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Mint Indulge Volume 03

Mint Indulge Volume 03
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First Published: Wed, Nov 30 2011. 01 15 AM IST

Updated: Thu, Dec 01 2011. 10 15 PM IST
Blast from the past
By Sidin Vadukut
The inspiration for this issue of Indulge was a routine visit to the Harry Winston booth at BaselWorld 2011.
I’d gone there, most of all, to be amazed by Harry Winston’s Opus timepieces. If you haven’t heard of them, I highly recommend you Google them up right away. Or, at least, do so after you’ve had a chance to flip through this issue. There is really no way to verbally do justice to the sheer...other-worldliness of the Harry Winston Opus collection.
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National Treasure
By Sidin Vadukut
No longer do you have to travel to Dubai or Singapore to buy the latest Swiss watch or French couture. Some of the world’s finest products are available down the road in boutiques and malls in India. Drawn by prosperous consumers with sophisticated tastes, international brands are clamouring for a foothold in India. This might all seem new and exciting. It is anything but. India’s fascination with Wes tern curiosities dates back four centuries.
Buoyed by prosperity, maturing retail expertise and well-travelled, well-informed consumers, the Indian luxury sector is booming. For brands across segments, from Swiss watches to French champagne, India is slowly turning from a market of great potential to one of serious business.
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Amrapali breaks new ground
By Sidin Vadukut
On 8 November, Amrapali became the first Indian jewellery brand to share space in the Fine Jewellery Room at London’s iconic Harrod’s department store. The brand will now occupy a point of sale on the department’s ground floor, along with names such as Alexander McQueen, Roberto Cavalli , Vivienne Westwood and Atelier Swarovski.
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Favre-Leuba rises again
By Sidin Vadukut
Industries announced in November that it had signed a binding agreement to buy one of Switzerland’s oldest watch brands.
Favre-Leuba was internationally renowned for high-quality timepieces and watches before a steady decline in sales and brand awareness towards the end of the 1990s. At the zenith of its previous fortunes, in the 1960s, the brand produced more than half a million pieces a year.
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Gerald Roden | Telling time afresh
By Sidin Vadukut
This year, jewellery and watch brand de Grisogono launches an innovative new timepiece called Otturatore. The Otturatore combines exceptional watchmaking innovation and de Grisogono’s signature ability to make precious objects from precious materials, to produce a piece that is almost four watches in one. Mint Indulge recently spoke to Gerald Roden, CEO of de Grisogono, about the watch, his ongoing efforts to restructure the company and why he wants to stay an independent brand. Edited excerpts:
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Four play
Grisogono’s Otturatore timepiece combines four complications into a compact face without clutter. And it does through a selective display system powered by its own mainspring and barrel. At any one time, only one of four small sub-dials is displayed—seconds, date, moonphase and power reserve. Click a button, and the mobile selective display dial travels 90 degrees to reveal the next sub-dial.
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Love portions
By Madhu Menon
They say a man who can cook well is worth his weight in gold.
Over the years, I have steadfastly clung to this excuse for not losing any weight.
“A man who cooks well’’ is a major selling point if you are trying to impress a lady, which is something you shouldn’t bother trying to examine rationally, but instead use to your advantage.
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Traveller’s trinkets
By Pradip Kumar Saha
The duty-free retailing zone at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai is one of the largest and newest in the country, offering an extensive range of products across almost a dozen categories from around 100 world-class brands.
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Rolls-Royce’s Indian depot
By Sidin Vadukut
This great automotive brand started selling cars under the Rolls-Royce badge in 1904, but according to official company history, the brand may have connections with India that date back a few years before the first cars were sold.
In 1902, Lord and Lady Llangattock, parents of co-founder Charles Stuart Rolls, visited Delhi before the Coronation Durbar in 1903. “They must have told their son Charles,” says a page from Rolls-Royce history, “of the burgeoning interest in motoring amongst the fabulously wealthy Indian potentates.”
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Home brew
By Joel Harrison
Luxury is not an attribute; it is an experience.
Many companies will claim to have a luxury product, but the true test of this is when you, the consumer, interacts with it.
How you feel when you strap a Rolex around your wrist, when you take the cap off your Montblanc pen, when you button up your Tom Ford shirt—that is luxury. This, therefore, is the feeling that you should look for when choosing a luxury drink.
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1928 | Bhupinder Singh’s necklace
By Pradip Kumar Saha
In 1926, the Parisian jewellery workshops of Cartier SA received a special delivery: a trunk full of precious stones and jewellery, including the De Beers diamond, from the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, with a request for creating a ceremonial necklace worthy enough for a king.
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Regal read
Piqued by the princes? Mesmerised by the maharajas? Mint Indulge spoke to Priya Kapoor, director of Roli Books, and publisher of several volumes on Indian nobility. This is her selection of hand-picked titles to start your libary on the potentates of the past.
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Amin Jaffer’s greatest hits
Amin Jaffer, international director of Asian art at Christie’s, has spent a lifetime studying the lifestyles of India’s once rich and famous. His books depict lives and worlds of sumptuous wealth, audacious tastes, and path-breaking design innovations.
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From Mumbai To Manhattan
By Sidin Vadukut
For almost half a century, one of the world’s most high-profile jewellery brands was driven by the designs and ingenuity of the son of a bangle maker from Goa.
Established in 1932 in New York and named after its eponymous founder, the Harry Winston brand is synonymous with fine jewellery and has a reputation for masterpieces involving diamonds and gemstones. Among other things, the brand is famous for starting the now commonplace practice of lending celebrities fantastic jewellery that they can wear to red carpet events. Harry Winston, the founder, is supposed to have said once: “People will stare. Make it worth their while.”
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Sayajirao Gaekwad’s tea case
In 1875, Sayajirao Gaekwad, a boy of 12, was elevated to the throne of Baroda, today’s Vadodara. In a reign lasting 64 years, the king rolled out a series of reforms and infrastructure projects that helped eclipse the memory of his elder brother’s short but disastrous reign.
While nothing like the profligate spender his brother was—Malharrao is believed to have once commissioned cannons made of solid gold—Sayajirao was a man of fine tastes. In 1890, he moved into the Laxmi Vilas Palace, a gargantuan complex three times as big as Buckingham Palace and staffed by 3,000 permanent staff. The maharaja’s kitchens were run by a Frenchman. When guests stayed at Sayajirao Gaekwad’s the palace, they were expected to mark their preference for mode of transport on a gold card—they could choose from elephant, horsew or Rolls Royce.
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First Published: Wed, Nov 30 2011. 01 15 AM IST