New & Noteworthy

TOO SMOOTH With the 650i, BMW may be risking its reputation as the builder of the ultimate driving machines. It may well have constructed the best-looking convertible and definitely the most stylish...
MUSCLE MEMORIES For its 6-speed stick shift alone, the Mustang Boss 302 deserves an award: In this year’s competition, it was the only car brandishing a genuine manual gearbox. Though as archaic as a...
SHORT-CIRCUITED BY THE NUMBERS Yes, the Volt is an honest and well-meaning effort to preserve our global resources and save the polar ice caps. Granted, this plug-in hybrid did not melt its batteries...
if you visited Baltimore during the 1970s, you may have been offered a bracelet for which you could purchase charms at local attractions. Though short-lived, this promotional gimmick earned the...
Replicating success can be a tricky proposition—just look to the many disappointing Hollywood sequels as evidence. Indeed, hoteliers Philippe Capezzone and Stanley Fink faced a tall task when they...
In the mid-1800s, Count Lemmo Rossi Scotti purchased a 13th-century fortress located halfway between Rome and Florence, in Perugia. A celebrated painter known for his exceptionally realistic military...
As an air force fighter pilot in the Vietnam War, Forrest Fenn flew 328 missions and was shot down twice. After the war, he and his wife, Peggy, settled in Santa Fe, N.M., and founded what would...
The Azimut-Benetti Group introduced its Azimut Grande series—a collection of highly customizable planing vessels measuring 100 feet and longer—in January 2011. At the time, the line consisted of the...
Before Heritage Auctions acquired the estate of Garth Montgomery Williams, Ed Jaster—a senior vice president at the auction house—was not familiar with the artist. "I had never heard of him," he...
Before the Greek debt crisis, in the rosy glow that followed the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, a self-made shipping magnate named Vassilis Constantakopoulos began to realize a long-held dream. As far...
When an antiques dealer showed Nico Landrigan a cabochon-sapphire brooch from the late 19th century, it was with the hope that Landrigan would buy the ornament simply to harvest its 30-carat...
It is a blazingly clear winter night in Southern California, and on the private terrace at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, a long dining table shimmers with white orchids and floating candles. A...
It is an axiom that as much as 80 percent of a cigar’s flavor comes from its wrapper. But what if that wrapper were made of pure gold? That was the burning question at last year’s International...
The easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados—or "Little England," as it is known—has long lured vacationers with its white-sand beaches, a vibrant cultural scene, and the legendary Sandy...
Over the centuries, watchmakers have exploited nearly every conceivable technique for the design and decoration of timepieces; thus, when Philippe Delhotal, artistic and creative director of Hermès’...
Passing through the massive wrought-iron gates of Antico Setificio Fiorentino—the ancient silk mill located in the Oltrarno district of Florence, Italy—is like stepping back centuries.
Sarah Besnainou believes that jewelry, like love, is eternal. The Parisian designer’s brand, Eternamé ( www.neapolitanonline.com ), which means "make me eternal" in Greek, comprises colorful, bold...
Only a handful of Napa Valley’s legendary wines have been around for more than a decade or two, most having been introduced in the 1980s and 1990s, when the success of a few Cabernet Sauvignon–based...
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Private Bar by Porsche Design Studio ( www.johnniewalker.com ) brings Porsche-like speed and precision to the fine art of preparing a drink. Walk up to the bar and...
Specialty foods purveyor Petrossian ( www.petrossian.com ), which has nearly a century of experience in the caviar trade, introduced in November two versatile variations on its coveted roe. Made from...
Jack Row Exclusive Writing Instruments debuted its inaugural design, Architect ( www.jackrow.com ), in October at Harrods of Knightsbridge London. Row, a 26-year-old goldsmith based in Birmingham,...
Opened in late November in New York’s Soho neighborhood, the Louis Vuitton Travel Room (212.274.9090) stocks an impressive selection of the brand’s travel trunks, luggage, accessories, and clothing...
Italian boatbuilder Revolver designed its inaugural model, the Revolver 42 ( www.revolverboats.com ), as something of a crossover between powerboats and weekend cruisers. Powerboat fans might...
Scheduled at press time for a February launch in the United States, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG ( www.mbusa.com ) is as solid as a pillbox but styled with typical AMG flair. The 2012 edition of...
Engineers at the Austrian audio company AKG spent several years developing the AKG K3003 ( www.akg.com ), a $1,300 pair of earbuds that offers the detail and imaging of circumaural headphones in a...
The latest collaboration between boutique watchmaker Greubel-Forsey and jeweler Harry Winston, the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 3 ( www.harrywinston.com ) packs almost every advanced...
Anyone who has ever been to a Brazilian churrascaria knows to bring an appetite. On a late-August evening, aircraft manufacturer Embraer hosted a dinner at one of these steakhouses near the company’s...
A Swedish firearms maker that has produced limited-edition hunting rifles displaying design themes ranging from the Vikings to Ernest Hemingway, VO Vapen ( www.vovapen.com ) recently introduced its...
1999 Lamborghini Diablo GT After nearly a decade of production, Lamborghini’s awe-inspiring Diablo supercar reached its performance pinnacle as the super-rare Diablo GT, a so-called street version of...
Speed can be habit forming, and motorists who overindulge in the ecstasies of acceleration are apt to meet the same peculiar fate: a career as a professional racecar driver. One such velocity addict...

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