Honda Takes To The Skies

When I heard that Honda had developed a private jet I envisaged my old S2000 sports car with wings attached. But lo and behold here is an eye-catching over wing design that can carry 5 passengers plus crew in the comfort befitting its $4.5 million price tag.

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A combination of composite materials, stiffened panels and “honeycomb sandwich structures” using a patented co-curing process has resulted in less weight, more cabin space (1.47m of head room), an increased performance and greater fuel efficiency.

Capable of travelling 1,180 nautical miles at speeds as fast as 489mph at 30,000 feet the HondaJet as its know is is a major technological step forward in the “very light jet” (VLJ) sector, with a larger cabin and higher cruising speeds than its competitors.

It’s also worth noting that the high-tech cockpit of the HondaJet, includes a Garmin G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system comprising dual touchscreen panels as well as three 14-inch high-resolution displays for enhanced navigation, flight planning and control. This level of gadgetry means the plane can be flown by either a single pilot or two crew.

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All I need is the moola to buy it. I’d better start saving!

 

The Right Time

When the illustrious name of Breguet is mentioned I am always reminded of the following passage from Pushkin’s novel Eugene Onegin, “A dandy on the boulevards (…), strolling at leisure until his Breguet, ever vigilant, reminds him it is midday.”

Whilst Breguet are rightly famous for their divine horological masterpieces they also offer a fine range of luxury accessories including an impressive array of writing instruments.

One of these is a solid silver and sapphire fountain pen with a clip in the shape of a watch hand to remind us of the manufactory’s watch making heritage. This is a truly impressive piece and a must-have item for collectors of all things Breguet. It is also a true reminder of the connection between the watchmaker and the craft of writing bon mots. £1500/$2250.

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Sneaking Up

It seems as though it was only yesterday that Wall Street was running round in Church’s, Alden’s and Crockett & Jones’. The ubiquitous black shiny shoe was the only way to dress the foot of the elegant male professional or successful executive for the working week. Weekends were spent in leisured suede versions of the same design. Yet how it all changes.

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Enter the sneaker. From their sporting and street wear origins, sneakers are now seen everywhere-worn by Hollywood actors and celebrities on the red carpet and paired with formal evening wear. Even billionaires are wearing them to work. If you watch Showtime’s Billions TV series you’ll know that Bobby Axelrod, the fictional billionaire hedge fund owner portrayed by British actor Damian Lewis wears a pair every day from his wardrobe full of sneakers along with his regulation hoodie.

Everywhere you look there are more and more new sneaker brands emerging such as New York’s FEIT and Amsterdam’s ETQ to join the more established Common Projects, Lanvin, Y3 and Converse. Available in a wide variety of materials from suede, leather and nylon the latest trend to emerge is the pure white sneaker epitomised by Common Projects Original Achilles model. Another trend is towards the use of exotic materials like python and lizard and even alligator sneakers for men.

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The Perfect Weekend Bag

The august members of France’s L’Académie française are aghast. Any form of corruption of the French language is frowned upon especially the intrusive introduction of Anglo Saxon compound words or phrases. Yet the expression “Le Weekend” has entered the French lexicon despite the best efforts of the language’s guardians.

For others the word weekend signifies the beginning of a brief holiday period to be spent in luxurious surroundings and possibly a romantic location.

Packing for such a brief trip presents a dilemma as space will surely be at a premium. Certainly, a stylish bag is an absolute necessity for the true dandy and his companion.

With this in mind I set out on  a quest to find the perfect weekend bag. An essential requirement is that the core material needs to be a high quality yet relatively lightweight and supple leather. Taurillon is a type of  baby bull leather with a lightly grained appearance and is extremely luxurious to the touch. It’s strong, hard wearing and ages beautifully. It’s used principally by ultra premium brands such as Hermès and Louis Vuitton for their top of the range models.

A particular bug bear of  mine is the quality of metal fittings used for closures, buckles and locks. A great looking bag can be let down badly if these are of an inferior type. Solid brass coated with a heavy plating of palladium is the gold standard (if that’s not an oxymoron).

Size is important, so I’m told, and the perfect bag needs to fit the highly restrictive regime employed by airlines these days. So 45cm width is the maximum permitted unless of course you’re one of the lucky one’s who are flying privately.

Design-wise my preference is for maximum use of space rather than lots of fiddly pockets and hidden storage spaces.

Whilst carrying out my research I heard that Bianca Mosca were on the verge of introducing a new range of luxury bags for men. When I contacted Tim de Rosen, their CEO, he confirmed that one of the bags being developed was a weekend bag.

Well here is the very first preview of that bag which ticks all my boxes. It’s made from Taurillon leather, has palladium plated brass fittings, a width of 45cm and is certainly a handsome and capacious piece that fits my bill perfectly. The only problem is that it won’t be available to buy for a few months yet or should I say several weekends to come.

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The Perfect Weekend Bag by Bianca Mosca