This second issue of Indulge you hold in your hands owes itself to a conversation I had with a reader a month or so ago, after the publication of the first issue. Eventually, we began discussing the various products that had been featured or mentioned in that issue.
This reader asked me a question: How do we decide what brand of spirit, model of watch, cut of suit or variant of automobile is worthy of the Indulge treatment?
That question might seem simple enough. It’s actually quite hard to answer. I told the reader that the idea of Indulge is to create a platform to talk about great products and services. Sure, we do focus on male readers, and linger on some of the finer things in life. But that doesn’t mean we are going to swoon all over a diamond-encrusted golf club. Unless it is also a great golf club.
“Ah, I see,” the reader said. “But what makes a product great?”
This second question, a harder one, made the Indulge team sit and think for weeks. What makes a product great? Why is a Blancpain watch any “greater” than the R3,000 quartz timepiece one can buy from the neighbourhood watch retailer? What makes a shot of premium Beefeater 24 gin, shaken with some fresh pineapple juice, an irresistible spirit?
We decided that the best way to find out was to go and ask the people who made, bought and sold these products. Tell us, we challenged them, why are your products so sexy? Everything we learnt we packed into this “deconstructions” special issue. Starting with a Montblanc pen, and ending with an extravagant Chocolate Grand Marnier cake, this issue is packed with deconstructions of around a dozen products we think are great. These include spirits, cars, bikes, a racing circuit, a suit, gadgets and even a superb work of art.
One weekend morning, we called up Harsha Bhogle in Mumbai and asked him about great cricket matches. Because few things are as amenable to astounding, unscripted greatness as sport. Half a planet away, we also asked Christian Horner what it means to manage the best F1 racing team in the world (one-word summary: pressure).
From front to back, this issue is an attempt to break down great things into their essential elements. As you read these pages, I hope you will be as fascinated and informed as we are.