Robb Report December Issue 2016

Overview

Our Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide The 31 Greatest Gifts of the Season Featuring Bristol's Speedy $300,000 Bullet Plus $225 Million, 364-Foot Superyacht Breathtaking Miami Beach Duplex Penthouse First-Ever Supersonic Private Jet Eric Clapton's 1939 Martin Acoustic Guitar Rare 50-Year-Old Glenlivet Single Malt & More  

From This Issue

Editor’s Notebook: Well-Earned Gifts

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” —Winston Churchill The British prime minister certainly made his living during World War II by getting—principally in the form of aid from the United States under the Lend-Lease policy. Yet British industry also gave, as witnessed by the heroic […]

Clear-Cut Case

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire (hublot.com) is not the first high-end mechanical watch to be encased in transparent, scratch-resistant sapphire, but at a price of $57,900 (other sapphire designs cost as much as seven figures) and with a sizable production run of 500 pieces, it is the first accessible model. “I thought about creating […]

Scale Model

In a radical change to a classic design, Bulgari has revamped its famous Serpenti motif to showcase its complicated-watchmaking bona fides. The Serpenti Incantati Tourbillon Lumiere (bulgari.com) dispenses with the series’s signature snakelike Tubogas bracelet and instead wraps a representation of the reptile—paved with snow-set diamonds—around the perimeter of the round watchcase. The skeletonized tourbillon […]

Serious Metal

Known for its sculptural gold jewelry, Vhernier ventures into titanium. Working alongside Angela Camurati, the production director for Vhernier (646.343.9551, vhernier.com), a team of artisans experimented with titanium for nearly 3 years to forge the Italian company’s newest jewelry designs. Their collaboration has yielded, among other eye-catching innovations, the brand’s limited-edition Blue Velvet series (starting […]

Eye Candy

On a recent Saturday at Barneys New York, jeweler Sharon Khazzam presented trays of colorful loose stones that looked like candy, from bubble-gum-pink sapphires to chocolate-brown diamonds. Captivated by the breadth of gems, clients were invited to select stones and consult with the designer on a personalized piece of jewelry. It’s part of the new […]

Safety First… + …But Style Is a Close Second

Volvo’s new S90 is engineered to keep you out of harm’s way. The Hamptons—specifically, Montauk, N.Y., at the tip of Long Island’s South Fork—was the setting for a late-summer test-drive of the Volvo S90 (volvocars.com), the Swedish brand’s new flagship sedan. It replaces the S80, which had been in production since 1998. The S90 is […]

Out of the Shadows +Carrying On

The Arcadia Sherpa can do much more than just schlep a superyacht’s gear. Unlike the shadow vessels of old that were repurposed commercial supply ships, the 55-foot Arcadia Yachts Sherpa (arcadiayachts-sherpa.com/welcome) was conceived from the ground up and designed to be flexible. Depending on its layout and furnishings, the Sherpa can serve as a superyacht’s […]

Air Time

Breitling offers VIP customers a variety of thrilling flying experiences. Don’t touch this lever. It’s dangerous. Keep your hands on your harness. Pull this in case of an emergency, and your seat will eject.” My mind raced as I climbed into an Aero L-39 Albatros and listened to a mechanic calmly give last-minute instructions about […]

All Is Forgiven

Like all of the brand’s irons, the new PXG 0311XF models (pxg.com) are triple forged and feature an ultrathin face and an internal cavity filled with a thermoplastic elastomer. Compared to other irons, this design increases the speed and distance of the ball, according to PXG. However, the XF irons also feature a longer blade, […]

Drive for Show

Dubbed “a real sports car” by its creators, the Mercedes-Benz Style Edition Garia Golf Car (arealsportscar.com) could one day become a country-club staple. But for now it’s just a show cart—“an especially attractive possibility of what future golf carts in the luxury segment might look like,” says Michael Minielly, a public-relations manager for Mercedes-Benz. The […]

Bringing Something Artistic to the Table

Describing the design of the new 11 Ravens Avettore table-tennis table (11ravens.com), Bernard Semerdjian says, “The curve of the legs looks like the wings of a jet airplane. It looks like it’s going fast just sitting there.” Semerdjian is the design director for 11 Ravens, which offers a variety of stylish game tables. He’s been […]

Cache Reserves

For many of us, the most unbearable fate is to be forgotten. For a bottle of fine wine, however, few destinies afford a more favorable outcome than to remain undisturbed in their place of birth. Approximately 600 bottles enjoyed this idyllic repose for nearly a century in the labyrinthine caves of Champagne Bollinger (champagne-bollinger.com) in […]

Good Whisky, Bad Times

For Ardbeg, the mid-1990s was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Located on the alternately windswept and fog-shrouded southeastern coast of Islay, this Scottish distillery produced signature smoky whiskies that were highly coveted throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries for use in blends and private bottlings. But having […]

Pour to Perfection

The age-old dilemma of at-home, by-the-glass drinking may finally be solved. A new wine appliance called Plum (plum.wine) aims to up the ante of needle preservation with an automatic system that controls temperature and prevents oxygen exposure during storage. Created by David Koretz, a wine-loving inventor and technology CEO, the countertop device features an internal […]

Presidential Retreat

Thanda Island (thandaisland.com) may appear to have little in common with the Massachusetts town of Hyannis Port. But the Tanzanian hideaway, which opened in October on a tiny private isle in the Indian Ocean, was inspired by the historic Kennedy Compound along Nantucket Sound. Improbably, the latter’s New England style feels right at home at […]

When in Rome

Palazzo Dama (palazzodama.com) is no stranger to high society. The early-20th-century Roman villa on the edge of the Tiber River was the home of the Malaspina family, who hosted many a fashionable fete. Opened in January as a 30-room hotel, the property is now an elegant escape within the city, where historic marble mosaics and […]

Ski In, Camp Out

It is another bluebird day in British Columbia’s Kuldo Valley as the Astar B2 helicopter soars over oceans of evergreens and glistening glaciers. I have come to this powdery Valhalla to explore the 3,677-square-mile domain of Skeena Heliskiing, an adventure outfitter with exclusive rights to the remote valley. Soon enough, I am swooshing down runs […]

Running Wild + Sweating the Details

I had just passed the dusty wooden post bearing a neat “20K” inscription when, out of nowhere, a bright-orange blur whizzed by me like a neon ghost. The figure appeared to glide on air, floating over the Kenyan savanna on impossibly long legs that never seemed to touch the ground. But this was no apparition; […]

David Linley

As Christie’s UK celebrates 250 years in business, its chairman reflects on the importance of heritage and the dynamic future of collecting. David Armstrong-Jones is known more formally as Viscount Linley, the son of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, the first Earl of Snowdon. All this puts him 18th in line to the British throne. […]

Blast from the Past

The Gift A limited-edition Bristol Bullet speedster. $300,000 To celebrate its 70th anniversary next year, the boutique British automaker Bristol Cars will begin deliveries of the Bullet, a stunning, retro-looking roadster. (Bristol calls it a speedster.) The company is going to build only 70 examples. This is the first vehicle Bristol has produced since the […]

Faster Than the Speed of Sound

The Gift An Aerion AS2 supersonic private jet with customizable cabin features. Starting at $120 million There’s nothing new about supersonic flight. Military aircraft exceed the speed of sound every day, and until 2003, civilian passengers could travel on the Concorde fleet. But building a next-generation transport jet to replace the Concorde has proven a […]

Rising Tide

The Gift A 364-foot superefficient superyacht that was designed by Andy Waugh Yacht Design and will be built by Nobiskrug. Starting at $225 million  The International Business Times reported last year that the owner of a superyacht spends an average of $400,000 a year on fuel, and that a yacht as large as 230 feet […]

Slowhand’s Wooden Ax

The Gift The 1939 Martin 000-42 acoustic guitar that Eric Clapton played during his celebrated 1992 MTV Unplugged session; the instrument appears on the cover of the Grammy Award–winning album recorded during that session. $1 million No acoustic guitar is more famous or more coveted than this 1939 Martin 000-42, and it is available only […]

Link to Links

The Gift A private charter of Belmond’s new 40-passenger Grand Hibernian train for a weeklong golf journey through Ireland. $316,000 Every night aboard the new Belmond Grand Hibernian, old Ireland comes alive. As the 40-passenger train’s elegant midnight-blue carriages sweep past blanket bogs and ancient castles, inside the bar car is brimming with the authentic […]

Romancing the Stone

The Southern California–based manufacturing company Caesarstone, known for creating functional quartz surfaces for the kitchen and bath, has partnered with London’s Raw Edges design studio to create Islands, a series of kitchen designs configured to house appliances and unique elements such as fish bowls and planters in specially sized sections. The designs, although not for […]

In the Driver’s Seat

The distinctive group of panelists charged with choosing among these remarkable vehicles the one that best fulfills its mission—whether this be to provide the finest family luxury sedan or the most spine-tingling turn on the track—comprises several of the world’s leaders in business, finance, media, connoisseurship, and the arts. In addition to members of Robb […]

Moss’s Magnesium Racer Reborn

The Gift The seventh of 10 Lister Knobbly Stirling Moss Edition racecars. Full access to the factory in Cambridge, England, during the car’s build process. A full day of Lister Knobbly driver training by the legendary racecar driver and former Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell. Dinner with Stirling Moss at the Savoy in London. Paid […]

Heaven’s Kitchen

The Gift A 5-day apprenticeship for two at the Michelin three-star Restaurant at Meadowood with chefs Christopher Kostow and Cameron Rahtz. $85,000 An apprenticeship with Christopher Kostow—a recipient of three Michelin stars at the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley—is one of the most coveted culinary positions in the country. For the first time, the […]

Experience the Insider’s Florence

The Gift Three days enjoying an authentic Florentine gentleman’s lifestyle with Stefano Ricci as your host. A fitting with Stefano Ricci’s master tailor for a bespoke wardrobe of five custom-made looks: a suit, a tuxedo, a sporting outfit from the designer’s Campagna line, outerwear, and a casual ensemble, each completed with shirts, neckties, and footwear. […]

Capture the Magic

The Gift The two-story, 14,000-square-foot duplex penthouse residence at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. A specially curated art collection, including a series of commissioned murals by the Argentine artist Juan Gatti. An in-residence welcome asado hosted by chef Francis Mallmann. Starting at $60 million For his six-block Faena District in downtown Miami, the Argentine developer […]

Horse Play

The Gift A larger-than-life outdoor steel chess set custom made by the Scottish sculptor Andy Scott. Starting at  $3.5 million Andy Scott’s outdoor sculptures are no garden-variety creations. The Scottish artist specializes in oversize equine statues, from an 18-foot-tall Irish cob in London to a pair of horse heads outside of Glasgow that tower more […]

Open Season

Skeleton watches, particularly those crafted by the Bienne, Switzerland–based Armin Strom, represent a compelling combination of watchmaking’s oldest and most contemporary traditions. The company’s eponymous founder was a master at producing finely crafted and filigreed skeleton watches the old-fashioned way—that is, entirely by hand. By contrast, the firm’s new crew of engineers and designers are […]

Revival Mechanism

Motorcycle owners like to talk about the feeling of freedom that comes from riding their bikes. Alan Stulberg and Stefan Hertel, the cofounders of Revival Cycles in Austin, Texas, derive that sensation from designing and building custom projects such as the one offered for this gift (starting at $50,000). “Once we have control of the […]

Man Up

Dave “The Man” Scott is the consummate iron man. The 62-year-old athlete is a six-time Ironman World Championship winner, the first Ironman Hall of Fame inductee, and now, for one ambitious Robb Report reader, a personal coach. For 5 days at Hawaii’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Scott will prepare this gift’s recipient for the triathlon […]

Slow Boat to Freedom

Some people say that when you build a canoe, you’re planning your escape,” says Trent Preszler, the owner of Preszler Woodshop in Long Island, NY. “But for me, it’s a process of making order out of chaos.” For this gift, Preszler is inviting one Robb Report reader to participate in that process, collaborating with him […]

Beginning of the End

Morgan West, the Southern California Morgan Motor Company dealership and a champion of the 107-year-old British marque, commissioned the factory to create a limited-edition 3 Wheeler called the Land’s End Trials Special ($72,000, subject to change based on the exchange rate). Morgan is building only five examples, and the first is being reserved for a […]

From the Streets to the Sea

Henrik Fisker is no stranger to superyachts. The automotive designer regularly spends time in the Mediterranean aboard vessels owned by friends and business acquaintances. But he hadn’t designed a yacht in more than two decades, not since he was a student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. Nevertheless, when Fisker casually […]

Ring of Fire

After studying in California at the Gemological Institute of America, Paolo Costagli further honed his eye for exceptional gemstones while working in central Colombia’s gem mines. In his youth, the Florence native lived amid his hometown’s myriad monumental artworks and lush gardens. Now based in New York City, Costagli displays his considerable expertise in unique […]

Thirst for Perfection

Admirers of California’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon require no introduction to Schrader Cellars, whose inception can be traced to 1988, when Fred Schrader—an enthusiast of art, antiques, and automobiles—became enamored of the idea of making wine while attending the Napa Valley Wine Auction (now Auction Napa Valley). Not surprisingly, he approached this dream with a connoisseur’s […]

Thinking Inside the Box

Cigar smoking can stimulate contemplation, fostering multiple thoughts that interlock like the gears of a mechanical watch. This notion was the inspiration for Think ($26,000), a limited edition of eight humidors produced just outside Paris by the humidor manufacturer Elie Bleu and designed by the accessories brand 2Saints (2Saints.paris). They worked in conjunction with Maison […]

Creature Comfort

At the end of a long, hard day, a perfect way to transform into relaxation mode is with a glass of Scotch whisky and a luxurious dressing gown. The Italian lifestyle brand Loro Piana, which has stores located throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States, has created the plush James robe ($13,000) […]

House Fidelity

The German hi-fi brand Burmester has released its first all-in-one home-music system: the Burmester Phase 3 ($40,000). It features the company’s new 161 receiver, which combines a preamplifier, a 120-watt power amplifier, and a music server in a single component. The Phase 3 also includes a pair of Burmester’s new B15 loudspeakers. The receiver and […]

Magic Carpet Ride

Coveted for their intricate floral designs, Laver Kirman Persian rugs are some of the most sought-after carpets by collectors and design lovers alike. For the holidays, the Claremont Rug Company is making the rare mid-​19th-century example shown here available as part of a gift package ($800,000) exclusively for a Robb Report reader. The carpet was […]

Overhead Prestige

When it comes to life’s little luxuries, one of the most useful and maybe underrated indulgences is a custom-made umbrella not only designed to suit your aesthetic taste but crafted in proportion to your height and arm length. The fifth-generation artisans Francesco and Giorgio Maglia—brothers whose Milan shop, Ombrelli Maglia, has been producing handmade umbrellas […]

Fabulous at 50

For only the second time in its 192-year history, the Glenlivet is offering a 50-year-old single-malt whisky: the Glenlivet Winchester Collection Vintage 1966 ($25,000). It was bottled at peak maturity in a gracefully sculpted, gold-accented decanter sealed with a Cairngorm-stone stopper. Only 100 bottles have been produced, and each comes in a cherry case. The […]

Spirited Stash

Fine spirits deserve to reside in a space crafted as thoughtfully as they are. This handmade Club bar cabinet from Armani/Casa ($63,180) is the perfect gift for the cocktail aficionado; and with a limited production of only 50 pieces, it may be just as rare as the distillations chosen to dwell within it. Perched atop […]

Diving for Diamonds

Diamonds are typically a sure thing when it comes to holiday gifting. But what to buy for the gemstone aficionado who has it all? Cape Town’s Ellerman House suggests a diamond safari. The Relais & Châteaux hotel—a three-time Robb Report 100 honoree—has partnered with South Africa–based Benguela Diamonds to offer guests a rare chance to […]

Scents of Adventure

In the late 1920s, Parisian trunk maker Louis Vuitton introduced the maison’s first-ever perfumes. Among the exclusive debuts was a trio of unisex scents—Je, Tu, and Il—whose bottles were designed to be stacked up in the style of steamer trunks and stored together in a cylindrical box. By 1946 the house had given its name […]

A Micro-Masterpiece

If good things come in small packages, then the works of Eduard Ter-Ghazaryan Jr. are downright amazing. The 38-year-old micro-miniaturist, whose late grandfather and namesake founded the niche art form, creates sculptures and portraits that are so small they fit in the eyes of needles and are invisible to the naked eye. The Armenian artist […]

Game On

Is it just a merry coincidence that holiday is a seven-letter word, made for a bingo? The Scrabble lover will especially appreciate such serendipity when the word is laid across the surface of this exceptional leather set ($11,950), handcrafted in Italy. The set is part of Asprey’s selection of premium versions of classic board games, […]

Looks Aren’t Everything

An attractive new design is just one of the Porsche Panamera’s improvements for the 2017 model year. The Porsche Panamera didn’t shock brand loyalists when it debuted in 2009. After all, the full-size sedan followed the Cayenne SUV bombshell by 7 years, allowing ample time for purists to come to terms with the idea of […]

Family Style

Best known for their venerable fashion brand, the close-knit Zegnas are also carrying on a tradition of Italian stewardship. Trekking up a steep hill in the Cinque Terre National Park along Italy’s Ligurian coast one warm summer day, I am desperately trying to stay cool and keep up with my guide, Anna Zegna. The oppressive heat doesn’t […]

Caviar sans Caveat

Once upon a time the sturgeon reigned supreme among all the freshwater fish. Queen Beluga wore the crown and was lauded for the wisdom of age, her great size, and her most delicious roe. One day, however, the numbers of her royal family became so few that her realm collapsed, and sadness spread across the […]

Caviar Decoded

Kaluga: The second-largest freshwater fish, kaluga sturgeon is endangered in the wild but is being successfully farmed in China. Large and glossy grains range in color from dark gray to light golden green. Creamy, buttery, nutty, and mild in flavor. Latin name: Huso dauricus. It is crossbred for the U.S. market, and while it may […]

BMW Alpina B7xDrive

This high-powered sedan is the reason why there is no such thing as an M7. I flung the BMW Alpina B7 xDrive out of the pits and into turn 3 at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, catapulting it forward with a seamless surge of acceleration. After lifting my foot from the throttle so that the […]

Living with Lissoni

The Italian architect builds an oasis in Miami Beach. Piero Lissoni has designed everything from luxury resorts and superyachts to coffeemakers and toy cars. Now the Italian architect is trying his hand at American living with his first full-scale U.S. project, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach (theresidencesmiami​beach.com). Set to open next year on more than […]

Moment of Clarity

Chopard achieves top-level minute-repeater sound in a single brilliant stroke. “From the start of the project 5 years ago, I encouraged my team to do something innovative,” says Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, copresident of Chopard (800.246.7273, chopard.com). “The last thing I thought we should do was to make just another minute repeater.” The company’s new L.U.C. Full […]

High Design

 A posthumous collection brings Zaha Hadid’s towering artistry to the table. Throughout her career, Zaha Hadid was a master of the unusual, creating innovative and eye-popping structures that challenged virtually every notion of architecture. Though she died suddenly in March, Hadid and her groundbreaking style are very much alive in her oeuvre, including a new […]

Jean-Michel Basquiat

For more than 25 years, important collectors have regarded Barbara Guggenheim as the dean of art advisers. During her distinguished career, she not only has assisted celebrities and captains of industry in buying and selling works of art, but also has advised on corporate collections for such companies as Coca-Cola and Sony. Most recently, she has […]