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The DBS drives Aston Martin into a new era. Plus, the year's most creative forces, Icons & Innovators, including Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, exclusive resort getaways, Sunseeker yachts and Embraer jets.

From This Issue

From The Editors: Heartbreaks and Five-Star Hotels

The King is dead; long live the King’s earning power. Elvis Presley’s estate grossed $49 million last year, the 30th anniversary of his death, enabling him to reclaim his status as the world’s top-earning deceased celebrity. I have been to Graceland, the headquarters of Elvis, Inc. More than 15 years ago, I toured the jungle […]

Contributors: Where to Go and How to Get There

Exclusive resorts, one of the companies featured in this month’s Icons & Innovators special section, has emerged as the leader of the nascent destination-club industry. Contributing writers Patricia Harris and David Lyon, who chronicle the company’s rise and its plans for the future in “Club Rules”, suggest that good timing has played a pivotal role […]

Antiques: A Study in Taste

Contrary to the name by which the sale is best known, books have been rarities at Bonhams’ annual Gentleman’s Library auction. But oddities have been commonplace. Bidders at last year’s sale could have purchased wooden snuffboxes shaped like shoes, a pocket barometer, a taxidermic buzzard in a display case, a firehouse bell that is a […]

Golf: Highs and Lows

On its path through central Scotland, the Highland Fault skirts the southern end of Loch Lomond in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. The ancient geological feature divides the country’s Highlands and Lowlands—and the front nine and back nine of the new Carrick golf course at the loch-side De Vere Cameron House resort. Canadian golf […]

Travel: Empire Building

Shortly after the end of World War II, while leading the occupation forces in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur rebuffed U.S. government officials’ requests for him to summon Emperor Hirohito from the Imperial Palace. MacArthur understood that if the emperor heeded such an order, he would be humiliated in front of his people. “In this case,” […]

Aviation: Growth Spurt

Mike Van Staagen is a big man; he stands 6-foot-4, with broad shoulders and long legs. Not surprisingly, Van Staagen, vice president of design for the Advanced Development Group at Cirrus Design, has never been particularly fond of flying in his company’s four-seat, SR22 piston-driven plane. The SR22 might be the best aircraft in its […]

Feature: Rolling Over and Onward

The birth of Aston Martin’s expressive and explosive DBS was an interesting, maybe even high-risk, delivery. Well into the production process of the DBS, Ford Motor Co. began trying to shed those brands that it no longer could afford. Its intriguing attempt to knead Aston, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, and Lincoln into a single unit, […]

Autos: Sky Driving

It has been more than 10 years since the first time I jumped out of an airplane, but I still recall every detail of the 60-second free fall that preceded my pulling the rip cord. So with some degree of authority, I can compare skydiving with driving the new topless version of Mercedes-Benz’s SLR McLaren […]

Boating: It’s All Relative

On the deck of a gigayacht, two bikini-clad young women point at themselves, then at the driver of the powerboat that is racing toward them across Monaco’s harbor: They want a ride. The driver, Simon Powell, offers a carefree wave and then, to their dismay, shoots past them at 45 mph. He is here for […]

Art: Art on the Greens

For four months each year, an errant shot at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windemere, Fla., could land in the rough, in the water, in a sand trap, or behind a million-dollar work of art. Five years ago, Stephane Connery, Sotheby’s worldwide director of private sales, followed his hunch that huge sculptures and […]

Spirits: Driving 55

The Macallan 55 swirls in a whisky tumbler, carefully, gently. Sunlight pours through the windows of the tasting room at the 183-year-old Macallan estate in Craigellachie, Scotland, suffusing the rosewood-colored liquid in the glass. Whisky maker Bob Dalgarno, whose youthful Scottish countenance indicates an age much younger than that of the malt in his hand, […]

Collectibles: Capturing the Spirit

The words of God have dominated Donald Jackson’s life for the last seven years. The British calligrapher is in the latter stages of rendering the first entirely hand-lettered and hand-illustrated Bible since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago. Jackson, whom Queen Elizabeth II employs as her personal calligrapher,  estimates that he […]

Wardrobe: Hides and Seek

Chuck Vodicka describes himself as “very fussy.” When Vodicka, who lives in Miami and is a partner in an independent insurance company, needed a new briefcase, he knew exactly what he wanted but had no idea how difficult it would be to find it. Vodicka contacted several retailers and makers of premium leather goods in […]

Jewelry: Indian Passages

Jacques Cartier, the grandson of the Paris jewelry house’s founder, Louis-François Cartier, returned from his first journey to India, in 1911, with a cache of colorful gemstones and some new ideas about jewelry design. Indeed, the Indian aesthetic—which Jacques interpreted with cabochon gems and stones carved in the shapes of fruits, leaves, and flowers—influenced Cartier’s […]

Home: Wearstler’s Bizarre

Kelly Wearstler describes the items in her new home accessories line—the interior designer’s first—as “special”; unusual might be an equally apt descriptor. Her most eclectic decorative objects from the collection include a white marble Greek foot sculpture influenced by a 19th-century antique, elegant chrome and brass hands based on a pair the designer found in […]

Icons & Innovators: The Boys from Brazil

In 1995, Maurício Botelho embarked on a suicide mission. The engineer had been tapped to save Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica, a small, dying aircraft manufacturer in São Paulo, Brazil. The company—which went by the acronym Embraer—had lost $330 million the previous year, and the causes of its imminent death were numerous: The aerospace industry as […]

Icons & Innovators: Inside Coup

The master compressor Extreme Lab is not only a ground-breaker; it is a scene-stealer. When Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the lubricant-free watch last spring, it upstaged all the advances with high-tech materials that other watch manufacturers had been touting. The watch created a sensation because it could render obsolete the regular, expensive, and vexing servicing needed to […]

Icons & Innovators: Power and Glory

Eddie Jordan knows a thing or two about fast, technically advanced, and elegantly designed vehicles. He began racing cars professionally in 1974 and won the Irish Formula Atlantic championship in 1978. A year later he founded Eddie Jordan Racing, which took top honors in the British Formula Three circuit in 1987. And Jordan Grand Prix, […]

Icons & Innovators: Club Rules

The four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath residences at the Carnegie Abbey Club outside Newport, R.I., could never be mistaken for hotel rooms. Downstairs, dual-hearth stone fireplaces separate dining areas from formal living rooms. On the upper levels, expansive media rooms serve as hubs for family life. Furnishings throughout the homes are stylish but not precious—no need to hesitate […]

Style: Cashmere and Compassion

The sounds of rapping hammers and buzzing saws echo through Solomeo, Italy, as they have for much of the past two decades. On this summer day, construction crews are on schedule to complete the hilltop village’s first public theater, the Foro delle Arti, for its September 2008 opening performance. Some of these craftsmen have been […]

Wings & Water: Ghost Story

The origin of the phrase “have your ass in a sling” is a matter of debate. In his Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Robert Hendrickson suggests that the expression derives from “have your arm in a sling,” although how the wording shifted from one’s arm to one’s buttocks remains unclear. Nor is it clear […]