Aston Martin’s $2Million One-77


Aston Martin's One-77, the world's most daring supercar. Grand Openings: new destinations in Abu Dhabi, Ixtapa, Shanghai & Vancouver. Plus, Kenya - safaris to surpass your wildest dreams and quick work - building a Connecticut manor house in 80 days.

From This Issue

Robb Design Portfolio: Jet Set

1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic Fiat named its first (and last) eight-cylinder automobile the 8V because the Italian car manufacturer incorrectly assumed that Ford had trademarked “V8” as a model designation. The Otto Vu raced successfully against its 2-liter contemporaries, but Fiat built just 114 of the engine/chassis combos between 1952 and 1954 before discontinuing […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Rolling Stones

Moving designs from Mattia Cielo. Movement gives jewelry a soul; it brings it to life,” says Mattia Cielo, a jeweler based in Vicenza, Italy, whose kinetic designs enable shapes formed of rigid gold and gemstones to move easily with the body. A gold-coil necklace, for instance, wraps sinuously around the neck, while the stones of […]

FrontRunners: Frauscher’s Day Cruiser

Frauscher’s 686 Lido Editione Dino Feltrinelli ( embodies the spirit of an early-20th-century speed demon and the aesthetic of a contemporary furniture designer. The day cruiser—a very-limited-edition, $214,000 26-footer powered by a Volvo Penta V-8 capable of producing 500 hp—is named for the member of Italy’s Feltrinelli boatbuilding family who competed on the European powerboat-racing […]

FrontRunners: English Beets

The 621 hp, 12-cylinder, biturbo Bentley Continental Supersports ( is Bentley Motors’ leanest, meanest—with a top speed of 204 mph—and greenest machine ever. The Supersports’ carbon footprint (the carbon emitted from the production, refining, transportation, and day-to-day use of the vehicle) is 70 percent smaller than the Continental GT’s, partly because the new two-seater runs […]

FrontRunners: Tiger Goods

Among the items for sale at Heritage Auction Galleries’ 2009 May Signature Natural History Auction (, to be held on May 17 and 18 in Dallas, is the skull of a Smilodon californicus, or saber-toothed tiger. The skull was unearthed during the late 1960s at the La Brea Tar Pits Formation in Los Angeles. “A […]

FrontRunners: Smooth Sounds

The ViV Laboratory Evanui Signature loudspeaker ( may look decorative, but its shape serves a purpose: It has no corners to interfere with the sound waves oscillating within its acoustic field. Atop the 63 layers of Southeast Asian plywood that form the speaker’s base cabinet sits a 40-pound driver head made of an anodized alloy […]

FrontRunners: Watch Like an Egyptian

The Panerai Egyptian (, a $29,000 reproduction of the massive watches Panerai made for the Egyptian navy in the 1950s, will not be as rare as the original (Panerai produced just a few dozen of those and is making 500 reproductions), but its design will be just as unusual. In fact, Panerai took an original […]

FrontRunners: Go Figure

In addition to cofounding the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., sculptor Chaim Gross amassed a private collection of African wood and bronze pieces, approximately 80 of which will be on sale during Sotheby’s The Sculptor’s Eye: African and Oceanic Art from the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation auction ( in New York […]

FrontRunners: Solid Footing

Edward Green’s new Top Drawer shoe collection ( is made-to-order, as opposed to fully bespoke, but a pair still takes six to seven months to complete. Why the wait? The British company says it is difficult to find craftsmen with the skills to draft the shoe’s waist and heel and to create the sculptural designs. […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

Although its inaugural wine was released to collectors only late last year, Dana Estates has deep ties in Napa Valley. Through Nara Foods—his import business based in his native South Korea—the label’s proprietor, Hi Sang Lee, has forged relationships with many of the region’s most prestigious wineries, such as Harlan Estate and Colgin Cellars, whose […]

Grand Openings: Cliff Hangers

The red-cedar door to your suite at Capella Ixtapa opens not to a room but to a view. After waving your key card and passing through the door, you step onto a thatch-roofed terrace—outfitted with a daybed and a generously sized plunge pool—that looks out to a cluster of small islands in the Pacific Ocean. […]

Grand Openings: Shanghai Rise

At 101 stories and 1,614 feet high, the Shanghai World Financial Center is the planet’s second-tallest building, after the slightly loftier Taipei 101. But the Shanghai structure holds top bragging rights in at least one respect: It is home to the world’s highest hotel, the Park Hyatt Shanghai, which surpassed the previous titleholder (the neighboring […]

Grand Openings: Island Sheikh

Following the death of United Arab Emirates founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2004, his sons decided to convert Sir Bani Yas, an island where the family owned a palace, into a world-class resort destination. Guests of the island’s first hotel, Desert Island Resort & Spa by Anantara—which opened in October and lies […]

Grand Openings: New Horizon

A hospitality ambassador greets guests near a stand of bamboo at a candlelit entrance below street level, then escorts them to their accommodations for in-room check-in over tea. The welcome ritual evokes the Far East, but the establishment itself—the first hotel in North America from Hong Kong–based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts—offers a prime vantage of the […]

Sport: Over the Rainbows

To avoid snagging the cottonwood behind us, Todd Curell, a fly-fishing guide at Three Forks Ranch on the Colorado–Wyoming border, suggests that I face downstream, shoot my forward cast above the narrow river, and then settle my back cast onto the surface of the deep pool. Curell has taught me more about fly-fishing in one […]

Watches: Idea Man

When executives at the Geneva-based private equity firm Alliance Management hired Yvan Arpa in 2006 to run a watch company that they were relaunching, they understood from the outset that the industry veteran would not take a conventional approach. “When they asked me to run Romain Jerome, I agreed, but on the condition that I […]

Aviation: With This Wing

Although the wings of an airplane may seem purely utilitarian, like the tires on a car, they are, in fact, marvels of engineering and design. Even small tweaks can produce significant changes in aircraft performance. For Gulfstream, an all-new transonic wing helps change the G200, with its lackluster runway performance, into the promising new super-midsize […]

Golf: Denmark’s the Spot

Thanks in part to native PGA stars like Thomas Bjørn, golf is booming in Denmark. The Scandinavian country of almost 6 million residents boasts more than 170,000 registered golfers, and the number of courses in the Danish Golf Union has grown to 181, with nearly a dozen new clubs opening last year alone. Denmark’s many […]

Jewelry: Everything Old Is New Again

We have it on biblical authority that there is nothing new under the sun. And while King Solomon was not thinking specifically of jewelry design when he wrote these words, his wisdom applies. Designers of the most modern pieces frequently take their inspiration—often to breathtaking effect—from styles and techniques pioneered thousands of years ago. Case […]

Antiques: Tut Uncommon

After nearly two decades of searching the Valley of the Kings for undiscovered burial sites, British archaeologist Howard Carter stumbled upon King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the fall of 1922. The find and its ensuing shroud of mystery—the boy king’s suspicious, untimely death and the “curse” of the opened tomb—set off an Egyptian craze throughout the […]

Home: Bathing Beauties

The 100 block of Madison Avenue in New York is not known for having a calming effect on passersby. Structures that house this month’s hottest fashion labels and frenetically paced advertising agencies occupy nearly every address, and almost seem to exude adrenaline. One location—105 Madison, the home of the new Duravit showroom—is an exception. With […]

Home Electronics: A Lighter Note

Jason Lord, co-owner of the Source Audio/Video Group in Torrance, Calif., recalls the day in 1993 when he broke his back. “The casualties of big-box speakers,” he says. “I just moved one of the speakers wrong and it hit me in the lower back, destroying a few of my disks. Luckily, I had some great […]

Aston Extreme

Aston Martin, ever a boutique builder of rapture-inducing sports cars and never a mass-producer of automotive appliances, is being flailed by England’s worst economic downturn since the Great Slump of 1919. Since 2007, when the company manufactured more than 7,000 cars in a record sales year, Aston Martin’s numbers have been dropping. The official projections […]

Game Face

It was a perfect day to go horseback riding: The afternoon air was fragrant with acacia; puffs of cloud floated low over the Kenyan plain; and, for the moment, at least, not a single lion was in sight. Other big game, however, abounded. Just over the horizon we would find herds of kudu, impalas, elephants, […]

Fast and Furious

Judith Sheindlin, known to fans of her popular courtroom TV show as Judge Judy, removes a cream-colored envelope from her desk drawer and points to the Cartier logo on it, then to the engraved name: Cindy Adams. In 2008, Sheindlin explains, the well-known New York Post gossip—a good friend of hers—stopped by the site of […]

The Robb Reader: Sam Nazarian

It’s no secret that Sam Nazarian loves Los Angeles. “Everywhere I go—Milan, New York, Shanghai—I rave about the opportunities here, especially the cultural diversity,” says the Iranian-born entrepreneur, who has lived in L.A. since age 3. Now 33, Nazarian recently opened the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. The hotel is the first of several he […]

Leisure: The Guggenheim Effect

The time is close to 2 am, and we are among the last guests of the evening. We are also the most fortunate, having gained entree to the kitchen of Zortziko, chef Daniel Garcia’s Michelin-starred restaurant, which occupies a 19th-century mansion within walking distance of Bilbao’s famed Guggenheim Museum. Here, in customary Spanish fashion, we […]

From the Editor: Fired Up

One of our least attractive qualities as human beings is the pleasure we sometimes derive from the perceived misfortunes of others—particularly if the injured parties involved have enjoyed life’s privileges in greater measure than have we. A recent phone interview with a reporter from one of the syndicated news services reminded me of the extent […]