Positive Week Day Two : Luxury Motoring & Haute Horology

Day two of Positive Week was distinctly male orientated with the focus being on Luxury Motoring and Haute Horology but as it turned out the talk turned pretty quickly to how Formula E is making sustainability sexy within the racing industry and how female drivers and less noise is pulling in the female fans.

Mark Preston, Peter van Manen, Niall Dunne, Giles English & Lloyd Amsdon

Mark Preston, Peter van Manen, Niall Dunne, Giles English & Lloyd Amsdon

The panel talk which was hosted at the House of St Barnabas, was moderated by our hilarious host Niall Dunne, Chief Sustainability Officer at BT and speaking on the panel was Peter van Manen Vice President of McLaren Applied Technologies, Mark Preston Team Principle for Amlin Aguri of Formula E, Giles English Co-Founder of Bremont luxury British watches and Lloyd Amsdon Co-Founder of WatchFinder. Our favourite moments included Mark and Peter swapping stories on how in the small town of Woking a company of engineers are making tiny precision engineering differences that are shaving off tenths of seconds on world race times, and are ultimately focused on building a legacy of efficiency that filters down the motoring manufacture chain.

Cars that sell well are those that have beauty and are well engineered. This means cars that are built to last, highly efficient and therefore more sustainable.” Said Dr. Peter van Manen, Vice President of McLaren Applied Technologies. 

To tie the theme of watches and motoring together, the panel discussed how precision engineering from both industries have contributed to shared philosophies and how time is key to efficiency. Giles English of Bremont watches a luxury British brand taking on the Swiss giants by imbuing the brand with brilliant engineering and drawing on England’s rich heritage specifically from the aviation industry. Lloyd Amsdon of WatchFinder, the biggest luxury watch retailer in the UK, explained the key to Bremont’s success and how watch brands are standing the test of time despite digital innovations: “The essence of selling a watch is storytelling. Brands that do well either have heritage or create it by telling their story. In terms of adding value through sustainability it’s about communicating your positive actions through your brand narrative.”

Niall Dunne, Mark Preston, Diana Verde Nieto, Lloyd Amsdon & Giles English

Niall Dunne, Mark Preston, Diana Verde Nieto, Lloyd Amsdon & Giles English

Day two of Positive Week turned out to be incredibly informative with some brilliant minds to engage in the debate, lively questions from the audience and Niall as the charismatic moderator kept the panel laughing. The panel discussion was sponsored by solicitors Mishcon de Reya who work predominantly with luxury brands and high net-worth individuals. Mishcon’s market-leading Luxury Assets and Art Law Groups, encompassing art, antiques, classic cars, classic haute-couture fashion, collectibles such as stamps, coins and memorabilia, horses, jewellery, musical instruments and wine, meant that they were the perfect fit for our series of Positive Week panel talks. More importantly Mishcon de Reya embody similar values to Positive Luxury, they are carbon neutral, have a Fairtrade workplace (so products used are either Fairtrade or from sustainable resources), run an urban bee-keeping project and have been harvesting their own honey since 2011, donate more than £250k to charities each year, and each of their lawyers is required to give at least 50 hours of pro bono time each year. Want to check out if they really are as good as they sound? Why not have a read of their blog LawfullyChic where you can learn more about what they get up to!

Katherine Sparshatt