The Ultimate Father’s Day Gift Guide

A comprehensive and luxurious look at the best of Father’s Day.

By Robb Report 02/09/2021

Father’s Day is once again around the corner, and you can’t buy him yet another wallet. Here at Robb Report we’ve gone to the trouble of compiling the ultimate gift guide for the dad who has it all.

Below, the our comprehensive and luxurious guide to Father’s Day.

Lark Distillery Rare Cask Brokenwood Graveyard Shiraz Cask

The third release in Lark’s Rare Cask series is this single malt, finished in a cask that once held NSW winery Brokenwood’s celebrated Graveyard Shiraz.  The combination of the carefully crafted single malt paired with the finishing casks from Brokenwood offers a strong, limited (505 bottles) tipple, sure to please the connoisseur of the family.

$1200 (700ml); larkdistillery.com

Yontif Sun Sunglasses, Moscot

Chunky frames are the order of the day and these stylish specs from renowned outfit Moscot arrive with a tortoise shell and crystal frame made of Italian acetate. Elsewhere, two diamond rivets on front and temples decorate the shades while a comfortable saddle nose bridge holds the pair to the face. Paired here with a chestnut fade lens, it’s a winning combination.

$455; moscot.com

Jaeger-LeCoultre: Reverso

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is a bona fide horological icon—a piece that has transited time in various iterations across more than 50 calibres and several hundred dials.

To celebrate the Reverso’s 90th anniversary this year, the 200-page, large-scale tome from publisher Assouline and historian/journalist Nicholas Foulkes explores the Reverso’s transition across changing social environments after being born, in 1931, of a want for a watch able to withstand the rigours of polo matches.

Boasting original photography and illustrations, the lavish title explores the spirit, lustre and general allure that frames the inventive nature of the piece, while also plotting the heady story of JLC.

Approx. $256; assouline.com

Pig & Pilgrim BBQ

Time to step away from the gas and elevate the old man’s outdoor game with a great Australian success — one born during COVID.

With a background in the culinary sector, Charlie Gosselin saw an opportunity during 2020 (more people at home and with relative time) to launch the parrillas – artisanal, handmade Argentinian charcoal barbecues — he’d been tinkering with, building and using himself. Pig & Pilgrim was born, proved an immediate success and now offers four BBQs that ultimately deliver food licked by flame and flavoured by coals, replete with wind-up grill-plates and rotisseries. They also look damn fine.

pigandpilgrim.com.au

Club Moolia Membership

Club Moolia’s members-only country club provides unparalleled access to a state-of-the-art diving circuit, world-class club lounge and Austalia’s only Crystal Lagoons. Destined for a 2022 opening in the dusty township of Bindoon, 80 kilometres north-west of Perth, the planned $140 million, 4.1km racetrack will boast 17 corners, high-quality asphalt and allegedly be as wide as 12-metres in parts.

Memberships starts at $30,000; Clubmoolia.com

IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Mojave Desert

For its latest ‘Mojave Desert’ models, IWC sticks to the original, larger-than-life 46mm format. Undoubtedly one of the most eye-catching launches of the year so far, the watch is now available as a perpetual calendar and a simple three-hander. We say simple … even the time-only model houses a twin spring-barrel movement that provides a seven-day power reserve.

$48,700; iwc.com

Hermes Poker Box 

Add a touch of elegance to the next poker game with Hermes’ Poker Box. Inside the box, made of sycamore marquetry, comes 300 poker chips, two sets of playing cards and a dealer chip in swift calfskin. Made in France, the box sees an inner lining of velvet and goatskin, elevating the allure.

$17,040; Hermes.com

Omega Seamaster Black Black

While Omega waits for its two major publicity exercises to get underway (James Bond movie, Olympic Games), they’ve delivered the Seamaster Diver 300M Black Black. That’s not a typo; so blacked-out is the latest version of Bond’s watch that one “Black” wouldn’t do. The watch’s dial is made from black ceramic, as is the minute track around its edge. The use of two different colour lumes on the Black Black’s indices and hands means it’s not impossible to tell the time.

$13,200; Omegawatches.com

Penfolds Record Player

Behold, the Penfolds Record Player.

The commemorative console of, which only seven have been crafted, has been handcrafted by SYMBOL Audio – created by a single craftsman using time-honoured techniques totalling 100 hours work.  A rare ‘White Capsule’ release Grange magnum duo from the 2010 and 2017 vintage feature within the hidden wine console compartment

Elsewhere, a suite of luxury accessories including a hand-blown Grange decanter, eight Riedel shiraz glasses, a Chateau Laguiole grand cru black horn sommelier, Monopole ‘Ah So’ cork puller and seven specially curated vinyls among other additions arrive with the ’50s inspired console.

$95,000; penfolds.com.au

Tiffany Co. Billiard Balls

Add the Tiffany touch to any game room with this pool triangle and ball set – a heady, modern upgrade on the traditional game. Here, the pool triangle is crafted in oak and is fitted with a sterling silver plate for personalisation. The billiards are painted in Tiffany Blue while the ‘black ball’ sees the iconic colour in the centre.

$3500; tiffany.com.au

St Hugo DR3 Shiraz Six Pack

The smiling, Australian poster boy of Formula 1, Daniel Ricciardo’s new fruitful venture with celebrated Barossa Valley winemakers St Hugo – the DR3 X St Hugo series – is now available in packs of 6. Hailing from a single-vineyard, Ebenezer, in the northern Barossa comes an opulent, dark fruit shiraz with chalky tannins. The wine has maturing complex aromas and flavours of black fruits, fresh plum, chocolate, cocoa, truffles, hints star anise with moderate intensity cedar vanilla toasty oak

$390 per pack; sthugo.com

Louis Vuitton Bicycle

If Dad hasn’t yet hit his ‘MAMIL’ phase, but still wants a stylish bicycle to cart around town, look no further than the high fashion maison of Louis Vuitton.  Each piece is crafted by hand and assembled in the Maison Tamboite workshop in central Paris. Details such as the Monogram Flower crank and LV initials on the pedals (alongside the famous monogram adorning the bike)  heighten the allure while a functional luggage rack sees an elastic belt added.

$39,500; louisvuitton.com

Spooked Kooks Dead Hippie 8’0″ Softboard

Spooked Kooks specialises in recycling hard plastics into practical (and rather stylish) softboards. In fact 100 per cent of all high-density polyethylene used in its boards is recycled post-consumer plastic waste. This includes the entire “slick” (underside of the boards), leash plug, fin boxes, fins and fin key. Here, the 8-foot longboard has features that help you find that sweet spot on the wave, with its voluminous dimensions allowing you to move freely. Ride on.  

$639; spookedkooks.com

Chopard LUC Quattro

If you appreciate sophisticated watchmaking, the elegant Quattro Spirit 25—Chopard’s first jumping-hour timepiece—features an 18-carat rose-gold case and a beautiful Grand Feu white enamel dial, with an hour aperture at six o’clock. Almost the entire watch, from the enamelling process to the production of its four-barrel movement, was completed within Chopard’s manufacturing facility in Fleurier, Switzerland.

Approx. $67,273; chopard.com

Creed Viking Fragrance

The House of Creed has refreshed its Viking fragrance. The new ‘cologne’ is still an eau de parfum and carries the same on-skin performance that has made the brand so loved. The contemporary fragrance has top notes of bergamot, lemon, mandarin and pink pepper with geranium, lavender, nutmeg, rosemary and sage in the heart while sandalwood, frankincense, patchouli, cedarwood and vetiver round out the base. It’s a zingy, fresh, flowery number with an earthy base – perfect for Dad in the warmer months.  

50ml $339, 100ml $439; creedperfume.com.au

Exclusive Hire, Orpheus Island

With much of the country locked down, one can only dream of a getaway. For when we can, think of Orpheus Island, a private retreat in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, a helicopter transfer away from Townsville. Here, you can have the entire retreat – all 14 luxurious rooms – to yourself and 27 of your nearest and dearest for $25,000 a night. With unparalleled access to the reef and its wildlife, alongside a 32-metre yacht for overnight jaunts on standby, it’s a getaway dad won’t forget.

$25,000 per night; orpheus.com.au

Formula 1: The Impossible Collection

Luxury publisher Assouline’s latest book is a full-throttle, red-line ride into Formula One and the pivotal moments that have taken it from a 1950s gentlemen’s club to the billion-dollar global sport it is today.  Curated and (ahem) driven by respected F1 journalist Brad Spurgeon (The New York Times), Formula 1: The Impossible Collection is a heady and literally heavy XL tome ripe for display between viewings.

The 228-pages also chronicle the various behind-the-scenes goings on, revealing the multiple manoeuvres made beyond the track.

Approx. $1288; assouline.com

Hublot Big Bang Integral

There’s a lot to like about this new Hublot—the integrated bracelet, for starters. Then there’s the single-material architecture, and the fact that it’s twice as scratch-resistant as steel. Mostly, though, it’s about this particular colour; a polished-then-satin-finished, titanium-esque, gunmetal grey. The 42mm watch is also available in white and midnight-blue, but it’s this stealthy, steely number that’s the real head-turner.

 Approx. $31,665; hublot.com

Leica M10-R

For more than a few family happy snaps, the M10.R boasts 40.89-megapixel full-frame sensors and an ISO range of up to 50,000. The old man will appreciate the old-school feel of the iconic Leica design, as well as mod-cons such as a 3-inch touchscreen and built-in wi-fi.

$13,500; leica-store.com.au

Orlebar Brown Swim Shorts

Go bold for Dad this year with this stylish Orlebar Brown swim short. Here, the iconic Bulldog design is met with a distinctive (read: loud) vintage botanical illustration atop a navy background. The Bulldog was Orlebar Brown’s first swim short, arriving in a medium-length style with adjustable side-fasteners for a classic and comfortable fit.

$475; orlebarbrown.com

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Double Flying Tourbillon

Fresh from its cameo in one of the most-watched documentaries of all time—see the wrists of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in last year’s The Last Dance—Roger Dubuis presents the latest interpretation of its Excalibur Double Flying Tourbillon. A quick-release system allows owners to switch between straps, although the Tourbillon club remains exclusive. Only 24 examples are being made—eight in white gold, eight in pink gold and eight in pink gold with diamond-set bezels and lugs.

$415,000; rogerdubuis.com

Zegna Rust Suede Triple Stitch Sneakers

The Triple Stich is a refined sneaker that combines the hefty weight of Zegna’s heritage with a firm want for modern, wearable design. The slip-on fit is paired with a lightweight, flexible rubber outsole for maximized comfort, while the leather-lined rust suede uppers are easy to style with neutral tones for the season ahead.

$1075; zegna.com

Peloton Bike

For the uninitiated, Peloton is a stylish, stationary bike that has made a name for itself with its game-changing indoor, high-energy studio-style workouts. Endorsed by celebrities the likes of Beyonce, the bike promises to get the heart pumping from the comfort of the home. However, it’s not all banal cycling staring at a wall, with the classes including a range of disciplines from endurance to strength. The Peloton Bike+ also means a few elevated elements including a larger,  rotating 360 degree touchscreen making ‘off bike’ training (yoga, HITT, meditation, more) even easier. 

From $2295; onepeloton.com.au

Robb Report Subscription

Award-winning luxury delivered to dad’s door for the next 12 months – is there anything better? We say no – this is the gift that literally keeps on giving with quarterly print and digital magazines, exclusive offers, access to VIP Robb Report concierge services and more informing local publishing’s ultimate subscription.

$75; robbreport.com.au

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Escape from the Ordinary

Ponant, the luxury cruise line known for its meticulously planned itineraries and high-end service, ups the ante on their upcoming European Journeys that promise an unrivalled exploration of the Mediterranean.

By Robb Report Team 19/02/2024

Not all cruises are created equally. Ponant, the luxury cruise line known for its meticulously planned itineraries and high-end service, ups the ante on their upcoming European Journeys that promise an unrivalled exploration of the Mediterranean. From the stunning Amalfi Coast to the pristine Greek Islands, the narrow Corinth Canal to the picturesque Dalmatian coast, historic Istanbul and beguiling Malaga, each destination is a unique adventure waiting to be unravelled. With Ponant, these aren’t just locations on a map; they’re experiences that come alive with the intimate knowledge and insight that their expert guides provide.

Ponant’s luxury cruises are renowned for their individuality, with no two journeys the same. This is not by chance. Itineraries are scrupulously designed to ensure that each passenger is left with a feeling of having embarked on a journey unlike any other.

Athens-Venise. Photograph by N.Matheus. ©PONANT

In 2025, their fleet will set sail for a combined 56 departures from March to October, exploring the dreamy locales of Greece and the Greek Islands, Malta, Italy (including Venice and Sicily), Croatia, France, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. These European Journeys offer an intimate encounter with the Mediterranean, its people and culture. As you cruise in luxury, you’ll dive deep into the heart of each destination, exploring historic sites, engaging with locals, sampling scrumptious cuisine and soaking in the vibrant atmospheres.

The company’s small, sustainable ships, which can accommodate from as few as 32 to 264 guests, have the exclusive ability to sail into ports inaccessible to larger cruise liners, affording privileged entry into some of the world’s most treasured alcoves. Picture sailing under London’s iconic Tower Bridge, crossing the Corinth Canal, or disembarking directly onto the sidewalk during ports of call in culturally rich cities like Lisbon, Barcelona, Nice and Venice, among others.

Photo by Tamar Sarkissian. ©PONANT

This singular closeness is further enriched by destination experts who unravel the tapestry of each locale’s history and traditions.

Onboard their luxurious ships, every guest is a VIP and treated to refined service and amenities akin to sailing on a private yacht. Whether at sea or ashore, their destination experts guarantee a fascinating experience, immersing you in the rich cultural and historical diversity of each region.

Indulge in the finest gastronomy at sea, inspired by none other than gastronomic virtuoso and Ponant partner, Alain Ducasse. Each voyage offers an expertly crafted dining experience, from a-la-carte meals with perfectly matched wines by the onboard Sommelier at dinner and lunch, to a French-inspired buffet breakfast, featuring all the favourite pastries, fresh bread and quality produce.

Chef Mickael Legrand. Photograph by NickRains. ©PONANT

For a more intimate discovery, consider Le Ponant, with its 16 high-class staterooms and suites—perfect for private charter—sailing eight exclusive routes between Greece and Croatia, offering guests unparalleled experiences both onboard and ashore. Ponant’s commitment to crafting unforgettable experiences extends beyond itineraries. Aboard their ships, the luxury is in every detail. Unwind in opulent cabins and suites, each offering private balconies and breathtaking views of the azure water and destinations beyond.

Ponant’s upcoming European Journeys are more than just cruises—they’re your passport to a world of cultural immersion, historical exploration, and unrivalled luxury. Don’t miss this opportunity to embark on the voyage of a lifetime: the Mediterranean is calling.

To book European 2025 sailings visit au.ponant.com; call 1300 737 178 (AU) or 0800 767 018 (NZ) or contact your preferred travel agent.

 

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Saint Laurent Just Opened a New Bookstore in Paris. Here’s a Look Inside.

The chic new outpost is located on the city’s arty Left Bank.

By Rachel Cormack 14/02/2024

Saint Laurent is taking over even more of Paris.

The French fashion house, which only just opened an epic new flagship on Champs-Élysées, has launched a chic new bookstore on the Left Bank. Located in the 7th arrondissement, Saint Laurent Babylone is a mecca of art, music, literature, and, of course, fashion.

The new outpost is a tribute to the connection that Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Bergé had to the Rue Babylone, according to Women’s Wear Daily. (In 1970, the pair moved to a 6,500-square-foot duplex on the street.) It is also inspired by the house’s original ready-to-wear boutique, Saint Laurent Rive Guache, which opened in the 6th arrondissement in 1966.

The exposed concrete in contrasted by sleek marble accents. SAINT LAURENT

With a minimalist, art gallery-like aesthetic, the space is anchored by a hefty marble bench and large black shelves. The raw, textured concrete on the walls is juxtaposed by a soft blue and white rug, a wooden Pierre Jeanneret desk, and sleek Donald Judd stools.

The wares within Saint Laurent Babylone are the most important part, of course. Curated by Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello, the collection includes everything from photos by British artist Rose Finn-Kelcey to books published by Saint Laurent itself. Some tomes on offer are so rare that white gloves are required for handling.

The store also offers an enviable selection of records that are no longer being pressed. Highlights include Sade’s Promise, Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, and the debut studio album of electronic band Kraftwerk.

Other notable items on the shelves include Leica cameras, chocolates made in collaboration with pastry chef François Daubinet, prints by Juergen Teller, and brass skull sculptures. You’ll also find an assortment of YSL merch, including pens, lighters, and cups.

To top it off, Saint Laurent Babylone will double as an event space, hosting live music sessions, DJ sets, book readings, and author signings over the coming months.

Saint Laurent’s latest endeavor isn’t exactly surprising. With Vaccarello at the helm, the Kering-owned fashion house has entered new cultural realms. Only last year, the label established a film production company and debuted its first movie at Cannes.

The space is fitted with a Pierre Jeanneret desk and Donald Judd stools.
SAINT LAURENT

Perhaps Saint Laurent film reels and movie posters will soon be available at Babylone, too.

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The Best Watches at the Grammys, From Maluma’s Jacob & Co. to Jon Batiste’s Vacheron Constantin

Music’s biggest names sported some outstanding watches on Sunday evening.

By Rachel Mccormack 08/02/2024

Weird yet wonderful watches punctuated this year’s Grammys.

The woman of the moment, Taylor Swift, who made history by winning Album of the Year for an unprecedented fourth time, wore an unconventional Lorraine Schwartz choker watch to the annual awards ceremony on Sunday night. That was just the tip of the horological iceberg, though.

Colombian singer-songwriter Maluma elevated a classic Dolce & Gabbana suit with a dazzling Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon and a pair of custom, diamond-encrusted Bose earbuds, while American musician Jon Batiste topped off a stylish Versace ensemble with a sleek Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon. Not to be outdone, rapper Busta Rhymes busted out a rare Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for the occasion.

There was more understated wrist candy on display, too, such as Jack Antonoff’s Cartier Tank LC and Noah Kahan’s Panerai Luminor Quaranta BiTempo.

For the rest of the best watches we saw on the Grammys 2024 red carpet, read on.

Maluma: Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon

Maluma busted out some truly spectacular bling for this year’s Grammys. The Colombian singer-songwriter paired a classic Dolce & Gabbana suit with a dazzling Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon and a pair of custom, diamond-encrusted Bose earbuds. The sculptural wrist candy sees a four-arm movement floating in front of a breathtaking dial adorned with no less than 257 rubies. For added pizzaz, the lugs of the 18-karat rose-gold case are invisibly set with 80 baguette-cut white diamonds. Limited to just nine examples, the rarity is priced at $1.5 million.

Asake: Hublot Big Bang Essential Grey

Nigerian singer-songwriter Asake may not have won the Grammy for Best African Music Performance for “Amapiano,” but did wear a winning Hublot Big Bang at Sunday’s proceedings. Released in 2023, the Essential Grey model is made purely of titanium for a sleek, uniform feel. The 42 mm timepiece was limited to just 100 pieces and cost $37,000 a pop.

John Legend: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding

Multihyphenate John Legend wore a legendary Audemars Piguet with silky Saint Laurent on Sunday evening. The self-winding Royal Oak in question features a 34 mm black ceramic case, a black grande tapisserie dial, and striking pink gold accents. The watchmaker’s signature is also displayed in gold under the sapphire crystal. The piece will set you back $81,000.

Jon Batiste: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon

American musician Jon Batiste received four nominations but no wins at this year’s Grammys. The “Butterfly” singer can take solace in the fact that he looked ultra-sharp in Versace and Vacheron Constantin. A tribute to the spirit of travel, the Overseas Tourbillon features a 42.5 mm white-gold case, a bezel set with 60 baguette-cut diamonds, and a blue dial featuring a dazzling tourbillon cage inspired by the Maltese cross. Price upon request, naturally.

Fireboy DML: Cartier Santos

Fireboy DML’s outfit was straight fire on Sunday night. The Nigerian singer paired an MCM wool jacket with a Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet, several iced-out rings, and a sleek Cartier Santos. The timepiece features a steel case, a graduated blue dial with steel sword-shaped hands, and a seven-sided crown with synthetic faceted blue spinel.

Noah Kahan: Panerai Luminor Quaranta BiTempo

Best New Artist nominee Noah Kahan wore one of Panerai’s best new watches to Sunday’s festivities. The Luminor Quaranta BiTempo features a 40 mm polished steel case and a black dial with luminous numerals and hour markers, a date display at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. The timepiece can be yours for $14,000.

Busta Rhymes: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

Legendary rapper Busta Rhymes busted out a chic Audemars Piguet for this year’s Grammys. The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in question is distinguished by a 42 mm rose-gold case and a matching pink méga tapisserie dial with an outer flange for the tachymeter scale. The face is fitted with three black subdials, large black numerals, and a black date display at 3 o’clock. You can expect to pay around $61,200 for the chronograph on the secondary market.

Jack Antonoff: Cartier Tank Louis Cartier

Producer of the year Jack Antonoff took to the red carpet with a stylish Cartier on his wrist. The Tank Louis Cartier in question appears to be a large 33.7 mm example that features an 18-carat rose-gold case, a silvered dial with black Roman numerals and blued steel hands, a beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon, and a brown alligator strap. It’ll set you back $19,900.

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This 44-Foot Carbon-Fiber Speedboat Can Rocket to 177 KMPH

The new Mayla GT is available with a range of different powertrains, too.

By Rachel Cormack 03/02/2024

We knew the Mayla GT would be one of the most exciting boats at Boot Düsseldorf, but a deep dive into the specs shows it could be downright revolutionary.

The brainchild of German start-up Mayla, the 44-footer brings you the blistering performance of a speedboat and the luxe amenities of a motor yacht in one neat carbon-fiber package.

Inspired by the go-fast boats of the 1970s and ‘80s, the GT sports an angular, retro-futuristic body and the sleek lines of a rocket ship. Tipping the scales at just 4500 kilograms, the lightweight design features a deep-V hull with twin transversal steps and patented Petestep deflectors that help it slice through the waves with ease. In fact, Mayla says the deflectors decrease energy usage by up to 35 percent while ensuring a more efficient planing.

The range-topping GT can reach 185 kph. MAYLA

The GT is also capable of soaring at breakneck speeds, with the option of a gas, diesel, electric, or hybrid powertrain. The range-topping GTR-R model packs dual gas-powered engines that can churn out 3,100 hp for a top speed of more than 100 knots (185 kph). At the other, more sustainable end of the spectrum, the E-GT is fitted with an electric powertrain that can produce 2,200 horses for a max speed of 50 knots. The hybrid E-GTR pairs that same electric powertrain with a 294 kilowatt diesel engine for a top speed of 60 knots (111 km/h/69 mph). (The GT in the water at Boot sported two entry-level V8s good for 650 hp and a top speed of over 70 knots.)

The GT is suitable for more than just high-speed jaunts, of course. The multipurpose cockpit, which can accommodate up to eight passengers, features a sundeck with sliding loungers, a wet bar and BBQ, and a foldaway dining table for alfresco entertaining. Further toward the stern, a beach club sits atop a garage with an electric transom door.

The garage has an electric transom door. MAYLA

The GT is even fit for overnight stays. Below deck lies a cabin with a double bed, sofa, wardrobe, vanity, and en suite. You can also expect a high-tech entertainment system with TVs and premium audio.

As for price, the GT with the entry-level powertrain will cost between $2.7 million and $2.9, depending on the final configuration. (You can fine-tune the layout, hull color, and interiors, naturally.) Interested buyers can set up a sea trial with Mayla, with test-drives set to begin this spring in Europe.

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Red Centre

First Nations artist Shaun Daniel Allen joins forces with Chopard to create a timepiece inspired by the Australian landscape.

By Horacio Silva 29/01/2024

Shaun Daniel Allen does not look like your typical collaborator on a prestige watch. For one, Shal, as he prefers to be known (“There are many Shauns but only one Shal,” he explains), is more heavily tattooed than your average roadie. His youthful appearance, bad-boy ink and all, belies his 38 years and leads to a disconnect. 

He recounts being recognised on the street recently by a journalist, who, unable to remember his name, shouted out, “Chopard!” “I was with a friend,” Shal says, holding court in his apartment in Sydney’s inner city, “and he’s, like, ‘What the hell? Does that happen to you often?’”

Perhaps because of his body art, he reasons, “People don’t put me and Chopard together.” It’s not hard to understand the confusion, Shal adds; even he was taken aback when Chopard reached out to him about a potential collaboration a little more than a year ago. “When I first went in to see them, I was, like, I don’t know if I’m your guy. I’m not used to being in those rooms and having those conversations.”

He’ll have to adapt quickly to his new reality. Last month Chopard released Shal’s interpretation of the Swiss brand’s storied Alpine Eagle model, which in itself was a redo of the St. Moritz, the first watch creation by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (now Co-President of Chopard) in the late 1970s. 

Previewed at Sydney’s About Time watch fair in September, to not insignificant interest, and officially known as the Alpine Eagle Sunburnt, the exclusive timepiece—issued in a limited edition of 20—arrives as a stainless steel 41 mm with a 60-hour power reserve and a burnt red dial that brings to mind the searing Outback sun. Its see-through caseback features one of Shal’s artworks painted on sapphire glass.

When the reputable Swiss luxury brand approached Shal, they already had the red dial—a nod to the rich ochre hues of the Australian soil at different times of the day and gradated so that the shades become darker around the edges—locked in as a lure for Australian customers.

Shal was charged with designing an artful caseback and collectible hand-painted sustainable wooden case. After presenting a handful of paintings, each with his signature abstract motifs that pertain to indigenous emblems, tattoos and music, both parties landed on a serpentine image that evoked the coursing of rivers. “I have been painting a lot of water in this last body of work and the image we chose refers to the rivers at home,” he says, alluding to formative years spent at his grandfather’s, just outside of Casino.

It says a lot about Chopard, Shal points out, that they wanted to donate to a charity of his choosing. “Like everything else on this project,” he explains, “they were open to listening and taking new ideas on board and it actually felt like a collaboration, like they weren’t steering me into any corner.”

In another nice touch, a portion of the proceeds from sales of the watch will go to funding programs of the Ngunya Jarjum Aboriginal Corporation—an organisation, established in 1995 by Bundjalung elders, whose work Shal saw firsthand after the 2022 eastern Australia flood disasters ravaged their area. “Seeing Ngunya Jarjum suffer from the floods,” he says, “and knowing how much they do for the community on Bundjalung Country was heartbreaking. I want to see Bundjalung families thriving and supported.”

So what’s it been like for this booster of Australian waterways to be swimming in the luxury end of the pool? “I’ve done a few things with brands,” he offers, referring to the Louis Vuitton project earlier this year at an art gallery in Brisbane, “but nothing on this scale. It’s definitely fancier than I’m used to but I’m not complaining.” Neither are watch aficionados.

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