Friday, October 22, 2010

Verandah Bar

55-65 Elizabeth St
Sydney NSW 2000

Main Bar : Mon-Fri 7pm until late
Food Service : Mon-Fri 12pm to 9pm


 Royal Oak Offshore Polaris 

Model No : 26040ST.OO.D002CA.01
Case : Stainless Steel
Movement : Automatic
Strap : Black Rubber
Case Back : Engraved with Compass Seal and the inscription "Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Polaris - Limited Edition"
Crystal : Sapphire
Buckle : Fold Over Clasp
Functions : Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Flyback Chronograph, Regatta 10-minute Countdown with Last Minute Indicator
Power Reserve : 40 Hour
Case : 44 mm
Water Resistant : 330 Feet

Limited Edition of 2000 Pieces.
Red Alinghi Team Logo at 9 o'clock.


Wagyu Beef Burger with caramelised onions, tomato, beetroot, cheese, aioli and lettuce, served with chips ($16.50)

It has been a while since there was a burger post by any of us, so it seemed, on this sunny Spring day, as good a day as any to have a burger to accompany the day's watch, the hefty horological timepice known as the Polaris, one of Audemars Piguet's Team Alinghi Limited Editions.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hands-on with the Aristo Sextant

This is the second in an occasional series about watches that one of us currently owns, or has owned. A Patek Philippe Complication Ref. 5054 was the first in this series.

The Aristo Flieger Sextant has its roots in a German sextant watch used by Wernher von Braun and his team at the Peenemünde rocket proving ground ("Heeresversuchsanstalt Peenemuende") in the early 1940s.

Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun (23 March 1912 – 16 June 1977), was a German-American rocket scientist and engineer who was one of the leading figures in the development of rocket  technology in both Germany and the U.S. during and after WWII. 

A one-time member of the Nazi Party and a commissioned SS officer, von Braun would later be regarded as arguably the foremost rocket engineer of the 20th century for his work at NASA.  He was the central figure in Germany's pre-war rocket development programme, responsible for the design and production of the V-2 combat rocket first at Peenemünde and then Mittelwerk, after the British bombed Peenemünde in August 1943.

After the war, Braun and some of his team were taken to the U.S. as part of the then-secret Operation Paperclip.  Von Braun worked on the US Army intermediate range ballistic missle program before his group was assimilated by NASA, under which he served as director of the newly-formed Marshall Space Flight Center, and as the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the booster rocket that propelled the Apollo II lunar mission. In 1975 he received the National Medal of Science.

Made by Lange & Söhne, the 22 of the watches were delivered to the Heeresversuchsanstalt in 1943 at a price of 360RM, as the equivalent of at least 2,000€.  As a point of comparison, the first VW Beetles sold for 990RM.

When viewing at the dial through a mirror sextant, Braun and his team used the watch to calculate the ballistic data for the rockets they developed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vendôme Woollahra


Built in 1702 as a monument to the armies of Louis XIV, Place Vendôme is not only one of Paris' most beautiful and iconic places, its name synonymous with luxury, it was also the home of Frédéric Chopin (no.12), Coco Chanel (no.15) and Franz Mesmer (no.16).

For those of a horological bent, Breguet (no.6), Jaeger-LeCoultre (no.7), Patek Philippe (no.10), Hublot (no.11), Chaumet (no.12), Piaget (no.16) Blancpain (no.20), Dubail (no.21), Van Cleef & Arpels (no.22), Cartier (no.23) and Boucheron (no.26) should occupy you for a little while, and this is just a sample of the watch boutiques in the area.

So, what's the relevance to Sydney?  Well it lies in the heart of the suburb of Woollahra, 5kms east of the CBD, down an unassuming street.....

...on the corner of Jersey Road and Moncur St.

This corner shop is soon to be the home of Luxury Goods Australia's boutique Vendôme Woollahra.

More details can be found at their website, but timepiece-wise, they will be carrying Boucheron, DeWitt, Franc Vila, Hautlence, Maîtres du Temps, Romain Jerome and the horologically inspired Roland Iten, brands not currently represented in Australia.

Both their website and a mention in the Sydney Morning Herald in September indicated an October opening date, but construction work is still visible, so we await its opening with great interest and anticipation!