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Lifestyle

The city of the future comes to London

Until the 26th of July, a delegation from the Diriyah Company is at Harrods London showing models of the 14km2 development considered by most as a pioneering example of future urban planning. The intention is to transform this ancestral site 15 minutes from downtown Riyadh into a global hub for business, culture, heritage, and tourism; with the environment and the wellbeing of its inhabitants at the forefront of its priorities.

Diriyah is the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the ancestral home to the Al Saud family, who founded the First Saudi State here in 1727. At its centre, we find the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, an urban settlement built around an oasis, back in the 15th century. It was built in the Nadji architectural style, typical of the centre of the Arabian Peninsula.

The traditional Nadji style is characterised by the use of adobe and Athel wood, as well as by its geometric decorations.

The same style has been followed in the building of modern Diriyah, which bears witness to the traditional method that was so well adapted to…

Pioneers of the Exceptional – Vacheron Constantin celebrates Harrods’ 175th anniversary

Harrods, the world’s most famous luxury department store, is marking its 175th anniversary with all manner of exciting celebrations and special-edition products. The Swiss maison of haute horlogerie Vacheron Constantin has joined in with a unique Les Cabinotiers watch presented at an immersive experience titled, Pioneers of the Exceptional. From the 19th of June to […]

The world’s most famous luxury department store celebrates 175 years of retail magic

Arguably the most famous luxury department store in the world, Harrods is marking its 175th anniversary with all manner of exciting celebrations and special-edition products. From its iconic teddy bears to its renowned Festival of Lights, there are many highlights in store for customers throughout the year. Embodying the very essence of luxury, tradition and […]

A Nutritionist's Guide to Autumn Care

As the crisp autumn air sets in, it’s not just our wardrobe that needs a change; our skin and hair also require extra care and nourishment. As a nutritionist, I’ve witnessed the profound impact that diet can have on our outward appearance. In this article, I’ll explore how to support your hair and skin during autumn, offering valuable insights and practical tips.

Understanding the Seasonal Shift

Autumn brings cooler temperatures and lower humidity, which can lead to dry, dehydrated skin and hair. This season’s challenges can be exacerbated by indoor heating systems and potentially imbalanced diets, making it essential to adapt our nutrition and skincare routines accordingly. Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair and skin throughout the year, and autumn is no exception. Here are some key nutrients to prioritize:

Foods rich on Omega-3 Fatty Acids such as salmon help regulate the skin’s oil production, improve balanced hydration and even reduce breakouts.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s, found in fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), flaxseeds, and walnuts, help maintain skin moisture and flexibility. They also support hair health, keeping it shiny and strong.

Antioxidants: Foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, combat free radicals that can damage skin cells. Berries, spinach, and kale are excellent choices.

Vitamin C: This vitamin supports collagen production, which keeps your skin firm and youthful. Citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers are high in vitamin C.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative damage and helps maintain its moisture. Find it in nuts, seeds, and spinach.

Biotin: Biotin is crucial for hair health. You can get it from eggs, nuts, and whole grains.

Zinc: Zinc helps repair skin damage and supports hair growth. It’s found in nuts, whole grains, and lean meats.

Collagen: Collagen is a protein that keeps skin and hair strong and elastic. Bone broth and collagen supplements are good sources.

Our diet should include a wide variety of plant foods all year round.

Additional Autumn Nutrition Tips

Hydrate: Cooler weather can lead to reduced water intake. Remember to drink plenty of water to keep your skin and hair hydrated from the inside.

Warm tea: Swap your iced beverages for warm herbal teas. They provide extra hydration and antioxidants.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables: Take advantage of autumn’s bounty. Apples, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are not only delicious but also packed with skin-friendly nutrients.

Healthy fats: Incorporate healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil into your diet to support skin and hair moisture.

Protein: Hair and skin are made of protein. Ensure you get enough from sources like lean meats, beans, and dairy.

Limit sugar: Excessive sugar consumption can damage collagen and lead to skin aging. Reduce your intake of sugary snacks and processed foods.

Herbal teas are rich one polyphenols, compounds packed with antioxidants, which can help fight free-radicals, radicals and prevent skin damage.

 

Autumn Skincare Routine

In addition to a nutritious diet, your skincare routine should also adapt to autumn’s demands. Here are some tips:

Moisturize: Use a heavier moisturizer to combat dry skin. Consider a hydrating serum to lock in moisture.

Sunscreen: UV rays can harm your skin year-round. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, even when it’s not sunny.

Exfoliation: Exfoliating can remove dead skin cells and allow moisturizers to penetrate more effectively.

Humidifier: Indoor heating systems can dry the air, affecting your skin. A humidifier can help maintain the right level of moisture.

Dermatologist Consultation: If you have specific skin concerns, consult a dermatologist for tailored advice and treatments.

Dietary Supplements: If your hair and skin need extra care, consider supplements like biotin or collagen, see below. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements.

Apply moisturiser to your face using your fingertips and following a circular motion until it’s all absorbed. Don’t forget your neck and cleavage.

Autumn Superfoods for Healthy Hair and Skin

Certain foods are particularly beneficial for your skin and hair during autumn:

Pumpkins: Packed with vitamin A, pumpkins help maintain skin’s moisture and radiance.

Sweet Potatoes: Rich in beta-carotene, sweet potatoes promote a healthy complexion and strong hair.

Apples: Apples contain antioxidants that protect your skin from damage.

Cranberries: These berries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, excellent for skin health.

Nuts: Nuts provide essential fatty acids that keep your skin and hair looking great.

Seasonal autumn foods such as pumpkins, apples and nuts are particularly beneficial for your skin and hair. 

Supplements for Healthy Hair and Skin

Taking supplements can be a helpful addition to your autumn skincare and haircare routine, but remember that that they should complement a balanced diet, not replace it. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods is still the best way to nourish your skin and hair from within. Here are some key supplements for healthy hair and skin in the autumn:

Biotin: Biotin (B7) is essential for healthy hair and nails. It can help prevent breakage and promote growth. Typically, a daily dose of 30 mcg is recommended.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Whether from fish or plant origin, they can help maintain skin moisture and reduce inflammation. These can be particularly beneficial if your diet lacks fatty fish like salmon or walnuts. A  combined daily dose of 1000-2000 mg of EPA and DHA is the common recommendation.

Collagen: Collagen supplements are known for promoting skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Available as powders, tablets, capsules and liquids, the dose typicall ranges between 2.5 and 5 grams.

Vitamin C: Vital for collagen production, which supports skin elasticity and firmness. The standard dose for women is  75-90 mg but you can safely take higher doses.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect skin from damage. A daily dose of 15 mg is usually sufficient for most adults.

Zinc: A mineral crucial for skin health and to help with wound healing. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is around 8 mg for women.

Probiotics: They help support a healthy gut, which is linked to skin health. A typical daily dose of 1-10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) is advised.

Iron: Iron is essential for maintaining healthy hair and its deficiency can lead to hair loss. The RDA for iron varies based on age and sex, so please consult a healthcare provider between taking iron.

Before starting any new supplements, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a registered nutritionist, to ensure they are appropriate for your specific needs and health status. They can also help you determine the correct dosage based on your individual requirements.

Autumn is a wonderful season but it can bring some challenges to the health of your skin and hair.

By adopting a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, following a proper skincare routine, and taking supplements, you can ensure your skin and hair remain healthy, vibrant, and resilient throughout this season and beyond. Nourishing your body from the inside out is the key to maintaining your natural beauty, even as the leaves fall and the air turns cooler.

Words: Chiara Saccardo

About the Author: Chiara Saccardo is a registered Nutritionist and DNA Life Practitioner, specializing in the rebalancing of hormones in women in their 40s and 50s. She holds a qualification in Nutrition from the renowned College of Naturopathic Medicine and deeply understands the importance of hormonal balance and genetics in the healing process. Chiara is a registered member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition (BANT) and Nutritional Therapy, as well as the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).
www.chiaranutrition.co.uk

Opening image by Marfa Bogdanovskaya. @UniqueMarfa

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.

111SKIN NON-SURGICAL LIFT FACIAL

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 room, hydromassage and private treatment room.

Jehvon followed with Celestial Black Diamond Multi-Acid Accelerated Peel (exclusive for spa use), which gently exfoliates, buffing away dead cells and unblocking pores. Steam was then applied to open pores and facilitate the extraction of blackheads and other impurities; then Rose Water was used to soothe irritation, hydrate and combat underlying inflammation. Next came Antioxidant Energising Essence, a toner that balances the pH of the skin, tightens pores and helps maximise the absorption of other serums and creams. It was applied with a massage that was so divine, I think I fell asleep. 

A Vitamin C Brightening Booster and Celestial Black Diamond Serum followed, providing an even more intense glow and bringing further brightness to the skin. Next was Celestial Black Diamond Contour Gel, which, in my opinion, is one of the most effective skincare products out there. The secret seems to be its potent combination of peptides and black diamond particles. Time for the 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond eye, face and neck masks; they’re popular among those who, like me, have a job that often involves long days and short nights.

If you are not familiar with 111Skin products, The Dr Yannis Hero Edit is a great way to start. It contains many of their star products, such as Y Theorem Repair Light serum NAC Y2 and Celestial Black Diamond Eye Masks, the perfect holiday gift for your skin. £550. Find it HERE.

Finally, Eye and Day Cream Light from the Celestial Black Diamond range, with the company’s unique formula NAC Y²™, which creates an optimum environment for collagen production and strengthens elasticity as well as boosting antioxidant protection. One strong word of advice from Lennon: always wear at least SPF30 on your face; if the sun is out, SPF50.

Frequency is the key to maintenance, so it is recommended to have this treatment monthly and keep a good daily skincare routine at home. £350/90 minutes. Book your facial HERE.

EVOLVEX BODY TRANSFORMATION

Developed by medical technology company InMode, EvolveX is the latest in body contouring. It combines the power of Radio-frequency energy (RF) for deep heating of tissue, High Voltage Pulse (HVP) for fat reduction, and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) for toning. Together, they deliver results that would be nearly impossible to achieve by simply going to the gym. With EvolveX, you end up losing fat and gaining muscle – and your skin appears remodelled. The clinically proven treatments are pain-free and, as they don’t involve any medical procedures, there is no downtime; the abdomen, waist, buttocks, arms and thighs can all be treated.

EvolveX is an all-in-one platform that delivers multiple technologies on one system to remodel skin, target adipose tissue, and tone muscles.

The first programme, Evolve Tite, harnesses the power of RF energy to tighten and improve the appearance of the skin. The applicators have sensors that make sure all areas are being heated to 43°C to trigger collagen stimulation without the risk of overheating. The feeling is similar to having a hot-stone massage. As with any RF treatment, it’s important to drink plenty of water beforehand and afterwards; the more water molecules there are in the skin, the easier it is to prompt collagen stimulation and oxygen production.

Evolve Tone focuses on muscle definition and strengthening the core, which supports the lower back. It consists of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), which causes muscle contractions. The machine achieves deeper contractions than you could ever do at the gym. The applicators target specific muscle groups to refine the appearance and strength of the muscles. As with any electrical stimulation, it’s ideal to start slowly to build up your tolerance.

Evolve X is particularly efficient on buttocks and thighs (left) and on the abdominals (right), as the machine achieves deeper contractions than you could ever do at the gym.

Evolve Transform combinesRF, EMS and HVP, and can be applied on all areas of the body. The trio results in more effective fat loss to add to the benefits of the individual treatments. RF heats the skin and the adipose tissue; EMS stimulates muscle toning and encourages muscle growth; and HVP leads to the destruction of fat cells.  

A course of at least four treatments – in one- to two-week intervals – is recommended. Results can be seen approximately eight weeks from the first treatment, but collagen production takes a bit longer – between six and 12 months.

I had my course at the Lanesborough Club & Spa in London, but EvolveX is also available at Perfect Skin Solutions Clinic, directed by Dr Dev Patel, as well as other locations in the UK. From £2,000. You can. Book your session at the Lanesborough Club & Spa or at Perfect Skin Solutions.

AYURVEDA AT KUDA VILLINGILI SPA ISLAND

Kaafu Atoll, Republic of Maldives

Ayurveda is a system of medicine that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance of mind, body, senses and spirit. In the sixth and seventh centuries (known as the Samhita period), there is evidence of organised medical care and medical textbooks that discussed Ayurvedic treatments, accurate anatomy and blood-circulation treatments alongside surgeries such as skin grafting and renal stone removal. Ayurvedic medical understanding surpassed that of the West at the time; these days, we understand the benefits of integrating Ayurveda with modern evidence-based medicine.

Kuda Villingili’s Spa boasts eight treatment villas over the water, the perfect space to put the mind and the body at ease.

The resort has its own Spa Island where guests can embark on wide range of treatments. I focused on those based on Ayurvedic principles, as it is generally agreed that they address ailments common to our stressful Western lives, such as stiff muscles and joints, high blood pressure and low immunity. The paradisiac environment of the spa, in the middle of a shimmering lagoon, is an added bonus.

The first therapy is the two-hour Jivantika treatment (£280), aimed at obliterating fatigue and restoring energy. It starts with a full-body massage and finishes with Shirodhara, an Ayurvedic healing technique that involves having liquid — usually oil, milk, buttermilk or water — poured onto your forehead. It is known to improve sleep quality and combat insomnia.

Prishtabhyangam is a therapy that involves hot compressions applied with an herbal poultice, followed by a massage.

The other treatment I selected is Prishtabhyangam with Kizhi, a therapy in which hot compressions are given with an herbal poultice (ingredients include tamarind, drumstick and neem leaves, ginger roots, sand and rock salt) followed by a massage with Dhanwantharam Thailam oil, traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. This treatment is particularly recommended for backaches and to improve circulation. Available as a 60-minute session (£190) or 90 (£234). Book yours HERE.

MAYR INTENSIVE WEIGHT-LOSS PROGRAMME

Based on the discoveries of Dr Franz Xaver Mayr in the last century, modern Mayr medicine is based on prevention and on correcting pernicious eating habits – habits that the demands of our hectic lives often lead to.

The Original F.X. Mayr clinic in Austria offers a range of medical treatments to help patients achieve optimum health. Their Intensive Weight Loss module is a great way to shift extra weight and, more importantly, give your digestive system a break and encourage the release of positive hormones. The module combines the best in fat-busting therapies, which move your body from sugar-burning to effective fat-burning, and detoxing protocols with endorphin-boosting activities around the stunning Lake Wörthersee.

The Mayr programmes include physical activities to stimulate your metabolism, muscles and coordination skills.

The weight-loss module is done in conjunction with either the Basic Mayr programme (one week), or the Classic (two weeks). The Basic is a fasting programme that helps you take the first step toward a completely new attitude about your health. On arrival, the medical staff performs blood, urine and other tests to help them accurately arrive at a diagnosis and treatment plan. In the initial consultation with your doctor, a bespoke plan is designed for you.

There are plenty of daily activities including hiking, paddle-boarding, yoga and meditation to keep you active and physically engaged. The weight-loss module is added to the Basic Mayr programme, so the positive weight-loss effect that occurs through fasting is intensified by a coordinated set of analyses, personal training sessions and targeted therapies that stimulate the metabolism and help break down fat deposits. Altitude training is also available, as is performance analysis for those who enjoy competing with themselves.

The nutrient-rich menus at Mayr provide your cells with energy and boost your metabolism. All dishes are sugar and gluten free.

All of the above is supported by a series of detox massages, including abdominal and lymphatic, and hay flower detox wraps; these are designed to assist the body in getting rid of waste products, which in turn contributes to weight loss. During your stay, you are monitored at all times. And before you leave you receive a full medical check-up, a medical abdominal treatment and a final consultation.

However, not everything is about losing weight; the spa also focuses on mental and emotional health, so changing attitudes is part of the strategy. Guests are encouraged to practice mindfulness and follow the Mayr team’s advice about relaxation. You’ll probably notice that on top of losing weight, you sleep better and have much more energy.

The price for the one-week Mayr Basic programme with the added Intensive Weight Loss module is £3,593 per person including Mayr cure, diagnostics, food, medical and detox treatments, and accommodation in a single room. Find out more HERE.

Words: Julia Pasarón

Opening image: Engin Akyurt, Pixabay

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 a little stronger and can cause sunburns and skin cancer. UVC rays from the sun react with the ozone in the stratosphere and do not reach the ground. Tanning is the natural response of our skin to UV light. When UV rays reach the skin, it makes more melanin, the pigment that causes tanning. However, tanning does not prevent skin cancer.

With the basics understood, the issue is what can we do to enjoy the sun safely. As a very sporty person, I have spent decades outdoors. I always wore protective sunscreen, but apparently, not enough. As a consequence, I suffer a colourful array of lesions resulting from excessive sun exposure, among them, a sunspot in one eye, actinic keratosis on my nose and pigmentation everywhere. Therefore, I have become a bit of an expert on sun protection, analysing and trying all kinds of products, in order to identify the very best ones for my skin and my age. This summer, these are the sun care products you’ll find in my holiday bag:

DEFENCE by Gold Collagen

The best way to start preparing your skin for higher-than-usual levels of sun exposure is to do it from the inside. My supplement of choice this summer is Defence, by Gold Collagen, a multivitamin and mineral complex with key antioxidants and connective tissue-supporting compounds such as hyaluronic acid and glucosamine. Together, they help protect against collagen loss and oxidative stress and support your immune system, three of the “fronts” that can be negatively affected by the sun.

Defence by Gold Collagen is fully vegan, supports the immune system and protects against collagen loss and oxidative stress caused by UV rays.

 

They come in bottles of 90 tablets, and you only need to take one a day (preferably with food). It is recommended that you start a month before you plan to be in the sun so your body can “load up” its defences. It is widely available, but you can buy it directly from Gold Collagen HERE.

ULTRA FACIAL UV DEFENSE by SkinCeuticals

This is a day moisturiser with SPF 50, which provides high protection against UVA and UVB. What differentiates this cream from others in this segment is the protection it provides against pigmentation and ageing of the skin, as it helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen-induced by UV rays.

Ultra Facial UV Defense by SkinCeuticals is a moisturising, daily-use sunscreen, helps prevent sun-induced discoloration and aging.

It has a very light and fresh texture. I recommend you use it as day moisturiser, over your serum, rather than specifically as a sun cream. Widely available, but you can buy directly from the manufacturer HERE.

SHEER TINT BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 45 by PCA Skin

Lovely water-resistant tinted sunscreen for all skin types. The UV protection is granted by two key active ingredients:  titanium and zinc oxide. It also contains Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10 to you and me), a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals.

Sheer tint broad spectrum by PCA skin can be used alone or layered under makeup. Allow to absorb 15 minutes prior to daylight exposure. Reapply after two hours if you are out in the sun.

The tint in it is likely to blend with many skin tones but it won’t work on dark skin. Its silky texture makes it very easy to spread evenly and provides a kind of diaphanous veil that helps uniform the skin. I personally don’t use any foundation on top of it but you could if you wanted to. You can find it at many retailers or purchase it straight from PCA Skin HERE.

HELIOCARE 360° AGE ACTIVE FLUID by Cantabria Labs

Hypoallergenic, with a slightly more translucent sheer and a velvety finish, this ultra-light photoprotective fluid helps to prevent and correct the signs of photoageing. It not only protects against UVA and UVB rays, but it has an antipollution system and also shields you from the blue light emitted by digital devices.

Helicoare 360° by Cantabria Labs has a triple antiaging complex which helps to prevent and correct the signs of photoaging.

It is suitable for most skin types, water and sweat resistant, and it does not irritate the eyes (Hallelujah!) Its avant-garde formulation contains repairing and antioxidant actives that counteract and repair sun damage. Shake well before use. Buy it HERE.

SILKY BRONZE by Sensai

Silky Bronze is a range of skincare products aimed at protecting the skin against UV rays while defending it against premature signs of ageing caused by exposure to the sun.

The Cellular Protective Day Cream SPF 50+smells divine and has a silky texture with a glow finish. The White Tea Extract in it is a particularly powerful compound against oxidation caused by pernicious sun rays. Buy it directly from Sensai HERE.

The water, oil and friction resistant formulation of the Silky Bronze face and body sunscreens by Sensai allows you to enjoy the sun all day long.

With a similar formulation, Cellular Protective Cream for Body SPF 50+ protecting against various damage and oxidation from UV rays while addressing signs of sun‑ageing. As its face counterpart, it feels light on application, with a luxurious silky feeling and fresh scent. Purchase directly from Sensai HERE.

ANTHELIOS INVISIBLE SPRAY 50+ by La Roche-Posay

Having moved to sunscreen for the body, my final choice is made by La Roche-Posay, a brand favoured by many dermatologists. Anthelios provides exceptionally high protection and is specifically formulated for sensitive skin prone to sun intolerance or prickly heat.

Anthelios by La Roche-Posay is hypoallergenic and its efficacy has been proven in many clinical studies.

The spray formulation is light-weight, easy to apply and super water-resistant without leaving marks. Shake well before use and apply 30 minutes before going into the sun. Widely available. Purchase directly from La Roche-Posay Labs HERE.

Words: Julia Pasarón

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 hormones that affect the production of collagen, the most important is oestrogen because of the abundance of oestrogen receptors in skin tissue. In addition, oestrogen stimulates the production of ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which facilitate the skin’s natural hydration. As levels of these compounds decrease, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag. Wrinkles appear the skin becomes prone to dark spots, and pores become more visible.

As women start menopause, they lose about 30 per cent of their collagen during the first five years. After that, the decline is gradual: around two per cent every year for the next 20 years. For months, our team has researched and asked a focus group to test several products that promised to improve skin affected by menopause. The four products presented here were tried over a period of 10 to 12 weeks with consistent results.

LA PRAIRIE WHITE CAVIAR PEARL INFUSION

With almost a century of skincare research and development, it is no surprise that La Prairie’s new Pearl Infusion works. Issues like brown spots, redness, sallowness and greyness – all common in menopausal skin – are visibly reduced after six weeks (assuming you hide from the sun or use the highest possible SPF) of using this serum daily.

The secret to the visible effects of La Prairie White Caviar Pearl Infusion is the fact that it increased the density of collagen fibres in the dermis.

Three key compounds work together here: Lumidose, La Prairie’s proprietary molecule, which inhibits tyrosinase (the enzyme responsible for the formation of the brown pigment melanine); Swiss Golden Caviar Extract, which helps densify the dermal collagen network; and finally, La Prairie’s most guarded secret: Exclusive Cellular Complex, which gives new life and energy back to the cells, enhancing the skin’s natural renewal process. White Caviar Pearl Infusion is recommended for use after White Caviar Essence Extraordinaire and before the eye and face creams. Buy it HERE.

DERMOI OSMOSIS AGEING KIT

Osmosis MD Skincare is a medical-grade, cosmeceutical skincare brand. Each product in the Osmosis Skincare range has been developed by the brand’s team of doctors and medical experts. Their ageing kit has been specially conceived for ageing and mature skin – and the travel-size products are ideal for trying out the range. All its products help boost suppleness, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and provide a healthy glow.

The Osmosis Aging Kit includes Purify Enzyme Cleanser, Stemfactor Growth Factor Serum, Correct Preventative Retinal Serum, Infuse Nutrient Activating Mist, Quench Nourishing Moisturiser, and the Osmosis Pure Sweet Mint Lip Balm.

The complete anti-ageing skincare routine provides 600+ growth factors and skin proteins to rejuvenate and protect. Fruit enzymes provide gentle exfoliation while Retinal, a gentler form of Retinol, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, simultaneously encouraging cell turnover. Buy it HERE.

GOLD COLLAGEN FORTE PLUS

You shouldn’t forget to look after your skin from the inside. Gold Collagen Forte Plus is the new formulation by the company that brought liquid collagen to the West about a decade ago. Specially developed for women over 40, it helps significantly in challenging a whole spectrum of bad news that comes with menopause including saggy and drier skin, deeper wrinkles and hair loss. As a plus, it may increase your energy levels, and it supports the immune system.

Forte Plus is the most complete age-defying product by Gold Collagen, clinically proven for women 40+. Specifically formulated to support hormonal balance, and stimulate natural collagen formation and hair growth.

Behind this magical drink lie a ton of research and clinical studies. And its unique combination of high-quality hydrolysed collagen, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals helps to maintain the structural integrity of skin, hair and nails and protect against oxidative stress. It also contains vitamin D to encourage calcium absorption for strong bones, and help fight osteoporosis and vitamin B1 for heart health. The way the product is formulated magnifies its absorption by the small intestine and encourages the fibroblast cells on your skin to produce new collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin. Buy it HERE.

EOSTRE

Also taking care of your skin from the inside is this hormone-free vegan supplement, which can be taken alongside HRT. Formulated by a leading consultant dietitian and nutritionist, Eostre is hormone-free and needs to be taken only once a day.

Eostre’s main ingredient, Pycnogenol® (pine bark extract), is an antioxidant with more than 40 years of research behind it.

Each capsule contains a combination of pycnogenol, obtained from pine bark extract, a natural compound thought to be an antioxidant that protects cells from damage; L-Theanine from green tea, a mood-boosting amino acid that also helps reduce stress; Ashwagandha, which is believed to assist cognitive function and reduce stress; vitamin D3 cholecalciferol for the maintenance of healthy bones, nails and teeth; folate to combat tiredness; vitamin B6 pyridoxine, which contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity; vitamin B12, essential for a normal energy-yielding metabolism; and iodine, an element that is key for the production of thyroid hormones and normal thyroid function. Buy it HERE.

Opening picture: Petra Bauman (@petra.Bauman30), Pexels.

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.

MASERATI DRIVING EXPERIENCE

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.

GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED: JULY 13th – JULY 16th 2023

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.

FLITEBOARDING

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

HYDROSPEEDING AT THE LEE VALLEY WHITE WATER CENTRE

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.”

www.goodwood.com

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.