Robb Report November 2015


From This Issue

A Gentleman Manqué

On July 12, 1892, the New York Times ran a headline proclaiming the death of William Waldorf Astor, who, according to the account, had died unexpectedly in London. This “ideal American,” the newspaper lamented, was the only member of his family to remain “in touch with the great mass of the American people.” Other journals […]

It’s Complicated

Vacheron Constantin accepts a private commission that results in the world’s most complex watch.  As he began to present a status update to his client, Dominique ­Bernaz—head of Vacheron Constantin’s Ateliers Cabinotiers custom-watch ­program—gradually realized that his watchmakers had been keeping a few secrets even from him. The client (who prefers to remain anonymous for […]

V Is for Velocity

Cadillac’s high-performance sedan sets new benchmarks for the brand. The new CTS-V is the fastest and most powerful Cadillac ever. Equipped with a 640 hp supercharged V-8, the car clocks a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 200 mph. It is only a tenth of a second slower than the […]

Barrel Roll

Sandeman extends its series of commemorative releases with a 50-year-old, single-cask port. Tawny ports—traditionally designated as 10-, 20-, 30-, and 40-year-olds—are identified by the average age of the casks that compose the particular blend; thus, many of the finest tawnies hail from those houses with the largest and richest libraries. Founded in 1790, the house of […]

Sea Fare

Master chefs are boarding cruise ships to take travelers on mouthwatering voyages.  Having branched out from fine-dining establishments to food trucks, the world’s great chefs are now taking to the high seas. Cruise lines across the globe are adding celebrity-chef restaurants, culinary-themed sailings, food panels, cooking classes, and test kitchens to their itineraries at a […]

Domain Game

A dot-com pioneer sets out to build the world’s best golf clubs.   Bob Parsons is passionate about golf. Since picking up the game in his early 30s, the founder and former owner and CEO of the domain-name registrar GoDaddy has embraced it with a fervor that few amateurs can match. His dedication has included […]

Rising Sun

Idaho’s legendary ski resort makes its latest ascent.  On an evening in mid-August, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony was warming up for Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 against a dramatic backdrop of lush green mountains and quaking aspen trees. Each of the Sun Valley Pavilion’s 1,550 seats was filled, and thousands more visitors gathered just […]

Delights of the Dolomites

A new lodge links guests to the winter wonders of the Italian Alps. Somewhere amid Dolomiti Superski’s 745 miles of slopes, I am zigzagging through perfect powder under an equally perfect blue sky. A few yards ahead of me, my guide, Hubi, is leading the way, swishing down a gloriously isolated run flanked by skyscraping […]

Palate Cleanser

In Spanish wine country, a new spa takes cues from the vine. It is a blazing summer afternoon in Spain’s Duero Valley as Sonal Uberoi uncorks a bottle of Abadía Retuerta Pago Valdebellón. She pours a single glass and hands it over, advising me to “see, swirl, and sniff” before sipping. I dutifully churn the […]

Royal Salute

Boucheron’s latest collection honors Indian design and a commission of regal proportions. The maharaja of Patiala—followed by his entourage of attendants carrying boxes of gemstones—paraded across Place Ven­dôme, from the Ritz Paris to the Boucheron boutique. On that day in 1928, the Parisian jewelry house received what was thus far its most extravagant commission: 149 jewelry […]

Cowboy Up

A sophisticated barrel-proof bourbon emerges from deep in the heart of Texas. As its rich reddish hue suggests, Garrison Brothers 2015 Cowboy Bourbon is unlike most other bourbons, and it is unlike the distillery’s original Cowboy Bourbon from two years ago. The unfiltered, barrel-proof spirit is the handiwork of Dan Garrison and master distiller Donnis […]

The Count of Two

Limited-edition cigars from the Dominican Republic and Cuba commemorate Montecristo’s 80th anniversary.   In the novel The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas describes Edmond Dantès—a sailor who became a nobleman—as a man who “has some excellent cigars.” The character inspired the name of the cigar brand that Alonso Menendez created in 1935 in Havana, […]

Vase Grip

Lalique’s designs and colors continue to hold the attention of collectors. René Lalique is known for many forms of glass art: statuettes, perfume bottles, and hood ornaments, to name three. But his most popular items were his vases. “He made more vases than he made of anything else,” says David Weinstein, president of the DJL […]

A Winning Pair

Victory Ranch brings a low-density approach to the high country of the American West.   Rugged mountains, mighty rivers, and wide-open spaces form the postcard-perfect picture of the American West. That idyllic image is at the heart of the new Victory Ranch, a resort community located 16 miles east of Park City near Utah’s Wasatch […]

Dawn of an Era

Rolls-Royce’s latest convertible signals the arrival of a new day for the venerable marque. Since launching the Phantom in 1925, Rolls-Royce has bestowed menacing and otherworldly names on its models: Ghost, Spirit, Seraph, Wraith. None is warm and fuzzy; each confers gravitas. Now comes the Dawn, a two-door, four-seat luxury convertible—or rather a drophead coupé, […]

Seeing Red

A spectacular find in southeastern Africa brings the sought-after ruby into sharper focus.  In a remote area of Mozambique, at the Montepuez ruby concession, miners last year uncovered an extraordinary pair of matching stones. Each of the rough gems was nearly the size of a cherry, and their combined weight was an impressive 45 carats. Experts estimated their total value as […]

Open Hearts

More than merely decorative, modern openwork watch designs furnish fascinating views into the remarkable mechanisms that bring these timepieces to life.  “Today, if you produce something mechanically interesting, you put it on the dial side,” observes Sébastien Chaulmontet, head of movement development at Arnold & Son. “People want to buy visible mechanics. It’s the modern taste.”  […]

The Dish Down Under

Farm-to-table is nothing new in New Zealand, where long-standing agricultural traditions are finally translating to world-class cuisine.  It was a crisp May morning, and I was sitting patiently in a New Zealand traffic jam. To the left of the winding dirt road, rolling hills tumbled into one another like golden-green waves until they disappeared suddenly […]

Heli and High Water

The quickest, most convenient type of yacht tender may be worth the compromise on space.  “I don’t worry about money anymore,” the Iowa businessman Roy Carver was quoted as saying in 1975. “I worry about time—how much time do I have left? Everything I do is based on making as much of the day, the […]

Phinisi Fantasies

Silolona Sojourns’ sailing expeditions through Indonesia uncover a wondrous world of whale hunters, dragons, and volcanoes.  I am standing on the edge of Batu Tara, an isolated volcano that rises straight out of the Flores Sea in Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands, when I feel the first rumble. “Scott!” a voice cries out behind me. “Get […]

Rhône Redux

Château-Grillet is restored to its former glory thanks to its new owner and his team at Château Latour.   Winemaker Alessandro Noli and I chat at the shaded end of a narrow lane that leads to a farmhouse compound below a natural amphitheater of stacked terraces planted with rows of gnarled grapevines. As Noli turns […]

The Robb Reader: Richard Mille

A conversation with the watchmaker and car collector. Known for his high-profile timepieces, Richard Mille is also a force in the automotive world, with a personal collection that includes everything from a Formula 1 V-16-­powered BRM to a Porsche 917 endurance racer and a Lancia Stratos rally car. Last year, the French watchmaker took his […]

Red Alert

Christian Louboutin brings his signature style to men’s bench-made dress shoes. Fashionable women worldwide know Christian Louboutin. The French designer’s sexy sti­lettos, adorned with his trademark red-­lacquered soles, are expertly collected and widely coveted. Less known, perhaps, is Louboutin’s own penchant for collecting: His assemblage numbers nearly 400 pairs of men’s shoes, which he stores […]