The “best of the best” was the springboard for this issue. But in the superyacht world, where “the best” is in abundance, it is easy to forget its true meaning. For us, it amounts to quality and longevity, which is why we have curated a Luxe List that comprises true craft, from bespoke glass sculptures of your yacht to the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch we could find. Someone who knows a lot about quality is furniture maker Frank Pollaro, whose eponymous brand is home to the largest single collection of wood in the world. When I saw him in Monaco earlier in the year, shortly after we interviewed him for this issue, he was exhibiting a lady’s dressing table. His friend and business partner Brad Pitt had created it with a 3D computer program and Pollaro then sculpted the piece from solid mahogany before applying eggshells and embellishing it with 24kt gold. If that is not craftsmanship, I don’t know what is.
Enigma consumed Martin Francis. For five years the designer ate, drank and slept the yacht, even acting as a conduit for the stage payments from owner to shipyard. The result of that labour 25 years ago is one of the most famous yachts ever to hit the water – she stole the show in Monaco this year and created as much social media buzz as the new builds. But imagine at the end of this creative process, the owner slapping you with an embargo: no pictures in magazines and no talking to the media. It’s a common story in superyachting and, whisper it, a source of intense frustration for designers and shipyards, whose futures depend on the exposure of an intensely private product. It’s a tricky one to navigate, and explains the emotion etched into Francis’s face at the Monaco show. A quarter of a century on and he’s finally free to open up about the yacht. Selfishly, of course, this just makes it a better story. I hope you agree…