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It is by now old news that Panerai are marrying exotic and luxurious travel experiences to some of their most limited watches this year. And I have to say that I do envy the lucky clients that can dig out 35.000 EUR from the depth of their pockets to join these experiences that Panerai put on with their ambassadors. The experiences are unique, and the watches are all supercool.

During SIHH I had a chance to sit down with the man who put his name on one of the novelties. Guillaume Néry is the new ambassador for Panerai.
I must admit I had never heard of the dude before, but according to my French friend, he is a legend. Guillaume Néry is a world renowned freediver with several records and a huge social media following.

With a history like Panerai, building a relationship with a diver is just common sense really. And Guillaume Néry is also a personality that fit right into their already established partnership with Mike Horn, and their quest for a sustainable future for the oceans.

Guillaume Néry Panerai
Guillaume Néry Panerai

Who is this guy?

Guillaume lives half the year in Nice and the other half in the South Pacific, the French Polynesia. He has been diving non-stop for years, pushing boundaries, but then suddenly everything changed.

– In 2015, I had an accident and I stopped this quest of records, but I’m still diving. I’m still sometimes competing, but with another approach. I’m trying new experiences, which are not specifically like pushing world records limits, but more trying new things. Last year, I did a competition, I tried to go as deep as possible with almost nothing. Just a swim suit in the Mediterranean Sea.

– The idea was to make a challenge with my body and my mind to face the cold water and try to find deep inside of me the resources to find a good connection even in very hostile conditions.

– I mean for me, free-diving is like a philosophy. It’s like a lifestyle. I can enjoy just going a few meters, and just relax as much as possible. Trying to feel the connection with the sea and the ocean.
I can also enjoy exploring new places and encounter wild animals. The Sperm Whale, for instance, was very special.
Sperm Whales are very special because of what they mean to us. They are the are the animal that can dive the deepest and they can stay under for more than one hour, on one breath. On top of that, they look very special. Their looks are in between a space creatures and a submarine. They’re also very, very intelligent animals in the way they communicate, and the way they interact.

The experience

These are the exceptional sentiments and feelings Guillaume Néry and Panerai will try to convey to a group of privileged clients that will travel with him to his home base on the island of Mo’orea in the French Polynesia. It is here the 15 clients will get a unique opportunity to dive with the legend.

– I think that, at the end, that’s the best way to get people to really understand what it means. To experience. I really love that new way of sharing with the customers. Creating experience.

– There’ll maybe be people that never tried a mask on in their life. If after two or three days I can give them just a taste of the magic, I think they will remember for the rest of their life the meaning of what they had just bought. It’s not just a watch, it’s a story.

Check out the new film by Guillaume Néry

The watch – PAM983

Clients will be accompanied by a glorious Submersible for the experience. A P.9100 flyback chronograph movement sit in a 47 mm titanium watch case with a matte black DLC coating. A ceramic rotating bezel surround the highlight of the watch, a beautiful textured blue degradé dial with sea-foam green coloured accents and hands.

In my opinion Panerai may be pushing their limits whit the direction of marketing and selling these watches, but it is a bold move. And I applaud both the sympathetic and well-intentioned ambassadors and the design of the watches. I really, really hope they can pull it off.

PAM983
PAM983

Check also Guillaume Néry on Facebook

This year I attended SIHH in Geneva for the first time. It was a crazy week and I needed some distance to it before I could write about it. Being a noob in that environment is hard. What to do, were to go, who to talk to – that was my questions before I left my safe office. Thanks to a couple of hardened friends I figured out I had to be everywhere, do everything and talk to as many people as I could. And I did.

For those of you who have not been there, SIHH is a watch fair were brands unveil their novelties for the year. Dealers, journalists and VIPs join in on the fun for the whole week. I was invited by Richemont and went there as a journalist. Before I left I had a wish to see brands and watches that I have never seen or rarely see in Norway. Brands like Audemars Piguet, Kari Voutilinen, HYT, MB & F, Ulysse Nardin, Greubel Forsey, and many more, does not have a Norwegian dealer and is hard to find and study in the flesh here. The SIHH fair is also an opportunity to see and experience rare watches that I will probably never see again, like the new L’ASTRONOMO by Panerai.

Here is my list of what to remember if you decide to go to SIHH (based on hard learned experience):

DOs:

  • Learn the 3 kiss greeting – you may find a norwegian hug cozy, but it is very inappropriate.
  • Hang with a young crowd – they will often say “whaaat….you don’t look forty!” – It’s really amazing.
  • Go to Vacheron Constantin for morning coffee. They have the best barista and coffee in the building.
  • Dress nice. Remember that it is only Kristian Haagen that is allowed to wear beat up cargo pants. He’s earned it, you haven’t.

DONT’s:

  • Not everyone understand Scandinavian humour, and don’t use irony. Ever.
  • Never take off your shoes in public after a long day in the Expo hall.
  • Most important. Never drop a 1 mill EUR watch on the floor – It went well, not a scratch to the watch, but I thought for a second the lady would have a heart attack. I guess I will be banned from ever going to SIHH again.

So that’s it. Learn from a noob.

The rest will be a picture heavy feature. I always intend to give you good quality shots of watches. So it may take some time to load page.

Best of SIHH 2018

SIHH is also an overwhelming sensory experience. All the brands represent themselves with luxurious stands showcasing their watches and novelties.
From the second I entered the massive expo hall I was like a kid in a candy store. Design, artwork, food, drinks, loud music and watches just kept coming at me. Non-stop. So much fun!

Some brands had more interesting novelties than others, and I will try to give you my honest opinion on the best ones. Bare in mind that I like a classic look but I am also weak for modern madness. You’ll seewhen I expose my favorite novelty at the end of this post.

Panerai

If you followed the releases this year you may ask why Panerai is on my best of list. And you are absolutely right. They did not release anything very exciting this year. But what they did was to renew their whole base model lineup. What that means is that they decided to spend SIHH this year scrapping ebauche movements and introducing in-house movements on all their watches. I am all for that!

Also exciting is that they introduced 38 mm Luminor Due. For a smaller wrist  as they say themselves in their presskit. In Scandinavia that is a synonym for ladies. I will finally consider getting a Panerai for my wife.

IWC

Celebrating a 150th anniversary is not something you forget in the watchindustry. And IWC did not either. I had pretty high hopes for this year and I must say that I was a little disappointed at the beginning of the week. Their release was not what I had hoped for. But then I had the opportunity to spend almost an hour fondling their novelties. By the end of that hour I was sold.
What IWC did this year was to introduce lacquered dials on a wide range of their models. Pilots, Portuguese, Portofino, and Da Vinci will be seen in 12 layers of white or blue lacquer. And the new references inspired by the Pallweber pocket watches.

The Pallweber in red gold.IWC Schaffhausen Pallweber SIHH 2018

And the new perpetual calendar with the lacquer dial.IWC perpetual calendar 150th

The beautiful Annual Calendar Pilots watch.IWC Pilots annual calendar sihh 2018 blue

Jaeger LeCoultre

I guess no one could really miss the Polaris release this year. In the norwegian community it certainly stirred up the interest for Jaeger LeCoultre. I have always been a fan of vintage inspired watches, but lately there have just been too many. And as rumors started going about the Polaris being reintroduced a few days before the official release I was sceptical.
Jaeger LeCoultre nailed it! What a beauty. And about time they celebrated this iconic diver.

The MemovoxJaeger LeCoultre Polaris Memovox SIHH 2018

And the good looking golden chronographJaeger LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph Gold SIHH 2018

A. Lange & Söhne

While everyone was talking about the new and groundbreaking triple split I set my eyes on a classic beauty. First I want to say that I cannot be objective when it comes to A. Lange & Söhne. I love what they are trying to do. Making classic after classic and always with an eye for developing new and complicated movements. Always true to their design language and philosophy. You may call them conservative, but I find them to be nothing but uncompromising.

Well, the new Saxonia Moon Phase is nothing but beautiful. It comes in both white and pink gold.alangesohne saxonia moon phase sihh 2018

Another personal favourite was the new 1815 chronograph. I have said it many times. I love that watch.alangesohne 1815 chronograph sihh 2018

And I have to have the triple split in here. Front may look unsuspicious at first glance but the back reveals a complicated watch. Exactly what I am talking about. Design is classic, complication is groundbreaking.alangesohne triple split sihh 2018

alangesohne triple split back sihh 2018

Girard Perregaux

I have to say that I knew nothing about this brand before SIHH. Nothing.
Of course I had seen pictures and had heard about the brand, but I had never touched one, and I had never really buried myself in the details.
I found the Laureato Ceramic Skeleton to be very interesting. The Laureato is a classic GP design, but in the all black ceramic dress and light as a feather it was a nice acquaintance.GP Girard Perregaux Laureato Skeleton Ceramic SIHH 2018

Audemars Piguet

Already trapped in their own Royal Oak they did not release anything but this year. Not of importance anyway. I have no idea what happened to the rest of the references from this respected manufacture.
Still they continue to develop this line of watches with new technical achievements every year.

As with many of the other brands rumors started going in the days before SIHH and pictures of the novelties were revealed. I was once again sceptical before I had my appointment with AP.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore. Even though I liked the reedition of the 1993 model of the Offshore my heart skipped a beat when I saw the new case and bezel on the Tourbillon Chronograph. Audemars Piguet is one of the houses that bring us contemporary design features and they are constantly reinterpreting their classic Royal Oak. Watch nerds find this irritating, but I find it refreshing. At least for Audemars Piguet. This has been a strategic direction for them with the Royal Oak for the last few decades. And I like their Rock’n Roll attitude towards their heritage.
I guess similar stunts for the Patek Philippe Nautilus would be heavily frowned upon, even by me.

Audemars Piguet SIHH 2018 Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph

Audemars Piguet SIHH 2018 Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph

The Offshore Chronograph in camo colors was interesting in the flesh.Audemars Piguet Offshore Camo

And of course the RD2 – the 6.3 mm thick perpetual calendar.Audemars Piguet RD2 SIHH 2018

Vacheron Constantin

To finish off with my choice for Best in Show 2018 – the introduction of a new line from Vacheron Constantin – Fiftysix.
Inspired by the ref.6073 from 1956 (of course) they now offer a 40 mm rounded case and almost sector like dials on this new lineup. This was really a much needed facelift to their Quai de l’ile models. I never could swallow that case. In my opinion they now have a much more elegant watch with the elegance I expect from the maison.

Here is the Complete Calendar in pink gold.Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix 56 complete calendar sihh 2018

And the Day Date in steel.Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix 56 day date sihh 2018

That pretty much sums it up. Remember to follow my Instagram for pictures of all the great watches from this year.
And visit my book store.

 

Oslo is a beautiful city. All year round. Whether you are a resident or just happen to visit Oslo from out of town you should go to the cocktail bar with the greatest view of the city – Summit Bar.

From here you get to see the Oslo fjord and the whole city. And enjoy a great cocktail as well. The locals visit the lounge bar for a romantic date or business meeting and the ambience is relaxed.

A couple of weeks back I visited the bar that was famous back in the 80’s as Oslos premium skybar. I had shied this bar for years but now rumors were going that the bar had been heavily refurbished and had modernised every square centimeter. So finally I went.

Summit Oslo

Summit Oslo

You cannot avoid the first impression of the spectacular view. It hits you straight in the face when you exit the escalator on the 21st floor of the Radisson Blu Scandinavia. Unfolding before your eyes, the view of the city and the fjord is magnificent. Once inside the bar you will see the lounges designed by the respected architects at Snøhetta.

Snøhetta have created an intimate yet open atmosphere through contrasting the view with the interior. Interior design choices evidently tie the fjord in the front to the mountains in the back. The colour palette and use of materials is striking and consequently create a modern look and feel.

On a side note I do recommend a visit to the mens room. You better not be shy.

Summit Oslo

Bartenders are well educated and friendly. They make really, really good cocktails with a modern and Scandinavian twist. I like that they are exploring contemporary tastes and styles rather than going safe and boring.

Summit Bar is all in all a nice place for an after-shopping or pre-dinner cocktail. For now still undetected by most locals.

Find your way.

Summit Oslo

 

Being on a trip sometimes bring you to places that you never thought to visit. The Mercedes Benz Museum is to me one of those places.

I am not a big fan of museums. I have visited a lot of them, but I usually find them quite boring. And that is why I want to share this special place with you. In just 30 seconds walking through the main entrance and into the grand and welcoming hall my mind instantly went from boredom to enthusiasm. The Mercedes Benz Museum building is looking exciting from the outside because of the architecture, but so many museums do. On the inside on the other hand it is looking like a science fiction movie set with elegant and appropriate time capsules bringing visitors to the upper floors where the exhibition tour starts.

Stuttgart, GERMANY - MARCH 08: A general view during a pre-event prior to the 74th Goodwood Members‘ Meeting on March 9, 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC)

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

The architecture of the 7 storey building is constructed as a double helix to indicate that you are now inside the DNA of Mercedes Benz. The exhibition halls are also following a double helix pathway connected to lead the visitor from one beautiful car to another. The design of the building is also perfect to show off the heritage and history of MB as well as the evolution of technology and aesthetics through time.

The tour starts at the beginning with Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz and their cars from 1886. In the end you are at present time, but you will have seen everything. Formula 1 cars, Silver Arrows, buses and tractors. A bike, an early boat, emperors limousines and motion picture cars. You will have seen all the icons of car history.

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

One moment stuck with me from my visit to the museum. The sun was setting while we were looking at the entire history of Formula 1 safety cars. This is both the history of Mercedes Benz and Formula 1. At the moment it is the Mercedes Benz AMG GTS that saves the day at the Formula 1 race track.

In short this museum has it all. You may be interested in cars, but the Mercedes Benz Museum goes beyond cars in my opinion. Beautiful design in a beautiful setting, history and technology hand in hand. Even your wife and kids will have a good time!

Visit this summer. Stuttgart is the nearest airport.

Tickets are only 8.00 EUR for adults and complimentary for kids below the age of 15.

SPhoto by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Stuttgart, GERMANY - MARCH 08: A general view during a pre-event prior to the 74th Goodwood Members‘ Meeting on March 9, 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC)

 

 

Rimowa Topas Stealth Electronic Tag

On March 14th Rimowa launched their new Electronic Tag which solves the last problem in the digitalization of travelling. We have had the opportunity to travel paperless for quite a few years now. We can even check in from our kitchen during breakfast on our smartphone. Now finally it is the end of the luggage tag with Rimowa’s Electronic Tag.

In the near future airlines will send digital luggage tags with your electronic ticket. Rimowa have now integrated a module in the suitcase where you can upload your luggage tag from your smartphone. The display on the module will show your tag directly on the suitcase and the information is identical to what was on the old luggage tag.

When you arrive at the airport you may place your bag directly on the luggage belt at the check-in and move on towards security. The whole check-in procedure will be over and done with within seconds.

This new concept is called Smart Bag among all airlines but no one have yet to start the evolution of travel. Rimowa is the first luggage manufacturer to provide this concept to their customers. Together with Lufthansa they decided it was about time to implement the future of travelling with the Electronic Tag. All other airlines is expected to follow. Quickly.

Rimowa Electronic Tag

 

Radisson Blu Royal is perhaps an unoriginal choice. Why not go for the excellent independent boutique hotels or the ecologically oriented hotel trend of Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is a city that I find myself returning to every now and then. I stayed in Denmark for 6 years during my time in University, so I know that both the country and the city has a lot to offer. Still I end up in the same hotel every time I visit Copenhagen.

Why is that?

Well, I am a travel freak. I can still remember the joy of paper wrapped bars of soap on the SAS flights and how I got miniature soda cans served up in real glassware. I remember the ice cold metal cutlery and the joyful and proud cabin crew. Those days are definitely over, but I still have a rather romantic portrayal of travelling. I believe that is why I always come back to  Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen. Here you can almost touch and smell the bygone era of travelling.

The hotel opened in 1960 and was the first true design hotel of the world. Arne Jacobsen, the famous danish architect, was responsible for the design, and this hotel is known to be his most complete project. He designed every little detail, everything from doorknobs to cutlery and exterior of the building.

Radisson Blu Royal København
Lobby

Already in the enormous lobby you will experience the delightful feeling of old greatness. Even though the hotel have been modernized and have changed up the floorplans a little since 1960, the feel and the look have been kept. The light and dark teak panels that encircle the lobby give the illusion of size and air. Despite a dark color palette and heavy textures the lobby as a whole feels light and tender. Sitting groups with the Egg and the Swan chairs, and the enormous almost floating spiral staircase give the lobby an even more exclusive look.

There is a large variation between the hotel rooms. I recommend you try to get a corner room that have large window space and natural light in the bathroom. Now, the bathrooms are a piece of art. Green marble is suddenly tasteful here with Arne Jacobsen’s Vola taps and mixers, and that is sadly where the magic ends. Sloppy workmanship and design choices affect the shower area. Arne Jacobsen would turn in his grave if he knew they had mounted a plastic shower head in his bathroom.

Rumors are going that Radisson Blu Royal are about to upgrade all the rooms. That is probably about time, and it will be exciting to see how they manage to renovate and modernize this hotel without losing the important grand feel.

If you are lucky enough to get a tour of room 606 it will be worth your while. Here you will see a room conserved in its original state and get a glimpse of a time when travelling was a luxury.

Radisson Blu Royal København
Rom 606 – Arne Jacobsen Suiten

Radisson Blu Royal is situated centrally in Copenhagen with a mildly put amazing view of the city. Actually it looks like the city burst out from underneath the hotel, and you will see the whole city from your hotel room window.

Service is thoroughly good, but it is the concierges that I find to be the perfect faces outwards that a good hotel needs. They will help you with every small detail with a large and welcoming smile. You may want to try the Mojito in the hotel bar. According to my wife this is excellent. Myself, I enjoyed the good selection of danish craft beer.

I hope that the Radisson Blu chain recognizes the value of the heritage in this specific hotel. If they manage to redecorate the rooms to a standard that is worthy of this heritage, then the Radisson Blu Royal will still be my favorite hotel in Copenhagen for many years to come.

Radisson Blu Royal København

When travelling to the north of Norway we made a detour out to the beautiful and quiet Sommarøy (Summer Island). We wanted to experience this part of Norway from the sea. From Sommarøy you can reach Senja, Vesterålen and Lofoten by kayak. In good weather this is probably the finest coastal area in Norway. We where in luck.

Paddling from Sommarøy south towards Senja is a bit long. In a good Kayak and with the weather we had on our trip, this is a nice half a day on the sea. Ship traffic in this area is limited, so the trip is all about the scenery.

Adventures in this scenery have a tendency to pile up. Touching the fjord, talking to seafowl and taking in the view is almost a religious experience. But be warned, you will experience an unnatural inner peace. Hours fly, and the distance go by unnoticed. The physical strain of the paddling was not detected at all.

During the summer months even the evenings will offer adventures. The midnight sun provides opportunities also at night. Kayak by day and mountain trekking in the evening will give you a vacation brimful of activity and quality.

Kajakk Sommarøy

Sommarøy is located about an hour west of Tromsø by car. It is a relatively small and friendly fisherman’s community. On the island you will only find small houses, a little grocery store and a nice little hotel where you may rent a fishermans cottage or a room. Surrounding the coastline of the island there is white beaches and azure colored sea.

Kajakk SommarøyKajakk SommarøyKajakk Malangen

In Tromsø there are several possibilities for renting a Kayak for the day, or by the week. They also provide all necessary equipment. Guided tours are easy to find. Remember that they may ask for proof of training or other qualifying certificates if you want to go out on your own.

Kayak rentals: Tromsø / Lofoten

 

Kajakk Sommarøy