Balloon-powered Spaceship Neptune promises a luxurious way to tour outer space

Many private companies are working hard to make space travel more economical as well as more profitable. The latter could involve not just commutes but, more importantly, “space tourism.” To make that possible, however, rockets have to be reusable instead of being obliterated on reentry. Either that or spacecraft could take off on a runway the same way that airplanes do. Another option that’s starting to attract interest uses a style of flying that predates airplanes, relying on a gigantic balloon to lift people into the upper layers of our atmosphere. It may sound almost archaic, but the passenger capsule for one such spacecraft could very well be the most extravagant way to hold a cocktail party in outer space.

Designer: Of My Imagination

Of course, the balloon that will carry Space Perspective’s Neptune spacecraft won’t be the same hot air balloons you’ll see in the sky. A huge high-performance hydrogen balloon will have enough lifting power and enough durability to safely bring people to the outer edges of our planet for a relaxing outer space tour. And when it’s time to return to terra firma, the most advanced parachutes promise the same safety when landing down in the ocean.

While a balloon flight sounds almost boring compared to the adrenaline rush of a rocket launch, one look inside the newly-revealed capsule shows just how different it is from what the likes of Space X and Blue Origin have in mind so far when talking about space tourism. While these two want to offer an adventure similar to a roller coaster ride with some Zero-G moments, Space Perspective wants to create an atmosphere that is more chill, more educational, and perhaps even more memorable.

The Spaceship Neptune’s pressurized passenger capsule looks more like a compact cruise ship cabin than a rocket or plane. The spherical shape of the capsule offers more headroom for more comfortable viewing of the Earth and space through large windows. The seats definitely look more elegant than typical rocket seats, with holders for drinks even. And where do those drinks come from? Why from the bar in the back, of course! And before you ask, yes, there’s a restroom for those who can’t hold their liquids well.

The exterior of the capsule has also been redesigned to look more refined and also be safer. Below the sphere is a splash cone that will help ensure a softer water landing as much as possible. The complete form almost looks like a miniature balloon, so that the Spaceship Neptune and its hydrogen balloon look like two siblings in ascent, presuming you can actually see it from the side in outer space.

Space Perspective definitely offers a different perspective (pun intended) on how to enjoy space tours. A balloon’s slower ascent, longer time at its apex, and controlled descent offer a more relaxed and perhaps safer environment for appreciating our planet and learning more about it. True, it doesn’t have the thrilling zero gravity experience that many crave, but that’s easier to replicate on Earth than lounging in peace in outer space.

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This giant TV folds and transforms into sculptural art when not in use

Rollable TVs try to get out of your way when you don’t need them, but this TV really wants to make its presence felt no matter what.

TVs are undergoing a shift, one that’s possibly much more significant than curved screens. Once simply seen as entertainment hardware, TVs are turning into decorative pieces or, in some cases, becoming invisible. The rollable TVs that LG is pushing are designed to be out of sight in their dormant state, but some manufacturers, including LG and Samsung, are turning them into furniture that could also be used as decor to liven up a room. This has opened a new avenue for TV manufacturers to explore and differentiate, and one, in particular, seems to be taking that potential to the extreme with a huge television set that folds down into some semblance of an art piece designed to call everyone’s attention.

Designer: C SEED

No, this isn’t a foldable TV in the sense of a foldable phone like a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. While the display does collapse and expand like an accordion, the C SEED N1 is actually made up of five distinct panels that together form a single picture. Whether you’ll be able to make out the seams while watching TV will probably depend on your proximity to the screen, but the cutting-edge 4K MicroLED display promises to offer enough distractions for you to even notice those lines. The TV comes in size options of 103, 137, and 165 inches, ensuring that the C SEED N1 is really the center of attraction when it’s in use.

It remains a visual focal point, however, even when it isn’t in active use and folded down. After the screen collapses on itself, the TV slowly lowers itself down, pivoting on its stand to form a long metallic structure reminiscent of a bench. You wouldn’t want to sit on it, of course, even though it’s made from aerospace-grade aluminum.

Some might take issue with how the TV manufacturer describes the TV’s folded form as having sculptural quality, but there’s no argument that it definitely looks stylish in that state. That said, the C SEED N1 isn’t just a form of art in its passive form but also has an element of kinetic art whenever it switches from art piece to entertainment system. The TV’s slow yet smooth movement almost seems to defy the laws of physics, given the weight and stiffness of its body.

The C SEED N1 does take up a lot of space, whether it’s folded down or standing up, thanks to that metal base. It can rotate 180 degrees left or right, though, so there’s some flexibility available when it comes to setting it up in a room. The biggest dealbreaker will, of course, be the price. For something as avant-garde as this, you can’t really expect this to be anything but expensive, and the $190,000 starting price is a testament to that.

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These elegant colored glass pieces are actually dyed using crushed stones

Just like with clothing, it’s also too easy to take for granted how glass-based products can actually be harmful to the environment in the long run. While glass itself is made from sustainable resources, the dyes used to give them vibrant colors are toxic to the environment. Even worse, colored glass can’t easily be recycled because of that mixture and because it’s nearly impossible to bring the material back to its natural transparent state. To make decorative glass truly sustainable, a new method of coloring glass needs to be developed, and one designer embarked on a journey of two years and hundreds of miles to come up with a solution that matches Haute Joaillerie in elegance but surpasses it in sustainability.

Designer: Salome Maarek

Glass is beautiful and useful in so many ways. It is used in furniture as functional parts of tables and shelves, and it is used in decorative pieces that require reflective or transparent surfaces and faceted forms. It can even be used in place of precious stones, and, of course, stained glass has been in use for centuries. As beautiful as it may be, colored glass apparently has a dirty secret. They are, unfortunately, toxic to the environment both in their production and disposal.

In searching for a better way to make beautiful glass, Jerusalem-based Salome Maarek looked to natural stones for the answer. The designer initially considered dyes from fruits and plants but realized that they had their own negative environmental impact as well. Stones, on the other hand, are in abundance, but Maarek didn’t just grab any stone. The stones are locally sourced, that is, they come from different regions in Israel. And to make the process environment-friendly from start to finish, the stones were gathered while journeying on foot or by bus.

The glass itself is made from typical ingredients like silica, sodium bicarbonate, dolomite, and the like, while crushed stone powder is mixed in to act as natural dye. The stones themselves come in various forms like potash, copper, sand, and clay, and this variety has resulted in different colors and textures. So far, the process has yielded colors such as moldavite green, turquoise blue, indigolite, amber-orange, and tourmaline yellow, all without the use of harmful chemicals and materials.

There are some considerations that make this sustainable way of making colored glass a bit more difficult than normal, harmful colored glass. For example, the glass was melted at only 1,200C for hours, which is a lower but more sustainable temperature. This meant that the glass had to be mold-blown rather than using a more common hand-blowing technique.

The result, however, is definitely worth all that work, with a beautiful piece of colored glass that can withstand pressure up to 5 tons. It can also survive temperature changes without cracking, unlike regular colored glass. And even if made with unconventional materials and methods, the result is glass that can be used as a more durable alternative to Haute Joaillerie, offering gorgeous pieces of gem-like glass that don’t show a single clue that they were colored using ordinary stone.

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Huawei P50 Pocket Foldable Phone Review: Beautiful Symmetry of Tech and Art

PROS:


  • Stylish and elegant design

  • Crease-free hinge folds the phone flat

  • Impressive performance and camera output

CONS:


  • No formal IP dust and resistance rating

RATINGS:

AESTHETICS
ERGONOMICS
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY

EDITOR'S QUOTE:

The Huawei P50 Pocket masterfully embodies the symphony of art and technology in a design that perfectly marries form and function.

Beauty and power that fits in the palm of your hand, literally.

Smartphones are, at their heart, computing devices, but thanks to advancements in technology, manufacturing, and design, manufacturers are free to go beyond utilitarian purposes. These gadgets have, in fact, become so ingrained in our lives that they are now almost an extension of ourselves. They have become expressions of our personalities and uniqueness, reflecting tastes, passions, aspirations, and perception. We are now in an age where the design of a smartphone is becoming more than just a marketing point but a critical part of a buyer’s decision-making process. Sometimes, the things that people want are on opposing sides: large screen but pocket-friendly, luxurious but affordable, powerful but uncomplicated. It’s a delicate balancing act that very few smartphone makers have managed to achieve but which the Huawei P50 Pocket manages with the grace of royalty.

Designer: Huawei and Iris van Herpen

Aesthetics

We’ve seen our fair share of luxury phones, particularly from companies whose business revolves around coating regular smartphones with extravagant pieces and designs. To say that those often look gaudy and almost garish wouldn’t be an understatement. The Huawei P50 Pocket, the brand’s first foldable phone in clamshell form, is thankfully none of those, exuding a aura that is almost ethereal yet also sublime in its beauty.

The secret to the Huawei P50 Pocket is the symmetry that permeates its design, both in concept and in execution. As a phone, it folds horizontally exactly in half, resulting in a nearly perfect square device you can easily slip in and out of your pocket or bag. Each half of the phone is also symmetrical, aside from the presence of buttons, and the two circles on its cover form a perfectly balanced square.

You can both feel and see the balance all throughout the phone’s design and form, particularly with the Premium Gold edition. Gold is not something you would easily come by in nature, often used as a product of mechanical and artificial processes. It is often a symbol of affluence and the power of technology, like the technology that is used to engrave 3D micro patterns on glass. Yet at the same time, the delicate and flowing patterns on the back of the phone resemble leaves and the irregularity of life. Designed in collaboration with famed haute couture designer Iris van Herpen, this motif represents a symbiosis, a balance and symmetry, between two seemingly opposing ideas, the power of cutting-edge technology and the artistic beauty of nature.

Even when the surface of the P50 Pocket’s surface is broken by two circles, there is still an unmistakable element of harmony and symphony. These two circles is a nod to the groundbreaking Huawei P9 that raised the company’s profile in the field of mobile photography. The two circles are perfectly identical in size yet also distinctly contrasting. One lies flush against the phone’s back, displaying vibrant colors and dynamic images. The other is mostly black and unchanging yet rises from the surface to put itself in focus, literally and figuratively as it houses the phone’s powerful cameras.

The Huawei P50 Pocket is truly a work of art but its elegance isn’t loud or overbearing. It conveys its presence in harmony and symmetry, both in shapes and in themes, pulling in opposites to dance on its surface in a delightful play for form and light, the latter thanks to Huawei’s innovative 3D micro-sculpture design that creates a unique double-sided 3D design. And just as important, it also brings that balance that smartphone users need, delivering a powerful piece of technology that looks stylish, especially when they fold it close and slip it into their pocket in style.

Ergonomics

A well-designed smartphone shouldn’t just be a beauty to behold but also to hold. As a tool that you will use day in and day out, fold and unfold multiple times a day, a foldable phone such as this needs to be comfortable to use and inspire confidence in its longevity. In other words, ergonomics also plays a critical role, and, fortunately, the Huawei P50 Pocket doesn’t disappoint here either.

The point of a foldable phone, particularly a clamshell phone, is to enhance the device’s portability without sacrificing its usefulness. Thanks to the P50 Pocket’s slim profile and foldable design, it does exactly that, whether it’s opened or closed. When unfolded, its lightweight and slender body won’t weigh your hand down, though some might prefer holding it with two hands, just like any phablet these days. When folded shut, the P50 Pocket is a glamorous pocket device that you can still be able to use, thanks to that Cover Screen beneath the camera island.

Opening and closing the phone is something you will naturally do multiple times a day, and there’s no reason to be worried about the hinge giving out, which we will get to in a bit. Suffice it to say, the hinge is strong and gives a satisfying feeling whenever you fold and unfold the phone. While it is certainly possible to do those actions using only one hand, some people might find it difficult or a bit worrying. To open the phone with one hand, you’ll have to wedge your finger into that tight space in between the two halves, and some might be concerned that they will accidentally damage the foldable screen. To fold the phone closed, you might have to adjust your hand a bit to push down the top half, which could lead to some unfortunate accidents.

Fortunately, the phone isn’t as fragile as its luxurious appearance might suggest, and is made from durable materials all around. It doesn’t have a formal IP rating for dust and water resistance, but that doesn’t mean it will die at its first encounter with water. Huawei has taken measures to protect the phone from ingress, and might have decided that the expensive certification wasn’t worth the cost. Its glass back might make it feel slippery for some people, but its narrow frame also makes it easier to grip with your hand. Huawei also provides a clear case to offer added protection without hiding the P50 Pocket’s eye-catching visage.

Performance

Of course, the Huawei P50 Pocket isn’t just a fashion accessory. It is a smartphone that has to meet people’s needs when it comes to Web browsing, communication, social media, and even gaming. Huawei provides this foldable beauty with all the power to deliver that and then some. Given how lightweight and slim it is, it’s almost unbelievable that it manages to cram a 4,000 mAh battery inside. Don’t let the numbers fool you, it’s enough to get you through a day’s worth of use. And when you do need to reach for that charger, the fast 40W charging tech will minimize the downtime so you can be up and about your day as soon as possible.

While the phone’s intricate patterns and luxurious finish gives it its personality from the back, it’s the foldable screen that gives it its defining feature from the front. After all, what would a foldable phone be without a foldable screen. As one of the pioneers in this field, Huawei has been able to advance the technology and the design of flexible panels ahead of the competition. The result is a large and equally beautiful screen that brings delight and comfort to the eyes, whether you’re flicking through social media, watching your favorite shows, or simply reminiscing your last “revenge travel” experience. Best of all, that flexible screen barely shows any crease that tends to plague others of its kind.

That feat was made possible by Huawei’s newest Multi-Dimensional Hinge that creates that famed waterdrop-shaped cavity when the screen is folded. This is also the reason why, unlike other foldable clamshells, the P50 Pocket is able to fold completely flat without any gap. At the same time, a new Multi-Dimesnional Linkage Lifting design is responsible for elevating that part of the screen and remain flat without increasing the weight of the phone with unnecessary components. Watching the screen rise and fall is almost mesmerizing, and you don’t have to worry about doing it over and over again thanks to the use of Zirconium-based liquid metal and 2,100MPa Ultra-High Strength Steel to build the hinge, bringing both durability and reliability to the mechanism.

The hinge offers just enough resistance to avoid making it feel flimsy, but it won’t get in your way when using the phone. It doesn’t, however, support variable angles and will either fold shut or lie completely flat unless you leave it open at a right angle. This position is best for taking selfies or multi-tasking with a video, and it’s unlikely that there will be an important use for leaving the phone open at odd angles anyway.

Value

It’s hard to fully compare the Huawei P50 Pocket with other foldable phones, because while they share the same basic form and function, Huawei’s piece goes above and beyond being just a gadget that fits your pocket. At a time when smartphones have started looking alike and are becoming extensions of our own personalities, the P50 Pocket is both a statement and a testament to what these devices can and should be. It is, just like its overall design, a symphony of art and technology, one that you can proudly put on display and then fold and hide in your pocket.

It’s not inexpensive, mind, and there are other considerations beyond the scope of this review that may make or break people’s decisions. It is a rather weighty investment, one that is fortunately made to last a very long while. As far as design is concerned, with its definitely worth its weight in gold, even if you grab the equally elegant White edition with its shimmering diamond-inspired design.

Verdict

It’s hard to fully compare the Huawei P50 Pocket with other foldable phones, because while they share the same basic form and function, Huawei’s piece goes above and beyond being just a gadget that fits your pocket. At a time when smartphones have started looking alike and are becoming extensions of our own personalities, the P50 Pocket is both a statement and a testament to what these devices can and should be. It is, just like its overall design, a symphony of art and technology, one that you can proudly put on display and then fold and hide in your pocket.

It’s not inexpensive, mind, and there are other considerations beyond the scope of this review that may make or break people’s decisions. It is a rather weighty investment, one that is fortunately made to last a very long while. As far as design is concerned, with its definitely worth its weight in gold, even if you grab the equally elegant White edition with its shimmering diamond-inspired design.

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This interstellar wristwatch simultaneously tells you what time it is on Earth and Mars

Given that we’ll probably be inhabiting Mars in our lifetime, it makes sense to have a clock that records the time on both our planetary homes.

Meet the Behrens B025, also known as the MARS Project ONE. While even the fanciest of watches only go as far as showing you moon phases, the B025 takes a couple of steps further, showing you the exact time on Earth and on Mars… WITH time zones! The B025 does this by basically deconstructing the regular watch and recreating it in a new way altogether. The watch sports a radically new face that takes a little time to get used to. However, everything is arranged vertically starting with two rotating planets on the top to indicate their rotation, subdials right below to show you the day of the week on both planets, a date window, and rotating cylinders that read the time in hours and minutes, for Earth as well as Mars. The B025 – MARS Project ONE is an automatic wristwatch that’s based on a highly re-polished and re-decorated Swiss Cal.SW200 automatic movement. However, to get it to display time on two planets simultaneously, Behrens made some modifications to the movement, resulting in something that’s quite literally otherworldly!

Designer: Behrens

The watch comes encased in a titanium outer shell, with domed sapphire crystals on the front and even the back to encase the watch’s intricate assembly. The watch’s time is controlled by a crown that’s located at the top. I’d say 12 o’clock, but this watch doesn’t have your average radial dial! The watch also comes with luminous elements, on the subdials, rollers, and even the rotating planets, allowing you to comfortably read the time at night.

The way the watch works is rather unique. It makes a few adjustments, given that both the planets have different day lengths. A day on Earth takes 24 hours, whereas a day on Mars takes marginally longer – 24 hours and 37 minutes, to be precise. To account for this disparity, the makers adjusted the speed of the Mars clock to match the Earth clock, with 24 hours on it too. So that the watch doesn’t have to manually reset to 00:00 after 24:36, the makers made the slight compromise of synchronizing the Mars clock with the Earth clock, matching them both to 24 hours. That does mean that there’s a slight time inaccuracy as the day progresses, but then again, it’s a marvel of engineering to have something this capable in a device this small, running purely on mechanical parts!

The B025 MARS Project ONE doesn’t come cheap. If you want the time on multiple planets on your wrist, be prepared to shell out as much as $9,125 to snag one of these on Behrens’ webiste.

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These Mushroom-shaped duplex villas with their own swimming pool offer the ultimate glamping experience

There’s a lot of room in this mush-room…

With a living/recreation room on the lower floor, your private bedroom on the upper floor, a patio beyond the threshold, and an attached swimming pool just off the premises, the Mushroom Villa is a wonderfully idyllic holiday home that gives you a cozy space to unwind in. Located right in the midst of nature, the villa is made entirely from bamboo (one of architect Thilina Liyanage’s signature materials) with terracotta tiles on the roof to keep you cool during the days. Practically cut off from civilization, the villa’s roofs also come dotted with solar panels that help power your glamping experience!

Designer: Thilina Liyanage

The Mushroom Villa is a duplex stay with a living room, patio, bedroom, and a balcony attached to the bedroom. A mushroom-cap-shaped roof on top comes with 14 solar panels that power the villa. An attic exists right above the bedroom ceiling and the mushroom roof, although it isn’t entirely clear whether that space is usable or accessible. Alternatively, one could imagine that’s where the generator/battery and water tank are located.

Designed to comfortably house 2 people, although a child or pet can be included too, the Mushroom Villa stands on a wooden deck, with a swimming pool built into the front half of the platform. There’s ample lighting within and around the villa including on the pool floor too, so you can comfortably enjoy your serene life post-sunset too!

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Zaha Hadid Architects designed a luxury yacht that can run on 100% solar power

Christened the Oneiric, this twin-hulled catamaran sports Zaha Hadid Architects’ signature fluid design and comes with a solar-paneled roof that lets the yacht run entirely on renewable energy.

The Oneiric isn’t your usual yacht. Developed in partnership with Italian shipyard Rossinavi, the yacht sports a uniquely organic form on the inside and the out. Inspired by the shape of waves, Zaha Hadid Architects hopes that its design will blur the boundaries between the yacht and its surroundings, sort of like luxurious camouflage, if you will. It is set to be presented next week during Milan design week.

Designers: Zaha Hadid Architects and Rossinavi

The Oneiric is a 42-meter-long yacht (or a catamaran to be precise) with a twin-hull design that gives it a broader footprint. Its organic, fluid design falls well within the identity of the design language Zaha Hadid Architects is known for. The main deck features a saloon containing a bar and integrated sofas that open onto a second deck with an inbuilt hot tub and two sets of steps that lead down into the sea.

The catamaran runs on a hybrid power system, relying on a combination of solar as well as fuel power with the ability to switch to 100% solar energy too. Described by Rossinavi as its “green-technology flagship”, the yacht would be covered in solar panels on three levels that would fully power it on day trips. “On a day trip, Oneiric can cruise up to 100% of the time in full-electric mode with zero emissions,” mentions Zaha Hadid Architects. “On transatlantic crossings, the yacht can cruise in full-electric mode up to 70% of the time, saving approximately 40 tonnes of CO2 compared to a conventional vessel.” The solar panels continually charge the yacht’s battery pack even when not in use, and can then in turn be used to provide power to a villa on land when the yacht’s moored.

The Oneiric’s multihulls are also more energy-efficient than a conventional monohull yacht, due to their weight distribution and the hulls’ length-to-width ratio which provides greater hydrodynamic efficiency.

The yacht’s interiors mirror the same design language as the exterior, with the liberal use of curved lines to balance out the rigidity of straight lines and flat surfaces, giving the overall yacht a soft appeal. “The sinuous lines and reflective surfaces of the yacht’s exterior are continued throughout the interior, blurring the boundaries between vessel and sea,” the architects said. The use of wood proves to be a rather clever choice on the architects’ part, as the wood grain further lends a ripple-like fluidity to the exterior deck as well as the interior.

“The serenity on board is visual as well as auditory,” said the team at Zaha Hadid Architects. “Oneiric’s full-electric mode is capable of silent operations. In addition, the yacht benefits from the effects of Rossinavi Zero Noise technology that isolates all noise on board from the original source.”

Oneiric can accommodate up to 8 guests at a time (with an additional 6 crew members), with 4 cabins for the guests, 3 for the crew, and one dedicated owner’s suite that comes wrapped in a curved glass window to give 180-degree views of the sea, and a skylight that allows light to filter from above. Multiple interior and outdoor lounging and dining areas, as well as media room with entertainment technologies, are integrated into the design together with a large owner’s suite and four guest cabins. The yacht’s interior spaces interconnect, a feature that makes the design unique. The owner’s suite provides access to the forward outdoor lounge area, which can be shaded by retractable structures.

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TAG Heuer Monaco brings back a beautifully sinister classic timepiece

This is one Dark Lord that fans of watches and racing will be glad to see make a modern comeback.

Luxury watches are often designed to exude an air of sophistication and class. In contrast, Sports watches, especially those inspired by race cars, have a distinct character of power and speed, much like the vehicles they’re patterned after. Somewhere in the middle lies a few exceptional timepieces that have made history thanks to their unconventional design and stunning looks. The 1974 Heuer Monaco “Dark Lord” is one such hot item, projecting an ominous and fierce visage back in the days when watches looked more luxurious and tame. To mark the end of the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, TAG Heuer is reviving the Dark Lord, bringing the iconic look to the modern age with a few embellishments that easily sets it apart from the last time it set foot in this mortal realm.

Designer: TAG Heuer

The Monaco “Dark Lord” and its square body was already head-turners back in the days, becoming associated forever with motor racing. Its mostly black motif and devilishly handsome looks were also outliers during that era, cementing its position as one of the brand’s most iconic designs. Nearly half a century later, TAG Heuer saw it fit to bring the Monaco back into fashion, but rather than a simple revival, the luxury marque gives the Dark Lord a more modern appearance that, somewhat ironically, also gives it a less menacing face.

In a way, this 2022 Monaco is darker and blacker than before, encased in a sandblasted matte black DLC-coated Grade 2 Titanium body. Unlike its predecessor, however, the finishing extends to the crown, which still bears the TAG Heuer insignia, as well as to the two wedge-shaped buttons that flank it. A matte black alligator leather strap and matching black DLC titanium folding clasps complete the watch’s brooding facade.

Contrasting with this dark but dashing theme and providing a pinch of comforting color, TAG Heuer opted to use 5N rose gold plated handsets that stand out against the pitch-black main dial surface. The faceted indices share the same material and, unlike the 1974 Monaco, radiate outward rather than pointing inward. Together with the square chronograph and small-seconds subdial, this creates a more welcoming face, almost like an icon of the sun, which seems diametrically opposed to the watch’s “Dark Lord” moniker.

Flipping the watch over reveals even more of these contrasting design elements. The sapphire display window on the caseback reveals what makes the watch tick, TAG Heuer’s Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic chronograph movement. Highlighting this mechanism is the 5N rose gold signature wheel, which contrasts with the rest of the movement’s more mundane finish. Despite that window, the watch retains its 100-meter water resistance.

The TAG Heuer Monaco “Dark Lord” is a blast from the past, bringing back a moody yet striking design while adding a few elements of luxury more fitting a 2022 model. It doesn’t deviate significantly from the original in terms of broad strokes, but where it differs, TAG Heuer’s changes might invite a bit of discontent from long-time fans of the design. Thanks to the limitations of its period, the 1974 Monaco was available in very limited supply, but there doesn’t seem to be such restrictions with the new Dark Lord this time around. Presuming, of course, you have the funds to afford its unsurprisingly steep price.

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Gucci X OURA Ring marries function and fashion together in this modern wearable

The Oura Ring on its own is already a fantastic product. But what happens when the team behind it partners with a luxury fashion house like Gucci? Well, you get a luxurious smart ring that will be much-coveted.

This is the first collaboration between the fashion brand and the Finnish health technology company. Getting fit and healthy can be stylish now with all the fun and beautiful wearable pieces available on the market. Of course, trendy smartwatches can help, but intelligent rings like the Oura Ring are more convenient.

Designer: Gucci

Gucci x Oura Ring Launch

Of course, the Oura Ring’s features are limited, but you can never go wrong with a stylish product. The Gucci x Oura Ring celebrates self-discovery and individuality. Oura’s technology combined with Gucci’s flair for style results in an “exquisitely crafted” ring.

People won’t think you’re wearing a health tracker because the Gucci x Oura Ring looks just like a simple accessory. It works with an accompanying app which means you can enjoy the research-grade technology, insights, and personalized guidance Oura is known for. It offers the same comfort and biometric accuracy but now with the distinct Gucci style.

Gucci x Oura Ring Release

Oura believes that what one wears also impacts how a person feels. The Oura technology is already established, but it has become a more attractive wearable device with Gucci’s style. This is fashion and function together. Oura’s Chief Operations Officer Michael Chapp said, “Oura has always held a firm belief that wearables can be both innovative and stylish.” Indeed, the Gucci X Oura Ring is one valuable and fashionable accessory.

Gucci x Oura Ring 2

The luxury fashion version of the Oura Ring boasts Gucci’s iconic G monogram with a sleek, braided trim set in 18K gold. Oura’s versatile design gets an elegant twist from the Italian fashion house. The Gucci X Oura Ring can track and analyze data and provide insights when it comes to technical features. It offers activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep analysis, and temperature checking, among others.

Gucci x Oura Ring 5

Gucci x Oura Ring 4

The Gucci x Oura Ring can be purchased from select Gucci stores worldwide and at Gucci.com. Expect to witness a flawless blend of function and fashion with the precise health metrics it can track and the exquisite design that is profoundly Gucci. This collaboration may seem unusual at first, but Gucci actually has origins in sports and leisure. Oura is known for its health platform and products, so the unlikely team-up is perfect. Access to personal health insights is a must these days if you want to be really fit and healthy so this Gucci X Oura Ring is definitely an ideal choice.

Gucci x Oura Ring 6

Gucci x Oura Ring Announcement

Gucci x Oura Ring

Gucci x Oura Ring 3

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Zaha Hadid-inspired private villa sits on its own artificial island, and is designed to be sustainable

There’s nothing ordinary about the G02 villa by MASK Architects. It rests on its own manmade island, away from the mainland and connected by one single roadway. Sprawled across 9000 square meters, the villa is an all-encompassing luxury retreat. The architecture boasts of incredibly curvilinear forms, as you’d see from Zaha Hadid. It doesn’t look practical because it doesn’t need to. The G02’s sole purposes are to be an architectural ornament for its residents. The villa comes with its own heated swimming pool, convention spaces, and health and fitness centers that include everything from tennis courts to Turkish baths. The most impressive part? The G02 is made to be an eco-green, energy-efficient, sustainable, and ecologically sound artificial island paradise.

Designer: MASK Architects

Looking unmistakably like a guitar from up above, the G02 villa has an iconic, instantly recognizable architecture that sets it apart. However, the villa’s strangely curvilinear structures aren’t just a coincidence. Every curve and surface is accounted for, as the design hopes to achieve ecological sustainability by generating an environment that uses nature to its advantage. “Instead of creating one big block building, we have chosen to create smaller separated buildings. This has its own function to be more energy-efficient and also to create private areas on the island,” the architects said.

Built in Egypt, the designers had to create a structure that could overcome the hot climate that’s a characteristic of the country. The architects relied on natural sources like wind and water, channeling them through the building’s forms, to create a more temperate, maritime micro-climate. The island and its buildings effectively channel wind to core parts of the landmass, with buffer zones that capture cool air and palm trees that act as windbreakers. Strategically placed water pockets also take dry air and hydrate it, making it fresher and more cooling for the residents when it passes over the water and into the property’s various buildings.

Speaking of the property’s various buildings, the G02 consists of a main building for the client and residents, with smaller outbuildings for private guest suites. Skylights will be built into all the buildings to ensure the use of as much natural light as possible during the day, reducing dependence on electricity and artificial lighting for the first half of any given day.

The gem of the G02 is its heated outdoor swimming pool which offers a stunning panoramic view of the ocean on one end, and a recreational area with lounging seats for people to relax on the other side of the pool.

Other facilities on the G02 include Turkish baths, saunas, hydro-massage showers, and massage rooms. A separate fitness area also contains a yoga studio and meditation glass sky deck, an indoor gym, and a tennis court. Additional activity zones include a game room, library, home theater, bar, rooftop terraces, cinema, outdoor spaces with private fires, event and party areas, and a winter tea garden with an indoor pool and seating decks.

The G02 is accessible through a single road that connects it to the mainland, although the island comes with its own docks that allow visitors access via sea in their boats and yachts. Sounds about right, given the strata of people this was built for. I’m surprised there’s no helipad on this!

The G02 is just a concept proposal for now. A schematic designed to act as a template for a future project or endeavor, just in case any billionaire decides to spend a significant chunk of their money in a bid to build this paradise. At least they’ll save on energy costs, am I right??

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