Go Your Own Way with Oris

Having spent most of my twenties not wearing a watch, or really even caring that much about the time in general (oh, sweet youth…) I have certainly upped my wrist game since hitting 30. Telling the time, and most importantly, being on time, aside, a great watch can really set the tone for your whole look, acting as both a style and personal character statement. 

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As we tend to wear watches more frequently than any other accessory, investing in a time piece you really love feels pretty justifiable, given the eventual ‘cost per wear’ (a little formula not taught at school, but one I use far more regularly than the Pythagorean theorem…) and amidst an influx of smart watches and new technology flooding the market, I am even more appreciative of traditional, beautifully crafted and charismatic watches which can be passed down from generation to generation. 

This summer I discovered Oris, the luxury Swiss watch brand renowned for their distinctive, 100% mechanical designs. Founded in Holstein, Switzerland, in 1904, the independent company launched a standalone concept store on London’s fashionable South Molton Street (above, open until the end of August) which gives British customers a chance to explore the brand, its rich watchmaking heritage and ultimately to ‘Go Your Own Way,’ by finding your perfect watch. 

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One of the highlights at the pop-up, for this history geek at least, is the Oris mini museum, featuring classic pieces from throughout the brand’s 114 years.  The latest collections are also on display, and of course available to buy or pre-order, and my eyes definitely fell upon the Artelier Grand Lune Date Diamond Automatic Watch (now, try saying THAT several times in a row…)

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To me, this watch is both classic but also wonderfully modern, and although embellished with beautiful diamonds and sapphire crystal, in keeping with my day-to-day style and work, it doesn’t feel too ostentatious or feminine, due to the bigger dial size and deep, midnight blue sustainable leather strap.

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The distinctive and decorative large moon and series of twinkling, reflective stars add a really special and almost poetic touch to the watch and one that truly had me at hello (or should I say, grüezi…) 

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Passionate about our earth and wildlife, what was of obvious interest to me, is the brand’s #ChangeForTheBetter campaign, and their continuous, and active support of non-profit organisations that protect endangered species and conserve threatened habitats. This year Oris started using sustainably sourced and produced leather straps, which appeared in the company’s classic collection of Artelier watches, such as the one I chose to wear.  Knowing that the watch I chose to wear has been so ethically created makes this particular collection even more charming and covetable, and although also available in stainless steel, I can imagine the leather strap will age really beautifully over time, telling unique stories from each owner’s wear, and I find that really enchanting. 

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‘This is both an elegant, feminine piece of watch design, and a wonderful example of Oris’s watchmaking abilities,’ said Oris Chairman Ulrich W. Herzog. ‘The new Oris-developed Calibre 763 is the latest in a long line of Oris innovations and brings the traditional ‘grande lune’ complication into orbit for stylish women who are looking for an attractively priced Swiss Made watch.’ 

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In collaboration with Oris
Photography: Frances Davison
Hair: Taylor Taylor London
Nails: Sophie Gass

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Lowry Baker

Yesterday my friend suggested we meet for brunch at Lowry and Baker at the end of the Portobello Road.
“Where?” I asked.
"Don’t you know it?” she replied.
No. I don’t. And I instantly get the feeling that I should. (I was right.)

Lowry and Baker, a one-roomed café with outdoor tables, near the Golborne Road, opened in 2010 and has a very loyal local fan base – who are pretty damn protective (one customer told me not to take photos… evidently incase the details of their secret sanctuary and refuge from the closeby chaos of Portobello were to ever be revealed.)

Coffees and a gorgeous menu of homemade food are served on mismatched crockery laid on wonderful, eclectic furniture (the lady next to me outside is eating some lavender shortbread off a child’s school desk.) I had the poached eggs with crushed avocado and parma ham on sourdough. Angels sang.

During my feast 3 friends of mine walked out… Errrrm… Does everyone know about this place?? Well they do now. Sorry locals - It’s time to play nicely and share.

Pizza East Meets West

The ever-expanding Soho House Group has once again added to its empire, this time with Pizza East Portobello, the sibling to Pizza East Shoreditch. Towards the end of Portobello Road, the restored Georgian pub is now a light, airy, hip New York style restaurant, takeaway and deli.

With wooden floors and antique café style furniture, the atmosphere is laid back and perfect for dinner with friends; its been an instant hit with the Yummy Mummies and Beautiful Young Things of Notting Hill.

I visited last night with my girlfriend Beatrice - we met early for a school-like tumbler of prosecco, some green olives and a good gossip before her husband and Jack joined us. 3 tumblers later (they were late!) we were ready to attack the menu. Despite their wood-fired Pizza being the obvious lure (toppings include crispy pork belly, tomato and mushroom) it was the antipasto menu I found truly delicious and would recommend.