Friday, April 17, 2009

Flying Tourbillon..?

I’ve been watching what other people read – a function of LinkedIn. I had become a little self-conscious about my colleagues’ choices, imposing business and branding books by all the current big names. Whilst I have been sucking down military history and science fiction.

I had the chance to upgrade my reading material with the arrival of the latest special issue of Golf Digest/Index. Don’t know why I received this magazine; though I love the concept, I don’t actually play golf. I also recognize the game’s role in conspicuous consumption.

So it was with no particular surprise when I reviewed the magazine’s back cover ad. This, my friends, is a Cartier Ballon de Bleu Flying Tourbillon Men’s Watch…I don’t even know what half this stuff means, but it’s a damned impressive ad. That copy on the lower right? Here’re a few lines:

Rose gold case on alligator strap. Mechanical movement with manual winding. Cartier caliber 4952 M/C (10 and ¾ lines, 19 jewels, 21,000 vibrations per hours. Seconds indicated by the C-shaped tourbillon cage (aha!). Movement developed and assembled by the Cartier Manufacture…

Pretty fancy copy and not much of it – all feature, feature, feature. The benefit is it’s a Cartier watch.

This Flying Whatever lists for…$96,500. But pick the right online retailer and you can get it for $75k, or $74k…or even $73,340.

I love the magazine. I probably won’t receive any more issues, but my hat’s right off to publisher Thomas J Bair and the other people who produce it. They’ve pegged an upscale audience, deliver some well-written features and do not shrink from the tough job of promoting stylish excess.

BTW, shop and you can get a fine simulacrum of the same watch for $100 – that’s all I can afford after Tax Day, anyway.

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