High Roller

 

Exploring three continents in Rolls-Royce’s first off-roader.

By Max Prince

Photographs by Cory Richards

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is not an SUV.

It seats five adults and has an expansive tailgate. It rides on air suspension, towering more than six feet tall, and weighing more than three tons. It has a torque-y twin-turbo engine and full-time four-wheel drive, with a dedicated low gear for off-road use. On paper, it is an archetypal sport utility vehicle.

But no.

According to Rolls-Royce, the Cullinan, which represents the British automaker’s first foray outside the traditional coupe, sedan, and convertible body styles, is “a high-sided, all-terrain motor car.” Acronyms, apparently, are tacky. Crass. Maybe even vulgar. And a Rolls-Royce is nothing if not entirely devoid of vulgarity.

Consider the automotive landscape in 1906, when the company entered the market. Motoring was an event unto itself; drivers could expect frequent mechanical failure, tools and lubricants, ruined clothing, and long walks searching for fuel or assistance. Rolls-Royce positioned itself as the ultimate in personal luxury: all the opulence of autonomy and speed without the inconvenience and ignominy of a breakdown. Early marketing efforts were famously theatrical, with salespeople chucking their tool kits, locking their hoods shut, and driving hundreds of miles through mountains and deserts. Royals and socialites swooned. The brand became an institution.

In a neat historical symmetry, the Cullinan’s final testing phase involved a theatrical endurance trial. Wearing camouflage livery, the all-new Rolls-Royce traversed the Scottish highlands, smashed over Mideast sand dunes, ascended the 14,000-foot Pikes Peak in Colorado, then ripped off top speed runs across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Cory Richards, the award-winning photojournalist and mountain climber, was along for the ride. He captured some exclusive behind-the-scenes images for Watch Journal, which appear on the following pages, along with his notes from the journey.

The visual grandeur of Richards’s work fits the Rolls-Royce’s personality. After all, the name Cullinan comes from the world’s largest rough diamond, discovered in 1905, and later cut into nine stones. Two of them were set into the Queen’s crown. Her Majesty does not dress provocatively, express political views, nor speak in clipped, crude abbreviations.

S-U-V? Please.

SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

“Every time I step out the door, I don’t really know what to expect. That uncertainty is the soul of adventure. Being isolated is always unnerving. But it’s always underscored by a sense of curiosity. I’ve been all over the world, and I’ve never seen a landscape that is at once so similar and so complex.… God, it’s stunning.”

– Cory Richards

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

“A place is more than its people, its cultures, its languages, or its landscapes. They’re simply components of the texture. Finding the moment that celebrates all of these things simultaneously—that’s the alchemy of photography. Finding a moment that says everything without having to say anything at all. Like the quiet stranger, walking through the desert, alone.”

-C.R.

AMERICAN WEST

“Finality is always bittersweet. Oftentimes journeys seem to end abruptly, like crossing a finish line that you know is there, but that you couldn’t see until it was behind you. I’d imagine it’s kind of like going 300 miles per hour [on the Salt Flats.] It happens before you can make sense of it, only to be trapped trying to remember the experience long after the world has slowed. What was lived can only be revisited in images along the way. Postcards from the past, that we use to make sense of how it’s changed us, as we look to the future.”

-C.R.

Nordic Trek

 

Photographs by Alex Strohl

Iceland is defined by its lack of humanity. Instead of being edited by men, chopped down and drilled into and paved over, this place was shaped by nature. Rainfall and erosion, volcanic eruption and glacial collapse, life and death and the rightful order of things, all conspiring with the passing of time to shape the most beautiful natural landscape on the planet. We see something like that, and we want to understand.

FEATURED IMAGE AND ABOVE: Scenes from Deplar Farm, the luxe resort on Troll Peninsula. The property is so remote and expansive, some of its snowmobile routes and ski runs have never been run; guests who open them get naming rights.

So it’s only natural that we create devices to mark the hours, weeks, decades—to measure then and now and record the change. Few men contributed more to that endeavor than the horologist Antoine LeCoultre. During the 19th century, his name became synonymous with innovation and accuracy; later, it was spelled out across the dials of icons, like the Reverso, the Geophysic, and the Polaris Memovox.

Our man Strohl wearing his Polaris Memovox in the field. Limited to 1,000 pieces, it’s a rare and special thing, perfect for this kind of once-in-a-lifetime adventure,

The latter watch, a midcentury landmark, famously introduced an underwater alarm function for intrepid divers. This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre is releasing an updated version, instantly recognizable to anybody familiar with the original. Like its eponym, the new Polaris Memovox has the distinctive trapezoidal indices and vanilla-tinted lume hands, that sleek 42 mm case with its signature three-crown layout. But now the case is water-resistant to 200 meters. The hands are wider; the lume is brighter. The crowns are redesigned, tweaked ever so slightly, in the interest of improved ergonomics. Important changes, but small ones, shaped by the passing of time.

So when Alex Strohl made for Iceland, it’s only natural that he did so with a new Polaris Memovox on his wrist. The Spanish-born photographer took to the country’s scenic passes. He went freediving and explored on foot. He sailed across fjords and wheeled up mountains. And he photographed it all. Seeing it all through his lens, we can better understand the place—and, maybe, time itself—just a little better.

Freediving between the North American and the European tectonic plates, near Reykjavik. The water is said to be some of the purest in the world.
Hitching a ride with the local sailors across the fjord in Ísafjörður.

One (Perfect) Day in Berlin With NOMOS Glashütte

Spending time at work, hours and minutes can often feel slow and deliberate. But when visiting a foreign city on vacation, rules change. Scheduling becomes irrelevant. In a recent issue of Watch Journal, we featured a travel story about Berlin, a city our friends at NOMOS Glashütte know well. Concurrently, the German watch brand brings us a new series of watches with a significant update: Tangente, Orion, and Ludwig, each with a radically redesigned caliber, the neomatik date DUW 6101. These pieces require less maintenance, provide greater precision, and offer super-legible date indicators. Perfect for getting the most out of a day in Berlin, a bustling city that demands punctuality.


8:00 am –  The Tangente neomatik 41 Update at the Hotel Oderberger

NOMOS Glashütte Tangente neomatik 41 Update. (Photo courtesy of NOMOS Glashütte)

The ideal watch to start the day, the Tangente easily synchronizes to local time (GMT +2). Gained or lost a day in transit? A simple turn of the crown sets the date backward or forward, with a cool, red marker that travels around the outer ring of the dial.

Facade of Hotel Oderberger, formerly Oderberger Stadtbad

“This boutique hotel occupies an old public bathing house [designed by architect Ludwig Hoffmann in 1898]–the rooms still have some of the old features, and, more importantly, the swimming pool is open to all. We held an event here last summer to launch our Aqua series.” 

– NOMOS Glashütte
NOMOS Glashütte Tangente neomatik 41 Update. (Photo courtesy of NOMOS Glashütte)

10:30 am – Tour The Boros Collection, but keep an eye on the Tangente. The museum can only accommodate 12 people at a time, and German-language tours start on the full hour, English on the half-hour. Open Thursday thru Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm. (Make sure to book a viewing in advance.)

The Boros Collection. (Photos, including opening image, by NOSHE)

“Only in Berlin can you find 3,000 meters of exhibition space in a converted war bunker. We share the Boros’ love for clean and creative design, rooted in the 20th century but constantly in dialogue with today’s developments.”

– NOMOS Glashütte

NOMOS Glashütte Tangente neomatik 41 Update Specs:

  • Oxidized black hands
  • Steel case with anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial
  • Automatic movement
  • Diameter: 40.5 mm
  • Height: 7.9 mm
  • Weight: 58 g
  • Horween black cordovan leather strap
  • Reference 180

12:00 pm  – The Ludwig nemomatik 41 Date at the Berlinische Galerie

NOMOS Glashütte Ludwig neomatik 41 Date. (Photo courtesy of NOMOS Glashütte)

Midday is ideal for contemplating great German design. The Ludwig has it in spades. Its date window sits at the 4 o’clock position, displayed in Arabic type—a smart, contrasting twist alongside the dial’s elegant Roman numerals.

Berlinische Galerie. (Photo by Nina Strassguetl)

“This is one of our favorite museums in Berlin, as it focuses on local art from the past 150 years, giving a real insight into the cultural history of the city.”

– NOMOS Glashütte
NOMOS Glashütte Ludwig Neomatik 41 Date. (Photo courtesy of NOMOS Glashütte)

3:00 pm – Visit the Istanbul-inspired Turkish Bazaar. Again, timing is everything here. The open-air market is only open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Turkish Bazaar. (Photo by Neil G Hamilton)

“NOMOS employees can often be found here on their lunch breaks, having a stroll, or getting groceries.”

– NOMOS Glashütte

NOMOS Glashütte Ludwig neomatik 41 Date Specs:

  • Steel case with anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial
  • Tempered steel blue hands
  • Automatic movement
  • Diameter: 40.5 mm
  • Height: 7.7 mm
  • Weight: 54 g
  • Horween black cordovan leather strap
  • Reference 260

7:00 pm – The Orion neomatik 41 Date for an evening at Katz Orange

NOMOS Glashütte Orion neomatik 41 Date (Photo courtesy of NOMOS Glashütte)

Nighttime is ideal for the Orion, named after the constellation, with its elegant golden indices, small seconds at the 6 o’clock position, and date window at 3. Ideal for a stylish night out on the town. Here, that means a fabulous dinner at Katz Orange. Reservations can easily be made online via OpenTable.

Kate Orange Courtyard. (Photo by Thanasis Boucharas)

“We also think [Katz Orange] has great taste in desserts—try the petit fours, to which we have dedicated our latest series of Tetra watches.”

– NOMOS Glashütte
NOMOS Glashütte Orion neomatik 41 Date. (Photo courtesy of NOMOS Glashütte)

NOMOS Glashütte Orion neomatik 41 Date Specs:

  • Steel case with anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial
  • Tempered steel blue hands
  • Automatic movement
  • Diameter: 40.5 mm
  • Height: 9.35 mm
  • Weight: 58 g
  • Horween black cordovan leather strap
  • Reference 360

Travel Time: The 9 Coolest Spots in Berlin

While company headquarters are two hours south, NOMOS Glashütte’s in-house design studio is located in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. The area’s hipper than all get-out, a sprawling collection of third-wave coffee shops, art galleries, and vintage shops, home to punks, poets, students, and a strong contingent of Turkish expats. NOMOS maintains that the influence of Kreuzberg, and Berlin in general, is central to the handsome, modern aesthetic of its timepieces. We asked the brand’s design team to give us the lowdown on the city’s coolest spots.


1. Michelberger Hotel

“This beautifully converted factory building is a favorite of ours. [Award-winning furniture designer] Werner Aisslinger—who recently collaborated with NOMOS—designed the interior of this vibrant, homey, and creative hotel in Friedrichshain. The restaurant and bar are always worth a visit, too.”

2. Hotel Oderberger Swimming Pool

Hotel Oderberger Swimming Pool

“This boutique hotel occupies an old public bathing house [designed by architect Ludwig Hoffmann in 1898]—the rooms still have some of the old features, and, most importantly, the swimming pool is open for all. We held an event here last summer to launch its Aqua series.”

3. Lode & Stijn

The Dutch Chef Duo in charge of Lode & Stijn. Photo by Lena Ganssmann

“Contemporary, inventive, and down-to-earth in the heart of Kreuzberg, Lode & Stijn is a beautiful little restaurant that has built its reputation on local, seasonal cooking in a relaxed but elegant little space. It’s great for a drink and some bar snacks, or a leisurely evening with their carefully selected five-course menu.”

4. Katz Orange

Katz Orange

“Tucked away in the sweet courtyard of a converted brewery, Katz Orange is a treat. There’s a cozy bar with delicious cocktails, which opens out onto the courtyard in summer. Then there’s the menu of slow-food delights, put together by the brilliant German chef Daniel Finke. We also think they have great taste in desserts—try the petit fours, to which we have dedicated our latest series of Tetra watches.”

5. Kranhaus Café Schöneweide

“This small café is on a ship, on the banks of the Spree river, anchored between the AEG Hall and the so-called Behrens Bau—the former flagship buildings of Berlin’s industrialization. Our watches are made in Germany, and are influenced by German industrial design in the traditions of Bauhaus and the Deutscher Werkbund, which makes the place even more special.”

6. Turkish Market, Maybachufer, Kreuzberg

“Every Tuesday and Friday, countless vendors set up their stalls along the Landwehr Canal, selling everything from fabric and fruit to falafel wraps. NOMOS employees can often be found here on their lunch breaks, having a stroll, or getting groceries.”

7. Berlinische Galerie

“This is one of our favorite museums in Berlin, as it focuses on local art from the past 150 years, giving a real insight into the cultural history of the city. Besides the beautiful permanent collection [which includes works by Max Liebermann, Otto Dix, and Hannah Höch], there is always a temporary show worth visiting.”

8. Bauhaus Archive/Museum of Design

Berlinische Galerie Treppengalerie. Photo by Nina Strassguetl.

“It’s no secret what a source of inspiration the Bauhaus movement is to our aesthetic. This iconic building, designed by the great Walter Gropius [in 1964], houses one of the largest collections of Bauhaus material.”

9. Boros Bunker

Boros Collection. Photo by Noshe

“Only in Berlin can you find 3,000 meters of exhibition space in a converted war bunker. We share the Boros’ love for clean and creative design, rooted in the 20th century but constantly in dialogue with today’s developments. [Famed art collectors] Christian and Karen Boros have built their home onto the top floor of the bunker; on the many floors below, they put on an impressive exhibition.”

Travel Time: Berlin

Venice may be more picturesque.
London may be more polished.

But nothing compares to the raw energy of Berlin.

Here, in Europe’s undisputed capital of contemporary art, the grit and graffiti have an appealing allure. And yet, Berlin is growing up. Sure, you can still party hard in the techno clubs in bombed-out warehouses, but you can just as easily find expertly crafted cocktails at boho rooftop bars and moody speakeasy-style joints. Foodies, take note: Berlin now has more Michelin-starred restaurants than Copenhagen, with talented young chefs redefining German cuisine, making the city’s culinary scene more dynamic than ever.

Ahead, our guide to unwinding, indulging, and getting cultured like a Berliner.


Where to stay… 

A grande dame opened in 1909 and overlooking the Brandenburg Gate, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski (from $335 per night) survived World War II only to burn to the ground shortly after. It was rebuilt to the original exacting standards in 1997 and continues to innovate. The rooms may be traditional in style, but the restaurant Sra Bua by Tim Raue—Germany’s hottest chef—is contemporary in both concept (e.g., pan-Asian dishes prepared with haute cuisine techniques) and design.

Sophisticated travelers, including A-listers like Tom Hanks, check into Rocco Forte’s Hotel de Rome (from $385 per night) for a chic pied-à-terre away from the crowds but still centrally located in Mitte. This five-star property, which occupies the landmarked Dresdner Bank across from the Staatsoper Opera House, boasts a modern design and contemporary art. On a warm evening, the rooftop bar is the place to be.

Located in Charlottenburg, on the city’s more commercialized west side, Hotel Zoo (from $245 per night) is eye-catching. Whimsical touches abound, from birdcage chandeliers in the restaurant to elevator art depicting paparazzi whose cameras flash when you enter. The attention to detail extends to the in-room rotary phones and bathrobes by Maison Margiela.

Where to play…

A T-shirt in the window of this Michelin-starred restaurant near Checkpoint Charlie reads “Who the fuck is Paul Bocuse?” That pretty much sums up the cheeky attitude at Nobelhart & Schmutzig, where vinyl albums spin as diners, seated at an L-shaped counter, sip biodynamic wine and watch the chefs prepare hyper-local dishes in an open kitchen.

The Michelin-starred Pauly Saal was once a Jewish girls’ school, and it retains the original tiled walls from the gymnasium, in interesting contrast with the Murano glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. But the real reason to go is Arne Anker, the talented chef who’s creating truly artful New German cuisine.

Come happy hour, you’re likely to find Berlin’s creative types at the Monkey Bar, located on the rooftop of the 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, gathering for craft cocktails with views of the west side. Order a refreshing Garden & Tonic (gin, maraschino liqueur, celery bitters, tonic water, fresh cucumber, and mint) and watch the sunset.

For a post-dinner nightcap, head to the acclaimed speakeasy-style Buck & Breck. Ring the bell to gain entry, then appreciate the intimate vibe inside,  where expert bartenders stir and shake some of the city’s best cocktails.


Pocket guide… Mitte District

  • The magnificent Staatsoper opera house, originally commissioned by King Frederick of Prussia, recently reopened after a seven-year renovation, ushering in a new era for opera in Berlin. The retouched hall has better acoustics, improved visibility of the stage, and a fresh gloss.
  • The Pergamon Museum on Museum Island may be closed for renovation, but a temporary building housing a panorama and 3-D simulation of the Pergamon Altar will open in April, giving visitors an overview of this ancient wonder.
  • For a taste of the city’s world-famous contemporary art scene, head to the KW Institut for Contemporary Art, where a series of exhibitions by emerging and established artists are spread out over several floors. The leafy courtyard is a pleasant place to sit and sip a coffee after viewing the art.
  • Prominently located in the heart of Mitte near the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe by American architect Peter Eisenman serves as a somber reminder of Germany’s dark history. Walking through the rows of steel-gray stelae, you feel claustrophobic—and that’s the point. It’s worth taking time to reflect on what happened here.

Berlin according to… Kimia Kline

The Brooklyn-based painter and curator at Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel spent last September in Berlin doing a residency with 68Projects. She shares her favorite places to see art, eat, and unwind.

“Berlin is one of Europe’s best cities for art. If you can visit during the last weekend in April, you’ll be able to catch Gallery Weekend and see some world-class exhibitions. My favorite galleries are Philipp Haverkampf, 68Projects, Contemporary Fine Arts, and König Galerie.”

“In addition to galleries, the museums are filled with incredible art collections. The Neues Museum is home to one of the most impressive Egyptian collections in the world, and also houses the exquisite bust of Nefertiti. For German Expressionism at its best, visit the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Charlottenburg and the Brücke Museum.”

“Public spaces are taken seriously in Berlin, with beautiful parks scattered throughout the whole city. Visit Görlitzer Park for an afternoon picnic or nap in the grass, then head over to Admiralbrücke Bridge to feed the swans and take a boat ride down the river.”

“My favorite restaurant in the whole city is Der Goldene Hahn. It has a rotating seasonal menu and great atmosphere. Think speakeasy meets Italian pasta house.”

The 5 Best Luxury Ski Resorts of 2018

Powder trip.


By Laura Itzkowitz

Spruce Peak at Stowe. (Photo: Jesse Schloff)

Contemplating where to jet off to for an invigorating ski vacation this winter? From the French Alps to a former host of the Winter Olympics in Japan, some of the world’s most luxurious ski resorts are unveiling large-scale renovations and brand-new amenities. Michelin-starred cuisine? Heli-safaris? It’s all here, and we’ve got the lowdown on the exciting offerings worth packing your snow gear and traveling for.

(Photo: Richard Waite / Four Seasons)

Megève, France

Tucked away in the southwest of France under the shadow of Mont Blanc, this under-the-radar ski resort has been favored by the rich and famous since the 1920s. The opening of the 55-room Four Seasons Megève this month—a collaboration with Baroness Ariane de Rothschild, whose aristocratic family was among the village’s original admirers—is sure to put it on the map. If the town’s antique painted wagons are too quaint for your taste, take the resort’s helicopter for a spin. The Ski Concierge is tasked with finding the best powder each day, whether it’s in nearby Chamonix, Courchevel, or Val d’Isère. The sunset return ride will have you back in time for après-ski at the new home for the Rothschilds’ two-Michelin-starred Le 1920.

Rooms from $997 per night; fourseasons.com

(Photo: Stowe Mountain Lodge)

Stowe, Vermont

East Coasters needn’t look far for a top-notch ski destination. A 75-minute flight from New York will get you to Burlington, just an hour west of this quaint mountain town, which means you can leave after work on Friday and arrive in time for dinner. Check into the Stowe Mountain Lodge and book a treatment at its luxurious 2,100 square-foot spa or snatch up one of the condo-style ski-in/ski-out Club Residences. New perks include a $90 million adventure center complete with a rock wall at the base of the mountain, a posh speakeasy-style pub, gourmet dining, members-only club, and retail by Ralph Lauren.

Rooms from $219 per night to $699 on holiday and peak weekends; sprucepeak.com

(Photo: Hoshina Resorts)

Nagano, Japan

Powder hounds wax poetic about Nagano in winter, and, at just three hours by train from Tokyo, it’s easy to combine an urban excursion with a ski getaway for a yin-yang balance of city and country. Nestled in the gateway to the Japanese Alps, the intimate 48-room KAI Alps by Hoshino Resorts—a collection of ryokans founded in 1914—reopens this month after a nearly two-year renovation. Traditional, yet clean-lined and modern, the resort exudes a Zen vibe. After a morning on the slopes of the Hakuba Valley, which hosted the 1998 Nagano Olympics, bliss out at the onsen, fed by natural hot springs, and indulge in a classic kaiseki meal.

Rooms from 23,000 JPY/ (approx. $200) per night, which includes two meals, taxes, and service charges; kai-ryokan.jp

(Photo: Gibeon Photography / Little Nell)

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen loyalists are buzzing about beloved five-star hotel the Little Nell’s renovation, completed this summer. Alexandra Champalimaud—the creative force behind New York’s Carlyle and Plaza Hotels, among others—brought her signature classic-meets-modern style to the revamp. “The Little Nell’s new design recalls in texture, tone, and attitude Aspen’s soul and its distinctiveness as a silver-mining town,” she said. “The particular realness of the place was a grounding quality that we respected and integrated into our work.” Also new this season: a partnership with Sentient Jet, expanded adventure programming, a guest-chef dinner series at Element 47, and the Little Nell Wine Club, which will grant members event invitations, benefits on purchases, and a place to store your stash of Dom Pérignon.

Rooms from $1,000 per night; thelittlenell.com

(Photo: Cristallo Luxury Resort & Spa)

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Calling all gourmands! Why not brush up on your Italian and join well-to-do Milanese and Romans for an epicurean adventure in the Dolomites this winter? Check into the historic Cristallo—family-run since 1901—which recently joined the Luxury Collection. Having hosted the Winter Olympics, Hollywood film crews, and such celebrities as Frank Sinatra, this iconic property is set to reveal a top-to-bottom renovation this month. The hotel may not be directly on the slopes, but it’s hard to complain when après-ski means an aperitivo with panoramic views of northern Italy’s snowy peaks and dinner is local cheese and house-made pasta served in a cozy wood-paneled room heated by an antique majolica stove. Let the Barolo flow!

Rooms from $358 per night; cristallo.com