For Milan Design Week, Saint Laurent Rive Droite teams with the Gio Ponti Archives, Ginori 1735 and the Fundación Anala y Armando Planchart to showcase a plate collection. But these aren't ordinary plates. These are Villa Planchart Segnaposto Plates and for such an exceptional collection, it is showcased at the Gio Ponti—Villa Planchart exhibition. Saint Laurent's creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, curated the exhibit.  

This collaboration dates back to 1953. That's when Anala and Armando Planchart commissioned renowned Italian architect, Gio Ponti, to construct an avant-garde villa for them on the highest hill overlooking Caracas, Venezuela. While designing the villa, Ponti employed exceptional Italian artisans with traditional expertise for the interior decor of the Villa Planchart. This included the Florentine manufacturer Ginori 1735, for which he had previously worked as artistic director. He designed a set of porcelain tableware decorated with the various symbols of the villa. This pays homage to the village and Anala and Amando. 

Saint Laurent will reissue 12 original plates from the Villa Planchart Segnaposto collection designed by Gio Ponti. These traditionally-crafted decorative porcelain plates are painted by hand in Ginori 1735’s Italian Manifattura. Available in vibrant hues, the plates feature the same motifs that appeared in the porcelain tableware designed for the villa. This included the sun, the crescent moon, the polar star and iterations of the letter “A”—referencing the initials of the villa’s owners.

The limited-edition plates will be available online, at SAINT LAURENT RIVE DROITE Los Angeles, SAINT LAURENT BABYLONE in Paris. Also, for a limited time, by appointment at Saint Laurent’s Milan flagship on Via Montenapoleone during Milan Design Week.

Held at the Chiostri di San Simpliciano, the Gio Ponti—Villa Planchart exhibition will be open from April 16th to 21st. To pre-book tickets, register here.

AUDEMARS PIGUET

Multi-Grammy-winning musician John Mayer’s relationship with watches goes far deeper than your average celeb horologist. He’s been a collector of watches since 2001 (very early in his musical career). And his passion for and critically deep understanding of high-end watches has paralleled his musical success ever since. It's also made him something of an oracle for collectors. For much of his collecting life, Audemars Piguet has been a firm favourite.

In Milan last week, Audemars Piguet unveiled with Mayer a collaboration two years in the making. It was the white gold Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar John Mayer, limited to 200 pieces. The insider gossip about this impending Mayer launch ahead of the event did nothing to stem the excitement when the new watch was unveiled. Instantly eye-catching, it was given a decidedly modern vibe with a dial described as "crystal sky" for its granular blue surface. The dial was created by electro-forming the 3D surface one atom at a time, then individually polishing each of the hundreds of facets before applying a deep blue PVD coating. The result is a mesmerising light show. Whichever way you look at it, over which the all-important sub-dials float with ease. For a watch as complicated as a perpetual calendar—regarded as the pinnacle of high watchmaking—it's surprisingly legible.

AUDEMARS PIGUET

According to company lore, this special edition was born when Mayer approached then CEO François-Henry Bennahmias with an idea. An idea for a one-off watch for himself. Bennahmias liked it so much that he countered with the idea of making it a limited edition instead. Given that the movement that drives this grand complication is retiring, it’s a fitting and collectable send-off. The movement in question is the 5134. It's a self-winding, ultra-thin movement launched in 2016 but based on a legendary movement—the 2120—created in the mid-1960s.

In Other News...

Alongside the release of the watch came the announcement of Mayer taking on the Creative Conduit role for the brand. Somewhere between a brand ambassador and a collector, Mayer functions as a bridge between the house and its most passionate collectors.

AP also timed the Milan launch of the Perpetual Calendar John Mayer to unveil the city's upgraded and relocated AP House, a luxury space for fans and customers of Audemars Piguet to meet away from the store. Naturally enough, the latest—the 20th to open around the world, and just a stone's throw from the storied via Montenaploeone and its fashion and watch flagships—is the best yet. Spread over multiple floors in a repurposed multistory garage the Garage Traversi was built in 1938, the space features dining rooms, lounges, and meeting spaces. There’s a bar or two and a grand piano. Roof terraces wrap around the sinuous deco-style building, overlooking the rooftops of the San Babila district. One hidden dining room was designed with wall-mounted display cabinets for collectors to show off their collections over dinner. No doubt the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar John Mayer will make a showing at such gatherings.

As true horology nerds know, provided you keep it wound, this watch will tell the correct time. Specifically, the month, week, date, day, leap year, and even the current phase of the moon, all without adjustment. That is until March 1, 2100, when the Gregorian calendar is obliged to skip a leap year. It’s a Monday, by the way.

Originally published on Esquire US

The collab between adidas and Australian fashion house Song for the Mute combines functions and looks. It may be trite but it must be doing something because this is their third team-up. For this new Song for the Mute x adidas 003 collection, Creative Director Lyna Ty reinterprets heritage silhouettes with modernist fabrication and detailing. This partnership oversees the reimagining of the iconic Country OG silhouette. This, as well as, a new apparel range that includes sportswear essentials. 

At the heart of this collection lies the reinterpreted Country OG silhouette. Now dubbed simply as the “SFTM-003”, it is available in three 90’s inspired colourways. You've grey and teal, those hues are reminiscent of vintage windbreakers, and finally, in black. Each pair arrives with an additional metallic D-ring hardware combined with a custom paracord-inspired toggle lacing system. A perfect synergy and a nod to "futuristic nostalgia". Keeping to its roots, the kicks retain its beloved soft cushioning, grippy outsole and low-profile build. Finally, to cap it off, the flexible leather upper blends everyday comfort with an elevated look.

The Apparel

Sherpa fleece zip-up jackets with digital printed contrast sleeves
Distressed jersey hoodie, press-stud track pants in a lightweight coated cotton
Custom jacquard knitwear with intricate contrasting colour-work
Custom jacquard knitwear with intricate contrasting colour-work

As for the collaborative apparel essentials, Ty dabbles in new textile directions and techniques in the apparel range. You've your sherpa fleece zip-up jackets that's accompanied by digital printed contrast sleeves. There are distressed jersey hoodies, an oversized blazer and press-stud track pants in a lightweight coated cotton. Rounding up the range is a custom jacquard knitwear that comes with an intricate contrasting colour-work.

Song for the Mute x adidas 003 is readily available at adidas Brand Centre Orchard, adidas VivoCity Originals B1 as well as online and the adidas CONFIRMED App.

Baccarat and MO BAR join forces to create an enchanting celebration for the Year of the Dragon. The partnership, a highlight of Baccarat's Cocktail World Tour, unfolds at MO BAR. Patrons will have an exclusive experience with dragon-inspired cocktails. MO BAR Singapore presents four signature cocktails as part of the "Ripples of Pleasure" collection. Each cocktail is a manifestation of the "joie à vivre," an ode to finding delight in life's little pleasures, symbolised by the elegance of crystal glassware. The cocktails will, of course, be served in Baccarat’s dazzling crystal barware. 

First on the list, the "Blue Manhattan" pays homage to classic New York City vibes, blending Johnnie Walker Blue Label with the oaky finish of Hinoki Bitters.

Next, the "Walker Sour" challenges the line between dessert and cocktail, featuring Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Bourbon Oak Barrel Syrup, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in the elegant Baccarat Narcisse Coupe. 

Meanwhile, the "Disaronno Expectations" in Baccarat Harmonie Highball unveils a tropical-meets-smoky fusion with mezcal, Disaronno Amaretto and Verjuice.

Closing the quartet is the "Insomniac" in Baccarat Beluga Tumbler, awakening the senses with Osmanthus Aged Rum, Mr. Black Coffee, and Coconut Water— a cool, sunrise-ready concoction.

Indulge in the artistry of Baccarat's "Ripples of Pleasure" cocktails and savour the harmonious fusion of crystal and creativity at MO BAR. Priced at SGD38++ each, these cocktails will be available until 29 February 2024. The Baccarat collection is also available at its two boutiques, the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Takashimaya Department Store B1.

Formula One and watches are natural bedfellows. I mean, yes, we could yammer on about how they are both committed to the precision of timing, and how every millisecond could be in the difference between winning and losing – but let’s be honest, most of us aren’t professional racing drivers, therefore one of the most important elements of any F1-timepiece collab is how it looks. Here are our pick of the bunch…

Red Bull Racing x TAG Heuer

Quartz-powered TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Red Bull Racing Special Edition chronograph

Helmed by two-time world champ Max Verstappen, the reigning F1 champions are going into the season as the team to beat (again). This is also the case with its long-term timekeeping partnership with TAG Heuer, which started in 2016. The Swiss watchmaker’s history is deeply rooted in motorsport thanks to its historical mastery of chronographs, and numerous timepieces dedicated to classic motorsport monikers: Monza, Monaco and Carrera. This season expect to see a new addition of its popular Quartz-powered TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Red Bull Racing Special Edition chronograph.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas x IWC

IWC Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

With eight championship titles between 2014 and 2021, Mercedes-AMG Petronas have won more consecutive titles than any other team in Formula 1 history. While star driver Lewis Hamilton deserves much of the credit for this, the driver himself is quick to point out that his success hinges on the team of more than 900 engineers, designers, mechanics, and support staff working behind the scenes. This teamwork is the inspiration for the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” — the watchmaker’s first timepiece dedicated to the entire team.

Scuderia Ferrari x Richard Mille

RM UP-01 Ferrari

It has been said that without Ferrari, does Formula One even exist? The answer, of course, is ‘yes’, but the point is made all the same. Ferrari has long been F1’s superlative brand, which makes sense that its debut timepiece collaboration with ultra-luxury watchmaker Richard Mille comes with a world record. Released last year, the RM UP-01 Ferrari became the world’s thinnest watch, measuring at just 1.75mm thick. Inspired by the technical prowess of each other the ultra-thin timepiece exemplifies a new approach to watch mechanics in which technicity more than ever dictates aesthetics.

Aston Martin x Girard Perregaux

Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition

Most of us aren’t professional racing drivers, therefore one of the most important elements of any F1-timepiece collab is how it looks. Cue the new Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition from Girard-Perregaux. With its British ‘racing green’ livery, the Aston Martin team has arguably the coolest looking car on the Formula One grid. So, as the Swiss watchmaker rightfully has decided: if you’ve got it, flaunt it. The material used in the 44mm case is a first for the watch industry using a blend of titanium powder and carbon elements taken from last year’s Aston Martin F1 race cars. The result is a case that has a look similar to forged carbon fibre, but a closer look will reveal subtle green touches in the material that match the watch’s dial and the livery of the racing car.

Alpine x Bell&Ross

Bell&Ross BR-03 92-A522

Last year the French racing team, Renault, changed its name to Alpine – in order to give more name recognition to the car maker’s range of sports cars. But while the name may have changed, it continued its partnership with the Parisian watchmaker Bell&Ross.
Bell&Ross took advantage of this change in branding to alter the look of its F1-themed collection quite drastically. Removing Renault’s famed yellow as the predominant colour of the range, replacing it with Alpine’s ice blue colourway for its BR 03-92 A522 model.

Originally published on Esquire Middle East

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