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Passion

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Breguet

Breguet unveils the blue version of the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique

In 2020, Breguet adorns the dial of its Extra-Thin Self-Winding Tourbillon with a touch of deep blue, by using the traditional grand feu enamel technique. There are a limited number of artisans still capable of mastering this age-old process, which was dear to Abraham-Louis Breguet, as he appreciated the spotless aspect it conferred on watches. Not surprising, given that he had revolutionised watchmaking aesthetics by ridding watches of heavy and superfluous decoration. Today, Breguet keeps this art alive with a workshop entirely dedicated to enamelling.

Beyond providing decoration to the dial, enamel work is a particularly specialised craft, one requiring rigor, patience, and technical mastery. After going through stages of grinding and cleaning, the enamel is applied with a brush to the gold dial while still wet, in a thin and consistent layer. It is then heated in a furnace at a temperature higher than 800°C. The final result is obtained by adding several layers of enamel until the desired color is reached. For the new timepiece, the hue is a blend of a number of blue nuances. The final step consists of gentle polishing before the dial is placed in the furnace one last time and this step provides it with its natural sheen. The dial’s gold elements are then beveled in a workshop dedicated to this revered craft. Then the different indicators are applied on the dial. In keeping with the very distinctive method, artisans provide a striking depth effect within the dial itself to the Breguet numerals, the hours chapter and seconds chapter, and the logo. The range of blues also emphasises the powdered silver indicators. Another subtle detail can be found above the tourbillon carriage: the famous secret signature. Introduced in 1795 by Abraham-Louis Breguet, it is a guarantee of authenticity that helped in the fight against counterfeits, which were already a problem at the time. Breguet places the signature on the majority of its models these days for decorative purposes, as homage to its founder.

Under the dial, lies the beating heart of the watch, with its minimalist design – the 581 caliber, which distinguishes itself through its finesse and technical performance. Breguet’s thinnest tourbillon movement showcased within this timepiece is no thicker than 3 millimeters, with the total case thickness measuring 7.45 millimeters. Placed between 4 and 6 o’clock, the tourbillon is housed in a titanium carriage that features a made-to-measure escapement and a silicon Breguet balance spring that oscillates at a frequency of four hertz, which is particularly high for a tourbillon balance spring. The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367 boasts an 80-hour power reserve thanks to its high-energy barrel, a concept patented by Breguet. Available exclusively at Breguet boutiques around the world, this new release in platinum features a blue alligator leather strap.

www.breguet.com

Fotos: © Breguet

“Art is life”

Mario Mazzoleni ranks as one of the most renowned gallerists in Italy and the greatest collector of Andy Warhol’s works. But he would still save his family first in a house fire. “I am not materialistic.”, claims Mazzoleni. At what point he considers a picture to be too expensive, what makes Warhol such an exceptional artist and why his passion for art collection does not replace a lack of motherly love.

Mr Mazzoleni, do you remember the first work of art that you purchased?
I remember it very well. It was a beautiful drawing on wood from Gianfranco Ferroni, a prominent Italian painter. I bought it directly from him, with my savings; I was fifteen at the time.

Sotheby’s grossed a record price of 157 million dollars last year for the painting „Nu couché “(to the left) from Amedeo Modigliani. Is that not absurd?
The art market is evolving more and more in this direction. I would not say absurd but certainly exaggerated. As long as there are interested parties willing to pay that sort of money for a painting, there will be prices of this magnitude. I like the fact that there are people who would rather pay these amounts of money for a piece of art than for a yacht.

When does a picture become too expensive?
When the price exceeds the quality. Unfortunately these days art is more about marketing and less about technique. I see an abundance of improvisation, in particular in the case of young artists. Major galleries are encouraging critics, who feel an affinity to works that have little substance. A good balance is important. The quality should justify the price.

Have you ever paid too much for a picture?
No, my foundation is extremely vigilant with regards to price and quality.

Which piece of art shaped your understanding of art in the long term?
I was born in Caravaggio’s country. Even as a child I was fascinated by his sculptures. In my opinion Caravaggio is the greatest artist of all.

Another artist who you hold in high regard: Andy Warhol. What makes his work so special?
Warhol was a genius. Eccentric and talented. I had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions. His works have become increasingly popular for collectors over the years. More than anyone else he understood how to make marketing work for his creations. But that required a lot of skill. He strongly influenced the contemporary art scene. The idea of the factory was simply brilliant and led to a series of similar projects throughout the whole world. It is unfortunate that he was a one-off. The world needs a thousand Andy Warhols.

Is there still one piece of his art that you simply have to have?
I would claim to already have his most interesting works and relicts. Starting with Michael Jackson‘s guitar, signed by the pop star and Warhol personally, to the invitation sent to Marilyn Monroe for the exhibition at Castelli’s gallery, through to Mao. My last acquisition was a purple coloured electric chair, the 85th from a total of 250 copies. A beautiful, historical work.

Is it objectionable to collect art for purely financial interests, without understanding its beauty?
Yes, absolutely. I cannot understand how someone can view art as merely a commodity. I only purchase and collect art works that thrill me and that tell a story. I would never exhibit a painting in my gallery, which I don’t like or that does not convey a message.

What do you say to Sigmund Freud‘s theory: Collectors are compensating for the deprivation they suffered as a child due to a lack of maternal love?
I admire Sigmund Freud, a great thinker, and of course he was right. For my part I can only say that it is pure passion. I grew up with pictures under my bed. I always lived and breathed art, it has been implanted in me, do you understand? And for this reason my foundation means so much to me, it is about creating my own museum to give the younger generation an understanding of art, to make it available to them free-of-charge.

It has been proven that creative people are less aggressive. If we give young people an understanding of art, can we impel them to create art themselves?
I constantly see so many pieces of art and buildings that have been destroyed by vandals without any respect for our past and culture. Young people are often distracted by the wrong things, they prefer a tablet to a book, would rather go to the shopping centre than to a museum. That’s exactly why museums should be free-of-charge for all those under 21 years of age.

Because if you understand art, you affirm life, at least its beauty?
Exactly. Art is emotion, it is life. It is our duty to love it.

 

Photos Copyrights: Mario Mazzoleni LDS

Real Pearls

Fortunately the French consider it unrefined to make a toast- otherwise there could be a case for disturbance of the peace in Maison Perrier Jouèt. It is after all typical for the company that maybe one or two glasses more are consumed here than at home.

”There are three intolerable things in life: cold coffee, lukewarm champagne, and overexcited women“, as Orson Welles once said. One thing is certain, the American actor would have felt right at home in the Perrier-Jouët estate. Those who have been fortunate enough to gain access through the art nouveau gateway of the traditional company in French Champagne, will always receive sparkling wine at the perfect temperature.

It has to be said that in the French city of Épernay there is an Avenue de Champagne that is, as it were, the Melrose Place of all renowned Champagne producers. From Moët Chandon to Veuve Cliquot through to Ruinart – an impressive neighborhood around Maison Perrier-Jouët. There is a good reason why all are gathered at one location.

Only those who have their company and more importantly their vines in the earth in this region, have the right to produce sparkling wine and to call it Champagne as well as being allowed to bear the title Appelation d’Origine Protegée on the label. In the case of Perrier-Jouët this has been the case for roughly 200 years and hardly any other company can look back on such a wonderful history.

When Monsieur Thierry opens the door of Maison Belle Époque in his green uniform and produces a winning smile under a twirled moustache, the journey into the past has begun. No one can tell the love story of the former gentlemen of the house as well as the company concierge. It was 1811 when the cork supplier Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and his wife Rose Adélaide Jouët (whose family produced Calvados),founded the company Perrier-Jouët at exactly this spot. A rarity at the time, not least due to the fact that the maiden name of madame was allowed to be integrated, a little sensation. Thanks to Thierry and Brand Education Ambassador Giacomo Fanzio we can learn about the family’s love of the fine arts and nature. Son Charles turned out to be a top botanist, who excelled in his field with 300 types of Orchid and the growth of the vine and also had the honor of presenting the British Queen Victoria with a bottle from his parents company for the first time in 1861. His brother-in-law’s sons, Henri and Octave, then engaged the services of their friend the artist Emile Gallé, who designed the Japanese anemone on the Champagne bottle– the company’s trademark to date. Celebrating life with all its wonderful facets, providing a contrast to the grey of industrialization and making Perrier-Jouët the symbol of the Belle Époque – the era of the beautiful – should in no small measure be attributed to this trio.

At the end of the day there is a particular highlight waiting at the pretty company bar: The cellar master, with the company for a number of years, Hervé Deschamps and his successor Séverine Frerson have just come back from the harvest to attend the final dinner. A gift, because these are obviously people who have devoted their life to the production of premium Champagne, no average representatives. We learn that: „Champagne can be drunk at any time of the day and there should be many more menus with a champagne accompaniment!“ (Hervé) and: „Ladies and gentlemen have a different approach to tasting Champagne – therefore it is always rewarding if both opinions are combined!“ (Séverine).

And while far below us, in the dimly lit cellar passageways behind heavy grille doors the oldest bottle of Champagne in the world is resting (from 1825!) and the Rosé-Champagne composed by Hervé, Grand Brut and Blanc de Blanc, fortunately, no longer have to be part of an American Dinner from 1850. At the time the taste was rather sweet and in one bottle of sparkling wine there was significantly more sugar than in a Coca Cola. „Unpalatable syrup!“, laughs Fanzio.

By the way we have the British Empire to thank for the fact that we in Europe found the right taste path – they had as a colonial power come into contact with strongly spiced Indian dishes and suddenly had a need for refreshing, dry sparkling wine. Only one thing left to say: God save the Queen and – Santé!

 

Photos Copyrights: Perrier Jouët