BY MICHELLE PAYER
It’s a toys-for-boys extravaganza when Bal Harbour Shops brings together luxury watches and extraordinary cars for its second annual Collectors Weekend.
Pagani’s $500,000 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary edition.
British actor Clive Owen once famously said, “Jewellery isn’t really my thing, but I’ve always got my eye on people’s watches.”
Owen isn’t the only one. Last year, hundreds of watch and exotic car fans descended upon Bal Harbour Shops for its first (and entirely free) Collectors Weekend. This year, those with a weakness for watches, vintage cars, luxury autos and coveted supercars will want to mark their calendars for November 3-5, which is when the opulent open-air shopping destination hosts it second annual Collectors Weekend and ups the ante with some of the rarest timepieces in the world, extreme autos from Lou La Vie (South Florida-based exotic car rental), and two rare, high-performance Supercars that Horacio Pagani, Argentine founder of Pagani Automobili S.p.A., an elite Italian auto manufacturer, is flying in from his Modena headquarters.
“As we present our second luxury watch and car show, Bal Harbour Shops excitedly pairs the world’s most respected and iconic watch brands with an exhibition of some of the world’s most prized show cars and new, exotic automobiles,” says Matthew Whitman Lazenby, operating partner at Bal Harbour Shops and president and CEO of Whitman Family Development. “With the collaboration of industry elite and other notables, aficionados will be immersed in the artistry and quality of craftsmanship that defines both the wristwatch industry and the automotive world, and the history that unites them both.”
Free and open to the public with no RSVP required, the Shops partners with Lou La Vie to stage approximately 80 exotic cars in its center parking lot (the one that restaurants Carpaccio and Le Zoo overlook) plus multimillion-dollar supercars and Pagani’s $500,000 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary.
Sitting front and center will be the Pagani-designed Huayra, named after Huayra Tata, a Quechua wind god, and considered one of the best supercars in the world. With its hand-built engine, the Huayra has a 0-60 acceleration time of 2.8 seconds and is capable of speeds up to 230mph. It is available for a cool $4 million. While you won’t be able to take the Huayra (or any of the cars) for a spin, you may be able to sit in the driver’s seat and snap one of the best selfies ever. Pagani and Lou La Vie experts will be on hand to talk about the details of each, from the engines to the body design.
Remember the old college “Room to Roomers,” where a different experience unfolded as you strolled through the dorm? Take that concept and elevate it by a few million dollars, as some of the world’s premier watch and jewelry brands introduce 13 rare and limited timepieces in their Bal Harbour Shops boutiques. All flown in specifically for Collectors Weekend, it’s one of the only times outside of Baselworld, Switzerland, that these extraordinary watches are gathered in one location.
Stroll to Van Cleef & Arpels to gaze upon Midnight Nuit Limineuse, an astronomy-themed watch featuring the Monoceros Constellation traced out in white miniature painting with a ceramic strip that uses piezoelectric properties to light the timepiece from within. It’s said to be the first time this technology has ever been used in watchmaking and elevates the brand’s renown for unusual complications.
All boutiques will have special offerings of champagne, macarons or other goodies, but perhaps the most elevated is F.P. Journe’s scotch bar, open year ‘round. The real draw here will be its Tryptic Vagabondage timepiece, the world’s first mechanical digital jumping seconds wristwatch. According to Journe, this will be the very last Vagabondage watch in the collection.
Harry Winston may have the most whimsical (and at $600,000, possibly the most expensive) timepiece with the Opus 14. Limited to just 50 pieces, it takes its inspiration from classic 1950s autos and jukeboxes for a mesmerizing movement beneath a sapphire crystal cut from a single block and housed within an 18K gold case.
In total, 13 matchless timepieces will be on display at Audemars Piguet, Buccellati, Bulgari, Chanel, Chopard, F.P. Journe, Graff, Harry Winston, Hublot, IWC, Panerai, Tourneau and Van Cleef & Arpels boutiques. The public is invited to visit the timepieces and discuss the details and inner workings with brand delegates during store hours from 11 am to 6 pm Saturday and 12 noon to 6 pm Sunday. Make a weekend of it at The St. Regis Bal Harbour, which is offering a special Collectors Weekend rate from $850 per night, including breakfast.
Bal Harbour Shops Collectors Weekend is November 3-5 at 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour. The event is free and open to the public. For questions and more information, contact Gotmar Giron, Bal Harbour Shops director of public relations and special events, at 305.866.1817.