Text of Speech by Tan Sri (Dr.) Francis Yeoh
Distinguished guests, global watch retailers, and members of the media,
Good morning and a warm welcome to this event.
Starhill Gallery will be hosting Asia’s largest retail watch and jewellery showcase from 3rd to 12th December 2007. Themed ‘A Journey through Time’, this ensemble of the world’s fabulous timepieces and exquisite jewellery will draw discerning watch connoisseurs and collectors from around the region and the world.
In this respect, we are working with the Ministry of Tourism to brand Malaysia as a high value destination. We believe that with Malaysia’s duty free status, its world class tourism products and the warm hospitality of its people and the multi-ethnicity of its various races, these compelling pull factors will help increase high net-worth tourism flows and promote Malaysia as a preferred destination for well-heeled tourists.
Malaysia has long been undervalued as a shopping destination with premium offerings. We can do more to promote its world class tourist infrastructure available at value-for-money proposition, all of which will further support Malaysia’s penetration into the lucrative high end M.I.C.E and hospitality market.
Starhill Gallery’s A Journey through Time is the first few pioneering activities that will position Malaysia as a desired one-stop destination for rich, luxury experiences. Throughout the 10-day showcase, Starhill Gallery will play host to not only an experiential appreciation of unique timepieces and jewellery, but also other exiciting activities that serve to differentiate A Journey Through Time from other watch and jewellery events.
A key objective of this inaugural A Journey Through Time event is to promote horology which is the alchemy of art and science in measuring time, into the pursuit of every watch lover. The participation of over 100 of the greatest watch marques and their retailers, combined with the presence of watch masters, royalty, billionaires, multi millionaires, corporate personalities and celebrities, will collectively elevate the watch culture in Malaysia into higher visibility, thus casting A Journey Through Time into an iconic event on the world’s horological calendar.
There will be some outstanding key highlights that are set to mark A Journey Though Time as a not-to-be missed showcase. The Richard Mille RM012 Tourbillon – the recent “Golden Hand Grand Prix” winner at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve 2007 and co-presented by Financial Times, literally hot from the press, will be showcased as a finished product for the first time ever in the world at Starhill Gallery. It will indeed be a moment which all watch connoisseurs especially Richard Mille aficionados to acquire the Richard Mille RM012 at Starhill Gallery, do join the queue.
In addition, the Jury’s Prize winner of the same Geneva show, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Grande Complication à Triptyque with only 75 pieces in the world will also be a highlight for viewing eagerly awaited at Starhill Gallery. And Cartier’s Ballon Bleu, winner of the Favourite Lady’s Watch is already available at Cortina Watch, while the AP Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team, winner of Favourite Sports Watch will be also celebrated together with its royal counterpart the Royal Oak Offshore Jalan Bukit Bintang at this festival.
There will be some outstanding key highlights that are set to further mark A Journey Though Time as a not-to-be missed showcase. As you might already be aware, the Korloff Noir will be making a rare appearance in A Journey Through Time, and this 88-carat brilliant-cut Black Diamond will be unveiled by Her Royal Majesty the Queen of Malaysia, DYMM Tuanku Nur Zahirah.
Some limited edition collectibles and commemorative masterpieces available during this special showcase include the Romain Jerome Titanic DNA, Richard Mille’s platinum RM012 Tourbillion, Glashutte Original’s Lady Serenade Tourbillion, Jacquet Droz’s La Fleur De Lotus, Boucheron’s high jewelry Carrée watch, Blu’s Majesty T3 and Audemars Piguet’s one and only ‘Jalan Bukit Bintang’ Chronograph.
To enhance your shopping experience, models will be walking the runway every evening draped in the trendiest pieces by famous brands the likes of Celine, Khoon Hooi, Richard Mille, Beatrice Looi, Fendi, Valentino, Lanvin, Fabi, and Kenzo.
After each fashion show, there will be performances at the Shook! stage by the best of local and international artistes. Camelia, Ning Baizura, Sean Ghazi, Norlin Aziz and Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza will entertain you nightly with their latest hits. World renowned flutist Andrea Griminelli and Luca Grassi will perform pieces as a tribute to my good friend Luciano Pavarotti.
These performances will be complimented with an exciting gourmet experience Themed ‘A Taste of Indulgence’. An opulent menu has been specially prepared for this 10-day showcase by our Executive Celebrity Chef, Kevin Cape. Do expect, champagne, cavier, truffles, oysters and fois gras.
An international DJ will be flown in to cap the night off by spinning the deck and keeping the atmosphere lively until 1 in the morning every single evening.
At the end of this entire showcase of luxury and rich experiences, Starhill Gallery is proud to announce the coveted Starhill Gallery Watch of the Year Awards which will serve as an exciting finish for A Journey Through Time.
Watch retailers at Starhill Gallery have been invited to submit their watches for this Awards night and there will be 1 winner for each of the 5 categories outlined. There will be:
The Starhill Gallery Best Technical Innovations Watch 2007 Award
The Starhill Gallery Best Grand Complications Watch 2007 Award
The Starhill Gallery Best Creative Design Watch 2007 Award
The Starhill Gallery Best Active Lifestyle Watch 2007 Award, and
The Starhill Gallery Best Selected Watch 2007 Award
Out of these 5 categories, another winner will be chosen for the best of the best watch category themed the “Ministry of Tourism Malaysia Watch of The Year 2007 Award”.
With participation from over 100 reputable brands and their retailers, the support from the Ministry of Tourism, combined with the presence of watchmakers, royalty, corporate personalities and celebrities, will elevate the appreciation of these finely crafted, exquisite timepieces thus casting A Journey Through Time as an annual iconic event on the world’s horological calendar.
So, ladies and gentlemen, that was just a brief outline of the activities at Starhill Gallery’s A Journey Through Time. We therefore welcome everyone to come and enjoy Starhill Gallery’s own unique brand of rich experiences this December 3rd.
See you at A Journey Through Time.
Thank you and God bless you.
SPEECH BY TAN SRI DATO’ (DR) FRANCIS YEOH,
GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR OF YTL CORPORATION BERHAD
2nd PRESS CONFERENCE OF A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME
16 NOVEMBER 2007