Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Perpetual Legacy

Unless you are an individual that does not need to be connected to the rest of the planet, the isolation of Australia, from the rest of the world, has its challenges. One positive is that the tyranny of distance makes the degree of commitment to this market rather obvious.

Most watch brands just pass by hoping for a quick uplift in sales, others have been here for many years with quite successful per capita sales (remember the tourist bonus given the weak $A) but do very little in terms  of reaching out to actual collectors. By inviting the media and rent a crowd, large stage showmanship whilst impressive, may get them a short flurry of headlines but no real connection with the actual end buyer. An experienced player knows this is not how lasting business is done down under.

Luckily there are a few what brands such as MB&F can sense the relatively restrained but deep passion for watches that this country possesses.
True to style it is great to see that this pioneering brand is not only walking a different path in terms of product design but also in terms of marketing strategy.
We have had the pleasure of Max Busser visiting our shores previously and this year Charris Yadigarolou made the special effort for what is to be one of the strategically most important launches for the brand this year (and they have had so many).
Great watch brands are created by a differentiated uncompromised end product that in my view endures and is nurtured by the passionate drive and connected vision of the people.  Upon reflection I have also come to the realisation that a brand is not just about the product but the journey it took to reach its elevated status.  

For a brand to become truly great it has to have been tested at its core. The easy road whilst tempting is never the path to great success. It is this point that makes the launch of the Legacy Machine Perpetual such a compelling story.
I will spare the technical details of this ground breaking watch and rather remark on the fact that throughout the presentation one gained a very strong sense of the drive of Stephen McDonnell and his trails in pursuit of the unconventional that ultimately proved ground breaking.

Legacy Machine Perpetual is the watch that puts MB&F on the map even with the most dismissive traditionalist.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A. Lange & Söhne at Quay Restaurant, Sydney

Two days before our departure for Geneva we received an invitation to the A.Lange & Söhne 2015 Novelty Tour. This event, to be held at Quay in the Rocks, was organized by Watches of Switzerland and A. Lange & Söhne.
The day of the event was an early taste of summer with temperatures in the mid 30’s. As a matter of fact the first few days of October were more like summer than spring.
We were a little disappointed when we got to Circular Quay to see a cruise ship docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Thankfully we soon learnt that it was due for departure around the same time as the event started.

As the boat backed out from the dock, the sun set giving a brilliant display of light over the Opera House.
The dinner was held in the Tower room of Quay which comfortably seated the 30 of us. Mr. Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange & Söhne was able to make the long flight down under to be with us for the evening, Mr Eric van der Griend, managing director of Watches of Switzerland was our host for the evening.

Scattered around the perimeter of the room were several display boxes with the novelties for 2015.
Our menus for the evening.
Butter was artfully presented, beats the standard square, triangle or round presentation.
I chose the raw smoked Blackmore wagyu, horseradish, soured cream, fermented rye crisps and raw funghi. Quay has a delightfully, unique way of preparing and presenting food. I was suitably impressed with myentrée and the flavours in it. Very much a modern reworking of steak tatare.
My wife contemplated the marron dish but wasn’t too sure about Dory caviar. So she decided to have the vegetarian entrée of spring ewe’s milk curd, broad beans, caper and freekah crumb, apple, nasturtium and purslane.
The roasted grass fed beef fillet, morel cream, braised mushroom, roasted ancient grains caught my eye. A nice tall fillet topped with all the extras. The flavours were great and the beef was nice and tender. A little bit healthy as well with the addition of the ancient grains.
My wife has been wanting to try the pork jowl after seeing it on the menu on Quay’s website. She was thrilled to see it on the menu for the evening. Smoked and confit pig jowl, scallops, shiitake, Jerusalem artichoke crackling. She said the meat was very tender, the scallops really complemented the pork, a touch of mushroom flavor and she thought the Jerusalem artichoke crackling was pleasing both visually and flavour wise.
Also bought out to the tables were some sides to share, mixed leaf salad, super creamy potato puree and fresh beans.
My Datograph Up/Down alongside the Datograph Perpetual.
For dessert , my wife and I both chose one of Quay’s signature desserts, Quay’s  seven texture Valrhona chocolate cake. Yes the one that has appeared on MasterChef. So rich and tasty!
Inside the seven textures of chocolate.
My wife got to try on the Little Lange 1. A very elegant watch in either pink or white gold with mother of pearl dial, calf skin strap.
Sydney by night is truly spectacular.
We would like to thank Watches of Switzerland and A. Lange & Söhne for inviting us to be a part of this very special and fun evening.