Why White Gold Rolexes Are the Most Subtle Signal of Wealth and Taste

When it comes to luxury watches, even some cultivated collectors can be wary of white gold. Most simply just aren’t sure what justifies the often extravagant-seeming price for pieces that don’t look much different that stainless steel. So we consulted two experts to explain the attraction. Paul Altieri is not only the founder of online luxury watch retailer Bob’s Watches but owner of one of the world’s top Rolex collections. And Blake Buettner is the director of watches at StockX, the live bid/ask luxury marketplace backed by Eminem and Mark Wahlberg where collectors can build portfolios of cool timepieces. 

“Due to their striking colors, yellow gold and rose gold Rolex watches proudly flaunt their precious metal makeup,” Altieri explains. “On the other hand, white gold is quietly decadent, oftentimes mistaken for more mainstream stainless steel. This is particularly true of white gold Rolex sports watches since unless you’re well versed in the subtleties of Rolex design, most people naturally assume that you’re wearing a plain steel watch. However the people who matter – and that of course includes you yourself – will know the difference. It’s an extremely subtle signal of wealth and taste.” 

“I enjoy white gold for its subtle warmth, and its ability to fly under the radar,” Buettner says. “It has qualities that aren’t readily apparent, such as the color and weight, making it the experience unique to the wearer.” Here are the most desirable white gold Rolex models and why they are must-haves if you’ve got the means:

Rolex Submariner 11619

“Aside from its weighty white gold construction, what makes the Submariner ref. 116619 stand out visually is its bright blue dial and bezel combination,” Altieri says. “And yes, while there are few people in this world that would actually take a full 18k white gold Sub scuba diving, this is indeed a dive watch with a water resistance rating of 300 meters.”

“I love the white gold Submariner, also known as the ‘Smurf’,” Buettner says. “The blue bezel and dial feel give it a sporty look and feel that belie its true nature. The fact that these colors are relegated to the white gold model only make it a rare sighting in the wild, and will raise eyebrows of only those in the know.”

Rolex GMT-Master II 116719

“This is one if the most highly coveted modern Rolexes ever, commanding well above its retail price on the pre-owned market,” Altieri says, “and for good reason – it’s simply stunning. Remember, the duo of colors is not just for aesthetics but it actually serves to differentiate between night and day hours in the second time zone. “

“The white gold GMT-Master II holds a special place amongst all other GMT watches,” Buetter adds, “not only for its case and bracelet material, but for it being the only reference to offer the venerable and historic ‘Pepsi’ bezel alongside an oyster bracelet. To me, this is Rolex acknowledging the significance of this combination to the brand’s identity as a whole.”

Rolex Daytona 116509

“With a retail price tag that’s comparable to the Tesla Model 3, the Rolex Daytona ref. 116509 is one seriously luxurious chronograph,” Altieri says. “There are a few dial options, all of which differentiate the watch from the classic stainless steel Daytona. This watch is an indulgence to be sure, but it will never lose value should you want to sell it.”

“The Daytona is the ultimate Rolex,” Buettner notes, “so it only makes sense that it’s been offered in precious metal construction since the ‘60s. Modern white gold Daytona references offered on Oysterflex rubber straps are among my favorite unorthodox mixture of materials.”

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The Most Expensive Things In The World

Ever wondered how the billionaires and filthy rich spend their money? The lifestyle of the rich and famous include insane splurging on fancy cars, diamond studded phones, high-end vacations and other one-off things and experiences that come with one thing in common – the ‘Most Expensive’ tag.

Take a look at some of the world’s most expensive things.

most_expensive_phone_iphone_5_black_diamond_1Most Expensive Phone –  most_expensive_phone_iphone_5_black_diamond

A 26-carat flawless black deep cut diamond as the home button ups the ante for the iPhone 5 Black Diamond edition by Stuart Hughes. Priced at $16.5 million, this unique phone has been crowned as the world’s most expensive smartphone. The device is further encrusted with 600 precious stones, of which 53 are housed in the Apple logo.

Most Expensive Car –1963-ferrari-250-gto

A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO Racer drives away as the world’s most expensive car for $52 million. Considered to be the Mona Lisa of cars, the red car was sold to unidentified buyer by Greenwich, Connecticut-based collector Paul Pappalardo.

Most Expensive Substance –most_expensive_substance_AntimatterAt $100 billion per milligram, Anti-matter is the most expensive substance on Earth. With the mankind’s timeless quest to boldly go where no one has gone before, anti-matter is intended to be used as a fuel for interplanetary or interstellar travel. The futuristic fuel is considered to be ideal for space travel as all of the mass in matter/antimatter collisions is converted into energy.

Most Expensive Domain –Most_Expensive_domain_sex_dot_com

Buying domains with exclusive names to sell at a higher price has been a norm. In this category, sex breaks the record as Sex.com holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest domain-only sale in history. Sold by Escom LLCto Clover Holdings Ltd., the domain name was sold for $13 million.

Most Expensive Shoes –most_expensive_shoes_nick-cannon_1America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon made the most expensive statement by putting his best food forward in the most valuable pair of shoes in the world.most_expensive_shoes_nick-cannonValued at $2 million, these dazzling tom Ford shoes were created by Jason Arasheben and coated with 14,000 white diamonds set onto white gold, with a total carat weight of 340 carats.

Most Expensive Handbag –most_expensive_handbag_Mouawad_1001_Nights_DiamondpurseA woman can flaunt her wealth up her arm by simple holding on to the most expensive handbag in the world. Certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse is worth $3.8 million. This one of a kind heart-shaped purse is fashioned from 18 karat gold and adorned with 56 pink diamonds, 105 yellow diamonds and 4,356 colorless diamonds.

Most Expensive Hotel Suite-most_expensive_hotel_suite_Mark_hotelThe Royal Penthouse Suite at Geneva’s Hotel President Wilson, has lost the crown of the most expensive suite to The Grand Penthouse at The Mark. Luring the mega-rich traveler, it is also the  largest suite in America and costs $100,000 for a single night.

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Musée des Confluences: Lyon, France’s New World-Class Museum

The Musée des Confluences is an exceptional new museum (even for France), and a welcome new symbol for France’s second largest city, Lyon.Boasting audacious architecture and a breathtaking view, the Musée hosts a number of enticing exhibits and temporary exhibitions.  Located at the gateway to the city — where Lyon’s two rivers, the Rhone and the Saone meet — the Musée des Confluences has rapidly become the newest symbol of the urban area known worldwide as the culinary capital of France. Through its boldness and scope, it embodies the renewal of Lyon, and more specifically of the Lyon-Confluence district where it is located. This area is undergoing a total transformation, fast becoming a showcase for the city of the future.Designed by the famous Austrian architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au — known for its works typical of Deconstructivism, such as the BMW Arena in Munich or the headquarters of the European Central Bank — the Musée des Confluences evokes a meeting between a crystal and a cloud, materialized within the building’s 22,000 square meters.
Lyon musee-des-confluences-lyon-france-museum skellyLess than one year old, this monument hosts a vast permanent collection which interconnects different disciplines to tell the story of mankind. The collections were mainly compiled in the 17th century by Emile Guimet. Four exhibitions entrusted to separate exhibition designers offer visitors an experience that explores the origins and destiny of humanity: Origins — The Narratives of the World; Societies — The Theatre of Mankind;  Species — The Tapestry of Life; and Eternity — Visions from Beyond.Lyon musee-des-confluences-mummy-deathThe Musée des Confluences stimulates curiosity, emotions, and amazement, by simultaneously drawing from various scientific disciplines (paleontology, mineralogy, entomology, science and techniques, etc.) and mythological references. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the Musée des Confluences will also feature intense temporary shows over the next three years.Lyon musee bugsMusée des Confluences is also a prominent public place to spend an evening in Lyon. People can visit the Crystal, walk across the base and enjoy the confluence of the Rhone and Saone from the garden. This exceptional setting outside the confines of the protected city center has been recognized by UNESCO.The museum’s restaurants are tempting destinations of their own. Run by two Lyon-based chefs — Guy Lassausaie, a two star Michelin chef, and Jean-Paul Pignol – they serve light fare at the Comptoir Gourmand on the museum’s roof, while the Brasserie des Confluences, surrounded by shallow pools of water, provides a true gastronomical dining experience. To expand your itinerary for this interesting and delicious city, visit the Only Lyon tourism website at http://www.en.lyon-france.com/.

Lyon musee-des-confluences-lyon-france-museum

Ferrari Fêtes 70th Anniversary

Even the spires of New York City’s iconic skyline sported the brand’s signature red.

To cap off a world-wide celebration in over 60 countries, Ferrari unveiled a public exhibition in New York City over Columbus Day weekend to celebrate its 70th anniversary with fans, clients and collectors alike.

Iconic classics were on display, as well as notable examples of contemporary models.

At Rockefeller Plaza, Ferrari fans were treated to an open-air exhibition displaying one extraordinary car per decade, as well as the limited edition LaFerrari Aperta and Michael Schumacher’s Grand-Prix winning F2001.

In front of the Hublot Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue, a store-front exhibition of iconic racing cars, past and present delighted crowds.

Supercars and priceless models, such as the 250 LM, from across the decades showcased Ferrari’s iconic status at RM Sotheby’s.

And at the Ferrari New York Showroom, front-engine V12s stole the spotlight.

A champagne toast in Rockefeller Plaza closed the weekend exhibition on Sunday evening, where Ferrari commissioned celebrated street artist Mitchell Schoerr for a live performance that was later auctioned for charity to benefit Save the Children.


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Diamonds are Now a Car’s Best Friend Thanks to Rolls-Royce

rolls royce

It looks like Rolls-Royce took Rihanna’s advice to “shine bright like diamond” literally. The British automakers have now developed a special type of paint that is mixed with over 1,000 crushed diamonds as an exterior finish on a custom Ghost. The Ghost, considered a favorite among luxury car enthusiasts, typically begins at $300,000. Named “Diamond Stardust,” the brand claims that this is the first time the exterior finish has ever been applied to a vehicle, and took over two months to develop into a smooth paint that wouldn’t feel like sandpaper. Not only is this the most expensive paint to ever grace the body of a car, but it is also the most labor intensive. The paint, commissioned by a private collector, requires an extra coat of clear enamel as a finish, which requires an extra three days of application and hands-on work by Rolls-Royce craftsmen.

Because the car was privately commissioned by a collector, it’s true price has not been disclosed. However, the bespoke product was recently unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show as part of the company’s campaign to showcase their customized vehicle services. In addition to two different colors of diamond paint, the car also features black leather interiors with Mugello Red stitching, Tudor Oak veneers, and the owner’s favorite tartan material stitched into the pockets of the rear doors.

Photo Credits: Rolls-Royce


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Top real estate sales of 2016: L.A.’s record year included two $100-million sales

Storied estates and speculative development in Los Angeles County’s toniest neighborhoods pushed the high-end market to new heights in 2016.

Of the dozen single-family home sales of $30 million or more, two changed hands at $100 million — a record-setting mark once thought of as unattainable.

Here’s a larger look at the most expensive homes sold this year in Greater L.A.

$100 million — Holmby Hills

Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire investor C. Dean Metropoulos and principal at the investment firm Metropoulos & Co., made real estate history in August with the purchase of the Playboy Mansion.

The $100-million deal for Hugh Hefner’s longtime home and workspace was the biggest sale of a single-family residence ever recorded in Los Angeles County, eclipsing the previous county record set two years ago when the Westside manor known as Fleur de Lys sold for $88.3 million.

Hot Property | Playboy Mansion

(Jim Bartsch)

The Gothic Tudor-style home was designed by Arthur R. Kelly for department store scion Arthur Letts Jr. in 1927. The 29-room house includes chefs and catering kitchens, a game room and a screening room with a built-in pipe organ. Twelve bedrooms are within 20,000 square feet of living space; the master suite spans two floors.

As part of the sale, Hefner will remain at the estate for the remainder of his life. Metropoulos, who owns a property adjacent to the Playboy Mansion, plans to eventually connect the two estates.

Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, and Mauricio Umansky of the Agency held the listing for the mansion. Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage represented Metropoulos.

$100 million — Holmby Hills

In October, Platinum Equity founder and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores matched the record set by the Playboy Mansion with the purchase of a mega-mansion built on speculation.

The complex deal saw Gores trade a number of his own holdings as opposed to financing or making an all-cash purchase. He will retain a stake in the other properties in the event that they are developed or sold.

Hot Property | Carolwood Drive

(Simon Berlyn, Everett Fenton Gidley and Marc Angeles)

Set on more than two acres, the newly built estate features a lounge, a hiking trail and plenty of room for party parking.

Developed by Gala Asher and Ed Berman, the more than 30,000-square-foot house is on a site where an estate once owned by Barbra Streisand once stood. Including several guesthouses, the property has 10 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms including a master suite of more than 5,000 square feet.

Ginger Glass of Coldwell Banker Previews International was the listing agent. Tiffany Martin and Christine Martin of the Agency represented Gores.

$90 million — Holmby Hills

Owlwood, the Carolwood Drive estate once home to actor Tony Curtis and later singing duo Sonny and Cher, sold to a development group headed by Woodridge Luxury Homes chief Robert ShapiroDawn Arnall, the widow of late billionaire and Ameriquest Capital Corp. founder Roland Arnall, was the seller.

The 10-acre estate consists of three parcels combined by late billionaire Roland Arnall. Arnall’s widow, Dawn, was the seller.

Hot Property | Owlwood

(Mercer Vine)

Sitting on 10 acres of grounds, the residence includes a 12,200-square-foot Italian Revival-style mansion, two guesthouses, a swimming pool and a tennis court. The development group intends to retain the main house and subdivide the property to build four additional homes, according to sources not authorized to comment on the deal.

The Arnalls bought the home in 2002 along with two adjacent properties — the former homes of actress Jayne Mansfield and actress-swimmer Esther Williams — that were combined into one estate. Both residences were later razed, though the pool house and 70-foot-long swimming pool from Williams’ former home were retained.

Ann H. Dashiell of Douglas Elliman held the listing. Adam Rosenfeld and Kyle Giese of Mercer Vine represented the buyer.

$40 million — Beverly Hills

Tom Gores, as part of his $100-million purchase, sold a mansion on Beverly Park Lane to a California limited liability company.

Although details are scant, tax records show that the sprawling Mediterranean has 20,013 square feet of living space with seven bedrooms and 15 bathrooms. A large motor court, a swimming pool and spa, lawns and formal landscaping fill more than two acres of grounds.

Gores, through a limited liability company, bought the property six years ago for slightly more than $21 million, records show.

$39 million — Bel-Air

Developers Jonathan Adler and Joe Englanoff, through a Nevada-based LLC, sold a contemporary-style mansion built on speculation for $9 million less than the original list price of $48 million.

Designed by Paul McClean, the 14,230-square-foot home includes such amenities as a media room, a billiards room and a gym with a steam room. A wine cellar is accessed by way of a thumbprint security system.

Motorized glass doors open to an outdoor lounge and expansive decking. A 90-foot infinity-edge swimming pool also lies within the grounds.

Brandon and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland Ben Bacal of Rodeo Realty, Mauricio Umansky of the Agency and Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker were the co-listing agents. Fred Bernstein of Westside Estate Agency repped the buyer.

$38.75 million — Beverly Crest

Designer and filmmaker Tom Ford finally found his trophy estate in December, buying the home of late socialite Betsy Bloomingdale for about two-thirds of the rumored asking price of $55 million.

The Roland Coate-designed home, built in 1929, sits on more than three acres in the 100 block of Delfern Drive and has a formal rose garden, a tennis court, a swimming pool and a pool house.

Architectural firm Marmol Radziner has been commissioned to update the home, which includes a wood-paneled library, a billiards room, formal and informal dining rooms and a pair of kitchens. There are a total of nine bedrooms and seven bedrooms in 9,680 square feet of living space.

Josh Flagg of Rodeo Realty was the listing agent. Kurt Rappaport of Westside Estate Agency represented Ford.

$38.27 million — Beverly Hills

Speculative developer and film producer Nile Niami, through a California LLC, sold a newly built home on Williams Lane to a Delaware-based LLC in an off-market deal completed in May.

Assessor information shows that the contemporary-style home has nearly 11,600 square feet of living space with five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a basement level of 5,514 square feet. The garage measures 2,188 square feet — nearly the size of the average U.S. home.

Public records show that the property previously changed hands three years ago for $7 million.

$38 million — Beverly Hills

Box-office star Tom Cruise registered another of the 90210’s priciest transactions in June, when he sold his home on Calle Vista Drive for $38 million. The buyers were Leon Black, who co-founded the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, and his wife, Debra, who made the off-market purchase through an LLC.

Hot Property | Tom Cruise

(Google Earth | Inset: Getty Images)

The acre-plus estate quietly came up for sale last year with a whisper price of $50 million. Cruise bought the property in 2007 for $30.5 million in another deal finalized outside the Multiple Listing Service.

Tax records show that the hedged and gated estate centers on a main house of more than 10,000 square feet. Seven bedrooms and nine full bathrooms are among 35 total rooms. A swimming pool, a tennis/basketball court, two detached structures, lawns and formal landscaping make up the grounds.

Michael Eisenberg of Keller Williams held the pocket listing. Sharyn Gertz and Deedee Howard of the Agency and Fred Bernstein of Westside Estate Agency represented the buyers.

$34,928,200 — Bel-Air

In June, the Bellagio Road estate of late Indiana Pacers owner Melvin Simon sold to a California-based LLC for about $2.5 million less than the asking price of $37.5 million.

The Italian villa-style mansion was originally commissioned in the late 1990s by the family of the sultan of Brunei but was sold unfinished and later completed in 2003.

The 20,000-square-foot home sits on more than an acre overlooking the Bel-Air Country Club. Grand formal spaces, a wood-paneled office and a wine cellar are among features of note. Walking rose gardens, fountains and a saltwater pond fill the grounds.

Home of the Week | Bel-Air

(C J Walker)

Sitting on 1.5 acres of manicured grounds, the 20,000-square-foot home was designed for large-scale entertaining and features proportioned formal areas, billiards and screening rooms and a wine cellar. An interior cabana/game room opens to the swimming pool.

Formal gardens, fountains and landscaping fill the property, which overlooks the golf course at the Bel-Air Country Club. There’s also a motor court as well as a subterranean garage.

Jerry Jolton of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage was the listing agent. Joy Denton of Sotheby’s International Realty repped the buyer.

$33.5 million — Malibu

Also closing in June was the sale of an infamous estate formerly owned by Teodoro Nguema Obiang, son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, sold to a California-based LLC.

Obiang agreed to sell the bluff-top home and other assets in 2014 to settle corruption and embezzlement claims levied by federal prosecutors. As part of the sale, a third was to go directly to the U.S. government and the rest to a charity benefiting the people of Equatorial Guinea, The Times previously reported.

The nearly 16-acre estate includes a 15,000-square-foot mansion with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. A three-hole golf course, a swimming pool, ponds and a tennis court also lie on the property.

$32.5 million — Beverly Hills

Developers Jack and Joseph Kashani in August sold a development property on Trousdale Lane to a California-based LLC. The deal, which was finalized off-market, closed for $3 million less than the asking price of $35.5 million.

Sitting on about two acres, the hillside property includes a 1960s midcentury-modern-style home with four bedrooms and six bathrooms in 5,265 square feet of living space. Views from the home take in panoramic views of the downtown cityscape and ocean.

$32.5 million — Brentwood

On Casale Road, a newly built home designed by architect Paul McClean of McClean Design sold off-market in August to the family trust of Aristotle Capital Management Chairman Richard Hollander and his wife, Jacqueline.

The boxy modern showplace of about 15,000 square feet is visually dramatic with its clean lines, walls of glass and overhanging eaves. An infinity-edge swimming pool and spa extends toward the horizon.

Although the area containing the home is generally accepted as Pacific Palisades, the L.A. Times Mapping Database considers it part of Brentwood.

These are among the most expensive single-family homes sales recorded in the greater Los Angeles from Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, according to Propertyshark and the Multiple Listing Service.


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Two Gold Infused Rolls-Royce Phantoms Created, The Most Expensive Rolls-Royces Ever Built

From mixing pure gold paint to searching swamps for 48,000-year-old wood, the world’s luxury car makers are going to greater and greater lengths to meet their clients’ needs, but they’re doing so in a way that maintains their brand ethos and keeps their cars out of independent tuner and customization garages.

Rolls-Royce this month put the final touches to the biggest single bespoke order in its history — 30 unique extended wheelbase Phantoms that will serve as guest shuttles for THE 13, an ultra-exclusive Macau hotel.

Each car’s exterior boasts a unique shade of red paint, created specifically for the client, plus equally original alloy wheels. However, two of the cars also sport badges made from the finest enamel and surrounded by pave set diamonds, plus a layer of pure gold paint on top of the bespoke red exterior finish.

Identified by the inclusion of 24 carat gold on both the exterior and interior, the two distinctive motor cars will be heralded as the finest in the fleet and at the time of commissioning, the most expensive Rolls-Royce Phantoms ever built.

“A Rolls-Royce motor car is commissioned to express the tastes, desires and lifestyle of its patron,” said Giles Taylor, the company’s Director of Design.

And to meet the specifications of the client, Stephen Hung, Rolls-Royce needed to devise a new type of paint and a new method of applying it so that the finish would be perfectly even.

“[It] took eight attempts to mix the perfect color,” said Rolls-Royce Material Scientist, Nick Geehan. It consists of 23.75 carat gold particles, applied at a 40-micron thickness, mixed with glass and aluminum so that the car literally shimmers. As well as new application equipment, the vehicles required 10 layers of paint to get the right effect, 250% more than usual.

And Rolls-Royce isn’t the only established automotive firm going to extraordinary lengths to keep its customers satisfied and away from firms like Mansory, who pride themselves on being able to offer any type of internal, external or under the hood customization on any car.

“We fill the niche in the market the manufacturers can’t, or don’t want to fill in,” explains Ralph Niese, Manosry’s marketing head. “It is all about individualization. We offer our customers the possibility to create their very own car, with the interior, the aerodynamics and the engine power they want to have.”

Purists feel that these sorts of services can sometimes be detrimental to the car’s intended aesthetic or positioning. But at the same time, Rolls-Royce isn’t the only company that recognizes tastes are changing and that they need to move with the times.

Rare woods and custom patterns

It’s why Bentley bid an undisclosed amount at auction for a tiny piece of a 350-year-old walnut tree from the Fulbeck estate in the UK that it will reserve as a veneer option for just a handful of most important clients.

BMW can now trim a car’s cabin with 48,000-year-old swamp-preserved kauri wood from New Zealand.

And Audi this week announced it’s developed a new method of applying paint that will allow clients to etch their car’s surface with patterns and symbols. The effect is achieved by adding matte elements to the existing paint finish.

“With this process, we modify the brilliance of the paintwork and the intensity of its sheen. Light hitting the surface is then reflected diffusely by the individualized surface areas. This makes it appear matte,” explained project manager Dr. Erhard Brandl. Production section head Mirko Endres added: “This form of individualization is weather resistant, unlike conventional lettering and stickers, and it has a much more high-quality appearance.”


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Yachts Miami Beach 2017

Yachts Miami Beach 2017

Following an outstanding makeover in 2016, this year’s edition of Yachts Miami Beach will see Collins Avenue once again come alive with superyachts available for sale and charter.

Yachts Miami Beach takes place over four days in February, treating discerning guests to a line-up of world-leading motor yachts in an appropriately glamorous environment of Miami . Indeed, the Indian Creek Waterway becomes a jaw-dropping exhibition space with over one million square feet of luxury brands and ambassadors.

Introduced in 2016, the Island Gardens Marina on Watson Island will be open for show-goers to inspect larger superyachts and will make a nice complement other new features such as free boating seminars and classes taught by renowned industy professionals.

Taking place in the heart of the city, Yachts Miami Beach is the perfect event to discover more about the luxury yachts available for charter in Miami.

For more information about the event, or to arrange a viewing of an attending superyacht, simply get in touch with your preferred charter broker.

Taking place in the heart of the city, Yachts Miami Beach is the perfect event to discover more about the luxury yachts available for charter in Miami.

For more information about the event, or to arrange a viewing of an attending superyacht, simply get in touch with your preferred charter broker.

Yachts Miami Beach 2017
Miami, USA
16th – 20th Feb 2017


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The Winning Wines of the 2015 En Primeur Campaign


Now that all the excitement and anticipation of the 2015 En Primeur campaign has diminished, merchants, collectors and even consumers have had the chance to more clearly reflect on what is truly a vintage of mixed reviews. While many hoped that this would be the year to correct previous market detriments—particularly in the form of unreasonable price points—the rollout of 2015 offerings did little to genuinely change the market landscape.

But all was not lost. Optimism hung on the fact that 2015 was, at the end of the day, considered more than merely competitive. For what offerings lacked in uniformity, they made up for in purity, freshness and finesse. The general consensus was that although the 2015s could not match the magic and exuberance of outstanding vintages such as 2005, 2009 and 2010, they often came close, and definitely surpassed the somewhat lackluster wines of 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014. Sales numbers backed these reviews, with figures exceeding previous years—most notably 2014 and 2013—despite the fact that 2015’s en primeur overall quality fell short of expectations and prices remained high.


Even with this burst of welcomed exchange, sales are still much lower than what has historically been the norm. The current maladies of the en primeur market can, to a great extent, be traced to the pricing strategy of the Bordelais. The chateaux, located in what is undeniably the world’s most influential and revered winemaking region, remain reluctant to price their wines according to what the market has recently dictated. As such, they have created an impasse with merchants and consumers, even in formerly robust Asian markets, which further weakened this already compromised environment. Bordelais hesitancy to lower their inflated price points may also continue to encourage savvy consumers to opt for older vintages whose prices have dropped and scores have risen. Such scenarios are becoming more and more attractive, and ultimately seen as better investments in the long run.


While we can’t change the minds of the Bordelais overnight, we can talk about the wines, many of which were exceptional and unexpected. A great number of 2015s received phenomenal press among critics, but three made a particular impression. Taking the crown as the “wine of the vintage,” the 2015 Château Margaux is possibly one of the most impressive appellations. Having the distinction of being the only Margaux other than the 1990, to acquire a potential 100 point score (this from Robert Parker’s heir apparent, Neal Martin), 2015 also marks the last vintage produced under the château’s highly-respected first growth Managing Director, Paul Pontallier, who sadly passed in early 2016. Called “more than perfection” by critic James Suckling and enjoying considerable market interest, all indicators point to a top-tier performance by this vintage.

Margaux 2015 faced its fiercest competition from Château Haut Brion. Neck-in-neck with Margaux as the “wine of the vintage,” and hailing from the château awarded the most 100 point Parker scores than any other, Haut Brion 2015 didn’t disappoint. Poised for a potential 100 point score as well, this vintage is considered powerful and complex, with an appeal that piques the interest of serious oenophiles.


Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the 2015 Château Cheval Blanc. With a light yet rich vibrancy and its perfect blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, Cheval Blanc has maintained an almost mythical reputation over the years. Continuing to enchant and fascinate audiences worldwide, critic Neal Martin claimed that 2015 “flirts with perfection.” According to the château’s Director Pierre Lurton, the 2015 vintage was the lucky recipient of a near-perfect harvest, thus ushering in the decision not to produce its usual second wine, Le Petit Cheval. Priced higher than many of its competitors, this wine’s popularity may nonetheless make one of the least available in the shortest amount of time.

The En Primeur season always sparks excitement and intrigue, and the 2015 campaign lived up to the vitality of its predecessors. Yes, its offerings were uneven, but the good ones were close to stellar, competing with recent historic vintages including 2009 and 2010. Mother Nature, in tandem with the skills of seasoned, talented winemakers, has gifted the wine world with some of the best of the vine in years.


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Jewellery records US$ 316 billion sales in 2016

According to a new research by Euromonitor, jewellery is the best performing personal accessories category with sales worth US$ 316 billion in 2016. It is also the fastest growing segment within the personal accessories industry with 3 percent growth between 2015 and 2016. Jewellery, that includes both costume and fine jewellery, experienced 15 percent year-on-year growth of internet retail sales, reaching US$ 19 billion in 2016, up from US$ 9 billion in 2011. Interestingly, the 16 percent growth of internet retailing for fine jewellery is higher than the growth of internet retailing for costume jewellery at 12 percent, as more fine jewellery players go online.

“Technology is the answer for future growth of jewellery and personal accessories,” says Personal Accessories Industry Analyst Jasmine Seng. While global sales of personal accessories are growing at two percent in 2016, the percentage of internet retailing sales of personal accessories is experiencing double-digit growth in 2016.

The slowest year-on-year growth of internet retailing sales within the personal accessories industry in 2016 was watches at 6 percent. “Facing the competition from smart watches, industry players should collaborate with wearable technology innovators to drive organic growth for their companies,” Seng adds.

Personal accessories sales are forecast to enjoy 4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2016 and 2021 to reach US$ 633 billion. Jewellery will continue to be the best performing category, buoyed by growth in Asia Pacific, especially in China and India, which have proved to be resilient amidst economic turbulence. Indonesia is expected to be the fastest-growing country in the world for jewellery sales at 7.8 percent CAGR over 2016 -2021– followed by India at 6.9 percent.

CARTIER Cactus de Cartier high jewelry collection


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