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Iconic Porsche Moments Recreated in Lego by Automotive Photographer Dominic Fraser

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Automotive photographer Dominic Fraser recreates iconic Porsche moments at home using Lego and his cameras while unable to travel for work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recreation of the Porsche 919 pulling into pit lane
Recreation of the Porsche 919 pulling into pit lane

Thanks to a mammoth amount of global events being canceled coupled with COVID-19 travel restrictions, many in creative industries who would usually be covering the events or out on photoshoots have found themselves grounded at home with more spare time on their hands than usual.

While some photographers are using the time to create curated print collections based on an impressive backlog of photography archives, others like automotive photographer Dominic Fraser have found new ways to put the camera to work.

Lego Recreation of the Porsche 917K at the Goodwood starting line by automotive photographer Dominic Fraser
Recreation of the Porsche 917K at the Goodwood starting line

Normally traveling the world shooting life-size cars for most of his 20 year automotive photography career, Dominic has instead turned his attention closer to home and to something MUCH smaller in size – Lego size to be precise.

Inspired by his children’s Lego sets, Dominic decided to recreate some of Porsche’s most iconic shots from motoring history using the colorful Lego Speed Champion sets and his Sony cameras.

Lego Porsche 911 RSR recreation by automotive photographer Dominic Fraser
What working from home can look like for an automotive photographer.

“I’ve got house full of cameras that weren’t doing anything and I found it incredibly frustrating because all I wanted to do was create something,” explains Fraser. “Rather than doing nothing, I decided to use Lego’s Speed Champions models to try to re-create some of my favourite images from motoring history. I started with Audi and the quattro because we had that particular Lego in the house, but then I decided to model a series of Porsche images because the cars and the pictures are so iconic.”

Automotive Photographer Domic Fraser At Work
Automotive photographer Dominic Fraser looking to get the perfect shot

While shooting cars on the job is second nature by now to Dominic, photographing the Lego car set-ups posed an entirely different set of challenges that needed to be solved in a new way to achieve the desired outcomes.

On the process of recreating a “Legofied” version of a specific photograph, Dominic commented, “Once I’ve settled on an iconic shot to recreate, I study the details and think about what I can actually see. It’s amazing how much the brain fills in gaps with a normal photo, but with the Lego images it’s a bit different.

Lego Porsche 911 RSR

“If anything, it’s helped my photography because I’ve really had to think about the technicalities of the shot, and to visualise exactly what I’m trying to capture,” he says. “It’s been a more conceptual process than I’m used to with actual cars – in real life, you shoot much more in the moment.”

For those keen to know exactly how he did it, Dominic has been kind enough to share the behind-the-scenes “magic” it took to create the images.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid in the Pit Garage
Everything is awesome at the Porsche pit lane. Credit: Dominic Fraser
Everything is awesome at the Porsche pit lane. Credit: Dominic Fraser

“To recreate the image of the 919 Hybrid in the pit garage, I had to think long and hard about the technicalities of the shot and what I was trying to capture. There’s no track so I can discount that, even though I know it’s there, and the grandstand is miles away.

Camera in place and ready to capture the action of the pit lane.
Camera in place and ready to capture the action of the pit lane.

“With the Lego, I needed to bring the grandstand closer and then play with focal lengths because the recreation needs to have as many elements in focus as possible. In real life, you can blur the grandstand out and the reader’s brain will fill that gap with its assumed knowledge. Not so with tiny plastic bricks.”

Setting up for the Porsche 919 pit stop shot.
Setting up for the Porsche 919 pit stop shot.

“I also needed to position things so that they look correct in the camera frame. There’s a lot of trial and error to make sure the scene looks realistic – the lighting angle is really important so if you’re trying this at home, pay close attention to where the sun is. The lighting position is vital for replicating a shot – especially this one – so I positioned a torch to mimic the sun peeking through at the top of the frame.”

Porsche 919 pit lane workers Lego recreation

“None of this impacts the photographer on a real shoot because they are just focusing on the moment, but when you have to actually build the scene, it makes a massive difference.”

Porsche 919 pit lane Lego recreation by automotive photographer Dominic Fraser
The Porsche 917K at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Goodwood Porsche 940 Lego recreation shot by automotive photographer Dominic Fraser

“The first thing I did to recreate this image was to make sure the whole set felt correct. The startline at the Goodwood Festival of Speed is so iconic that you can sometimes forget the details that make up the scene – I’ve been there loads of times but still had to remind myself. Simply by building the straw bales and tress, along with the start gantry, you instantly create that sense of Goodwood.

Setting up for a Lego version of Goodwood Festival of Speed. Credit: Dominic Fraser
Setting up for a Lego version of Goodwood Festival of Speed.

“Then it was a case of applying some of the skills I’ve learnt in my day job to create a way to take a car-to-car tracking shot, but in miniature. The blur comes from a slow shutter speed and a camera mounted on a tracking ‘car’ running ahead of the 917 – just as it would in life size. To ensure everything stayed in focus, I tied a piece of string between the 917 and the camera car so that the two were pulled along at exactly the same speed. Afterwards, I simply removed the makeshift tow-rope with editing software.

“I was quite pleased as this was the only ‘post’ alteration that I had to do. Unlike in reality, no shots were made up of several photographs comp’d together, and there was no need for special editing effects.”

The Jumping Porsche 930 Turbo
Recreating the jumping Porsche shot by automotive photographer Jeff Zwart. Credit: Dominic Fraser
Recreating the jumping Porsche shot by automotive photographer Jeff Zwart. Credit: Dominic Fraser

“If you look closely at the iconic 930 Turbo image – originally shot by Jeff Zwart and famously appearing as a backdrop in the US sitcom ‘Seinfeld’ – you’ll see the car kicks up some dust in the original photo. I really wanted to show that in the Lego shot because it would make my recreation even more realistic. I sprinkled some grit over the Lego floor and then used a camera sensor blower to ‘puff’ the dirt into the air.

Jumping Porsche Vintage Poster by Jeff Zwart

“It’s important to think about the background in your image. The original shot I was working on here has a blurred-out landscape so I decided to set this scene up in my garden. The bushes at the bottom of my garden are the right shade of green and because they’re far enough away, I managed to blur them out so that you can’t make them out in any detail – just like in the original.

What it takes to get the shot. Credit: Dominic Fraser
What it takes to get the shot.

“The final trick with this image relates to the wheels. When a car jumps in real life, the wheels drop out of the arches because the suspension drops. Lego models don’t have any springs or dampers, so to make the wheels appear lower, I built a second ‘false’ floor. It was then simply a case of suspending the car with some string – which I edited out afterwards using Photoshop – and pressing the camera shutter release. It’s these little details that aren’t easy to spot at first but they make all the difference in a realistic recreation.

And Dominic’s final word of advice for anyone considering this as a new hobby…..

You're going to want a good pair of tweezers to help put the stickers on. Credit: Dominic Fraser
You’re going to want a good pair of tweezers to help put the stickers on.

“If anyone wants to try this at home I recommend using a pair of tweezers to put the stickers on: it’s time consuming but worth it because when you’re focused on the car in such detail, you notice when something isn’t quite right.”

For those who don’t have the patience but love the outcome – you’re in luck as you can purchase a few of Dominic’s lego recreations as prints over at his website.

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Jacob & Co Reveals One-Off Billionaire ASHOKA Diamond Watch

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Jacob & Co’s Billionaire ASHOKA Watch features over 189 carats of ASHOKA cut diamonds and will be the only one ever made.
Jacob & Co Billionaire Ashoka Diamond Watch
The Jacob & Co Billionaire ASHOKA diamond watch. Credit: Jacob & Co

New York based jeweler and watchmaker Jacob & Co are renowned for show-stopping timepieces and none more so than the new Billionaire ASHOKA.

Created as an updated version of Jacob & Co’s first Billionaire watch first introduced in 2015 at Baselworld and created in collaboration with Flavio Briatore of Billionaire Lifestyle SARL, the Billionaire ASHOKA instead features unique proprietary cut ASHOKA diamonds from William Goldberg.

Named after one of India’s greatest third-century emporer’s, King Ashoka Maurya, an ASHOKA cut diamond is a rectangular shape with rounded corners and 62 precisely-cut facets that make the diamond appear 30% larger than an emerald cut diamond of the same weight.

Enclosing the 18-carat white gold case and skeletonized caliber entirely in the ASHOKA diamonds, the Billionaire ASHOKA watch has a total carat weight of 189 pieces. It is powered by the JCAM09 caliber tourbillon movement created by Jacon & Co’s Swiss-based watchmakers, giving it 72 hours of power reserve.

Due to the precise cut of the ASHOKA diamond, less than 1% off all rough diamonds are even eligible to be considered, making the Billionaire ASHOKA extremely unique. Jacob & Co have explicitly stated they will only be producing one limited edition of this watch.

While no prices have been released yet as a ballpark figure, Floyd Mayweather reportedly purchased the original Billionaire watch for $18 million in 2018.

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The New $520,000 Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton

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The new Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton features a triple-axis tourbillon movement for the first time in the brand’s popular Vanguard case.
Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton Watch
The new Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton Watch. Credit: Franck Muller

For fans of Franck Muller’s triple-axis tourbillon movement and the Vanguard watch shape – this is for you. For the first time, the Swiss watchmaker has revealed the Revolution 3 triple-axis tourbillon movement in its popular Vanguard case.

Founded in 1991 by master watchmaker Franck Muller and a watchmaking specialist and entrepreneur Vartan Simarkes, the House of Franck Muller is known for its highly technical complications and innovations, produced in-house at Genthod, Geneva.

One particular innovation is the “Triple Axis Tourbillon” first created in 2004 which was the world’s first tri-axial tourbillon, designed to correct the forces of gravity in all positions (contrary to a classic one which only compensates when the wristwatch is in a vertical position ie, Franck Muller Revolution 1, or the double-axis tourbillon in Revolution 2).

Previously Franck Muller has debuted the triple-axis tourbillon in the iconic Cintrée Curvex case, easily identifiable by its perfectly curved tonneau body and known as the Cintrée Curvex Revolution 3 model.

For the first time, the triple-axis tourbillon “Revolution 3” has now been released in Franck Muller’s more sporty looking Vanguard case, designed to cleverly integrate the strap inside the case to retain the smooth curves of the watch.

Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton Watch Front View
Featuring a titanium case with Alcantara® strap. Credit: Franck Muller

Featuring an eye-catching skeleton movement, the Vanguard Revolution 3’s large sapphire dome case allows viewers to see the inner-workings and watch as the triple-axis tourbillon works effortlessly to correct the force of gravity in all positions.

Dominating the lower half of the movement, the triple-axis tourbillon slowly turns through the one-hour, eight-minute, and 60-second cycles of its respective three carriages.

Power flows from the gear train through all three carriages to activate the balance wheel five times each second. As the Revolution 3 has three carriages, the gear train has significant resistance to overcome. To provide an abundance of energy to drive this triple-axis tourbillon, the movement has a massive ten days of power reserve.

There are also two retrograde indications at 4 and 8 o’clock for the progression of the eight-minute carriage and the 60-second carriage.

The Vanguard case itself is made of grade-2 titanium and has been treated with black PVD coating. In contrast, the bright red strap features Alcantara® (a material popular with supercar interiors like those of Lamborghini), which effortlessly takes the shape of the wrist and complements the red detailing on the movement and the Vanguard case.

Price for the Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton Watch is CHF 480,000 excluding taxes (approx US$520,000) with first deliveries scheduled from September 2020.

Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton Watch Trio

Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton Technical Specifications

Watch Reference
  • V 50 REV 3 SQT NR BR (ER)
Case
  • Vanguard case
  • Grade-2 titanium with back PVD treatment
  • Hand Brushed
  • Red inserts on both sides of the case
  • Width: 46 mm x Length: 55.9 mm x Thickness: 13.7 mm
  • Sapphire crystal with two domes on the front and back
  • Water resistant up to 30 meters
Functions
  • Hours, Minutes, Triple Axis Tourbillon, Power reserve at 12 o’clock, Carriages progression indicators at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock
Instructions
  • Winding shaft with 2 positions: 1.Winding. 2.Time setting
Movement
  • Manual winding movement
  • Power reserve of 10 days
  • 359 components
  • 36 rubies
  • Width: 34.30 mm. Length: 40.30 mm. Thickness: 9.65 mm
  • Balance wheel frequency set at 18,000 alternations per hour
  • Rotation of the first cage in 1 minute
  • Rotation of the second cage in 8 minutes
  • Rotation of the third cage in 1 hour
  • Skeleton Movement
Movement Decoration
  • Microbillage and hand chamfering on the main plate and the tourbillon cage
  • Circular graining on the wheels
  • Red anodization of the tourbillon cage and indicators
Strap & Buckle
  • Hand sewn red Alcantara® strap
  • Grade-2 titanium folding buckle
  • Hand brushed
Price
  • CHF 480,000 excluding taxes

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Celebrates Upcoming “Kingsman” Movie

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Jaeger-LeCoultre in collaboration with MR PORTER has revealed the limited edition Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch ahead of the latest film release for “The King’s Men.”
Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch
The limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch. Credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre

If the tailored wardrobes of the British secrete service gentleman “Eggsy,” Merlin and Harry Hart is your epitome of style, the new release from Jaeger-LeCoultre might especially be of interest.

To celebrate the latest installment of The King’s Man film franchise, Swiss watchmakers Jaeger-LeCoultre has joined forces with filmmakers to produce 100 limited edition Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watches.

Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch Ben Waller For Mr Porter
A tribute to the tailored wardrobe of the Kingsman film characters. Credite: Jaeger-LeCoultre

Taking inspiration from the upcoming film “The King’s Men” which tells the origin story of the gentleman’s secret service organization, Jaeger-LeCoultre has likewise revisited the origins of their brand and used the ultra-thin “Couteau” (French for knife) pocket watch from 1907 as a starting point for the new limited edition.

Reflecting the timeless elegance of the slimline Couteau pocket watch, the Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch also features an ultra-thin caliber, specifically the 1.85mm hand-wound caliber 849 housed in a 40mm x 4.5mm 18-karat rose gold case.

Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch Side View
Powered by an ultra think 1.85mm hand-wound caliber 849. Credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre

Another influencing element of the 1907 Couteau pocket watch that has been translated into the Kingsman watch’s design is the rose gold top-mounted crown contrasted against the mahogany brown alligator-leather strap which borrows from the triangle crown positioned at the top of the 1907 Couteau pocket watch.

Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Pocket Watch
Source of inspiration – the 1907 “Couteau” pocket watch. Credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre

Upon turning the Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife watch over, the case-back reveals the discrete Kingsman logo and is engraved with the unique number of 100 that the limited edition piece is.

Like the tailored wardrobe assigned to each of the characters by Ms. Arianne Phillips throughout the three films, the Master Ultra Thin Knife watch is a gentleman’s watch, being both purposeful and understated.

Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch Film

Only 100 units of the limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Knife will be produced. They will be available for purchase on MR PORTER from July 20 and through Jaeger-LeCoultre authorized dealers from September 6 onwards.

Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch Trio

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife

Materials: Pink gold and alligator leather

Diameter: 40mm

Height: 4.25mm

Water-resistance: 30m

Power reserve: 35 hours

Price: £26,900 / US$48,520

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