“It is an Audi you can carry into the meeting room,” says Vivek Sharma, a businessman, about his Rolex Explorer, and the comparison was no mere spontaneous burst of enthusiasm. For all watch and car enthusiasts and people who wish to indulge in utmost luxury, ‘Watches & Luxuriance,' an event presented by The Hindu, was indeed the place to be on Saturday. Some of the world's finest jewellery and luxury watch manufacturing houses presented rare and contemporary collection, even as regal Audi R 55 and Audi A 7 added more glamour.
Every watch has a history to it, and often it involves generations, reminisced visitors at the event. “Earlier fathers would hand over gold-plated watch to sons on their 21st birthday. And then you keep adding to the collection, and end up a 80 year-old veteran with a smart wooden box, with silk and muslin compartments that holds your “collection" of watches,” says S. Krishnakanth (56), who has a collection of sixteen luxury watches.
Brash, bold pieces, gritty, raw ones retro-styled master pieces and then, those intricately designed ones with utmost care, - wrist watches from the finest international brands including A. Lange and Sohne, Rolex, Jaeger – LE Coultre, Cartier , Omega and Raymond and Weil were part of the exhibition. The price of the watches ranged from Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore.
“Watches reflect character and prestige. They are the ultimate indicator that the owner is a member of a particular club,” says T.P. Sharuffudin, a timber merchant, as he shows off his fifteen-year old Rolex constellation while his eyes longingly look at the contemporary one with a bigger dial and more diamonds. “Earlier it used to be about owning classic watches, now it is about chronometers, of specific brands,” says Vishnu Kumar, who works in the watch industry. Adding to the sophistication, was wine served with an eclectic mix of nuts, fruit and cheese cake.
And while many would say that watches are the most acceptable face of male jewellery, women often are not far behind either. “A sleek, smart watch is never inappropriate unlike other jewellery pieces,” says Azra Kanam.
The exhibition also showcased a series of technologically advanced electronic devices ranging from a banana shaped cordless phone to exotic home theatres from Bang and Olufsen.