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No matter the time of year, there are always occasions to enjoy good wine surrounded by those we love. In collaboration with the SAQ, LUXE present a few suggestions for delicious wines, from sparkling to pinots and more!

 

In collaboration with SAQ

Sparkling Wine

CHAMPAGNE

Lallier Grande Réserve Grand Cru

France, 750 ml

SAQ CODE: 11374251

PRICE: $48.50

Subtle notes of fruit (citrus) and yeast, a slightly brioche flavor, a well-sensed acidity and a beautiful minerality. Ideal for holiday parties, this wonderful champagne costs under $50. And let’s not forget that it’s a Grand Cru!

 

SPARKLING WINE

Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley

United States, 750 ml

SAQ CODE: 00294181

PRICE: $36.35

This sparkling wine will impress your guests with its subtle and delicate taste. For an extraordinary balance, pair it with crab or lobster on avocado mousse with tomato and cardamom.

 

PROSECCO

Bisol Crede 2018 

Italy, 750 ml

SAQ CODE: 10839168

PRICE: $21.85

Established in northern Italy in 1542, the Bisol family controls the quality of its wine production right down to the bottle. With maximum yields of 65 hectolitres per hectare, its prosecco stands out. Composed of 85% glera and a little pinot blanc and verdiso, this mineral and breathtaking prosecco contains floral notes.

 

Red Wine

Villa Antinori Chianti Classico

Italy, 750 ml

SAQ CODE: 12629666

PRICE: $29.95

Piero Antinori, whose family is intimately tied to the wine-producing region of Tuscany for 26 generations, offers up this riserva from the fruits of the Pèppoli, Badia a Passignano and Tignanello estates. A fine wine that takes you on a trip!

 

 

 

Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc 2016

France, 750 ml

SAQ CODE: 13462466

PRICE: $29

Château Sénéjac 2016 opens with an aromatic bouquet of blueberry, blackberry, and dark chocolate. This gem hits the palate perfectly, with melted tannins along with a velvety, yet dense body. Brilliant, the fresh finish lingers. Perfect with beef or lamb dishes.

 

 

 

 


Château De Chamirey 2017

France, 750 ml

CODE SAQ: 00962589

PRICE: $28.25

A fresh, light wine with a rich fruity and spicy flavor composed of silky tannins and a fine balance, produced by hand-harvesting the grapes. Careful sorting and destemming are done during the wine-making process. Quality at its finest!

 

 

 

 

 

Text: Diane Stehle

Launched in 2009, Noam Carver is the culmination of expert craftsmanship, timeless design, and a conceptual artistry deriving at unique jewelry that has won the bridal world over one ring at a time. Reconciling the essence of what makes a jewelry brand stand out in such an oversaturated industry, Noam Carver’s connection to his formative years in Montreal is what keeps the award-winning brand on the cutting edge of what has become a highly coveted, world-renown design aesthetic.

 

How was Noam Carver conceived?

It was over 20 years ago that I began as an apprentice in the jewelry world. My father was in the business and helped me get an apprenticeship with Paolo Vena, an expert craftsman in Montreal. In 2009 I created Noam Carver and started to design bespoke custom jewelry. From there, the brand started to build organically. I eventually partnered with my parent brand CrownRing which helped propel Noam Carver on an international scale.

What inspires your design process? 

I developed my design aesthetic working one-on-one for friends and acquaintances out of my workshop in Montreal, and so I drew inspiration from the women around me: the quintessential Montreal girl. She is well travelled, highly educated, career oriented, but most importantly, she is fashion forward and always edgy. I try to convey that very essence. This helps orient my thought process from the conceptual phase all the way to the end product. It’s about playing with dichotomies of what is conceptual, contemporary, and timeless, because at the base of it all, that is the essence of bridal.

How would you describe the Noam Carver aesthetic, and how does it maintain its uniqueness in the industry?

There is one ring that took Noam Carver to the next level and when I launched my bridal collection that ring went viral. From the top view, it seemed like a classic ring, but it had an explosive diamond-encrusted basket design. The fine detail and punch of a simple solitaire diamond drew so much interest, it won 1st place in the 2019 JCK Jeweler’s Choice Awards. This ring encapsulates the Noam Carver look, because regardless of the theme that drives a collection—vintage, floral, or the now-trendy resurgence of yellow gold—Noam Carver is always contemporary and slightly different than whatever else is out there.

 

Beyond Bloom Collection

Atelier Collection

What are some current trends you see in bridal?

Today’s bride is different than before, she’s searching for a genuine way to reflect her individuality. The way we shop is different and the way we convey who we are to the world is different, so it’s no wonder women are looking for an authentic form of expression when it comes to their engagement ring. Brides look to infuse their unique identity into a ring, and they are searching for something classic that will stand the test of time. Distinct and non-traditional, I focus on garnering relationships with consumers, because after the engagement comes the wedding, anniversaries and other special moments. The trend is less about the materials and cuts, more about the wearer, and that’s the everlasting connection that should be established and sustained.

How do you stay ahead of the trend?

The truth is that bridal is a highly sought after category, it’s viral online. Women look for their engagement rings years before they get engaged. Staying original and ahead of the trend just means I stay connected to the wearer. Taking the award circuit very seriously I use it as my artistic playground. I’ll test some wilder ideas—black finishing, primary colour enamel or different gem stones—and then later iterate my design creations into a more wearable collection. Design awards are not only great exposure and notoriety, but also a great way to experiment with new materials and daring combinations. That’s how trends are created.

What’s next for Noam Carver?

We have expanded worldwide, doubling down on our retailers whether it’s with a North American audience or European and Asian markets. Recently, Noam Carver launched shop-in-shops with several retailers, which provides the opportunity for a fully branded experience and greater exposure. In June, we launched Atelier, a high-end, artisanal collection that focuses on only the finest materials pairing them with exceptional diamonds. This is a collection that speaks to a select clientele, for women who truly want to stand out from the crowd. Once these projects have crystallized I will set my sights on breaking into the fashion world.

 

www.noamcarver.com

 

2019 Instore Design Award (one-of-a-kind piece)

 

Text: Alecs Kakon

Birks is Canada’s largest chain of watch and jewelry stores, with nearly 30 points of sale across the country. It also produces its own jewelry lines. For the latest financial year, the group recorded sales of $151 million. This company, founded in Montreal in the 19th century, also has a role in the vast reconfiguration of watch retail in North America. In 2017 it sold the American watch chain Mayors, active in Florida and Georgia, to the British group Watches of Switzerland for 106.8 million dollars. The launch of Birks branded jewelry collections in the United Kingdom began in September 2017 through an exclusive distribution agreement with Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths. The company intends to increase its presence in international markets over the next five years. Europa Star interviewed Grigor Garabedian, head of the Birks Group’s central watchmaking division.

 

In collaboration with Europa Star

 

A first store was opened by Henry Birks in 1879 in Montreal

What have been the major milestones in the Birks’ Group’s history?

Henry Birks opened his first jewelry store in Montreal in 1879. A few years later, he moved to Phillips Square, where one of our flagship stores is still located today. By 1901, the group had expanded nationally, with outlets in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

 

Another turning point was the introduction of the Birks Blue Box jewelry gift concept in 1920. In 1954, the Birks Group opened its first store in a Canadian shopping mall in Dorval. We should also mention the creation of a gift for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1959, followed by our appointment as official supplier for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

 

In 1993, Jonathan Birks sold the company to the Regaluxe Group and in 2005 Birks merged with Mayors to form the group we know today.

How many points of sale do you have today?

Maison Birks has 28 stores across Canada and our jewelry collections are available in 63 retail outlets in North America and the United Kingdom. Our group also operates a Patek Philippe store in Vancouver and several shop-in-shop stores, for example for Rolex in Calgary and Richard Mille in Vancouver.

 

Maison Birks downtown Montreal

What are the main growth drivers for the group?

We seek above all to remain as close as possible to the evolution of our customers’ expectations. For example, in recent years we have noticed that they are increasingly attentive to the traceability and ecological impact of their purchases. Birks has taken many steps to become a more sustainable company. We are proud to source Canadian diamonds and participate in the campaign against “dirty gold”. In addition, the recent renovation of several of our flagship stores in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto offers a new shopping experience. I think this adaptability will ensure a bright future for us on the Canadian market.

“We have noticed that our customers are increasingly attentive to the traceability and ecological impact of their purchases.” – Grigor Garabedian, head of the Birks Group’s central watchmaking division

In 2017, you sold Mayors to the British group Watches of Switzerland. It also allowed you to develop your brand Birks Jewelry internationally, particularly in the United Kingdom. What stage are these developments at today?

We are continuing to develop Birks Fine Jewelry in the United Kingdom and the United States. We are constantly looking for new opportunities to expand our international presence.

 

Bee Chic series: a part of the income from this series is used to protect Canadian bees, wildlife and natural areas

Do you have an e-commerce platform?

Yes, a wide selection of our watches, for example from Cartier or TAG Heuer, are available for purchase on our online platform. Digital shopping is gaining in popularity. However, we have also noted the importance of maintaining a strong physical connection and personal experience with each customer. We want them to take the time to get to know the brands we offer in a welcoming space and to feel at home in our stores.

Do you also offer pre-owned watches?

In Canada, we have an exclusive partnership with Crown & Caliber, a platform that specializes in second-hand watches and professional authentication. We wanted to be able to offer a trusted service for this segment, which is why we have partnered with a well-known player in the industry. The process is very simple: you can choose between cash payment or Birks gift credit, with an additional 20% value for the second option. You then send the watch to Crown & Caliber for inspection and authentication, before receiving your payment directly by mail.

 

www.maisonbirks.com

Why is Canada not in the top 20 global markets for Swiss watchmakers, despite its high level of development? The potential of the Canadian watch market, in the shadow of its American neighbor, seems far from being reached, particularly in Montreal, a metropolis in the throes of renewal. Several initiatives are aiming to fix this, including a new watch fair. Visit.

 

In collaboration with Europa Star

 

The Kaufmann family is a perfect illustration of the relationship between Switzerland and Canada, in the field of watches and more. Pius Kaufmann, a jeweler from St. Gallen (now 90 years old), moved to Montreal to learn English before opening his own store there. His son Charles grew up in Canada and then returned to his homeland, where he worked at Bucherer… before being called back across the Atlanta by his father across to open a new store.

 

Today, Charles Kaufmann is the sole authorized retailer for Patek Philippe in the entire province of Quebec. His prestigious boutique, Kaufmann de Suisse in Montreal, also sells Carl F. Bucherer, Parmigiani Fleurier and, as of this year, Nomos. “The purpose of introducing this brand is to attract a new generation of buyers with a more affordable entry-level offering,” says the Canadian-Swiss citizen. The family also owns a boutique in Palm Beach, Florida – illustrative of the deep economic integration between the United States and Canada.

 

The Patek Philippe corner at Kaufmann de Suisse in Montreal

However, compared to its southern neighbor, the Canadian watch market still looks tiny. Despite 37 million inhabitants and economic success, particularly fueled by gas, oil and the mining sector, Canada ranked only 22nd last year in the global map of Swiss watchmakers, behind… Portugal, with 177 million francs in imports.

 

We were expecting the country to figure more prominently in watchmaking statistics! Admittedly, demographic giants such as India and Brazil find themselves even further down the Swiss Watch Federation’s annual ranking, but Canada, a proponent of free trade and a well-integrated globalized country, is a long way from the crippling levels of protectionism that prevent watch brands from investing more there.

“A land to conquer”

“The Canadian market as a whole remains a land to conquer for Swiss watchmakers. The population is well off and the economy is doing well,” says Marco Miserendino, co-owner of Bijouterie Italienne in Montreal (a Rolex official retailer), and president of the Canadian Jewelers Association, the country’s leading organization in the sector with more than 1,000 professional members.

 

But why isn’t Canada already in a stronger position in terms of Swiss watch exports?

 

Industry representatives cite several reasons, but particularly – given that watchmaking is now more than ever associated with foreign visitors – its short tourist season. Nevertheless, the current exchange rate would appear to favor cross-border purchases by American neighbors…

 

The Rolex corner at Bijouterie Italienne in Montreal

A more pragmatic reason is offered: “Most OECD countries offer a VAT refund for purchases made by foreign customers. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case in Canada,” explains Grigor Garabedian, head of the Birks Group’s central watchmaking division. This venerable company, founded in 1879, is today the leading watch distributor in the country, with 28 stores located from Halifax to Vancouver. It operates a Patek Philippe store in Vancouver, a Rolex shop-in-shop in Calgary and a Richard Mille shop-in-shop in Vancouver.

 

Maison Birks, the leading Canadian player in the sale of watches and jewelry

A taste for discretion?

So, if conditions mitigate against watch buying by visitors, why is local consumption not higher? Cultural reasons, related to purchasing habits, are cited. “The wealthiest Canadians I know often don’t wear luxury watches. We prefer to invest in real estate. I believe that a form of modesty and simplicity is expressed in our way of life, compared to the United States or other countries. The luxury sector must deal with this reality,” says Dominic Handal, owner of Pax Jewelers in Montreal.

 

“I believe that a form of modesty and simplicity is expressed in our way of life, compared to the United States or other countries. The luxury sector must deal with this reality.” – Dominic Handal, owner of Pax Jewelers in Montreal

 

Marco Miserendino also observes this culture of understatement in the choices of his customers: “For example, we sell more watches in white gold, which has a more discreet charm than yellow gold. Our customers favor moderation and our portfolio remains stable over time: we have few requests for very exclusive timepieces and there is no permanent quest for novelty, as can be seen in other markets.”

 

Swiss brands, especially the new players of the independent watch stage, still have a lot of work to do in Canada in order to improve their brand awareness.

Montreal wakes up

“However, sales of Swiss watches have grown surprisingly in recent years,” says Grigor Garabedian at Birks Group. Are we seeing a ‘catch-up’ effect, which could see Canada eventually aligning itself with the sales levels of Spain, a country with a comparable population and development but with twice as many imports of Swiss watches?

 

This seems to be the case in Montreal, Quebec’s biggest city, which, with more than 4 million inhabitants, contains half of the province’s population and wealth. A very important financial and trading centre until the 1960s, the city suffered from the geopolitical upheavals of Quebec, as well as from the shift of Canada’s economic heart ever more westward, towards the English-speaking provinces and the Pacific Ocean.

 

“In Montreal, infrastructure projects were at a standstill for about 40 years. But there is now a new confidence in the province’s economic climate and the city is benefiting from new investments,” says Marco Miserendino.

First international Watch Fair in Montreal

Several signals seem to point to a new watchmaking dynamic in the city. For example, last June, the auction house Phillips organized a presentation and sale of vintage watches during the Formula 1 Grand Prix Canada, Montreal’s most important international event. Among the timepieces presented at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel were beautiful vintage watches by Rolex, Omega and TAG Heuer, under the common theme of motor racing.

 

Another sign: a new watch fair—Salon de Montreal—was organized for the first time this September in Montreal by Simion Matei, a Montreal real estate entrepreneur with a passion for watchmaking. It brought together 14 brands, mainly Swiss but also German and even Canadian, with the aim of raising awareness of independent watchmaking in Canada.

 

Thomas Baillod, whose role it was to promote the festival, shares his vision of the Canadian watch market: “There is still a lot of educational work to do, but the potential is there. The market is now moving because it was neglected for a long time. Canada still lives in the shadow of the United States, which is getting all the attention. In addition, major watch liquidators are based in Canada. It distorts official statistics. The country is worth more than that: we must stop considering it as a second-category market for unsold timepieces.”

 

“There is still a lot of educational work to do, but the potential is there. The market is now moving because it was neglected for a long time.” – Thomas Baillod

Different in the English-speaking provinces

The show, which was held at the luxurious Saint-James Club in Montreal, brought together mid- and high-end brands seeking recognition in Canada. Companies such as Maurice Lacroix, Dwiss, Bédat & Co, L&JR, Ultramarine and Junghans attended. “The intention is to offer a high-quality but relatively affordable watch offering,” says Thomas Baillod. “We do not want to create an inaccessible salon. With the dramatic changes that are disrupting traditional watch distribution, B2C shows, where direct sales are encouraged, have their place.”

 

Simion Matei launched the initiative because he wants to enrich the watchmaking environment in his city of Montreal and in the province of Quebec. “The retailers I’ve been able to meet are not yet up to speed on big names in the independent scene like Christophe Claret or Kari Voutilainen,” he says.

 

“We have chosen to set up a show that favors independent brands. We want to popularize fine independent watchmaking in Canada. Quebec in particular remains a little isolated on the global watch scene, more so than the English-speaking provinces.” Leading contemporary brands such as Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet and Greubel Forsey are present in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver but have no sales outlets in the province of Quebec.

A growing Asian community

Another perspective should be noted regarding Canada: it is a country with considerable immigration from Asia, particularly in British Columbia and on the Pacific Coast.

 

Knowing their importance in today’s watch sales on a global scale, could growth in Canada come from this community in particular? At Birks House, Grigor Garabedian confirms this trend: “Asian Canadians are the fastest growing community in the country. This clientele is becoming very important to us.”

 

A clear sign is that the group has recently adopted WeChat (China’s most popular messaging platform) to communicate with its customers. In Canada as elsewhere, a major part of the future of Swiss watchmaking will be written in Chinese!

Canadian watchmakers

The country is not without its home-grown watchmakers! At the last Basel fair we had the pleasant surprise of meeting Alexandre Beauregard. This Montreal native is the founder of the brand of the same name. At the age of 17, he began drawing watch sketches and making prototypes. He finally launched his brand in 2018.

 

His creative approach consists in “reinterpreting the traditional idea of a jewelry watch, combining watchmaking and jewelry in a new way.” For this adventure, Alexandre Beauregard collaborates with a lapidary artist, Yves Saint-Pierre, as well as a jewelry and 3D drawing expert, François Ruel.

 

Drawing on their shared passion for gems, the trio gave birth to an initial collection with floral motifs called Dahlia. In terms of technical design, Beauregard called upon the services of Telos in La Chaux-de-Fonds to create the flying tourbillon that occupies the centre of the dial of this collection.

 

The Dahlia collection by new brand BEAUREGARD founded by a Montrealer

 

Outside Quebec, we should also mention Canadian brands Birchall & Taylor (Toronto), Wilk Watchworks (Toronto) and Novo Watch (Alberta). Still more are in the process of being launched. A new watchmaking startup, José Cermeño, was actually launched during Montreal’s first Watch Fair.

Since 1927, Europa Star magazine is the go-to reference for all things watchmaking. A family business, the magazine remains faithful to the spirit of its founder, the Swiss Hugo Buchser, more than fifty years after his death. Europa Star is broadcast in over 170 countries and puts out five publications a year. Visiting the premier Watch Fair in the Salon de Montréal, the first event devoted to watchmaking in Quebec, Serge Maillard, Europa Star publisher and representative of the company’s fourth generation, sat down with LUXE for an interview.

 

Serge Maillard, Europa Star publisher

Europa Star was founded by your great-grandfather, Hugo Buchser, in the 1920s. Tell us how it all started.

My great-grandfather owned a watch brand in the 1920s called Transmarine. He traveled all over the world to sell his watches. In 1927, he had the idea to create a publishing house with the mission of connecting all the players of the watchmaking world. Remember, the Internet didn’t exist then! We basically had guides with all the addresses of the watchmakers, suppliers, and professionals in the industry. Gradually, he established a network of magazines, first in Latin America, then in the Middle East. In 1959, he targeted the European market by founding Europa Star. A little later, he created a magazine for the Eastern Bloc market. Let’s skip ahead to the 1990s, with the advent of the internet. We’ve been pioneers in the world of watchmaking with a website dedicated to this industry. At the same time, we launched a magazine in Chinese. The company has existed for four generations. We are constantly innovating, most notably with the recent digitization of our archives.

 

Hugo Buchser, during one of his travels

Let’s talk about your archives. This year you started to digitize your publications dating back to 1959. That’s huge undertaking…

Yes, and it’s not over. We have a total of 300,000 pages to scan. Thus far, we have scanned more than 100,000 pages since 1950. Step by step, we intend to digitize all of our publications since 1927, the date of the first guide founded by Hugo Buchser.

Who is this digital databank intended for?

First, to the watch community: brands, retailers, and collectors. Everyone is now doing research on watches, whether it be professionals or individuals. Since the entire magazine is online, people will understand the bigger context of the time. Digitization is a great way to pay tribute to such an important heritage.

Through your archives, we actually discover the history of the watch, but also parts of history in general. Tell us about the Omega watch.

Recently, a historian used our archives to write an article on the conquest of space. The Omega brand is so closely linked to the first manned missions to land on the Moon. But before Omega, there was also Breitling or Bulova. There has been fierce competition between brands to seduce NASA. Today, one wonders which watchmaker will equip NASA or Elon Musk to Mars!

 

How can one access your archives?

Several annual subscriptions are offered. Some give you access to the archives and the paper magazine, others to the archives and the electronic magazine. Our subscribers also have exclusive access to articles that have the most added value. All subscription rates can be accessed on our website. These are launch packages. We invite the public to take advantage of it as of right now. Each year, our readers will benefit from new content. In addition to new articles, we will continue to digitize our archives.

Your publication is called a “mook,” halfway between magazine and book. Can you explain this concept…

It is an innovative concept composed of two parts: Time.Business and Time.Keeper. As its name suggests, the Time.Business section is devoted to the major issues of the moment and to the fundamental questions that will shape the future of watchmaking. The Time.Keeper section focuses on the product, aesthetic trends, technical developments, and the watch industry. Our files are large and can store up to 50 pages. For example, in our last issue we discussed the Chinese market, the history of the watch in China, its major players, etc. Our magazine reads like a book and can be kept for a long time.

 

How do you explain the longevity of your magazine?

The fact that we are a small, family-owned business helps in terms of flexibility and room to maneuver. Our editorial team is composed of my uncle Pierre Maillard and myself. Our tone is identifiable. We also share a certain idea of ​​journalism: that of always adding value with our articles. It is very important, especially in today’s climate when information seems free.

 

www.europastar.com

 

 

With your subscription to LUXE Magazine, you’ll also receive a special rate on a subscription to Europa Star Magazine.

  • Subscription to LUXE
    • 3 physical copies delivered to your door or digital copies available for download
  • Subscription to Europa Star for $79 US instead of $99 US
    • 5 physical copies delivered to your door

OR

    • 5 digital copies available for download
    • Full access to the archives from 1950 to 2020
    • Unlimited access to the members-only articles
    • Complete package for $150 US instead of $199 US

Subscribe today to LUXE Magazine and receive a special discount code for your Europa Star subscription!

 

 

Text: Diane Stehle

Well known in Switzerland and amongst a very select few in the high-end jewelry world, BEAUREGARD fuses watchmaking and jewelry in an unprecedented fashion. Founded by Montrealer Alexandre Beauregard and based in Geneva, the company offers exceptional Swiss timepieces with bold designs, beautifully set hand-polished stones, among other unique elements. As veritable works of art, these breathtaking time pieces can cost up to $250,000. LUXE met with the talented artist to find out more.

 

Alexandre Beauregard (centre) next to François Ruel, 3D designer (on the right), and Yves Saint-Pierre, lapidary artist (on the left)

When did your passion for watches begin?

 My first experience with watchmaking dates back to my adolescence when I was working with a friend on creating atypical watches in my father’s garage.

 Yet, you didn’t immediately pursue it as a career?

No, life took me in different directions. I created three businesses: a laundry service for major Montreal hotels, a gemstone business, and a property management company. But, ten years ago, my passion for watchmaking came back full force. So, I decided to go to Geneva to meet industry professionals to present my project and seek their advice. For five years, I travelled back and forth every month between Montreal and Geneva. I learned the craft in the field, because given my family life, it was impossible for me to go back to school. Finally, in 2014, I founded the company in Geneva, BEAUREGARD SA.

Your workshop is in Montreal, but your watches are made in Switzerland. Can you explain the creative process…

Switzerland has a unique and mature watchmaking industry and is the only place in the world that possesses all the necessary skills to manufacture luxury watches.

All of our collections are produced and assembled in Switzerland. As a native Montrealer, I chose to set up a stone-cutting and development workshop which allows me to design the pieces and perform the high-end jewelry work in Montreal. Yves Saint-Pierre, a world-renowned lapidary artist along with François Ruel, a specialist in 3D modelling, both assist me here.

Tell us about your collections.

A year ago, our first watch, Dahlia, was selected at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix. That honor officially marked the birth of BEAUREGARD.

 

Dahlia is a high-end jewelry dial made of hand-polished stones from our workshop and animated by a high-art watchmaking movement with a central Flying Tourbillon. I didn’t hold back in the creation and realization of this collection; I refused to choose between high-end timepieces and high-end jewelry.


 

Meanwhile, Lili was born from the desire to offer the splendor of the Dahlia collection in a more accessible and delicate way. It is a small cocktail watch equipped with a Swiss quartz movement and high-end jewel dial embellished with hand-made petals.

 

Currently, we are working on a round version of the Lili collection that should be released in the coming months, as well as, a men’s collection that will be launched in the spring of 2022.

What are the distinguishing features of BEAUREGARD watches?

BEAUREGARD is the epitome of my passion for fine stones and mechanical complexity, for beautiful objects, and human genius. The dial is the canvas on which I give free rein to my imagination and the most distinctive elements of my creations. Considerable technical work is necessary to ensure that we always meet the standards of high-art watchmaking. It’s imperative for me that my watches are recognizable at first glance and inspire strong emotions.

You were the first Canadian to win the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix just a year ago. How did that feel for you?

I was very honored to be selected alongside prestigious brands such as Van Cleef and Arpels, Copard, and Bvlgari. The distinction was a very nice recognition of our work, especially since the Dahlia was the first model we ever presented and we were still such a young brand.

Your logo is “Geneva Montreal.” Why is that important to you?

I am so proud and in love with my city. Of course, it would be simpler for me to settle in Switzerland, but family is here and I am very attached to Montreal. Beyond the emotional aspects, all of the high-end jewelry work, as well as the creation of each piece, is done in Montreal. I had to mention both for these reasons.

How do you envision the future?

I am a business person and so it’s important for me to achieve commercial success, but watchmaking remains, above all, a passion. Therefore, I see the future as a great adventure with beautiful encounters and shared passions.

 

www.beauregard.ch

 

Text: Diane Stehle

For the first time ever, Salon de Montreal hosted an international Watch Fair in Montreal on September 27 and 28 2019 at the enchanting Saint-James Club. This unique event allowed the public to meet the creators of the most prestigious watch brands from all over the world, in addition to discovering exclusive high-end watch models. LUXE was one of the fair’s partners, alongside the prestigious Swiss watch magazine Europa Star.

 

It is by noticing the scant watch culture in Canada and Quebec that Simion Matei, a businessman passionate about watches, had the idea of ​​organizing a watch fair in Montreal. “Mechanical watch fans like me must quench their passion by browsing American or European websites, because there is nothing here,” says the founder.

 

On top of being a first of its kind, the Salon de Montreal allowed consumers to come into direct contact with watchmakers, a rare privilege in this type of event. Watch enthusiasts and curious minds had the chance to try on and even purchase luxury watches from a dozen independent Swiss, German and Canadian brands, including Maurice Lacroix, Dwiss and Bremont. In addition, José Cermeño, a new Montreal brand, launched his collection at the event.


 

Above all, the public discovered Beauregard, an extremely popular brand in Europe in the high-end watch industry, whose creator, Alexandre Beauregard, is a Montrealer. “This artist collaborates with world-renown jewelers. His watches sell for $250,000 all over Europe, yet he is totally unknown here. Incidentally, his studio is in Montreal! I hope that this show was an opportunity for people to discover him in Quebec, because it is such an honor to have local talent shine internationally.”

 

Simion Matei adds that mechanical watches have no utilitarian function since they are much less precise than quartz or electronic watches. “The purpose of such an event is to show the human genius behind these objects. Each watch has a case that houses over 1,220 pieces assembled in 6 cm2. They are true works of art. Just as we admire a painting by Monet more for its beauty than accuracy, these watches are appreciated for their artistic value and the richness they bring to our culture,” he concludes.

 

www.salondemontreal.com

 

Text: Diane Stehle

As Gabriel Scott expands opportunities worldwide, the brand seizes momentum as they open their second showroom in October 2019 in the lush area of Mayfair, London. Less than a decade after they launched their now-iconic lighting and furniture company, curious minds want to know what inspires the two architects-turned-entrepreneurs, Gabriel Scott and Scott Richler, in their innovative design process and how their creativity continues to spark prosperous new ventures at every turn.

How did Gabriel Scott all begin?

We had been working together creating custom furniture for local customers. Although it was lucrative, the process was very labour-intensive, so in reaction to that, we wanted to create a collection based on bespoke models we had designed, but through a more standardized process. The Kelly chandelier was dramatic and sculptural and lent itself to that versatility, but only allowed for limited customization. The following year, we designed a system that allowed much more flexibility and creativity. That’s how the Welles was conceived. The Welles is the foundational piece that Gabriel Scott is known for today, it’s our signature piece.

 

Each collection is reminiscent of jewelry. How do you see the connection between lighting and jewelry?

Jewelry is the most natural reference for our work because lighting, like jewelry, is a statement piece; the accessory that plays off other elements, elevates a look, and really makes everything come together. From a design perspective, a lighting fixture is unlike any other element in the room. It hangs unobstructed from the ceiling, so the eye naturally goes toward the sparkle. Jewelry has always been part of our vocabulary. The Harlow, for example, is intimately tied to a timepiece making the reference so natural.

You’ve designed some spectacular pieces for several high-end, world-renown brands. What does the design process look like?

You know, the process varies depending on the brand we are collaborating with. We’ve designed many pieces for the Cartier stores all over the world, and we can really get creative because each store has different design elements that work as our frame of reference from size and shape to colour and application. Getting a chance to be creative and collaborate on the iconic windows for Bergdorf Goodman is where we can create a complete mise-en-scene and that’s a totally different experience from a design perspective.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

That’s a tricky question. The obvious reference is jewelry. But, the real answer is that although there are creative components to our design process, we work within certain parameters contained within a market. Gabriel Scott is built on a few basic premises: timeless design, built smart, good value, clever engineering, and made local. Our values and point of view is what drives our inspiration.

 

When you visit exhibits and fairs, how do you set yourself apart from the hundreds of other designers that show their work?

That’s a great question. In the design industry, your context is just as important as you product. We present at the Milan Design fair every year, and this year we created an entire structure prompting a voyeuristic effect for passers-by compounded by a warm and inviting space for those who chose to enter the space. Everything from openings to colour scheme was thought out and engineered to create a mood. In order to understand our lighting fixtures, you need scale and context. We fused soft materials, like rugs and curtains, with sharp brass trimming. It was very impactful and extremely immersive. Everything was set in place to lure people in and create an experience from the moment they walked by to the time they spent in our space.

The showroom in SoHo, NYC has been around for five years. What was the thought process behind opening a second showroom in Mayfair, London?

The strategy was to respond to our business coming from Europe and the Middle East. Now we are spread across two continents and that just made more sense. Our showroom in London is located between the iconic Saville Row and New Bond Street; it is prime location for our clientele.

What would be a dream project for Gabriel Scott?

Perhaps more meaningful collaborations. It would be really interesting to work with designers in fashion and art world. Creating an experience which goes beyond the product itself. We would love to immerse ourselves into something that would extend past simply the functional aspect of great design, allowing our sculptures to live as an experience.

 

www.gabriel-scott.com

 

Text: Alecs Kakon