Bianca Mosca, whose ultra luxury bags, wallets and accessories we have written up in past postings is launching a new range of hand crafted watch bands specially designed to fit the Apple Watch™ and made from prime Louisiana alligator leather available in eleven striking colors.
The new watch bands come in colors such as Blue Jeans, Dark Grey and Pink as well as traditional black and brown.A Bianca Mosca spokesperson said:
“The bands are a perfect replacement for the standard fitting and really bring the watch to life with a great modern design. This is the truly luxurious way to add a personal accent to your Apple Watch™.”
If like me you have a sweet tooth and a liking for the finest chocolate then the best comes from France. Others may well argue for Belgium or Switzerland but I find their chocolates too sweet for my refined palette, a little cloying and far too commercial.
My favourite chocolatier of all is the Paris based La Maison du Chocolat that was founded by Robert Linxe who was born in Bayonne where he trained as a chocolatier. Later he was apprenticed to the illustrious COBA confectionary school in Switzerland and went on to found his Maison in 1977 in the fashionable Faubourg St-Honoré, in Paris’ 8th district.
A second Parisian boutique was opened in 1987 with a New York outpost being established in 1990 on Madison Avenue.
Monsieur Linxe is a visionary who has been nicknamed the “Sorcerer of Ganache”. Ganache is a silky blend of chocolate and fresh cream is then enrobed in a fine layer of chocolate, creating associations of subtle and delicate flavours.
As well as ganache, Maison du Chocolat is famous for it’s divine champagne truffles and it’s selections of mixed chocolates. I’m also quite partial to their delicious drinking chocolate that comes in a handy ready to prepare home kit.
Ahead of the official relaunch later today in New York, Bespoke Dandy publishes an exclusive interview with Timothy de Rosen, Chairman of Bianca Mosca who explains how and why he decided to revive a 70 year old fashion icon…
Tell us a bit about the history of Bianca Mosca for those that don’t know.
Bianca Mosca is a storied brand. It was founded by the eponymous designer, a cousin of the legendary Italian born and Paris-based couturier Elsa Schiarparelli. Madame Mosca worked with her cousin at Schiarparelli’s Paris salon and was a well-known “vendeuse” there (a sort of sales assistant on steroids!). In those days the sales people occupied an elevated position and had their own distinct coterie of clients and were in many cases well-known members of fashionable society themselves. It also helped that Mosca was noted for her elegance, beauty, poise and grace. By the late 1930’s, Mosca decided she wished to develop her career further and so decided to move to London. Initially, she was appointed as Director of the London branch of Paquin, a famous fashion house founded in 1869. After the close of WW2, Mosca’s English husband Claude Crawford introduced his wife to his friend the 9th Earl of Jersey who agreed to back her in her own fashion venture. The House of Bianca Mosca was established in 1946 in the fashionable Mayfair district of central London. Her house rapidly acquired an elite clientele including members of the British Royal family most notably the beautiful Marina, Duchess of Kent. The house continued to expand and Madame Mosca also helped to cofound the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers alongside Hardy Amies, Digby Morton and Victor Steibel. As well as her couture work Madame Mosca was also known as a leading costume designer for the British film industry, for which she won many awards including dressing the ballet legend, Margot Fonteyn. Sadly Madame Mosca fell ill during a business trip to Paris and died there in 1950 at a relatively young age. Deprived of her considerable talents the house of Bianca Mosca was not sustainable and closed its doors shortly after her untimely demise.
What inspired you to continue her memory with the launch of these new alligator leather fashion products?
I have always been a huge fan of couture fashion and female designers in particular. Their stories are so intriguing from Coco Chanel, Madeleine Vionnet to Jeanne Lanvin and so many others. It has always amazed me how these women overcame huge odds to survive in what was then a male dominated environment. When the story of Bianca Mosca was retailed to me it struck a particular chord. I researched everything I could find about her. Her photographic image left an indelible image in my mind. I felt motivated to do something to keep her spirit alive. That is what inspired me to re-launch the brand. After a long period of research gathering information and jumping through certain legal hoops we were finally in a position to realize our dream and revive the legend of the Bianca Mosca name and brand.
Since you can’t just buy Bianca Mosca products in a shop yet, tell us a bit about your bespoke acquisition process.
Custom, bespoke, made to order has always fascinated me as a business process. In the old days nearly everything in the luxury field was made to order. Over time and with the advent of machines that largely replaced human labor the concept of bespoke started to fade and became the preserve of only the very wealthy-what today we call the “Super Rich”. I envisioned a new way of working that would marry traditional artisanal tradition with the technologies available with today’s web. Working closely with leading software developers we have evolved highly realistic simulators that allow customers to obtain a clear picture of how their customized product will appear. This allows our incredibly busy customers to save time in selecting exactly the product they want at a reasonable price without having to set foot in a physical store.
How Are The Materials Sourced?
It was an essential requirement that our materials sourcing would have to adhere to the highest ethical standards. I am very much against seizing wild animals from their natural environment. So farmed Louisiana alligator was an obvious choice to obtain a highly luxurious material that is also available in abundance with little or no environmental impact.
Let’s talk options. Just how much customization can a customer get with your products?
If we are talking full bespoke anything is possible. We can literally design any leather object that can be conceived and construct it according to our customers’ whims. For our custom made to order (MTO) program there are currently over a thousand choices of skin color, stitching, lining and personalization. This will continue to grow as we add more product lines and colors.
What’s coming in the future for the Bianca Mosca brand?
We would certainly like to broaden our product offer into bags and technology products: footwear, belts and watch-straps for example. We are also interested in creating partnership opportunities with complementary brands that share our vision of ultra luxury and delivering the very best product and customer experience.
Where can we find you online and off?
Currently we are online only but in the future we will be visiting cities in North America to show off our products in person and meet up with customers. In the not too distant future we may set up our own standalone stores.
When you travel a lot you always need to think carefully before packing about which essential things you’re going to need to have with you. The problem for most people, including me, is that space is at a premium especially if you want to travel light and carry your bag with you instead of checking it in at the airport.
I’ve learned the hard way that it’s often better to spend some money on really high quality products that last (almost) forever than on cheaper items that will often let you down. Poor quality accessories tend to break down and can look awful after minimal use whereas those that are truly luxurious can acquire a special patina with age.
Here are a few of my favourite things:
1. Elie Bleu Cigar Case
It’s increasingly difficult to find suitable (and lawful) places to smoke whilst travelling but when you do find the ideal place (as I did recently at the Bulgari Hotel in Milan) it’s essential to carry your precious Cubans in some style. Elie Bleu, based in Paris, is well known for their divine cigar humidors with elaborate marquetry but they also make superb traveling cigar cases in beautiful leathers including stingray.
2. Morphie iPhone Charger
Possibly the most frustrating thing when travelling is to run out of “juice” when your iPhone gives up the ghost as it inevitably will. Morphie’s Juice Pack Reserve for the iPhone 6 and 6s is just the job and is the most compact charger the firm has ever produced.
3. B &W Portable Headphones
Audiophiles will argue till the cows come home but to my mind there’s no substitute in terms of value for money and effectiveness-Bowers and Wilkins are superb at everything auditory. Their P3 Mobile Hi Fi speakers are light, comfortable and gorgeous to admire in their lovely blue case. Just the ticket for pounding the pavements on your early morning run.
4. Philips Sonic Care Diamond Clean Toothbrush
I’ve been cleaning my teeth with electric toothbrushes for years but most models are not easily portable. This Philips model comes in a specially designed and compact easy to pack format. And it works a treat.
5. Bianca Mosca Zippy Travel Pouch
I’ve always had a soft spot for Bianca Mosca’s divine hand sewn alligator wallets and accessories and the Zippy is no exception. Measuring a compact 4.3 by 7 inches it is capable of packing a big punch with space for 8 credit cards, business cards, a coin compartment, cash and tickets and will even accommodate your passport. It’s available in 14 wonderful colors and a choice of stitching. Bianca Mosca will even emboss your initials free of charge!
6. Acqua di Parma Colonia
“The Colonia legend is closely tied to the world of Italian tailors, the home of impeccable elegance, where class is expressed in prestige fabrics, perfect cuts, the sophisticated balance of muted colours and attention to detail. Down to the final and indispensable touch of class: a spray of Colonia before handing over the made to measure suit. A sensory hallmark of a style of dressing that is also a lifestyle. Colonia is the original fragrance that embodies classic elegance and long tradition”. That’s what they say at Acqua di Parma and I couldn’t put it better. An essential ingredient even for a short trip is to smell your best. The classic Colonia in a convenient travel size does the trick-perfectly.
7. Patek Phillipe 5524 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
A most unexpected but none the less delightful addition to the PP range earlier this year. The 5524 model is based on old Patek Philippe hour angle watches that helped pilots calculate their position when used in tandem with a sextant and a radio. I’m not exactly a pilot but I appreciate the wonderful heritage of this beautiful watch that incidentally reminds me of the time at home. Just wished they had made it in a more affordable steel version.
8. Berluti Andy loafers
Is there anything more glorious than stepping out in a pair of Berluti demesure handcrafted shoes named after the legendary Andy Warhol? Not to my mind. Supreme comfort and oozing style and savoir faire.
9. Leica X2
iPhone cameras are all very well-even with the new 12 megapixel one on the iPhone 6s but there is no real substitute for a proper camera such as the marvelous X2. The Leica features the latest sensor technology and the fast 35mm Leica Elmarit lens. Made from the highest quality materials the camera offers simple operation and manual adjustment possibilities.
10. Louis Vuitton Pégase 55 Business
Finally, here is the essential bag to carry your favorite items. Although much imitated this really is the business. The Pégase 55 moves smoothly (and noiselessly) from business to pleasure and back again. This cabin-sized case holds everything in impeccable order, thanks to multiple compartments and zippered pockets.
With Santa just around the corner for his 2015 world trip, the gnomes at Switzerland’s workshops are busily producing new products to be ready in time for the gifting season. Many of these timepieces were unveiled earlier in the year at Basel and SIHH in Geneva and are just becoming available now. Anything from this wonderful selection would be most welcome
Lange & Söhne Saxonia, Saxonia Automatic and Saxonia Dual Time
This storied German watch brand has updated three of its models from its popular Saxonia collection. The solid-gold applied hour markers have been moved toward the outside of the dial and are executed as double baton appliqués at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock; along with extended black gradations of the minute scale. For the Automatic and Dual Time models, the seconds subdial is marked by numerals every ten seconds. All modifications were made in the interest of improved readability. The new designs result in a slightly smaller case for these two models. The Saxonia is powered with the in-house manual wind caliber L941.1, the Automatic uses the in-house L086.1 caliber, and the Dual Time uses the in-house automatic L086.2 caliber.
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum
The name Orbis Terrarum, is Latin for “globe,” “earth,” and “world.” This in-house complication: the MB29.20 automatic caliber displays 24 time zones in a very practical and clever way. The dial constructed in multi-layers, displays continents and oceans as seen from the Pole. Under the main dial is a disc showing day and night, which rotates with the movement of the 24-hour mechanism on the outermost layer on the dial. The names of an amazing 24 cities circle the center image surrounded by their zones on a 24-hour mechanism. The disc with the cities rotates separately with the aid of a pusher located at 8 o’clock. To adjust the time the home city needs positioning with the corresponding time at 6 o’clock.
Van Cleef & Arpels Cadenas
This august luxury house is re-introducing its Cadenas watch, first created in 1935 and is said to have been inspired by a zip necklace worn by the Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor. It’s known for an unashamedly modern design ethic with a large double hoop-shaped curve attached to a straight-lined case. This new collection is of nine models, powered by a quartz movement. The Cadenas is available in yellow or white gold. The Cadenas Sertie, in yellow or white gold, has diamonds on the upper surface of the case and an alligator strap attachment.
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
This famous annual calendar model shows month, date and day in three separate, semicircular windows. The switching mechanism automatically takes into account differing lengths of months. A perpetual calendar, the annual calendar cannot factor the differing lengths of the month of February or the leap years. Once a year, at the end of February, ithe watch requires manual adjustment with a built-in “corrector.” Its 44mm case, grooved bezel, the Portugieser Annual Calendar resembles the original Portugieser model of 1939. The small seconds sub-dial is positioned at 9 o’clock. The sub-dial on the opposite side serves as the power reserve display. The automatic in-house 52850 caliber movement has a seven day power reserve.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Squelette
The bridge and main plate of the automatic PF705 caliber skeleton watch (for men and ladies) features a hand crafted open display. This reveals a skeleton movement that compliments the extra-thin construction. A platinum micro rotor can be seen on the surface of the watch. The pattern consists of the PM’s iconic lugs. The dial is made of sapphire, giving an impression of being invisible. The rim is metalized, which hides the points of attachment between the movement and the case. The dial on the men’s model is highly polished and transparent, whilst the ladies’ model features a lovely and subtly frosted dial that resembles a women’s veil.
Piaget Black Tie ‘Vintage Inspiration’ and ‘Traditional Oval’
These new models reflect the heritage of Piaget’s watches. The cushion-shaped Black Tie Vintage Inspiration has a slim profile thanks to its automatic Piaget 534P movement. The white gold bezel creates a wonderful contrast with the intense blackness of its onyx dial for a very contemporary masculine look. The Black Tie Traditional Oval for ladies features an oval case with a silver dial. The bezel is topped with 24 brilliant cut diamonds.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon
Dubuis has taken the skeleton theme beyond the movement, extending it to include the 45mm skeletonized titanium case. It has all of the features of Roger Dubuis other skeleton watches, such as star-shaped design, the tourbillon shaped like a Celtic cross and other top finishes. The mechanism is a hand-wound RD505SQ caliber that features a flying tourbillon at 7:30 (one rotation per minute) and a 60-hour power-reserve.he CEO Who Saved Continental Airlines
Richard Mille RM 33-01 Automatic
The skeleton appearance RMXP3 caliber that runs the RM 33-01 has an off-center platinum micro rotor. This reveals a grade 5 titanium movement, that is wet sand blasted the surfaces micro blasted then drawn and satin-finished with the anglage worked entirely by hand. The taut lines of this sport-inspired design combine curvature of the brand’s tonneau like cases with the construction characteristic of its elegant round watches. The graphical style of the numerals with outsized dimensions provides easier reading. The tri-partite case, with a diameter of 45 mm and a thickness of 9 mm, is mounted on a rubber strap with a folding clasp in titanium. According to Richard Mille this is a chic design with a sporty feel.
Greubel Forsey Black GMT
The 43 mm case is made of titanium treated with amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC), a highly specialized black coating that displays many of the properties of a diamond. It is much harder than natural titanium. The main plate and bridges have a black finish too. Greubel Forsey says this is to bring out the contrast between the textures and surface finish of each component. The case houses a GF05 in-house movement with a 24-second tourbillon at a 25 degree angle GMT function, three-dimension globe for the day and night indication; a rotating disc with 24 different time zones, daylight savings indicator and a 72 hour power reserve feature. The watch is in a limited production of 22 pieces.
So the iPhone 6s is out and about and it’s a real beauty. As we reported recently the rose gold version is sold out for months ahead. I suggest you get your order in now to have any chance of getting it before Xmas.
Now it’s time to look for a really cool case to keep your new phone protected from the rough and tumble of every day life. But let’s take a look beyond the merely quotidian and look for something with a bit of savoire faire as our French friends might say.
Speaking of France Bianca Mosca, the wizards of exotic leather goods have developed a gorgeous luxury designer case for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (which incidentally will retrofit the old iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus too). They are made from high grade Louisiana alligator skins like all their wallets and accessory products and are handmade to amazing standards in their Paris atelier.
The colors are quite delectable and include Blue Jean, Washed Beige and Lipstick Red. In all there are 14 color options and two sizes.
The case is easy to attach to your phone and can also easily be detached. In fact I’m thinking of getting several colors-so this facility will make it easy to change cases to suit my mood or dress sense.
Products at this level of quality are never cheap but given the superb materials and handmade craftsmanship a price of $395 including monogramming your initials (how cool is that?) is fully justified for something that’s so chic and which will be noticed by all your friends-with jealous green eyes!