I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. Tom London, the newest member of Team Watch Anish and avid card conjurer. Anish didn’t go soft on me, sending me to what is arguably one of the most prestigious events on any calendar. The Monaco Grand Prix.
Anish has rightly asked me to sum this weekend up into a blog post. A feat so marvellous, that it would cement my place on the all time greatest blog writers list – purely because I can’t write to save my life.
The weekend began with what was probably the most lavish, short haul British airways flights I have ever seen. The last flight before the race and the cabin was full of Louis Vuitton holdalls, squashed under seats making way for the Rimowa cases that sat overhead. Business class was extended beyond the wings and I’m pretty sure a Kardashian was on board.
A text reaches my phone as we land in Nice, ‘your car is ready Mr.London’. Expedited through security and into Monaco within the hour. The folks at Tag Heure offered to accommodate me for the weekend and boy they did not disappoint. Hiring out the Seadream Yatch club, a small cruise ship offering its 150 guests a luxury spa, pool and not to mention you get to be neighbours with the likes of Christianado Ronaldo and Cara Delevigne for the weekend. Not bad for a well dressed instagraming magician in Arthur Sleep slippers.
I spent the most part of Saturday on a speedboat with DTM race driver Adrian Tambray who has since become a good friend, a world champion jet boarder and 3-time world champion kite surfer Alice Arutkin. This all meant jack all once they realised whom I write for, name drop and shots fired. I kid.
Blessed with grey skies and chilly waters we dived in to partake in what I can only describe as a hoverboard, like in Back To The Future II when Marty gets stuck on the water – It’s a wake board with a jet ski engine mounted on the back.
Got my ass handed to me a by girl, ate some seawater, oh, and apparently you get laughed at for not having a tan – it’s a thing in Monaco. I didn’t get that memo. I fucking hate southern Europeans and their olive skin.
We made our way over to the track, a bizarre experience, Tag arranged Uber-like yachts to move us around the marina throughout the day – At least the drivers knew where they were going.
This is when thing got surreal like Dali. The guys at Tag handed me a Paddock VIP pass, this pretty much gets you into everywhere. I’m talking behind the scenes, TV crew shit. Walking past the F1 team HQ’s as I watch Jackie Stewart and George Lucas cross paths. Yeah, billionaire George fucking Lucas.
Later that evening we made our way on board for the Tag Heure
Monaco party with Cara Delevigne and Fernando Alonso. The on stage vibe was rather hilarious; the CEO of Tag clearly has a passion for cheese. In fact, he owns special cows that pretty much milk dollar-dollar bills. You can’t buy his cheese anywhere, apparently the royals love it, I’ve heard that one before. I decided to substitute a slice into my tequila routine – went down a treat with a shot of Patron (don’t ask me how I remember any of this).
It helps being a professional magician in these kinds of environments, making my way over to chat with Mark Ronson before his DJ set, cards at the ready. That’s a quick way to get yourself invited to pretty much any after party. Next I bumped into Poppy Delevigne and her husband James, a few more drinks and a couple of cards tricks and I was sitting with Cara Delevigne having a selfie session in the corner. They must of thought I was ‘somebody’… I had a one of a kind Tag worth $100k on my wrist, sometimes you just got ‘pretend’.
Day two. Race day.
Up at 7am, to be honest, I am not entirely sure I slept but regardless I had to be up early for race day to get some shots done. Heading over to the Paddock for some Eggs Benedict and a glass of champagne all the while feeling like I just swallowed a Linde Werdelin Spidospeed. Probably shouldn’t mention that one to Anish.
Jean-Robert, the fantastic French marketing monsieur at Tag dropped off a little present for me to wear. The V4 Phantom – man do I love this watch.
There are probably a thousand interesting and revolutionary features that I could tell you, like it’s power reserve or 10 meter water resistance (did I mention it comes in black on black?) but I think it speaks for itself.
If you’ve seen the video, you’ll know just wearing it welcomed a few of Tag race girls to my dance circle – Making. It. Rain.
Taking a walk behind the scenes I quickly brushed passed Bernie Ecclestone, he never looks happy. Quick tip, if you walk up to someone and genuinely act as if you know them, they will likely act along. 60% of the time, this works every time – David Coultard had no idea who I was but he sure made it look like he knew me.
I bumped into Chris Robshaw, Englands Rugby Captain, whilst at play in the McLaren pit stop. Of course he was rocking the Tag Monaco, staying classy san Diego
Trying to shoot in the pits is like trying to pull a Casio off as ‘trendy’. No, no, no, no. I could barely breathe without someone telling me the air was ‘top secret’. Every shot in the pits was done on the sly with someone looking the other way with a few of the other watch bloggers holding back the security. We bonded that day; for the glory of Instagram.
What’s ridiculous about all of this is that I only caught the start of the race. Needed back in London I had to fly back that very afternoon, luckily for me, I had a chopper waiting.
Thanks to the guys at Tag for looking after me in all the wrong ways.