BMW’s Double Vision

Overview

The 560 hp M6 Convertible and all-new 640i Gran Coupe. Plus, adventures near and far: ultimate escapes in Patagonia, Las Vegas's sizzling steak houses and spectacular spas of Istanbul. Also, a modern revival of the ultraexclusive Camaro ZL1, and more.

From This Issue

Elements of Style

Salvatore Ferragamo’s foray into luggage was inspired by the tailored lines of Italian automotive design, and accordingly, the fashion label’s sleek, elegant cases exude an aura of high performance. Constructed with sturdy polycarbonate shells that resemble brushed steel, they are upholstered in resilient logo-print vinyl with the look of rich fabric. Each piece is simple […]

Robb Design Portfolio: The Legend and His Car

Carroll Shelby in his 1962 Shelby Cobra CSX 2000 Carroll Shelby (1923–2012) was a maverick whose brilliance and tenacity were matched by talent, guts, and good fortune. He strung together an impressive trail of victories that included three first-place finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: one as a driver racing in his trademark […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Playing the Angles

French designer Hervé Van der Straeten is known for his limited-edition creations, and of those his one-of-a-kind Piercing console table may be the rarest. “The concept was to create an intersection between the parallelepiped and the cylinder,” says the jeweler turned furniture designer, who delivered the angular one-off design to the Ralph Pucci showroom in […]

Wheels: The Big and Better Z

Other than a name and an all-aluminum engine, the new Camaro ZL1 has little in common with the original ZL1, a high-performance, very limited-production variant of the 1969 model-year muscle car. However, the two cars do share a significant distinction: The ’69 edition once was the most powerful Camaro ever, and that claim now belongs […]

FrontRunners: Lincoln Heights

Exemplifying the shape of things to come from the automaker, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ (www.lincoln.com) displays a smooth, flowing design that yields aesthetic and aerodynamic benefits. The sedan’s sweeping profile and ample greenhouse are enhanced by a retractable panoramic roof that is one of the largest openings on any sedan. The car’s Active Noise Control […]

FrontRunners: Fly Girl

Chanel has become one of the few brands to develop a complicated movement expressly for a women’s watch. The company’s partnership with Audemars Piguet and its research arm, Renaud & Papi, has yielded the $294,000 Chanel Première Flying Tourbillon (www.chanel.com), which features a movement that is as elaborate as it is elegant. A latticed cage […]

FrontRunners: Freedom Writer

Montblanc is offering Americans an exquisite means of exercising their freedom of expression. The $33,000 Montblanc Statue of Liberty Artisan Edition (www.montblanc.com), available only in the United States and limited to just 50 examples (for the 50 states), includes a number of design elements that reference its namesake: The 18-karat white-gold nib is engraved with […]

FrontRunners: Executive Branch

At the end of the 18th century, George Washington planted 13 chestnut trees—one for each colony—between his mother’s and sister’s houses in Fredericksburg, Va. The trees provided shade for the women when they walked from one house to the other, and now a portion of the last surviving tree serves as the handle of the […]

FrontRunners: Fit for a Pharaoh

Made from a rare type of cotton sourced from a small farm just east of the Nile Delta in Egypt, the 300-thread-count fabric used for the Ascot Chang Cullinan collection (www.ascotchang.com) might be the finest in men’s shirting. The company offers the material for bespoke orders only and sells it in a range of colors […]

FrontRunners: Family Ties

Though it includes nautical instruments in one section, diving equipment in another, and a functioning flight simulator in another, the new IWC Schaffhausen Flagship Boutique (www.iwc.com) in midtown Manhattan is neither as eclectic—nor as eccentric—as its decor might suggest. The various decorative objects represent what IWC calls its different families of watches: the yachting-oriented Portuguese […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

Successful marriages often produce cheerful children; but in the case of Henri-Guillaume Piper, his offspring were literally effervescent. In 1815, Piper joined the Champagne house of his cousin, Florens-Louis Heidsieck, who founded Heidsieck & Co. in Reims in 1785. After Heidsieck passed away in 1828, his favorite nephew, Christian, stepped into the role of director […]

FrontRunners: Heyman’s Hundredth

The 40-piece Oscar Heyman 100th Anniversary Collection (www.oscarheyman.com) celebrates the jewelry house that for the last century has been creating showpiece designs for retailers including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. The new collection, which is priced from $20,000 to more than $1 million, and is crafted at the company’s New York City workshop, showcases […]

FrontRunners: Foodie Fest

Through its upcoming Ramekins 4-Day Culinary Retreat (www.ramekins.com), Ramekins Culinary School, Events & Inn in Sonoma, Calif., is offering access to some of the region’s most influential food purveyors and restaurants. The retreat, which the school is offering in August and October, includes tastings with the winemakers at Scribe, Hanzell, or Opus One; a tasting […]

FrontRunners: Rare Roadster

When a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster sold for $9.68 million through RM Auctions during last year’s Pebble Beach car week, it became the most expensive Mercedes-Benz ever sold at auction. That record could fall at this year’s car week, when Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions (www.goodingco.com) presents another 540 K Special Roadster, […]

Collectibles: Banner Days

Sword swallowers, fire-eaters, giants, midgets, fat ladies, tattooed ladies, bearded ladies— Johnny Meah has painted them all in his 55 years as a sideshow-banner artist. When he is asked which of his more than 2,300 banners was best at luring customers into the tent where the so-called freaks performed or stood on display, the 74-year-old […]

Boating: Recipe for Success

Over the years, the American kitchen has become a space for socializing as much as it is a place for cooking. Homes throughout the United States often feature large, open-plan kitchens with ample seating and plenty of room for congregating. So it seems only natural that an American yacht owner would want his or her […]

Aviation: Cleared for Takeoff

One effect of the economic recovery has been a growing number of new choices for private-jet buyers. However slow the pace of that recovery, many aircraft makers are optimistic enough to bring brand-new models into their pipelines, and Canadian manufacturer Bombardier appears to be among the most sanguine members of the industry. It plans to […]

Autos: Good Karma

Few cars have generated as much buzz as the Fisker Karma hybrid electric sports sedan. But lately, most of the news has been negative. Last year the U.S. Department of Energy suspended its $529 million loan to the California-based start-up after the company failed to meet the government’s progress deadlines. In January, Fisker stopped sales […]

Home: More than Puff Pieces

For nearly a decade, Azadeh Shladovsky has brought her scientific background to bear in her art, creating residential and commercial interiors that she describes as a balance of the seemingly incompatible disciplines. “I think that creativity is a science,” says the Iranian-born, Los Angeles–based interior designer, who studied medicine before turning to a career in […]

Sport: Engine that Could

Southern California native Mike Railey has been an avid surfer most of his life. But about a decade ago, the 49-year-old amateur inventor grew tired of spending his time in the water waiting for waves, rather than riding them. His remedy—an inboard electric surfboard motor he built in his garage using hobby-shop motors, water bottles, […]

Travel: Getting Off Track

‘‘Asturias is the real Spain,” says Bárbara Callisto as she points to the region’s misty village of Covadonga. “The rest is just reconquered land.”   Looking out over the emerald landscape—which is conspicuously void of flamenco dancers, bullfighters, and sun-drenched beaches—I realize my concept of Spain might be a bit skewed. But if Asturias is […]

Watches: Loading Zones

A sober, utilitarian character informs most of the timepieces assembled in Glashütte, the German watchmaking town in the southeastern state of Saxony that now bustles with a spate of new manufacturers. Although the recently minted firms also adhere to the town’s conservative approach to horology, the tendency to favor tradition is perhaps most pronounced at Glashütte […]

The Fire Down Below

The clank of my spoon against the porcelain mug echoes loudly through Hotel Salto Chico’s empty dining room. It is December in the Southern Hemisphere, the high summer season when this popular Patagonian resort typically sells out. And yet, gazing out the window, I see Salto Chico’s boat still moored to the dock on Lake […]

Wardrobe: Suitable Advice

When Martin Greenfield sent President Eisenhower’s custom-made suits to the White House, he tucked little notes of political advice into the pockets. Whether the president considered his counsel or ignored it Greenfield never knew, but the tailor returned to the White House quite a few times over the next 50 years to outfit a number […]

Mashpi Lodge

Electric buggies transport guests from the gates of Ecuador’s Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve to the 3,200-acre park’s first hotel. Opened in April, Mashpi Lodge is designed to have minimal impact on the surrounding Chocó cloud forest. The complex of steel and glass stands on stilts among the trees, offering head-on views of the canopy from […]

Harry Winston Shanghai Pavilion

In a city bursting with both new luxury boutiques and architectural landmarks, Harry Winston still made a conspicuous statement with the recent opening of its Shanghai store—the jeweler’s largest retail location yet. The new flagship boutique, located in the prestigious Xintiandi shopping district, embodies the brand’s inimitable style and intrepid vision for the future. The […]

Virgin Atlantic JFK Clubhouse

Known for its clubby mood lighting and for its flight attendants in fire engine–red skirts, Virgin Atlantic soars above the commercial-aviation competition in the style department. The airline’s latest clubhouse, at New York’s JFK International Airport, is no exception, offering a boutique-hotel-like experience for Upper Class passengers.   The sleek, 10,000-square-foot JFK Clubhouse, which opened […]

NoMad

Daniel Humm and Will Guidara have a rare talent for creating elegant restaurants that sacrifice none of the electricity of today’s casual-dining scene. Their first, Eleven Madison Park, in New York, received Robb Report’s Best of the Best award in 2011 and earned three stars from Michelin and four stars from the The New York […]

Journeys: Full Steam Ahead

About 30 minutes into our drive from the Istanbul Edition—an Ian Schrager–conceived hotel that opened last year in the city’s modern neighborhood of Levent—we crossed the Golden Horn inlet off the great Bosphorus strait. Pulling into the Old City, my driver gestured toward the pointed spires and enormous domes of the Hagia Sophia and the […]

Kings of the Strip

Click to see Seven Perfect Steaks A waiter rushes through the dining room carrying a steak, and heads instantly turn. Eyes follow. Fingers point. “Did you see that?” a guy at a nearby table says, leaning into the aisle to get a better look. “There goes another one.” Heads turn again, jaws drop. Barely contained […]

Kings of the Strip: Seven Perfect Steaks

In Las Vegas, the world’s best city to eat steak, Robb Report dined at 16 top steak houses in search of nothing less than the perfect cut of beef. The steak had to be at least an inch thick, and cooked medium rare with a beautifully charred crust. It had to be dry-aged, deeply flavored, […]

On a Roll

In some contests involving high stakes and serious opponents, the luck of the draw or roll of the dice often confers on a player bountiful rewards that have little or nothing to do with creative brilliance, insightful strategy, or that oft-underestimated element called hard work. Not so in the competition that is the luxury-automobile business, […]

From the Editors: Faux Pas de Deux

At the end of the Second World War, Europe’s surviving aristocracy joined a nomadic yet moneyed assortment of South American industrialists, film stars, steel magnates, playboys, and oil heiresses to form the loosely tethered social troupe known to the press as the “International Set.” This eclectic clique sparked more than its usual share of indignation […]

Pens: Writes of Passage

During World War I, as fighting spread to northern Italy, the 15th-century Villa Cà Erizzo Luca in Bassano del Grappa became a barracks for Red Cross ambulance drivers. Montegrappa, a then-new writing-instrument manufacturer located adjacent to the villa, started supplying the drivers with pens so they could write letters to their loved ones back home. […]

The Robb Reader: Herb Alpert

Although best known as the Grammy Award–winning lead man of the Tijuana Brass, 77-year-old trumpeter Herb Alpert has a professional playlist that also includes songwriter (he cowrote “Wonderful World” with Sam Cooke and Lou Adler), record-label founder (he is the A in A&M Records), painter and sculptor (his latest works include 18-foot-tall bronze totems), Broadway-theater […]