A Trip To Art Basel Miami Beach With Rolls-Royce And Hublot
We brought automotive and horological glamour to a town positively buzzing with creativity.
As Will Smith notes in his 1997-still-apropos anthem to Florida’s Magic City: “This is the type of town I could spend a few days in/Miami the city that keeps the roof blazin’.” Temperature degrees aside, the coastal locale turned up the heat this past week, hosting the 19th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach.
As one of the nearly 100,000 people spending a few days in town, I opted for a bravura entrance, courtesy of a 2022 Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost and sporting a duo of Hublot timepieces. I selected the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Moonphase Titanium Pavé 42mm for daytime and Big Bang Sang Bleu II King Gold Pavé 45mm after the sunset
Art Basel Miami Beach Bearings
While the handful of art shows taking place in Miami are the raison d’etre for the nearly weeklong Art Basel, an impressive array of luxury, fashion, and lifestyle brands tacked on parties, dinners, events, debuts, and conversations. I, however, only had a mere two full days to navigate my mind-boggling schedule and accompanying traffic from Downtown Miami to the island city of Miami Beach.
Opening night began with an artist dinner at the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor space dedicated to large-scale murals and the epicenter of Wynwood Arts District. Celebrating a baker’s dozen of freshly constructed installations from the likes of Scott Froschauer, Joe Iurato, KAI, Kayla Mahaffey, Mantra, Greg Mike, and Farid Rueda, to name a few, the event was titled “Agents of Change.”
Thus, sliding into the Black Badge Ghost, I found myself turning around more than once to admire passing murals. Equipped with a next-gen 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12 and enhanced torque, inside the Black Badge Ghost, it was immediately possible to sense the more engaging gear ratios, all-wheel drive, and all-wheel steering. Black Badge – the marque’s permanent bespoke series of automobiles aimed at younger, edgier customers – now account for 27% of Rolls-Royce commissions worldwide.
Although it also comes in 45mm, the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Moonphase Titanium Pavé 42mm felt comfortable and complimented a wrist full of accessories. It features the HUB1131 self-winding moonphase in-house movement with a 42-hour power reserve. Meanwhile, the grade 5 titanium maintains a slightly bluish metallic sheen, allowing the case of 228 diamonds totaling 1.50cts and the bezel of 138 diamonds totaling 1.01cts to seriously shimmer. Plus, while I opted not to take it for a dip in the ocean, it is water-resistant to 50m.
As day called it a night, I swapped for the Big Bang Sang Bleu II King Gold Pavé 45mm. The satin and polished finished 18K King Gold case set with 172 diamonds and bezel set with 48 diamonds had a distinctively warmer glow than the Aerofusion but felt a touch unruly. A weightier watch than its daytime companion, it necessitated a wrist all its own. And again, though tempting, I decided to keep it saltwater-free, despite its 100m water resistance.
To cleanse the palette of evening festivities, I began my morning meditating with Deepak Chopra, who was at Art Basel Miami Beach to launch his non-profit NFT for good platform Seva.Love.
Then off to the fairs I went (after road testing the Ghost’s whole body massage function).
I began with Scope Art Show, where it was impossible to avoid the SuperRare booth. Self-described as a digital art market to purchase and trade single-edition artworks, tokenized as crypto-collectible items, this booth achieved quite the buzz.
Meanwhile, down the road in a custom built bright red shipping container, Brooklyn resident Sho Shibuya partnered with Saint Laurent to exhibit 55 Sunrises, a series of just as many works inspired by the daily sunrises from his apartment and transferred onto that morning’s The New York Times.
The Miami Beach Convention Center hosted Art Basel proper. From the established to the emerging, more than 200 galleries exhibited a variety of artic mediums, from sculpture to painting, digital to multi-dimensional.
Initially delayed by the pandemic, Rolls-Royce launched their Phantom Phenoms program over a three-course dinner at the W South Beach. Spotlighting 15 female owners, ten of whom were present alongside Martin Fritsches, President and CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas, the Phantom Phenoms are philanthropists, designers, and entrepreneurs, not to mention brand enthusiasts.
Finally, the neon lights on Collins Avenue gently blurred from inside the Ghost as a night full of party hopping ensued.
The Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost, as tested, can be purchased for $519,175. To learn more about Rolls-Royce, visit the automaker’s website.
Hublot’s Classic Fusion Aerofusion Moonphase Titanium Pavé 42mm can be purchased for $28,700, while the Big Bang Sang Bleu II King Gold Pavé 45mm can be purchased for $66,200. For more information on the watch, visit Hublot’s website.
(Photography by Jeff Frost)