Saturday, December 15, 2007

Luxury ideas for the fabulously wealthy

Nothing says 'I love you' like blowing a shed-load of cash on an expensive gift. We've trawled the upmarket shopping malls to bring you some of the most outrageously luxurious gifts the world has to offer.

Whether you're after a seriously impressive watch, an unbelievably precious phone or the simple elegance of a crystal-coated pair of headphones, we've got the treat you need. If you're going to buy something for someone with expensive tastes, you're sure to find lots of inspiration in this luxury gift guide.

TAG Heuer Calibre S Lewis Hamilton Limited Edition, £1,500

Ever since TAG Heuer supplied Steve McQueen's Monaco watch for the film Le Mans, the brand has retained close links with the world of motorsports. It's fitting, then, that they've created a special edition timepiece to celebrate Lewis Hamilton's amazing achievements in the F1 championship this year. But even without the Hamilton link, this watch is still something special. It uses the company's latest Calibre S hybrid electro-mechanical movement, which is accurate to 1/100th of a second and has five bi-directional micro-engines and 230 mechanical components. Seeing as the quartz movement in the average ticker has just 30 components, this timepiece is truly the Formula 1 champion of watches. The watch isn't available online, but you can call 0800 037 9658 for your nearby stockist.


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Bling's the thing in hour of power

Plenty of time on his hands ... Tony Garnett owns more than 20
top-quality watches.

THE wristwatch is under siege from the mobile phone, with only luxury timepieces withstanding the assault.

A survey by Seiko found watch ownership among Japanese adults fell from 76per cent in 1997 to 46per cent this year - a trend reflected in Australia.

Market research company IBISWorld has reported that sales of cheaper, everyday watches - such as the Swatch, which was dominant during the 1980s and early 1990s - were falling as people increasingly relied on mobile phones to tell the time. The company found Australian consumers were increasingly prepared to pay big for aspirational, status symbol timepieces.

"If people have money to spend they want something with real bling which they can show off," IBISWorld analyst Claudia Burgio-Ficca said.

"In the past, people may have had a very plain day watch and a dressier watch for the evening. Now they want something to wear all the time that is very obvious, diamond encrusted and reflects the money they have spent on it. It's all about status."

Eric van der Griend, owner of the Watches of Switzerland chain of stores, said annual sales had risen 30per cent. Among the most coveted were the Omega Seamaster (as worn by James Bond, played most recently by Daniel Craig), which sells for between $2000 and $10,000, as well as TAG Heuer, Rolex and Cartier.

Mr van der Griend said a $60,000 Breitling for Bentley watch in solid 18-carat rose gold with chronographic movement had proved a big seller in Sydney and Melbourne.

"With mobiles and BlackBerries in the electronic age, people don't need a watch to tell them the time any more. People want something else from a watch.

"Younger guys may decide to put off the deposit for a house and spend the money on a really amazing watch."

The market for collectable antique timepieces is buoyant. An online auction of 37 watches owned by the late Rene Rivkin fetched $220,000 this month.

Retired Sydney businessman Tony Garnett owns more than 20 top-quality watches, including "several" Rolex designs and an IWC Portuguese valued at $40,000.

"They are only going to go up in value and they are transportable," he said. "I used to collect cars but they took up too much space. I've got four children and I expect I'll pass my watches down to them so they have something to remember their father by."

Source: The Sun-Herald

Quinting watches at Damas - taking control of power and speed

Quinting 'CR24H'.

Damas, the leading international watch and jewellery retailer in the Middle East, now present a limited edition of Quinting 'CR24H' chronographs and the first three watches of this series are dedicated to drivers of the First Swiss National Endurance Race team.

The innovative and adventurous spirit drove Pascal Berclaz, President of Quinting, who built its reputation on luxury haute couture watches of exceptional technical merit to team up with the first national team that represented Switzerland at the world's most famous sports car endurance race.

The sense of life of these 'real men', in love with speed and sensitive to mechanical beauty, was the challenge. They knew that everything had been done but remained convinced that there was still a lot to do. Pascal Berclaz' challenge was the first completely transparent watch in the world and drivers of the Swiss national team could bring Switzerland to the most prestigious endurance race in the world.

Tawhid Abdullah, Managing Director of Damas, revealed:

'The new collection of Quinting watch with their unique transparent movement made of sapphire is a machine just like a racing car, because it applies some of its principles. One of the engineers who developed this unique timepiece came from the automotive sector and his knowledge brought new ideas to traditional watchmaking. Like racing cars that take control of power and speed, the new series takes control of transparency and precision in the same manner.'

CR24H' Chronographs (Car Race 24Hours) Limited Edition

Endurance racing is a test of the durability and reliability of the equipment used to race. The Quinting chronograph which is a true technical feat embodies these two defining characteristics. This dynamic model has been designed by Quinting to pay tribute to the first Swiss racing drivers who will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans car races. The collection is limited to 24 pieces in each style and available in 7 variations: black dial and rose, white or yellow gold case back, white dial and rose, white or yellow gold case back, and chrome finish dial and white gold case back.

All pieces in each style are individually numbered on the case back and have movement from one to 24. The dial resembles dashboard counters of the Swiss racing car. Four white crosses on red background that replace numerals at 12h, 3h, 6h and 9h evoke the national flag of Switzerland.

Chronograph Quinting

The watch is composed of previously metallised and given an anti-reflection coating sapphire crystals. The case back and the movement are engraved with a serial individual number. The unique transparent movement is patented. The chronograph has three counters to keep track of hours, minutes and seconds - for the seconds at 12 o'clock, for the minutes at 6 o'clock and for the hours at 9 o'clock. Unisex and available on crocodile leather strap precious metal bracelet (gold, stainless steel) with deployment clasp.

The Chronograph Quinting (CR24H) Limited Edition
The watch is composed of previously metallised and given an anti-reflection coating sapphire crystals. The case back and the movement are engraved with a serial individual number from 1 to 24. Three first chronographs are numbered with the racing drivers' blood group. The unique transparent movement is patented. Hours, minutes, instant date hand am - pm. The chronograph has three counters to keep track of hours, minutes and seconds and it comes in black crocodile leather strap.

These models will be available by November end at Damas Les Exclusive Boutiques located in Saks Fifth Avenue, Burjuman; Emirates Towers; Burj Al Arab; Beach Rotana Btq AD, Emirates Palace AD and Mall of the Emirates.


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Luxury Phosphor Watch Debuts with E Ink Display



Art Technology Ltd announced today the launch of its Phosphor branded luxury chronometers, featuring a dual Analog-Digital wristwatch using E Inks electronic paper display technology.

Phosphor is an emerging brand in the luxury timing industry that marries sharp design with next generation technology. The Phosphor E Ink watch represents its first line of fashion watches.

The gleaming metal case features a bold geometry, generously oversized buttons and knobs, and a luxuriously thick strap. However what makes the Phosphor E Ink watch truly unique is that the entire watch dial is an E Ink Vizplex electronic paper display.

The E Ink technology depicts digital time with the look of electronic paper and can be read accurately and instantly from any angle vastly improving on dull liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that typify previous digital watches. The customizable dial allows the owner to select among styles, from the precise detail of full numerals and indices to the simplicity of no markings at all.

The phosphor watch with the ink on paper look E-INK display has a significantly better viewing angle than watches with typical Liquid Crystal displays, and a much better contrast in high brightness situations than any emissive display, said Chris King, SID Fellow, and co-founder of Planar Systems.

Previous luxury watches using E Ink displays have been limited to small editions and priced at $2,000 or more. Art Technology is selling this watch directly from its website at for $250 affordable for any watch enthusiast who will enjoy the combination of luxury and convenience of the analog-digital Phosphor E Ink watch.

E Inks cutting edge Vizplex film based electronic paper technology enables a new generation of watch devices with the following display benefits:

Ultra High Contrast: The display is made up of pure black and pure white particles, which allow the same contrast as found on a printed page; more than twice the contrast, of a conventional LCD panel. It can be easily read in either bright sunlight or in dimly lit environments.

Low Power Consumption: Since the display is readable under very low light conditions, no backlighting is required. The display also has an inherently stable 'memory effect' that requires no power to maintain an image. For these reasons, battery life can be extended.

Wide Viewing Angle: With a viewing cone of 180 degrees, the electrophoretic technology overcomes the disadvantages of conventional displays when it comes to off-axis viewing. Together with its high contrast, it allows the user to read the time at a glance from any angle.

About Art Technology Limited

Art Technology is a private Hong Kong based company that partners world-class watch production with sharp design utilizing emerging technologies. It currently markets these new watches under the Phosphor watch brand.

About E Ink Corporation

E Ink Corporation is the worlds leading supplier of electronic paper display (EPD) technologies. E Inks technology is ideal for many consumer and industrial applications spanning handheld devices, eBooks, PC-accessories, watches, clocks, and public information displays and promotional signs. E Ink is a private corporation that includes among its investors and strategic partners The Hearst Corporation, Intel Capital, Motorola, Inc., TOPPAN Printing Company, First Albany Technology Ventures, Solstice Capital and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. E Ink news can be found at:

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SARO Gem US, Inc