Category Archives: Art

Becoming a father at the ripe old age of 42 is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Even though there is a huge age gap between myself and son we still connect very well. Ultimately this is because he is very interested in design, sports, and fitness. I am also a person who has embraced new technology and that is crucial to my job. The digital environment we live in today is completely different to what encountered as a child. However, I still feel that basic skills are relevant and shouldn’t be undervalued. That is why I still hand sketch a lot of concepts on paper using pencils, pens, and rulers.

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A few days ago I watched one of my favourite TV programmes called ‘Grand Designs’. This incredibly entertaining show originally started in the UK but has now been franchised in Australia and presented by renowned architect Peter Maddison. In this particular episode (that aired in 2009) an entrepreneur had ambitious plans to build a contemporary masterpiece in the prestigious Sydney suburb of Cottage Point. Even though he created a phenomenal home for his family he couldn’t afford to reside there. Therefore, the outcome was bitter-sweet and a few years later the property sold for less than the actual build cost. This tale illustrates how crucial it is to have sufficient finances (from the outset) to realise your dreams. Fortunately, the owners of a magnificent residence (called Red Rocks) in Phoenix, Arizona didn’t have these issues. » Read more

Presently I have been collaborating with some very talented craftsman on a series of design projects. One great example is a bespoke watch concept platform called Paolo Mathai, which is named after my 8-years old son. So far (with an enormous amount of help) I have created 3 unique Swiss mechanical timepieces with another 3 in the pipeline. This creative experience has had a profound effect on the way I write because of the challenges involved. If you are a micro brand trying to break into a competitive industry (dominated by Swatch, LVMH, and Richemont) finances are normally a major consideration. However, despite all these obstacles Égard Watch Company has attracted a huge loyal following. » Read more

The other night we invited our friends John and Louise for a meal at our house. As we haven’t seen them for several years there was a lot to discuss including design, architecture, art, horology etc. John is a senior doctor that works insane hours (including weekends) and therefore likes to indulge himself occasional. One of his passions in life is collecting vintage automobiles and in particular sports cars. That is why he was excited when I informed about a new timepiece called the Gran Turismo by Azimuth. This incredible watch is inspired by the curvaceous forms of 1960’s classic Porsches. » Read more

Recently in Australia, there has been a lot of controversy concerning the origin of Aboriginal paintings. Over the last few year’s demands has increased exponentially and some unscrupulous people are exploiting the situation. A few days ago I watched a very insightful interview with Stan Yarramunua who as a youth made some foolish choices. He massively turned his life around and now owns several galleries in Melbourne. All the paintings he sells are authentic and the proceeds go to the indigenous artist. Certainly, there are many counterfeit works flooding the market so it is crucial to know the provenance. The same parallel can be made in the world of horology and that is why it is essential you purchase a watch from a reliable source. » Read more

Presently my wife and I have completely opposing views of where to send our eight-year-old to school. She wants to send him one of Adelaide’s most prestigious city based establishments, which focus on academia. Certainly, I want the best for my son Paolo but feel he might flourish at one the private schools in the suburbs. In fact, my preferred choice has a suburb music programme and sports facilities. As well as being a natural tennis player Paolo also is very interested in design and particularly cars. This is an area we bond because I write about many automotive-inspired timepieces including the superb new G5 from US brand Giorgio Piola. » Read more

Recently I was discussing design with a progressive local (Adelaide based) architect called Luke Jones from C4 Architects. Working for a broad spectrum of clients (with massively different budgets) it is integral they arrive at the best solution. Ultimately where costs are a serious consideration (the majority of cases) involves a huge amount of creatively to achieve the optimum aesthetic. Certainly, bespoke details can transform a project from a generic box into something much more special. The same can be said about watchmaking and especially in the current climate. » Read more

After months of deliberation, we finally called a company to repair the damage on our favourite car’s alloy wheels. Over the years, wheel trims have become much larger and therefore are susceptible to curb damage. Interestingly the contractor is originally from the UK and was brought up very close to where my father now resides. He also is a real character and so we had a lot to discuss. As he was leaving I noticed his small gold plated timepiece that was ironically inscribed with the word ‘Geneva’. Clearly, it was mass produced in China and proudly he informed me it only cost $5 from a local convenience store. Ultimately he had bought it for its functional value rather than aesthetic qualities. In contrast, I would only wear something that displayed some artistic merit. That is why innovative creations like the HD4-Wood from French brand Humbert-Droz really appeals to me. » Read more