Gor­don Lam vis­its the City by the Bay to wine, dine and get the star-stud­ded Cartier treat­ment

The one and only GOR­DON LAM vis­its the City by the Bay to wine, dine and get the red-car­pet treat­ment at a star-stud­ded gala – all courtesy of Cartier

#Legend - - SPY CAM - Pho­tog­ra­phy / Gor­don Lam

IN THE FIRST week of April, Cartier hosted its an­nual party in San Fran­cisco, this year cel­e­brat­ing two of the brand’s most iconic watches: the San­tos and the Pan­thère de Cartier. Bringing to­gether not only the in­ter­na­tional press, Cartier also in­vited a who’s who of celebri­ties and digital in­flu­encers from all cor­ners of the globe. This time, the brand made it even more spe­cial by invit­ing a list of friends from the maison – a di­verse group of thinkers, mak­ers and do­ers who shape our world. Cartier’s So­cial Lab was cre­ated as a think tank, con­nect­ing an eclec­tic range of speak­ers from dif­fer­ent back­grounds in a con­ver­sa­tion to stim­u­late new ideas.

The wildly in­ter­na­tional group of So­cial Lab speak­ers in­cludes In­dian ac­tress Freida Pinto; English ac­tor Idris Elba; Amer­i­can indie mu­si­cian Chaz Bear (aka Toro y Moi); Ap­ple Mu­sic’s head of con­tent, Larry Jackson; Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher and artist David LaChapelle; Ba­ha­ma­nian con­cep­tual artist Tavares Stra­chan; French ac­tress and di­rec­tor Mélanie Lau­rent; Chi­nese ar­chi­tect Ma Yan­song; Amer­i­can wine­maker Sean Thack­rey; and French chef and food writer Daniel de la Falaise, just to name a hand­ful. Dur­ing the few days spent in San Fran­cisco, it was clear that all of the above names pos­sess the “bold and fear­less” qual­i­ties that served as the name­sake for the big party – and the lat­est Cartier hash­tag.

Upon our ar­rival in San Fran­cisco, we headed straight for lunch at renowned seafood restau­rant In­ter­na­tional Smoke,

which spe­cialises in putting a spicy spin on grilled seafood and bar­be­cue dishes. Once our stom­achs were set­tled and sat­is­fied, we were ready to head back up to the skies – aboard a sea­plane, where we would marvel at the Bay Area views from above. We were greeted by Sea­plane Ad­ven­tures owner Aaron Singer; af­ter a few min­utes of chit-chat, we dis­cov­ered that we have a cer­tain Hong Kong friend in com­mon in the fash­ion in­dus­try. How small is this world get­ting?

In fact, Cartier or­gan­ised this sea­plane ride for a spe­cial rea­son. It’s a lit­tle known fact that the San­tos watch was ac­tu­ally cre­ated by the brand’s founder, Louis Cartier, for his Brazil­ian friend Al­berto San­tos-Du­mont, a lead­ing fig­ure of mod­ern aero­nau­tics who pi­loted the first hot-air bal­loon in 1897. In 1901, San­tos-Du­mont men­tioned the dif­fi­culty he had in check­ing the time on his wrist­watch, so in 1904, Louis Cartier rev­o­lu­tionised watch­mak­ing by in­vent­ing the first pur­pose-de­signed mod­ern wrist­watch for San­tos-Du­mont – and hence, the San­tos watch was born.

Since I was young, I’ve al­ways wanted a San­tos and it’s still by far one of my favourite watches of all-time.

But there are so many dif­fer­ent ver­sions – I could never make up my mind. The lat­est ver­sion of the large San­tos gold and steel watch was what I was lucky enough to en­joy for the week; fi­nally, my dream came true!

This watch has been de­signed with a mod­ern twist, with eas­ily change­able straps from steel to leather, along with 20 dif­fer­ent leather styles to choose from.

And ad­just­ing the metal straps is now so easy that even a child can do it in two sec­onds, thanks to the won­ders of mod­ern en­gi­neer­ing.

The Hong Kong press group split into two teams and I acted as Singer’s co-pi­lot in one of the planes. Af­ter tak­ing off and si­mul­ta­ne­ously do­ing what I’m best at – tak­ing videos and pho­tos at the same time – we mar­velled at the fa­mous Golden Gate Bridge, the in­fa­mous Al­ca­traz prison and the Bay Area’s coastal ar­eas. Un­for­tu­nately, we couldn’t fly over the city due to the San Fran­cisco Gi­ants base­ball game, so sadly we had to give the skyline a miss. While the cap­tain was ex­plain­ing all the fa­mous sights below, I re­alised my pas­sen­gers at the back were aw­fully quiet – and when I turned around, they were both passed out due to jet lag. It’s a good thing I didn’t fall asleep too, or it would have prob­a­bly been the most em­bar­rass­ing flight that pi­lot had ever flown!

Gor­don Lam dons Cartier’s new San­tos watch and gets ready for the big Bold and Fear­less party in San Fran­cisco

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