The Editors

FrontRunners: Open Season

Hot on the heels of its coupe stablemate, the 202 mph 2011 Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible (www.bentleymotors.com) is the world’s fastest drophead coupe and one of the most uncompromising top-down rides available today. The $280,400 four-seater features a 621 bhp, twin-turbocharged W-12 engine that runs on both gas and ethanol. Full-time all-wheel drive confers precise […]

FrontRunners: Pen Pals

To commemorate its centennial on June 24, 2010, Italian carmaker Alfa Romeo commissioned Montegrappa for Alfa Romeo (www.montegrappa.com), a collection of writing instruments crafted by the Italian pen maker. The series of 1,910 (a reference to the year 1910) red-capped items includes pens with carbon-fiber, silver, and solid 18-karat-gold bodies, the latter of which start […]

FrontRunners: Upward Mobility

In June, UK mobile-phone manufacturer Vertu opened a boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The store—the company’s third retail outlet in the United States—carries classic Vertu designs and recent releases, including the Vertu Ascent 2010 (www.vertu.com). This last iteration of the automotive-inspired Ascent Collection debuted in April and promises to be even more durable […]

FrontRunners: Lands o’Lakes

De Havilland Canada (DHC) ceased production of its amphibious Twin Otter 22 years ago, but more than 600 of the rugged twin-engine propeller planes remain in operation. The model’s perseverance inspired British Columbia–based Viking Air to resurrect the legendary aircraft with the all-new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 (www.vikingair.com). The Viking Air version of the […]

FrontRunners: Harry Winston

A vision for gearheads, the Harry Winston Opus X (www.harrywinston.com) is the 10th and latest timepiece in the Opus series, an annual collaboration between the American jeweler and an independent watchmaker. The $208,800 watch, which Harry Winston debuted in March, tells time using a cascading system of satellite gears that drive revolving hour, minute, and […]

FrontRunners: Forging Ahead

For his new fall jewelry collection, Victor Velyan (213.955.5950) employed old-world metallurgy techniques similar to those used in sword making. The Los Angeles–based jeweler hammered and pounded pure silver and gold into thin sheets of dense metal that he then shaped into cuffs, rings, pendants, and earrings, and set with gemstones. Velyan finished some designs […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

Very few varietals of grape have escaped being planted, at one time or another, in the soils of Santa Barbara County. Spurred in the 1970s by the international recognition then bestowed on Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, many growers in the area opted to experiment with the varieties from Bordeaux. Others discovered that the heartier […]

FrontRunners: Bronze Mettle

Part of Christie’s New York Asian Art Week, the Sze Yuan Tang Archaic Bronzes from the Anthony Hardy Collection sale (www.christies.com) will include ritualistic vessels employed by the Shang Dynasty ruling class as far back as the 13th century B.C. The auction, to be held on September 16, will feature 120 lots with an estimated […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

Merry Edwards has confronted numerous adversities during her long winemaking career. Her first independent venture, Merry Vintners, ended when a cash-strapped creditor called in its loan. Her tenure as vice president and winemaker at Laurier Winery came to a finale when its parent company filed for bankruptcy. But she persevered, and in 1997 she established […]

FrontRunners: Grand Debut

Like music, design requires the harmonious conjoining of parts. The best of both disciplines often diverges from traditional methods, a path taken by the new Audi Design grand piano (www.boesendorfer.com). The $140,000 instrument—built by 182-year-old Bösendorfer, of Vienna, Austria—features a lid that wraps down to the base, giving the piano an almost aerodynamic shape. Its […]

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