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A Royal finale at Starhill Gallery’s Watch Award 2007

   
Tan Sri (Dr.) Francis Yeoh with the award winners

Kuala Lumpur, December 13, 2007


Time marks a page in history, and Time, was what we celebrated at A Journey Through Time, Asia’s largest watch and jewellery fair held in Starhill Gallery.

The fair, which started majestically on the 3rd of December, was inaugurated by His Royal Highness, Raja Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail and Her Royal Highness, Raja Perempuan Perlis, Tuanku Fauziah binti Al-Marhum Tengku Abdul Rashid.

The exhibition saw over 100 watch brands exhibiting their high-end watches and jewellery to the public. Principles, ambassadors and watchmakers flew in from all parts of the world to join in this exhibition. Many worlds’ first and Asian premieres were launched during the fair and guests were amazed by the chance to witness such an opportunity right here in Malaysia.

History was made when the fair came to an end with the first ever Starhill Gallery Watch Award 2007, held yesterday. The awards were created by Abdul Muthalib Musa, in honour of the craftsmanship of the reverend global watchmakers. There was much excitement as boutique owners, watch connoisseurs, watch makers and principles gathered in merriment, while anticipating the winners of the Top 5 categories.

The judges had an extremely tough time in deciding the winners, as there were many timepieces with amazing movements and technology as well as designs, which were extraordinary.

The Starhill Gallery Active Lifestyle Watch Award 2007, was presented by Dr. Bernard Cheong. Internationally recognized by Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, Chronos Japan, The International Herald Tribune and WatchTime USA, as among the most influential collectors in the world, Dr Bernard Cheong MD, has widely been acknowledged as instrumental in defining the new era of watchmakers as artists versus artisans through his championing of the independent watchmakers.

The award went to Villemont for their Arctic Explorer Limited Edition Lewis Pugh timepiece. The watch was named after Lewis Pugh, the man who swam in the Arctic to demonstrate the effects of Global Warming. Pugh wore this limited edition timepiece during his swim and it withstood rough and extreme conditions.

The Starhill Gallery Watch with Complications in Movement Award 2007 went to a timepiece which has won a countless number of awards. The Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Grande Complications á triptyque is a creative and extremely unique piece with aesthetic and technical appeal. This timepiece surpassed expectations as it displays three time dimensions - civil, sidereal and perpetual - on three faces. The legendary reversible case houses a manually wound mechanical movement offering remarkable horological complications.

Starhill Gallery Favourite Ladies' Watch Award 2007 went to Jaquet Droz Tiger Eye Petite Heure Minute, a beautiful mechanical timepiece with double barrel 22-carat gold oscillating Weight and an 18-Carat white gold dial with silvered sub-dial.

Next to receive a prize was the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Jalan Bukit Bintang” Chronograph, who won the Starhill Gallery Favourite Men’s Watch Award 2007. This piece was especially dedicated to the “Jalan Bukit Bintang” AP Boutique and was made in a Limited Edition of 100 Pieces of which all are sold out!

Starhill Gallery Innovative Design Watch Award 2007 went to Richard Mille for his RM012 Tourbillon. This Hand-wound tourbillon is an architectural marvel and has tubular construction base plates and bridge construction.

Starhill Gallery also presented a unique award called the YTL Spirit of Classical Art Award 2007 to honour the art of timepieces. This award went to Van Cleef & Arpels for their Lady Arpels Centenary. The award was presented by Tan Sri (Dr.) Francis Yeoh, to Guillaume Willk-Fabia, General Manager of Van Clef & Arpels who received a beautiful, artistically handcrafted Daum vase.

The final award of the night was the Tourism Malaysia Most Revered Watch Award 2007. This award presented by Yang Berhormat Datuk Victor Wee, Secretary General of Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia acknowledge the brand which had unveiled something unique that the world has not seen and which made a statement in its design and movement.

The award went to Mr. Bernhard Lederer for his Blu Majesty T3, a beautifully constructed timepiece, which awed everyone who laid eyes on it. It was a befitting award for the tall but extremely humble man who attributes his success to his beautiful wife Ewa Lederer.

It was indeed a Majestic evening here at the Starhill Gallery Watch Award 2007 as Starhill Gallery was graced by a Royal visit from DYTM Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra, Raja Muda Perlis and DYTM Tuanku Hajjah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil, Raja Puan Muda Perlis.

Time was a luxury everyone enjoyed at the Starhill Gallery Watch Award 2007 and it was an evening that ended just as majestically as it begun.


”Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” - Benjamin Franklin


Speech by Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh

Starhill Gallery Awards Night – December 12 2007


A very good evening to our Guest of Honour, Yang Berhormat Datuk Victor Wee, Secretary General of Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia.


Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, Your Excellencies Ambassadors, my fellow esteemed judges, global Watch Principals, Ladies and Gentlemen.


The best prize that Life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing” said Theodore Roosevelt whose words aptly describe the 50 nominated watches which are all winners in their own right for their worth in breakthrough technology, innovative design, resilience, pertinence and aesthetic appeal.


Hence, I wish to congratulate each and every one of these 50 nominees for making our task as judges so challenging – as all of them are of impeccable pedigrees, time-tested and honoured by the world’s most reputable watch makers.

It is a joy to see so many successful watch brands and principals here in this festival showcasing so many expressions of their passion, excellence and craftsmanship that are worth investing.


The excitement is overwhelming with millions worth of watches sold, a record for Kuala Lumpur in a single exhibition. I am thrilled that all the 100 special pieces of Audemars Piquet “Jalan Bukit Bintang” Edition have already been sold. Now the Audemars Piquet “Jalan Bukit Bintang” walks tall into the pages of history with their peers in Audemars Piquet “Faubourg St-Honore” and Audemars Piquet “Ginza”


Asia’s billionaires, royalties from the region, the Middle East and our own beloved royalties and our discerning Malaysian watch collectors were also fascinated to be among the firsts to collect some rare master pieces, and bespoke collectibles revealed for the first time in Asia, through Starhill Gallery’s ‘Journey Through Time’.


Such an enthusiastic response in this first year is good news for all of us, especially for Malaysia aiming for high-yield tourism. Watch retailers and global watch principals; as well as connoisseurs, billionaires and royalties of the region applauded this important watch connoisseurs’ festival.


Tonight’s Starhill Gallery Watch Awards is a fitting grand finale to this momentous event. I pray with the continued commitment of the Ministry and the global principal watch makers, these awards will be recognised as one of the most coveted in the region. We hope that Kuala Lumpur will be the ultimate destination in Asia for the world’s most fabulous time pieces.


We have therefore commissioned one of Malaysia’s foremost sculptors, Abdul Muthalib Musa, to create these Awards to honour the craftsmanship of our reverend global watch makers. Our world renowned watch critic and avid watch expert and collector, Dr Bernard Cheong said of these fine works of art, “Today, we do not buy a watch just to tell the time anymore as you can tell time easily from your mobile phones. When you collect a piece of limited edition watch today, you are actually buying a rare piece of live art, handcrafted by the most creative and passionate watch makers all housed in a tiny valley in Switzerland. This masterpiece is armed with the most efficient engine in the world although it has more parts than a Ferrari. Like all rare collectibles, the price will only go up exponentially through time.”


Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us in this 10-day journey through time in celebration of Life, and I hope to see you again, so schedule your calendars to be in Kuala Lumpur same time next year. Remember time is the ultimate luxury, so spent it well.


Once again thank you, and may God bless all of you!




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