Loot – Luxury Living, Goods, Services and Reviews

The Lexus 450h Is the Mom Jeans of Luxury Crossovers

Uploaded by UUID:7953017 at 10/30/2014 5:48 PM

Porsche's 520-horsepower Cayenne Turbo SUV will get to 60mph almost a second quicker than its tiny Boxster S convertible. It's also Porsche's best-selling model.

Audi's handsome SQ5 SUV comes with 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound and adaptive cruise control. Plus LED lights and Google Earth 3D Satellite Imagery.

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Face Value: How a Patek Philippe Dial is Made

Dials with gold markers.

Making a watch dial is a highly specialized craft -- and one that often gets downplayed because watch brands outsource the difficult task. In 2004, Patek Philippe did the most Patek thing imaginable and brought production in-house by purchasing Cadrans Fluckiger, the company that had been making its dials for years. After Patek Philippe unveiled its $2.6 million Grandmaster Chime to celebrate its 175th anniversary, we paid a visit to Cadrans Fluckiger in Saint-Imier, Switzerland to see just how these dials are made.

Cut it Out

The first step to making any dial is to stamp out a brass blank (95% of Cadrans Fluckiger's dials are brass, with 5% made from gold). From there, the individual shapes can be cut out and refined. Fun fact: The machines used to create the blanks generate such strong vibrations that they have to be kept in their own wing of the factory. The work going on in the other departments is so exacting and has such small tolerances (fractions of microns, in case you were wondering) that they must be kept far, far away from the presses. This is the unromantic part of the process, but without the oil-stained fingers and clanking machines, the rest is impossible.

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Uploaded by UUID:7953017 at 10/29/2014 3:39 PM

Like most Americans, I have moments of selective Anglophilia. I've been known to channel my inner English lady by saying cheeky words ... like cheeky. I'll tabloid-stalk U.K. national treasures like the Kates (Middleton, and Moss), and I'll down a pint of Guinness at a pub. Okay, that last one has never happened, but I have watched at least two Guy Ritchie films while drinking a bottle of wine.

But mostly I have a fondness for the rich heritage and tradition behind British fashion. Everything from Savile Row (the mecca of bespoke tailoring) to the enduring influence of the British Army and, of course, the storied cobblers of Northhamptonshire. So below I have compiled a list of some of my favorite shoemakers from across the pond. And while I love and support the tried-and-trues, like John Lobb and Grenson, I've tried to label some ones you might not know or that have been hard to track down stateside, until now.

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Uploaded by UUID:7953017 at 10/29/2014 3:55 PM

The pizza is scorched at its edges, covered entirely in cheese, pocked and handsome like the face of the moon. Then there’s a shower of fragrant white truffles at the table ($60). Yes, this is a bit over the top for a pizza that is, technically, for one person. But every time you lift a slice up for a bite, you’re hit with a little more of that knee-wobbling, mind-bending perfume.

Pizza turns out to be a more interesting vehicle for truffles than a bowl of risotto or gnocchi, because you get to go at it with your hands. You get close to it, and there is so much range in texture here to enjoy than in a spoonful of rice. But a less glamorous slice -- the tripe pie -- won me over on one of my recent visits to Marta, Danny Meyer’s new restaurant in the redesigned lobby of the Martha Washington hotel.

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Fiat Chrysler announced today that it will separate Ferrari from the rest of its automotive group. That means you could own a portion of Ferrari as soon as next year when shares of the luxury sports-car brand become available.

The 100-plus-year-old automaker, which took full control of Chrysler and became FCA earlier this year, first bought a portion of Ferrari 45 years ago. Since then, the marque has flourished as the jewel in Fiat’s automotive crown under the auspices of the well-liked CEO Sergio Marchionne.

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Uploaded by UUID:7953017 at 10/28/2014 5:37 PM

This week Austin, Texas, may be the most international city in the South.

On Sunday, November 2, more than a quarter million people -- 80 percent from outside Texas and many from Europe, Asia, and South America -- will descend there to watch the 17th race of the Formula 1 Grand Prix series at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). It will be the only stop it makes in the United States.

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Uploaded by UUID:7953017 at 10/28/2014 5:05 PM

Italian jeweler Bulgari has been in the watch game since it introduced the Roma in 1975, the same year all-star consumer Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton for the second time. Since then, Bulgari has developed a comprehensive collection of timepieces, ranging from simple time-only steel watches to ornate, gem-studded chiming ones. They've also built up the infrastructure needed to create them. We sat down with Watches Design Center Senior Director Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani in New York and learned how Bulgari has developed its capabilities -- and why designing a watch is just like making a perfect martini.

From Cars to Watches

Stephen Pulvirent: How did you come to be a watch designer?

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typing room restaurant

East London was a foreign country when I was a sociology student in the mid-1970s.

We studied its inhabitants as if they were exotic tribes. Our guide was “Family and Kinship in East London,” a work of anthropology that described a white working-class community in Bethnal Green with its own rituals and relationships. The area borders the City financial district but that proximity didn’t translate into affluence.

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New Watch: Bremont ALT1-C/PW Chronograph

Uploaded by UUID:7953017 at 10/27/2014 12:40 PM

British watchmaker Bremont is all about reliability. The founders are pilots themselves, and from the outset only wanted to build watches that could survive the toughest conditions. This might not sound like a winning formula for a dress watch, but the ALT1-C/PW takes the familiar and robust ALT1-C sport chronograph and wraps it in a polished case and an understated dial. This is a dress watch for the guy who doesn't like dress watches.

First Thoughts: Bremont typically makes watches for flying vintage Spitfires and trekking across the Ross Ice Shelf, not sipping Krug and arguing about "The Death of Klinghoffer." And that's just fine -- the brand has a schtick, and, importantly, does its thing well. But this watch manages to stay true to the buff technology that defines Bremont's watches, while also adopting dressed-up tropes like a clean off-white dial, serifed Arabic numerals, and polished case. The ALT1-C/PW has a nearly identical sibling in rose gold, but the polished steel just feels much more Bremont.

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Uploaded by UUID:7953017 at 10/27/2014 12:40 PM

It was 7 o’clock where the Meatpacking District meets Chelsea, and Davide Scabin, a barrel-chested Italian chef with a silver wave of back-swept hair, was pacing his new basement kitchen.

Scabin is from Rivoli in Piedmont, where he’s famous for the flashy, modern food he serves at Combal.Zero, a glass-encased stage of a restaurant on the grounds of Castello de Rivoli, a 17th century castle and contemporary art museum.

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About Loot

Loot chronicles everything from culture to luxury goods. It's not about being rich but leading an enriched life. Commentary or analyses in this blog are the views of authors and/or commentators, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Contributors

  • James Tarmy
    James Tarmy
  • Jennifer Parker
    Jennifer Parker
  • Stephen Pulvirent
    Stephen Pulvirent
  • Nic Screws
    Nic Screws
  • Hannah Elliott
    Hannah Elliott
  • Tejal Rao
    Tejal Rao