Eric Vergnes
Eric Vergnes
Image: Supplied

The one indulgence you would never forgo? A serious, solid, reflex camera. I started using a Minolta Reflex as a child and never stopped. I turned to digital a few years ago, but can’t let go of a bulky camera that allows me to get the settings I wish, and (usually) the pictures I expect.

Your all-time favourite gadget? The new Montblanc Summit smartwatch — it’s the perfect connected companion for today’s fast-paced lifestyle, which allows me to experience the feeling of a real watch on my wrist, while enjoying state-of-the-art technology.

The single object you would never part with? A pocket watch from my grandfather. It’s a beautifully crafted minute repeater, manufactured a century ago, and kept in the family. Its scratches and dents are reminders of the life of my grandfather, and I’ll be happy to offer it to my son one day.

Your favourite drink? A good Bordeaux red wine. I am discovering more and more amazing wines from other regions and countries, such as Spain, Italy, and, of course, South Africa. But I have a soft spot for the Bordeaux region — a Saint-Julien or a Pomerol will be top of my list.

The restaurant you frequent most often? I’m fortunate to travel a lot and enjoy some amazing cuisine from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India. In Dubai, I’m a fan of Nobu, and I’m very happy Tasha’s has opened there. In Paris, it would be l’Atelier, but I can’t wait to return to the simple chiringuitos in Spain to enjoy fresh fishes or paellas, bare-feet in the sand.

Your personal style signifier? Accessorising is key for me — starting with the shoes, of course. Nothing beats a unique patina gained after years of taking care of your shoes, or wearing a bespoke pair from a fine shoe-maker.

The last thing you bought and loved? A new iPad Pro. I can travel and be sure everything is available. It’s like the Swiss Army knife for the digital traveller.

Your favourite timepiece? At the moment, it would have to be new Montblanc TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Chronograph Limited Edition 100, which combines two of the most significant chronometric complications: Montblanc’s exclusive, one-minute ExoTourbillon with a quick, stop-second mechanism, and a monopusher chronograph with sectorial scales.

An unforgettable place you’ve travelled to in the past year? I had a beautiful family trip in Greece. The pleasure of sharing history, culture, great food, and hopping between Athens and the islands with my loved ones was amazing.

The book on your bedside table? La Promesse de l’aube by Romain Gary. It’s a classic French novel from the 20th century: a beautiful story on forging your destiny and believing in yourself.

The last meal that truly impressed you? A dinner at The Artisan, an Italian restaurant in Dubai. The most amazing beef cheek I’ve ever had.

The last music you downloaded? A live album by U2, recorded in 1987 in Paris. I was there and it’s bringing back good memories. Furthermore, it’s putting me in the right mood for the 30th anniversary Joshua Tree tour I’m planning to attend in Paris this summer.

The thing you are eyeing next? Summer holidays in Ibiza. I very much enjoy the fast-paced life in Dubai, but will be very happy to enjoy cooler weather and a relaxing few weeks on the island.

The one thing you will always find in your fridge? Champagne!

The best gift you’ve given recently? I’ve found a beautiful, limited-edition chronograph with a number that is the birth date of my oldest friend. I decided to offer it to him to celebrate a very long friendship.

And the best one you’ve received? A driving session at the Formula One track on Yas Island for my last birthday. I was warmly welcomed by the Porsche club, and enjoyed an amazing evening of driving and sharing experiences with motorsports enthusiasts.

The place that inspires you? I love deserts. Weekends in the United Arab Emirates allow me to enjoy the dunes, from Hatta to Liwa. It can be a couple of hours’ ride on my quad bike, or a full camping adventure, but either way it allows me to empty my mind and enjoy the beauty of nature and the calm of these endless landscapes.

The last item you added to your wardrobe? A customised pair of jeans, detailed with my initials.

Favourite city and why? Paris. I was born there, but living abroad for many years allows me to go there as a tourist who won’t get lost.

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