Dec 5, 2014

Ferrari Sergio revealed at Ferrari World, Yas Marina Grand Prix circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The first of six examples of the Ferrari Sergio has been revealed at Ferrari World at the Yas Marina Grand Prix circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The Ferrari Sergio is a limited edition roadster designed by Pininfarina to celebrate 60 years of Ferrari's collaboration with the Italian design house, and is based on the Ferrari 458 Spider.

It was originally revealed as a concept car at the 2013 Geneva motor show, and the positive reaction it received meant that it was decided that a total of six examples would be made in collaboration with Ferrari.

It features the latest version of Ferrari's 597bhp 4.5-litre V8 engine, which also features in the 458 Speciale and takes the Sergio from 0-62mph in just 3.0 seconds.

Final assembly of the Sergio has taken place at Pininfarina's plant in Cambiano, Italy. All have already been accounted for, much like the recently revealed Ferrari F60 America.

Pricing for the Sergio has not been disclosed but it is estimated to have cost around £2.5m.

Sergio Pininfarina: A tribute to a legend

Italian design house Pininfarina originally built the concept to commemorate the death of Sergio Pininfarina, the company's figurehead and former boss, in 2012.

Fabio Filippini, Pininfarina's chief designer, said: "We asked Ferrari before even drawing the car if we could do it and Luca di Montezemolo [boss of Ferrari at the time] said we had all of his support.

"We decided it should be a mid-engined Ferrari because the first Sergio Ferrari was the Dino Berlinetta Speciale, the ancestor of all mid-engined Ferraris."

As well as retaining the core structure of the 458 Spider, the Sergio also utilises all of its interior components, although the cockpit has been reworked to include black leather upholstery with red stitching, a carbon dashboard and door well trim and Alcantara seat inserts. The mechanical components, track and wheelbase remain unchanged, too. Each one of the six cars made was specified by their owner in a series of sessions at Ferrari's atelier in Maranello.

The Sergio's bodyshell is also claimed to be stiffer than that of the 458 Spider on which it is based, as well as over 100kg lighter – resulting in an estimated kerb weight of around 1280kg.

Pininfarina's Sergio was first revealed in the UK at a gathering of Pininfarina models at the Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Surrey. Previous Pininfarina one-offs based on Ferraris include the Ferrari F360 Modena Barchetta and the Testarossa Spider, as well as myriad show cars and concepts. ref:

Dec 4, 2014


One of the joys of using a proper camera is feeling the weight of it in your hands, which is something that you don’t get with a smart phone. This “luxed-out” kit from Brikk brings a lot of weight to the table, only some of it via gold. The Brikk Lux Nion kit includes a Nikon DF camera and lux Nikkor 14-24 F/2.8 lens, both finished in 24k gold.

Brikk’s official notes on this release explains that the development of this product has taken almost a year of research and development. Aside from the gold-plated bits, Brikk has added stingray leather into the mix, the focus and zoom rings, flash area and grip. As for that plating, it also includes the Custom Zero Halliburton camera case and is generally between 4 and 5 microns thick. The kit comes with a warranty from Brikk, a company that work on the principle that a portion of all proceeds are channeled towards worthy causes. On its website, Brikk states that it "assists population around the world which are suffering." ref:


Patek Philippe

Just as jewelry tends towards playfulness in its most sublime forms, so too do bejeweled timepieces, as we can see here. However, Patek Philippe takes pains to remind us all that in this watch lies proof that this magnificent Geneva maison need not be shy about its very serious jewelry pedigree. Ref. 4909/110 “Aquatic Life” features a total of 1937 (no significance to the number as far as we can tell) diamonds and sapphires, set across the dial, case, bracelet and clasp. Totally 43.73 carats, the watch comes in 18k white gold and it is a two-hand time-only piece. Visually, it looks like magical sapphire fishes swimming in a fantastical river of diamonds that would be at home wrapped around the wrist of Tolkien’s Galadriel. Unlike Tolkien’s fables, the watch is certainly real and is a testament to the powerfully creative forces at work in Patek Philippe’s design and gem-setting departments.

Leaving aside the gemstones for a moment – only a moment – it is worth noting that we also like this watch because it features a manual mechanical movement, calibre 16-250. Lovingly decorated by hand and bearing the Patek Philippe Seal, this calibre speaks volumes to the commitment of the watchmakers at Patek Philippe, which celebrated its 175th anniversary this year. Returning to the clearly visible aesthetic dimension, all the diamonds are Top Wesselton (G and H color) flawless baguette and brilliant cut. It is the wonderful use of baguette diamonds that draws into this watch in the first place and draws attention to the subtle variation in the pattern of the setting. Basically, this required each stone to be cut to fit its specific place in the overall watch, which is no mean feat. We shall return to some specific details about this watch in an upcoming story about the best in gem-set watches. ref:

Nov 27, 2014

One of Kind, Collectors Gift by Dewitt !

A one-of-a-kind DeWitt minute repeater/split-seconds chronograph with a second time zone, based on an extremely rare vintage movement from the historic Vallée de Joux specialist Victorin Piguet.

A visit to the DeWitt manufacture in Geneva to gain a detailed understanding of the wristwatch’s construction.

A visit to the de Witt family’s private museum dedicated to their ancestor, Napoléon Bonaparte.

Starting at $1.628 Million,
Like many watch collectors, Jérôme de Witt has a passion for the complex history of his craft—so great a passion, in fact, that the founder of the Geneva watch company DeWitt maintains his own museum of antique watches and movements. In his continual quest for new specimens for his collection, he stumbled a few years ago upon an unexpected treasure within a cache of early-20th-century tourbillon movements by the Vallée de Joux manufacturer Victorin Piguet that he had purchased. “My associate, who used to work for Patek Philippe, had also not seen a movement like it,” he says. “It is a minute repeater with an unusual split-seconds chronograph that we think was made sometime in the 1930s.”

Victorin Piguet is a name only occasionally heard in watch circles today, but at one time, the company contributed to some of the most prestigious complicated watches ever made. During the early decades of the last century, Piguet and later his sons made ébauches—raw, unfinished movements that watchmakers at the various brands would decorate, assemble, and adjust. Victorin Piguet had a reputation for producing highly complicated movements, especially minute repeaters, which made the firm a favorite of such brands as Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. The famous Super complication built by Patek Philippe for Henry Graves Jr., for example, benefited greatly from the company’s expertise.

De Witt, who has been pondering how to deploy this classic minute repeater, will incorporate it into an inimitable timepiece for the gift’s recipient. Not only will the DeWitt team fully restore the device and finish it at the company’s finest level, but under the dial, these specialists will add extra complications—including an additional time zone, a day/night indicator, a moon-phase display, and a minute-repeater function window—and encase the movement in the recipient’s choice of rose gold or platinum.

In using this vintage mechanism as the basis for a more complicated watch, DeWitt, which has been making its own movements for more than a decade, revives the modus operandi of most traditional 20th-century watch brands—though the completed timepiece will bear DeWitt’s signature modern touches. “Besides cleaning and finishing [it], we will be making a few changes to the basic movement,” explains de Witt. “We will be upgrading a few of the springs and, of course, adding another complication plate to the dial side.” Among the contemporary additions will be the second time-zone display with day/night indication, which a pusher under the crown can conveniently adjust, and a playful pair of windows near the top of the dial that will open to reveal a moving graphic display when the repeater strike activates.

Despite these alterations, most collectors will agree with de Witt’s contention that the watch’s true soul derives from the part that has survived over so many decades—particularly as the venerable device harbors some technical surprises of its own. Unlike with traditional split-seconds complications, which are normally built right on top of the primary chronograph mechanism, this particular movement places the split-seconds assembly on the side opposite the chronograph—a highly unusual and complex arrangement. “I have been trying to convince my watchmakers that it is possible to transmit energy from one side of a movement to the other,” says de Witt. “This movement proves it was already done nearly 80 years ago.” 
Delivery will occur 12 months after down payment.

Nov 15, 2014

Tiffany's built a Luxury Subway Car - T-Train !

Lots of subway trains stop in New York. But only one of them stopped at an art gallery in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood last week. The doors slid open for a select few, who breezed in with invitations in hand and walked back out with engraved silver bracelets. Then the train disappeared.

Strange? Maybe. But what else would you expect when the subway train in question belongs to Tiffany & Co.?

"Part of the strategy of the project was to create something special, scarce and rare," said Daniel Chandler, co-executive creative director of Sid Lee, the firm that built and installed the subway car inside the Dia:Chelesa gallery on West 22nd Street. "We knew if we did it for a short time, people would miss out—but missing out isn't such a bad thing. It creates desire."

Tiffany doesn't need much help in that department, but its train did create its share of buzz. (Watch the exclusive video of the event at the bottom of this story.) The life-sized subway car served as a showcase for the new Tiffany T collection, the inaugural jewelry ensemble by Francesca Amfitheatrof, who joined Tiffany as its new design director last year. Guests who stepped aboard the silver train got to see the collection and the chance to have a bracelet personalized by one of Tiffany's master engravers, seated at a workbench at the car's far end.

The engravers weren't the only ones with their hands full. The Sid Lee firm not only had to create a believable facsimile of a train car, but a train car befitting America's most storied silversmiths. Saving for the decorative rivets and destination signs, the slender carriage was a study in minimalism—smooth, lustrous and almost surreal. "We created something that was stylized and impressionistic, almost like a Wes Anderson set," Chandler said. (He's not kidding: The train car was built in New Jersey out of lacquered plywood by the firm Fake Love, then trucked in pieces to Manhattan.)

Chandler's team blocked off the gallery skylights to darken the space, then installed spotlights, a bench with a street lamp beside it, and suitcases scattered here and there. The effect, Chandler said, was like stepping off the sidewalk into a kind of dreamscape. Every angle, he added, was perfect for an Instagram shot. That was no accident, either.

While Amfitheatrof has said publicly that she designed the Tiffany T collection with "global citizens in mind—interesting, highly creative people who exist in every great world city," she's likely referring to the younger female demographic that Tiffany & Co. actively courts.

"They wanted to promote this collection to a new generation of women who feel at home in the glamorous world of uptown as well as the edgy downtown areas—and have the ability to move between them," Chandler explained.

Meanwhile, Tiffany's subway car is on the move. "The train has left the New York station," he said, "but hopefully, if all goes well, it will be appearing in other markets."

Wait for track announcements. ref:

Nov 13, 2014

A Great Start, with A Watch thats New & Smart!

So—do you want a digital smartwatch or an analog cleverwatch? Withings’ Activité fitness tracker may not offer the same notifications and input capabilities as its fancier touchscreen competitors, but it’s a fetching analog timepiece with new-school underpinnings. Beneath its sleek Swiss dial lies accelerometer and motion sensors that track your steps, sleep, calories burned, and distance traveled.

Most of that information is displayed in the Health Mate app for iOS and Android, which conveniently syncs with Withings’ smart scales to track your weight. But this analog watch displays some data besides the time of day. An inset dial shows, as a percentage of your overall goal, how much progress you’ve made toward your daily activity goal. (You set your target in the mobile app.)

This isn’t a wearable wrist computer so much as a watch with some computing power. That approach has some benefits, not the least of which is you aren’t constantly charging the thing. The Activité uses a conventional watch battery that lasts as long as 8 months. And because its doesn’t need a dial large enough to accommodate a touchscreen, it’s the size, shape, and weight of a normal watch. It’s Swiss, with a stainless case water resistance to 165 feet. And while it comes with a stately calf-leather strap, there are silicon straps in the box if you want to wear it in the pool. Withings plans a free software update by the end of the year that will allow the watch to be used as a swimming tracker.

Despite its timeless analog aesthetic, there are futuristic features beyond fitness tracking. For example, you need never adjust the watch once its synced to your phone via Bluetooth LE; it will auto-adjust the time regardless of where you are. And the sapphire crystal is touch-sensitive: Tapping the glass prompts the watch to show your alarm-clock settings.

We’ve been hearing about the Activité since the summer, and Withings promises it’s just around the corner. Preorder now for $450 (you can choose black or white) and the company says you’ll have it before the watch is widely available in late November.

Oct 18, 2014

A decadent dream of Lobanov's exquisite design - Phoenicia II !

Designer Igor Lobanov has revealed his latest innovative design concept to Super Yacht Times. He stated that Phoenicia it is an explorative study, focusing purely on the design elements themselves. This concept amalgamates various historical influences with a new modern design. The model explores a 100+ meter super-yacht with generous open deck space, particularly aft of the yacht including a helipad; a feature which is usually seen on large motor yachts rather than a sailing yacht.

Additionally Phoenicia has a very unconventional bow, which has a hint of ancient Greek influence. This design gives the feeling of 1000 years of history of an “ancient royal ship” with the appropriate name concept of "Phoenicia". Phoenicians are believed to be the people who influenced the Greek alphabet. From the Greeks it was then passed to Romans as Latin and to Slavs (and even Mongols) as Cyrillic. As a result a wide range of nations from Australia to Russia are now using letters that derive from those once created in the small area of Phoenicia.

Phoenicia II

Also known for trading across the whole of the Mediterranean, the Phoenicians influenced many nations and cultures that lived around sea. The Phoenicians are a link between East and West, between modern Muslim and Christian cultures. Hence, this name is symbolic and appropriate to the design of Phoenicia. This concept is an expression of how we should continue to explore different shores, different cultures and the various way of life.

Oct 11, 2014

Over the Top; Meet the Yacht Project Star of the Future !

We come across a lot of cool design projects on our quest for luxury news, however, this one really caught our eye.

An initiative designed by Lobanov Design and BMT Nigel Gee, Project Star came about from a conversation between Alex Malybeav from Firma branding agency and yacht designer, Igor Lobanov. Having come to the conclusion that all yachts look the same to those outside the marine industry, Malybeav took out a napkin and doodled a picture of his perfect yacht. Lobanov loved it so much that he set out to prove that the design could indeed become a reality.

Created to be the world's most exclusive private hotel yacht, it measures 132m in length, 60m in height and boasts 3,500 square feet of interior room. The vessel has a maxium speed of 18+kts. Its "technical development features a symmetrically fore & aft double ended hullform, with all electric architecture and fully azimuthing propulsion." Its ground breaking design allows the yacht to rotate within "her own length to track the arc of the sun free from the constraints of traditional anchors."

Added to all of the above, it boasts four lifts that provide access across 8 decks while lifts 1 and 3 extend from a sub-marine viewing area up to a viewing platform on the eight deck allowing passengers to enjoy a spectacular view of over 20km.

Speaking about Project Star, Yacht Design Director of BMT Nigel Gee was optimistic about the initiative stating that:

"Historically yacht design has been described as both an art and a science. STAR is a tangible view of a 21st century interpretation of art and science. We are fortunate to live in an era where technology makes the delivery of bolder designs more possible – for clients who are adventurous innovators anything is truly possible." ref: 

Oct 2, 2014

Rolls Royce Phantom, drophead Coupe a Limited edition of 35 to be built !

Rolls Royce, Phantom drophead Coupe - Ltd Edition of 35.

Rolls-Royce launches special edition Phantom costing £450k to celebrate Sir Malcolm Campbell's water speed record

For the average motorist, the £450,000 price tag of this electric-blue beauty may alone be enough to make your eyes water.

But the exclusive new Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed, which has its world premiere in London today, is aimed at drivers made of sterner stuff – and with much deeper pockets.

It costs nearly £200,000 more than the £253,000 price tag that official ONS figures put on the average home and a shade less than the £458,000 cost of the average London home.

Yet the attention to detail in a car that honors British hero Sir Malcolm Campbell and his record-breaking Bluebird cars and boats can’t be faulted.

For the first time ever Rolls-Royce has even painted the engine – blue, naturally.

Only 35 of this luxuriously hand-crafted, limited edition open-topped limousine are being produced in honour of the derring-do and record-breaking nautical speed achievements of the great British hero of the 1920s and ‘30s.

And they will be available in any colour – as long as it’s blue. Officials said the car offering the ultimate wind-in the hair motoring was ‘the most highly bespoke Rolls-Royce of the modern era.’

The new Waterspeed collection takes its inspiration sand styling cues from the Bluebird K3 speedboat – powered by a Rolls-Royce R Engine - in which he set a world-record 126.33mph on Italy’s Lake Maggiore on September 1, 1937.

And the two-door four-seater grand tourer is no slouch itself, accelerating from rest to 60mph in just 5.6 seconds and with a top speed of 149mph.

Fittingly the new car is to have its global unveiling to VIPs and potential customers today at the Bluebird café in the trendy King’s Road, Chelsea – hosted by top dealership HR Owen - on the very site of the garage in which Sir Malcolm built his record-breaking Bluebird cars and boats.
And the hand-crafted detailing pays homage to the feats of the man and machine which inspired it.

The car is finished in a specially developed ‘Maggiore Blue’ exterior paint, inspired by Bluebird’s famous color-scheme.

Nine layers of paint are applied before the surface is exhaustively hand-sanded and then sealed with a powdered lacquer to ensure an impeccable finish.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman said: ‘For the first time in Rolls-Royce history the exterior finish also extends to the engine which is also painted blue, creating a visually striking homage to the power behind Campbell’s records.’

The exterior is completed with a hand-painted ‘coachline’ - an upmarket go-faster stripe - that culminates in a Bluebird motif which took the firm’s master craftsman four hours to apply by hand.

A touch of the blue finish also adorns the car’s fully-polished eleven-spoke wheels for the first time.

The brushed-steel rear decking was individually panel-beaten by hand for 70 hours after the initial mechanical pressing. A Rolls-Royce craftsman then hand-brushed the metal for more than ten hours.

The two-tone steering wheel features Magiorre Blue accents to balance traditional black leather.
Blue and brushed metal highlights and accents on the dash-board complement the ‘Windchill Grey’ interior leather.

The leather armrests alone take 8 hours to complete.
There are even hand-engraved polished stainless steel door armrest caps featuring a new interpretation of Campbell’s famous Bluebird motif.

Black Abachi wood veneer also makes its Rolls-Royce debut in Waterspeed. The wood, which cool and satin-like to the touch is ‘bookmatched’, or mirrored, to face at an angle to echo the wake left by a boat moving at speed.

The new Rolls-Royce ‘Waterspeed’ is powered by a massive 6.75 litre V12 petrol engine developing 453 brake-horsepower.

But it’s thirsty, averaging just over 19 miles to the gallon, and only 12mpg around town. And CO2 emissions are a whopping 347g/km The ‘power reserve’ dial on the limousine’s brushed-aluminium dashboard has also been styled to echo a speedboat.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman said: ‘As the driver presses on, the dial moves backwards towards a yellow and blue zone, echoing Campbell’s original K3 boat’s ‘going into the blue’ at maximum engine revolutions.’

A bespoke front-lit carries Bluebird’s ‘infinity’ symbol and the dials are hewn from a block of aluminium to further evoke the Bluebird K3.

The glove-box even features a hand-embroidered panel citing the records Campbell achieved at Lake Maggiore in Italy and closer to Coniston Water in Cumbria.

Donald Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell and himself a land-speed record holder, who will attend Tuesday’s world unveiling said: ‘This very special motor car serves to pay a perfect homage to my grandfather’s remarkable acts of British daring and endeavor.

‘The extraordinary attention-to-detail and commitment to engineering excellence so evident in these motor cars perfectly echoes the lengths my grandfather and his colleagues went to in their pursuit of the water-speed records.’

Chris Harris, customer director of HR Owen who are hosting the launch said: ‘This is the most highly bespoke Rolls-Royce of the modern era. It’s a delight to the eye. Only 35 will be made and each is a jewel of hand-craftsmanship.’

The Bluebird Café location for the global launch is on the site of the original Bluebird Motor Company building which was commissioned in 1923 to be Europe’s largest garage.

It was built in the era’s characteristic Art Deco style, a style which it preserves today.
The business would ultimately help fund Campbell’s pursuit to wrest the Waters-peed record from its American holders. The firm is based at Goodwood in Sussex and is owned by Germany’s BMW.

Price: £450,000
Limited edition: just 35 to be built
Length: 18ft 5 inches
Width: 6ft 6inches
Height: 5ft 2 inches
Weight: 2.63 tonnes
Seats: 4
Doors: 2
Engine: 6.75 litre V12 direct injection petrol
Top speed: 149mph (governed)
0-60mph: 5.6 seconds
Average fuel consumption: 19.1mpg
Around town: 12.4mpg
Cruising: 19.1mpg
CO2 emissions: 347g/km
read more @