Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert Sets Up Foundation to Preserve Craftsmanship

The Michelangelo Foundation aims to preserve traditional artisanal crafts.

In October this year the Michelangelo Foundation was set up in Geneva, founded by Johann Rupert and Franco Cologni, according to The New York Times. Ironic given the founders’ roles in spawning the global luxury goods business, the nascent organisation aims to preserve old fashioned craftsmanship while nurturing a new generation of artisans. Focused on artisans in Europe to start with, the foundation is non-profit and independent of its founders’ business ties.

Rupert is the chairman and controlling shareholder of Richemont, the Swiss luxury conglomerate that’s the owner of brands like Cartier, IWC and Montblanc. Estimated to be worth almost US$8 billion thanks to his stake in Richemont, the South African is critical of the manner in which today’s luxury brands are turning eroded craftsmanship and diversity, though his enterprise is one of the world’s largest luxury goods firms.

As he is quoted as saying in the Times, “What’s not fun anymore is going to Bond Street or Fifth Avenue or Via Montenapoleone where the shops and product all look the same and have done now for the last 30 years because all the smaller, independent artisans have been pushed out by the retail rentals.”

Cologni, on the other hand, is an éminence grise at Richemont, having joined Cartier in 1969, before rising to the top job at the jeweller and then moving on to senior positions at Richemont, including overseeing its watch brands. Now an Advisor to the group, he played a major role in turning Cartier into the global luxury powerhouse it is today.

While the Michelangelo Foundation is independent, it shares the same Geneva address as Richemont’s headquarters, for now. More information is available on the foundation’s website.

Source: The New York Times

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Introducing the Casio G-Shock MR-G Gold Hammer Tone, Where Cutting Edge Tech Meets Hand-Crafted Bling

The top of the line G-Shock is now available with a gilded, hand-hammered finish.

The MR-G Hammer Tone is Casio’s most expensive G-Shock, an impressive piece of technology that’s also decorated meticulously by hand – and it just got an impossibly striking, all-gold facelift that might make it the coolest G-Shock ever.

Boasting dozens of functions ranging from GPS time sync to stopwatch, the MR-G Hammer Tone is powered by an 18-month battery charged by solar cells. But more importantly Hammer Tone is also a example of traditional craftsmanship, with the bezel and bracelet finished with tsuiki, a thousand-year old Japanese technique of hammering copper ware to make it more resilient.

Casio G-Shock MR-G Gold Hammer Tone 1

First introduced in titanium with a silvery finish, the Hammer Tone is now gold in its entirety. The G-Shock MR-G Gold Hammer Tone is decorated with the same traditional hammered finish, but finished with a gold coating. The gilded finish is matched with a bright blue coating on the hour markers and seconds hand.

Casio G-Shock MR-G Gold Hammer Tone 2

Casio G-Shock MR-G Gold Hammer Tone 3

The hammer finished is done in exactly the same way as before by Bihou Asano, a Kyoto-based artisan who’s the third generation of his family to specialise in tsuiki. Asano decorates every component by hand with tools specially developed to accommodate the smaller size of the bezel and bracelet links.

Casio G-Shock MR-G Gold Hammer Tone 4

Casio G-Shock MR-G Gold Hammer Tone 5

Casio G-Shock MR-G Gold Hammer Tone 6

While the look of the new MR-G Gold Hammer Tone differs strikingly from the original, it is identically sized and features the same specs. The case is 49.8mm in diameter and 16.9mm thick, while the functions include world time function, chronograph, countdown timer, alarm, perpetual calendar, battery indicator and backlight.

Price and availability

Limited to 300 pieces, the MR-G GPS Hybrid Gold Hammer Tone (ref. MRGG1000HG-9A) will be available starting January 2017, priced at US$6200, the same as the first Hammer Tone.


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