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Treatments that make a real difference

These days, there is almost an infinite number of available spa treatments, all of which promise outstanding results. But unfortunately, very few deliver. Here, we present four very different approaches that really work, and that we feel we can wholeheartedly recommend.


The potency of the compounds in all 111Skin products provides the skin with vitamins and compounds that are easily absorbed, leaving it plumper and highly hydrated, while the massage technique focuses on lifting and tightening. The effects are visible immediately. 111Skin works with first-class spas all over the world – but I had my facial at the Bulgari Spa in London, where I was treated by Chief Therapist Jehvon Lennon.

For starters, he cleaned my skin thoroughly with Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser. Though many of us don’t take this step seriously, Lennon explains that it’s key to healthy, glowing skin. This cleanser has exfoliating properties and high levels of vitamin C, which contribute to the brightening effects of the facial.

The Bulgari Spa in London includes 11 private treatment rooms and one double spa suite, complete with its own steam…

Your best allies to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays

The Sun is the giver of life on our planet, but on the flip side of the coin, it can be very dangerous. Excessive sun exposure can lead to cancer, cataracts, damage to the immune system and premature ageing. UVA rays are the weakest, but they cause skin cells to age faster. UVB rays are […]

The best bounce-back skincare

One of the many ways in which menopause can undermine a woman’s confidence is in the way it affects the skin. Dry, dull and saggy skin is a direct result of decreasing levels of hormones that stimulate the formation of collagen, the protein that gives skin its strength, flexibility and support. Although there are many […]

The Tinseltown effect

Although product placement can be traced back to the time of silent movies (Buster Keaton’s The Garage showed posters of Firestone tyres and Red Crown Gasoline signs in almost every frame), it was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the $1m paid by Reese’s to appear in the film that changed the rules of the game for good. Sales of the peanut-butter candy pieces doubled in less than two weeks.

All kinds of products have benefited from the celluloid effect – as has the film industry. Product-placement deals have reached astronomical figures, often making up for lower-than-expected performances at the box office. Harley-Davison famously paid $10m for the character Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to ride its all-electric Live Wire in Avengers: Age of Ultron; and Heineken forked out $45m to feature in Skyfall, sharing 007’s attention with Macallan.

In a much more subtle manner, watches have been a constant presence in movies. The earliest I am aware of is a Hamilton Flintridge and a Hamilton Piping Rock in the film Shanghai Express with Clive Brook and Marlene Dietrich. The American watchmaker (now owned by the Swatch Group) is, without a doubt, the No. 1 brand of choice by Hollywood; according to the company, its watches have appeared in more than 500 movies over the last nine decades. The influence of superstars dramatically increased the desirability of several of its models, including the Ventura, favoured by Elvis Presley, who wore it on and off screen. The Ventura has become a star of its own accord, with a filmography that includes Blue Hawaii (1961) and the Men in Black films (1997-2019). These days you can show off one on your wrist for just £850.

Still from Blue Hawaii (1961) showing Elvis Presley wearing his Hamilton Ventura.

The Hamilton Khaki is another on-screen regular, with appearances in at least 12 films. The first was 2001’s Pearl Harbor, in which it features on the wrists of both Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett. It also appeared in the star-studded film Tenet (2020), in which a former CIA agent (John David Washington) learns how to manipulate the flow of time to prevent an attack from the future that threatens to annihilate the present world. The script was perfect for showing off the Khaki BeLOWZERO Titanium H78505330, worn by Washington and made exclusively for the movie. The commercial version was the Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO. Other famous appearances of the Khaki include The Avengers (2012), Interstellar (2014) and The Martian (2015). And in the upcoming film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, it’s a Hamilton American Classic Boulton Quartz (£675) – originally introduced in 1941 – on Harrison Ford’s wrist. Except for slightly larger proportions, the contemporary Boulton is faithful to the original.

In Tenet (2020), leading actor John David Washington wears a Hamilton Khaki BeLOWZERO Titanium H78505330 made exclusively for the film.

It is curious that, despite the Hollywood success of these watches, the brand has kept prices extremely reasonable – from £530 for the Khaki featured in Pearl Harbor to around £1,725 for the model in The Martian and Tenet. Even more interesting is the fact that Hamilton doesn’t pay for product placement. Instead, it cultivates strong relationships with many of the key decision-makers behind the scenes, including set and custom designers, and prop masters. More often than not, these people have a strong influence on the gear that gets used in a film. They even host the prestigious Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards every year.

The Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition that Daniel Craig wore to his death in No Time To Die sold for £226,800 at Christie’s in 2022.

This is not the case for other brands, such as Omega, which coughed up an insane (and top-secret) amount of money to be on James Bond’s wrist since it partnered up with the 007 franchise for GoldenEye in 1995. One prominent watch collector, who spoke to I-M TIME on the condition that he remain anonymous, said, “Omega probably paid much more than they made in sales. But I believe that, in the long run, it would prove to be worth it.” Only time will tell if he is right. But if current auction values are anything to go by, the Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition in titanium that Daniel Craig wore to his death in No Time To Die sold for £226,800 at Christie’s in 2022. The watches in the new commercial line of 7,007 pieces retail at £9,300 these days. In the second-hand market they’re available for around £9,000.

In Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, (2015), Simon Pegg wears a Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar.

Another brand to go down the route of the blockbuster to bring extra impetus to the popularity of its watches is Tissot. The first generation of its T-Touch line adorned the delicate wrist of Angelina Jolie in both Tomb Raider (2001) and Mr & Mrs Smith (2004), and that of Rosamund Pike in Die Another Day (2002). The model has been discontinued, but with a bit of perseverance it can be found online for around £500. The T-Touch collection turned solar-powered in 2014. In 2015, a T-Touch Expert Solar made it into Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, worn by Simon Pegg. But the first Tissot that featured in a film was a Tissot PR 516; Roger Moore wore it back in 1973, in Live and Let Die. Although none of these watches have appreciated in value, the Hollywood effect surely contributed to their popularity.

The first generation of Tissot T-Touch watches was worn by Angelina Jolie in both Tomb Raider (2001) and Mr & Mrs Smith (2004) and by Rosamund Pike in the 2002 James Bond movie, Die Another Day.

In a different journey to stardom, we find Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore “End of Days”, co-designed by Arnold Schwarzenegger for the eponymous film in 1999. Although at first the watch didn’t capture the imagination of collectors, it did signal the trend for limited series with celebrities from all walks of life. Despite its shaky debut in the market, the current value of the original watch (Ref. 25770SN) hovers around the £50,000 mark. Not bad. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first Offshore in 1993, the manufacture is launching several new references, one of which is a black ceramic chronograph inspired by the original “End of Days”, with a retail price of £51,800.

Left, Arnold Schwarzenegger showing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore T3 he helped developed in 2004. Right, one of the 30th anniversary Offshore references was released this year.

Similarly, TAG Heuer’s Monaco didn’t do much for the company’s bottom line when it was launched in 1969. But once Steve McQueen chose it for the 1971 cult film Le Mans, things changed rapidly. Sales of the odd-looking watch shot up, and its desirability hasn’t changed since. To give you an idea, in 1972, a new Monaco retailed for $260 ($1,900 in today’s money). In the second-hand market, originals from the period 1969 to 1978 can go for anything from £14,000 to £25,000 depending on condition, paperwork, etc.

On other occasions, it has been the personal choice of an actor that has determined the watches immortalised in film. This was the case of Robert de Niro, who chose to wear a Corum Ti-Bridge Tourbillon in the 2014 neo-noir crime thriller The Bag Man. Robert Downey Jr requested an Urwerk UR-110RG to wear in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and another Urwerk, this time an UR-105, in Avengers: Endgame (2021). The UR-110RG was sold at auction at Phillips in 2018 for CHF150,000, with the proceeds going to charity. New, it was priced at CHF115,000.

In Avengers: Endgame (2021), Robert Downey Jr wears an Urwerk UR-105.

Other brands that have dipped their watches into celluloid waters (whether paying for the privilege or not) include Bvlgari, whose Diagono Chronograph was given generous screen time on Al Pacino’s wrist in Heat (1995). A more modern version of the Chronograph as well as a Retrograde Day Date Moonphase were worn by Robert Downey Jr in the first Iron Man (2008). By the time Iron Man 2 came out in 2012, the superhero had moved on to a Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT.

A Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso features – without the brand name – on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan in the 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair, and Benedict Cumberbatch wears a Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual in the 2016 Marvel film Doctor Strange. So far – judging by the prices shown on the web sites of several second-hand retailers and small auction houses – none of these watches have appreciated in value. That said, I am sure the popularity achieved through these films didn’t hurt demand. And at the end of the day, that’s what manufacturers want: to sell as many watches as possible.

From left to right: Jaeger-LeCoulture Reverso Monoface, the model on Pierce Brosnan’ wrist in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999); Jaeger-LeCoulture Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual, worn by Benedict Cumberwatch in the 2016 Marvel film Doctor Strange and the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Titanium, worn by Andy Serkis in Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023).

Relatively new to this particular playground is Hublot, whose Classic Fusion Chronograph Titanium is worn by Idris Elba in the BBC & Netflix film Luther, The Fallen Sun. And if rumours are correct, we’ll also see Hublot watches in the upcoming Barbie film and (later in the year) the spy action thriller Heart of Stone, with Gal Gadot. The three films are very different, so I am curious about how much screen time the watches will have and the effect on both demand and appreciation.

As you can see, the Tinseltown effect on watch sales and value is as varied as the degree of success of the films in which they appear. So my recommendation would be that, if you see one you like in a movie, and you can afford, buy it. What’s the worst that can happen?

www.audemarspiguet.com    www.bulgari.com       www.corum-watches.com  www.jaeger-lecoultre.com     www.hamiltonwatch.com     www.hublot.com www.omega.com      www.tagheuer.com  www.tissot.com       www.urwerk.com           

Words: Julia Pasarón

Opening picture: Steve McQueen playing American racing driver Michael Delaney in the film Le Mans, 1971.

Because life is too short

A term used to describe a person who feels a compulsion to take part in exciting, dangerous, or intense activities, the truth is that adrenaline junkies are more than just chasers of yet another adrenaline rush. They are often the organisers of super fun events for groups of friends, work weekends away and of course, family reunions. Maybe this year, for Father’s Day, you can be the one taking your dad for a rip-roaring, exhilarating experience that he will not forget any time soon.


With their feline looks, Italian pedigree and immediately recognisable engine sound, Maseratis are among the most desirable cars in the world.

The Maserati Driving Experience is an opportunity for drivers to get behind the wheel of one, push it to its limits and enjoy a truly exhilarating day out. Through a series of professionally led courses, the experience is ideal for those with a desire to discover the performance potential of the Maserati range in its natural environment: the racetrack. Half-day courses start from £1,200. Book it HERE.


Held in July in the beautiful grounds of the Goodwood Estate, Festival of Speed is considered the best car show in the planet (I hear this every summer from visitors coming from all corners of the world). From the Red Arrows performing breath-taking acrobatics in the skies over the grounds to furious races on its track with some of the best drivers in the world, Festival of Speed is a dream day for car and motorbike enthusiasts alike. 

Left: Astronaut Tim Peake at the Future Lab Centre. Right: Brazilian racing driver, Bruno Senna.

But petrol heads are not the only ones that will thoroughly enjoy Festival of Speed. At the Future Lab Centre, science geeks and curious minds will be able to discover the latest developments in automotive technology and engineering through a series of dynamic and interactive experiences sure to inspire everyone, from industry enthusiasts to the next generation of scientists, inventors and explorers.

Tickets and packages are available from £60. They sell out quickly so don’t wait and book now HERE.


Fliteboard is the Australian company behind a surfboard powered by an electric turbine and a hydrofoil that has taken the market by storm. It is a modern, fast and ecological board prepared for any aquatic surface. Thanks to the hydrofoil, the board literally flies above water, delivering truly exhilarating experiences with very little risk to your physical integrity. It’s for that reason that it’s recommended for use in calm waters rather than over raging waves.

This toy is controlled via a wireless controller that works with Bluetooth technology and there si an app to pesonalise dozens of 35 parameters and record the activity of the board. In addition, the surfboard itself has different configurations and is available in three models: Fliteboard, Fliteboard Pro and Fliteboard Air. I would recommend you start with the Fliteboard Air, which is the lightest and easiest to use. You can even stand on it without having to move. However if you are a veteran surfer, go for the Pro, with which you can achieve vertiginous speeds.

From Euro12,995. Configure and get yours HERE. To experience before you buy, try one of the Fliteboard schools, such as Cadland Estate, Easy-Riders and Lift Watersports to name but a few


This is one of the most exhilarating things you can do as a family. Dressed in a wetsuit and armed with just a pair of flippers and a board, you are thrown into the Legacy Loop course of rapid waters at a speed that will leave you gasping for air but with the biggest smile on your face you could imagine. The experience lasts 90 minutes, including a safety brief and an activity assessment in the water once you are fully kitted.

You must be 12+ years. Gift vouchers are available. Prices start at £60 per person. Book yours HERE.

Words: Julia Pasarón

Opening picture: Jaxon Matthew Willis, Pexels.

Charles Henry Gordon Lennox, the 11th Duke of Richmond, Lennox, Gordon and Aubigny, shares the secrets to Goodwood’s success.

Home to a plethora of businesses and public events, the Goodwood Estate attracts nearly a million visitors every year. It is its association with motorsport that has made it famous worldwide since it first opened the Motor Circuit in 1948. In 2023, motorsport at Goodwood is celebrating its 75th anniversary as well as significant milestones for its two main summer events: the Festival of Speed and Revival.

From the formation of the Duchy in 1675, the Goodwood estate has been associated with the sport. By the 20th century, it was hosting shooting, cricket, flying, golf and, above all, horseracing. However, the 11th Duke’s grandfather was not at all into horses. Instead, he was crazy about cars and bikes. In fact, the 9th Duke of Richmond, “Freddie”, was both a race driver and the longest-serving Vice Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club. The Goodwood Motor Circuit started life as the perimeter track of RAF Westhampnett, which was used by pilots who were based there during World War II. “That’s when my grandfather realised it could make a good racetrack,” the Duke says.

Track action during the first ever race at Goodwood Motor Circuit, on the 18th September 1948. Over 15,000 people attended.

On 18th September 1948, the Circuit opened to the public. The British public had been deprived of motor racing since World War II had forced Brooklands to close its doors in 1939. The response was overwhelming; more than 85 drivers and 15,000 spectators turned up to support the UK’s first post-war motor racing event.

In 1966, after 18 years of memorable motor racing, the Circuit closed down. “My grandfather didn’t like the way the Club was running it,” the Duke explains. “He didn’t like cars with wings, he didn’t like the format, the three-litre Formula One cars … he felt cars were getting too quick and too dangerous. A few of his friends were killed here. Also, the track was not modern enough.” Despite being closed for racing, the Circuit remained in use as a testing and track-day venue.

Stirling Moss and Carroll Shelby at the Goodwood Motor Circuit 1959.

Although the races, the aerodrome, the organic farm and other businesses kept up production – contributing financially to the maintenance of the Estate and the families whose livelihoods depended on it – it wasn’t until the Duke returned to live there, and took over the chairmanship of the Goodwood Group of Companies in 1994, that the second chapter in the bright history of Goodwood started, making it a destination for lovers of all things engine-powered.

“When I moved in permanently, I realised that things had to be improved a lot if we were to make that part of the estate financially viable,” he says. “There were issues with the Circuit, starting with a noise-abatement order. Despite innumerable meetings with the local authorities in 1991 to reopen the Circuit, we couldn’t get them to shift their position, so we had to go back to the drawing board.”

Fortunately, the Duke remembered that in the UK, the law allows developers and landowners to use their land for any purposes for 28 days, of which 14 days can be used to hold a market or motorsport event. The noise-abatement order was still in place at Goodwood Circuit, but he was free to do it somewhere else in his grounds. He shared his idea with the track inspector in October 1992, and soon the wheels of fate were set in motion. In June 1993, Goodwood hosted its first Festival of Speed as a one-day event on the Sunday, with practice the previous afternoon. “We had nearly 100 cars and motorbikes,” the Duke recalls. “We had no idea how many people were going to turn up, because we knew many would buy their ticket on the day. Our estimate was a few thousand. In the end, 25,000 people turned up.”

Legendary American Motorcycle GP Champion Wayne Rainey and friends tackle the hillclimb at the 2022 Festival of Speed.

Legend has it that the whole thing spiralled into chaos and looked more like a rock festival. “It was a complete mess,” the Duke laughs. “The fenced was knocked down, we ran out of tickets, we didn’t have anywhere to put the money… but it was clear that we had created something about which people were really excited.”

While the Festival of Speed was going from strength to strength, the Duke and his team kept trying to get the Circuit reopened. Finally, in September 1998, they succeeded, and Goodwood Revival was born. A lot of consideration was put into the format of the event. “The track was completely original,” explains the Duke. “We thought it was important for it to feel like a wartime circuit. We refurbished the old buildings, and realised that it made sense to encourage the public to come in cars from that period, and dress accordingly.” The public loved the idea, and the inaugural event was unforgettable.

The starting grid ahead of the first race at the first edition of the Goodwood Revival in 1998.

The three-day festival, held each September, is an extraordinary event, with the cars, motorcycles and everything else designed and built in line with the Circuit’s original period: 1948-1966.

“We call it Revive & Thrive,” the Duke says. “It’s a celebration of the concept of vintage, second-hand, and made-to-last.” Although the topic of sustainability is always a touchy one when it comes to motorsport, the Estate is focused on sustainability. “We have a 4,500-acre organic farm and a recently built biomass boiler that provides us with electricity for Goodwood House and The Goodwood Hotel,” the Duke says. “There’s also a woodland creation project that will see 78,000 trees planted across the Estate. “We put together our events as sustainably as possible. In fact, we were one of the first organisations in the world to gain certification to ISO 20121 – the internationally recognised specification for sustainable event management.”

Over The Road festivities at the 2019 Goodwood Revival.

The Goodwood Estate Company is a diverse portfolio of businesses including the Goodwood Racecourse, an organic farm, two 18-hole golf courses, the Goodwood Aerodrome and Flying School, and a hotel; together, the businesses and events employ 650 people. A large part of its success is due to adaption and survival – what was once the preserve of tenant farmers and agricultural land use has pivoted for leisure use. It is this that brings the largest revenue to the estate, so when Covid closed businesses in the UK, Goodwood lost 75 per cent of its revenue.

As public events were cancelled, in October 2020 Goodwood held SpeedWeek behind closed doors. The event featured highlights of both the Festival of Speed and Revival.

But fortunately, the love of the public for Goodwood was proved once again when, in June 2021, the Estate reopened its doors for the Festival of Speed and more than 150,000 people attended. The Revival was also a triumph. “We ran at around 70 per cent capacity, which was a big relief and helped us start balancing numbers,” the Duke says. And last summer they were back at full capacity.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of Goodwood’s Motor Circuit, three decades of the Festival of Speed and 25 years of both the Goodwood Revival and the foundation of the Goodwood Road Racing Club. Accordingly, this summer’s events promise to be bigger and better than ever. An unprecedented number of cars, motorbikes and drivers are expected for a season of motoring heaven. There will be a spectacular display by the Red Arrows squadron, who will take to the skies at the Festival of Speed on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th of July, stunning the public with precision manoeuvres and dynamic loops and rolls.

This year, the Red Arrows squadron will take to the skies at the Festival of Speed on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th July.

Goodwood Revival will celebrate Lotus’ 75th anniversary by welcoming a fleet of up to 75 cars. There will be a special on-track celebration paying homage to “The Chapman years” (1948-1982), and the festivities will feature a variety of vehicles spanning Lotus’ history. Taking centre stage will be the Lotus 18, which secured the first win for a Lotus-built car at the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix with Sir Stirling Moss behind the wheel.

The Duke shares a brilliant story about Moss and Denis Jenkinson in the Mercedes 300 SLR 722, the winner of the 1955 Mille Miglia, with the fastest drive ever in that race: Jenkinson – a world-famous motor journalist – was asked to get in the car with Moss and write about the experience. “On the day, Denis famously produced two toilet rolls that were a map of the race, based on drawings he had made on the day of the test drive,” the Duke explains. “This way, he acted as Stirling’s navigator.” The race was legendary; they averaged 100mph on public roads. Jenkinson was convinced they’d done something to the car, so he never got into it again. “But then, in 1995, we got them back together at Goodwood,” the Duke says. “After they drove the hillclimb, people were crying around the car. It was that emotional.”

Dennis Jenkinson and Stirling Moss in their Mercedes-Benz 300SLR, commemorating their victory in the 1995 Mille Miglia.

Emotion is what Goodwood is all about; the passion and excitement in the air are contagious. “I love that the public feels this way,” the Duke says. “We give everything to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience. We can’t pay the cars or drivers to come here. So knowing that we can transmit our passion to people is encouraging and rewarding.”

Looking at the future, the Duke’s mission is clear. “I’m pretty confident that the next 75 years will bring us more excitement and more memorable moments. We will keep nurturing the sentiment for classic cars to pass on to future generations, continue to champion new technologies and showcase the future of mobility.”


From fashion accessory to high-tech distinction

There are valid reasons for a watch to be round, from the circular form of the repetitive nature of telling time to the arrangement of the mechanics beneath the dial. Despite a century of technological advancement since the dawn of the wristwatch, you find those who recognise the impact of deviating from the standard round shape, and that’s exactly what Louis Cartier did. He saw the opportunity to design something new that would reflect the advent of the 20th century. First came the square shape of the Santos-Dumont in 1904, and just two years later, the Tonneau.

Taking its name from the French for barrel, the tonneau has an elongated lozenge-type shape with parallel flat edges at the top and bottom and almost no lugs to speak of. Whereas a circle fits neatly within a square with little adjustment, the tonneau pulls the display at either end, an impression exaggerated by the tall Roman numerals and condensed minute track, within which sit two incongruously traditional pomme-shaped hands.

Left, Louis Cartier, the man who brought the tonneau shape to the world of watches. Right, a Cartier Tonneau from 1915, once the property of the photographer Baron Adolph de Meyer.

Other watch firms followed – notably Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, which introduced their own versions a few years later. In the first two decades of the new century, fashion started subtle but important innovations; men donned “sack suits”, similar to modern business suits, to be worn all day. But for those who could afford it, different garments and accessories were chosen for morning, daytime and evening use, and the new tonneau case was part of the modern approach to men’s attire.

Only ever produced in precious metals, the Cartier Tonneau was a style statement for bold, trend-setting individuals eager to signal their modernity as the Belle Époque gave way to the Art Deco era. Cartier followed it in 1912 with the less radical Tortue, or “tortoise” – a squatter and more substantial take on the tonneau shape. With his first three case designs, Cartier had cemented his reputation as a maker of unconventional watches that would become icons in their own right. But the Tonneau would be overshadowed in 1917 by the arrival of the Tank, and while “shaped” watches continued to thrive at Cartier, it would be the Tank and its variants that dominated for the decades to come.

Vacheron Constantin Tonneau watch from 1915.

This is not Cartier’s story alone. Thanks to the availability of data provided by online marketplaces like Chrono24, it can be seen that the tonneau shape declined in popularity through the 1940s, ’50s and ‘60s before rising again in the ’70s. In the wider context, the same decade can be seen as the most experimental period for case design; ripples of radical, eclectic and reactionary trends that took hold in architecture, motoring and fashion spilled over into the world of watches, which was also striving to stand out against the threat of new technology. It’s here that we find a different kind of tonneau – one that might not even fit some people’s expectations of the term. The sporty tonneau was epitomised by the Heuer Viceroy Autavia Ref. 1163V and the Omega Speedmaster Mark II, both of which first saw the light of day in 1969.

The emergence of a of modified form of the original tonneau derives from the more traditional styled racing chronographs of the 1960s. At Heuer, the case design for both the Carrera and the Autavia changed with the introduction of the brand’s first automatic chronograph movement. These two, together with the Monaco – the poster boy for the new technology – emphasised a break with the past. While attention focussed mainly on the repositioning of the crown, diagonal chronograph pushers and the bold use of colour across the dials, the change in silhouette played its own part.

During the 1970s sending in proof of purchase for 10 packs of Viceroy cigarettes would get you a Heuer Autavia for only $88.

The era of tonneau designs was not destined to last long either. With the quartz crisis of the mid-1970s, changes to the designs of solidly established models at Heuer, Omega and elsewhere came to be seen as a desperate last roll of the dice. Even in its own history book, Ahead of Its Time, TAG Heuer describes the Carrera of the era as reflecting the company’s mounting panic, with “new looks rushed to market” and, “in 1974, a new, larger, even more ponderous tonneau-shaped case with hooded lugs.” An attempt to revive the look once more, in 1978, with “a reworked version of the early-1970s tonneau case” was “hampered by high costs at home and cheap manufacturing abroad… not a success.”

These are factors far beyond the simple question of case shape. Yet the anecdotes serve to make a point: as the wristwatch has risen and fallen in popularity, the tonneau has always had a certain appeal to designers and brands in need of an eye-catching look.

The tonneau-shaped case of the Omega Speedmaster II from 1969.

In the early 1990s, when a young maverick watchmaker by the name of Franck Muller began his rise to prominence, he chose the tonneau shape for some of his first models. Today the brand is synonymous with a very modern take on the design – a much larger, thicker, execution known as the Curvex. But it was not always part of the plan, as Franck Muller CEO Nicholas Rudaz explains. “Franck was a watchmaker producing very complicated pieces before he created Franck Muller Genève in 1992. One day, while delivering a watch, a client’s wife asked him to design one for her. Franck was very stressed and concerned about it, because he only knew how to make complications. He didn’t know about that kind of design.”

Franck Muller Vanguard Skeleton with a sapphire crystal case, manual-winding movement and a black alligator leather strap with pin buckle.

If you were thinking that perhaps Muller turned his thoughts to the golden era of elegance and took his inspiration from Cartier’s 1906 original, you would not be completely wrong. He loves Art Deco designs, but there is a more specific source of inspiration. According to Rudaz, “Franck thought about the lady who had asked him to produce the watch, and the femininity of her curves, and that was the inspiration for the Curvex case, which is bowed in two directions – from 12 to 6 and 3 to 9.” Last year, the new Curvex CX modernised the tonneau once more, elongating the design and pushing the sapphire crystal almost to its edges. “It’s very comfortable to wear but complicated to make,” Rudaz adds. “To get the shape, you need a lot more material; there’s more wastage, which has to be reclaimed and recycled.”

Along with Franck Muller, the other great proponent of the revival of the tonneau in the early 21st century was Richard Mille. Combining the avant-garde case shape with its investment in polymer-based materials has redefined how a luxury watch can be made. From the RM001 in 2001, the tonneau has become the hallmark of the RM brand, and shorthand for the associations Mille forges across industries – most significantly with the aerospace sector, whence some of the material innovation derives.

Richard Mille RM009 showing the tonneau case with its modern form resembling the profile of a wing.

Mille himself has compared the tonneau curvature to a cross-section of a wing of a plane or a Formula 1 car. Over the last two decades, Richard Mille cases have been created in carbon nanotube polymers, high-tech metal-ceramic alloys, thin-ply quartz fibre and, most daringly of all, solid sapphire. The design needed tolerances at a micron level, and this required the construction of a proprietary type of screw to hold the three parts of the case together. The end result was a completely rethought and invigorated tonneau, which kept evolving over the years, turning it from dress-watch minimalism to an ergonomic, high-performance form.

Cartier Tonneau Skeleton XL in rose gold with the Dual Time Zone complication: two distinct hour and minute indicators, dials formed by skeletonised bridges.

Cartier, meanwhile, judged that the time was right for the classic tonneau to reappear. It tested the waters at the end of the 20th century with a platinum-cased limited edition that was produced under the auspices of its relatively short-lived and much-admired CPCP (Collection Privée Cartier Paris) programme. Seven years later, Cartier committed to a fuller revival of the tonneau in time for its centenary, bringing it back into the main collection as a dress watch in the original vein. Twelve years on, a more daring version would surface as the Tonneau Dual Time Skeleton XL. This head-turning design is hardly comparable to the high-tech polymer creations of Richard Mille, or the Damascus steel showstopper of Franck Muller’s Vanguard, but one has to wonder whether it would have existed at all without these contemporary watchmakers pushing the boundaries.

Words: Chris Hall

Opening picture: Soscenic Photography (Pexels)

Excel under Pressure

There is no question that Michael Johnson is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Four times an Olympic champion and eight times a world champion, over his career he won 12 Olympic and World Championship gold medals and established several Olympic and world records. Our Editor, Julia Pasarón, interviewed him while he was on a recent visit to London and asked him what it takes to succeed in sport, in business, and in life. “Goals are easy,” he says, “succeeding is difficult.”

He retired from competition in 2001 to pursue a career as a media pundit, while also managing one of the contenders to succeed him as king of the track, Jeremy Wariner, who won Olympic gold in the 400m at Athens 2004. Over the last 15 years, though, Johnson has focused most of his energy on his TV career and on his role as a performance adviser and motivational speaker, sharing the strategies he learned as an elite athlete to help others achieve their professional and life ambitions. 

“As an athlete, you learn some valuable lessons that can be applied throughout all areas of life. Since you spend a lot of time understanding yourself as a person, you can get the best out of yourself in your sport,” he explains. “You are constantly trying to deliver your best performance under pressure, competing against other athletes and you can’t always win or be in top form. 

Learning to deal with loss and overcoming injuries are two of the main challenges an athlete has to deal with.

– Michael Johnson

In Michael’s case, as it is with few athletes at the very pinnacle of the sport, there are also the valuable lessons you learn trying to create history – by achieving things never accomplished before. Michael did just that, most famously in the 1996 Olympics, when, resplendent in his golden Nike shoes, he completed an incredible 200m-400m double, an achievement never matched before or since in men’s athletics. His times were remarkable: 19.32 seconds for the 200m – a world record that stood for 12 years until broken by Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt – and 43.49 seconds for the 400m, which established a new Olympic record.

Calm and softly spoken, Johnson possesses a stillness that I’ve seen before in leaders. He insists the secret for success is to know yourself. “Whether it is as a television pundit, an entrepreneur or a performance speaker, I am always trying to get the best from myself. And for that, I need to keep learning about who I am,” he says. I ask him to give me an example. “My best performances and my records have all come when I’ve been under immense pressure, in an Olympic final or a world championship final. Knowing that about myself [that these situations brought out his best performances] helped me tolerate that extra pressure at key moments in my career and that realisation is a confidence boost in itself.” 

Talking about knowing oneself, and how one reacts to pressure, led our conversation on to the subject of performance-enhancing drugs. In 2000, Michael was cheated out of a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics because teammates in the 4 x 400 metres were found to have used banned substances. I can’t help asking him how rife he thinks the drug problem is in the world of athletics. He doesn’t hesitate in his reply: “Unfortunately, there will always be cheating in sport, in the same way that there will always be crime in society. But in the same way that we deal with crime through a strong legal and judiciary system, so we should do with anti-doping legislation and enforcement.”

Michael Johnson on a victory lap with Antonio Pettigrew after winning gold in the 4 x 400m relay at Sydney. Michael would lose the medal as Antonio was guilty of doping. Johnson returned his medal.

Natural-born talents such as Johnson, Bolt or the South African Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk are few and far between, so the temptation for lesser mortals to use performance enhancing drugs to emulate their achievements is always there. Michael makes his position on this very clear. “Cheating is not the answer. Having a plan B is. With everything in life, you need to plan an alternative in case your first choice doesn’t work. Imagine if everyone that didn’t succeed in their first choice of career went around committing crimes. This is an issue that we have to nip in the bud.” 

Michael himself had a “plan B”. Before he began dreaming of Olympic golds he embarked on a marketing degree course at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In 1987, during his time there, he was scouted by athletics coach Clyde Hart – who coached him to break the university 200m record. But even with this under his belt it still took him a few years to decide to focus full-time on athletics. “Very few people can be a professional athlete and even less get to Olympic level,” he explains, “showing talent as a young person is only a first step. You still have to work incredibly hard and even then, there is no guarantee you’ll make it to the top.”

I work with top executives, leaders in their field, so understanding themselves is fundamental for them to perform at their best and handle the pressure they face every day.

– Michael Johnson

On top of natural talent and top physical condition, Michael believes that professional athletes “have to be exceptionally strong mentally to deal with the pressure that it takes to be at that level, to know themselves and to get the best from themselves”. These are qualities common to eminent professionals in any path of life, which is why Michael is so well equipped to work with them as a performance adviser. “Each one of the individuals I work with are top executives, often leaders in their field, so understanding themselves is fundamental for them to perform at their best and handle the pressure they face every day.”

Obviously, a “one-size-fits-all” approach does not apply in this work so a large part of what Michael does is understanding each client’s journey up to the point when they meet him. “It is only when I understand them as an individual, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and where their confidence comes from, that I can really start my work with them as a performance adviser and help them get the very best from themselves. Companies such as JP Morgan, Airbnb and AstraZeneca have trusted Michael with their top executives. “Having goals is easy, succeeding is the difficult part,” he states, “and that is what I help them do.”  

You can read this interview in full in our spring issue, now available to order HERE.

Words: Julia Pasarón @julia_pasaron
Photography: Paul Martin @the.best.of.simple
Hair & Make Up: Hamilton Stansfield @lordham
Location: St Martin’s Lane Hotel, London. Find out more HERE.

Food to save the planet

As a lifelong wildlife enthusiast passionate about animals, I’ve always been drawn to the countryside. I love living on a farm, being immersed in the folds of a rural setting where things look different every single day. I get to see rich fauna, like the kingfisher darting along the river, flocks of finches in the hedgerows, or kestrels hovering for dinner.

I get to see the good and bad of farming, an example of the latter being when I watched a field being ploughed, only to discover that the soil had no worms. The local gulls that follow ploughs, came to the same assessment and quickly flew off. Then came the chemicals spraying weeds away and insects too, that would otherwise feed hungry wildlife with their seeds and larvae.    

It reminded me that there are two sides to factory farming.

Fertilisers disrupt the natural relationship between microorganisms and plant roots, damaging the long-term health of both the plant and the soil.

The first concerns the vast numbers of farm animals that are caged or crowded. Chickens that cannot flap their wings. Mother pigs crated so they can’t turn around for weeks at a time. Cattle taken out of fields and fed grain instead of grass.

All of which may look like a space-saving idea but actually isn’t, because vast acreages of precious arable land elsewhere have to be devoted to growing their feed – factory farming’s second side. In fields like the wormless one. Crop monocultures in artificial fertilisers, doused in chemical pesticides, that are turning the countryside into a green desert. No wonder the United Nations warns: “carry on like this, and soils worldwide could be useless within just sixty years.”

A sow in an intensive farm, forced to live in a cruel farrowing crate with its little piglet, without space to even turn around.

Regenerating the countryside
Watching the ploughing of a wormless field led me on a quest to meet those who are doing things differently – farming in harmony with nature. It has been one of my greatest pleasures in life to meet the people that are going back to farming animals and plants in mixed, rotational, free-range settings. These nature-friendly agricultural practises not only provide high standards of animal welfare but also bring soil health and biodiversity flooding back.

Regenerative farming is the term that is being coined to the techniques that are bringing a rebirth to the countryside, paying back into nature’s bank account, thereby saving what’s needed for a sustainable future for our children.

It was such a pleasure to meet John and Charles Shropshire of Wissington Farm on the Fens near Cambridge, where grazing animals are now enriching the soil where they grow celery, radishes, beetroot and lettuce. Reintroducing free-roaming animals is a big part of the Shropshire’s plans to preserve their soils for future generations.

Organic agriculture generally creates less soil and water pollution, lowers greenhouse gas emissions and is more energy efficient.

Like a pig in clover
Similarly, in Wiltshire, I spent time with farmers who raise a hundred pigs on grasses, clovers, herbs and wildflowers. Unlike with industrial intensive production, where pigs are fed grain, those at Horton House farm get most of their nutrition from pasture. I learned how the pigs root up any thistles before settling into any new pasture. When the grass stops growing, they are moved to winter quarters with the cows. The piglets playfully bury themselves in the straw beside the cows and even eat cowpats!

In the US, I’ve had the enormous pleasure of meeting regenerative farmers like Will Harris from Bluffton, Georgia. His cattle and sheep are constantly on the move across his 2,500 acres of permanent pasture and woodland. They are followed by herds of pigs, then flocks of chickens, all of which bring back worms and countless healthy microbes to the soil.

Free-range and organic livestock benefit people and the environment. They have a better quality of life and the restrictions on the use of antibiotics and hormones make their meat, eggs and milk healthier for those who consume it.

It’s been a journey that has underscored for me the absolute importance of keeping farmed animals as nature intended: roaming free.

And it’s healthier too. Pasture-raised beef or free-range chicken can have half the saturated fat and more health-giving nutrients. We all have the power to support nature-friendly farmers who are committed to animal welfare, nature and sustainability. By choosing pasture-fed, free-range, organic and regenerative meat, milk and eggs, we really can create a better, more compassionate future for animals, people and the planet.

Philip Lymbery is Global CEO of Compassion in Farming International, a former United Nations Food Systems Champion and award-winning author of Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat and Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were. Philip’s third book in the trilogy, Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future, was published last year and is available to purchase HERE and HERE.

Words: Philip Lymber

Twitter: @philip_ciwf

Opening picture © Philip Lymber

A holistic approach to spa treatments

Holistic therapy has proved to be effective in addressing countless physical and psychological concerns. No surprise then that the best hotels in the world are bringing to their spas treatments that invite guests to go beyond the usual hour massage and explore rituals that encourage overall health and inner balance. Our Editor Julia Pasarón shares with us her latest discoveries.


Blending amid the dunes of the surrounding Wadi Khadija nature reserve, the Ritz-Carlton offers its guests not only the best pampering services but also the opportunity to discover the beauty of this land and its people, creating unforgettable memories for all. Inspired by Arab traditional architecture, the hotel spa boasts luxurious pavilions and treatment rooms where mindfulness and wellbeing techniques are combined to nourish mind, body and skin.

The Ritz Carlton Spa building showcases a modern interpretation of the intricacy and majesty of Arab architecture.

The Rainforest Experience is probably the most complete of the treatments offered. It combines European hydrothermal tradition with Middle Eastern bathing rituals across 16 different stations, all of which aim at leaving the guest feeling rejuvenated not only physically but also emotionally, as each stage of the experience goes one step further in this unique journey of holistic wellbeing. The overall benefits of this treatment include improvement of blood circulation, deep cleanse of the skin for a radiant glow, release of toxins from pores and the alleviation of muscle tension, pain and fatigue. The icing on the cake is that the Rainforest Experience also promotes profound sleep.

The first stage, the Rainwalk Corridor, takes guests through different types of temperature and pressure showers to awaken the body to the experience. This is followed by the Sole Theraphy, which combines cold and warm water, including walking against the current on a cobbled path to stimulate reflexology points. Steps three and four are steam capsules with unique scents, which are finished with a cold shower or rubbing ice on the skin.

The Rainforest treatment combines European hydrothermal culture with Middle Eastern bathing rituals, creating a rejuvenating sanctuary in the Arabian desert.

The fifth station is a relaxation break on a natural stone area, before guests walk into several sensory showers and a Brine Cavern (stage eight), which is a steam bath with liquid sea salt and eucalyptus fragrance to purify the skin and aid respiratory de-congestion. Station nine is another relaxation area with a hot tub bath complete with massage jets. An Ice Igloo follows. I know it doesn’t sound terribly pleasant, but it works wonders on cellulite-prone skin.

From here it is all easy-peasy: Sauna, Herbal Sauna and a Grotto Steam with different aromas diffused automatically. A cold shower is recommended before moving onto the second Sole Therapy. After this, the Vitality Pool is waiting for you. Here, the water is set to 30°C and contains six different types of water massaging stations. Basically, the ultimate relaxation and the ideal ending to the Rainforest journey. Discover more HERE.


A legend on its own accord, the Byblos palace hotel is located in the heart of the Côte d’Azur. Since it opened its doors in 1967, it became a favourite among celebrities, with the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Leonardo di Caprio, George Clooney and even King Charles III himself regularly enjoying its hospitality, especially at its nightclub, Les Caves du Roy.

Although the nightclub keeps offering visitors fabulous entertainment until the early hours, under the direction of Antoine Chevanne, Byblos is taking a turn towards wellness. “As a society, we are constantly connected, performing at a high level as well as travelling extensively,” he explains, “time, space and having a choice is a luxury today, and I strongly believe that our industry’s future will be guided by our ability to offer our guests the chance to reconnect with themselves.”

Patio relaxing area at the newly renovated Byblos Spa by Sisley.

With that philosophy, its fully refurbished Spa by Sisley offers a new holistic programme comprising of three stages, depending on how much guests would like to experience. Each stage features workshops and/or experiential retreats which have been created to adapt to each individual’s physical, psychological and emotional need. The first two stages are individual workshops, whilst the third stage is mainly aimed at groups; encouraging guests to refocus on themselves through three core pillars: emotion, heart and energy.

Stage one, “Inner Consciousness” presents five distinct one-to-one remedy sessions which can be booked throughout the day to cater to each individual. Whether guests are looking to boost their morning with energetic classes or find a more relaxing rhythm as a contrast from their day to day lives, the “Inner Consciousness” focuses on each guest’s self-harmony.

In the Lebanese room, couples can enjoy treatments together, such as the new Deep Atsu massage, Slim Detox or the jewel in the crown, the Holi Ga massage.

Stage two, “Epic Journeys”, is inspired by the epic adventures of the Greek mythology heroes. Conceived to incorporate the “Inner Consciousness” remedies, each of the five journeys offers a different way to encourage guests to embark on their own journey of self-discovery. These retreats are accompanied by a healthy gluten-free vegetarian menu, specially created by Byblos’ Executive Chef Nicola Canuti; using fresh produce from the hotel’s own vegetable garden and inspired by each journey.

The third and last stage, “Byblos Constellations” is about embracing your individual conscience and shine bright within a collective group. A bit like in Greek mythology gods could transform into constellations to travel time and transfer their wisdom through light. The five group workshops available on this last phase of Byblos’s holistic programme are organised over a three-day weekend, with guests being able to book between one and five classes per theme. Book your experience HERE.


One of the most popular locations in Italy since Roman times, Lake Como is a magnet for A-listers, who flock here to enjoy its glorious sunshine and understated pleasures. Celebrities such as George Clooney, Madonna and Richard Branson, all own properties in the shores of this tranquil paradise. For those who don’t have a home here, Grand Hotel Tremezzo is THE place to stay. With views spanning the crystalline waters towards Bellagio and the Grigne mountains, three generations of the same family have been offering guests the best of hospitality all’italiana.

From th T Spa, guests enjoy unparalleled views of Lake Como.

Sitting between the 18th century Villa Emilia and the hotel, T Spa offers a truly unique experience tailored to meet the personal needs of each guest. With that philosophy and drawing on the natural properties of the plants growing on the shores of Lake Como, T Spa has created a total body experience that calms the mind and soothes the body, addressing three of our senses: hearing, touch and smell.

The ritual starts with a full-body exfoliation using everlasting flower, sage and mint, lavender, nettle, bay leaf, sorrel, and arnica – using only the skin brush in order to assist blood circulation – continuing with a treatment that warms and relaxes tired muscles using ultrasoft packs of lavender and finishing with an incredibly relaxing head-to-toe massage.

All products are from Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, a line benefitting from centuries of artisanal experience and indigenous, natural ingredients to guarantee the utmost excellence. Santa Maria Novella was founded in Florence in 1612 and is possibly the most famous pharmacy in the world, with centuries of expertise in herbal medicine and perfumery.

Santa Maria Novella is the oldest pharmacy in Europe. It was founded in 1221 by Dominican friars, experts in herbs and plants used for therapeutic purposes.

The ritual is inspired by ancient cultures and completed with avantgarde treatments – always performed by highly trained practitioners, to ensure its effectiveness from a therapeutical point of view. The aim is to induce a deep state of rest to facilitate the regeneration of neurological levels.

In my opinion, this is an excellent treatment to be performed on the terrace or outdoors since the goal is to totally alleviate the tensions generated by our frenetic lives and restore calmness and serenity. The views from Grand Hotel Tremezzo are superlative, which I believe entitles me to add sight as the fourth sense revitalised by this ritual. With all the stress having been literally brushed off your body, the relaxing properties of the different herbs used in the treatment calming down your mind as well as the specially designed sounds, you’ll find yourself ready to fall into the deepest sleep you’ll have had for years. Book your stay HERE.


In Hinduism, Akasha means the basis and essence of all things in the material world, the first material element created from the astral world (Akasha – Ether, before Earth, Water, Fire and Air). The eponymous Holistic Wellbeing centre at the five-star Hotel Café Royal in central London offers guests a chance to return to that source of all creation. From nutrition to meditation, yoga to Watsu, you can enjoy expert treatments, therapies and personal training offered at a hotel which has been a favourite of personalities from Oscar Wilde to Princess Diana and David Bowie in its 150 years of history.

The latest offering by Akasha Holistic Wellbeing is a programme of Electronic Music Meditation, in partnership with the world-renowned spiritual mentor and meditation guide Belinda Matwali. Electronic Music Meditation is a practice developed by Belinda herself as a session of active meditation divided in 4 sections. The first section begins with cathartic shaking or movement to hypnotic techno or electro music, then breathing or kriyas to house music before the tempo moves to ambient and shifts into more gentle pranayama – the practice of breath regulation, humming or spatial awareness exercises, followed by laying down for guided meditation with functional music that has isochronic tones to enhance theta brainwaves.

Electronic Music Meditation is based on isochronic tones that enhance theta brainwaves.

In plain English, isochronic tones are single tones that come on and off at regular brief intervals, creating a beat that’s like a rhythmic pulse. They’re often embedded in other sounds, such as music or nature sounds and are used in the process of brainwave entrainment. Brainwave entrainment techniques are being studied as a potential therapy for a variety of health conditions, such as pain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety.

Classes take place on the 3rd Friday of every month. Booking includes 90-minute access to the facilities at Akasha before or after the class. Reserve your place HERE.

Words: Julia Pasarón

Opening picture by Alejandro Piñeiro Ameiro, Pixabay.

The female artisans at the heart of Rolls-Royce

As part of the celebration of International Women’s Day, I-M Magazine’s Shelley Campbell was invited to visit Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for an intimate and insightful tour of its jaw-dropping manufacturing headquarters at Goodwood and a chat with a few of the female artisans contributing to the excellence of every car that comes out of its production line.  

We were collected from Chichester Station by the congenial Holly who, in a text message said, “Don’t worry, you can’t miss me, I will be the only Rolls Royce parked at the station.” Funny enough, she was correct. During the tour of the colossal 50,000sqm assembly plant, the first thing that struck me was the air of serenity and happiness – a collaborative community, free of stress. 

The automotive industry has historically been male dominated, with women being largely excluded from engineering, manufacturing, design, and executive roles. However, in recent years, there has been a notable shift. The call to address “greater gender diversity” has given the industry a firm kick and women are now being recognised for their talent, unique perspective, and innovative ideas. At Rolls-Royce, around 20 percent of the employees are women. They work mostly in areas that involve craftmanship, with creativity, passion and imagination nurtured at every turn. In my visit, I had the chance to engage with some of their incredibly talented female artisans to find out more about their stories. 

My role also allows me to be creative and explore my passion for intricate design and embroidery.”

– Daisy Hopwood

Chloe Dowsett and Sarah Hollowday (opening picture) both work at the Exterior Surface Centre, Bespoke. Chloe joined Rolls-Royce Motor Cars nearly four years ago. She tells me that she has always been really passionate about fine art, design and drawing. As Bespoke Project Manager, Sarah’s role involves managing and coordinating the design intent/ client wishes to ensure that the relevant paint shop teams have all they need to deliver projects on time and to the highest standard. “I love combining my interest in art and design with my project management skills to manage these one-off paint requests,” shares Sarah. “Working with all the Exterior Surface Centre teams to see something we’ve planned meticulously come to life is amazing.  Every car is unique, so no two days are the same. The level of craftmanship is unparalleled and it is an honour to support the teams “backstage”, bringing the designs to life.” 

Daisy Hopwood joined Rolls-Royce five years ago and now heads up the Bespoke Embroidery and Development department within the Interior Trim Centre. Daisy says, “I have always been interested in textiles, embroidery, and crafts. I studied textile design, focusing on digital print and after the completion of my studies, I was lucky enough to be employed by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Whilst there is always a strict process to adhere to involving meticulous attention to detail, the role also allows me to be creative and explore my passion for intricate design and embroidery. It is always remarkable to see a project progress and witness the evolution of a commission, but knowing that I contributed to the sensory feel of driving a car of this calibre, is something I will always be proud of.” 

The decorations on this Rolls-Royce Phantom shown at London Craft Week 2021 we’re inspired by the honey bees in the Goodwood Apiary, established in 2018.

The delightfully engaging Allie Knight arrived in Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 2014 as an apprentice and then qualified as an Automotive Paint Sprayer and Body Work Technician. Her role has evolved to Bespoke Lacquer Specialist. Her work is quite frankly astounding. “I joined Rolls-Royce nine years ago, and since then the opportunities extended to me have been invaluable. I have had the chance to get involved in many an exciting project, however the one that stands out for me was designing and creating a highly bespoke Phantom bonnet, inspired by the 300,000 English honeybees that are situated on site. This creation was then showcased at London Craft Week in 2021, an event which celebrates the pinnacle of British craftsmanship.”

“I joined Rolls-Royce nine years ago, and since then the opportunities extended to me have been invaluable.”

Allie Knight

Allie now works in the Interior Surface Centre alongside the equally skilled Audrey Fasquelle. Audrey trained in France in art and craft, specialised in marquetry. “My main passion is marquetry and woodwork,” she shares, “the one I wake up for each morning.” Rather illuminating are the narratives which lead both artisans to where they are now. For Allie, it was the encouragement of an art teacher, and for Audrey, it was her mother – both were powerful and influential women, and what they had in common was the ability to recognise individuality and support a talent that might not have flourished otherwise.

Audrey Fasquelle created the rose gallery for the Phantom at London Craft Week 2022.

Last, I spoke to Natalia Zajac, Bespoke Development Associate. She commented, “The best part of my job is working on a project from start to finish, where I can see the progress from the beginning with the designer’s drawing to a fully assembled car. It’s rewarding to see your work helping to create a unique and extraordinary car.”

Before travelling back to London, I drove a Black Badge Ghost around the area, which gave me the chance to observe in detail and appreciate the work of the women I had just met, and who are pivotal in keeping Rolls-Royce’s reputation at the very top of luxury. But their contribution goes even further. To me, they are a fundamental part of the spirit of diligence, refinement and community that the company is so proud of, and their pride and passion for craftsmanship is evidenced by their unrelenting pursuit of ultimate perfection.  

Words: Shelley Campbell

Omega Celebrates Women

Although ladies wristwatches date back to the mid 19th century (coincidently, Omega’s founder Louis Brandt started making watches in 1848), it wasn’t really until the early 1900s that women who were not from the upper-classes began to wear watches, which kick-started mass-production and the development of a complete new sector in the industry.

By this time, the reputation of Omega was such, that the company had become one of the largest watchmakers in Switzerland, with 240,000 watches produced annually and employing 800 people.

Omega has always held women in high esteem as it proves the fact that their first ladies watch was launched as early as 1902, housed in a silver case and covered entirely in a delicate floral design. As at the time it was seen as rude for women to wear watches, Omega began to produce its own “secret jewellery watches”, pieces that looked like jewellery, but had a small watch hidden inside. The popularity of these pieces ballooned, along with the brand’s other classic designs.

Advertisement from Kirby Beard & Co., Paris (1908). At the time, Kirby Beard & Co. was possibly the most famous department store in the world.

The 1920s and 1930s saw an incredibly growth in the production and sales of female timepieces made by Omega, probably due to their stunning and often, adventurous Art Deco designs. In fact, the artistry of the brand earned it the Grand Prize at the 1925 “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes” in Paris. But not everything was about “party” pieces. The “Medicus”, launched in 1937, was an easy-to-use and highly readable watch that introduced a central seconds hand for the first time. Known as the “nurses watch”, not only did the “Medicus” answer the needs of women in the medical profession, but was also the first example of a gender neutral watch.

The central seconds hand in the Omega Medicus made it easier to read. During WWII it became known as the “nurses watch” for the help it provided to medial staff on battlefields and hospitals.

Just under a decade later, in 1946, Omega surprised the industry with the launch of the very first “Tubogas”, exclusively for the French market. Cast in red 18kt gold, the watch was designed by Maison Brandt Frères and caused sensation with its innovative articulate bracelet. The advert for it was drawn by the famous fashion illustrator, René Gruau.

The Tubogas (left) and Ladymatic (right) were two models that revolutionised women watches, the first because of its articulate bracelet and the second, for its tiny rotor-equipped automatic calibre.

The 1950s were not great for female empowerment, as the advertising from many companies – in and outside the watch sector – played on the stereotypes of traditional domestic duties. Omega though went for glamour and personality, and so the Ladymatic was born in 1955. It featured the world’s smallest chronometer-certified rotor- equipped automatic calibre. Far more superior than almost everything else on the market, it was an instant sensation, combining advanced technology with beautiful design.

Omega Moldavita (1964) designed by Gilbert Albert, with the meteor-born glass at its centre. Part of the “Flowers” collection of secret watches, first launched in 1955.

Omega’s passion for female timepieces kept developing and over the decades, new lines kept being added to their offering. Today, the company’s ladies collections rivals those for men, and are endorsed by some of the most influential and inspiring women of our time.  A leading example is Nicole Kidman, brand ambassador since 2005, who, to mark the 10th anniversary of her role with Omega, joined the very first Omega “Her Time” event as guest of honour, hosted at La Triennale di Milano in September 2015.

Nicole Kidman at the first “Her Time” exhibition, Milan 2017. Right: Omega Ladymatic 2010, the line whose advertising campaigns have been often graced by the Oscar-winning actress.

Moscow, Shanghai, Sydney and Paris followed, the two latter honoured with the presence of Cindy Crawford, who in Paris travelled accompanied by her children Kaia and Presley, Gerber who had recently become Omega ambassadors themselves. In that same year, 2017, “Her Time” travelled to New York, where James Bond actress Naomie Harris cut the ribbon of Omega’s pop-up boutique on Fifth Avenue. The last exhibition before Covid-19 brought the world to a halt took place in St Petersburg, where the guest of honour was once again, Nicole Kidman.

Cindy Crawford at the 2017 exhibition in Sydney. Right: Omega Constellation Star (1992). The customer could choose the position of the diamond on the dial as well as name their own star, which was engraved on the caseback.

The show is finally arriving to London. From the 8th to the 29th of March, 2023, Her Time House in the heart of Mayfair invites visitors to explore 100 years of Omega’s historical legacy in women’s watchmaking. The stunning townhouse overlooking Hyde Park is hosting the exhibition on the ground floor, where guests are taken into a horological journey through exquisite examples of the creations by Omega for women over the decades, including art nouveau and art deco jewellery watches, mid-century masterpieces and contemporary icons.

The first floor is home to a stunning members-only space, with several bars to enjoy a drink and a bite throughout the day. A series of daytime and evening events will be hosted here to celebrate, champion and inspire women, with a focus on women’s health, wellness, career and lifestyle. Members can also benefit from a “Her Time Out” zone with noise cancelling headphones playing relaxing soundscapes. Some very special guests from the Omega family of ambassadors will also be in attendance throughout the three-week period. To further champion inspirational women, a female-founded catering company alongside an all-female event management team and designers have been engaged to run the House. 

Some of the Omega pieces at “Her Time” London. Left to right: Early ladies wristwatch (1906), Art Deco Jewellery wristwatch (1940), Topaz Jewellery Secret watch (1956), and De Ville Jeux d’Or (1972).

Interior design is a key element in the house, with white and gold touches throughout and a mix of modern and baroque influences, creating a feminine and warm environment. A focal point of the design of the house is the gold leaf “Her Time Tree” on the ground floor atrium. This statement sculpture has been created by sculptor and bespoke furniture maker Patrick Seaman Spice in collaboration with Jack Hobbs, Conservation & Sustainability Educator. Patrick specialises in using sustainable materials including reclaimed, storm-fallen and reclaimed timber and has harvested the fallen and damaged trees from Jack’s own woodland, Three Streams Community Educational Woodland. Following the event, the golden tree sculpture will be taken back to the forest to showcase to the local communities and schools to benefit the whole Three Streams Community Educational Woodland.

“Her Time House” is open on 8th March for private previews, with the exhibition opening to the public on 9th – 29th March.

OMEGA Her Time House. 4 Hamilton Place. London W1J 7BQ.

Exhibition Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 6.30pm; Sunday: 12pm – 5pm.

Words: Julia Pasarón

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