Tag Archives: TOP 10

6 Best Beaches of 2016

Start planning that tropical getaway – travelers and experts at Conde Nast, TripAdvisor, Fodor’s and Dr. Beach have done the research to present you this year’s Best Beaches of the World. Here, we bring you the top six, together with some of the best hotels and resorts they have to offer.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines


For the second year running, Philippine’s El Nido beach claims the top spot, thanks to its 50 white sand beaches and dramatic limestone formations. Its crystal clear waters, hidden lagoons and mysterious underwater caverns make this a dream beach destination.

El Nido Resorts, Pangulasian Island

Pangulasian Island - Resort Center

The eco-luxury resort sits between a pristine beach and tropical forest on Pangulasian Island. Inspired by contemporary Filipino architecture, the resort’s Canopy Villas are perched on stilts above the forest while the Beach and Pool Villas provide you with a breathtaking view of the sea. Highlights of your trip would also include romantic dinner by the beach, or a private sunset cruise.

Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain


Located 103 kilometers north of Barcelona, Tossa de Mar is synonymous with jagged cliffs, pinewoods and coves, giving it a coastal profile unrivaled by many. The 380-meter long beach is also complemented by its diverse history, art and stellar gastronomy, including one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, El Celler de Can Roca.

Gran Hotel Reymar

tossa de mar

Located a few minutes from Tossa de Mar, the upscale hotel overlooks the private Mar Menuda beach. The resort is separated from the main beach by a rocky outcrop, so you can expect exclusivity and privacy.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Hawaii


As both a nature preserve and marine life conservation district, this pristine Hawaiian beach – once a volcanic crater – is now habitat to a host of native corals and marine life. The beach went through major restoration to re-establish its delicate eco-system and has since made it to Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman’s (aka Dr. Beach) Top 10 Beaches list recently for its white sand coral beach and responsible management.

Kahala Hotel & Resort

Kahala Resort, hawaii, Palm courtyard

A stone’s throw from Hanauma Bay and just 10 minutes from Waikiki, the resort features 338 rooms with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Ko’olau Mountain Range and Dolphin Lagoon. The Dolphin Lagoon is home to Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and exotic tropical fish. Originally built by Conrad Hilton, the secluded retreat is known for its emphasis on luxury and is a favorite amongst the rich and famous.

Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos


The crown jewel of the Providenciales Island, Grace Bay is also known as the Oscars of the travel industry for its long coral reef, immaculate sand beaches and azure waters. After being crowned Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination at last year’s World Travel Awards, the picturesque location was once again voted world’s top beach in 2016 by TripAdvisor users.

The Tuscany on Grace Bay

the tuscany

This oceanfront resort boasts an accolade as high as its location. Ranked top out of the 41 properties on Providenciales, The Tuscany is possibly the most indulgent way to experience island life. Some of the activities include diving in the world’s third largest barrier reef and going fly fishing for bone fish in warm turquoise waters. However, it is the panoramic views that engulf the 2,000 sq ft property that makes this resort one that’s going on our bucket list.

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

riviera Nayarit_mexico

Nestled on the grandiose Western Sierra Madre, and flanked by the Pacific Ocean, the Riviera Nayarit’s jungle mountains and palm-tree lined beaches have earned it the title of Fodor’s Top 10 Best Beach Getaways in 2016. Still relatively under-the-radar, its charming coastal towns, natural sanctuaries and jungle mountains make this exotic location one to consider if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.

St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

st regis mexico 2

With its graceful Mediterranean-inspired architecture, the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is an enclave of luxury. Its strategic location – between the cerulean Pacific Ocean and mountainous landscape – means that you can expect unparalleled views of the ocean and neighboring Marietas Islands. The property’s three infinity pools, private beach and two Jack Nicklaus championship golf courses stretch across the 22-acre grounds. As expected of St. Regis, the St. Regis Butler Service will be at your disposal.



Yes, this would probably come as no surprise to you, but Maldives has made the list once again. Comprising of 26 atolls, the destination is wildly popular with honeymooners for its ludicrously blue skies and sparkling blue waters and with professional divers for its boundless coral reefs.

COMO Cocoa Islands, Maldives


Encircled by Maldive’s trademark turquoise lagoon, COMO Cocoa Island is an intimate private island resort situated in Makunufushi on the South Male Atoll. The resort has 33 overwater suites which means that the vast crystal clear waters are always at your disposal. Coupled with COMO Shambhala Retreat’s holistic wellness treatments, the resort is a sanctuary for weary travellers.


Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016

In case you’ve missed the memo, Father’s day is only 11 days away. If this is news to you, then don’t panic because you still have time (not much but it will do). For those fretting about what to get dear old Dad, we are here to help. Each year, children around the world spend time, effort and money putting together the perfect gift for the woman who spent long sleepless nights looking after you. We often overlook the man who spent sleepless nights wondering how in the world raising a child costs so much.

It is only fair then, that we put as much thought and effort to coming up with gifts for the man who is your bank, knight in shining armor and partner in crime. The great thing about getting something for Dad is that you can narrow the list down fairly quickly. First up, we have something that we think every father wishes he could have had a glass or two of when paying for your little (it really wasn’t that much!) shopping sprees.


There is nothing better to complete your day, than a glass of whisky. Our favorite go to whisky of course is none other than the Macallan Edition No. 1. We’ve given you a glimpse into just how good it is, and it is our expert (by that we mean that we drink it often enough to call ourselves experts) opinion that this is the one to truly warm your father’s heart this year. With orange and dried fruit, the Edition No.1 is a special blend that leaves you wanting more. Just don’t drink it all before dad has had a glass, or 10.


Don’t you just love it when someone smells as good as they look? This year, why not get dad a fragrance that will leave him feeling like a million bucks, with a little help from Burberry. With the brand’s latest fragrance, Mr Burberry, you can gift him a sophisticated scent that mixes classic and unexpected ingredients. The woody fragrance has hints of grapefruit and smokey guaiac wood for a touch of seduction. For father’s day, the brand even brings you a monogramming service for that personalized touch.

Writing Instruments

Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir Writing Instruments

Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir Writing Instruments

You can never go wrong with a luxury pen and what better than a Montblanc writing instrument. Our pick would be the writing instruments from the brand’s Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir, Special Edition that was created to celebrate the brand’s 110th anniversary. The pen features a serpent on its cap; an emblem that has been linked to the brand since it first began. The instruments are available in coral and black.


You could treat dad to a well-tailored suit for Father’s day, especially since it should be a staple in any man’s wardrobe. Head down to Dior Homme at ION Orchard, for an expertly crafted suit, that is sure to please the main man the moment he puts it on. If a suit isn’t something he favors, then you’re in luck. The spanking new store also carries one of Dior’s latest collections for men. This could be just the shopping spree that makes up for you using him as a flesh-and-blood ATM.


Fresh from the latest Tod’s fall/winter collection, the Envelope bag is our accessory of choice. Sleek and simple, it is perfect for the modern man on the go. While the bag is available in black, we think this shade of brown will lend a youthful touch to an outfit. If you think he will love the bag as much as we do but it could be too bulky for an avid traveler, we have good news for you. The bag also comes in soft suede, so it can be stowed away in a luggage bag during travel with no trouble.


You may not be able to buy him a car — we have to be realistic and also, watch that carbon footprint people — but you can get him something inspired by automobiles. In walks the Drive de Cartier 1904-PS MC, with its cushion shaped case and exterior that takes its inspiration from cars. We have covered the timepiece in a previous article so we won’t bore you with the details but the guilloche dial and Roman numerals combined with the in-house Cartier movement make this a wonderful gift for a motor head.

Casual Dining Spot Bests Fine Dining Restaurant

It is that time of year where we’ll witness the gleaming gastronomic highlights of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list get put into place. That’ll be happening next week over in New York – but for a slight taster, the organizers have released those places ranked 51 – 100 on their site. This is where we find odd spectacles like Michelin-starred restaurants getting trounced by more casual eateries…

One of the notable members on the list is US chef Thomas Keller’s 3-star Michelin Per Se – just barely excluded from the top 50 at number 52. Last year it was ranked 40, but it’s received some scathing reviews of late, especially one two-star review by critic Peter Wells from the New York Times. Per Se is ranked second on La Liste. His other 3-star spot in Napa Valley, The French Laundry, fared even worse this year by being placed at number 85.

It is a bit eye-raising, though, to see the famous chef’s flagship be beaten by the starless casual French bistro Le Chateaubriand (number 74). There have been several points of contention about the ranking’s opaque process and biases raised by critics before. For one, the 50 Best list has been accused of favoring chefs from countries with which they built commercial ties, and they’ve also made enemies of the France’s high gastronomy society after failing to give French chefs spots on the top 10 list. Critics have also levied that the list is prejudiced towards favoring avant-garde gastronomy and ‘showbiz’ at the cost of the quality of the meals themselves. Le Chateaubriand might fall under this category, given that they practice changing the menu daily – ensuring that there’s a constant novelty in their dishes. Also beating The French Laundry at number 77 is the playful restaurant Den from Tokyo.

The highest on this section of the list happens to be Mani in Sao Paulo, Brazil – run by Helena Rizzo, who also won the Best Female Chef award back in 2014. The push-back in her ranking from number 41 to number 51 has been speculated to be due to the entry into the ranking of this year’s female chef award recipient Dominique Crenn.

The overall country topping this portion of the list is the US with nine spots. After the US, France is the second-most represented country with eight restaurants on the list, followed by Japan (four), Spain, Belgium and the UK which tied with three each. The list covers 21 countries, with 15 new entries and another four repeat appearances. The ranking itself is determined by the votes of 1,000 industry experts from 27 regions around the world and vetted by consultancy group Deloitte.

Of course, there are no lack of complaints, with those stated above as some of them. A French group retaliated against the World’s 50 Best by creating their own ranking entitled La Liste. In a bid for greater objectivity, they claimed theirs was based on a mathematical algorithm that took into account hundreds of guide books and online reviews. Their list had Restaurant de L’Hotel de Ville in Geneva as first, and Per Se ranked second.

Others in the food industry have said that while Michelin recognizes the quality of cooking, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants captures the zeitgeist of the culinary world. No matter which side you agree with, it’s always good to have more opinions, and more discussion. Either way we can see the list sticking around for some time.

You can check the current ranking over here.

Top 10 Luxury Firms 2016 Revealed

Deloitte’s reveals, for the third year running, the best performing companies in global luxury. Now, we usually argue against paying heed to how well luxury companies are doing, earnings wise, because this doesn’t tell you anything about the products or the experience. Also, some firms, such as Rolex, are not particularly transparent as they are not public. Anyway, for those who care, Deloitte’s annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods ranking sees the parent companies behind Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Estée Lauder retain their places at the top of the list. The AFP has the following details on it.

French-based LVMH, full name LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy SE, also owns Bulgari, Chrisitian Dior, Emilio Pucci, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Hublot, TAG Heuer, Moët Chandon, Dom Perignon and Benefit Cosmetics. Based on figures from 2014 (the most recent data available, apparently), it is also the world’s biggest luxury conglomerate.

Swiss company Richemont (Cartier, Dunhill, Lancel, Montblanc, Jaeger-LeCoutre, Piaget) comes in second, with the US’s Estée Lauder group (MAC, Clinique, Jo Malone) in third. The top three retain their places from 2015’s equivalent Global Powers of Luxury Goods report.

Italy’s Luxottica manufactures eyewear under the its own Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley brands as well as for Chanel, Armani, Versace, Prada and more, and moved up one place to fourth.

Also moving up one were Switzerland’s Swatch (Breguet, Longines, Omega) and France’s Kering (Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga), with Hong Kong jewelry group Chow Tai Fook moving from fourth to seventh.

L’Oreal Luxe (Lancôme, Biotherm, Kiehl’s), Ralph Lauren, and PVH (Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger) completed Deloitte’s top ten, which is cam out June 7.

Guide: 7 Ways to Use Yacht Glass

For the conventional, the use of yacht glass is kept to a minimum and used deep within the vessel. For those who are slightly more adventurous, yacht glass is used in spaces that can be seen from the docks. Thanks to this wonderful material, yacht owners can now look forward to creating their very own underwater lounges and futuristic glass elevators. We bring you seven uses of yacht glass that could very well be part of your next superyacht.

Glass-bottom Swimming Pool

The first use for yacht glass, obviously, is for a glass bottomed swimming pool. Seen on the M/Y A, which is owned by Russian chemical tycoon Andrey Melnichenko, it would be a dream to have. Measuring in at 119 meters, the superyacht boasts no less than three swimming pools, one of which is glass-bottomed. The swimming pool also functions as a disco ball for the disco below it (yes, a disco). While some may find it slightly extravagant to have a glass-bottomed swimming pool onboard, we wouldn’t blame you for being fascinated by it because we certainly would be. Melnichenko’s new sailing superyacht will also feature yacht glass so he appears to be sold on this material.

Above: M/Y A; Below: M/Y Venus

Above: M/Y A ; Below: M/Y Venus. Images from Yachtharbour.com

Floor-to-ceiling Panels

Remember how the late Steve Jobs loved clean and sleek designs? Well our second example just happens to be designed by him. Collaborating with Philippe Starck, the former Apple CEO constructed the 79 meter M/Y Venus that used yacht glass for the exterior. The floor-to-ceilings panels provide a breathtaking views when the superyacht is at anchor. Given the way yacht glass is used here, when the Venus is berthed in a marina, it will draw maximum attention. Even the cabin below makes use of the glass, though it is just short of a floor-to-ceiling length.

Glass Staircase

Why construct a run of the mill staircase in your superyacht when you can have a unique circular glass staircase? We assume that must have been what the designer had in mind when he created this superyacht. The M/Y Dubai currently calls His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, ruler of Emirate of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates its owner. The circular glass staircase gives the illusion of ‘floating’ glass steps when bathed in the light from the skylight but also takes your breath away as it changes color according to the different moods on board.

Above: M/Y Dubai ; Below: M/Y Stella Maris

Above: M/Y Dubai ; Below: M/Y Stella Maris. Images from Yachtharbour.com

Glass Elevator

Understandably, the question of privacy emerges with the extensive use of yacht glass, just as it does in condominiums and apartments. However, in the M/Y Stella Maris, yacht glass is used to create a rich yet private villa-style yacht. It also allows for stunning views of the sea, which is a plus in our book. On the upper aft deck, sits the dining area enclosed in three glass walls; these can also be folded away, transforming the space into an al fresco dining area. And if you thought living on a yacht meant no suitable environment for green fingers to flourish, then think again. With the yacht glass trapping heat and humidity, the indoor living winter garden is a climate-controlled greenhouse. This superyacht also features a glass lift wrapped in a glass tube.

Above: M/Y Rising Sun ; Below: M/Y Savannah

Above: M/Y Rising Sun ; Below: M/Y Savannah.Images from Yachtharbour.com and Feadship.

Curved Windows, Underwater Lounges

Taking the fifth spot in our list is the 138 meter M/Y Rising Sun. A design by the late Jon Bannenberg, the superyacht features full-height curved windows that run the entire length of the upper level. Our sixth pick, is non other than the M/Y Savannah. This superyacht, makes use of yacht glass in several unique ways. From using the material on the exterior, creating a ‘floating’ superstructure, to designing a one-of-a-kind underwater lounge. Guests sitting in the glass-encased lounge are provided with a stunning view of the ocean on one side. On the other is a view of guests in the swimming pool. The lounge also pulls doubles duty as a cinema when not in use as a viewing platform.

M/Y Stiletto

M/Y Stiletto. Image from Oceanco and Ken Freivokh.

Our final pick, is the M/Y Stiletto by Oceanco. This superyacht was unveiled at the Dubai International Boat Show in 2015, making it the newest on this list. It has yet to be built so we may not be able to enjoy the amenities of the superstructure for a while. The use of yacht glass here, happens to be in the central 360-degree glass lift and spiral staircase. Add to that the large skylight that will bring sunlight down to the centre of the yacht, it will be another impressive creation.

This story was adapted from Yachting Pages. The article was written by Sarah Rowland.

Final Cut: 4 Red Carpet Trends Cannes 2016

Ah the red carpet and the beautiful women, designer gowns and gems worth millions drawn to it. It takes some time to sift through the images and galleries to find the trends that we know you love but someone has to do it.

We covered the yellow trend starting strong on opening night and you would be forgiven for overlooking several other trends. As the festival continued, the designers sent their best designs out and we were treated to more trends. We take a look at the four trends you may have missed.

Best Foot Forward

From left: Karlie Kloss (Marchesa gown with Chopard jewelry); Bella Hadid (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Alessandra Ambrosio (Redemption gown and Boucheron Jewelry); Izabel Goulart (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Ana Beatriz Barros (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Karlie Kloss (Marchesa gown with Chopard jewelry); Bella Hadid (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Alessandra Ambrosio (Redemption gown and Boucheron Jewelry); Izabel Goulart (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Ana Beatriz Barros (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

You could call Angelina Jolie the pioneer of leg flashers since she did bring this trend back in vogue at the Oscars in 2013. Three years on and it is far from over. In fact, if Bella Hadid’s dress is any indication, the slits just keep getting higher… Of course, these are models we speak of so naturally they really do have some of the best gams in the world. Just like those slits, where they end no one knows…

Belle of the Ball

From left: Blake Lively (Vivienne Westwood gown); Elle Fanning (Valentino gown); Jourdan Dunn (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Blake Lively (Vivienne Westwood gown); Elle Fanning (Valentino gown); Jourdan Dunn (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

We fell in love with several of these dresses that would have been a young girl’s fantasy. From Blake Lively in her Cinderella-esque gown to Elle Fanning who looked whimsical, the fairy-tale princesses made the red carpet their own and the pictures didn’t disappoint.

The Naked Dress

From left: Blake Lively (Atelier Versace gown); Kendall Jenner (Cavalli Couture gown); Bella Hadid (Cavalli Couture gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Blake Lively (Atelier Versace gown); Kendall Jenner (Cavalli Couture gown); Bella Hadid (Cavalli Couture gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

There are nude colored dresses and then there are the naked dresses. As risky to wear as the thigh-high slits, this requires a certain amount of bravado —and the confidence to go commando — to pull off. While some chose to use strategically placed panels to pull off this look, others went all out.

Suit Up

From left: Susan Sarandon (Saint Laurent suit); Victoria Beckham (Victoria Beckham Jumpsuit and Chopard jewelry); Charlize Theron (Christian Dior Couture and Cartier jewelry). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Susan Sarandon (Saint Laurent suit); Victoria Beckham (Victoria Beckham Jumpsuit and Chopard jewelry); Charlize Theron (Christian Dior Couture and Cartier jewelry). Images from Runway Manhattan.

This one made us wonder if Barney Stinson decided to switch professions and dress Hollywood for a change. This look proved to be more controversial than the high slits or the naked dress. With a strict rule in place for all, the stars were expected to turn up in black tie appropriate attire and some of the ladies decided to walk the path less traveled. Forgoing the heavy gowns, Susan Sarandon and Victoria Beckham led the way in standing the dress code on its head with their pantsuits. While we think they looked just as elegant on the red carpet as anyone in a frock this year, if you take a look at the background, you’ll see why this generally is not a great idea. On that note, yes even the photographers at these events follow the dress code.

Top 10 Most Expensive Female Artists

When dealing with the notion of blue chip art, the names most people rattle off the top of their heads are those of Picasso, Warhol, Koons, and Hirst. While that indicates a certain inequality in things, at least compared with other creative areas (the name J.K. Rowling immediately comes to mind when you think richest author) – we’re sure that things are bound to get better someday. In terms of contemporary art, we already see improvements, as illustrated in this list.

Nevertheless, there are still plenty of institutional problems. The only thing we can do is to try and float those amazing works we find to the top while waiting for the stiff (ahem) mechanisms to loosen. In fact, Artnet News recently put together a survey of the most expensive female artists at auction, ranging from a variety of styles like Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. So, without further ado, these are the top 10 women artists in the market to look out for:

Georgia O’Keeffe

Well-known for her lush and overwhelmingly Freudian pictures of flowers, O’Keeffe stands far ahead of the rest with the $44 million auction of her “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1” at Sotheby’s in 2014. It was purchased by the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas, and is a lovely display of greens and whites collaborating together in a singular depiction of a blossom of Jimson Weed. Her technique has some commonality with past figures, such as the flower paintings of Emil Nolde, and, of course, Van Gogh, but her embrace of clear depictions and controlled strokes makes her stand out as something completely different.

Louise Bourgeois

Differing in most part from O’Keeffe, Bourgeois is stark in channeling her psychic pain into her creations. Her sculptures and installations are nightmarish in their explication of the darker sides of sexuality – pulpy forms, bloody paints, eschewed figures, and insect motifs. All this culminates into her 1996 bronze “Spider” sculpture, which was sold by Christie’s in autumn 2015 for $28.2 million. The massive arachnid towers with its crooked legs and also features a sac of eggs, acting as a twisted ode to maternity, and in Bourgeois’s own words, an ode to her own mother specifically. Its seminal importance (as well as the rest of her works) to feminist art gives it its stature -also it is really big.

Joan Mitchell

Mitchell was previously in second place, but drops by one this year due to the sale of “Spider”. Still, her work “Untitled (1960)” sold for just under $12 million at Christie’s. Her abstract expressionism is well-known for its ferocity of color and her subtle implications of landscapes and forms even amidst the chaos.

Berthe Morisot

Turning away from Modern and Contemporary art for a moment, 19th century Impressionist Berthe Morisot stands at number four. Her work “Après le déjeuner” sold for nearly $11 million in 2013. It remains one of the finest works of the movement, displaying a red-haired woman in a room while a view of vibrant greenery comes through from the window. The outstanding color is a cool blue that brings a calmness to the whole scenario, while the strokes create a delicate atmosphere.

Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova

As a member of the Russian avant-garde, Goncharova’s work is tailored by the revolutionary themes of the period, like the angularity and geometry of Futurist art and depiction of social classes. She stands fifth on this list with the 2008 sale of “Les Fleurs” at Christie’s for a little under $11 million. This simple still life of flowers is transformed into an explosion of fierce aggressive orange, yellow, and red hues mixed with jagged shapes. The rest of her output applies such stylistic vivacity to all her subjects, from social depictions to mythological ones.

Agnes Martin

An abstract expressionist but different from Joan Mitchell in her adherence to minimalism, Martin’s “Orange Grove” was sold at Christie’s for $10.7 million this year. While looking almost like a blank piece of paper from a distance, a closer inspection will reveal a grid of pale orange lines. Playing with such empty spaces comes from her interest in Eastern philosophy and Zen silences.

Cady Noland

Noland is notoriously reclusive, but well-known for her postmodern/Pop-Art installations that make use of various materials and found objects. She’s fallen into various controversies with dealers for ‘disavowing’ her work, and she’s been sued by them, but that doesn’t seem to have damaged her stature. Her “Bluewald” sold for $9.7 million in 2015 at Christie’s, surpassing a previous sale drawing $6.5 million in 2011. The work is a screenprint of Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald with various ‘bullet-holes’ in his form, and an American flag at his mouth as a ‘gag’ – creating a shocking political commentary that can be read in many ways.

Tamara de Lempicka

As one of the major artists of the Art Deco movement, Tamara de Lempicka represents all the gilt and glamor of the style – being both a painter and an exquisite and fashionable socialite. Her “Le rêve (Rafaëla sur fond vert)” sold for $8.4 million at Sotheby’s. This nude displays the strong shadows and erotic potency of Lempicka’s brush, which is characteristic across all of her works.

Camille Claudel

This sculptor both worked for and was in a relationship with Auguste Rodin, and so she displays an equal knack for capturing the sensuality of the form.  Her “La valse, première version” fetched $8 million at Sotheby’s in 2013, and features two figures enveloped in passionate dance, with one of them draped in flowing bronze-forged cloth.

Frida Kahlo

Finally we come to the surrealistic Frida Kahlo at number 10, for the sale of her “Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma)” this year. Her inclusion, as well as Martin’s, knocks the widely favored Yayoi Kusama off the list, who was ninth last year. She’s well known for mixing up primitive and natural motifs like animals and plants with as flagrant an approach to sexuality, brutal imagery, and femininity as Louise Bourgeois. The work mixes together a Dali-esque barren desert landscape, with a depiction of a wild jungle, and two nude women, one dark-skinned and the other light-skinned. The imagery is esoteric but implies a stew of various meanings, from commentary on race, to religious implications.

Dive into Time: 11 New Panerai Watches

Last week, watchmaker Officine Panerai took us on a dive into time to discover the past, present and future of the Italian company. At the Marino Marini Museum in Florence, the firm presented the new Luminor Due case, a new Luminor Marina collection (featuring the calibre P.9010, as shown below) and, of course, the Panerai Minute Repeater. The exhibition space was impressive at 1,000 square meters but even such a large area can barely contain the notions of time and timekeeping that collector-favorite Panerai (which is Florentine by heritage but its watchmaking is done in Neuchatel, Switzerland) was playing with. Indeed, it succeeds in showing how difficult it is to communicate the depth of skills, vision and heritage present in every Panerai watch. Certainly, our little story here will barely scratch the surface so we will attempt to focus our efforts a little.PAM01312-P9010

We have already brought you news on the PAM 600 Minute Repeater so do check that out for the details on what we can only reiterate here is a momentous timepiece. That leaves us the less daunting task of telling you about the Luminor Due, the Luminor Marina and the Radiomir Firenze in a few hundred words, while also succinctly delivering the goods on the exhibition itself. We’ll begin with the future, meaning the 11 new watches on display in Florence. Now we really do mean the “future” when we mention these new watches because they are only expected in store by September this year (depending on where you are in the world).PAM00675-profile

To begin with, these new watches did not show at the SIHH earlier this year, making their appearance now something of a surprise. True, the minute repeater was long-expected but having 11 watches following on from this tent pole release is like Marvel releasing 11 Marvel Universe movies at the same time it opened Avengers Age of Ultron. If we can liken a watchmaking event to a cultural one, that is how big this Florentine reveal is. It left us swooning and we only just recovered enough to write this up.PAM00674---Detail--2

Panerai Luminor Due

Ok seriously, the Panerai Luminor Due is basically the firm’s version of the ultra-thin watch, which never previously featured in its collections. To understand the slimness here, just take a look at the two images above, both of which are automatic Luminor Due models. There are actually four models here ranging from 10.5mm thick (manual-winding) to 10.7mm thick (automatic). The manual versions are the Luminor Due (PAM676) 3 Days 42mm (in steel) and the Luminor Due (PAM677) 3 Days 42mm (in red gold). The automatic versions are the Luminor Due (PAM 674) Automatic 45mm (in steel) and Luminor Due (PAM 675) Automatic 45mm. Specs for each are below.

Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Acciaio PAM676Panerai-PAM676

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, seconds reset
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Manual winding, calibre P1000
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial, Arabic numerals, hour markers
  • Water Resistance:  30 meters

Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Acciaio PAM677Panerai-PAM677

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, seconds reset
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Manual winding, calibre P1000/10
  • Material: 18k polished red gold; anthracite dial, Arabic numerals, hour markers
  • Water Resistance:  30 meters

Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic PAM 674Panerai-PAM674

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic, calibre P4000
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial, Arabic numerals, hour markers
  • Water Resistance:  30 meters

Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso PAM 675Panerai-PAM675

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic, calibre P4000/10
  • Material: 18k polished red gold; anthracite dial, Arabic numerals, hour markers
  • Water Resistance:  30 meters
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950

The story with the six watches of the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 is the movement and the case are new but it is still the same fan-favorite Luminor 1950 (signature crown protector, dial features, hands and so on). All six watches share the same automatic calibre P.9010; two of the watches share a diameter of 42mm while four more measure 44mm in diameter.PAM00661---Detail-1

What’s significant to collectors then is that the old Luminor models with calibre P.9000 will be phased out. Check out the PAM numbers in the specs list below and you can figure it out. The one exception is the Carbotech model (PAM661) as it is an entirely new variant.

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1523Panerai-PAM1523

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; white dial, Arabic numerals and dot indices
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1392Panerai-PAM1392

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial, Arabic numerals and markers
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1499Panerai-PAM1499

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; white dial, Arabic numerals and dot indices
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1312Panerai-PAM1312

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial, Arabic numerals
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1359Panerai-PAM1359

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial with Arabic numerals and markers
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic PAM661Panerai-PAM661

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: Carbotech; black dial with Arabic numerals and dot markers
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters
Radiomir Firenze 3 Days

This is a new version of last year’s Firenze model, a boutique exclusive at the Officine Panerai historic store in Florence. The new Panerai Radiomir Firenze 3 Days Acciaio (PAM672) features a hand-engraved case as usual but also an engraved manual-winding calibre P.3000. Visitors to the exhibition would have actually gotten the chance to see the watchmaker working the engraving. This is one seriously limited proposition, with just 99 pieces for 2016. Considering the handwork involved, this is hardly surprising.


  • Dimensions: 47mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding calibre P.3000/F
  • Material: AISI 316L brushed steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

Finally, just over a thousand words later, we’re all done with the 11 new watches from the Dive into Time exhibition. We went above our promised word count so we apologize for that. If you’re still with us (congratulations!), you must be looking for information on the exhibition itself. We close our story with just a paragraph here on this event, which our friends at World of Watches were invited to. Did we mention that it was held in an ancient crypt of the former church of San Pancrazio in Florence? Well it was and, here in the dim confines, Panerai drew back the veil on previously unseen historical gems, including the first instruments (read: not watches) made by the Panerai family. Of course, watches from the current era (since luxury group Richemont acquired it in the late 1990s) and from the famous wartime past were on display.

9 Designer Candles to Calm Your Nerves

Like a warm embrace that calms the nerves, a scent can be the much needed cure at the end of a long day. Forget that tempting glass of wine or whisky — you know you can’t stop at just one —, and heed our advice. It’s time to get one of these fresh bad-boys, light up and chill out.tobecalm3-4760-Edit

Like the rest of the brand’s candles, the best-selling To Be Calm Travellers Journey White Tea & Ginger uses high quality natural soy wax and cotton wick.byredo-new-candle-bibliotheque-press

Inspired by the idea of a traditional library, Byredo Bibliothèque Candle has notes of peach, plum, peony, violet, patchouli, vanilla and, yes, leather. At Escentials.

NARS-Oran-CandleNars Oran blends tuberose, white gardenia blossoms, violette, jasmine, heliotrope, styrax, resin and leafy greens into one interesting scent.

NARS-Jaipur-CandleCan a candle smell as yummy as the Nars Jaipur? Only if it, too, has citrus, pomegranate and floral notes on a base of amber and vanilla.

Diptyque-Baies-CandleDiptyque Baies Candle is the wax counterpart of the brand’s L’Ombre dans l’Eau EDT so expect a similar whiff of roses and blackcurrant leaves. At Escentials.

MFK-Bougie-Parfumeume-APOM-HD-copyThis is the one for fans of orange blossom. We’re talking about the Maison Francis Kurkdjian APOM Candle. At Escentials.

Sapola-Beeswax-Candle-FeaturedWhen you need a refreshing pick-me-up, light the Mt. Sapola Ginger-Lemongrass Beeswax Candle.

Cire-Trudon-Classic-Candle-ErnestoNot your standard scent, Cire Trudon Ernesto Candle has a base note of tobacco. At Escentials.

FRESH-BLUE-CANDLEIf you want your home to smell like your fave EDP, there’s the Fresh Life Candle.

Story Credits

Text by Pearlyn Tham

This story was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

10 Ways Home Design Improves Quality of Life

While the concept of good design may be difficult to define in just a few words, its core values lie within spaces, buildings and places that work well, last well and adapt well to the needs of the current and future users. Good design ensures that the built environment responds in practical and creative ways to the identity of specific places and projects a unique individuality that addresses the needs of its users and functions of specific settings.

At the residential scale, the concept of good design in Asia and beyond is harder to define, with many property buyers chasing after different factors and aspirations that sway them in favor of one property over another. In terms of predicting property demand and property value increase over time, good design is a seemingly elusive factor, with developers and designers seeking to satisfy a wide range of predictions that may or may not bring the desired results in the end.

While its precise definition may differ from person to person, developers, real estate agencies and designers alike concur that good design can sustain or increase the value of properties and improve the quality of life of property owners and residents. Well-designed residential developments can drive the value of properties and generate higher demand for those inclined to invest.

“A custom designed property will always stand the test of time protecting its future value and, a little like a classic car, will always be something that people aspire to own,” says Andrew Hines, director of Kay & Burton, Flinders, Australia. According to Hines, in high-end residential properties, design becomes a custom and prized commodity that buyers appreciate and pay for the luxury to possess.


It is not surprising, then, that for developers and real estate agencies in the business of marketing and selling properties, a design-driven property is a valuable asset because of its inherent and perceived characteristics that make that property a part of an intangible, aspirational lifestyle. In high-end residential markets, the value of experiential luxury becomes paramount to the potential homeowners. According to Kim Kuhteubl, a producer, writer, and member of the Producers Guild of America, the value of a design-driven property lies in “personalisation, customisation and intimate, unforgettable experiences.”

Roy Teo, founder and head of Singapore-based The Mill, a consortium of four interior design consultancy firms: Kri:eit Associates, Splendor, The I.D. Dept and XXII Century, also views design as a tool to add values that lie beyond a traditional surveyors’ brick-and-mortar valuation. Says Teo: “In understanding the marketable potential of a property and its perceived value, we dive directly into the purchase-making process of a buyer’s psyche. Creating these aspirational lifestyle aspects increases its value beyond the basic checklist of attributes a typical property in its segment would normally have had.”

To make a property fit the aspirational lifestyle label means that a designer needs to think about how to design optimally to showcase a new or refurbished property in the best possible light. According to Nikki Hunt, founder of Design Intervention design studio in Singapore, since property purchases can be emotive decisions, good design can attract prospective buyers by creating a “wow” factor to captivate their attention.

“A designer is able to minimise and disguise a property’s flaws while capitalising and highlighting the best elements of a particular property,” elaborates Hunt. “Good design has the power to imbue a feeling of luxury into a property that might otherwise appear plain or uninteresting and to elevate achievable prices.”


Moreover, beyond the immediate perception of experiential luxury, design-driven properties also provide meaningful values that go beyond the perceived prestige of having a one-of-a-kind, designer home. While aesthetics play an important part, what makes a well-designed property even more valuable is the tailored functionality, innovation and professional assurance to best serve a homeowner’s needs.

Says Roy Teo: “In rethinking and designing optimally for what each individual space allows, we prioritise the best attributes a space can have. Every functional area is carefully laid-out to facilitate storage and furnishings are organised to best enhance usability and spatial experience.” Jeremy Tay, founder and director of Prestige Global Designs in Singapore, also sees value in design as being able to bring out the best attributes of a space and create “better flow, convenience, high level of comfort through good ambiance and a relaxing and invigorating environment with the right combination of colours and furnishing.”

In the end, the value of a design-driven property transcends individual tastes and aesthetics and, instead, provides something much more valuable to its dwellers – an improved quality of life. The specialised skills of designers, such as creative space planning, attention to quality finishing and materials, procurement, detailing and many more provide a winning formula for design of responsive and functional residential spaces and facilitate a transformation of a generic place into one’s home.

Reisenbichler10_(c) Perkins+Will

Top 10 Ways Design Can Improve Quality of Life:

1. Practical layout

The key to good residential layout is its flexibility and integration of the needs of people to create well-functioning and responsive design solutions that enhance the quality of life of its dwellers.

2. Energy efficiency

An energy-efficient building design ensures that a residential dwelling moderates the use of its energy and reduces operating costs. It uses a conscious approach to energy and ecological conservation in building design.

3. Sustainability

Sustainable design relates to energy efficiency as it strives for conservation and smart usage of natural resources, like energy, water and materials. Among its many benefits, sustainable design can enhance occupant health and comfort and increase value of a property.

4. Relaxing environment

A relaxing setting can help to relieve stress and aid in mental fatigue recovery. Features and attributes of a well-designed interior environment can draw its users in and support their fulfilment.

5. Functional spaces

Functional design ensures that practical requirements of the clients are considered and met in the design of a residential space. In many ways, functionality drives the layout of a residential space to warrant that the essential necessities have been incorporated into the core of the design.

6. Health

Health considerations for a residential environment provide shelter and refuge for the occupants, while connecting them with their local surroundings. Health-centred design can aid in mental and physical wellbeing and optimise user experience in built environments.

7. Ergonomics

Ergonomic considerations enable designers to design surroundings to be better suited to the human form. Proper ergonomic design takes into consideration human factors to ensure that the environment suits the demands of the user.

8. Adaptability

Design for adaptability and changing uses allows for a graceful transition as users’ expectations and demands evolve. This allows for longevity of a dwelling to ensure its reuse by future occupants.

9. Accessibility and Safety

Accessible design seeks to address the needs of all age groups and people of various abilities and disabilities. An accessible environment allows building users to maintain an independent lifestyle and connections to family members and community.

10. Customization

Customized design provides experiential luxury and rewards, such as instant pleasure and self-confidence, that reap long-lasting benefits.

Story Credits
Text by Olha Romaniuk

This article was originally published in PALACE Magazine

6 Best Accessories, Cannes Film Fest 2016

A bevy of beauties are getting all the attention in Cannes; we are of course speaking of jewelry, not the the ladies who ruled the red carpet. Proving that the ever-important statement accessory makes an ensemble go from bland to glam, we take a look at a few of the jewellers who helped catapult these looks to become some of the most memorable during the film festival.

Chopard Triple Threat

Left: Adriana Lima, Lottie Moss and Julia Roberts

Left: Adriana Lima, Lottie Moss and Julia Roberts

The longtime official jeweller of the festival had a long list of a-listers who wore some of its finest creations. We start with Pretty Woman herself, Julia Roberts (though she’s moved so far from that role it almost seems wrong to reference it here). The carats on her neck would have made anyone swoon, us included. From the Chopard Red Carpet Collection, the actress wore a necklace with a pear-shaped emerald of 52.76 carats and diamonds that amounted to 43.41 carats. Proving that models were able to shine both on and off the runway was Brazilian Adriana Lima. The highlight of her jewelry ensemble was the pair of earrings in 18K white gold. Complementing her green eyes, the earrings feature emeralds (48.08 carats total) as well as diamonds (13.07 carats). Breaking the emerald reign was Lottie Moss, who went with a white light white heat look. She showed off 82.48 carats of diamonds on a white gold necklace along with a pair of earrings with two princess-cut diamonds (6.04 carats).

Bulgari Double Take

Left: Naomi Watts and Sonam Kapoor

Left: Naomi Watts and Sonam Kapoor

We first saw Naomi Watts with a Bulgari high jewelry creation on the opening night of the festival and we see her once again in another creation by the brand during the premiere of Money Monster. Wearing a pair of exclusive Serpenti earrings from the brand’s Mediterranean Eden high jewelry collection, the design plays on the motifs featured in the Serpenti collection of 2016. The hexagonal designs mimic a serpent’s scales as well as the captivating movement of the creature. The other star who shone in Bulgari was Indian actress and model Sonam Kapoor. Known to be a favorite among designers, she brought a touch of flora to the carpet. She chose a necklace from the brand’s High Jewellery Giardini Italiani collection that added that extra touch of whimsical fun to her outfit. The design also showcased the best of Bulgari’s craftsmanship, with 16 brilliant-cut diamonds in the center of each flower in the necklace. Each petal was also studded with pave diamonds.

Chanel Show-StopperChanel-Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley-Cannes-Accessories

At the premiere of La Fille Inconnue, Rosie Huntington-Whitely stole the show, in a bright red backless dress. With her hair up in a bun, the British model used it as the perfect opportunity to showcase a pair of diamond earrings from Chanel’s Signature Surpiquée Fine Jewelry collection.

Learn more about our Cannes Film Festival coverage from the Accessories Report, The Yellow Trend, The Best Dressed on Opening Night and Our Red Carpet Queens.

Haute Couture Week 2016 Names 5 Guests

For the top-tier Haute Couture Fashion Week, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris has named five fashion labels to display their works as guests alongside the other more established houses in July. Among them are designers who have displayed great depth of innovation and futuristic vision. The inclusion of the subversive rebel design collective Vetements into the mix is a bit of a surprise move on the part of the venerable Chambre. Here is a brief look at all five.

J Mendel isn’t exactly a “spring chicken” since it started out in the 1800s. This label specializes in exquisite furs and displays a penchant for innovation in their use of the material – manipulating it as easily as other types of fabrics.

Iris Van Herpen and Yuima Nakazato definitely represent the future possibilities of fashion design. They’ve embraced technologies like 3D printing and using digital design to push forward the possibilities of what’s possible in their clothing. Form-eschewing sculpted wearables are well represented in their creations.

Francesco Scognamiglio straddles the divide between the classical techniques he picked up from Italy and his own desire for avant-garde expression. The Neapolitan designer can style sensual feminine dresses but he always likes to find a way to infuse it with his own touch of Romanticism. This puts him on the map as a curious designer to look out for.

Inviting Vetements into this Haute Couture Fashion Week is kind of like inviting The Sex Pistols to sing opera. The underground label has been favored by various celebrities – including Kanye West – but they represent everything opposite to what the fashion industry stands for. Their designers aren’t named. They run underground fashion shows far away from the catwalks. They don’t used established models in their shows. Then again, even rebel leader Che Guevara’s face is now being sold on shirts everywhere. How the label aims to maintain their anti-establishment aura while participating in such a high-profile establishment event will be interesting to watch.

Top 10 World Landmarks 2016 Revealed

It is a telling sign of a site’s fame when the sheer volume of tourists actually puts the place itself at risk. Machu Picchu was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and though that helped bolster the famous ruins as an important tourist destination, it also led officials in Peru to impose a 2,500 a day cap on the number of visitors for the Inca Trails. Either way, the fame of the location is still going strong – taking the No. 1 spot in TripAdvisor’s Landmarks of the World ranking for 2016.

That said, if you’re ever planning a trip to the famed mythical site here are a couple of hotels to consider and a few complete tour packages that you might want to look into:

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

As the only hotel directly next to the Machu Picchu itself, this is definitely high on the list of any of the possible accommodations in the area. You can just wake up and go for a morning stroll and you’ll already be in sight of the ruins. Besides that, they also have a number of amenities, such as massage treatments, massive gardens, and even shamanic wedding vows renewal ceremonies.

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

While not being directly located at the site, this luxury hotel boasts of a wide range of possible activities and amenities, as well as a good offering of Peruvian cuisine. Not only are there cooking classes and bar classes (we assume cocktail mixing hands-on types of offerings), but they also perform the shamanic marriage ceremony, and storytelling sessions for traditional tales and myths. The menu at the hotel is prepared by executive chef Carlos Pardo Figueroa Thornberry, who has long standing experience in many renowned restaurants and with many different cuisines. Rooms range from the Sumaq Deluxe rooms all the way up to the Imperial Suites – but no matter what kind of room you go for, the service promises to be impeccable.

Jacada Travel Packages

If you don’t want to have the hassle of doing all the planning yourself, or you want to go for a wider range of sites over in Peru and South America rather than just Machu Picchu, Jacada Travel is willing to land a hand, for a price. They’ll help you tailor an itinerary best fitting your needs – and, most importantly, they’ll also help to keep it private and comfortable.

One of the possible packages involving Machu Picchu is the “Ultra Private Luxury Galapagos Cruise with Exclusive Machu Picchu Adventure” which has a luxury train ride all the way to the ruins as well as a long cruise to explore the Galapagos on a private luxury vessel. Another involves jetting across South America in what else but a private jet.

5 Largest Cruise Ships of All Time

Over the last few decades, a whole line-up of supersized ships have handed down the title of “world’s largest passenger liner,” due to be taken in 2016 by the Harmony of the Seas. As this latest floating giant prepares to set out on its inaugural cruise from Barcelona June 5 to 7, here’s a look at some of history’s biggest and most legendary passenger liners.

RMS Titanic 1912


This enormous and infamous ocean liner is one of history’s most famous passenger ships. After taking to waves in the early 20th century, its tragic fate has gained the RMS Titanic legendary status, with an international community of enthusiasts who continue to collect details of the ship and its sinking. The subject of numerous documentaries and blow-by-blow reconstructions, the ship met a tragic end after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic during the night of April 14, 1912, leading to its total submersion. The ship found renewed fame as the setting for a big-screen love story in James Cameron’s Titanic movie, which won the 1997 Oscar for “Best Picture.” This led to renewed interest in the story of this fateful liner, which sunk on its maiden voyage from the English port of Southampton.

  • Dimensions: 269 meters long, 28 meters wide
  • Company: White Star Line
  • Passenger capacity: 3,503 people (905 in first class, 564 in second class, 1134 in third class and 885 crew)
  • Did you know? The Titanic set sail loaded with 40 tons of potatoes, 34,000kg of meat, 6,819 liters of milk, 36,000 oranges and 20,000 bottles of beer.

The Queen Mary 1952

Queen Mary

As well as holding the title of world’s largest passenger liner for three years, the Queen Mary was also the world’s fastest ocean liner for 14 years straight. The ship was originally intended to be called Queen Victoria, in homage to the former British monarch, but when the name was submitted to King George V for approval, he preferred to name the vessel after his wife. Plenty of famous people stepped aboard the ship during its years of service, including Winston Churchill. After setting sail on its maiden voyage May 27, 1936, RMS Queen Mary – nicknamed “Old Mary” – traveled the globe as a troopship during the Second World War, carrying Australian and New Zealand soldiers from Sydney to the United Kingdom. The liner later regained its original function as a cruise ship before retiring in 1967. The Queen Mary has now been turned into a hotel and restaurant based in Long Beach harbor in California, USA.

  • Dimensions: 310.74 meters long
  • Company: Cunard Line
  • Passenger capacity: 2,139 people
  • Did you know? Legend has it that the Queen Mary is haunted by the ghosts of former passengers. Today’s guests can take a tour of the corridors at night to try to catch sight of the spooks.

SS France 1962

SS France

Following in the footsteps of the SS Normandy, this French ocean liner – built in the Chantiers de L’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire – was the world’s biggest passenger liner in the early 1960s. After a career mainly spent carrying passengers between Europe and the USA, and with a few round-the-world trips to its name, SS France was bought by a Saudi Arabian businessman and re-registered in Norway. The vessel was renamed SS Norway in 1979, before becoming Blue Lady in 2006 prior to its scrapping in India.

  • Dimensions: 315.7 meters long
  • Company: Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (at launch)
  • Passenger capacity: 2,032 people
  • Did you know? Before its sale in 1977, several ideas were floated for the SS France‘s fate. Proposals included turning the liner into a retirement home or a floating hospital off the coast of Lebanon. It was even suggested as a hotel ship for the 1976 Winter Olympics in Montreal, Canada.

Oasis of the Seas 2014

Oasis of the Seas

In 2009, Royal Caribbean set out to steal the title of world’s largest passenger liner – held at the time by the Queen Mary 2 – with the Oasis of the Seas, a new 365-meter-long ship that raised the game once again. The ship was above all innovative for its wealth of onboard activities, giving rise to distinct neighborhoods onboard the vessel and turning the ship itself into a holiday destination. Guests can, for example, get active on a climbing wall, shoot hoops on a basketball court, plunge down water slides, relax in a hot tub or try out surfing in a special wave pool. MS Oasis of the Seas is still in service, taking guests around the world’s oceans. It’s also the forerunner to a series of new superships, such as the Harmony of the Seas, set to follow in the coming years.

  • Dimensions: 362 meters long
  • Company: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
  • Passenger capacity: 5,400 people
  • Did you know? This liner brought an environmentally conscious slant to the cruise ship sector with a system for recycling used water. Its successors are likely to green ideas even further.

Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

After being tested at sea in March from the French port of Saint-Nazaire, MS Harmony of the Seas sets sail on its maiden voyage May 29. This new super ship delivered this past week to Royal Caribbean beats all kinds of records with its 66-meter width, 16 decks, 22-knot cruising speed and 24 lifts.

  • Dimensions: 362 meters
  • Company: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
  • Passenger capacity: 6,410 people
  • Did you know? Although barely even out of the shipyard, Harmony of the Seas is due to be knocked off the top spot in 2018, when the Oasis 4 takes over as the world’s largest passenger ship.

5 Reasons to Visit Savour Gourmet 2016

We can almost hear you foodies rejoicing. From 12 – 15 May 2016, SAVOUR brings together a stellar line-up of local and guest overseas restaurants to Bayfront Avenue, Singapore for Savour Gourmet, the first of a three-part edition of distinctly-themed gastronomic events this year.

Savour_BuonaTerra_Gambero Rosso

Here’s five reasons why you should make this gourmet paradise a part of your itinerary this weekend:

1) Admission is free…

Because the good guys at Savour know how seriously Singaporeans take their food, they’ve made it free for public admission so there’s no harm dropping by, though you probably wouldn’t leave empty-handed. Before you rush off though, you won’t be sampling delights for free. Like a good club, there is no cover but the drinks are another matter…

2) Meet celebrity chefs while supporting local ones

You’ll recognize two famous face in the crowd: celebrity chef and MasterChef Canada judge Alvin Leung and his protégé Eric Chong, winner of the first MasterChef Canada. The “Devil Chef” of three Michelin starred restaurant Bo Innovation will serve his signature Molecular Xiao Long Bao, while Chong serves up delectable Asian-inspired dishes. Meanwhile, look out for local talents such as Ronald Li of Salt Tapas & Bar, Jonathan Li of Artichoke and Allen Tan of Saveur Art.


3) Jason’s Gourmet Market

Your Savour experience isn’t complete without a trip to the specialty market, where you’ll find Alaskan crabs, Iberico pork, Miyazaki wagyu and other fine cuts. You can also choose from a selection of over 200 cheeses, kick back with a glass of wine at the Jasons wine terrace and end the night with a very decadent Hokkaido lavender ice cream. There is also an oyster bar, to take you over the top in indulging your foodie inclinations.

4) Sample more than 30 stellar dishes

This is not your usual hawker fare – Look forward to exotic creations, such as the Foie-ffle (corn waffle topped with foie gras butter) by Artichoke, Labyrinth Chili Crab (tempura soft shell crab with chili ice cream) by Labyrinth and Twice Cooked Kurobuta Pork Belly with Cured Iberico Bellota Ham by CATO, amongst many others.


5) A Martell experience like no other

Explore the colliding worlds of Asian cuisine and cognac at L’Espace Martell, a casual setting where you can expect exquisite cocktails and tastings of the Martell Cordon Bleu. Chefs of participating restaurants will also create original dishes that best pair with the signature blend as part of the Martell Projects: Chef, a competition to discover Martell’s first young Ambassador Chef.


Participating restaurants:

Buona Terra, Salt Tapas & Bar, CATO, Saveur Art, Lower East Side, Gattopardo, Artichoke, Bar A Thym, Labyrinth, R&D.

The 2016 SAVOUR Calendar:

SAVOUR Gourmet: 12 – 15 May
SAVOUR Wines: 8 – 11 Sept
SAVOUR Christmas: 17 – 20 Nov

Visit Savour.sg for more details.


Best Accessories: 3 Picks from Cannes 2016

We have kicked off Day One of the Cannes Film Festival and it has been a treat to see the style stars work their magic. It’s time to pay the beautiful accessories some attention and shine the light on three actresses who impressed us, as they worked the red carpet.

Naomi Watts wearing Bulgari's High Jewelry collection.

Naomi Watts wearing Bulgari’s High Jewelry collection.

First on the list, is Naomi Watts with Bulgari. Her one-of-a kind statement necklace, Italian Extravaganza, stood out against her blonde hair and porcelain skin. The high jewelry necklace must have been heavy but she showed no signs of fatigue— what a pro. The final count on that dazzler? We spy 130 carats of amethysts, 35 carats of rubellites, 52.79 carats of aquamarines and 6.13 carats of diamonds. She topped it off with a pair of round brilliant cut diamonds in platinum from Bulgari’s high jewelry collection.

Julianne Moore wearing Chopard's Green Carpet Collection.

Julianne Moore wearing Chopard’s Green Carpet Collection.

Next up, is Oscar wnner Julianne Moore. She completed her outfit with a pair of emerald earrings and a ring from Chopard’s new Green Carpet Collection. The capsule collection will be launched officially May 14 so this serves as a teaser to what is to come. The pear-shaped emeralds — 10 and 11 carats each — are surrounded by marquise cut diamonds. The ring, in 18-carat white gold, features a 10.3-carat cushion-shaped emerald and marquise-cut diamonds. To learn more about the emeralds and Chopard’s collaboration with Gemfields, click here.

Jessica Chastain in Piaget's High Jewelry collection.

Jessica Chastain in Piaget’s High Jewelry collection.

The final stunner that caught our attention is Jessica Chastain. Her Piaget necklace from the brand’s high jewelry collection stood out against her brightly hued Armani Privé gown. The simple and elegant necklace was the only accessory she wore that night and we say it was an excellent choice.

To find out more about our list of the 10 best dressed on the red carpet, click here.

23 Watches Offering Multiple Complications

Whether for increased functionality, to uphold tradition, or just because, an extra serving of complex mechanics always delights the connoisseur. Here, we take a look at several timepieces that will make you do a double take.

Chronograph + Calendar

Breitling Navitimer 01

Breitling Navitimer 01

Mention the chronograph, and a sporty timepiece invariably comes to mind. It’s an easy association to make, since the complication has played pivotal roles in the tales of derring-do that have taken place in cockpits, race cars, and even outer space. Its contributions in less thrilling situations may be oft overlooked, but aren’t any less significant. Doctors in the past, for instance, relied on chronographs with pulsometer scales to quickly and accurately determine their patients’ heart rates. The chronograph’s myriad uses make it one of the handiest complications to have on the wrist – even today – whether in a robust, sporty timepiece designed to brave the elements, or a dressier one meant for the office. So what better complication to pair it with, than another perennially useful one – the calendar?

Date And Time
Omega Speedmaster White Side of the Moon

Omega Speedmaster White Side of the Moon

The calendar is the most relevant astronomical complication for daily life, bar none, which explains its ubiquity in watches. Combine it with the chronograph, and a winner emerges. On the technical front, this isn’t particularly difficult, since calendar modules can be stacked onto an existing movement relatively easily, if it doesn’t already have a date indicator. There are also plenty of choices, depending on the desired level of complexity for the watch, as well as the considerations for its dial design.

The most straightforward option is, of course, a simple date indicator that requires an adjustment at the end of every month with less than 31 days. Most integrated chronograph movements will already include such a complication, since it doesn’t take up much space, requires few parts, and is simple to accomplish. The Breitling Calibre 01 used in the Navitimer 01 is one such example, with the date display at 4:30 on the dial. Omega’s co-axial Calibre 9300 is another; its date window sits at six o’clock to maintain the symmetry of the watch’s bi-compax layout, as shown in the Speedmaster White Side of the Moon.

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar

Annual Affair

To kick things up a notch, the chronograph can be paired with the annual calendar, which requires a manual correction just once a year at the end of every February. The added complexity of the complication is apparent on the dial, which now displays the day of the week and the month. This can be managed in different ways. In the Annual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5905P, Patek Philippe began by doing away with a running seconds hand, thus removing a sub-dial entirely. The hour totaliser was also excluded to leave a single counter at six o’clock, which marks the elapsed minutes, to further reduce clutter. Zenith, on the other hand, removed just the hour totaliser (arguably the least used portion of the chronograph), but kept the small seconds sub-dial on its El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar.

Good Till 2100
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition "75th Anniversary"

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary”

If the annual calendar isn’t enough, there’s always the perpetual calendar. The usage of this complication moves the watch into high watchmaking territory, and creates an interesting dichotomy at the same time. As long as the watch is kept running, the perpetual calendar requires no input from its wearer (at least until 2100), so having a chronograph function encourages him to interact more with it – start-stop-reset, start-stop-reset.

Presenting the information from a chronograph and a perpetual calendar becomes even more challenging with the inclusion of a leap year indicator. For Hublot, this necessitated the combination of multiple indicators into each sub-dial, as the Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar shows. The counter at nine o’clock, for instance, combines the month, leap year, and chronograph minute totaliser, with the information displayed in three concentric layers. The brand also organised the information with distinct visual cues – white arrow-tipped hands for the calendar, red-tipped hands for the chronograph, and plain stick hands for the time. The thoughtful layout has even enabled Hublot to sneak in a moon phase indicator.

Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar

Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar

IWC, on the other hand, took a different route by utilising digital displays in its Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘’75th Anniversary’’ watch. By confining the date and month to two such displays, the manufacture could free up valuable real estate on the dial for an airier design. The chronograph sub-dial reinforces this by merging the minute and hour totalisers, which also allows elapsed time to be read like a normal watch, rather than the more common 30-minute counter.

Time Zones + Alarm

Vulcain Aviator Cricket

Vulcain Aviator Cricket

The world timer was created to allow its wearer to keep track of multiple time zones at a glance. From this came the simpler GMT complication that Rolex developed for airline pilots, to provide them with an easy reference for Greenwich Mean Time, the basis of all flight operations. These complications didn’t remain the exclusive domain of businessmen and aviators though. Globalisation, best exemplified by the democratisation of air travel in the mid-20th century, made both the world timer and GMT complications popular with a far wider audience, and has kept them relevant even today.

Ringing Reminder
Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater

Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater

Of course, one could use a little help if he has multiple time zones to keep track of. A rotating bezel could work – just align the 12 o’clock marker to the important time, and it will serve as a reminder. Why not go one step further, though, and use an actual alarm? Archaic as it seems, a mechanical alarm does offer benefits over its digital counterpart that’s available on a smartphone. For one, it’s integrated with the watch, which never leaves its wearer’s wrist, so it cannot be misplaced. There’re also no concerns with battery life either. Since the complication is powered by a separate mainspring that’s wound up manually, keeping it ‘charged’ is a nonissue.

Blancpain Leman Réveil GMT

Blancpain Leman Réveil GMT

Although the mechanical alarm isn’t a common complication, some manufactures do offer it in watches that track multiple time zones. Vulcain is one of them, as the brand was already producing watches equipped with mechanical alarms for Swissair pilots in the 1950s to help them with the important milestones in a flight. The spiritual successor to those watches is the Aviator Cricket, which pairs the world timer with a mechanical alarm. Operating the watch is easy: The alarm is set by positioning the central red-tipped hand to the desired time. Blancpain and Hublot have similar offerings, albeit with the GMT complication instead of a world timer. Blancpain’s Leman Réveil GMT has a sub-dial for the second time zone at three o’clock, with the alarm set like Vulcain’s timepiece. Rounding up the trio is Hublot’s Big Bang Alarm Repeater, which allows the alarm time to be set to the minute through a separate sub-dial at four o’clock.

Hybrid Theory
Jaeger Le Coultre Master Geographic

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic

What other complications can a GMT or a world timer synergise with? With each other! Strange as it sounds, the two actually complement each other perfectly. Consider this: The GMT complication is intuitive to use, but tracks just one other time zone; the world timer, on the other hand, sacrifices some legibility to display far more information. Therefore, a hybrid can offer the best of both worlds by showing a selected time zone prominently, while the rest is available on demand.

Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S

Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S

Fusing the GMT and world timer complications can be done in several ways. For the Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S, the red GMT hand continues to track home time, as the hour hand is set when one moves to a new time zone. To read the times in other cities, its user needs only to turn the bezel to align the home city on the inner flange with the GMT hand.

In A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 Time Zone, local time is indicated by the larger sub-dial at nine o’clock. The smaller one at five o’clock has a triangular arrow that points at the city ring on the flange, and displays its corresponding time. Actuating the pusher at eight o’clock advances this city ring, and changes the time in the smaller sub-dial accordingly.

A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone

A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Geographic works similarly, with the crown at 10 o’clock responsible for changing the city at six o’clock. The time for the chosen city is then displayed accordingly in the sub-dial immediately above it. Granted, these three examples are not world timers per se. They do, however, have the ability to offer the time in more than 2 cities with just a little extra effort.

IWC Timezoner Chronographer

IWC Timezoner Chronographer

IWC’s Timezoner Chronograph, a 2016 novelty, deserves a special mention here. The timepiece displays the time of just a single city – the one at 12 o’clock on the bezel – in both 12- and 24-hour formats. Turn the bezel, however, and the white and red central hands that indicate the hours will jump accordingly, with the corresponding date correctly displayed at three o’clock. It’s both a GMT and a world timer watch, yet paradoxically it is also neither.

Perpetual Calendar + Moon phase

Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar "Terraluna" requires an adjustment for its moon phase dispaly just once every 1,058 years.

Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna” requires an adjustment for its moon phase dispaly just once every 1,058 years.

The perpetual calendar was covered earlier as a pairing option for the chronograph. On its own, however, this complication has almost always been paired with the moon phase display. For the man on the street, an indicator showing the current phase of the moon has about as much use as one that tracks the equation of time. This hasn’t stopped manufactures from including it in their perpetual calendar watches though, and for good reason – the moon phase display is the perfect feminine balance to the masculine perpetual calendar and its practical concerns with accuracy. Besides, it also lends a poetic touch to the dial that might otherwise be cluttered with hard information like the month and the day of the week – one certainly can’t argue against this, if he still appreciates wearing a mechanical watch in this day and age.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun

Integrating a moon phase display into a calendar complication is easy. The period of the lunar cycle is roughly 29.53059 days, so a wheel with 59 teeth is commonly used. This wheel is advanced by a finger once every day, just like the rest of the calendar’s displays. The tiny difference between the two accumulates over time though, so a correction of one day is needed every 2.64 years. For the perfectionists out there, there’s good news – alternative gearing ratios for the moon phase do exist, and can drastically increase the complication’s accuracy. The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna”, for instance, has a moon phase display that requires a correction just once every 1,058 years.

Montbalnc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire

Montbalnc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire

Technical details aside, the way the moon phase indicator meshes with the perpetual calendar’s displays also bears some study, and Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Perpetual Calendar is about as classic as it gets. Three sub-dials for the perpetual calendar’s full array of information, balanced by the graphical moon phase indicator. To reduce clutter, the manufacture merged the month and leap year into a single hand at 12 o’clock, which makes a complete revolution just once every four years. This reductionist approach extends to the simple aperture that shows the moon phase.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar

Montblanc’s Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire has all its information sorted into the same positions on the dial, but looks far more contemporary because of its smoked sapphire dial, and the more elaborate sub-dial for the moon phase. IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun is another variation on the theme, with the information presented in a slightly different arrangement. The highlight here is the double moon indicator at 12 o’clock, which simultaneously displays the moon phase as it is viewed from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Glashütte Original Senator Perpetual Calendar

Glashütte Original Senator Perpetual Calendar

Finally, there’s Glashütte Original, which has stripped things to the bare minimum on the Senator Perpetual Calendar. The central hour and minute hands remain alongside a sweep seconds hand. All other information is shown via five apertures on the dial, including a single coloured dot that indicates the leap year.

Minute Repeater + tourbillon

It’s impossible to talk about the minute repeater without bringing out the superlatives. The complication remains the most revered among watchmakers and collectors alike, not least because of its complexity; a ‘simple’ minute repeater watch consists of over 300 parts that must all be finished, assembled, and adjusted. What’s more, there’s no room for error in several of the steps, like the removal of material to tune the gongs, as they are irreversible. It’s little wonder then, that the minute repeater remains the last bastion of high watchmaking that’s still well out of mass production’s reach. Its rarity is just part of its charm though. There’s nothing quite like listening to a minute repeater ‘live’ as its chimes announce the time down to the exact minute.

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon

Spins & Strikes

Although minute repeaters frequently display their inner mechanisms through transparent case backs or open-worked dials, to admire them is to, above all else, have an auditory experience. As such, what better complication than the tourbillon to pair it with in order to create a multi-sensorial experience?

Jaeger- LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

Jaeger- LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

The tourbillon was conceived to even out a balance’s positional errors by constantly spinning it through all its possible positions. It might be an unintended consequence, but the rotating tourbillon carriage is mesmerising to watch, to say the least. Franck Muller was the first to recognise this and designed a movement where the device was first visible from the dial side of the watch, to create a constantly moving spectacle on the wrist. Combining the minute repeater with the tourbillon results in a timepiece with both audio and visual interest in spades.

Breguet Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref.7087

Breguet Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref.7087

Several manufactures offer such a match currently, but their executions differ widely from each other. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon has its tourbillon prominently displayed at six o’clock, but keeps the minute repeater hidden when the watch is viewed from the dial side. Cartier’s Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon, on the other hand, has its gongs and hammers in the same position, while its tourbillon is moved to 12 o’clock to provide balance instead.

Girard Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges

Girard-Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges

Those who want even more visual details will do well to consider either Breguet’s Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 7087, or Girard-Perregaux’s Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges. In each watch, the movement design allows large portions of the minute repeater mechanism to be visible from the dial side. These components only come to life when the strike train is activated though, which leaves the tourbillon as the star attraction normally.

Patek Philippe Ref.5539G-001

Patek Philippe Ref.5539G-001

Patek Philippe’s Ref. 5539G-001 deserves special mention here. Ever the stalwart of tradition, the manufacture has kept the tourbillon on the back of the watch, with the only hint of its existence being the text on its dial at six o’clock.

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story was first published in World of Watches.

5 Watches Making Old School Chic

If we are determined to think the worst, then it could be designers hitting a brick wall in their heads, or shareholders holding watch CEOs at gun point, that vintage watch designs are being raided from company archives and given new life in contemporary collections that look… little different. This is, however, not an isolated phenomenon unique to the watch trade. Beyond that received wisdom that the world’s largest luxury market that is China prefers conservatively styled, three-hand dress watches with silvered dials (PVD, be gone!), there is also this hipsterism thing going on that’s blowing in from the West, on the wings of Instagram, java, and jive. Typewriter showrooms are morphing into coffee shops, with junkyard garages following suit; and there’s been a revival of all things artisanal, as blog empires trumpet the return of the “gentleman”, with hats, brollies, and high-waisted pants. Old is gold, and watch companies are only giving consumers what they want when they rehash last generation’s icons.

It is not a bad thing. Petrolheads should be so lucky to have car companies ape their cousins in the watch trade. But they are not. And for watch buyers, let us count our blessings and sample some of the notable icons that have been given a refresh of the body, but thankfully, not in spirit.

Zenith Pilot Montre D’Aeronef Type 20 Extra SpecialZenith-Pilot-Montre-Daeronef-type-20-extra-special-2

Watchmakers can be inspired by aviation in any number of ways, like making watches with design cues lifted wholesale off actual flight instruments. Zenith is among a very few who can boast that it actually made these cockpit instruments, from 1910 to 1960. These were very momentous decades for aviation, stretching from the dawn of powered flight, through two World Wars, to the flowering of jet propulsion technology. And after shedding its fancy pants in recent past, Zenith decided to re-connect with its roots in classical watchmaking, and with its aviation heritage in particular when it released three pilot’s watches in 2012.

Of these, the Type 20 in particular, is a spitting image of vintage aircraft cockpit clocks that Zenith used to supply, as well as the watch that Louis Charles Joseph Blériot was wearing on his wrist when he made the world’s first Channel crossing in a heavier-than-air aircraft in 1909. The Type 20 has since grown into a diverse collection, encompassing a variety of complications including GMT, annual calendar, tourbillon, and even ladies’ models; as well as models showcasing elaborate engraving, skeletonisation, and dials of enamel and meteorite. But of particular interest here is the Type 20 Extra Special in bronze, introduced in 2015.

To make the collection more accessible, Zenith previously released a Type 20 Extra Special in steel, in 2014. However, with a lower price tag, came a third-party movement supplier (Sellita). No shame in that, but a third-party movement for an accomplished movement maker and vertical manufacturing pioneer like Zenith is, to say the least, inappropriate. Hence, the bronze model released in 2015 came equipped with an in-house movement.

For its colour, and the way it ages, bronze delivers character, charisma, and stand-out looks without the cost of a precious metal. There is such a thing as “bronze disease”, which refers to an irreversible chloride corrosion that affects copper-based alloys including bronze, manifested as a greening of the metal. Saltwater is one factor, and one might even be wary about sweating on the watch; but in reality, bronze artefacts have survived from as far back as five millennia BC (seven thousand years, some in the sea), and bronze is still used to make ship propellers, which are dipped into the ocean all the time! Moreover, at least among bronze watches from brands of comparable cachet, the Type 20’s asking price is attractive, in one case, by nearly half. Titanium (hypoallergenic) case back is a thoughtful feature towards wearer comfort.

IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage WatchIWC-Big-Pilot's-Heritage-Watch

Vintage Pilot’s watches are the stuff of legend in part because pilots of today – in an age of GPS, radar, and planes that can practically fly themselves – do not need watches as much as their forebears, who depended on watches to derive such fundamental information such as where one is, and how long the fuel will last. In this regard, a pilot’s watch had to be precise, and hardy enough to operate reliably in the flight environment, in the face of gravitational stress from fast manoeuvres, rapid fluctuations in temperature and pressure with altitude, and magnetic fields emitting from flight equipment. IWC has much claim to making authentic pilot’s watches, for the long years it has been supplying them to the preeminent air forces of the day, including the Luftwaffe in the 1940s, and the UK Royal Air Force during the post-war years.IWC-Big-Pilot's-Heritage-Watch-back

For 2016, IWC has refreshed its pilot’s watch collections, most distinctive of them being the Big Pilot’s Heritage watch in a colossal 55mm case size, as large as the 1940 model that was a saucer of a watch strapped to the thigh rather than worn on the wrist. Legibility counted for much, and one flew seated. Unlike the original, IWC has chosen to construct the case out of sandblasted titanium, cutting the weight by 18 per cent to 150g. Limited to 100 pieces, it’s a piece of history. But for something more wrist-friendly, the Heritage also comes in 48mm case size. This model features a longer running movement than the 55mm model (eight days’ power reserve, as opposed to 46 hours), and while both have soft iron inner cases to shield the movement against magnetic fields, IWC has managed to craft a sapphire crystal window onto the 48mm model’s back case. Hero jewellery.

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph TachymeterMontblanc-1858-Chronograph-Tachymeter

Why are vintage-inspired products lately resurgent? Is it just a matter of aesthetics? It could be, for some. And that would be enough. But for others, it is also about the way things used to be done, that with progress, we had somehow traded away beauty, elegance, and significance for cost effectiveness and convenience. To right that balance is probably why Montblanc took the Minerva manufacture under its wings in 2006. Established in 1858, Minerva is notable for creating beautiful, handcrafted movements, and since its acquisition, its expertise and ideals have been secured, and have coloured Montblanc’s watchmaking collections, from limited edition high complications to more accessible, non-limited timepieces. The 1858 chronograph, in a limited edition of 100 pieces, follows this fine tradition; it’s Old School through and through.

The watch face is of the traditional bi-compax layout, with two sub-dials; lumed Arabic numerals and quaint needle-tipped cathedral hands are right for optimal legibility; while traditional railway track markings are hard to beat for precise division of time. There is good reason for having a pair of chronograph pushers, but a monopusher integrated with the crown is visually cleaner. Montblanc has also reverted to an old logo, to more coherently pair with the overall aesthetic of the watch.Montblanc-1858-Chronograph-Tachymeter-back

Some traditionalists might baulk at the 1858’s case size, though: an immodest 44mm, at odds with vintage codes, to say the least. The upside to this is that it offers room for a large, lushly decorated movement, the manual-winding MB M16.29, inspired by a Minerva movement from 1929. Column wheel, lateral coupling, a large balance with weight screws and swan neck regulator; and a Minerva signature, the chronograph hammer shaped like a devil’s tail. It’s a modern-sized widescreen window into the pillars of classical watchmaking. And what a view.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic 195Jaeger-lecoultre-geophysics-1958

What better way to remember the Cold War than with a wristwatch to commemorate a rather weird episode within this global contest where nations came together across an ideological divide to co-explore the globe with socialist zeal; while on the wings, the Superpowers shadow-boxed like ex-lovers over milk gone sour. The period in question is the International Geophysical Year (IGY) that lasted from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. Some 67 countries collaborated on scientific and exploration projects related to the earth sciences. The Soviet Union stunned the US when it successfully launched Sputnik 1 in October 1957. The US returned the favour in August the following year when the USS Nautilus, the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine, steamed from Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, crossed under the North Pole, and surfaced in the Atlantic, northeast of Greenland, practically in the USSR’s backyard. International cooperation aside, it was about putting one’s rival within nuke range.Jaeger-lecoultre-geophysics-1958-white

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s contribution to the IGY was the Geophysic, the most capable watch it knew how to make at that point in time, best suited to the precision, reliability, and toughness required of scientific exploration. With production run lasting about a year, only a little over 1,000 pieces were ever made in stainless steel, and 30 in gold. In 2014, the manufacture has re-issued the Geophysic, in a slightly larger case size (38.5mm as opposed to 35mm), powered by a modern, proven self-winding movement in place of the original’s hand-wound movement, and validated by JLC’s own 1,000 hours of testing, which exceeds the COSC standard for which the original was certified. A new Cold War is brewing; good time for a new Geophysic, in three variants and two dial layouts.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955Vacheron-Constantin-Historiques-Cornes-de-Vache-1955

Last year, Vacheron Constantin released a vintage-styled chronograph with a recognisably generic design, bearing two sub-dials on a silvered dial. Many other brands have something like this too. But not the lugs! Rounded, voluptuous, and pointy; for an otherwise very sober watch, they are a most peculiar appendage, almost kinky. By the lugs, one can identify it for the Vacheron “Cornes de Vache”. Horns of a cow, in English. The spiritual successor to the Ref. 6087 of 1955. Even back then, it seems Vacheron Constantin already had a sense of humour. A bull would be a fiercer animal some of us prefer to associate with, what with rage, power, and bullish markets. Cows, on the other hand, give butter. But bull would be “taureau”, not “vache” and the wordplay would be lost. Cow (vache) it is… and only from Vacheron!Vacheron-Constantin-Historiques-Cornes-de-Vache-1955-back

But it takes somewhat more than a pun to make a legend. Ref. 6087 was the company’s first chronograph that was water resistant and anti-magnetic, being equipped with screwed-in case back and soft iron inner case. It is also among the rarest of Vacheron Constantin’s chronographs – only 36 were ever made; 26 in yellow gold and eight in pink gold from 1955 to the mid 1960s, followed by two in platinum in the 1990s, which bore the same reference number and movement but in a case without the cow horn lugs. Ref. 6087 was also the manufacture’s last chronograph model till 1989.

In name, form, and its pivotal place in the company’s history, the Historiques “Cornes de Vache 1955” makes a compelling proposition, beyond the fact that it’s been so beautifully made.

Story Credits

Text by Yeo Suan Futt

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Met Gala 2016: 8 Favorite Looks

Getting invited to the Met Gala is like receiving the golden ticket to the world of fashion. I will assume that my invite got lost in the mail, much like my letter from Hogwarts. Apart from being a gala for a good cause, it is the one opportunity for Hollywood to throw caution to the wind and embrace their inner Lady Gaga (Spoiler Alert: It was like any other Sunday night for Gaga really. Keep reading, you’ll understand.)

With a theme such as Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology, the fashion favorites seemed to have a one-track kind of mind with lots of metal and sequins. From Prada to Balmain, we bring you 8 of our favorite looks from the red carpet.

Claire Danes — Party in the Dark
Image from AFP

Image from AFP

This dress was like a mash-up of Cinderella and Frozen in all the right ways. On the red carpet, this Zac Posen number looked like any other powder blue gown. But once the lights are turned down low, the dress becomes a beacon of light — no, really it does. The organza creation had 30 mini battery packs sewn in to power up the custom fiber optics that took our breath away. Suffice to say, it would have been difficult to lose track of her even in the dark.

Katy Perry — The Fifth Element
Image from AFP

Image from AFP

If you’re a fan of the sci-fi classic The Fifth Element, then you might see a connection between Chris Tucker’s DJ Ruby Rhod here. The award winning singer walked the carpet in a custom-made Prada gown embellished with charms and gadgets and jewelry from Fred Leighton. When we say gadgets, we mean Tamagotchis. With a walking battery pack parading around nearby (we mean Claire Danes) Perry was far from bored during the night.

Kate Hudson — Futuristic Bridal
Image from Runway Manahttan

Image from Runway Manahttan

If there is one person who can make cut-outs look sophisticated it would be Hudson. Her bridal gown-inspired Atelier Versace number, was made of several different materials and intricate construction. She was probably one of the few who managed to stick to the theme, though it also meant that she couldn’t sit for the rest of the night (we presume).

Kylie Jenner — Battle Scars
Image from Runway Manahttan

Image from Runway Manahttan

The youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan truly suffered in the name of fashion for her Met Gala debut. Unlike her sister Kim, she aced it on her first try. While her heavily sequined gown from Balmain was beautiful to say the least, it seems like the makeup maven now has scars to remind her of the night. The sequins, which balanced out the sheer panels in the dress, left her legs scratched up and social media star that she is, all the pain was captured on Instagram.

Kim Kardashian-West — Worst Accessory
Image from Runway Manahttan

Image from Runway Manahttan

You have to admit, the reality TV star looked good and not just because she was finally out of one of those odd-looking nude body suits. With bleached eyebrows and slicked back hair, the muse of Kanye West looked pretty fierce in a Balmain number that was a mix of metal and sequins.

Image from Runway Manahttan

Image from Runway Manahttan

The sexy robot look however was ruined slightly by the White Walker she dragged off the set from the Game of Thrones — oh wait, that’s just Kanye.

Emma Watson — Sustainable Fashion
Image from Runway Manahttan

Image from Runway Manahttan

Not only did she bring pants back to the red carpet but she also ensured that her gown made a statement of its own. Collaborating closely with Calvin Klein and Eco Age, the actress chose to wear a five-piece ensemble that can be re-used in various styles, giving Kate Middleton a run for her money. The corset that sat over the off-shoulder top with a Bardot neckline was crafted from three different fabrics woven from yarns made from recycled plastic bottles.

Beyonce — Second Skin
Image from Runway Manahttan

Image from Runway Manahttan

The Internet entertained itself with jokes about how the latex Givenchy creation was in fact Becky’s skin as the singer walked the carpet. Jokes aside, the gown was one of the few that did not feature metal and looked somewhat comfortable – or so you would think if you’ve never worn latex for extended periods. This gown is probably one of the best outfits Queen Bey has worn to the Met, yet.

Lady Gaga — Just another day
Image from Runway Manahttan

Image from Runway Manahttan

I expected more of Mother Monster. She seems to be reusing several Bowie inspired looks of late and it would be nice to have seen Gaga go gaga (pun intended) with the theme. Wearing a sparkly purple rubber halter-bra, high-waisted corseted shorts and a gunmetal jacket from Atelier Versace, the singer and actress seemed to have left the rest of her outfit back home. But understandably so as pants of any kind would have taken the attention away from those Sky-high platforms and blonde bouffant hairdo.

Most Beautiful Island in the World Revealed

Not all islands are created equal, it seems. This year, Maui edges out thousands of the planet’s other islands to claim top spot on TripAdvisor’s annual list. An island in the mid-Pacific and part of the Hawaiian island chain, Maui is beyond paradise with its stunning azure waters and stretches of powder-white sand.

TripAdvisor determines its award winners based on an algorithm that takes into account the traffic and quality of reviews and ratings for the attractions, restaurants and hotels there throughout the year. This year’s award winners are largely contenders in Europe, the Caribbean and Asia.

This year, Santorini clinches top spot for most beautiful island in Europe while Jamaica and Bali top the category in the Caribbean and Asia respectively. Here, we bring you the rest that made the list, with some accommodation ideas that will have you booking that long-awaited holiday, pronto.

Warning: these images will give you serious vacation envy.


TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Islands:

1) Maui, Hawaii

2) Santorini, Greece

3) Jamaica

4) Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

5) Bali, Indonesia

6) Majorca, Spain

7) Mauritius

8) Phuket, Thailand

9) Bora Bora, French Polynesia

10) Fernando de Noronha, Brazil


Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui


This sprawling 24-acre beach-front hotel is set atop the picturesque Kapalua Bay, with sweeping views of Maui’s northwest coast and neighboring islands. The resort’s many activities range from spectacular helicopter tours of the island to lounging by the Kapalua Beach so there’s something for everyone. Each of the subdued residential-style accommodations feature contemporary island-inspired décor, complete with private lanais so you can experience the spirit of aloha in true luxury.

Andronis Luxury Suites, Santorini, Greece

Nestled within the jigsaw of houses in Oia, Andronis Luxury Suites boasts an unrivalled view of the Aegean Sea and volcanic islets of Santorini. Inside, the Cycladic-style villa promises unrivalled luxury, with amenities ranging from private waterfalls to a heated infinity pool with incredible views of the Caldera.

Uma by COMO, Ubud, Bali

Surrounded by Tjampuhan Valley’s lush greenery, Uma by COMO exudes the charm of a traditional Indonesian village despite its contemporary interior and modern conveniences. The 46-room estate sees narrow paths defined by tall planted walls, private tropical gardens and plenty of light-filled spaces for an authentic Balinese escapade. With holistic, Asian-inspired treatments at the COMO Shambhala Retreat and nutritionally rich menus at Uma Cucina, this resort is a dream for the health-conscious jetsetter.