Robb Report March 2015

Overview

From This Issue

Mechanics and Machinations

Our fates are held not in the stars, as Shakespeare mused, but in ourselves, and few men of destiny were more manifestly the agents of their own making and undoing than William Crapo Durant (pictured). Born in 1861, the son of a New England innkeeper possessed of prodigious charm and an even more prodigious thirst, […]

Bella on Wheels

A pedal-powered Pininfarina with a prewar pedigree.  A collaboration between the Italian bicycle manufacturer 43 Milano and coachbuilder Pininfarina (pininfarina.com), the Pininfarina Fuoriserie pays tribute to the marque’s formative years in the 1930s. Battista “Pinin” Farina, who founded his carrozzeria in 1930 (the family’s surname was changed to Pininfarina in 1961), created custom bodywork for Alfa Romeos, […]

Delta Bravo

Aqua Expeditions opens up the traditions of the Mekong River. It is still early morning, but the crowd in Cái Bè, Vietnam, already appears to be winding down for the day. Fishermen recline in their vessels, shading themselves from the climbing sun and swinging in makeshift hammocks. Women in bamboo hats helm boats filled with […]

Vanishing Spirit

Glenmorangie’s latest limited-edition whisky began to disappear even before its release. In 1994, Bill Lumsden, the director of distilling, whisky creation, and whisky stocks for Glenmorangie, experimented with further aging already-matured single malts in barrels other than traditional bourbon and sherry casks. The enhanced, complex whiskies that his endeavors have since yielded place this Highland […]

Economy of Movements

New ownership brings fresh ideas and shared technical resources to H. Moser & Cie. “When we first looked at H. Moser & Cie., we said to ourselves: ‘No way. This brand is losing so much money,’ ” recalls Edouard Meylan, who—together with his father, George-Henri (formerly the CEO of Audemars Piguet), and two brothers—assumed control […]

Eminent Domaine

A one-of-a-kind Corsican retreat introduces a novel golf experience.   Even among the many villa and farmhouse getaways in southern Europe, Domaine de Murtoli stands apart. The resort, which opened 20 years ago on the mountainous French island of Corsica, offers an incomparable Mediterranean countryside experience to its few guests, who stay in 17 homesteads […]

Three-Wheeled Thriller

Polaris launches the Slingshot, its high-powered take on the trike.  The trike has come a long way since 1885, when Karl Benz introduced what is widely considered the first automobile, the three-wheeled, 0.75 hp Benz Patent Motor Car. While that vehicle resembled a horse buggy, the trikes of today blur the lines between sports cars […]

Ponying Up

A new program in California wine country offers lessons in the finer—and rougher—points of polo.  Talia’s muscles twitch impatiently under her glossy hide as she dances over the closely cropped grass of the Wine Country Polo Club. Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras is leading the chestnut mare, one of several ponies competing in the inaugural St. Regis […]

Fit Farm

An early-morning fog settles over the Great Smoky Mountains as the residents of eastern Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm begin their daily routine. Horses graze in the golden fields, pigs snack on pumpkins and gourds, and trout splash along in their migration up Hesse Creek. I have joined Penny, a health coach at the resort’s new Wellhouse spa, […]

Good Italian

Caruso’s new flagship store brings the best of Italy to New York. Patrons who enter Caruso’s polished new men’s store in Manhattan—even those who might be unfamiliar with the company’s history—will immediately recognize the brand’s origins. A large-scale intarsia work by the artist Giuseppe Amato greets clients, and memorabilia and images of Milan’s legendary opera house, […]

Site Effects

Napa Valley’s Saint Helena Winery draws its strength and beauty from the soil. Located in a tranquil corner of St. Helena, Calif., the small estate of Saint Helena Winery remains very much under the radar of the area’s casual visitors. The property’s modest production—fewer than 2,000 cases annually—is sold primarily through a mailing list, the […]

Dealer’s Choice

Robert Hatfield Ellsworth predicted that after he died his possessions would be disbursed in a “consecutive seven-day sale.” Ellsworth, who passed away in August at age 85, was a leading dealer and collector of Asian art and antiques and one of the foremost authorities on those subjects. His prediction referred to his paintings, sculptures, furniture, […]

White Heat

The easy elegance of Miami Beach provides a brilliant backdrop for this season’s casual attire, whose cool colors and airy lines are ideally suited to the city’s sun-drenched days and breezy nights. Burberry Prorsum denim trousers, $575 (burberry.com); Brunello Cucinelli cotton T-shirt, $365 (brunellocucinelli.com).   (Continues on next page…) Cesare Attolini cotton piqué shirt, $675 […]

Links to the Past

The Belmond Royal Scotsman’s Scottish Golf tour offers the types of experiences golfers enjoyed a century ago.  The Belmond Royal Scotsman speeds north along the rails toward Tain, a small coastal village in the Scottish Highlands, where the train eventually will stop for the night while the passengers sleep in their marquetry-lined cabins. But before […]

The Robb Reader: Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras

A conversation with the Argentine polo player and horse breeder. Since stepping into the international spotlight more than a decade ago as a model for Ralph Lauren, Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras has proven that his talents are more than skin deep. The Argentine athlete, who turns 38 this month, is ranked as one of the top polo […]