One of a kind, customized, made-to-measure luxury watch straps
by David Graver in Style on 24 April 2014
Choosing the perfect watch can be a challenge: from price point to design, functionality and complexity, many factors can dictate a direction or even unhinge a commitment. There are plenty of worthy brands out there; some for everyday wear and others for the perfect accent to a special occasion. For those looking for something uniquely theirs, L'Atelier du Bracelet Parisien provides an exquisite alternative. In a small workshop within their Paris boutique, craftsmen meticulously construct watch straps that you simply cannot find anywhere else. While this doesn't solve the problem of finding the right watch for you, it opens up a world of alternatives. Whether you're looking to punch up a piece you already own or buy a new watch but differentiate it from peers, discovering the rare and high-quality offerings from L'Atelier du Bracelet Parisien is a treat in itself.
The company was founded in 1997 by Jean-Claude Perrin, a veteran luxury watch strap maker. After selling his previous companies to larger luxury corporations, he decided to return to the rare, handworked craft. In an effort to maintain the integrity of the product, he has since only partnered with his wife Régine, their son Yann and a pared-down team of craftsmen. Their boutique, located in Paris' watchmaking hub, is an inspiring wonderland of options and preexisting products. In addition to their own straps they carry secondhand watches and other leather goods—including belts, bags and more. They also offer watch repair services.
For an entirely customized experience, the atelier allows customers to select from an expansive choice of leathers, tannings, colors, forms and thicknesses. From crocodile to ostrich, pearl-infused stingray and beyond, they can (and have) even crafted watch straps from 1950s baseball gloves and World War II leather military satchels. More than 50 unique materials are available to chose from. Each watch band stretches as far as the imagination, and all the leather work takes place right within their visible boutique.
L'Atelier du Bracelet Parisien watch straps are available online or in store at 56, Place du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris.
Images courtesy of L'Atelier du Bracelet Parisien
Milan's gallery-meets-workshop, where unbridled creativity is king
by Richard Prime in Culture on 24 April 2014
During Milan Design Week, visitors are faced with an overwhelming array of options of events and showcases, but many won't bother with the Interni guide (which lists all the official events) and they'll go rogue, taking home some of the best tales and inspiration to fuel their minds. This is how CH found the charming world of Intuizione Ploc, a small gallery hidden in a courtyard en route to the Lambrata District.
Given that the owner of the small gallery-meets-workshop tends to hide away in the workshop—leaving the space relatively unguarded—it's a visual voyage of fantasy which leaves the viewer to take their time and draw their own interpretations. Visiting Ploc is a very personal experience.
Gazing upon the many castles and spaceships created from reclaimed electrical parts and hand-crafted materials—assembled meticulously into fantasy landscapes and finished with small glyphs—it feels akin to discovering a lost temple.
Over the years, Ploc's style has morphed and evolved. A few years ago it was transistors, microchips and coils of miscellaneous wire that decorated its sculptures. Then came a monochromatic phase; stark, glossy whites with black accents. Now, it seems the mysterious back room creator has moved towards hastily hacked wood blocks, coupled with mystical hieroglyphics and symbols. There are also drawings that accompany the 3D objects on display—perhaps blueprints or afterthoughts.
Ploc is the type of place to visit and enjoy those thoughtful moments when one's own mind joins the dots. As far as creativity goes, Intuizione Ploc proved to its visitors that unbridled inspiration can still be found if you're willing to take the paths less explored.
Lead photo by Karen Day, all others by Richard Prime, illustrations courtesy of Intuizione Ploc
A new app to ensure the perfect coffee, no matter the brewing method
by CH Contributor in Food + Drink on 24 April 2014
by Emily Bihl
With the rise in coffee culture ever increasing and popularizing many intriguing brewing methods—from Chemex to Aeropress to the Kone Brewing System—our morning routines often consist of much more than pressing a button. To help keep it all straight, there’s Brewseful; a new app that takes the guesswork out of brewing the perfect cup. At its most basic level, Brewseful is an iPhone timer, but a few clever, intuitive features make it a far superior choice to the built-in stopwatch mode.
A necessity for coffee snobs and novices alike, Brewseful lets you specify your preferred coffee-to-water ratio, cup size and even coarseness of the grind and save these as presets. This allows you to have a go-to for Chemex brewing that’s different from your setting for pour-over—each of which can be further fine-tuned to take the particulars of various roasts and blends into account. From here, handy “event” sliders indicate when the pouring begins and ends, when to stir and finally, when it’s ready to enjoy, promising a perfectly customized cup every time.
Brewseful is available free for download from iTunes.
Screengrabs courtesy of Brewseful