Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's Good to be Me!

Every now and then you get a little treat - and last night the nice folks from Frederique Constant / Alpina hosted a dinner for the press in Los Angeles, and yours truly was invited.  So yesterday's timetable looked something like this:

5:30 - wake up, feed kitties, 3 espressos, start writing
9:00 - at the U, work until 3:00
3:30 - on the road to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara - miraculously make it on time
6:00 - Frederique Constant event and; Dinner at  -  wait for it -

Osteria Mozza!  Yes the one co-owned by Mario Batali.  No, I did not see Michael, Amanda, Billy, Jake or anyone else from Melrose Place.

11:15 - home for a well-earned glass of wine.

7:00 - spoil myself with an extra 90 minutes of kip, feed kitties (who were threatening a strike/work stoppage due to late feeding), 2 espressos, start writing.


I am reminded of what Anthony Bourdain has said about tv/media personalities who complain about "having to go" to special events.

Yeah, it's cruel and unusual punishment to be invited to a private viewing of watches, get face time with four key people in the company - AND be forced to choke down a truly amazing meal.  The next time I hear one of the fat-cats from the watch press lamenting their unfortunate fate, I will be forced to remind them that they only need to remember two words -
                                                                     THANK YOU

Yes, there were watches!  This is one of the new GMT/World Timers - and yes, upon my return last night I had a very sincere heart-to-heart with my piggy bank and explained that he would be required to work extra hard as (watch-wise at least) I'd met someone new ; )

And on the Alpina side of things, in addition to what you'd expect, they also displayed some of their new ladies models.

And in fact, that is appropriate because this event was not just for those of us who covered watches, but there were actually some pretty serious fashion bloggers and writers there as well.  Apart from being 20 times more attractive than me, you could also tell them apart by their genuine interest and the amount of questions that they asked.  And this was a revelation to me.  I think for those of us who write about this stuff on a regular basis, we forget the bigger picture.  Moreover, I think that the watch press (and I guess you could include me as the "red-headed step-child" of this group) can be a bit smug and really presumptuous.  It was really nice to see people approach watches from a completely different angle, asking good questions and really taking an interest.
John Ulrich - Sales Manager holding forth on all things Frederique Constant
There was a good collection of Frederique Constant and Alpina pieces, from a beautifully imagined table clock -

to their latest tourbillon -

Apologies to one and all, dark room and not great lighting - but I will endeavor to get an "official" image soon.

I decided not to include pictures of the fantastic three course meal that followed.  It just doesn't seem fair to those who weren't there.

So a very heartfelt and sincere thank you to the Frederique Constant team -

Ralph Simons - President of the North American operations
Yasmina Pedrini - Communications Director
John Ulrich - Sales Manager
Gabriela Anastasio - PR Maven Extraordinaire  

Tired but very happy and satisfied in Santa Barbara - now off to work!

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