniform definition and it has a name: FQF La haute horlogerie certifiée.
What Vacation Type are you? By Máire O’Callaghan What is your vacation type? Are you the type of person who would: Take pleasure in plunging down a 586 foot or 179 meter hole in the ground? Love lounging by the lake at the cottage spending time with family and friends? Get a rush from jumping out of a helicopter from 14,000 feet into a free fall over mountains? Luxuriate in soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean? Whether you delight in adventure, culture, flora and fauna, history, winter escapes, or yoga and fitness, you might find the right vacation among our six listed vacation types—or at any rate, some ideas. Check them out.
Vacation Type Adventure
What kind of adventure do you like? White water rafting? Mountain climbing? Sky diving? Snowboarding? Or perhaps an adventure you have never tried before, one that will get your heart pounding while you master a new challenge? Here are some possibilities: •
Bike the Torridon Hills, Scotland If you love mountain biking, then cycle Torridon—it has the most awe inspiring mountains in Scotland. Try the Torridon circuit: 29 miles of tough riding with 806 meters of ascent. Or try the shorter 14-mile Beinn Damph circuit. The Torridon Hills consist of some of the oldest rock in the world, with the dramatic sandstone peaks rising 3,000 feet above sea level.
Skydive Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland Fancy a tandem skydiving experience? Go to Lauterbrunnen, which means “many fountains,” which is appropriate as the valley has 72 waterfalls. The company Skydive Lauterbrunnen has expert tandem skydiving instructors who jump with you out of a helicopter from 14,000 feet into an incredible free fall over snowcapped mountain peaks, the Green Lakes of Interlaken, or the Valley of Lauterbrunnen.
Spelunk Spectacular Caves Fantastic Pit at Ellison’s Cave, Georgia – This has one of the most amazing vertical drops in the world: at 586 feet or 179 meters deep. Lost Sea Wild Cave, Craighead Caverns, Tennessee – The Lost Sea is the largest underground lake in the U.S. and the second biggest in the world. Spelunk by crystal clusters, stalagmites, stalactites, eerie rock formations and an underground waterfall. Or tour the undeveloped cave rooms where you crawl through cracks, crevices, nooks and crannies. Cueva de los Cristales, Mexico – With temperatures that can reach 112 degrees, the Cave of Crystals is a spectacular glittering spectacle. Many of the crystals, which are estimated to be about 600,000 years old, can be several feet thick.
Vacation Type Culture
Culture can encompass museums, art galleries, historical landmarks, the cultural capitals of the world, the theater and opera. It depends on your preferences and priorities. What do you prefer? Land or water? Indoors or outdoors? What kind of balance would you like to achieve if you want a mix? Here are some considerations: •
Explore by Land and Sea Three possibilities: Explore Barcelona’s art and architecture followed by a Mediterranean cruise, or travel across Alaska and Canada by land and sea, or sail the Galapagos Islands and visit Machu Picchu.
Tour Museums in Florence, Italy With 72 museums and more than 2,000 pictures, Florence is a gift to lovers of museums. Here’s a small sampling: Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo’s “David”; the Uffizi Gallery houses some of the most important collections of the Renaissance such as works by Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Botticelli and Michelangelo; and the Palatine Gallery in the Pitti Palace which houses works by Raphael, Titian, Rubens, and others.
Attend the Opera Concerts are held worldwide from Australia to Austria, from Belgium to the Czech Republic, from Denmark to Estonia, from Finland to France. In Prague you can listen to Andrea Bocelli, or in Frankfurt you can hear André Rieu. The Canadian Opera Company has an incredible lineup this year, including Verdi’s “La Traviata,” Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” and Bizet’s “Carmen.” The Sydney Opera House also has “La Traviata” and “The Marriage of Figaro,” as well as Puccini’s “Turandot,” Verdi’s “Don Carlos,” and Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”
Visit the Theater Head to the Boston Theater for A. R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” where Ryan O’Neil and Ali MacGraw reunite, or you can attend the world premier stage production of John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel “A Confederacy of Dunces” starring Nick Offerman, who is widely known for his role as Ron Swanson in the acclaimed NBC sitcom, “Parks and Recreation.”
Vacation Type Flora and Fauna
What is your all-time favorite thing to do? Wander through botanical gardens? Hike through tropical rainforests spotting wildlife? Snorkel with sea lions and turtles? Or would you rather explore places off the beaten track, wild and rare? •
Discover the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica Lapa Rios is one of only 24 National Geographic Unique Ecolodges of the World. It is set within a 1,000-acre private nature reserve in Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica’s wild Osa Peninsula. Lapa Rios is paradise for lovers of wildlife, birding, nature and beaches. Its 17 private bungalows line three ridges overlooking the pristine point where the Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean.
Tour the Arctic, Svalbard, Norway The Arctic remains the wildest and most sparsely inhabited environment left on earth. For untouched Arctic wilderness, visit the Svalbard Islands located in the Arctic ocean halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Sail the fjordlands on board the National Geographic Explorer, kayak narrow inlets between towering peaks, visit fishing villages, and hike wildflower-strewn islands. Spot polar bears, walruses and seals on the ice floes of the Svalbard archipelago.
Stroll through spectacular gardens The Kew Garden in London – Originating in 1759, the Garden covers 326 acres and contains 50,000 different species of plants. Visit the Pagoda, the Temperate House, the Palm House, the Waterlily Pond, the Treetop Walkway, and Kew Palace. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona – This Garden has about 17,000 species of desert plants and a 13,700 square-foot desert plant research center with a library, laboratories, plant conservation, and research facilities. Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France – The home and gardens of Monet are like a living painting and thanks to American patrons and donors, this natural masterpiece was saved from destruction. Climbing roses hang over the main alley, and the water garden overflows with different flora chosen by Monet: wisteria, azalea, rose and peony, to name just a few.
Vacation Type History
You revel in the history of new places, in the macabre and bewitching tales you hear. Standing where Anne Boleyn had her head sliced off with a sword you can shiver in sympathy; or catching a glimpse of the spirit of Lady Grey who haunts the corridors of Chillingham Castle in Alnwick, Northumberland, you can feel the otherworldly chill. Walking through the corridors of history you can visualize those who have gone before and walk where they lived, worked and flourished—or otherwise—as long as you keep your head that is! •
Discover hidden treasures Athens, Greece – Athens is a glorious place to visit. It is filled with the ruins of ancient Greek civilization: the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Agora, the Theatre of Dionysos and the National Gardens. Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. – Boston holds a special place in American history. Discover the city’s past and present along the Freedom Trail and at Faneuil Hall, the U.S.S. Constitution, the Kennedy Library, and Fenway Park. Jerusalem, Israel – As one of the world’s most ancient cities, Jerusalem’s historical, cultural and religious significance is incomparable. Major sites include the Old City, the Wailing Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Via Dolorosa and Dome of the Rock. London, England – Visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Buckingham and Kensington Palaces and the Tower of London. If you are a devotee of military history you can spend hours at the Imperial War Museum and the Cabinet War Rooms. Machu Picchu, Peru – The fifteenth-century Inca City of Machu Picchu was built on top of the Andes Mountains, 7,000 feet above sea level—a marvel of mortar-free limestone architecture. The site stretches five miles, features more than 3,000 stone steps that link its many levels, and consists of more than 150 buildings from baths and houses, to temples and sanctuaries. Since 1983 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in 2007 it was designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Wander through Castles and Stately Homes Althorp House and Park, Northampton – Open only to the public during the months of July and August. Althorp has been the stately home of the Spencer family for nearly 500 years, and is the resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales. Northampton is about 67 miles northwest of London. Arundel Castle and Gardens, West Sussex – Built in the eleventh-century as the family home of the Dukes of Norfolk, Arundel Castle is one of the longest inhabited country houses in England. It has many of its original features such as the crenellated Norman keep, gatehouse and barbican. Inside the Castle you can view works by van Dyck, Gainsborough and Canaletto. Arundel is about a 90-minute train journey from London Bridge and London Victoria Train stations. Hever Castle and Gardens – A moated thirteenth-century fairytale castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII from 1533 to 1536. Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever, Kent, near Edenbridge, 30 miles southeast of London. You can stay in the Astor Wing or the Anne Boleyn Wing, or at the five-star gold rated holiday cottage, Medley Court. Knole House, Sevenoaks, West Kent – Henry VIII’s Tudor mansion is built around 7 courtyards with 52 staircases, and 365 rooms. Its Grade I listing reflects its mix of Elizabethan to late Stuart structures, particularly the central façade and state rooms. Leeds Castle, Kent – The Castle is over 1,000 years old, built on two islands in the middle of a lake and surrounded by gardens. It has been a Norman stronghold, the private property of six of England’s medieval queens, and the home of Catherine of Aragon and her husband Henry VIII. Leeds Castle is located just off Junction 8 of the M20, midway between London and the Channel Ports.
Vacation Type Winter Escapes
Do you suffer through long, arduous freezing cold winters? Are you fed up commuting to work fighting the traffic, the black ice and the snowstorms? All you want to do is escape and head to a hot, sunny climate. Perhaps play some golf, visit a spa, or lounge at the pool. Here are some possibilities: •
Hang out at an all-inclusive resort Barbados is generally warm and sunny all year with an average daytime high of 30o or 86o. Depending on what you are looking for, family or adult only, couples only, a romantic getaway, you will find it in Barbados. “The House” is an adults only Caribbean resort, while the Sandy Lane resort has activities for every age with a Treehouse Club dedicated to children. Adults can play golf, tennis, water sports or sunbathe on the beautiful beach or spend a few hours at the Sandy Lane Spa.
Travel to Tenerife Tenerife has year round sunshine. From January to May it averages around 23oor 73o. You can go on a whale and dolphin watching cruise around La Gomera, discover underwater sights while diving, or go hiking in the spectacular Mount Teide National Park.
Spend time in cosmopolitan Cape Town Cape Town weather January through March averages 26o or 78o. Cape Town attractions include hiking across the Twelve Apostles Range, cycling to Chapman’s Peak to overlook the ocean view, picnicking at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, or paragliding off Table Mountain. Once in Africa, you cannot leave without exploring the Aquila Game Reserve in an open-vehicle drive around the park to spot elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards or rhinos.
Vacation Type Yoga and Fitness
If you are searching for somewhere exotic where you can unwind, pamper yourself and learn, then these resorts offer you the perfect environment. Anamaya Resort and Retreat Center, Montezuma, Costa Rica Nestled in the Costa Rican rainforest, enjoy yoga classes in front of the ocean or by one of several waterfalls. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced, this retreat offers a variety of yoga classes. If you are interested in becoming a yoga teacher, it provides a 200-hour yoga teacher training and certification course. The food is organic, including vegetarian and vegan options. Malibu La Costa Beach Yoga Retreat, U.S. This is a demanding retreat where you are tested physically and mentally while also being surrounded by luxury. All activities are outside on the beach or in the hills overlooking the ocean. La Yoga Bella European Retreat, Italy You can enjoy two daily yoga and meditation classes in a glass barn overlooking the olive groves of the Umbrian Hillside. You can take authentic Italian cooking classes, enjoy guided meditations, or go hiking or biking at the luxury villa retreat facilities. Most of us are more than one vacation type. Iâ€™ve visited Carcassonne in the south of France for its history; the Galapagos Islands for its amazing wildlife; London, England, for its culture; and New Zealand for its spectacular scenery and adventures such as hiking the Franz Josef Glacierâ€”an exhilarating and enthralling experience. Whatever your vacation type, many places and many pastimes beckon. Create a list, prioritize, plan ahead. Then explore, rejuvenate, and relax.
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Swirling, Sniffing & Tasting Your Wine By Máire O’Callaghan
In a resort restaurant in Costa Rica, I watched a woman tasting red wine: she first sniffed the cork, nodded her head, then when the wine was poured she sniffed it with her glass right under her nose, tipped the glass up and sniffed again, then slowly slid the glass down to her lips and slightly sipped, then she had another sniff and another sip—her gestures interspersed with much contemplation. It was fascinating to watch. But also embarrassing. She spent many minutes sniffing and sipping. Other diners were hugely entertained. Unless you are a wine connoisseur with some knowledge of the etiquettes of wine tasting, it really is a case of spending a few seconds sniffing and sipping—we don’t take minutes over a process about which we know little. We know what we enjoy, and that is our guide. Most of us know that red wine needs to breathe, to rest in exposed air, after we’ve opened the bottle. How soon you decant and serve the wine depends on its age: as older wines tend to fade faster than younger wines, then you should decant those and serve within an hour. With younger wines, you can either decant and drink them right away, or you can let them sit in the decanter for two to three hours. When you decant the wine you are separating the bottle sediment from the wine, and when you allow the wine to breathe you are enabling the air and wine to mix naturally for a brief period, which improves the flavor of the aerated wine. When you are at home you can take the time to follow this wine tasting process. First, smell the wine: 1.
Right after opening the bottle take a small sniff so that you can compare that aroma with its aroma after decanting and aerating.
2. Fill only a quarter of your glass and hold it by the stem. When you hold by the bulb you will heat up the wine and distort its flavor. Note the edges of the wine and the colors. Try tilting the glass so that you can see the way the color changes from the center to the edge of the glass. If you want a clearer look at its true color, hold the glass up in front of a white napkin. The color should be clear and not cloudy. 3. Swirl the wine in the glass for ten to twelve seconds. This action increases the surface area of the wine: by spreading the wine over the inside surface of the glass you help the aromas to open up. Take a quick sniff to gain a first impression. 4. Hold the glass a few inches from your nose and sniff the wine, then move closer to about half an inch and sniff again. If you can’t smell much, keep swirling gently, which allows the evaporating alcohol to carry the aroma to your nose. Stick your nose down into the glass and inhale deeply. What do you smell? Oak, flowers, berries, vanilla or citrus? Swirl, letting the aromas mix and sniff again.
Second, taste the wine: 1.
This is where in a restaurant you don’t, obviously, expectorate the wine. Which is really the difference between drinking and tasting. Let’s say you are on a Napa Valley Wine Tasting Tour, then you would sip and let the wine linger in your mouth. You would feel the wine’s texture and other sensations such as its weight or body. Then you would spit the wine into a spittoon.
2. When you sip, think of sipping soda through a straw. When you pull the wine up through the straw, you aerate the wine and spread it throughout your mouth. Most restaurants where I’ve dined don’t decant red wine. So it’s important to swirl the wine in your glass to take in its full aroma. When you order wine in a restaurant sometimes it can be intimidating, especially the wine list which can range from a single page to a bound book. In some restaurants, there is a sommelier to help you, but not all the time. You can ask your server which wines are their best sellers, which wines will partner well with the entrees you are ordering, or you can trust to your own personal preferences and taste. When presented with the bottle, confirm it is what you ordered. When presented with the end of the cork, don’t sniff it. Check it hasn’t crumbled, dried out or cracked throughout, meaning the wine might not have been stored properly. Your server will then pour you a small sample for you to taste: •
First observe the wine’s color and clarity. Only old vintages have a cloudy or brownish color.
Swirl it to get the wine aroma going. To ensure you don’t spill any, leave the glass flat on the table, hold the stem between your fingers and move the glass in a circle.
Then sniff. What do you smell? There shouldn’t be any smells such as vinegar, which is a sign of oxidation, or musty cork, which is a sign of a faulty cork.
Taste it. If it is free of any apparent oxidation or “corked” flavors, then order the wine.
This process from checking the label to checking the taste should only take you about 30 seconds. It’s been said, and studies have confirmed, that people who drink wine regularly and moderately live longer than others—my friends and I are going to live forever. As for the definition of the word “moderate,” I’ll leave that up to you. In the meantime, enjoy your swirling, sniffing and tasting.
Around Christmas time I took this picture of my Panerai Luminor Marina 005 at the “Trail of Lights,” which is a huge display of Christmas lights in Austin. I thought the bright lume on this PAM was a great complement to the colorful lights.
Here’s my Bell & Ross Monopusher at Top Golf. I love this driving range. Although I’m an awful golfer, I’m pretty good at day drinking and talking trash to my friends while hitting balls.
I scored an invite to theCHIVE headquarters and had the time of my life. Its HQ has a fully stocked bar, pingpong tables, big screen TVs, and scantily clad ladies running around. I’m still trying to figure out what I have to do to get hired.
Enjoying the Miami views with my Cartier Santos XL 100. There’s something about Miami that I love.
I can’t think of a better watch to wear to the racetrack than a chronograph Daytona. I took this picture at the Circuit of the Americas during the Lone Star Le Mans. Fun times.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to visit the Bell & Ross U.S. headquarters in Miami. When I stopped to look over their repair work, I saw this beauty and had to try it on. This is one of their extremely rare gold tourbillon pieces. They had to pry it off my wrist when it was time to leave.
Here’s a great picture of a stainless steel Rolex Daytona I don’t remember taking. Mostly because the beautiful girl serving the tequila had a heavy pour hand and I couldn’t help coming back to see her every few minutes. What else would one need a chronograph for?
I took this picture of two watches from the Bell & Ross Flight Instrument Collection in their natural habitat. I love these pieces because they are designed to look like instrument gauges from an airplane cockpit. I took these pictures mid-flight at about 2,000 feet.
Here’s a picture I took at the Texas Rodeo and Carnival with a Maurice Lacroix Gravity. I love the contemporary design of this piece, but I really love carnival food more.
It was on one of my camping trips that I took this picture. My goal is always to get as lost as possible then find my way back home. I’m wearing a Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver this time.
I took this picture of the SevenFriday Big Block at its Flash Party in Vegas last year. That’s one company that knows how to party.
I took this picture at a really cool event organized by Jack Ryan Fine Jewelry in Austin, Texas. Collectors were invited to watch Master Spring Drive watchmaker, Mr. Ikukiyo Komatsu, tear down their spring drive movements while enjoying beer and sushi.
Boys like toys and I’m no exception. I took this picture of a few of the toys while practicing my target shooting skills. I‘ve come to the conclusion that I need more practice.
Here’s a quick picture I took at a private party hosted by Johnnie Walker with my Hublot Big Bang. I couldn’t resist snapping a shot of this beautiful bartender preparing the perfect cocktail.
Hublot Big Bang at the famous Austin City Limits Music Festival. Yes, they do serve bottles of wine in Nalgene bottles. Nothing beats them when it comes to festival refreshments.
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