On the 24th and 25th of May, I was invited by A. Lange & Söhne to join the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014. This prestigious event finds its roots in 1929 and with some pauses since the 1950s, the Concorso was revived again since 1995. The event at the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este was only for participants, media and invited guests while the Concours of Historic Cars is open to the public on Sunday (25th of May) in the park of the Villa Erba.
Over 50 beautiful classic cars were present, from the 1920s to the early 1980s. Furthermore, around a dozen of concept cars and prototypes were present during these days. Sponsored by BMW, A. Lange & Söhne and some other partners, it had all the ingredients (being a fan of both A. Lange & Söhne timepieces and BMW cars) to become the perfect weekend.
After arrival on the 23rd of May at Grand Hotel Tremezzo we were treated with a wonderful welcome dinner with all other guests of A. Lange & Söhne. On the next day, in the early morning, we left Tremezzo on these beautiful Riva Aquarama boats and headed towards Villa d’Este. Lake Como is the perfect place to be on a Riva boat and enables you to have a look at some of the stunning houses and villages that are located near the lake. We even passed George Clooney’s villa, the villa formerly owned by the Versace family, Villa del Balbianello where James Bond recuperates in Casino Royale and so on. An amazing trip in the early morning with a clear blue sky.
At the Villa d’Este we received a guided tour amongst all competitor cars with a short explanation and some times an introduction to the owner of the car. We received a booklet with an overview of all the participating cars with some background information on them. We were able to vote for our personal favourite car, in order for them to receive a ‘public prize’ besides the ‘jury prizes’. These jury prizes were given in 9 categories. The public prize, or “Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este” was given after a very nice parade of all cars.
The photos above were taken during the guided tour. Below, you will see some of the photos I took during the parade just before the “Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este” or Public Prize was announced. My personal favourite being the BMW 507 and the red Fiat Abarth.
The winner of the Concorse d’Eleganza prize in the ‘Best of Show’ category was presented the Concorso Edition of the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone watch. Featuring a hand-engraved white-gold caseback displays the coat of arms of the Concorsod’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
This year’s “Best of Show” award went to the 1956 Maserati 450S owned by Albert Spiess. He received the Lange 1 Time Zone watch from A. Lange & Söhne’s CEO Wilhelm Schmid. The two photos below are taken by A. Lange & Söhne.
Besides the amazing weather and beautiful cars there were also lots of stunning watches to see. A. Lange & Söhne had a beautiful booth inside the Villa d’Este where you could see some very interesting pieces. Besides the winner’s Time Zone watch, there was also this year’s novelty that had intrigued me quite a bit: the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Perpetual Calendar Terra Luna.
But also outside the A. Lange & Söhne booth in the Villa d’Este there was enough to see when it comes to Lange watches.
More information about the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone watch and the 2014 winner can be found here. A report on the cars can be found at the Sports Car Digest website that features a lot of photos.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more