Private Preview

Overview

10 New luxuries for the coming year.  Spirited special section: mastering the fine art of the cocktail.  Plus, 25 innovative essentials for the connoisseur.

From This Issue

Home Electronics: Hidden Treasures

The hospital paging system calls a doctor to your bedside. The dentist’s office music system anesthetizes your brain with Muzak while you await a root canal. The grade-school intercom beckons you to the principal’s office. For most of us, these dreary images are all that come to mind when we think of in-wall speakers. We […]

Private Preview 2005: Resolution Revolution

Although U.S. residents have enjoyed high-definition television for years, TVs that can actually display the full 1,920-by-1,080-pixel resolution of HDTV have only just emerged. One of the first was Sony’s Qualia 004 projector, 2004’s most eagerly anticipated video product. The Qualia has earned a position in many custom home theaters, but video enthusiasts wondered when […]

Private Preview 2005: Standing Tall

Denmark’s dramatic Eben X-Streme speakers will surely turn heads when they debut in the United States next year. The line should win the approval of audio enthusiasts as well as interior designers, because the company engineers its speakers to work well even with exotic, low-powered tube amplifiers. The ribbon tweeter used throughout the line promises […]

Private Preview 2005: Keller Comes to the Home

While it may be impossible to re-create Per Se’s menu items at home, the 29-piece hollowware collection used throughout the restaurant will be available next year at Christofle stores. The K + T Collection marks the first time Thomas Keller, owner of Manhattan’s Per Se as well as Napa Valley’s French Laundry, and restaurant designer […]

Moving On

When Kate Edelman Johnson was growing up, she did not need 3-D glasses to make movie stars spring to life. Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Merle Oberon were just a few of the screen idols who worked with her father, Louis Edelman, a prolific producer of films and such television shows as Make Room for […]

FrontRunners: Jumby-Size Retreat

Of all the private island resorts in the world, perhaps the highest name recognition belongs to Jumby Bay (268.462.6000, http://www.jumbybayresort.com), if only because the island was home to that 1980s television show host who signed off each week with “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” The island hideaway off the coast of Antigua is now managed […]

FrontRunners: South Beach Makeover

To illustrate its emphasis on service, Miami’s National Hotel (800.327.8370, http://www.nationalhotel.com) redesigned its lobby so that the concierge desk is more prominent than the reservation counter. This was just one of the changes made during a recent $3 million renovation to the Art Deco hotel located on South Beach’s Collins Avenue. Its centerpiece is now […]

Travel: Temples of Bloom

When Jacqueline Kennedy visited Cambodia in 1967, international efforts to save the temples of Angkor promised to foster the country’s tourism industry. But only a few years after the former first lady’s trip, during which she stayed in King Norodom Sihanouk’s newly built, mid-century modern guest villa in Siem Reap, Cambodia spiraled into three decades […]

Private Preview 2005: Wynn Las Vegas

Steve Wynn’s neighbors on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip—the Stardust, the Sahara, the Riviera—should be thankful for the 150-foot-tall, man-made mountain that will hide his new Wynn Las Vegas from their view. Without it, the deficiencies of their establishments in comparison to Wynn’s new resort would be even more conspicuous. “[Wynn Las […]

Private Preview 2005: The Palm, Jumeirah

 It will be a luxury enclave worthy of Sinbad the Sailor, a magical archipelago that will rise from the Arabian Sea off the coast of Dubai. Where there was once nothing but ocean, soon there will be, according to the plans, palatial homes, lavish hotels, marinas, clubhouses, and an aquatic-themed resort.   Set to open […]

Private Preview 2005: Mandarin Oriental: Dhara Dhevi and Riviera Maya

With countless hotels and resorts claiming to reflect their surroundings and incorporate the indigenous cultures, sense of place is a catchphrase on the verge of becoming a cliché. Perhaps aware that the term is nearly as trite as boutique, Mandarin Oriental Group Chief Executive Edouard Ettedgui avoids employing it when discussing some of his company’s […]

Private Preview 2005: Zen on the Beach

Guests arriving at Design Hotels’ Setai resort in Miami’s South Beach may think they are entering just another Art Deco landmark on Collins Avenue. But one glimpse of the grand lobby, richly decorated in Shanghai brick and teak, should quickly reorient them to a location, and mind-set, far to the East. When the Setai opens […]

Private Preview 2005: Floor Show

Check in to the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok after it opens in February 2005, and you may never leave the fifth floor. The space will be modeled after the Plateau spa floor that debuted earlier this year at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Like the Plateau, the fifth floor of the Bangkok property will be […]

Private Preview 2005: Spreading Its Wings

Eagles Nest, a resort of four private villas perched above the town of Russell on New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, will bring a new level of luxury to the Land of the Long White Cloud when it opens a fifth home, the Island Villa, in July 2005. The 6,500-square-foot property (with a 1,600-square-foot courtyard) will […]

Private Preview 2005: Balinese Jewel

Platinum will come to paradise when Bulgari opens a new resort in Bali in mid-2005. The resort, the follow-up to the jeweler’s Milan hotel, will be located on a secluded plateau at the southern tip of the Jimbaran Peninsula. Guests will stay in one of 58 private villas, each with a patio and plunge pool. […]

Private Preview 2005: Each Floor Tells a Story

Opening in early 2005 to coincide with the completion of renovations to Madrid’s three major museums, the Hotel Puerta América will be its own work of art. Silken Hotels commissioned 13 architects and designers to create 13 distinct floors for the new structure on the city’s Avenida América. Among the international mix of contributors are […]

Private Preview 2005: Atoll Order

A soaking tub in one of the tree houses at the Shangri-La Maldives Resort & Spa on Villingilli Island will provide the perfect vantage point from which to contemplate the horizon beyond the open waters of the Indian Ocean. When the resort opens in April 2005, it will also offer seclusion in the form of […]

Private Preview 2005: Poetry in Motion

East of the Silverado Trail, high above the Napa Valley floor, guests at the Poetry Inn will gaze from their balconies at the vineyards from which they will produce their own wines. Cliff Lede Vineyards, a Napa newcomer that released its first vintages in April, plans to debut its bed-and-breakfast in February 2005 and, in […]

Gulf Dream

A few miles off the coast of dubai, the launch from the mainland cuts its engines and bumps against the landing, allowing me to clamber onto the rocks and scan the surroundings. It is an unprepossessing setting, little more than a breakwater of rock and concrete running out to the sea. Yet in a way, disembarking […]

Gulf Dream: Desert Boom

Understated design is a practice employed by few real estate developers in Dubai.  It seems as though the objective of every project is to create the tallest, largest, or most unusual of its kind. The following are some of the most ambitious of these projects. Burj Dubai Upon its completion in 2007 or 2008, Burj […]

Gulf Dream: Viva Dubai

      Visitors to Dubai frequently compare the emirate to Las Vegas because, although Dubai forbids gambling, it offers travelers a dizzying array of opulent hotels and resorts, including the following three. Burj Al Arab This sail-shaped structure, set on a man-made island at the end of a 1,000-foot causeway, contains 202 duplex suites, […]

Journeys: Barefoot Essentials

“Those aren’t our pilots, are they?” murmurs a passenger waiting for his flight in the private lounge at the Maldives’ Hulule airport. His traveling companions join him at the observation window, where they view two young men—wearing shorts and no shoes—stowing the last of the luggage in the seaplane docked below. Those are indeed the […]

Journeys: Altitude Adjustment

The salt-encrusted sea bass arrives at our table with head and tail intact, sizzling amid a spectrum of tomato confit, French green beans, black risotto, and preserved lemon slices. Accented by flavors of sweet tomatoes, citrus, and brine, the entrée punctuates another decadent meal in Aspen, this one prepared by the Little Nell hotel’s Paul […]

Wine: A Red Risorgimento

The terrace of Relais San Maurizio, where I am the guest of Michele Chiarlo and family, overlooks a mélange of straight lines, curves, solids, and vaporous outlines that rises and dips toward the distant town of Alba. At once ancient and modern, the 17th-century monastery-turned-hotel provides an ideal spot from which to contemplate the northern […]

FrontRunner: The Quinta Collection

Vargellas Vinha Velha’s 80-year-old vines produce grapes so intense with tannins and flavors of black cherry, rich plum, licorice, and peppery black currant that their output is normally reserved for blending. But this fall, Taylor-Fladgate (www.taylorfladgate.com) will release a set of three single-quinta (vineyard) vintage ports from this legendary farm.   The Vargellas Vinha Velha […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

Lone Wolf Lobo Fuerte Since its founding in 1996 by actors James Belushi and Chuck Norris, the distinctly American cigar company Lone Wolf has avoided traveling with the pack. In keeping with this maxim, the company recently released its Lobo Fuerte, a smoke that is both rich and smooth. The tightly hand-rolled cigar is made […]

FrontRunners: Beefing Up in Manhattan

Manhattan diners who fondly recall Cello, Laurent Tourondel’s seafood house that won raves when it opened in 1999 but later succumbed to post–9/11 economic pressures, will be pleased to learn that the chef has returned with BLT Steak (212.752.7470). “We’re catering to the same clientele as at Cello,” says Tourondel, “but it’s more relaxed, less […]

FrontRunners: Beyond Standard Fair

Serious collectors once had only two options when they wanted to shop for art and antiques: attend auctions or visit galleries. However, a third option, the international fair, has been gaining favor. Recognizing the obvious appeal of these events where the world’s foremost dealers gather at a single venue, Art World Excursions (714.473.0285) offers trips […]

FrontRunners: From The Robb Cellar

Jade Mountain Syrah Paras Vineyard Mount Veeder 2001 Jade Mountain winemaker Alison Doran rules her own Côte du Rhône. Or so she describes Paras Vineyard, situated 1,200 feet above sea level on Napa Valley’s Mount Veeder. “The vines are planted on terraces of a shale ridge that curves out east and then south, forming a […]

Dining: A Gaucho Rides Again

Working through the Grand Baby Beef at La Cabaña requires attitude and endurance. Truly committed patrons of this Buenos Aires institution forgo side dishes, concentrating instead on the 4-inch-thick, 3.3-pound slab of steak and a bottle of Argentine wine. And in this city where men are men and dinner begins after 10 pm, finishing this […]

Smoke: In Pursuit of Perfectos

Every mature industry likes to evoke a golden age when its practitioners were at their best. Carmakers are shameless in their references to the 1950s. The music business yearns to recapture the 1960s. And the cigar industry has begun to hark back to a time when every man wore a hat to work and smoked […]

Collectibles: Duck, Duck, Goose

Elmer Crowell knew his talent for making wooden waterfowl decoys was extraordinary. The East Harwich, Mass., man, who died in 1954 at the age of 90, produced more than 2,000 bird sculptures in a variety of shapes, sizes, and species. Crowell’s prowess with a paintbrush enabled him to evoke the delicate pattern of a Canada […]

Antiques: A Century of Silver

Alastair Crawford holds a large silver platter in his hands and tilts it to show the subtle detail that marks the piece as a product of the Georg Jensen silversmith workshop. Direct light transforms lesser-quality platters into a uniform sheet of blinding white, but when the rays hit the Jensen platter, they reveal innumerable shimmering […]

Furnishings: Path Finder

Rosemary Hallgarten has taken many turns in her life, from making jewelry in her native England to building a successful advertising career in the United States to her current venture designing contemporary rugs handmade in Peru. So it is fitting that the artist with ties to three continents should call her latest collection of home […]

Private Preview 2005: Colgin 2002 IX Estate Syrah

A black hole. That, announced Joe Wender, is how Paul Roberts, sommelier at Napa’s the French Laundry, described Wender and his wife’s impending release, the Colgin 2002 IX Estate Syrah. During this recent conversation, Wender cradled Corton-Charlemagne, the couple’s shaggy Coton de Tulear, in his arms, grinning as he recounted Roberts’ reaction to his and […]

Giant’s Footprints

On June 7, 1976,  a Time magazine story announced to the world the shocking results of the now-famous Paris Tasting: Two California wines had, according to a panel of France’s most glorified oenophiles, bested their French counterparts in the head-on blind competition. As it turned out, the winning vintages had more than California in common. […]

Gin: The Sophisticate’s Spirit

As the martini-pounding Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man series of the 1930s, William Powell and Myrna Loy glamorized gin as the sophisticate’s spirit—a perfect blend of urban savoir faire and polish, with a dash of acerbic wit. The dry martini remains the gin cocktail par excellence, but the drink’s origin is still […]

Vodka: Sublime Elegance

The Cary Grant cocktail at New York’s “21” Club is the epitome of charm: four parts suave vodka, one part fino sherry, and a squeeze of lime. Vodka has a way of turning the simple into the sublimely elegant. Perhaps this is why the Russians and the Poles will forever argue over who invented vodka. […]

Aquavit & Schnapps: Cool and Collected

Alone in her Manhattan lair, Greta Garbo would enjoy her solitude with a shot or two of bone-dry aquavit. While it was the spirit of choice for the Stockholm-born recluse, aquavit is part of a social tradition at the Scandinavian table. When the host raises his glass, guests make eye contact with each other and […]

Rum: From Pirate Ship to Poolside

Ernest Hemingway, who seems to be immortalized everywhere he set foot, was well-acquainted with rum during his years in Cuba from 1940 to 1960. His favorite drink, Papa’s Special, was an unsweetened version of the blended daiquiri that was perfected in 1950s Havana by El Floridita barman Constantino Ribalaigua Vert. He simply added crushed ice […]

Tequila: The Spirit of Mexico

More so than nature or nurture, tequila may be responsible for Bing Crosby’s voice. Crosby and fellow warbler Phil Harris were so enamored with the Herradura tequila they discovered while traveling in Mexico in the 1950s that they created their own import company to bring it back to the States, ensuring a never-ending supply of […]

Liqueurs: Making Life A Little Sweeter

Pablo Picasso captured his enormous appetite for life on canvas. He was also a great lover of spirits, including liqueurs such as absinthe and anisette, both of which he enjoyed at cafés throughout southern France. Works of art in themselves, liqueurs are unique and unforgettable, like the master’s paintings. Liqueur, which is derived from the […]

Scotch: The Thoroughbred Spirit

The indelible image of Humphrey Bogart is of him hunkered over a scotch, as he was in Casablanca and Key Largo. Believing in the therapeutic qualities of scotch, his dying words were, “I should never have switched from scotch to martinis.” Kilted lairds generally prefer their drams neat, cut with a few drops of cool […]

American & Whiskey Blends: The Spirits of a Continent

“Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you’re out of good whiskey,” Will Rogers once quipped as he sauntered into the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, his favorite hangout before Prohibition. No doubt he then ordered an American whiskey, straight, and you can bet it was a damn good one. With more than […]

Irish Whiskey: Blythe Spirits

Born in Dublin, James Joyce naturally gravitated toward hometown whiskey brand Jameson and immortalized its creator, John Jameson, in Finnegans Wake. Tim Finnegan, the tippling hod carrier of Irish folklore and the hero of Joyce’s novel, is resurrected when his corpse is splashed with Irish whiskey. Perhaps one of the astonished mourners should have offered […]

Wine Drinks: Under the Cafe Umbrella

Thanks to the creation of the wine cocktail, oenophiles are not ostracized from the world of mixology. Consider, for instance, the classic Bellini (three parts of Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, and one part of peach nectar) or a Fino Fizz (champagne splashed with lemon and a dry and light fino sherry). Both are perfect […]

Brandy: Refinement is Everything

Thanks to the creation of the wine cocktail, oenophiles are not ostracized from the world of mixology. Consider, for instance, the classic Bellini (three parts of Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, and one part of peach nectar) or a Fino Fizz (champagne splashed with lemon and a dry and light fino sherry). Both are perfect […]

Beauty & the Bar

Crystal Clear Topping this crystal decanter ($645) from Steuben is a handblown teardrop-shaped stopper with a teardrop-shaped air bubble at its core. The extra-wide base is a design derivation from ships’ decanters used in the early 1900s. Steuben also offers the Glimmer double old-fashioned glass ($90) and highball glass ($95). http://www.steuben.com Pour and Deliver Vera […]

Counter Culture

A stylishly designed and appointed home bar is an island unto itself, a comfortable yet luxurious corner of the house that does more than separate you from the madding crowd. It is a place, replete with mood lighting, custom woodwork, delicate crystal, and rich tapestries and velvets, where you unwind and share your scotch collection, […]

The Right Mix

I have been served by the ideal bartender, and she is Denise Nam. She is young, lovely, and holds court at Felix, the sleek Philippe Starck–designed aerie atop Hong Kong’s Peninsula hotel. 6 Before having a drink with my wife at Felix’s bar—for me, a Beefeater martini straight up with two olives minus the skewers, […]

Back Page: Mixed Messages

Concern for the fate of the martini in the hands of the unsophisticated masses is understandable, but bear in mind that the gin-and-vermouth classic has proven nothing if not resilient. A decade ago, a generation new to the cocktail circuit discovered the martini and could not leave well enough alone. At the behest of these […]

From The Editors: Foolish Predictions

The human predilection for prophecy appears to be irresistible. As the ancient Greeks crouched in the Sibyl’s cave at Cumae to hear her tell what wonders the Fates would weave, so modern pilgrims wend their way to the ancient citadel of Omaha to glean from its oracle’s orations arcane insights into the prospects for Coca-Cola […]

Private Preview 2005: Right to Privacy

The next offering from celebrated spa designer Angel Stewart—of Las Ventanas al Paraíso and Golden Door fame—will be the spa at the Palms, scheduled to open in January 2005 in the Turks and Caicos. Canopied by towering date palms and flanked by trickling waterways, the spa will evoke the majestic ambience of the Taj Mahal. […]

Golf: Liberty for a Select Few

A breeze is blowing off the water and against Bob Cupp’s back as he stands on the pile of dirt that will be Liberty National Golf Club’s 14th tee. Pointing to the stake marking the green’s location, Cupp, the course’s codesigner with Tom Kite, notes that the distance is only 147 yards, but that this will […]

Private Preview 2005: Masters’ Plan

Three of golf’s biggest names—Palmer, Nicklaus, and Player—are collaborating on a project near one of the game’s most hallowed grounds. Scheduled to open in spring 2005, Champions Retreat Golf Club will be a 27-hole private course set amid the rivers, ravines, and pine trees of Augusta, Ga., the same city in which the three men […]

Private Preview 2005: Norman Conquest

Many tee boxes offer spectacular vistas, but the first hole at Temenos Golf Club, the Greg Norman course at Temenos Anguilla that is scheduled to open in the summer of 2005, may become the Caribbean’s answer to the 18th at Pebble Beach. Players will direct their shots at the rugged hills of St. Maarten, which […]

FrontRunners: Star of India

Jeweler Coomi Bhasin’s training as a textile designer is evident in the soft, flowing appearance of the gold and gemstone pieces in her collection, called Coomi (866.867.7272). One group, for example, features thin gold wire wrapped into geometric shapes that are linked together to form a bracelet or necklace. “Coils, spirals, and wires suggest connectivity, […]

FrontRunners: Going Underground

Stephen Kempson (212. 688.2868), the British stylemaker whose personal wardrobing services have been the best-kept secret among the American chief executives whom he dresses, has selected an appropriately surreptitious location in Manhattan for his new private atelier. The 600-square-foot shop is located on the lower level of the Dara Lamb women’s clothing store on Park […]

FrontRunners: Shark Bite

A. Testoni (212.223.0909, http://www.testoniusa.com) has taken its search for unusual raw materials to new depths. The Italian shoemaker recently netted a supply of skins from the Prionace glauca, otherwise known as the blue shark—one of the most prolific shark species in the sea. The highly textured and durable material is being used to add a […]

FrontRunners: Take Heart

Offices, luxury sedans, yachts, and private jets may be filled with cutting-edge implements, but how many are equipped to save a person’s life following cardiac arrest? Pegasys (203.426.8186, http://www.cardiolifeline.com), a medical equipment company in Newtown, Conn., has introduced the Public Access Defibtech AED (automatic external defibrillator), a 4-pound personal defibrillator that just about anyone can operate. […]

Jewelry: Quest for the Best

Every year, high-end jewelers and designers anxiously await their chance to lay their hands on Nick Paspaley’s harvest of South Sea pearls, widely regarded as the world’s finest. Before they can do so, most must wait until the pearls are sorted and distributed through a network of dealers. However, David Yurman and his wife and […]

Watches: Racing Form

One of this year’s most anticipated new watches is not, strictly speaking, new. The sturdy Royal Oak Offshore series by Audemars Piguet, which debuted in 1993, has experienced a resurgence in popularity because of a recent string of exceptional limited editions. With this year’s entrant, dedicated to Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya, the company […]

Health & Grooming: To the Fore

As serious golfers seek any advice or techniques that will help reduce their handicaps, spas are responding with specialized therapies and services aimed at improving not only physical performance but your head game as well.   Aboard the exclusive floating community The World of ResidenSea, half of the residents are either avid golfers or interested […]

Wardrobe: Spinning Yarn

Christina Oxenberg knows how to hold an audience. The 41-year-old designer regales her listeners with colorful tales of growing up as the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and 1940s-era fashion mogul Howard Oxenberg. She speaks of her numerous step- and half-siblings—some of whose names she cannot recall—and how strangely tourists behave when […]

Pens: Making Your Point

Montblanc’s flagship pen—the big, black Meisterstück 149 capped with the brand’s trademark white snowflake—bears an uncanny likeness to the sleek German cars that speed along the autobahn. The instrument is smooth but firmly sprung. The nib (the crucial point where pen meets paper) is made of 18-karat gold with a platinum bridge for stiffness, and […]

Appliances: Design Dynasty

When Michael Sieger took the creative helm of Sieger Design in 2003, he inherited a business that his father, Dieter, had nurtured for nearly 40 years. The elder Sieger—recently retired and now involved in other artistic pursuits—began his career in the mid-1960s as an architect and designer of luxury yacht interiors. He shifted to industrial […]

Private Preview 2005: Bulgari’s High Jewelry Collection

Extraordinary results were anticipated when Bulgari and the Leviev Group  joined forces, and the partnership between the two international powerhouses is delivering on those expectations by producing a treasure trove of sensational, one-of-a-kind jewelry designs. Through this joint venture with the prominent diamond dealer, Bulgari—renowned for its contemporary, colorful, and sensual style—has direct access to […]

Private Preview 2005: Triple Crown

If good things come to those who wait, collectors of complicated Roger Dubuis timepieces should count themselves thrice blessed. In 2005, after two years of development, the Roger Dubuis Grande Complication will be released, and it will be available in three case variations: Sympathie, Golden Square, and Homage (from left to right). In typical Dubuis […]

Private Preview 2005: Trailblazers

The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony series of watches will pay homage to history while exploring new ways of telling time. Part of the series will be dedicated to eight of the great explorers of the last millennium. Two watches will be produced each year for four years. The first pair, which will debut in March 2005, […]

Time: Revival Movements

The adage that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure holds true even in the upper echelons of Swiss watchmaking. Once considered virtually worthless, vintage mechanical movements are playing starring roles in some of today’s most compelling timepieces. The latest watches that are powered by these mechanisms—produced decades ago by companies long defunct—stand in stark […]

Symposium: Skirting the Issue

It was time. With a drop or two of Stewart blood coursing angrily through my veins, and having made repeated visits to Scotland in search of the best in both golf and single malts, I was ready to be fitted for my bespoke kilt. Among the Scots, at least, the kilt is the man’s man […]

FrontRunners: Audi 6 Upgrade

For the $52,000 purchase price of the longer and larger 2005 Audi A6 (www.audi.com), you can acquire a vehicle that is nearly indistinguishable from the haughty and much more expensive Audi A8. Both cars are powered by 4.2-liter, 335 hp V-8s, and the 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual that was once an enticement to […]

Motorcycles: Rocket Launcher

the triumph rocket iii may be the most powerful production motorcycle available, and perhaps no sound is more raucous than the throaty roar that emanates from the bike’s exhaust as it barrels down an open tarmac at escape velocity. But contrary to what these characteristics indicate, the Rocket is not a one-note, full-speed-ahead machine.   […]

Private Preview 2005: Pagani Zonda

For the last five years, American auto enthusiasts have been able only to watch with envy as their European counterparts snapped up the Pagani Zonda C12 and the more current and more powerful Zonda S 7.3, two of the world’s most exclusive exotics. The Italian racers have been available for purchase in Europe, but U.S. […]

Private Preview 2005: Mercedes-Benz CLS

When Mercedes-Benz executives huddled together four years ago to develop plans for a brand-new model, they wisely looked no further than their own stable for ideas. After all, there they had the S-Class, Mercedes’ executive sedan, which had become as common a business accessory as an attaché case, and the CL coupe, which was among […]

Private Preview 2005: Topless Bull

The wind in your hair will become a gale when you drive the Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster. When it is delivered later this year, the new version of the 12-cylinder Italian monster will boast specifications similar to those of the hard-top model, which was released in 2001. The convertible will be powered by a 6.2-liter 580 […]

The Mulliner Touch

During one surreal weekend on the Monterey Peninsula, it is not unusual to see a Blower Bentley idling beside a Lamborghini Diablo at a traffic light. These and other antiques and exotics arrive here to participate in the cavalcade of automotive events—including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Concorso Italiano, and the vintage races at […]

Private Preview 2005: An Affordable Aston

It seems befouling to describe the Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage as a down-market car, but the $100,000 two-seater is exactly that compared to the rest of the boutique manufacturer’s stable, which includes the flagship $230,000 Vanquish. The coupe, powered by a 4.3-liter V-8, will develop approximately 400 hp, and it should offer those who own […]

Private Preview 2005: Mighty Flight Sixer

If it is built as expected, the BMW M6 will be one of the fastest coupes on the market, powered by a 500 hp, 5-liter V-10 engine that will give the two-door racer a much-needed boost over the base-model 325 hp 645Ci. Drivers will be able to choose between a standard 6-speed transmission and a […]

Private Preview 2005: Power Upgrade

AMG, the in-house tuner for Mercedes-Benz, got its hands on the SL500 and created the twin-turbocharged Mercedes-Benz SL65, which offers twice the power of the base-model SL. The vehicle’s engine will develop 604 hp and 738 ft lbs of torque, giving the car a 4.2-second time in the zero-to-60 dash. The SL65, which will be […]

Preview 2005: Inner Space

If there is one significant drawback to the 2004 Bentley Continental GT, it is the coupe’s supermodel-slim back seat. The Bentley Continental GT sedan, a four-door version of the heralded gran turismo, should offer an alternative to owners who want to chauffeur three passengers rather than a box of Thin Mints. The car, which Bentley […]

Private Preview 2005: Born Again

The first 100 signature series Norton 952 Commando models are expected to rumble off Norton Motorsports’ production line in Gladstone, Ore., and into customers’ garages in time for prime riding season next summer. “People who have put down deposits are definitely excited,” says Commando designer Kenny Dreer, who founded the company and revived the Norton […]

Private Preview 2005: Power for the Course

The only way the Ducatisti could enjoy a more track-ready motorcycle would be if the Italian manufacturer’s American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Superbike series machines appeared in showrooms. The $30,000 Ducati 999R, which is based on the motorcycle that racer Eric Bostrom pilots on the circuit, will be available for delivery later this year. The 398-pound […]

Wheels: A More Perfect Porsche

If the 2005 Porsche 911 has indeed been in development since the fall of 1998, then it could appear—at first glance, at least—as though the German automaker’s designers took plenty of draft and knockwurst breaks while working on the vehicle. To the casual observer, the new 911, which sports the 997 designation in Porsche’s lexicon, […]

Aircraft: Building on a Legacy

G5 executive had a problem. The Swiss charter firm, which flies clients aboard long-range business jets from one continent to another, needed a plane for shorter trips. Too often, G5 Executive had to ferry the empty big jets back from the Far East or North America to shuttle clients who had come to expect the […]

Private Preview 2005: Perini Navi Maltese Falcon

When Maltese Falcon is completed next year, the 289-foot Perini Navi vessel will become the largest personal sailboat in the world. The ship’s mass, however, will belie its nimbleness. The yacht, which is already spoken for by an undisclosed sailing enthusiast, further demonstrates the ability of the Italian boatbuilder and other shipyards to produce watercraft […]

Private Preview2005: Aerial Acrobat

It is a shame that only one passenger at a time can enjoy the thrill of the two-seat LoPresti Fury. The $275,000 plane, which was conceived in the early 1990s and is expected to receive FAA certification by the end of 2005, offers a 210-mph cruising speed, aerobatic capability, a 1,000-mile range, and luggage space […]

Private Preview 2005: Global Reach

The first Bombardier Global 5000 business jet will be delivered later this year, presenting owners with an aircraft that cruises at 562 mph and has a range of 5,520 miles—more than enough to cross the Atlantic or travel from one U.S. coast to another. The plane, which completed its maiden flight in March 2003, can […]

Wings & Water: Club in the Clouds

Ian Valentine completed the deal of a lifetime four years ago, when he sold his company, a firm that delivered interactive services to satellite  television set-top boxes, to Sky, the British broadcasting giant. As part of the deal, Valentine was hired by Sky, requiring him to fly commercial regularly between his home in Scotland and […]

Wings & Water: Safely at Speed

Of all the personal aircraft available to private pilots, the $329,000 Cirrus SR22 might be the safest. In addition to an onboard tracking system that monitors the movement of other aircraft and an easy-to-read flat-panel screen that displays maps detailed with GPS navigation, the plane is equipped with a parachute that can be deployed in […]

Private Preview 2005: BMW K1200S

The interstate highway traditionally has been the playground for bikes bearing the BMW propeller. But the German manufacturer, known for producing cruisers that can complete cross-country journeys effortlessly, will break form later this year when it releases the K1200S, a track-tuned superbike that promises to earn the company a place among the pantheon of sportbike […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Cartier Classics

Cartier recently invited Italian designer Ettore Sottsass to comb through the 1,200 watches, clocks, pens, bracelets, rings, and necklaces in its corporate collection and select items that appealed to him. The 209 pieces that he chose constitute Cartier Design Viewed by Ettore Sottsass, an exhibit that opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on […]

Sport: Zen and the Art of Skiing

Impossible. That’s the word that once would have come to mind when confronted with such a challenge as the steep and narrow Lone Pine Chute, an uncharted run adjacent to Stone Crusher at Alta Ski Area in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Unable to see the white space between the trees and rocks from my perch at […]