There are a thousand reasons why people flock to Venice in their millions each year, but foremost among them is the fact that Venice is a city in which time has appeared to stand still. From passenger jet to Riva taxi to gondola, the transition from modern life to Venetian life diminishes in speed until that moment one steps onto St Mark's square and peers up to the ornate yet no less imperious clock tower. Squint, and you could imagine yourself as a 15th century merchant, fresh from the Silk Road, hungry for commerce (eyes wide open and you'll see yourself surrounded by tourists and possibly knee deep in silty canal water, but forgive us if we skirt over that reality for a moment). In Venice, the concept of time, if not lost, certainly becomes blurred. The city demands that we recalibrate our sense of being with all the skeins of history criss-crossing 'la Serenissima'. Time's transience is written all over this palimpsest of a city.
It's fitting then that Wei Koh, the founder of The Rake, and his guide Eleonor Picciotto, founder and editor of The Eye of Jewelry, took to the Gritti Palace in Venice recently with time very much on their mind. This year, The Rake and its sister magazine Revolution have been honoured to be part of a number of very special watch collaborations with some of the finest watchmakers in the world and we are delighted to have been able to offer them exclusively to our customers. First came the Classic Fusion 'Molon Labe', a marvel of metallurgy part-inspired by the warriors of Sparta and a legend of the cigar world, Carlos Fuente; followed by two tropical iterations of Bell & Ross's Bellytanker chronograph - 'Dusty' and 'El Mirage' - and a highly limited L.U.C 1860 by Chopard. Finally, The Rake also combined forces with Rado, the ceramic specialist, to produce the HyperChrome Captain Cook "Ghost Captain" Limited Edition Dive Watch.
We've presented them all here in this Venetian trilogy, discerningly paired with attire from TheRake.com. But more than just watches, these collaborations, much like Venice itself, reiterate the idiom that time is indeed precious.