Monthly Archives: November 2014

Slim d’Hermès Email Grand Feu: Daily Beater

When you look at the Slim d’Hermès Email Grand Feu, you’re looking at both fire and ice. Fire, because the enamel dial is fired in a kiln at 830°C, which is why watches with such dials are called ‘grand feu’ (great heat, literally). The ice bit is more metaphorical is it refers to the precision of crafting the in-house H1950 ultra-thin automatic movement as well as the font. Yes, graphic designer Philippe Apeloig specially crafted the font of the Arabic numerals for this watch. Take a good long look at the dial, see how those gorgeous baton hands work with the Grand Feu dial and the font, and let it grow on you.

We first saw this watch at the La Montre Hermès stand at BaselWorld this year, where by all accounts it was an unqualified success, but the appeal of it really hit home for us when we experienced the Slim d’Hermès exhibition in Singapore a couple of months ago, where the font sprang to life. The beauty of the lines might be hard to appreciate on such a small canvas as a watch dial but it is something you feel, over time. This is important because Hermès says this exquisite watch is designed to be a daily beater.

Firing of the dials. © Sandro Campardo

Returning to that canvas for a moment, you can’t understand the distinctive appeal of Grand Feu enamel in pictures. Ultimately, you have to see it in person. When you do that, recall that this is a three-part structure that is largely built manually, and that the beauty of the dial depends entirely on how long the artisan who fires the kilns keeps the dial exposed to heat. The resulting glaze you see here is permanent and requires no polishing – from the moment it emerges from the kiln for the final time till the end of time, its properties will not change. This of course contrasts with simple lacquer, which changes over time; a white dial like this one would slowly acquire a yellow tint.



Dimensions: 39.5mm Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds Power Reserve: 42 hours Movement: Automatic (micro-rotor), calibre H1950 Material: Rose gold (5N 750) Water Resistance: 30 meters Strap: Matt Havana alligator

Dubai Continues Unveiling New Luxury Properties

Even with declining property prices in Dubai, the city is seeing developers roll out scale models for more elaborate property projects. One fair gaining a reputation for featuring shining skyscrapers, golf-course villas and houses is Cityscape.

This week, the fair presented the Jumeirah Central project that will see an entire district of residential and office blocks, hotels and a mall up for sale to potential buyers. The property will be located in the city’s heart, Sheikh Zayed district and is owned by Dubai Holding, the developers behind the sail-shaped Burj al-Arab hotel.

Another development announced before the fair began was Emaar South (model pictured below). The project is expected to be built in Dubai South by Emaar Properties, who also happen to have built the Burj Khalifa among other Dubai landmarks. The location of the project will see it in the same area as Dubai’s second airport, Al-Maktoum. The new airport is set to overtake Dubai International as the base for Emirates Airline and may even become the world’s largest. “It is really amazing to get the chance to keep expanding this city,” Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar said at the launch. “Keep in mind that we are (only) 40-plus years old… We are really young as a country and as a city and there is a lot to do,” he added.

Nakheel, the developer behind the man-made Palm Jumeirah, used the first day of the fair to announce an apartment complex that may very well become the star of the Dubai skyline. Back in 2002, the city was a magnet for property investments when the sector opened freehold inventory to foreigners. Thanks to this, value of properties climbed at breakneck speed until 2009 when the global financial crisis hit. With the help of tourism, trade and transportation, Dubai property was able to trend upwards again between 2012 and 2014. When the bubble burst again, it was at a slower pace where it dropped by 15% according to property consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

According to another property consultancy firm Cluttons, prices are set to soften later this year and will see the average price per square foot stand at 1,375 dirhams ($375). “We see the residential real estate market bottoming out by the end of this year,” said John Stevens, managing director of Asteco real estate services. While some decline is expected, Stevens said that the market is expected to be stable. Some attribute the drop in the market to the fall in Russian ruble last year as well as Brexit that saw the British pound drop. However, the good news for Dubai is that there is still interest coming in from other regions.

Transactions amounted to 57 billion dirhams ($15.5 billion) in the first half, according to official statistics, with Emirati nationals topping the list with deals worth 14.5 billion dirhams.

The rest were snapped up by foreigners led by Indian investors, with transactions worth seven billion dirhams, while Saudis and Britons clinched deals totalling four billion dirhams each.

“External factors over the years have always affected the appetite from certain countries,” said Stevens. “Certainly in the past 12 months, we’ve seen much greater interest from China, for example.” Only time will tell if the property market will improve in one of the fastest growing cities in the region.

Kenny Rogers’ Beaver Dam Farms to be Auctioned

Country music hall of fame member and multiple Grammy winner Kenny Roger’s country estate Beaver Dam Farms is set to be auctioned come July 9.

At an imposing 973-acres, the estate in Georgia is home to an impressive array of facilities: three private spring fed lakes, a 12,000-square-foot mansion, five guest houses and clubhouse, lake clubhouse and a two-acre indoor equestrian/multipurpose arenas with 44 stalls. The list doesn’t end there; there are also two swimming pools, two clay tennis courts and an 18-hole championship rated golf course.

The estate was of great significance to the prolific musician and businessman. “I was raised in the projects in Houston, Texas, and I always had this dream of doing something spectacular,” he said. “I remember when I was young, I would walk through the wealthy part of town on my way to school and saw the automated sprinklers and thought, ‘one day I’m going to have those.’ So, when I built the golf course, I would go out and sit on the golf cart and watch the sprinklers. To me, it was a sign that I had achieved my dreams.”

The property not only served as inspiration for Rogers’ many songs, but is also a reflection of his signature style. Throughout his residence, he had hosted several publicised golf tournaments on the greens he personally designed. These included the Classic Weekend, a fundraising event featuring basketball, tennis, fishing and golf besides music and entertainment.

The estate will be sold at the auction for or above USD3.5 million and will be fully furnished while the replacement cost of the property is estimated to be somewhere between USD30 to 40 million. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Good. “Beaver Dam Farms is rich in history and uniqueness, and someone is going to get a steal July 9 at the auction.”

The property is available for viewing every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from now until the July 9. Qualified buyers may schedule an appointment via email at [email protected]/* */.