21st Annual Best of the Best


Aston Martin, Cartier, Cessna, Davidoff, De Bethune, Ferrari, Four Seasons, Gulfstream, Harry Winston, Isaia, Kiton, Lamborghini, Leviev, Lürssen, Patek Philippe, Perini Navi, Steinway Lyngdorf, Tom Ford & More.

From This Issue

The Robb Reader: Stephan Winkelmann

With his bespoke pinstripe suits and 1960s-style sideburns, Stephan Winkelmann embodies Lamborghini’s raging-bull image. A German-born businessman raised in Italy, Winkelmann became CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in 2005, after the company fell under the auspices of Audi, and soon introduced German precision to the Italian marque’s rough-and-tumble cars. “Lamborghini has always been uncompromising and […]

From the Editor: Putting Luxury in Perspective

Recently, one of our editors brought to the attention of the rest of the staff an April article from the Washington Post that neatly encapsulates a media phenomenon we have observed of late with increasing dismay: the demonization of the wealthy and the industries that cater to them. Titled “The Idle Dream,” the piece details […]

Aircraft and Flight Services

Private flight has certainly seen better years. In addition to fighting a recessionary headwind that has slowed the entire manufacturing sector, this particular industry has served as the media’s preferred target for populist outrage in the wake of financial crisis and Wall Street scandal. In the minds of many, its products have become the ultimate […]

The Connaught

“It has been a little while since we last had the pleasure of your company at the Connaught,” begins Anthony Lee, the hotel’s general manager, in a letter that he sent to past guests in March, “and I wanted to keep you abreast of recent events.” With characteristic British understatement, Lee then proceeds to itemize […]

The Last Drop 1960 Blended Scotch Whisky

The pleasure of connoisseurship lies largely in discovery. For the spirits aficionado, the search often leads down crooked paths: through agave-filled deserts for tequila; over countryside strewn with medieval ruins for Cognac; and across humid, tropical islands for rum. In the case of the three adventurers behind the Last Drop ($2,000), the quest for great […]

Davidoff Reserva 12

Strength is a relative term, but few (if any) of the very best cigars currently in production would qualify as ultramild. The trend toward greater intensity is not a marketing gimmick, but rather a direct reflection of the tastes of our times. As cigar smokers continue to demand fuller, more concentrated flavor, fine cigar makers […]

Fractional-Card Programs

In evaluating various fractional-card programs for possible inclusion in this year’s Best of the Best list, I and the other members of the Robb Report Private Aviation Advisory Board considered several important factors. For example, we looked at the ways card providers fulfill their customers’ expectations of service on a daily basis. We evaluated their […]

Charter-Card Programs

Jet-card programs offered by charter companies differ from those offered by fractional vendors in that they always rely upon third-party air carriers or charter companies to provide aircraft. (In most instances, fractionals utilize aircraft from their own fleets.) With this in mind, one of the most effective ways to differentiate between charter-card programs that are […]

Fractional Programs

When you fly fractional, you do not just buy flight time: You invest in a limited partnership of sorts with a fractional provider. As a “limited partner,” you rely on this provider—the “general partner”—to handle scheduling cheerfully and professionally; deliver a safe, well-maintained aircraft with experienced pilots; take off and arrive on time; bill accurately; […]

Feadship Predator

In 2008, the Dutch shipbuilder Feadship launched what is arguably its most innovative yacht to date, the 239-foot Predator. It only takes a quick glance at Predator’s menacing bow and aggressive lines to understand why the yacht was named as it was. Predator’s groundbreaking design is a triumph of both form and function. The distinctive […]

Benetti Xanadu

Last December Captain Paul Brackley stood on the sundeck of the Benetti Xanadu watching the world’s top charter brokers inspect the recently completed 197-foot megayacht. Brackley had just spent two years shepherding Xanadu’s build in Italy, and he was confident that the boat was truly stunning. However, given that there is currently no shortage of […]

Furniture: Dakota Jackson

“I’ve always thought of desks as big pieces of real estate,” says furniture designer Dakota Jackson. “They are about expanse and being able to accommodate a range of activities without becoming cluttered or feeling cramped.” His latest desk, Maverick, is a spacious 90-inch-by-40-inch piece that appears light and elegant, yet still gives the individual sitting […]

Meridian 810 Reference Video System

The picture delivered by the Meridian 810 Reference Video System is so clear and defined that even the most ardent devotees of celluloid may find it indistinguishable from that of a traditional film projector. Utilizing an advanced video scaler developed by Meridian and Marvell, the system actually boosts the resolution of any video format to […]

Sotheby’s Diamonds by James de Givenchy

When James de Givenchy was named creative director for Sotheby’s Diamonds last June, he was given free rein to forge innovative designs using a cache of exceptional stones. “Nobody has dared to drastically change how an important diamond is set in jewelry for the past 50 years,” says the 45-year-old designer, who is a nephew […]

De Bethune DW1

The disdain in David Zanetta’s voice is palpable as he describes the “half-franc piece of brass” that serves as the regulating organ in many wristwatches. Of course, the silver-haired CEO of boutique watchmaker De Bethune knows of a much better design. Consider, he says, the balance wheel in his firm’s $123,600 DW1. That wheel is […]