The Finest HOUR

Evanna Ramly ex­plores an il­lus­tri­ous art, as seen at the in­au­gu­ral ‘Watches & Won­ders’ ex­hi­bi­tion in Hong Kong.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Watches & Jewels -

Less than two min­utes into a con­ver­sa­tion with Mont­blanc CEO Jerome Lam­bert, I was pleased to dis­cover we had some­thing in com­mon. “They only count 24 hours in a day; I would love to have at least 27 or 30,” he laughed. “‘Let’s change that.” Of course, re­gard­less of how many hours one has in a day, the need for a state­ment time­piece is non-ne­go­tiable. And if ever there was an oc­ca­sion to find the per­fect one, this would cer­tainly be it.

Mont­blanc was one of 13 watch mar­ques at ‘ Watches & Won­ders’, the first event of its kind in Asia. For five days, the vast in­te­rior of the Hong Kong Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre was trans­formed into a horo­log­i­cal haven. Or­gan­ised by Fon­da­tion de la Haute Hor­logerie, it seems fit­ting that the ex­hi­bi­tion should take place in the re­gion’s Golden Egg, con­sid­er­ing Asia is the num­ber one mar­ket for Swiss watches. In 2012, ex­ports to Hong Kong alone came up to RM14.3 bil­lion, with China and South­east Asia reach­ing RM5.6 bil­lion and RM8.3 bil­lion re­spec­tively. “‘Watches & Won­ders’ pro­vides a rare op­por­tu­nity to meet the cre­ators and crafts­men be­hind fine time­pieces, and a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence first-hand the cul­tural her­itage of one of Europe’s most ex­quis­ite tra­di­tions,” said Fa­bi­enne Lupo, chair­woman and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the foun­da­tion. For who bet­ter to demon­strate the time­less beauty of such in­tri­cacy than the watch­mak­ers, en­gravers, enam­ellers, and gem-set­ters be­hind them?

Be­tween the en­trance and an invit­ing Per­rier-Jouët lounge was the Richard Mille booth, where A-list faces were splashed across the walls as a nod to the brand’s star col­lab­o­ra­tions. Think Natalie Port­man (hers in sup­port of in­ter­na­tional char­ity Free The Chil­dren), Yohan Blake (his in strik­ing shades of the Ja­maican flag, with claws that mimic the shape of his hands as he runs), Michelle Yeoh, and Jackie Chan, who in­ci­den­tally dropped by for a quick visit. Crowd pleasers in­cluded the stylishly sin­is­ter RM52-01 Skull Tour­bil­lon and the whim­si­cal RM26-01 Panda Tour­bil­lon.

ATank MC Skele­ton watch in pal­la­dium, Cartier

Across the h cor­ri­dor, d Aude­mars Ad Piguet had ar­ranged its Royal Oak Off­shore col­lec­tion atop rocks against a back­drop of the sea­side. The only com­pany still run by its found­ing fam­i­lies, it cer­tainly made its mark here with grande com­pli­ca­tions as well as the Mil­lenary Minute Re­peater. Another point of in­ter­est: the col­lab­o­ra­tion with basket­ball le­gend and NBA MVP LeBron James.

Fur­ther down, friends of Mont­blanc Nick Che­ung and An­gela Baby showed off the Star Spe­cial Edi­tion Carpe Diem, the Ni­co­las Rieussec Ris­ing Hours, and the Villeret 1858 Ex­oTour­bil­lon Rat­tra­pante. “When you see the gold dial, the in­di­ca­tors of the chrono­graph, the enam­elling, the in­fi­nite bridge of six an­gles,” said Lam­bert of the lat­ter, “When you touch the chrono­graph and see how smooth it is, and the qual­ity in the dec­o­ra­tion, you’ll know why I like it.”

Next door at Baume & Mercier, I paused to re­flect on the pages of Louis-Vic­tor Baume’s 1830 di­ary, be­fore chang­ing the straps of the Linea from one colour to another. An in­ti­mate ses­sion later in the day pro­vided the chance to get up close and per­sonal with clas­sics such as the Clifton Tour­bil­lon, the Hamp­ton, and the Capeland, all of which com­mu­ni­cate a quiet so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

Van Cleef & Ar­pels boasted a gate of wrought iron, in keep­ing with the po­etic aes­thetic of its pieces. Ladies were im­me­di­ate fans of its ro­man­tic watches, fea­tur­ing starry skies, kalei­do­scopic butterflies, and grace­ful bal­leri­nas. Of note: the Lady Ar­pels Bal­ler­ine En­chan­tée Po­etic Com­pli­ca­tion, in­spired by dancers the likes of La Ca­margo and Anna Pavlova, and the Charms Ex­traor­di­naires

Out­side Pi­aget’s booth at ‘ Watches & Won­ders’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.