Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams

The resurgence of cocktail culture has brought a renaissance in classic mixology. Retro champagne recipes, like the French 75 and Royales—and even bubbly communal punches—are finding a contemporary audience. Elegant, crisp, sophisticated. Like a radiant gold watch. But let’s go a bit further.

Sparkling diamonds? Luminous dials? Smartly bronzed cases? They all bring the spirit of delightful libation. They also coordinate perfectly with gilded barware, perfect for whipping up chilled drinks and warm enchanted evenings.

So go ahead, indulge a little. Because, as F. Scott Fitzgerald said: “Too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right.”


Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2011 Champagne, $125; perrier-jouet.com

Carl F. Bucherer Manero Flyback, $18,000; carl-f-bucherer.com

L’Objet Bambou Ice Tongs, $95; l-objet.com

Alessi Bulla Bottle Opener, $50; alessi.com

Christofle Silver Plated Champagne Bucket Cooler, $75,500; christofle.com

Asprey Tell Me How Cocktail Shaker, $10,000; asprey.com

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller, $17,150; rolex.com

Georg Jensen Acorn Champagne Sabre, $3,000; georgjensen.com

Tiffany & Company Everyday Objects Crazy Straw, from $250; tiffany.com

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition 100, $27,500; montblanc.com

Gucci Tigers Large Round Metal Tray, $790; gucci.com

Georg Jensen Bernadotte Cocktail Set, price upon request; georgjensen.com

Patek Philippe, Ref. 5124J Gondolo, $21,000; patek.com

Craigellachie 17 Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, $186, craigellachie.com

Hermès Adage Whiskey Carafe, $1,140; hermes.com

The Hero Family Behind Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Watch Straps

Inside a modest workshop on the western outskirts of Buenos Aires, four men are hard at work.

They measure patterns and heat irons over an open flame, methodically whetting and polishing and hammering. The tables are covered in awls, spurs, wrought-iron pincers. Rolls of exquisite calfskin and horsehide are stacked waist-high. Rows and rows of hardwood shoe lasts line the shelves.

Welcome to Casa Fagliano, a bastion of traditional bootmaking. The workshop first opened in 1892, across the street from the Asociación Civil Hurlingham Club. The latter establishment grew into the nation’s equestrian sports epicenter, hosting Abierto de Hurlingham, one of the world’s most prestigious polo tournaments. Casa Fagliano found an eager clientele. English-style polo boots became a specialty.

Germàn, the Fagliano clan’s youngest member, shows off his wares.

Four generations later, the operation remains a family affair. Rodolfo, the 86-year-old patriarch, cuts leather and welts soles alongside his sons, Eduardo and Hector, and his grandson, Germán. To them, “mass-production” is a four-letter word; these guys make each boot by hand, one at a time. Order a bespoke pair with matching kneepads and wood trees, and you can expect to join a six-to-eight-month waiting list—albeit one that includes Prince Harry, Tommy Lee Jones, and the Sultan of Brunei.

Also Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Swiss watchmaker first collaborated with Casa Fagliano seven years ago, commissioning straps for a limited-edition Reverso Tribute to 1931. Now, the two firms have teamed up again, this time on a special version of the Reverso Tribute Duo, which features a Cordovan leather strap, designed and handmade in the Fagliano workshop. According to Geoffroy Lefebvre, deputy CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, the continued partnership is a matter of values and pedigree.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duo (Casa Fagiliano strap), $22,900; jaeger-lecoultre.com 

“Both our realms share a passion for the product, respect for expert craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail and the pursuit of perfection,” says Lefebvre. “The Reverso was originally created in 1931 for British Army officers in India who were anxious to protect the glass of their watches while playing polo…. Therefore the relationship between the inventor of the polo watch and the most prestigious polo boot manufacturer was natural.”

The two-tone Fagliano band complements the Duo’s pink-gold case, which, as ever, features two dials. The main face is sun-brushed satin gray; it swivels and tucks away to reveal a secondary dial, silvered with Clous de Paris guilloché detailing and a day-night indicator. Both sides have formal dauphine hands, gold-plated hour markers, and run off a manual, in-house movement, offering a 42-hour power reserve.

Just 100 examples of the Reverso Tribute Duo will be offered on a Casa Fagiliano Edition strap, an order that took the leather-workers an entire year to fill. But, unlike the previous Tribute to 1931, which was exclusive to American stores, this new watch will be available at Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques worldwide—and, yes, that includes the Buenos Aires store.

Watch Cases

You’ve built up your watch collection, so now where to keep them? Deluxe cases designed to hold your prized possessions while home and away, each as beautiful as the watches themselves. Steamer trunks get resized, suitcases get modified. There are even luxe leather rolls that can get tossed right into your carry-on luggage. The bottom of the drawer will no longer suffice.  

PHOTO: Courtesy Asprey

Doing double duty as a watch winder, the English Saddle Leather watch box from Asprey not only stores six of your watches, but keeps them wound and well protected with a soft suede lining. Perfect for the top of the dresser, the glass lid lets you quickly scan your collection, making your daily grab-and-go easier than ever.

Asprey Six Watch Winder Box, English Saddle Leather, $9,650; asprey.com

PHOTO: Courtesy Globe-Trotter

A special-edition travel case from Globe-Trotter, the Deco draws  inspiration from the heady days of 1930s train travel—specifically, the glamour of the Orient Express. It’s available in navy, burgundy, and a “centenary” gray made for the brand’s 100th anniversary.

Globe-Trotter Deco Watch Case, $2,000; globe-trotter.com

PHOTO: Courtesy Louis Vuitton

The classic Louis Vuitton monogram steamer trunk gets adapted to the ideal size for holding as many as eight watches. Gleaming brass details contrast with the natural cowhide, for a miniature representation of iconic the golden age of Vuitton travel.

Louis Vuitton 8 Watch Case, $6,200; louisvuitton.com

PHOTO: Courtesy Smythson

Legend has it that Fred Smythson designed the first portable travel diary in 1908. The same style of crosshatched leather used on that book’s cover has now been adapted for a line of handsome travel accessories, featuring cases for everything from eyeglasses, currency, trinkets, and, of course, watches.

Smythson Panama Travel Watch Roll, $550; smythson.com

PHOTO: Courtesy Hermès

Swift calfskin top, bosse velvet goatskin inside, and beautiful silver hardware: The anthracite sycamore Hermès Lift holds up to six timepieces. And with a box so lavish, it’d better be a knockout assortment.

Hermès Lift 6 Watch Box, $6,750; hermes.com

PHOTO: Courtesy T.Anthony

An Upper East Side institution, New York’s T.Anthony hs created luggage for the likes of John Lennon and the Duke of Windsor. Now its made a useful watch roll for modern-day travel. Simply strap in two or three watches, roll it up, toss in your carry-on, and off you go.

T.Anthony Black Leather Watch Roll, $195; tanthony.com

Linked In

Why the world’s most discerning wrists wear cuff links from Michael Kanners.


By Paul L. Underwood

The modern man has about as much need for cuff links as he does for, well, a watch. If you need the time, you can consult your phone. If you need to keep your sleeves together, consider the button. And yet….

Wearing cuff links, like wearing a watch, signifies not just a rich understanding of history on behalf of the wearer, but also an appreciation for craftsmanship, for taste, and for the eternal notion that what’s practical isn’t always what’s stylish, and what’s convenient isn’t always what’s right. It also demonstrates a more forward-looking kind of aspiration: Cuff links, like watches, are the kinds of things that get passed down from generation to generation. To wear either, or even both, is to connect yourself to both your past and your future.

Few men understand this better than Michael Kanners. A third-generation jeweler, he received his first pair of cuff links from his grandfather (a simple gold pair he still owns), and went on to create some of the most intricately crafted and exquisitely designed ones on the market. He learned his art collecting and selling vintage links, before he began making his own, 10 years ago. It was a decision born of necessity. “Customers were looking for vintage cuff links, but I could never find enough,” he says. “I had to make them because there aren’t enough around to keep everybody happy.”

The telltale sign of a Michael Kanners cuff link is a unique marriage of first-rate materials with first-class whimsy. Take his first pair: theatrical masks made from fine coral. (He still has them and, we regret to inform, intends to keep them.) Then there are his later designs: A polar bear with a paw backing. An incredibly detailed dog—wearing a fedora. A diamond crown atop a coral frog. Suffice it to say, few designers, if any—and certainly not those at the big-brand jewelers—are making such painstaking and original designs today, and certainly not to such exacting standards of quality.

Where does he get his ideas? Some are commissioned by his customers. Some are inspired by vintage links. And then some just come to him. “There are certain obvious ones that appeal to the collector’s mentality: vintage cars, boats, dogs—things where there’s a lot of variety,” he says. “There are some cars I’ve done that I think are just fantastic, because of the combinations of stones, where every detail is represented by a different stone.”

Once he has an idea, he sits with a stone cutter—some of whom he’s worked with for his entire 10-year run—in Italy or Germany and does some sketching. They’ll see what stones are available, with a particular eye for ones with a strong color variety. He’ll sketch his designs directly onto the stones, estimate the time and cost involved, and then cut them to his own very precise measurements. (His experience has given him a strong sense of what his customers will like—what he calls “the sweet spot” between too big and too small.) Because each pair is handcrafted, no two sets of cuff links are ever exactly alike.

Michael Kanners