Robb Report September 2014

Overview

From This Issue

The Two Mr. Rockefellers

The U.S. landscape has certainly had many architects, but no single family has more visibly changed the terrain than the Rockefellers. New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Grand Teton National Park, and Rockefeller Center—not to mention the less ambitious but imaginative resorts featured in this month’s issue—all count among that clan’s contributions. Yet these […]

Plane to See

Tne of the most forward-thinking marques of coachbuilding’s golden age was Voisin, whose cars featured novel details and an art deco flair that typified the French design aesthetic of that era. Brothers Gabriel and Charles Voisin began as aircraft manufacturers in 1906. After World War I and following the death of Charles in a car […]

Power Points

With its more potent engine, the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG sedan outscores the S550.  After introducing the new-generation S-Class last year with the line’s most modest member, the $94,400 S550 sedan, Mercedes-Benz began presenting quicker and costlier variants, the first of which was the S63 AMG 4Matic sedan. Priced from about $141,500, the S63 AMG is […]

Culture Shock

Breitling bolts tradition with its new in-house quartz movement. Like dozens of other Swiss watch company executives who made similar announcements this year, Breitling senior vice president Jean-Paul Girardin tendered a matter-of-fact explanation of the company’s new in-house movement. The difference between Girardin’s introduction and those of his many peers, however, is that Breitling’s newly […]

Special Delivery

Rare stamps are bringing unprecedented prices, but technology could imperil philately. As philatelists anticipated, the Sotheby’s auction in June of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta postage stamp became a stamp-collecting milestone (see “Uncommon Cent,” May 2014). Issued in 1856 in the former British colony in South America, the stamp fetched an auction-record $9.48 million. Scott Trepel, […]

Raising the Bar

The Athenaeum Hotel enhances its famous whisky collection with a blend all its own.  Located on Piccadilly just below street level in Mayfair’s Athenaeum Hotel, the Whisky Bar gives the impression of being sophisticated but not stuffy. With its warm paneling and intimate arrangements of furniture, the space more closely resembles a private study than […]

Wicket Cool

England’s Kent and Curwen, famous for its circa-1930 cricket sweater, modernizes its lineup. When Kent and Curwen hired Simon Spurr as its creative director last fall, it was expected that he would bring a new look to the staid English brand, whose staple items have long been regimental ties, polo shirts, and cricket sweaters. Spurr, who […]

Windy City

A new nautical program introduces aspiring sailors to the Newport way of life.  Ready about!” I yell into the wind, my hands sweaty and hot as they grip the wooden tiller at the Privateer’s aft. “Ready!” answers my guide, Mary Finn, with the customary sailor’s response. I push the tiller in the direction of the mainsail, […]

Savior of Sauces

Yannick Alléno is reinventing French gastronomy one béarnaise at a time. “Where,” Yannick Alléno asks, “can you get a béarnaise in Paris?”  Alléno, one of the great 21st-century chefs, misses the era when French restaurant kitchens were ruled by sauciers—the specialists who do nothing but make sauces—and when French haute cuisine ruled the world of […]

On the Hook

Far North Sports Fishing combines high-action game with a high-end home base on the Great Barrier Reef. The fishing rod is slipping from my grasp, arcing in front of me like a tree branch weighed down by a fresh batch of snow. “Yank up!” shouts the skipper, Jimbo, from the helm. “Wind down! Don’t let […]

The Right Direction

A new wellness adventure retreat in the Southern Alps serves up physical and mental makeovers. The soaring granite peaks of Mount Judah surge above the sapphire water of New Zealand’s Wakatipu Lake. I am traversing a zigzagged trail, twisting up and down the Southern Alps’ undulating grasslands, with every turn affording a new angle from […]

Rising River

Wild and wonderful—and with a golf course to match—the Snake River Sporting Club strikes back. In Jackson Hole, Wyo., they sell the Wild West—big hats, stagecoach rides, mock gunfights in the town square. A 20-minute drive to the south, the Snake River Sporting Club embraces a milder, more natural Western lifestyle, with its lodge cabins […]

Magnificent Mavericks

Trailblazing designers push the frontiers of menswear this season with hardy, well-built clothing crafted for the rugged individual who favors durability and comfort—especially when they are harnessed to a bold personal statement. This slightly defiant spirit is expressed in sturdy topcoats, leather jackets, and blazers whose brash lines and daring details emphasize the breadth of the wearer’s shoulders and […]

A Thousand Flights of Fancy

The Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris conjures a trove of treasures to fulfill the wildest wishes of collectors around the world.  The catalog of riches reads like an inventory of the contents of Aladdin’s cave in One Thousand and One Nights: a 10-carat scarlet-red Burmese ruby; a carved sky-blue Ceylon sapphire; an exquisite natural pearl as […]

Golden State

Ferrari improves the already successful California by turbocharging its engine.  [bc_legacy_video] Early this millennium, when Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, and Aston Martin ruled the luxury gran turismo class, Ferrari executives were pondering a gap in their portfolio. The company’s small stable was rich with unusually expensive and very seductive coupes, spiders, and V-12 supercars seeking autostrade to scorch.  There was […]

The Robb Reader: Pier Luigi Loro Piana

A conversation with the luxury textile manufacturer and yachtsman. In early June, 21 yachts over 80 feet in length gathered at Porto Cervo on the coast of Sardinia to vie for victory in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta. Among this year’s participants was My Song, the 83-foot sailboat belonging to Pier Luigi Loro Piana, whose […]

The Art of the Sole

Berluti’s artistic footwear inspires the brand’s design team to dress clients from toe to head. On a recent morning visit to Berluti’s London shop, the company’s artistic director, Alessandro Sartori, observed a well-dressed man sitting barefoot in a leather club chair reading his iPad; the following week, he noticed the same man seated again in the […]

Living Legends

Laurence S. Rockefeller’s eco-luxury legacy lives on in these six one-of-a-kind resorts.  In 1952, while sailing his yacht in the Caribbean, Laurance S. Rockefeller anchored off the coast of Caneel Bay Plantation in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Moved by the serene stretch of sandy beaches and frangipani-filled coves, Rockefeller—an avid outdoorsman and environmentalist—soon purchased the land […]