Lamborghini Aventador

Overview

The 217-mph LP 700-4 charges into the ring. Also, bring on the nightlife, new clubs and bars for the International elite. Plus, an imperial passion, inside the soaring Chinese art market and Grand Openings: Florence, Portugal and Vietnam.

From This Issue

The Robb Reader: Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell

For his new book about Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI is using Faber-Castell pencils to write his original draft. Vincent van Gogh recommended the brand to painter Anthon van Rappard in a letter, of which a replica is on display at the company’s castle in Stein, Germany. Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell—the eighth-generation owner of the […]

Wine: A Scion from Heaven

Some of the most remarkable vintages that fortified winemaker David Guimaraens has brought to market emerged not from his cellars but from those of his neighbors along Portugal’s Douro River. “The families of old have a tradition of setting aside some of their juice to age at home,” he says. “We port shippers have always […]

Collectibles: Whalers’ Delight

On a glorious Sunday in May a group of about 20 visitors landed on Nantucket; bypassed the beaches, shops, and other popular destinations; and gathered in the Nantucket Whaling Museum’s storage facility, a barnlike structure far from the island’s downtown. They were collectors of scrimshaw, a folk art practiced most notably by 19th-century whalers, whose […]

Golf: Brotherly Love

In the 1960s, the Pasarell name meant tennis: Brothers Charlie and Stanley Pasarell dominated the game at the junior and college levels before going on to successful professional careers. (Charlie was America’s top singles player in 1967.) Now in their 60s, the Pasarells have traded passing shots for pitch shots in their homeland of Puerto […]

Travel: Laying New Tracks

The green-and-gold carriages of the Eastern & Oriental Express lumbered out of Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong station, picking up speed only gradually, allowing passengers in the open-air observation car time to watch the sun set in the distance. From Bangkok, the train always used to head straight to Singapore, but in February the E&O began changing […]

Vacation Homes: Staying Loose

Destination Clubs typically appeal to couples and families who like to travel widely without the costs and inconveniences of owning multiple vacation homes. But the clubs, which offer the promise of five-star vacations in multimillion-dollar homes in far-flung locations, are not without their drawbacks, including restrictions on travel dates and high up-front membership fees and […]

Wardrobe: Bravura, and Then Some

Gianni Agnelli, the late Italian industrialist, was renowned for his distinctive sense of style, and he is still an important inspiration for countless tailors, including a young Italian named Valentino Ricci. Ricci began studying Agnelli’s wardrobe by looking at television news clips and magazine photos, and in 2002 modeled the prototype of his tailored clothing […]

Aviation: X Factor

While retaining its title as the world’s fastest fixed-gear single-engine piston aircraft, the Corvalis TT—formerly the Cessna 400 and before that the Columbia 400—has gained another new name: the Corvalis TTX. The X denotes an upgrade that includes a touchscreen-controlled avionics system, business-jet-quality interior appointments, and new exterior paint schemes for the $734,000 aircraft, which […]

Autos: Meet the New Boss

Over the years American automakers have produced various contemporary versions of legendary cars that seem like little more than exploitative sequels to those who fondly remember the originals. But the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 distinguishes itself from badge-engineered remakes. Not only does it demonstrate Ford’s respect for the original’s purity of purpose, it is […]

Home: Outer Limits

When Dedon debuted its 2011 outdoor furniture collections earlier this year, the German company went global: Transporting its handmade designs to some of the world’s most exotic destinations, Dedon created lavish alfresco living spaces in unlikely locations—from a lakefront setting surrounded by elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to the wintry slopes of Megève, France. “The […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

An interest in health products does not generally lead one down the path to becoming a distiller. But entrepreneur Robert Rea­gan’s plan to make and market organic meal-replacement shakes proved to be the catalyst that spurred him to pursue another idea: ready-made, organic, fruit- and herb-based vodka cocktails. In developing this concept, Reagan studied distillation […]

FrontRunners: The Connoisseur’s Condiment

The imaginative marketers at Sir Kensington’s, a purveyor of fine condiments based in New York City, introduced Sir Kensington’s Gourmet Scooping Ketchup (www.sirkensingtons.com) with a tale as inventive as its taste. The story goes that during a culinary symposium hosted by company founder Sir Kensington, Catherine the Great requested ketchup to flavor her serving of […]

FrontRunners: More than Marshmallows

The menu of hot-chocolate selections changes hourly and ranges widely at the Chocolate Bar (www.jphevin.com), which Parisian chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin has opened above his rue Saint-Honoré chocolate shop. Along with straightforward versions of the treat and selections made from single-origin cocoas from Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador, the Chocolate Bar offers an ever-changing assortment from noon […]

FrontRunners: Long-Awaited Debut

Parisian jeweler Georland (www.georland.com)— a family-owned business that has been discreetly creating exceptional pieces for other, more high-profile houses for the last six decades—will present its first signature collection in September. All of the designs, including a $120,000 120-carat peridot ring (shown), display a whimsical flair. Each piece begins as a gouache drawing or a […]

FrontRunners: Cool Wheels

Porsche enthusiasts might argue that the relationship between Steve McQueen and the 1970 911S that he drove during the opening sequence of Le Mans was mutually beneficial: While the McQueen connection enhanced the Porsche’s provenance, owning and sharing the screen with such a car also bolstered the actor’s King of Cool persona. Either on its […]

FrontRunners: Retro Active

The limited-edition Gucci 1921 series (www.gucci.com) of handbags and luggage might celebrate the company’s 90th anniversary, but its Diamante print references the decade after the firm’s founding. During the mid-1930s, leather was in short supply, so Gucci wove the pattern onto luggage made from hemp. The new collection, including a $3,950 duffel bag (shown), is […]

FrontRunners: Cruiser Control

The streamlined exterior lines of the Cruiser Series (www.bavariayachts.com), a collection of sailing yachts from German shipbuilder Bavaria Yachts, reveal the hand of BMW DesignworksUSA, which collaborated on the series with Farr Yacht Design. The six models in the series range from 32 feet to 55 feet and are priced from $130,000 to $600,000. The […]

FrontRunners: Shelf Styled

The first compact music system from Steinway Lyngdorf sounds anything but small. A basic, $22,000 configuration of the Steinway Lyngdorf S-Series (www.steinwaylyngdorf.com) includes two S-15 bookshelf speakers, two S-210 floor boundary woofers, two A1 digital amplifiers, and the new SP-1 stereo processor, which features the company’s RoomPerfect technology. Each S-15 speaker weighs less than 10 […]

FrontRunners: Inside Out

Catering to what it calls the “in-out” lifestyle, French furniture company Sifas created Kwadra (www.sifasusa.com), a six-piece collection comprising tables, chairs, and a chaise lounge that can be used indoors or outside. The furniture, made of lacquered aluminum and water- and mildew-resistant canvas, is durable enough for the outdoors and still stylish enough for interiors. […]

FrontRunners: MasterGraff Skeleton Limited Edition

The MasterGraff Skeleton Limited Edition (www.graffdiamonds.com), a $2 million timepiece designed by Graff’s CEO of luxury watches, Michel Pitteloud, is a masterpiece of both jeweling and watchmaking. The MasterGraff case, formed in an angular shape that simulates the crown facets of a brilliant diamond, is set with triangular and trapezoidal baguette diamonds. The case lugs […]

A Tiger Market

Last November, Peter Bainbridge, of Bainbridges, a small auction house in England, asked his audience to “welcome” a colorful 18th-century Chinese porcelain vase that had been discovered in a modest home in the English countryside. Bidding opened at $1.3 million (the vase did, after all, bear the imperial mark of the Emperor Qianlong), but it […]

The Bull Takes Charge

This past March marked the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, an occasion that Rome’s citizens and visitors alike celebrated with gusto. In restaurants hung with plump prosciuttos and cloaked in the aroma of white truffles, patrons lifted their glasses of Prosecco to toast the anniversary. On the city’s streets and in shops, vendors […]

International Nightlife: Hong Kong Bars: The Sky Is the Limit

It is 5 pm, and like precision clockwork the porte cochere at the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, in Kowloon hums with a dozen Ferraris: The serious business of happy hour has begun. Elevators brim to capacity, shooting upward like jewel-encrusted rockets to the 103rd-floor lobby, ears popping in the 52-second ascent. Another lift completes the relay to […]

International Nightlife: Mixology: Praising the Bar

The cocktail revolution, for all its swagger, has been largely dedicated to looking backward. Just think about it: legions of bartenders brewing their own bitters, scouring history books for pre-Prohibition curiosities, and opening so many old-style speakeasies and retro lounges. They hold forth on obscure liquors and the correct dilution and shaking velocity, and—please—do not […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Out of Sight

This shapely 6-foot-9-inch armoire—commissioned from Dutch designer Tord Boontje by Meta, an offshoot of the Mal­lett gallery (212.249.8664, +44.20.7495.5375, http://www.madebymeta.com)—combines 21st-century computer-engineering technology with 18th-century French cabinetmaking skills. The piece comprises a mahogany frame, a cocobolo wood veneer, and drawers of solid padauk wood. But the most intriguing detail is one you cannot see: a […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Pony Express

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Ford built the original Mustang Boss 302 with SCCA Trans-Am racing in mind. From 1969 through 1972, Boss 302s went head-to-head against Camaro Z28s, Plymouth AAR ’Cudas, and AMC Javelins. With Parnelli Jones driving, Bud Moore’s factory-fielded Mustang team won the series in 1970. Before reviving the Boss 302 for […]

From the Editors: The Last Empresses

The most conspicuous removal of imperial treasures from China to points west occurred in 1860 when, during the Second Opium War, British and French troops sacked the Qing emperor’s Old Summer Palace in Beijing. Mercenaries and soldiers stripped away countless valuables of the kind that wealthy Chinese collectors are now assiduously repatriating (see “A Tiger […]

The St. Regis Florence

The St. Regis Florence occupies an Arno-adjacent palazzo designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th century. Home to the Parisian–style Grand Hotel since the 1700s, the palazzo had strayed from the architect’s vision after years of nips, tucks, and embellishments. But the building’s latest iteration, which opened partially in May, successfully reinterprets the cultured elegance […]

Six Senses Con Dao

Gentle waves from the South China Sea deposit scores of sand dollars on the beach in front of Six Senses Con Dao. Opened in December, the resort is the first luxury property in Vietnam’s Con Dao archipelago, a jungle-covered 16-island chain off the country’s sleepy southeast coast. Much of the archipelago is protected as parkland, […]

L’and Vineyards

Speckled with vineyards, cork trees, and little else, Portugal’s Alentejo wine region recently welcomed an appropriately spartan resort. L’and Vineyards, which opened in April, is a sleek 22-suite retreat modeled loosely after a traditional Mediterranean village. Lisbon-based lawyer Jose Cunhal Sendim commissioned five architects to create the resort on his family’s farm, which is also […]

International Nightlife: The Global Party: The Big Bang

Have you received your invitation from Lord Fink? The one to the world’s biggest party ever? On September 15, British financier Lord Stanley Fink and his business partner, David Johnstone, are hosting the Global Party: more than 80 exclusive soirees in more than 80 equally exclusive locations around the planet—all on one night. Each venue […]

Journeys: Risk and Reward

When Ashish Sanghrajka, president of Florida-based Big Five Tours & Expeditions, landed in Bogotá, Colombia, in early 2008, there was no one there to pick him up at the airport. Which only served to prove his point. Sanghrajka had not wanted to visit Colombia in the first place. And with each passing minute outside the […]