Best Things First: Mobile Phone

The follow-up to the Signature, the $20,000 platinum-finish mobile phone introduced two years ago, the Vertu Ascent is a sporty leather-and-liquid-metal mobile phone priced at $3,850. While the Signature suggests the elegance of a Bentley, says Vertu Creative Director Frank Nuovo, the Ascent references the kinetic nature of a Porsche. “If you look at the […]

Smoke: The Piano Man’s Legacy

Erudite, urbane, and nattily attired, Avo Uvezian is the consummate cigar smoker. Or more precisely, he represents the romanticized version of the cigar smoker. A performer nearly all of his 78 years, Uvezian, the creator and spirit of Avo cigars, understands how to play a role and how to cultivate an image: His eight white […]

FrontRunners: Shore Thing

Even after a $125 million overhaul a few years ago, the Shore Club (305.695.3100,, an Art Deco hotel on Miami’s South Beach, failed to create the same buzz as its Collins Avenue neighbors. Then Ian Schrager, the New York hotelier who was the silent partner behind Studio 54, became a part owner and introduced […]

FrontRunners: Heavyweight Title

A wobbly legged coffee table is no match for GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali, a 792-page homage to the champ that weighs in at a hefty 75 pounds. Taschen’s ( recent release of the book coincides with the 40th anniversary of Ali’s initial defeat of Sonny Liston, a victory that earned him his first world […]

Smoke: Fresh Air

Helmut Bührle espouses some radical ideas. Contrary to almost every tobacconist and connoisseur in the United States, this German businessman believes that storing cigars in an airtight humidor is as ill-advised as leaving them on a bureau. “If the humidor or the cigar case is as airtight as a diving bell, the cigar lacks oxygen to […]

FrontRunners: High-Def Home Movies

Your home movies can now appear as sharp as the action on HDNet, the network that broadcasts only in high definition (1080i). JVC’s GR-HD1 (800.526. 5308, is the first consumer video camcorder with which you can record, edit, play, and store widescreen home movies in high definition. The GR-HD1 ($3,500) records in high def […]

Smoke: Small Wonders

Unless a restaurant is especially busy, most chefs are willing to accommodate a patron’s special request. One dish, however, is often craved but seldom provided: an ashtray. As he steps outside a London restaurant on a blustery night to light a Partagas Serie D, Italian importer Enzo Natali says he is becoming accustomed to the proliferating […]

FrontRunners: For the Birders

During a recent birding festival in Cape May, N.J., the most popular sighting could not be identified in a book of ornithology. According to Terry Moore, vice president of Sport Optics at Leica (800.222.0118,, he was overrun by birders clamoring for a glimpse of the new Leica binoculars. The binoculars, available in 14 models, […]

Smoke: Camacho Comes on Strong

When Julio Eiroa and his son christian reach for a smoke, rest assured that they will select a strong cigar. Both seasoned aficionados—the forces behind Caribe Imported Cigars, a vertical operation based in Miami that grows its own tobacco and produces and distributes 13 million cigars a year—crave the powerful taste reminiscent of the Cuban […]

Personal Technology: The Sound and the Ferrari

Jim Bolton knows every inch of unused space in a Ferrari. “Some of the tighter cars are Ferraris,” says Bolton, the owner of Performance Sound & Security, a car audio aftermarket specialist near San Jose, Calif. “There’s barely room for a coat or a small bag.” He should know. Bolton has designed and installed some […]

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