The Swiss watchmaker Corum said Wednesday it had been acquired by China Haidian in the first purchase of a luxury Swiss watch company by a Chinese rival.
China Haidian said it had acquired 100 percent of Corum for 86 million Swiss francs ($90.9 million, 71.6 million euros).
The companies said the sale would anchor China Haidian’s position in the Swiss luxury watch sector while opening new prospects for development and positioning of the Corum brand worldwide.
“This strategic agreement fulfils the long term vision of both partners for the continued development and growth of the Corum brand,” they said in statement.
“I am very pleased with this acquisition and I firmly believe in the potential development of Corum,” China Haidian chief executive Hon Kwok Lung said.
Founded in 1955 and based in the town La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchatel, Corum is known for its gold and jewelled encrusted watches that start from 4,000 francs.
The Hong Kong-listed China Haidian Holdings Limited manufactures its own watches and also distributes selected Swiss luxury watch brands in China and throughout Asia.
China Haidian, which owns two of the top four domestic Chinese watch brands, EBOHR and ROSSINI, also owns the Swiss brand Eterna which has a license to manufacture and distribute globally “Porsche Design” watches.
The sale was announced on the eve of Baselworld, the world’s biggest watch trade fair held in the Swiss city of Basel.
Alloy Yachts’ latest launch, the 154-foot (47-meter) motor yacht Loretta Anne, has emerged from the New Zealand shipyard after 25 months of construction and was delivered to its new owners.
With sleek naval architecture by Dubois Naval Architects and a Bahamas beach house–style interior design from Donald Starkey, this contemporary vessel accommodates eight guests in four staterooms, plus eight crew in four cabins. Flamed mahogany, crotch walnut, sycamore, cherry, zebrano, cedar, and other woods along with several types of stone complement the light fabrics and sea-life details, such as seaweedlike patterns in the bulkheads, coral- and fish-print fabrics, and framed underwater seascapes. A stunning mural by Toronto-based Vaclav Vaca graces the stairway wall.
Two custom tenders designed by Fontaine Design Group and built by Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders reside in the tender garage, which opens on three sides, allowing for the perfect tender-launching and diving-in point. A Novurania RIB and a Yamaha personal watercraft are stowed on the foredeck. A spa pool on the flybridge deck offers up onboard water options, and a gym ensures space to work off the fine food taken in at one or all of the several dining areas; the main-deck aft alfresco dining table seats eight, as does the flybridge table, and the formal dining space seats ten. Plus, the yacht features three glass-fronted and backlit bars, and guests can sunbathe on the sundeck’s sunning pads.
Twin Caterpillar diesel engines give Loretta Anne a 17-knot top speed and a cruise speed of 14. The yacht has a range of 3,500 nautical miles at 14 knots. A state-of-the-art bridge with Furuno navigation and communications equipment and a helm station adjacent to the flybridge dining/lounging area provide the gear needed to get to the next port.
Rolex is pleased to present at BASELWORLD 2013 the new watches in its OYSTER collection, which are on display at its new 1,230 square-metre stand, one of the largest stands at the World Watch and Jewellery Show.
A blend of technological innovation and sophisticated aesthetics, these new Rolex models, all COSC-certified chronometers for their precision, are the latest versions of legendary watches evolving in a constant quest for perfection.
Exactly 50 years ago, in 1963, Rolex unveiled the Oyster Perpetual COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA, a chronograph designed for racing drivers and measuring speed. This watch has established an impressive track record on the racing circuits and achieved iconic status as the world’s most famous and most sought-after chronograph. In 2013, as Rolex deepens its commitment to motor racing by becoming Global Partner and Official Timepiece of Formula 1, the COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA is being offered for the first time in 950 platinum, the noblest and most precious of metals. This new model has an ice blue dial and a chestnut brown monobloc CERACHROM bezel in ceramic, which enhances the famous tachymetric scale for calculating speed.
HERITAGE AND INNOVATION
The CERACHROM bezel insert, a ceramic component developed and patented by Rolex in 2005, also takes pride of place in an innovative, ground-breaking form on the Oyster Perpetual GMT-MASTER II in 904L steel. Rolex has developed a single-piece CERACHROM bezel insert in two colours. The new GMT-MASTER II’s 24-hour bezel insert is half blue and half black, representing daytime hours and night-time hours. It echoes the traditional two-colour bezel of the original GMT-MASTER, which was created in 1955 to allow airline pilots to read the time in two different time zones simultaneously.
A PASSION FOR THE SEA
Rolex is presenting a third new model in its Professional range this year – a timekeeping instrument dedicated to yachting regattas. The Oyster Perpetual YACHT-MASTER II is available for the first time entirely in 904L steel. This revolutionary regatta chronograph, introduced in 2007 in 18 ct gold, features a unique function: a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory that responds ideally to skippers’ needs for precise timing. The rotatable RING COMMAND bezel, an unprecedented and patented interface for setting the watch, enables simple access to the sophisticated watch functions. A pure example of Rolex expertise in terms of precision, functions and reliability, the new YACHT-MASTER II in 904L steel is the benchmark for all those with a passion for sailing.
PRESTIGE AND ELEGANCE
Adding to its line of prestigious classic watches, Rolex is offering new colourful versions of the Oyster Perpetual DAY-DATE with luxurious leather straps whose elegant colours match the dials. Available in a choice of 18 ct yellow, white or EVEROSE gold, these new DAY-DATE models with fluted bezels bring a fresh touch to Rolex’s most prestigious calendar model, created in 1956.
A bezel set with baguette-cut diamonds appears as a feature of all seven models in a new DAY-DATE "SERTIE" selection in 18 ct yellow, white or EVEROSE gold graced with exclusive, sophisticated dials: mother-of-pearl creations with a floral motif decorated with gold and diamonds or an oxford motif share the limelight with fascinating gemstone dials – lapis lazuli, bull’s eye and ferrite.
Rolex is also introducing new jewelled creations that bring together precious materials and magnificent gem setting. The new Oyster Perpetual LADY-DATEJUST PEARLMASTER combines a case and bracelet in 18 ct EVEROSE gold with a bezel and bracelet links in 18 ct white gold exquisitely set with diamonds of the finest quality. The dial of this sumptuous watchmaking gem is adorned with black or white mother-of-pearl enhanced with a lotus flower motif in a pink-gold tone.
Benefiting from the rich heritage and exceptional know-how of Rolex, the new OYSTER collection models presented at BASELWORLD 2013 exemplify the expertise of an integrated and independent watchmaker that draws on uncompromising values and unequalled means to tirelessly perpetuate its passion for perfection.
[ Source ]
A convoy of cars is coming to 19 cities and eight European countries over the next seven weeks for the Aston Martin Centenary Tour.
Accompanying the 2013 Vanquish, the British carmaker’s current flagship model, will be a 1921 Aston Martin A3 – the oldest existing car from the company’s 100-year history — and of course the iconic 1963 DB5 made famous by its ongoing association with that other major UK export — James Bond.
The cars are traveling to Aston Martin dealerships throughout Europe, starting in Cologne, Germany, on April 23 and ending in Paris, France, on June 13, via Luxemburg, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, The Netherlands and Monaco.
Each stop on the tour will coincide with a number of special local events to celebrate the milestone and to help Aston Martin fans get closer to the cars.
Although the European leg of the tour will end in June, it will mark only the first stage of the company’s planned year-long celebrations.
Other events include a lap of honor for 100 lucky Aston Martin owners at the start of the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race on June 22 and a special appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California in August.
The following is a full run-down of the Centenary Tour stops:
- 25th April – Luxembourg
- 26th April – Hilversum (The Netherlands)
- 30th April – Bremen (Germany)
- 3rd May – Dresden (Germany)
- 6th May – Vienna (Austria)
- 7th May – Salzburg (Austria)
- 8th May – Munich (Germany)
- 13th May – Memmingen (Germany)
- 16th May – Milan (Italy)
- 17th May – Cadenazzo (Switzerland)
- 19th May – 21st May – N24 Adac Nürburging (Germany)
- 23 May – Stuttgart (Germany)
- 24th May – Düsseldorf (Germany)
- 29th May – Kronberg (Germany)
- 1st June – Safenwil (Switzerland)
- 6th June – Monaco
- 11th June – Lyon (France)
- 12th June – Bordeaux (France)
- 13th June – Paris (France)
Much like football, played on beaches with passion and flamboyance, the Brazilian bikini captures the essence of the country, with its colorful designs, cheeky cut and undoubtedly sexy style.
The best of Brazil's bikinis and swimwear was on display last week at the summer edition of Fashion Rio, attracting a growing number of foreign clients.
From micro, string mini to maxi and pieces that can be worn day or night, there was enough to satisfy all tastes.
"There are changes in the model to cater to the foreign market, which finds the Brazilian bikini small," said Thomaz Azulay, creative director of Blue Man, a popular Brazilian brand founded in the 1970s.
Vibrant colors, joyful prints combining flowers, birds and typically Brazilian landscapes, and high quality materials, are the trademarks of Blue Man's swimsuits.
"The entire swimwear production became more sophisticated and can be used off the beach, as body," said Azulay.
Brazil's bikini queen, Lenny Niemeyer, meanwhile showcased her elegant lines of swimwear, with minimalist shapes and a less daring cut.
"For this season, the most used fabrics were lycra, vinyl, tulle, silk, and metallic tubes of various sizes, adorned with gold and silver," said Maria Isabel Fioravanti, a partner in the Triya brand, which presented digital prints with vibrant colors and graphic shapes.
To survive in a highly competitive market, Brazilian brands count on innovation, in terms of shapes as well as fabric and metal.
"What we admire is the way in which the Brazilian woman uses the bikini and the pride she has in her body," said Simona Martinez, fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar Argentina.
"I think this gave designers the inspiration to create and develop a more interesting concept, which for us is rather admirable."
Alejandra Montaner, owner of the Spanish boutique with the same name, came to do business at Fashion Rio for the second time. She said she was attracted by the cut of the materials and their bright colors.
On the sidelines of Fashion Rio, new local brand Casa Mosquito also boasted its female and male swimwear collection -- in a variety of colors and material in Copacabana's Cantagalo favela.
The collection was designed by ModaFusion, a Franco-Brazilian association, and put together by seamstresses from another shantytown in northern Rio.
To boost exports and promote the image of national brands, the Brazilian Association of Stylists last year launched "Beach Brazil," a project to promote 24 beachwear brands abroad, with advertising campaigns, research, events and business fairs.
"With globalization, we cannot just be a Brazilian brand. We have to be a brand made in Brazil but which speaks with the world," said Blue Man's Azulay.
For Triya, exports -- amounting to 5,000 pieces a year -- represent 20 percent of sales.
"We have a showroom in New York, a distributor in Japan and take part in international shows," said Triya's Fioravanti.
Brazilian Association of Textile and Garment Industry (ABIT) chief Fernando Pimentel highlighted the challenge the industry faces in exporting its products.
"The Brazilian company has to face not only international competitors. It must also contend with the Chinese state, with its subsidies deemed illegal," he explained.
Poor infrastructure, an abundance of red tape and a prohibitive tax burden also stifle business, he explained.
Brazilian beachwear grosses $1.9 billion annually, according to ABIT. Exports totaled $10.4 million, mainly to the United States, Portugal and Italy.
But why is the tiny bikini so much more expensive than other garments?
"The making of the bikini is as complex as that of a piece of silk. And a beachwear brand has the same structure as a ready-to-wear brand," said Azulay.
As summer draws near, Maison Rabih Kayrouz has announced that it is opening its first boutique in Saint-Tropez.
This new establishment featuring pieces by the Lebanese designer will be a stone’s throw away from the famous Place des Lices on rue Gambetta. It has been entirely designed by the architect and scenographer Christophe Martin.
Customers will discover a dressing room, a mini hall of mirrors and collections of light flowing dresses and cotton pieces.
As part of the launch, Maison Rabih Kayrouz has designed a limited edition collection of summer essentials, from printed sarongs and purses to colorful pashminas.
Lightness and femininity might be thought of as the two butterflies of the Van Cleef & Arpels Two Butterfly jewelry collection.
Perhaps is it grace and beauty instead? Whatever the case, the butterfly is a cherished trope in Van Cleef & Arpels' oeuvre and the Parisian jeweler revisits it in the Two Butterfly collection, which as the name suggests, features highly detailed and dazzling miniature sculptures of butterflies, quite often in pairs. A prime example of course are earrings, which usually do come in pairs, but also the Between the Finger Rings. We especially like this trademarked creation from Van Cleef & Arpels. Besides these, the Two Butterfly collection also features necklaces. As an aside, we commend Van Cleef & Arpels for mixing materials here and choosing matching colored gemstones (pink sapphires for pink gold, and so on).
This is the all-new Maserati Ghibli, and it marks the first step in the manufacturer's plan to increase sales from 6,000 to 50,000 cars a year by 2015.
The Quattroporte’s baby brother is aimed straight at the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, and is the first Maserati ever to feature a diesel engine.
It’s a shock move, but Maserati claims this isn’t any old diesel – the 270bhp 3.0-litre V6 is designed by former Ferrari F1 engine boss Paulo Martinelli, and will be built at the Ferrari factory in Modena. The rest of the car will be assembled at the ex-Bertone plant in Turin.
Petrol fans will be well catered for with a choice of two twin-turbo V6 engines. The less powerful of these will produce around 330bhp, while the range-topper (also offered in the Quattroporte) will deliver closer to 410bhp.
It will also feature a Q4 four-wheel-drive system in Europe, although that version won’t make it to the UK. All Ghiblis will come exclusively with an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
With a concave grille, slim headlights and holes punched in its flanks, the visual similarities to its sibling are striking, and the close ties continue under the skin.
Based on a shortened version of the Quattroporte’s steel and aluminium chassis, the Ghibli measures in at around 4.9 metres – a few centimetres shorter than the previous-generation Quattroporte.
The interior appears to share its basic architecture with that car, too, but is finished in more modern colours and materials.
Maserati has confirmed that every Ghibli will come loaded with high-end kit such as leather upholstery, sat-nav and arch-filling wheels.
Prices will reflect this, but still mark a new entry point to Maserati ownership. The diesel is expected to start from below £50,000 and the lower-powered V6 turbo at around £55,000, while the range-topping V6 turbo will come in at just over £60,000.
The Ghibli made its public debut at the Shanghai Motor Show
The idyllic Greek island where Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis has reportedly been sold by his sole surviving heir for £100million.
According to Greek media, Aristotle's granddaughter Athina Onassis Roussel agreed to sell the island of Skorpios, in the Ionian Sea, to a Russian billionaire.
The jewel in the Ionian Sea off the western coast of Greece was bought by the Greek shipping mogul in 1962, when it was said to have cost just 3.5million drachmas, the equivalent of about £10,000.
In 1968 the paradise island played host to quite the wedding party when Aristotle married Jackie Kennedy – the widow of the late President John F Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.
In an intimate Greek Orthodox ceremony – which was the second marriage for both bride and groom – Jackie wore a lace-covered beige bridal gown by Italian couturier Valentino. Among the guests were the bride's mother and her husband, two of President Kennedy's sisters and Jackie's children.
As a result of the marriage, the much loved former First Lady was given a new name in the media – one by which she arguably became best known – Jackie O. Following the nuptials, the newlyweds made their way to Aristotle's famous yacht, named Cristina, where they celebrated with their friends and family.
As Mrs Onassis, Jacqueline divided her time between the Skorpios Island and her husband's home in Paris with her children. The forested island, heavily wooded with trees that Aristotle had planted, is largely untouched, apart from luxury details such as tennis courts, lush gardens, the Pink House villa originally built for Jackie O, a helicopter landing pad and a boat quay. The late tycoon also shipped in sand from a nearby island to create an artificial beach.
Jackie also had a small and beautiful Cyclades-style cottage built in a quiet cove on the private island to embrace the breathtaking views and tranquility.
Their marriage lasted six years until Aristotle died aged 69, when Jackie returned to New York and Skorpios passed to the Greek shipping tycoon's daughter Christina, who died of a heart attack aged 37 in 1988, and then to her daughter Athina.
Aristotles was buried on the paradise island. His daughter and his son, Alexander, who sadly died in a plane crash in 1973, are also buried there.
According to Greek press contracts for the purchase of the private island are being drawn up by law firms in Athens and Geneva.
Giorgio Armani, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and Madonna have all reportedly been interested in buying the tiny island.
Being the first company to launch a musical wristwatch and the most expensive Android phone, Ulysse Nardin is specifically known for luxury timepieces that are patronized by divers, sailors and those adventurers who encounter water bodies often.
With a rich oceanic history under its belt, Ulysse Nardin has once again launched luxurious timepieces that are water resistant.
For 2013, the company has added a new edition to its Black Sea line of watches which are highly durable and athletic in nature. The stainless steel case comes coated with vulcanized rubber which not only enhances comfort and flexibility but also the watch’s ability to withstand extreme conditions.
Ulysse Nardin Black Sea watch comes with a unidirectional turning bezel which helps divers to stay safe.
Thanks to the rubberized screw crown, the watch comes with a water resistance of up to 200 meters. Two ceramic elements and a rubber strap enhance the watch’s sturdiness. The watch comes with elegance, style and class that would make even non-divers to crave for a timepiece like this.
Ulysse Nardin Black Sea watch comes with Calibre UN-26 and 28 jewels with a power reserve of approximately 48 hours. This self-winding watch is certainly a diver’s best friend when it comes to staying in touch with times.