Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: Maserati GranTurismo

"That Italian lady you would want to live with"

I have just recently had the pleasure to drive the Maserati GranTurismo and I absolutely am head over heels with this car. It doesn't really shout for attention like the other flashy Italian counterpart, and that, makes the GranTurismo sexy in a very classy way. This review won't be about the numbers, the horsepower, the torque and all, but it will be on how it makes me feel as a driver, and if I could sum the car up with just one word, which I rarely could; Special.

Everybody has different things that ticks them. My preferences however, has always been with a two-seater coupe. But as you get into a later stage in life, you started to look at the practicality, the function over forms.

When you are about to start a family, and say have a son, a two-seater coupe doesn't really makes the cut unfortunately. You would want something practical, and fun at the same time. By all means, that doesn't mean that I don't love the two-seater no more, it just that I don't think they would be my first choice for a main car or a daily driver.

You would then started to consider a 4-seater or in my case, a 2+2. But who are we kidding. 2+2 is beautiful, but most of the time, the back seat are for show purposes only. Yes, then there's the Porsche 911. Unfortunately, I can't imagine myself waking up to one in the morning. They really are practical though.

This is where the GranTurismo comes into the picture. For people like me. The looks, the lines, the leather, the smell. And the back seat really is usable! And for a daily driver, I don't need all the power in the world. But it's good to know that there is enough power and torque should I need them there. But heck they are fast. And it's not too flashy, which equals to less fingerprints when you go out shopping for groceries and all.

Now, the best feature of the GranTurismo besides the looks. The sound. The noise the car makes, the burble, the crackling sound, when decelerating, it will make you smile widely. Very wide indeed. Then there's the sport button, I'll just quote Jeremy Clarkson on the Quattroporte Sport button, "What this button does, is turn carbon dioxide into noise!". That is more than enough to explain how I feel, though he quoted that on the Quattroporte, the same sure does applies on the GranTurismo.

With that, I would like to say, Yes. The GranTurismo would make the perfect family car. Well, for me that is.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How My Watch Saved My Life

They say, "A watch can tell you more about a man than anything else"

Those who knows me personally would know that I am particularly fond of nice watches. In particular, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. To some, they might say that it's not worth it to spend a large sums of money on a nice, proper watch. But tell that to my gramps, he shaped me into the gentleman I am now. To me, why worry about pricetag, as long as you get what you paid for, and the most important thing is that you loves it. Why a Patek though? It's not as flashy as Rolex or some other brands, and it suits me. It defines who I am.

I wouldn't say that I am a horologist fanatics, I'm just a guy who enjoys simple pleasure in life. I appreciate the intricate art of the watch movement and history which then leads me to learn more about the winding, about the in-house movement et al and that opens up my perspective and I end up with a Patek Philippe Gondolo which I wears daily.

And here is how my watch saves my life. Somewhere around at the end of last year, I was out on a backpacking trip, and it just so happened, I've decided not to take any credit or charge card with me. All I've got is two ATM debit cards which theoretically is enough for I am carrying enough cash for the week-long trip.

On my fifth day there, I goes to the ATM to withdraw some cash and to my surprise, both my ATM card doesn't work. The cash left with me is just enough for food for the night. I took a deep breath and started going back to my room. Back in my room, disaster strike. I realise that my phone's no longer with me.

Imagine being 30 hours from home, with a small amount cash and no phones. To make matter worse, I am nowhere near embassy and it's friday evening. Even if I were to head for the embassy, the cash that I have is not enough to get me there.

The next day, I head for the train station to calm myself down and think. That is when I realise, I could sell my watch and get enough money to buy me a ticket home. I then started asking the local's on the best pawnshop that offers the best rate and after a quick survey, with heavy heart, I let my watch go. I know the price that I get is quite low but in any case, survival always comes first.

With the money, I stayed for another night and return the next afternoon That 30 hour return trip made me realise, yes I may have lost my watch. But the experience that I have just gone through, that's priceless. And one thing I learned that day is that, get a good watch, and keep them with you always. They are your insurance policy in emergency. And they got your back covered, always.


p/s - Another thing that I learned is that, maybe that's a sign for me to go for a new watch. I have always preferred rectangular watch as opposed to round. But I recently feels like having a round one instead. Still a Patek though. Patek Phillipe Calatrava with rose gold case and brown alligator strap. Let's pray that will come true soon enough.