21 Ultimate Gifts 2013

Overview

Robb Report's 30th Annual Holiday Guide - including a $12 million pair of rare pink diamonds, a spectacular Soho penthouse with 360-degree views, a depth-defying personal submarine, a 20,000-square-foot custom tree house, a supreme collection of Screaming Eagle wines, the new $1.2 million Galpin Ford GTR1 Supercar and more.  

From This Issue

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: The Sky’s the Limit

THE GIFT Sky Yacht One, a custom private jet based on the new ultralong-range Embraer Lineage 1000E and created through a collaboration between Embraer and the experiential designer Eddie Sotto. Starting at $83 million ™The experiential designer Eddie Sotto has teamed with the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to develop plans for Sky Yacht One, a […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Byzantine Icon

™THE GIFT A ring by the Turkish jeweler Sevan Bıçakçı featuring a large gemstone carved with a detailed image of the recipient’s choice. A meeting with Bıçakçı at his studio near Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar to develop the design of the ring, which will be the jeweler’s first-ever commissioned piece. First-class airfare for two to Istanbul, […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Home Bruery

™THE GIFT A collection of custom-made beers—some 2,000 bottles—from the Bruery. A two-night stay at Montage Laguna Beach, with a Bruery-beer-pairing dinner to help define the recipient’s taste preferences. Upon completion of the beers, a one-night stay at Montage Beverly Hills, including a multicourse dinner paired with the newly bottled brews. $168,000 The Bruery, a […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Royal Blush

™THE GIFT Two exceptional pink diamonds from the legendary Argyle mine in Australia, each weighing more than 2 carats. A custom jewelry piece featuring the pink diamonds and designed by Kristin Hanson, a New York jeweler who specializes in colored stones. Starting at $12 million Pink diamonds are among the rarest stones on Earth. Most […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Fashion Forte

™THE GIFT A gentleman’s wardrobe by Salvatore Ferragamo, including a special edition of the handmade Tramezza alligator shoes, a crocodile suitcase and weekend bag, and a made-to-measure suit, topcoat, shirt, and tie. A private consultation with Massimiliano Giornetti, men’s creative director, at the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique in Milan. Two seats at the Salvatore Ferragamo men’s […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: High over SoHo

THE GIFT The two-story, 10,000-square-foot Presidential Penthouse in the 46-floor Trump SoHo New York hotel condominium. A custom interior by the designer Waldo Fernandez. $50 million for the penthouse; starting at $18 million for the design, excluding art ™Space may be at a premium in Manhattan, but not near the top of the 46-floor Trump […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Design Intervention

THE GIFT A five-piece collection of three furnishings and two light fixtures, designed exclusively for the recipient by Hervé Van der Straeten. Starting at $460,000 ™For Hervé Van der Straeten, the process of creating a new piece of furniture is a joyful occasion. The Parisian designer—whose limited-edition light fixtures and furnishings are highly collectible and […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Brunch in Champagne

THE GIFT A weekend trip for six to Reims, France, for the ultimate Champagne brunch, served at Krug’s Clos du Mesnil vineyard, prepared by the Michelin two-star chef Arnaud Lallement, and paired with Krug Champagnes. An exclusive tour of Maison Krug and its private cellars, a tasting of rare vintages with Olivier Krug, and lunch […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Ripple Effect

THE GIFT A 190-foot high-volume megayacht conceived by Bannenberg & Rowell Design. Starting at about $92 million ™In designing a megayacht, a small change can make a big difference. Bannenberg & Rowell Design has taken this tenet to an extreme with the striking and unconventional vessel that the London-based firm is offering to one Robb […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Safe at Home

THE GIFT A safe room designed by Brown Safe Manufacturing that features the latest in high-tech security; offers storage for cash, jewelry, watches, wines, and more; and incorporates the vault door from the final bank robbed by the infamous Dalton Gang. Starting at $2.5 million ™ On the morning of October 5, 1892, five heavily […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Blades of Glory

THE GIFT A set of two bejeweled samurai-style swords, with woodwork by Salter Fine Cutlery and blades of tamahagane steel handmade and engraved by the acclaimed Japanese swordsmith Shigemitsu Ito. Accessories that include a set of sheaths, a handmade Hawaiian koa-wood case, samurai-style daggers, and stands for both swords. $1.3 million ™The Kusanagi sword is […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Birds in Flight

THE GIFT An unprecedented collection of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, comprising six 750 mL bottles each of every vintage from 1992 to 2002 (except 2000, when no wine was made), from the cellars of Soutirage, and a vertical flight of magnums of the 2003 to 2013 vintages, from the estate’s own […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Standing Apart

THE GIFT A mosaic column built for Louis Comfort Tiffany’s showroom. $2 million ™It is tall, slim, and stunning, and it weighs 400 pounds—at least 400 pounds. Louis Comfort Tiffany’s artisans made this Byzantine-style, blue-and-gold mosaic column, along with five others, in the 1890s or 1900s for display in the Tiffany Studios showroom in Manhattan. […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: African Exposure

THE GIFT A 14-night photo safari at Wilderness Collection properties in Botswana, Kenya, the Republic of the Congo, and the Seychelles, led by the renowned wildlife photographer Michael Poliza. A personal collection of Hasselblad digital cameras with accompanying lenses, including the as-yet-unreleased Victor Hasselblad 1. A VIP tour of the Victor Hasselblad Foundation and the […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Easy Ryder

THE GIFT An 11-day golf trip for six guests to four Ryder Cup courses in the United States, Ireland, and Scotland, presented by Preferred Golf and hosted by the former U.S. Ryder Cup player and captain Dave Stockton. VIP access to the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, followed by a post-tournament round on the resort’s […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Rebirth of a Legend

THE GIFT The first (serial number 1) Galpin Ford GTR1, a supercar based on the Ford GT sports car and the Ford GT40, one of the most influential racecars of all time. A wide range of customization possibilities and the choice of an all-aluminum or carbon-fiber body made by Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters. A video documentary […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Triple Crowning

THE GIFT A one-of-a-kind, triple-complication wristwatch from De Bethune. Travel to Switzerland via private jet, with accommodations at the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva. An excursion by helicopter from Geneva to the watchmaker’s manufacturing facility in La Chaux l’Auberson to take delivery of the timepiece. A helicopter trip to Burgundy, France, with accommodations at Château […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Top Shelf

THE GIFT A one-of-a-kind library of rare spirits and vintage cigars, curated by the creators of the acclaimed spirits and cigar menu at the French Laundry in the Napa Valley and tailored to the recipient’s taste. A private tasting at the French Laundry for the recipient and three guests, with chef Thomas Keller and his […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Play Ball

THE GIFT A personalized multisport backyard stadium designed by Populous, the firm behind the new Yankee Stadium, London’s Olympic Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and dozens of other prominent sports venues. Features include wraparound video screens that can create a backdrop depicting almost any professional-league sports stadium. The stadium will seat about 100 spectators. […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Branching Out

THE GIFT A 20,000-square-foot tree house with zip lines, a pool, a lazy river, a helipad, a water-operated elevator, and more. Starting at $62 million ™Having fun is serious business for Sergio Rosella. Two years ago, the 51-year-old builder cofounded a company called the Master Wishmakers to create everything from elaborate playhouses to custom furniture. […]

21 Ultimate Gifts 2013: Into the Deep

THE GIFT One of the first examples of Triton Submarines’ new three-person 36000/3 submersible, which is capable of reaching depths of 36,000 feet. A two-week-long training course to learn how to pilot the submarine. Descents with leading experts to three of the deepest ocean trenches, including the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, the lowest point on […]

Spectral Vision

My lords, ladies, and gentlemen: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, auto manufacturer by appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, has the honor of announcing the addition of the 2014 Wraith to its spectral family of Phantoms and Ghosts. Formality stops here. Strike the Union Jack and case the colors. Loosen that old school tie. Start the […]

Visiting An Old Haunt

When the fourth-annual Austrian Alpine Rally set off from the starting line in Vienna on the morning of June 22, 1913, more than a trophy was at stake for Claude Johnson, the managing director of Rolls-Royce Motorcars at the time. With a route that heaved and twisted some 1,800 miles into the Alps and through […]

Measuring Up

These are glorious days for the suit. The boxy, floppy jackets and loose, pleated trousers of yesteryear have been shunted in favor of suits with lean cuts and sharp profiles. The latest look is more youthful, modern, and flattering to men of every age and physique. Whether the wearer goes to the gym or not, […]

Holiday Stars: Dominican Republic

BLACK DIAMOND Made for the J.C. Newman Cigar Company by its partner Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia., Diamond Crown has always been known for its Connecticut shade wrapper and trademark 54-ring gauge in a variety of lengths. The best Connecticut broadleaf is deeply fermented, resulting in the dark, oily wrapper of the relaunched Black Diamond, […]

Holiday Stars: Honduras

CAMACHO COROJO After its recent acquisition by Oettinger Davidoff AG, Camacho undertook a dramatic repackaging and reblending of most of its cigars. This Honduran Corojo puro, Camacho’s flagship cigar, has been reblended to closely approximate the original power smoke, which was one of the strongest stogies to come out of the Jamastran Valley. It still […]

Holiday Stars: Nicaragua

ASHTON SAN CRISTOBAL REVELATION The only new cigar to be introduced by Ashton this year features an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, the same oily leaf found on the company’s best-selling VSG (Virgin Sun Grown) brand. But the Revelation’s wrapper is harvested from a lower portion of the plant, giving it a slightly lighter hue and taste. […]

Holiday Stars: Bahamas

GRAYCLIFF JOHN HOWARD GRAYSMITH BUCCANEER AND CANNON John Howard Graysmith was a Caribbean pirate who commanded the schooner Graywolf before being captured and eventually pardoned by the British. He settled down in Nassau in 1740 and founded what has become the Graycliff restaurant, hotel, and cigar factory. Graycliff’s newest cigar is named in his honor […]

Holiday Stars: United States

LA PALINA MR. SAM Hand rolled in Miami’s Little Havana, this 4¾×54 robusto carries the nickname that factory workers gave to La Palina president Bill Paley’s grandfather, the man who started the family’s original cigar company in 1896. When his grandson Bill returned to his cigar-making roots a few years ago, he called his company […]

Holiday Stars: Collector’s Choice

The Arturo Fuente 100th Anniversary Destino Siglo ($416–$520; http://www.cigar​family.com) is aptly subtitled Autor. The limited-edition book-shaped boxes are dedicated to the story of the Fuente family and are filled with 26 100th Anniversary Dominican puros in two rows of 13—the Fuente family’s lucky number. Most of the tobaccos were grown at Château de la Fuente, […]

Wheels: Polish and Power

From the beginning, nearly 40 years ago—when Porsche introduced the first turbocharged production 911 at the 1974 Paris Motor Show—the Turbo model has emphasized raw, unadulterated power. The engine of the first 911 Turbo, also known as the 930, produced 260 hp, enabling the car to reach a top speed of 150 mph. The Turbos […]

Design Portfolio: Outside the Box

1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I For an obvious reason, this Phantom I has been dubbed the Round Door Rolls. But the design of the doors, which evoke the entrance to a bathysphere or a bank vault, is only one of the car’s stellar art deco elements. The coachwork, created in 1934 by the Belgian coachbuilder Jonckheere, […]

Design Portfolio: Two-Timing

The word traditional is not the first descriptor that comes to mind when considering the Legacy Machine No. 2, a watch that has twin balance wheels beating beneath a raised set of flying buttresses. Yet Maximilian Büsser & Friends (www.mbandf.com), better known as MB&F—a young Swiss brand distinguished by radical, futuristic designs—presents its latest timepiece […]

Dining: Swedish Modern

It has been 10 years since chef René Redzepi opened Noma in Copenhagen and touched off a global fascination with new Nordic cuisine. Stockholm, in particular, came alive with restaurants such as Volt, one of the first to apply modern methods to traditional Swedish ingredients, and Gastrologik, whose menu read solely, “Chefs’ choice, three courses, […]

Golf: Back from the Edge

It is safe to say there is nothing else like the Cliffs. The sprawling development of seven communities, each with its own golf course, is spread across 23,000 acres of mountains and lakes in the up-country of western North Carolina and South Carolina. However, like many resort communities, the development struggled in recent years, most […]

Home Entertainment: Private Screenings

Going to the movies is a treasured pastime for many American families. But for celebrities and other high-profile figures, a trip to the local theater can be an obtrusive experience. Avoiding public showings, however, can mean waiting to watch new movies for weeks or months until they are released on disc and online. A few […]

Travel: Rising from the Ashes

Most days on Necker Island pass slowly and without stress. Pink flamingos amble among the mangroves of the Richard Branson–owned resort, while Madagascan lemurs swing lazily from the trees. Guests of the British Virgin Islands property tend to follow the lead of ET, the resident red-footed tortoise, who spends his afternoons lounging in the shade […]

Wardrobe: Thin Lines

The Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana may be best known for its superbly curvaceous women’s wear, but this season, some of its most exciting—and formfitting—pieces are for men. “We started to make clothes for ourselves that we couldn’t find anywhere else—pieces that went beyond the look of a Wall Street banker with jackets with […]

Spas: Virginia Is for Spa Lovers

At the new Canyon Ranch SpaClub at the Omni Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Va., guests may spend more time wandering through the Aquavana thermal suite than lying facedown on a massage table. Throughout the hot-and-cold oasis, spa-goers shuffle between the Herbal Laconium, where the thick scent of lavender wafts through steamy cocoon-like niches; the […]

Wine: That’s Italian

Earlier this year, on a balmy May evening in London, a soigné crowd assembled at the Royal Opera House—not to see a performance of a work by Verdi or Puccini but to be immersed in Italian art of quite another kind. The gala, which benefitted the Royal Opera House Foundation, was organized by Ornellaia, Tuscany’s […]

Watches: A Timely Anachronism

For watchmakers and watch collectors alike, François-Paul Journe is a symbol of the entire independent watchmaking movement in Switzerland: an artisan who found success without surrendering control of his brand, F.P. Journe, or changing his production techniques to seek higher profit from greater volume. Journe, however, is quick to distance himself from his peers in […]

Autos: AMG Speedwagon

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S 4Matic wagon is a novelty, but not just because it is a 577 hp station wagon. (By comparison, the standard E-Class wagon, the E350 4Matic, has a 302 hp V-6.) AMG vehicles traditionally have offered sledgehammer performance—as the E63 AMG S 4Matic wagon does—but often have lacked an equal […]

Sport: Going to Extremes

“I think we’re going to ski that,” I say jokingly to my neighbor in the Eurocopter AS350 AStar. To our left, an absurdly vertiginous slope drops like a waterfall, one of countless death-defying descents in Alaska’s Tordrillo Moun­tains. But our pilot appears to be climbing to the top of this particular behemoth, and when we settle […]

Collectibles: Faith No More

Ancient stone Buddhas and medieval paintings of the Virgin Mary have transcended their religious origins and become valued across cultures for their historic and artistic significance. Now antique Judaica—artworks, texts, and objects related to Judaism—seems to be making a similar leap. In April, Sotheby’s New York sold the Michael and Judy Steinhardt Judaica collection amid […]

FrontRunners: Prodigious Pour

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the House of Hine (www.hinecognac.com), which dates to 1763 and achieved fame throughout Europe under the guidance of Thomas Hine, an Englishman who emigrated from his native country to Cognac. In 1991, to celebrate the bicentenary of Hine’s arrival in France, his direct descendants, Bernard and Jacques Hine, […]

FrontRunners: Taste of Grandeur

One of the most opulent spaces in New York City—the gilded Villard Mansion on Madison Avenue—has embarked on a glittering new chapter as part of a $140 million renovation of the New York Palace Hotel. Michel Richard, the French chef known for feats of culinary trompe l’oeil, has opened Villard Michel Richard (www.villardmichelrichard.com) in what […]

FrontRunners: Top Chop

This era of the butcher-as-artist has produced a new masterpiece: the tomahawk cut. This monumental hunk of rib eye—about 2 inches thick, with a 12-inch section of bone attached to create the namesake shape—is turning up on menus from coast to coast, from Restaurant Marc Forgione and Michael White’s Costata (dish shown) in New York […]

FrontRunners: Cellar Notes: Fire Works

For Robert Young, whose family has farmed the same acreage in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley for five generations, one of the highlights of agricultural life was apparently lighting his burn pile—a large heap of dried cuttings that, once ignited, burned all day, leaving only a smoldering expanse of ash. Once the farm became a vineyard […]

FrontRunners: Cellar Notes: Peak Flavor

The Mondavi family’s winemaking legacy began in 1943, when Rosa and Cesare Mondavi purchased the Charles Krug winery. There, three generations of their descendants, under the leadership of the patriarch Peter Mondavi Sr., now combine their talents to produce superbly delineated Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, among other varietals. The family’s most […]

FrontRunners: Hotel B

During the 1920s, Lima’s cliffside Barranco district found favor with the Peruvian elite, both for its proximity to the sea and its isolation from the gritty city center. But the neighborhood eventually fell into disrepair, and many of its brightly painted casonas were left abandoned. The district’s recent reemergence gained momentum last April with the […]

FrontRunners: Flights of Fancy

Abercrombie & Kent has teamed with the private-air travel provider Flexjet to launch Passport to the World (www.abercrombiekent.com), a 16-day around-the-globe tour aboard a Challenger 605 aircraft. Announced in October and priced from $1.5 million for as many as eight travelers, the trip includes exclusive experiences such as a private meal at the top of […]

FrontRunners: Skiing Safari

Agustina Lagos Marmol, the founder of the Italian adventure-travel company Dolomite Mountains, created the new Luxury Three-Country Ski Safari (www.dolomitemountains.com) as the ultimate way to explore her favorite European ski destinations. The customizable journey travels by helicopter from Italy’s Dolomiti Superski—a collection of resorts with nearly 750 miles of slopes—to Saint Moritz in Switzerland and […]

FrontRunners: Park Hyatt Siem Reap

Bill Bensley took full advantage of his second chance at Cambodia’s Park Hyatt Siem Reap (www.park.hyatt.com). Formerly the art deco–styled Hôtel de la Paix—which Bensley completed in 2006—the property has been transformed by the Bangkok-based architect and designer into a contemporary urban retreat accented with traditional Cambodian details ranging from punkah fans to pink-elephant textiles […]

FrontRunners: Above Par

In August, Ireland’s K Club Hotel opened Straffan House (www.straffanhouse.ie; see “Easy Ryder”), an elegant 10-suite home with a private cinema and an indoor swimming pool. Guests staying in the house (from $16,000 per night) enjoy unlimited access to the K Club’s Smurfit and Palmer Ryder Cup golf courses. Former Ryder Cup captain Davis Love […]

FrontRunners: Mukul

Nicaragua is better known for its fine rum and cigars than for its rarefied resorts. But with the February opening of Mukul (www.mukulresort.com), the Central American country has found a worthy complement to its natural beauty. The brainchild of Carlos Pellas—owner of Nicaragua’s Flor de Caña rum—the resort sits on a glorious stretch of beach […]

Frontrunners: Langham Chicago

Much will be made of the Langham Chicago’s (www.langhamhotels.com) location in a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe–designed building. But the new hotel—set in a former IBM tower the Bauhaus architect finished in 1971—does not appear the product of a cumbersome renovation restricted by historic-oversight committees. Rather, this contemporary reinvention stands out in Chicago as a […]

FrontRunners: Sole of the Party

Velvet slippers were invented for entertaining. A plush and comfortable complement to evening wear, they were originally made fashionable by 19th-century aristocrats, who wore them to pad around the house during black-tie dinner parties. Lately, the slipper has made a stylish comeback as the ultra-elegant cousin of the loafer. The Tom Ford Orson tasseled loafer […]

FrontRunners: Jewel to Behold

The limited-edition Smythson Mara single-tray jewelry box (www.smythson.com) is as eye-catching as the pieces it is intended to hold. Priced at $1,225, it is cloaked in midnight-blue printed calf leather, and its compartments are lined with soft and supple nubuck. It measures 8.5 inches by 6 inches, with a depth of 6 inches, and comes […]

FrontRunners: Knot Worthy

Gianni Cerutti scoured the textile factories and workshops of northern Italy to obtain the richly patterned vintage silk and other fabrics in his Passaggio Cravatte bespoke neckwear (www.passaggiocravatte.com). The ties shown here (from left: $315, $240, and $370) are made with fabric from the 1960s and ’70s, although some of the silk that Cerutti stocks […]

FrontRunners: Game On

These cleverly conceived Deakin & Francis cuff links (www.deakinandfrancis.co.uk) are designed to appeal to sportsmen of all stripes. Made of enamel and sterling silver and priced at $525, they can add an element of whimsy to otherwise conservative attire. For men whose passions lie in other arenas, Henry and James Deakin—the seventh-generation owners of this […]

FrontRunners: Footnotes

Like Tom Ford’s red-velvet Orson loafers, the two slipper designs shown here can add flair to a pair of jeans or a trim tuxedo. The Alberto Moretti tassel loafers (available at Barneys New York, http://www.barneys.com) are made from dark-blue velvet and trimmed with colorful tartan piping and tassels. They are $695 per pair. The $795-per-pair […]

FrontRunners: Making Scents

The spice routes of Asia inspired the new Tom Ford Atelier d’Orient fragrances (www.tomford.com), which are part of the company’s Private Blend range. Each of the four eaux de parfum is priced at $210 for an 8.45-ounce flacon. The fragrances are complex and layered, and two of them—Rive d’Ambre and Fleur de Chine—have been created […]

FrontRunners: Time to Celebrate

The third installment in the company’s Gyrotourbillon watch series, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee (www.jaegerlecoultre.com) features an enhanced visual quality. The high-speed, multi-axis tourbillon cage of the Jubilee (price upon request) produces the same hypnotizing effect as the original 2004 model, but it has been upgraded with a spherical hairspring. The hairspring—visible […]

FrontRunners: Classic Comeback

Angela Cummings was considered one of the great jewelry designers of her era, and when she closed her business and left Manhattan in 2003, her clients were distressed. Now, after 10 years of living in Utah, Cummings has returned to the jewelry scene with the Angela Cummings for Assael collection (www.assael.com), which she created in […]

FrontRunners: Divine Write

The fifth and final release of a pen collection celebrating religions, the Visconti Al-Aqsa (www.visconti.it) pays tribute to Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock, which is located adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. The dome houses the Foundation Stone, a rock that has significance to the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. The barrel […]

FrontRunners: Cultured Clash

The pearl, an enduring emblem of grace, is displaying its edgy side in contemporary jewelry designs. The striking new pieces shown here employ dark jewels or rough metal to set off the pearls’ smooth luster. Theresa Bruno of Jordan Alexander (www.jordanalexanderjewelry.com) dyes pearls and slices them in half to create pieces such as navy pearl […]

FrontRunners: Wajer Sports

With a deck clad in teak, a leather-and-aluminum-trimmed cockpit, and dual 435 hp Volvo engines that enable speeds as fast as 45 knots, the Wajer & Wajer Osprey 38 (www.wajer.nl) is a day cruiser that is both stylish and sporty. Wajer & Wajer, a Dutch company, will customize the Osprey 38, which has a starting […]

FrontRunners: Charging into the Future

Shortly before its ballyhooed debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the production version of the Porsche 918 Spyder (www.porsche.com) stirred as much hoopla at the racetrack as it would under the show lights. By completing the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6 minutes and 57 seconds, Porsche’s plug-in hybrid super sports car established the fastest […]

FrontRunners: Founder’s Art

At home on the track or on display in a modern-art gallery, the Ecosse Moto Works Founder’s Edition Race (www.ecossemoto.com) marks the end of the production run for the Heretic, the Denver company’s flagship model. In 2004, Ecosse founder Donald Atchison created two versions of the Heretic, a street model for the public and a […]

FrontRunners: Mountainous Music

Compared to the company’s roughly 5.5-foot-tall, 250-pound flagship Aida speaker, the new Sonus Faber Olympica speakers (www.sonusfaber.com) are a better fit for most homes. Though they are smaller than the Aida, the Olympica speakers feature much of the same technology and produce similarly pristine audio. They also display many of the same design elements as […]

FrontRunners: Stadium Sound

The $2,000 Klipsch Stadium music console (www.klipsch.com) may look unimposing, but the sound that the 28.5-pound, 21-inch-wide system produces is considerable. With a 400-watt onboard digital amplifier and a loudspeaker-like driver arrangement that includes a tweeter, a midrange driver, and a woofer for each channel (six drivers in total), the Stadium produces a whopping 112 […]

FrontRunners: Making the Leap

It could have taken a radical departure from the company’s design vocabulary, but instead the Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover Concept (www.jaguarusa.com) appears to be a logical expression of design director Ian Callum’s progressive interpretation of Jaguar style. The plans for what will be the brand’s first SUV also showcase Jaguar’s new aluminum uni-body platform. The […]

The Robb Reader: Maria Sharapova

By the time she was 19, Maria Sharapova had won her first of four Grand Slam singles titles and was ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association. Currently ranked number three, the Russian-born star, now 26, is a global traveler, a self-described “Amanjunkie,” and the founder of an organization that aids youth in the […]

From the Editors: Noble Cause

Not all gifts are appreciated. Such was the case with the surprise that Galeazzo Maria Sforza, the putative Duke of Milan, arranged for his 10-year-old daughter, Caterina (shown here as a young woman), during the Christmas holiday of 1472, when he assembled at his palace an impressive company of nobles that included Ludovico Gonzaga, the […]