The Best New Timepieces From Geneva Watch Days

Who doesn’t love a watch fair? Herein, the best of what we saw at the horological world’s newest festival.

By Paige Reddinger, Justin Fenner 06/09/2021

Whether you’re a serious collector or merely an aspiring one, it’s hard not to love a watch festival—even if it’s relatively small. This year’s edition of Geneva Watch Days, which first took place last August in the wake of Baselworld’s demise, didn’t disappoint. A group of 27 brands debuted new wares for the occasion, which was held this week in the titular Swiss city. And even though the entirety of the world’s horological press corps didn’t get to see all of the new watches in the metal, thanks to ongoing pandemic-related travel constraints, there was still a lot to like from afar. Below, a look at some of the most inspiring new timepieces at the show.

Bulgari

Bulgari Gérald Genta Micket Mouse, Octo Roma Papillon Tourbillon and Octo Roma World Timer

Bulgari Gérald Genta Micket Mouse, Octo Roma Papillon Tourbillon and Octo Roma World Timer Bulgari

Bulgari kicked off Geneva Watch Days with a slew of new timepieces. The Italian maison went big for the micro event with nine new releases across four collection ranges including everything from high complications and high jewellery pieces to sports watches and a surprise appearance from one of Disney’s most recognizable characters.

The robust lineup includes a new 41 mm Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon (approx. $173,000) which uses a typically feminine inspiration for one of its more complicated pieces with a more conceptual take on the perennial motif that reimagines the way we read time.

The brand didn’t forsake a focus on its less-famous, but no less distinctive, Octo Roma collection. The collection’s new WorldTimer (approx. $11,220), introduced today at the Geneva Watch Days show, tells time around the world the Bulgari way. It contains a new, integrated movement, the 261-component automatic calibre BVL257.

As for the Disney partnership? Bulgari is bringing Mickey Mouse to one of its most iconic formats—the chunky, round Gérald Genta Arena case. The elite brand has been making Mickey Mouse watches since long before Bulgari acquired it in 2000. They have become coveted collectors’ items, along with Genta’s high complications and iconic case designs. You can learn more about all of those watches and the rest of Bulgari’s new offerings at the link below.

READ OUR FULL POST: HERE

Ferdinand Berthoud

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.6-3

Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1.6-3 Ferdinand Berthoud

Known for producing extremely complicated watches in ultra-small quantities, even Ferdinand Berthoud is getting in on the steel sports watch craze, albeit with a one-of-a-kind model. This is not only the first all-black model from the niche watchmaking house, but it is also its first steel model. The alloy is sand-blasted and covered in a black DLC coating. Contrasts to its noir background include elements like a sandblasted hour and minute counter treated with a lighter matte material with hands made of gold, as well as hour markers and a central seconds counter in red, and a power reserve aperture in gold with a red arrow indicator.

On the flip side, the half-bridges (made in sapphire crystal and therefore ensuring an even heftier price tag) are angled, engraved and coloured red—enclosing the tourbillon carriage and central seconds hand. Also visible through the caseback, is the fusee-and-chain transmission, an ultra-complex and very hard-to-make solution for providing a constant force escapement that was common during this brand’s namesake founder’s heyday. Berthoud himself may have never imagined one might exist in a blacked-out DLC coated steel timepiece bearing his name some two centuries later.

As you can imagine, this piece will belong to a rarefied collector. It will only be available at the Art in Time gallery in Monaco and part of the proceeds will go to benefit Prince Albert’s Foundation in the French principality.

ferdinandberthound.com

Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watches

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watches Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin is a founding partner of Geneva Watch Days and, while it only focused on one collection, presented five new models for its Marine Torpilleur collection. All come equipped with Silicium escapements (the company was among the first to use the material in 2001 on its Freak model) and are marked with the signature “Chronometry since 1846” to herald Ulysse Nardin’s 175th anniversary.

Parmigiani

Parmigiani Tonda PF Annual Calendar

Parmigiani Tonda PF Annual Calendar Parmigiani

Parmigiani is getting a bit of a makeover under the direction of the brand’s newly appointed CEO, Guido Terreni, who took over the helm in January of this year. The first fruits of his labour were revealed at Geneva Watch Days. The new look is cleaner and more directional with a focus on the Tonda collection, which has a new chronograph, annual calendar and split-seconds model. The new lineup is dubbed the “Tonda PF” in reference to the new branding, which removes the  Parmigiani Fleurier name in favour of a simple PF logo at 12 o’clock. And while that’s no small change, Parmigiani’s fan base will likely approve—many collectors over the years have grumbled or joked about the brand name’s similarity, in both pronunciation and spelling, to Italy’s most pervasive cheese, parmesan.

The new 42mm Tonda PF Annual Calendar exemplifies these changes: It comes with retrograde date, day, month indications, as well as a 122-year moonphase aperture that displays the cycle in both hemispheres. But its looks are cleaner and more minimal, a sure sign that change is afoot. You can see the rest of the new watches at the link below.

Girard-Perregaux

Girard-Perregaux Tourbillion

Girard-Perregaux Tourbillion With Three Flying Bridges Girard-Perregaux

Girard-Perregaux’s new Tourbillion with Three Flying Bridges was created to celebrate the company’s 230th anniversary, and is the first in this line to cast all three bridges in 18 carat pink gold. Along with supporting the geartrain, barrel and tourbillion the bridges also act as the mainplate, and they feature a black PVD coating that turns their lustre into something of a wearer’s secret. Each flying bridge is painstakingly cut by hand using a small piece of boxwood, requiring skilled artisans a full day to achieve its finish. Following the release of the Perregaux Free Bridge model in 2020, the new watch will be the final reference to join the manufacturer’s Bridges collection.

READ OUR FULL POST: HERE

H.Moser & Cie

H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar

H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar H. Moser & Cie

A casual glance at H. Moser & Cie’s new Streamliner Perpetual Calendar might leave you with the impression of an exquisitely finished watch with a simple date complication. Look a little closer, and the fourth central hand on its elegant fumé dial invites the question, What’s that for?

The watch, a seamless marriage of Moser’s Perpetual 1 and its popular Streamliner series, uses that fourth hand to indicate the months: January when it’s pointing at 1 o’clock, and so on. The Flash Calendar instantaneous date-change mechanism that figures into the HMC 341 calibre means the date automatically changes at midnight. The hand-wound movement is robust enough to achieve 168 hours of power reserve, and there’s a handy indicator at 10 o’clock.

The 42.3mm cushion case, like its sinuous integrated bracelet, has alternating brushed and polished finishes. It’ll set you back $54,900—a small price to pay for one of the most beautiful ways to know the date.

h-moser.com

Greubel Forsey

Greubel Forsey GMT Earth

Greubel Forsey GMT Earth Alex Teuscher/Greubel Forsey

They say the third time’s the charm, and Greubel Forsey’s GMT Earth might just prove it. The model, which debuted in 2011 and got a second version in 2018, is now in its third and final iteration—and the watchmaker is sending it out with a bang. This year’s version, created in a very limited edition of 11 pieces, features a lightweight titanium case and a primarily black and metallic finish that enhances the watch’s urbane aesthetic.

Model three preserves the sapphire crystal alcove that allows the wearer to see its spinning globe from all angles, including at the equator, that Greubel Forsey incorporated into the 2018 edition. It also preserves the original’s clear and readable display: There’s an off-centre hours and minutes display with a small sub-seconds dial, a power reserve indicator, and a GMT indicator with a red hand that helps it stand out against the black gold, lacquer-filled disk.

The spinning globe, which takes up the most real estate on the dial, completes one revolution every 24 hours. You can watch it spin through the sapphire crystal or through the caseback, where the world time indicator shows you the UTC, or Coordinated Universal Time, of 24 major cities representing every time zone. It’s the ultimate travel watch—but if you find yourself grounded, it’s a trip across the world you can wear on your wrist.

greubelforsey.com

Urwerk

Urwerk UR-100 Electrum

Urwerk UR-100 Electrum Diode SA – Denis Hayoun

Revisiting the three-satellite time display of the UR-100 model, launched in 2019, Urwerk’s futuristic watchmakers Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner came full circle with a new kind of alloy—inspired by the material used in Greek coins from antiquity—to create the latest Electrum version. Although it appears gold in the image, Frei and Baumgartner say it actually gives off a greenish-gold hue IRL. The duo approached two different companies to try and recreate this particular colouring used in ancient currency with no luck. The particular method is health hazardous in today’s times. Instead, they sourced from a company that supplied a type of gold with similar effect, using a mixture of gold and palladium, to Rolex in the ’60s and ’70s and asked them to reproduce it for just 25 pieces of the Electrum.

The concentric rings on the metal, meanwhile, took inspiration from both modern and ancient beauty. Their design board included everything from a runway dress from avant-garde Dutch fashion designer, Iris van Herpen, to the tiered seating of an ancient Greek theatre.

For their next project, the watchmakers teased they have something else up their sleeve—a wild new movement inspired by the automotive industry will be revealed in the coming months.

urwerk.com

Breitling

Breitling Top Time Classic Cars Watch Collection

Breitling Top Time Classic Cars Watch Collection franz j. venzin

Breitling took the lifestyle route with a rollout of three new timepieces inspired by 60s-era cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang and Shelby Cobra. All three chronographs in the Top Time Classic Cars Capsule Collection (approx. $7400) take their hue cues from each sports car. The Top Time Chevrolet Corvette model (pictured centre) has a red dial and black subcounters based on the body of the Corvette C2 or “Sting Ray” from the mid-60s. (Coincidentally, founder Louis Chevrolet was a race car driver born in Switzerland’s watchmaking mecca of La Chaux-de-Fonds.) The green dial with black subdials, our personal favourite, is based on the first Ford Mustang from 1964 and the blue-and-white iteration matches the racing stripes of the Shelby Cobra, created by race car driver and manufacturer, Carroll Shelby, in the 1960s for competitions.

Chevrolet Corvette, Shelby Cobra and Ford Mustang

Chevrolet Corvette, Shelby Cobra and Ford Mustang Breitling

The Top Time watches will be a must for collectors with any of these cars in their vintage fleet. Both the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang models come in 42mm with the Breitling Caliber 25 as their engine—a self-winding 1/8th of a second chronograph movement with 42 hours of power reserve. The logos of the cars that motivated their production are located at 12 o’clock. The Top Time Shelby Cobra is slightly smaller at 40mm and houses the calibre 41, a 1/4th of a second self-winding chronograph movement with 42 hours of power reserve. Its car logo is placed at 6 o’clock. Whether you start with the car or the watch, this launch will inspire you to acquire both. The cars, however, will burn a hole in your pocket.

breitling.com

MB&F x L’Epée

MB&F x L'Epée Orb

MB&F x L’Epée Orb MB&F

The ongoing collaboration between MB&F and L’Epée never ceases to disappoint. The partnership brings together Max Büsser of MB&F’s wildly creative ideas realized in the form of table clocks with L’Epée’s expertise in the decorative objets. For the duo’s 14th project together, Büsser enlisted a third collaborator, Maximillian Mærtens of Studio Mærtens, a Berlin-based interdisciplinary industrial design studio, to conceive the Orb. Inspired by an eye, the iris is the clock itself in the centre surrounded by curved lacquered white (or black if you prefer) structures that open up in four sections like a flower to expose its inner working parts and perch on its petals on your desk as an alternative display. The petals also swivel so you can play with the position. It’s almost as if the “eye” pops out of its socket to peer at you from your tabletop—a humorous reminder that time is ticking.

The clock comes with 8 days of power reserve and is equipped with a mechanism based on L’Epée’s historic 1839 carriage clocks, known as “officer’s clocks.” The curved aluminium dial sports a domed mineral glass with a hole in the centre to set the time with a key. It has two barrels: one for the time and one for the striking hours, which are each wound separately. It comes in palladium-plated brass and stainless steel and retails for $43,000. Available in white or black, they are limited to 50 pieces each. Although, the most literal interpretation of theme, in white, is our favourite. The company says these will be delivered to retailer in the next two weeks, but are available for pre-order now. Regardless, these are a must-see IRL.

mbandf.com

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The Tod’s SS25 Men’s Collection in Milan Was a Showcase of “Artisanal Intelligence”

It was also the debut men’s collection by creative director Matteo Tamburini.

By Josh Bozin 20/06/2024

Earlier this week, Tod’s presented its SS25 men’s collection at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC) for Milan Fashion Week, where all eyes were fixed on Matteo Tamburini and his debut menswear collection as Tod’s newest creative director.

Striking “a balance between tradition and modernity”, was the former Bottega Veneta designer’s intention, and indeed his showcase offerered a spotlight on the quality, materials, and detailing that are central to the Tod’s wardrobe.

“The collection is more about subtraction rather than addition, highlighting the very elevated, timeless and relaxed materials,” says Tamburini via a statement.

Tod’s

In line with Tod’s restrained design codes, the garments presented were characterised by timelessness, unmistakable Italian flair, yet a casualness appropriate for everyday wear. Only the best leathers were used in the collection—thanks to the Pashmy project, which Tod’s unveiled in January to champion high-end Italian materials—used in creating garments like the Tod’s Bomber, the Gio Jacket, the Shirt Jacket, the Di Bag sack, as well as footwear staples, like the Tod’s T-Riviera.

Of course, the iconic Gommino driving shoe wasn’t without an update, too: you’ll find a new sabot interpretation, as well as the Bubble Gommino introduced in a new boat model with the T-bar accessory.

“Craftsmanship” was at the forefront of messaging, with chairman and chief executive officer of the Tod’s Group, Diego Della Valle, reiterating the message of honouring artisanal arts in an increasingly digital-first world.”[It’s] important to uphold artisanal intelligence, keeping under control artificial intelligence as it is now developing rapidly and powerfully,” he said via a statement.

“Individuals and artisanal intelligence at the centre, with its traditions and values, will contribute to keep artificial intelligence in check. Our Italian craftsmanship and supply chain can be an example of the combination of tradition and the new speed of artificial intelligence.”

tods.com

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Pitti Uomo’s Best-Dressed Men Cut Through the Noise With Personal Style

From vintage gems to tasteful tailoring, attendees of Florence’s biannual tradeshow brought their best sartorial selves.

By Naomi Rougeau, Lorenzo Sodi 20/06/2024

Whether or not you’re well versed in the ins and outs of Pitti Uomo, the biannual menswear tradeshow in Florence that brings together buyers, press—and, naturally, a vast ostentation of peacocks—the chances are that photos from the gathering are still making their way into your newsfeed. You might even smirk at the mention of it. To be sure, you’ll encounter plenty of “overdressing” strolling through the main venues but by and large, great personal style manages to cut through the noise.

Part of what makes the Pitti scene so exciting is that menswear moves relatively slowly. It’s less about seeing something earth shatteringly new but rather gradual shifts and discovering fresh ways to put things together. Menswear regulars such as Alessandro Squarzi, owner of a considerable vintage archive that influences his Milanese boutique Fortela, can be relied upon to provide inspiration on how to make tried and true staples and silhouettes feel modern.

Speaking of new old things, vintage fashions made their way into the chat in a big way this June, whether in terms of rare finds or sustainable efforts via upcycling, fabric development and natural dyes (Paris-based De Bonne Facture achieved an ideal medium brown using coffee, for instance). At the heart of the conversation was another bona fide vintage guru Maurizio Donadi who made a case for the timelessness and democratic nature of indigo with his centuries-spanning exhibit of antique garments from around the globe.

Below you’ll find a dozen of our favorite looks from Pitti Uomo 106, lensed by our eagle-eyed street-style photographer Lorenzo Sodi. We hope they inspire.

Lorenzo Sodi

A lesson in simplicity and the power of a classic palette—good quality vintage accents such as a turquoise embellished belt buckle add interest to timeless workwear. Ray-Ban’s universally-flattering Wayfarer sunglasses are the perfect finishing touch.

Lorenzo Sodi

Sans suit and shirt, the neckerchief (of which there were many at Pitti), adds a welcome dose of colour to a white tee and relaxed jacket and proves that sometimes one choice detail is all it takes. A well-loved, slightly-too-long belt and canvas Vans contribute to the casual harmony.

Lorenzo Sodi

Whatever the weather, you’ll find Douglas Cordeaux, from Fox Brothers, looking immaculate in shirt and tie… and a suit made of one of Fox’s many fabrics. British elegance, embodied.

Lorenzo Sodi

Relaxed elegance is the foundation of the Brunello Cuccinelli brand. Here, the maestro himself shows us how it’s done in a double-breasted linen ensemble featuring a few personal flourishes.

Lorenzo Sodi

Designer Alessandro Pirounis of Pirounis offers a masterclass on the rule of three with a contemporary twist, subbing the usual jacket with an overshirt of his own design.

Lorenzo Sodi

A renaissance man takes Florence. True to his roots, US Marine veteran, Savile Row-trained tailor and photographer Robert Spangle blazes a sartorial trail that’s all his own.

Lorenzo Sodi

Cream trousers are an essential element of elegant Italian summer style. Designer Nicola Radano of Spacca Neapolis channels one of the greats (Marcello Mastroianni) in a dark polo of his own design, collar spread wide across his jacket’s lapel for a welcome retro lean.

Lorenzo Sodi

Proof of the power of tonal dressing, that can create an impactful outfit just by sticking to the same colour family. A chic ensemble and in some ways an elevated version of the double-denim look, every element is working hard in service to the whole.

Lorenzo Sodi

UK-based stylist Tom Stubbs has long been a proponent of blousy pleats, lengthy db jackets, and statement-making neck scarves and here, in vintage Armani, he embodies the louche, oversize look that many designers are just now catching up on.

Lorenzo Sodi

A tailor splitting his time between Berlin and Cologne, Maximilian Mogg is known for his strong-shouldered, architectural suiting. Yet in Mogg’s hands, particularly with this non-traditional colour scheme, the effect is always modern and youthful.

Lorenzo Sodi

If Max Poglia’s relaxed Hawaiian shirt and suit combo is any indication, summer has truly arrived. But it’s an excellent example of how to wearing tailoring in more casual fashion. This cream db would look perfect with shirt and tie at a wedding in August and just as chic here with slippers and a laid-back shirt.

Lorenzo Sodi

Another example of how tailoring can be laid-back and breezy for summer, from a dude who looks no stranger to enjoying the best of the warmer months. Jaunty pocket square, sandals, untucked linen shirt…go forth and emulate.

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The 13 Best Watches From Pitti Uomo, From Rolex to Patek Philippe and Piaget

Each year in Florence, Italy, men walk the streets in the finest fashions, and they pair their watches perfectly.

By Allen Farmelo, Lorenzo Sodi 20/06/2024

Pitti Uomo is a major fashion gathering in Florence, Italy where brands bring their best to buyers and fashion editor alike. But, perhaps more interestingly, Pitti Uomo transforms the streets of Florence into an urban runway on which guys from around the world with more than a passing interest in style go about their business—even if in some cases that business seems just to be hanging around waiting to be photographed—in their best threads and, of course, some excellent watches.

We pondered the relationship between men’s fashion and watches in more detail earlier this year, and what’s fascinating about the intersection of fashion and watches is how to situate the timepiece within an ensemble. To give you a sense of how that plays out, this year we saw a tonal pairing of a tasty vintage Rolex GMT Master Pepsi (red and blue) with rose and mid-blue summer plaid, and we saw high-waisted military green Bermuda shorts paired intelligently with a beat up old Elgin field watch with a matching green strap. Both looks were killer, the watches working as perfect accents, and there are many more great pairings to consider below.

As is often the case at fashion shows (including Pitti Uomo in previous years), Rolex dominated. Horological snobs might look down on this choice because the Crown is so often the default choice for so many, be they collectors signalling their access to rare references or those just getting into this obsession. But a more nuanced read on this tendency is that Rollies are fabulously versatile watches that one can rock with each new outfit—which some men will swap throughout the day. Breakfast might call for a casual look, lunch something more daring, and dinner that perfect summer suit. What better than a Rolex for all occasions?

But it wasn’t just Rolex at Pitti Uomo this week. The urban catwalk brought out Paiget, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier, as well. But our favourite watch was a vintage Tudor Sub on a turquoise bracelet.

Below are the 13 best watches from Pitit Uomo 2024.

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The 10 Best Omakase in Sydney

Sydney’s best Japanese chef’s-table dining experiences.

By Belinda Aucott-christie 06/06/2024

In Japan, where food is a cultural art form, omakase stands for traditional Japanese foods made with seasonal ingredients. A good omakase meal, prepared with purity and mindfulness, can make an unforgettable imprint on the culinary memory. Yet in a land defined by seasonal traditions, omakase is a relatively new concept.

Omakase originated in Japan in the 1970s as affluent Japanese began to dine more regularly at first-rate sushi counters. Bowing to the expertise of the sushi master, omakase loosely translates to “I’ll leave it to you.” In a setting where money is no object, letting the chef decide was designed as a chic way to take the awkwardness out of ordering.

In Australia where there’s an abundance of fresh seafood, omakase menus have experienced a recent rise in popularity. Today omakase is any series of small dishes served directly by the chef to the diner. Each part of the meal is presented on beautiful ceramics and lacquer wear, with a great —and somewhat— intimidating reverence for elegant details. It’s a chance to see a chef’s knife skills up close and get a feel for their cooking style.

Omakase menus are based on whatever is freshest at the market and can be influenced by the chef’s mood, expertise, and response to the guest. They can be slowly paced like a ceremony—hushed and reverential—but they can also be rowdy, humorous, and personal.
Here we give you 10 of the best to try in Sydney.

Yoshi’s Omakase at Nobu Crown Sydney

Crown Sydney, Level 2/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo. Open: 12–3 pm, 5:30–9:30 pm Phone: 02 8871 7188 Reservations: F&B-SYD-Nobu@crownresorts.com.au; $380 per head (including matched wine and sake). Crownsydney.com.au

Sushi Oe

16/450 Miller St, Cammeray; Tue – Sat. SMS only 0451 9709 84 E: jizakana16@gmail.com Phone: 0426 233 984 $230 per head. jizakana.com.au

Kisuke with Yusuke Morita

50 Llankelly Place, Potts Point; Tuesday – Saturday: 17:30 – 10.45 (closed Sunday/ Monday) $185-200 per head Kisukepottspoint.com

Haco 

102/21 Alberta St, Sydney. Lunch, Friday to Saturday 12 -2:00 pm Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday 5:45 pm – 8:1 5pm (closed Sunday & Mondays) P: 0408 866 285                                     E: haco@hacosydney.com.au; $150 – $210 Hacosydney.com.au

Kuon

Shop 04 2/58 Little Hay St, Sydney, Lunch: Fri-Sun 12:30 pm. Dinner  Tue-Sun 5:15 pm or 7:45 pm sittings.  Reservation via SMS at 0488 688 252; $220 per head @kuon.omakase

Sokyo 

The Darling, Level G, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont. Open dinner Monday to Thursday from 5:45 pm P: 1800 700 700 $300 per head Sokyo.com.au

Kuro

368 Kent St, Sydney; Open Tue – Wed – Thur: 6 pm Fri & Sat: 5:30 pm P: 02 9262 1580, reservations@kurosydney.com $220 per head. Kurosydney.com;

Choji Omakase

Level 2, 228 Victoria Ave, Chatswood —upstairs from Choji Yakiniku. Every Monday to Wednesday at 6.30 pm. One seating per day only. $295 per head. Chojiomakase.com.au

Gold Class Daruma

The Grace Hotel, Level 1/77 York St, Sydney; 12–2:30 pm, 5:30–9.00 pm Phone: (02) 9262 1190 M: 0424 553 611 booking@goldclassdaruma.com.au·$120 – $150 per head Goldclassdaruma.com.au

Besuto

Besuto Omakase, Sydney Place precinct, 3 Underwood Street, Circular Quay. Omakase is available to book for dinner – Tuesday to Saturday. 5:30 pm & 8pm sittings. From $250. Besuto.com.au

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is no soy and wasabi offered during my omakase meal?
Even though sushi and sashimi are being served, the chef is serving each piece of sushi so quickly and directly that the chef is applying the wasabi and soy to the sushi themselves. Watch as they brush the top of the fish with soy and dab a tiny amount of wasabi on the rice, under the fish. You should not need to add extra, and in fact, it can be insulting to the chef to add more. Bathing the bottom of the rice of your sushi in soy sauce is considered bad manners, as it is seen as detracting from the flavour of the fish.

Nobu, Sydney

Can an omakase experience accommodate my dietary needs?
Although there is often little variation once the chef has set the daily menu, some customisation is possible. Advise the restaurant when you book and remind them of allergies or aversions again as you sit down. They will let you know when you book if your allergy is possible for the chef. Japanese menus feature a lot of seafood and dashi so accommodating a no seafood request can be genuinely tricky.

What are the golden rules for chopstick etiquette?
Use your chopstick holder in between eating, rather than putting chopsticks on your plate. Don’t use your chopsticks to gesticulate or point; if offering food to someone to try, never pass food directly from your chopsticks to theirs. Rather place the food onto a small plate and let them pick it up.
Never touch communal or shared food with your chopsticks. The longer, slightly larger chopsticks are like sharing cutlery, never put these in your mouth.

Without a menu, how can I know what I am eating during omakase?
Omakase is often a no-menu situation, and you are expected to try new things. Attending an omakase experience with an open, trusting mind yields the best results.
There are Wagyu and tempura omakase that reflect the chef’s personal predilections and training, but in a standard luxury omakase, the format will include a lot of freshly caught seafood and will usually kick off with a delicate appetiser. This will be followed by a sashimi and sushi course, a savoury egg custard (chawanmushi) with meat and seafood, a cooked or blow-torched market fish, a soup course, and dessert.

Can I talk to the chef during omakase? What is the protocol?
Guests at an omakase experience are welcome to ask questions of the chef; in fact, interacting with the chef is part of the experience. It is considered polite to ask questions or inquire about the food so they can explain.

What is best to pair with omakase  in terms of drinks?
In general, wine and sake are a perfect match for omakase. Aged fish and vinegar have strong umami flavours so depending on which course you enjoy, different wine and sake will pair well. Dry chilled sake is a great choice. Amazing sakes are imported into Australia, so trust the restaurant to advise you and take you on a sake journey at the same time.  If you don’t like sake, drinking chardonnay, a crisp young riesling, or even a dry complex Riesling is also totally acceptable. All three styles help bring out the flavour of the fish. Champagne can also be good. Try a blanc de blancs— 100% chardonnay —for a great way to start the meal. As you progress, remember that sake is good for dishes with a strong taste, such as uni and eel.

Nobu, Sydney

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The Sonos Ace Headphones Are Music to the Ears

The audio giant has (finally) revealed its foray in the personal listening category.

By Josh Bozin 20/06/2024

In the ever competitive market for premium headphones, few brands have captured the hearts (and ears) of audiophiles, professionals and enthusiasts alike. Bowers & Wilkins, Bose, Sony, and even Apple come to mind when debating great audio brands in 2024. Then there’s Sonos.

For over 20 years, the American audio manufacturer has been lauded for its high-end capabilities, particularly in a home setting; Sonos changed the game for the integration of home entertainment. But it had yet to venture into the realm of headphones.

Until now. Earlier this month, the company marked its long-awaited entry into the personal-listening category, with the launch of its highly anticipated Sonos Ace over-ear headphones.

“Fans have asked us for years to bring the Sonos experience to headphones,”says Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos, “and we knew our first foray into the category needed to champion the type of innovation and sound experience Sonos has become synonymous with.”

Sonos

On paper, the Sonos Ace is an enticing proposition: a premium over-ear headphone featuring lossless and spatial audio, intuitive Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and Aware Mode. Most appealing, however, might be its new immersive home theatre offering; the Sonos Ace can pair to compatible Sonos soundbars with just a tap of a button. The new TrueCinema technology, which arrives later this year, will precisely map your entertainment space and then render a complete surround sound system for an unparalleled listening experience.

Sonos

Retailing at $699, they aren’t exactly cheap, and there more affordable headphones that compete with Sonos in terms of audio output and high-fidelity sound. But where Sonos thrives is in the details. Available in  stealthy black and pure white, the Sonos Ace are sleek and stylish right out of the box. Sure, there is some resemblance to the Apple Air Max Pro—arguably its greatest rival in the over-ear headphone segment—but Sonos has also added its own design touches, and it’s clear the Ace was made to look and feel as good as it sounds.

Its distinctive, slim profile elegantly blends metal accents with a sleek matte finish, and thanks to the use of lightweight, premium materials like memory foam and vegan leather, you get an airy fit that isn’t overbearing, even after extensive use. The design of the Sonos Ace is also intuitive; tactile buttons make controlling the headset a cinch, and pairing with Apple or Android devices is also straightforward. The dedicated Sonos App is also helpful for customising (somewhat) your listening experience, from altering EQ to turning on certain capabilities, like Head Tracking.

Sonos

It does fall short on a couple of key fronts.  I was expecting more from the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) for over-ear headphones of this price point; there’s no way the ANC as it stands will filter out the sounds of a plane engine, for example. I also found the Sonos Ace has an issue, albeit subtle, with the mid-bass, which can sound muddy and lack punch at times.

But these are small nits. The Sonos Ace only adds to the company’s impressive standing as an unimpeachable innovator in the audio industry.

For more information, visit Sonos.

 

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