Naphalai’s Diary: June 4-10
Swipe to begin.
Last Week Was A Watch Week
Don’t know if there was anything to do with the planets and stars but four watch companies decided last week was a good week to hold events in Bangkok. The first one was Hermes, which, although it is best known for its outrageously expensive bags, has also made its name for its watchmaking dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. The maison organised an exhibition, "Time, a Hermes Object", at Siam Paragon with its latest models presented through monolithic windows and interactive displays. Against a white backdrop, London-based Gandini Juggling featured six characters who presented short sketches designed to pass the time in a fun and entertaining way. The exhibition runs until June 17.
Watch #2: Patek Philippe
Two other watchmakers held their events on the same day. At Gaysorn Urban Resort, Patek Philippe introduced its Baselword novelties with the press able to learn about and try on the new models. Many of the popular timepieces including the Golden Ellipse, Ladies Chronographer, Nautilus and World Time Minute Repeater have been updated for 2018.
Watch #3: Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet, meanwhile, held its first brand exhibition in Bangkok at Central Embassy to present its 143-year-old history. "From Le Brassus to Bangkok" featured unique pieces including over 50 heritage museum timepieces as well as its first collaboration with Thai contemporary artist Arin Rungjang. Hosting the event were Oliviero Bottinelli, board director, and Jonathan King, CEO for Southeast Asia.
There was also an exhibition hosted by Blancpain
—to highlight its commitment to the ocean, but unfortunately I could not attend as I was not in Bangkok. I was in Samui the past weekend for the opening of the Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui. Located on the northeastern part of the island on a 58-acre site, the resort stretches from hilltop to beach. Owned by Malaysia’s YTL Hotels, the property has 175 suites and pool villas with eight food and beverage outlets when fully opened. A highlight is the Spa Village, with massage pavilions and treatment suites as well as cabanas around a huge pool.
The Opening Of The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui
For the opening guests flew in from around the world, with Thailand Tatler helping to invite society personalities from Bangkok. Although it was raining almost the whole day, the sky cleared up just in time for the gala dinner, which had been set up in the open-air grounds of Baan Talat restaurant. Giving the welcoming addresses were Mahmoud Skaf, area general manager, Dato Mark Yeoh, executive director of YTL Hotels and Craig Smith, president and managing director of Asia Pacific, Marriott International. Guests enjoyed a gourmet sit-down dinner, after which there was a spectacular fireworks display followed by an after-party with international DJ Andy Vier at the beach. Social media was abuzz with posts from guests, who seemed to be taking pictures non-stop.
140th Anniversary Of B.Grimm
I flew back on Sunday afternoon and with a quick change of clothes I was off to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre for the 140th anniversary celebration of B.Grimm. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sindhorn presided over the event and were welcomed by CEO Harald Link and his wife Assunta as well as children Caroline and Felix. With exhibitions and activities dedicated to the company’s long history in Thailand on almost all levels of the eight-floor venue, guests were seen wandering all over. After viewing the displays, the Princess arrived at the auditorium on the top floor for a dance performance organised by artist Pinaree Sanpitak before taking her departure.
Dinner At Sra Bua
The full week also included dinner at Sra Bua of the Siam Kempinski Hotel. It was a Peranakan meets Thai experience created by chefs Henrik Yde-Andersen and Chayawee Sutcharitchan of Sra Bua and Malcolm Lee of Candlenut Singapore. I had been invited by both Pernod Ricard and Citibank and in the end sat with Don Charnsupharindr, retail banking head of Citibank, at his table.
A Stop At House No 1 & The Portuguese Embassy
I also stopped by House No 1 for the launch of Portofino, Ferrari’s replacement for the California T. Local distributor Cavallino Motors turned the venue into a part of the Italian Riviera and host Nandhamalee Bhirombhakdi made sure there was lots of food for all the supercar aficionados who turned up.
Since the Portuguese embassy was close by I also dropped in on the National Day of Portugal celebration. This is among the few embassies in town which can host a party in the gardens, and ambassador HE Francisco Vaz Patto takes advantage of this whenever he can. I am usually not able to attend national day events as I have many other engagements so it is nice to be able to do so once in a while to say hello to members of the diplomatic corps.
Opening Of Jurlique At Gaysorn
Finally I also went to the opening of the Jurlique concept store at Gaysorn Village hosted by importer Pacifica. The theme was pink and the area was decorated with roses very much in line with the natural flavor of the brand. Sopana Lavichant and husband Opras were there to greet guests.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: May 28-June 3)