x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

My Luxury Life: Frederic Watrelot

Frederic Watrelot, associate director of Christie's Dubai, shares some of his lifestyle choices.

Fredereic Watrelot. Sarah Dea / The National
Fredereic Watrelot. Sarah Dea / The National

If you could wake up anywhere else in the world tomorrow, where would it be?

On a sailboat, in the Lavezzi Islands, south of Corsica.

You're sitting down to the perfect dinner. What are you eating, where are you dining and who is with you?

With my loved ones, in a garden or on a warm beach and I'm the one cooking. On the menu, grilled lobster pasta with a lemon and cream sauce.

What is your favourite hotel?

Tough one! It's probably the Amanwella in Tangalle, Sri Lanka. Or Las Tortugas, a surfers' hotel in Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Leatherback turtles crawl up at night to lay their eggs on the beach there.

Where is the best service you have ever experienced?

Taj Hotels in India.

Which grooming product or treatment do you swear by?

I never use anything apart from the good old Aqua Velva aftershave and three or four perfumes, which I've been using for as long as I can remember. My hairdresser is Carita in Al Qasr as it belongs to the family, and I really enjoyed my last Thai massage at the Banyan Tree desert hotel in RAK.

Where do you like to shop?

Home is in the South of France, so I especially love shopping on Rue d'Antibes in Cannes. Otherwise, it'd be Paris, from Le Marais to the antique stores in Rue Saint-Honoré and Quartier Saint Antoine. Also, for some reason, Switzerland is one place in the world that really makes me want to spend money.

Do you have an essential gadget?

I'm a fan of BlackBerries.

What are you currently reading?

Life by Keith Richards.

What is the most-played music on your iPod right now?

Boa Sorte by Vanessa da Mata and Ben Harper.

Are you a collector?

Yes, somehow. I'm starting to have enough watches to be considered a collector. I've also been collecting boarding passes for as long as I can remember.

If money were no object, what would you invest in?

Original art deco furniture.

What is the most beautiful example of watch making you have held?

A tourbillon 24 seconds from Greubel Forsey. It was worth about Dh1.4 million.

In terms of quality or longevity of use, what has been your wisest purchase?

A second-hand 1997 Jeep Wrangler that I've been enjoying in the desert for the last six years. And I love my noise-cancelling Bose headphones, which make such a difference when I'm travelling.

What was your first luxury purchase?

A Rolex Submariner - I worked for free to pay for it at my first job in the watch trade. What is your most treasured possession? Free time.

What, in your opinion, is the most overrated luxury?

Cars. Why do watches have such an enduring appeal? The amount of passion, expertise and patience involved in their manufacture is incredible and, for me, it's the only jewellery I get to wear.