Philippe Rochat in Singapore

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Mr Rochat preparing dinner for Hublot in Singapore

Last week Michelin-starred Swiss chef Philippe Rochat, regarded by some as the best chef in Switzerland, was in Singapore to cook for several clients, including Hublot. Along with Mr Rochat, some twenty members of his restaurant staff, along with ingredients for all the meals, were flown in Singapore for a spectacular meal.

During the dinner Hublot unveiled the Big Bang Black Caviar Carat, which is the Black Caviar watch set with baguette diamonds on the bezel. There is some irony in this watch for the Black Caviar has a case and bezel of polished, facetted black ceramic that resembles black diamonds. Mr Rochat is good friends with Jean-Claude Biver of Hublot, so naturally Mr Biver’s famous La Neuvaz cheese was served at the dinner. Throughout my repeated trips to Switzerland I had always wanted to dine at his restaurant but never had the chance, now I am exceptionally glad I did. Mr Rochat, whose Restaurant de L’Hôtel de Ville is in Crisser, Lausanne, will be retiring in April 2012. He will be succeeded by Benoît Violier. – SJX

Hublot Big Bang Black Caviar Carat
From left: Ricardo Guadalupe, Managing Director of Hublot; Philippe Rochat and Dr Henry Tay of The Hour Glass

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A look at the Panerai PAM390 special edition

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Thanks to a gentleman collector I had the chance to see the PAM 390 special edition today. A few months ago Panerai announced the Luminor Base PAM00390 to be sold exclusively at Panerai boutiques. It has a 44 mm steel Luminor case, tobacco dial (painted, not sandwich) and gold hands. It is delivered with the wonderfully textured Assolutamente strap; the strap on the watch pictured is not the original strap.

Case back is solid, engraved with a mini submarine, and the movement inside is the Unitas derived OP I movement. Essentially this is an entry level watch, a PAM000 Logo fitted with a different dial.

2000 pieces will be made, insufficient to meet all demand of course. These are already available at Panerai boutiques. 

Retail is a reasonable EUR3400 or so. But given the frantic demand for this watch I am sure it will be trading at a premium (or already is).

Between this and the other vintage looking Luminor for 2011, the Luminor 1950 PAM372 , I very much prefer the 372. The PAM390 is trying too hard to look vintage, in my humble opinion. But like I said, this will be a hot watch.

– SJX

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