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A grand finale at Starhill Gallery's Watch Award Night 2008

   
Winners of the Starhill Gallery Watch Award Night 2008

Kuala Lumpur, December 15, 2008

 

A Journey Through Time II came to a close yesterday in a grandeurs celebration with the Starhill Gallery’s Watch Award Night 2008.

 

There was much excitement as boutique owners, watch connoisseurs, watchmakers and principles gathered in merriment to witness the awards presentation after the 11-day long exhibition.

The exhibition saw over 150 watch brands exhibiting their high-end watches and jewellery to the public. Principals, 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.

The stunning award trophies for the winners of the six categories were created by Malaysian artist, Abdul Muthalib Musa, in honour of the craftsmanship of the revered global watchmakers.

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 Favourite Ladies' Watch Award 2008 was the first to be announced and the very deserving Glashütte Original was honoured with their Night Shade: The Star Collection.

 

Jean-Francois Meyer, the coordinator of the Swiss Museum of Horological Art, presented the Starhill Gallery Favourite Mens’ Watch Award 2008. The award went to Richard Mille with the RM010, a timepiece exceptional for its avant-garde design, to its innovative use of materials and manufacturing processes.

 

Next to be awarded was the Starhill Gallery Active Lifestyle Watch Award 2008. This award went to Jaeger-LeCoultre with the Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic. This revolutionary timepiece is recognisable by its 46.3-mm diameter and its characteristic appearance due to the presence of the depth gauge, which houses a new Geographic sports movement.

 

The award was presented by Dr Massimiliano Landi who is a professor at the School of Economics in Singapore Management University. Dr. Landi is a specialist in ‘Gaming, Voting and Chances in Games’ mathematics and was ‘Voting Rule Advisor’ for the world’s first Asian Geneva Grand Prix Haute Horology held for the first time in outside of Geneva in Singapore recently.


   
   Guillaume Willk-Fabia from Van Cleef & Arpels accepting the award for Tourism Malaysia Most Revered Watch Award 2008

Starhill Gallery Innovative Design Watch Award 2008 went to DeWitt with the WX-1. The WX-1, both a watch concept and an object d’art, highlights the creativity of the House of DeWitt, which celebrates its 5th anniversary this year. This exceptional creation merges design, futurism, and sophistication in a uniquely constructed body.

 

Starhill Gallery Watch with Complications in Movement Award 2008 went to the Maurice Lacroix – Memoire 1; a timepiece that made history by being the first mechanical watch with a memory function.

 

Maurice Lacroix also launched their first boutique in the world, right here at Starhill Gallery during A Journey Through Time II.

 

Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh was called upon to deliver the YTL Spirit of Classical Art Award 2008. The award went to Ulysse Nardin with the Imperial St. Petersburg & Egg of the Tsars.

 

This beautiful timepiece which showcases the legendary symbols of St. Petersburg, is presented in an elaborate multi-layered enamelled Faberge egg crafted by contemporary jeweller Andrei Ananov.

 

The most coveted award of the night was the Tourism Malaysia Most Revered Watch Award 2008. This award presented by Dato Dr Ong Hong Peng, Secretary General of Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, acknowledged the watch that has made history in being not only the first but also the one and only in Malaysia – The Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Kuala Lumpur.

 

This unique timepiece replicates the map of stars as seen in the Kuala Lumpur sky. Housing a movement of an extreme complexity, it links the idea of Time to that of the Cosmos and is a dazzling homage to a universe both mysterious and fascinating.

 

“An event like this is only possible because of people who dream with their eyes open. We are now universally recognised as  "The Global Fine Watch Retailer" with the largest retail space dedicated to haute horology, featuring some of the world’s rarest stand-alone boutiques.

 

The world’s first Ulysee Nardin boutique is in Starhill Gallery, as are the world’s first Maurice Lacroix, Bedat & Co, Armand Nicolet and Graham boutiques.  The world’s first BLU boutique is designed by Bernhard Lederer himself, while Jerome DeWitt launched his first and only boutique not in France or Switzerland, but right here in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Likewise, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille all have their largest global boutiques here.  In Asia, the one and only Mouawad and Yeslam boutiques are in Starhill Gallery; while Omega, Glashűtte and Rado boutiques are the largest in South East Asia along with the region’s flagships of Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron," said Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh in his speech during the awards presentation.

 

"We are in the midst of a recession but the watches we’ve sold this year is double that of last year. Last year we had 35, 000 visitors, but this year we’ve had 80, 000. Besides that, we had 7 private jets fly in for the event last year, but this year we’ve had 17 private jets!" exclaimed Yeoh, whose passion and determination made an event like A Journey Through Time possible.

 

"You can be assured that bespoke watch pieces can only be found at Starhill Gallery. They are authentic and not fake and the nett price for watches here is the cheapest on this earth. This is truly a historical moment and it is proof that dreams can come true. God has blessed this event and I’m sure He’ll bless us through the New Year," said Yeoh wrapping up a truly monumental night.

 

It was a perfect end to a perfect evening as flautist Andrea Griminelli took to the stage for the final time, delivering an outstanding performance with soprano Cynthia Lawrence and tenor Saimir Pirgu. Performing with them was the Starhill Gallery Sinfonietta. The trio performed an incredible repertoire together with songs like The Prayer, Mattinata and Brindisi, which brought the whole house to its feet in a standing ovation.


   
Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh addressing guests at the Starhill Gallery Watch Award Night 2008

Speech by Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr) Francis Yeoh CBE

Starhill Gallery Watch Awards 2008 

14 December 2008, Starhill Gallery

 

 

His Excellencies, Ambassadors to Malaysia.

Esteemed Watch & Jewellery Principals.

Respectable judges of the Starhill Gallery Watch Awards.

 

Members of the media. Distinguished guests. Ladies and gentlemen.

 

In the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, it is said that “Every man should enjoy the good of all his labour for it is a gift of God”.

 

 

Tonight, I wish to applaud all the participants and 50 nominated watches which are indeed divine gifts of labour, representing the finest in technology, design innovation, craftsmanship and beauty at Starhill Gallery.

 

When we first started Starhill Gallery, our personal response was to address the tedium of mass shopping, mindless acquisitions and consumerism with personalised encounters to refine the shopping experience. 

 

Today, we thank God that we must have done something right as Starhill Gallery has attracted some of the world’s biggest names into its halls of rich experiences, and has been listed by Forbes traveler.com as one of Asia’s most beautiful shopping malls.

 

In just 3 years, Adorn Floor is recognised as “The Global Fine Watch Retailer” with the largest retail space dedicated to haute horology, featuring some of the world’s rarest stand alone boutiques.

 

The world’s first Ulysee Nardin boutique is in Starhill Gallery, as are the world’s first Maurice Lacroix, Bedat & Co, Armand Nicolet and Graham boutiques. 

 

The world’s first BLU boutique is designed by Bernhard Lederer himself, while Jerome DeWitt launched his first and only boutique not in France or Switzerland, but right here in Kuala Lumpur. Likewise, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille all have their largest global boutiques here. 

 

In Asia, the one and only Mouawad and Yeslam boutiques are in Starhill Gallery; while Omega, Glashűtte and Rado boutiques are the largest in South East Asia along with the region’s flagships of Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron.

 

With so many world class Icons in Starhill Gallery, it is my joy that we can host A Journey Through Time right here – where we all are and not some convention hall or exhibition centre. So in a gallery of rich experiences, we can celebrate the world’s most fabulous timepieces, complete with fine dining and world class entertainment.

 

For this year, one of Malaysia’s foremost sculptors Abdul Muthalib Musa has been commissioned to design the Starhill Gallery Awards as a tribute to these masterpieces of nonpareil craftsmanship and beauty.


   
   Flautist Andrea Griminelli performing with soprano Cynthia Lawrence and tenor Saimir Pirgu

They are all winners in their own right, and they have made our task as judges extremely challenging. Especially now as I see it in this Golden Age of watchmaking when the appreciation and demand for fine timepieces are burgeoning, particularly across Asia.

 

With the quality of participation and support of the Ministry, the Starhill Gallery Watch Awards is indeed the first and only of its kind in Asia that is endorsed by a Nation. And I sincerely hope that in time, it will also be recognised as among the most coveted in the world.

 

As Dr Bernard Cheong noted last year, Malaysians have made it happen! And with Kuala Lumpur’s duty-free status, there is no doubt that today Starhill Gallery is where the world can shop for the most fabulous timepieces that are instantly 30 to 40 per cent more affordable.

 

Last year, A Journey Through Time was recorded as the largest revenue earner in a single exhibition. And this year, we have doubled the sales with double the number of guests. And I am sure many of Asia’s billionaires, royalties from the region and connoisseurs will bring home with them the joy of masterpieces, revealed for the first time in Asia.

 

“Time is what Life is made of” says an 18th century proverb. So by celebrating A Journey Through Time, we are indeed celebrating Life and the abundance of God’s blessings.

 

So it is my fervent prayer that we will all meet again – same time next year in December, and for many years to come. For with the Ministry’s continued support, A Journey Through Time will indeed stand the test of time.

 

Thank you, and may God bless all of you!


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