Robb Report November 2014

Overview

From This Issue

Zagato’s Grand Plan

The FIA, auto racing’s governing body, introduced a new gran turismo class in 1956 largely in response to the horrific accident at the previous year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans—as many as 84 spectators were killed when an extremely light and powerful Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR crashed into the stands. Emphasizing greater safety, the new category […]

Boxer Trunk

An unforgettable signature design must be not only aesthetically pleasing but also immediately identifiable and able to stand the test of time. More than a century after artisans emblazoned the first trunk with the Louis Vuitton monogram, the logo continues to meet these criteria. In 1896, when Georges Vuitton introduced the simple overlapping L and V […]

Developing News

Sotheby’s will offer a selection of renowned photographs from one of the world’s most comprehensive collections. Curating the lots for Sotheby’s upcoming auction of photographs from the Howard Stein collection was no easy task. The event, which is scheduled for December 11 and 12 in New York, will include 175 photos, in celebration of the 175th […]

California Dreams

Jeweler Irene Neuwirth offers a priceless take on the West Coast’s laid-back lifestyle.  At first glance, 38-year-old jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth exudes a nonchalant, Bohemian spirit. She is dressed in a flowing print skirt and a plain T-shirt, with a boisterously colorful necklace that appears to be an assemblage of random strands of stones. Yet […]

Geography Lesson

Louis Vuitton celebrates the launch of its new watchmaking facility with an original world-time watch. As he inaugurates the new Louis Vuitton watch manufacture in Switzerland’s Meyrin district, Hamdi Chatti, the company’s vice president of watches and jewelry, claims he has little interest in either building an in-house base movement or increasing the output of new […]

Panoz Has Legs

The boutique car builder celebrates 25 Years with a special-edition Esperante Spyder. Don Panoz is one of the more renowned figures in U.S. automobile racing. Among other accomplishments, his companies have created the American Le Mans Series; built racecars that won the Indy 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the 12 Hours of […]

Home in the Himalayas

Bhutan’s new Gangtey Goenpa Lodge is as singular as it is secluded. It has been more than six hours since we left the airport in Paro, and still we plunge deeper into the kingdom of Bhutan. Namgay, my guide from the new Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, steers our vehicle over roads that twist and turn along […]

A Slice of Eden

A St. Barts insider simplifies the complex path to vacation-home ownership. Remote, exclusive, and largely French, St. Barts has long reigned as the Caribbean’s most glamorous destination. But the idyllic island can prove to be a nightmare for people looking to acquire a vacation home. Barriers to ownership on the 8.1-square-mile stretch range from limited […]

Haute Pastrami

Inventive variations on the deli classic are stacking up coast to coast. The most tempting dish at Bâtard, one of Manhattan’s most exciting new restaurants, sounds like something on the menu at a surrealist’s deli. Chef Marcus Glocker cooks octopus sous vide with 15 spices—including smoked paprika, three kinds of pepper, garlic, and mustard seeds—then […]

Messenger in a Bottle

Taylor Fladgate uncorks a vanished century with its latest release of tawny port. Typically, tawny ports reflect the average age of their blended wines, with 10, 20, 30, and 40 years being the standard figures. However, some tawnies possess such exceptional structure that they are held back and used sparingly to lend added depth to older […]

Money in the Banks

The upcoming auction of a mechanical-bank collection promises to draw plenty of interest. Max Berry remembers the evening in the early 1970s when he and his wife hosted Yitzhak Rabin for dinner at their Washington, D.C., home. Rabin, who would serve as Israel’s prime minister from 1974 to 1977 and from 1992 until his assassination in […]

Forward Progress

After 30-plus years producing industry-leading equipment, the audio engineer Dan D’Agostino remains at the top of his game. The Momentum power amplifiers and preamplifiers that he launched four years ago, not long after forming the Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems brand, have become the darlings of audiophiles—for their looks as well as their performance.  The […]

Eggs in Many Baskets

The House of Fabergé is famous for the enameled and bejeweled Easter eggs that it made for the Russian royal family, but under the direction of Peter Carl Fabergé—who ran the business from 1872 until it was nationalized in 1917 following the Russian Revolution—the company’s workshops produced a broad range of wares that included the […]

Speciale Delivery

Ferrari introduces a more extreme and technologically advanced version of the already exceptional 458 Italia. Ferrari’s mid-engine V-8 cars have always been its sportiest machines, beginning in earnest with the 308 GTB/GTS series that was in production from 1975 through 1985 and is just now receiving its due as one of Pininfarina’s finest designs. The […]

Arts Race

Once-obscure decorative techniques have now become as vital to the prestige of rival watchmaking houses as their complicated movements. [bc_legacy_video] Over the last five years, an explosion of creative techniques used to decorate watch dials and cases has all but dwarfed innovation in timepiece mechanics. “It’s a good time right now,” says Philippe Delhotal, creative and […]

Deconstructing Harry

When making decisions that concern Harry Winston—such as whether to approve the purchase of a multimillion-dollar diamond—the Swatch Group’s chairwoman, Nayla Hayek, considers what the jewelry house’s founder would have done.     In the spring of 2013, shortly after her company acquired the Harry Winston jewelry house (for about $1 billion), the Swatch Group’s chairwoman, […]

Bright Lines, Dark Metal

An inventive new aesthetic has permeated fine jewelry design—a penchant for sleek silhouettes defined in dark-finished metals and highlighted with boldly positioned, intriguing stones. These elegantly edgy pieces, which range from intricate, diamond-studded spider earrings to a spiked ruby ring, present even the most precious gemstones in daring, spirited configurations that play on contrasts between darkness […]

Carte Blanc

With its unhurried expansion of the Cheval Blanc brand, LVMH is slowly but surely redefining the concept of a luxury hotel. It is one of those quintessential Maldivian afternoons in which a single fluffy cloud sails across the sky like a slow-moving ship and the slender palm trees seem to stretch to the sun. My fantasy island—a football […]

Scouting Report

The Indian Motorcycle company finally appears to be moving in the right direction.  When Polaris Industries purchased the Indian Motorcycle company in 2011, it marked the first time since the original brand declared bankruptcy 58 years earlier that the Indian name belonged to an owner with ample money to invest in the business and a background […]

High Season

A century and a half after inventing winter tourism, the elite retreats of the Swiss Alps are perfecting it.   “Guten Tag,” I say to my driver.  “Ciao,” he says back.  It has been nearly two weeks since I arrived in the Swiss Alps, and my language choices continue to be challenged on a daily […]

Age of Enlightenment

Alain Ducasse joins the march toward healthy haute cuisine.  Parisians hate to hype good food, but they cannot stop talking about Alain Ducasse’s recently revised and reopened Michelin three-star restaurant at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. There, he has banned meat from his printed menu and given his imprimatur to an ascetic new style of haute cuisine that promotes […]

The Robb Reader: Klaus Obermeyer

A conversation with the skiwear pioneer and ageless outdoorsman.  Klaus Obermeyer’s need for speed developed at the tender age of 4, when the native of Oberstaufen, Germany, nailed a pair of wooden boards to his boots and descended his first snowy slope. Nearly 90 years later, the founder of the Aspen, Colo.–based skiwear company Sport […]

Puro Gold

Padrón Cigars celebrates its 50th anniversary with two new all-Nicaraguan releases. Padrón Cigars turned 50 this year, and in an industry where fierce competition and other factors such as inclement weather and civil unrest have snuffed out many brands, reaching this milestone is cause for celebration. To mark the achievement, the company, which is renowned for its Nicaraguan puros—cigars with […]

Old and Fateful

The first release of the Glenlivet’s new Winchester Collection represents a rendezvous with destiny. In September, the Glenlivet announced Vintage 1964, the inaugural release of the distillery’s Winchester Collection of 50-year-old whiskies. Although a mere 100 bottles of this rare offering, each priced at $25,000, will make their way to the marketplace, other 50-year-olds in […]