Polo tournaments don’t exactly suffer from a downmarket reputation, but there is polo and there is the Hublot Polo in Gstaad. On arriving in your car, you are confronted with a unique kind of triage: Ferrari Parking is signposted next to the field and stands, while all other marques have to park a little further away and walk. The indignity. (Ferrari’s local dealership is actually a sponsor).
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This year’s tournament went swimmingly in Mediterranean temperatures under an aquamarine mountain sky. The final was hosted by Hublot panjandrum and LVMH watches CEO (and LUX columnist) Jean-Claude Biver, who had cycled to the venue up the Saanenland Alps from his home by Lake Geneva. The teams battled it out on the field while in the VIP zone, champagne was sipped and deals were sealed, not least via the sponsors – we suspect Ferrari, Hublot and Riva sold a few choice items. (Our choice? An 812 Superfast, a Big Bang Automatic Unico Chronograph, and a 44 foot Rivarama Super.)
But it was also a tournament for all the people; entry was free, whether you arrived in a Ferrari or a Fiat, and perhaps the best location of all was not the VIP zone but the Feldschlosschen beer tent at the entrance, serving ice-cold draft, at a spot where you could spot and be spotted by everyone. LUX prefers a cold, well-served, bottom-fermented Swiss beer with a three centimetre head to a lukewarm champagne on a summer’s day, and that’s where we had some of our best conversations.