Luxury Preview 2014


Luxury Preview - 14 for 2014. Extraordinary debuts from BMW, Baccarat, Cessna, Ritz-Carlton, Ermenegildo Zegna, and more. Plus, our annual Culinary Masters Competition crowns the world’s next super-chef.

From This Issue

Private Preview 2014: High-End Voltage

The plug-in ELR coupe, which will arrive in showrooms in January and is based on the Converj concept from 2009, is Cadillac’s first electric model—and executives at Cadillac and General Motors have indicated that it will not be the flagship brand’s last one. They are considering adding a larger and more luxurious model as a […]

Private Preview 2014: Sport Diver

The pioneering submersible designer Graham Hawkes is diving again into uncharted waters. Hawkes—the man responsible for the two-person Super Falcon submersible owned by wealthy adventurers including Tom Perkins—has designed what could be described as the world’s first sport submarine, the initial version of which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. Dubbed the […]

Robb Report’s New Culinary Master for 2014

When chef Thomas Keller, America’s high priest of haute cuisine, raises an eyebrow over an item on a menu, most young chefs scurry to change it. Last summer in Southern California, Keller’s eyebrow arched over a course of Ris de Veau Panés—crisp sweetbreads, topped with a fricassee of escargot—on the menu of a young chef […]

A New Course

Justin Smillie of Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, New York City Nominating Chef Nancy Silverton Location The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, an uptown address for Smillie’s downtown style. The Event It was most likely the first open fire built in the Ritz-Carlton’s kitchen. With a wide grin, Smillie stuffed handfuls of hay into a […]

The Wild West of Beer

At the Judgment of Paris in 1976, a bottle of Chardonnay from the Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena Winery famously defeated its French competition, opening the world’s eyes (and palates) to California wine. U.S. craft beer has not made such a dramatic entrance onto the world stage, but like California wine, which is not subject to […]

A Jeweled Journey

The pendant brooch is an extravagant piece, featuring a 10.03-carat Golconda diamond, recalling the legendary mine in India, surrounded by a mosaic of calibrated rubies and flat-cut diamond “petals” to form a favored Mogul flower, the lotus. A perfectly proportioned tassel of diamond and ruby beads cascades beneath the flower, a flourish sometimes found in […]

Wheels: Show of Force

A car that pairs a 550-plus hp engine with a sedan-sized hatchback body is becoming an essential component of automakers’ lineups—German automakers, at least. This combination of explosive power and family-friendly practicality once may have seemed incompatible, but then came the 550 hp Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG in 2011, followed by the 560 hp BMW M6 […]

Autos: Topped Off

For the 2014 model year and for the first time ever, Aston Martin is offering its top-of-the-line Vanquish as a ragtop, or, as Aston Martin calls it, a Volante. As with the coupe version of the new-generation Vanquish—a name that returned for the 2013 model year after a six-year hiatus—the Volante shares very little with […]

Golf: Dessert Golf

Arizona’s Enchantment Resort is a feast for the senses. Nestled in Boynton Canyon in Sedona—and surrounded by the Coconino National Forest and the area’s mystically beautiful red-rock formations—Enchantment lures everyone from adventurers to spiritualists with its outdoor activities (notably hiking and mountain biking), gourmet Southwestern dining, world-class spa, and proximity to what many believe are […]

Collectibles: Memorabilia Mania

When the Beatles arrived in the United States from Liverpool, England, in February 1964, everyone wanted a piece of them. Fifty years later, their appeal has not diminished: Everyone still wants a piece of the band—of its history. “People have been collecting Beatles memorabilia since the Beatles were still playing, and I don’t think they […]

Aviation: Biggest Bird

The Dassault Falcon 5X, a forthcoming business jet from Dassault Aviation, will feature the French manufacturer’s most spacious cabin ever, and the company promises that it will be the most fuel-efficient aircraft in the large-jet category. The cabin will be just under 9 feet wide, nearly 39 feet long, and 6.5 feet tall, which is […]

Watches: Resounding Discovery

When A. Lange & Söhne re-entered the world of haute horlogerie nearly 20 years ago, many of the German brand’s watchmaking techniques had been forgotten for decades. But the restoration of a badly corroded yet highly complicated pocket watch now informs the next generation of the company’s wristwatches, which is exemplified by the new A. […]

Boating: Getting Your Deep-Sea Legs

Erik Hasselman bobs on the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Malta, protected by a clear acrylic sphere. A pilot and commercial director for the Dutch submersible maker U-Boat Worx, Hasselman is about to give a lesson on how to helm one of his company’s vessels. He releases air from the ballast tanks and the […]

Wardrobe: When in Rome

About a year ago, while looking at the famous images photographed by William Klein on the streets of Rome during the 1950s, a young designer in New York City named Antonio Ciongoli was struck by the relaxed elegance of the men Klein captured lingering in cafés or zipping by on Vespas. These urbanites were invariably […]

FrontRunners: Cellar Notes: Schramsberg J. Schram 2005 Rosé

The owners of vineyards sometimes exhibit personalities every bit as faceted as their wines. Katherine Crofton Cebrian Pringle was such a person. This figure of 20th-century San Francisco society once lived in Madrid, but the Spanish Civil War forced her to return to California, where she entertained lavishly—with the help of appropriate staff. “I don’t […]

FrontRunners: Great Light Shark

Large panels of windows run nearly the entire length of the main and upper decks of the 161-foot Rossinavi Prince Shark 49 ( The first example, dubbed Param Jamura IV, was delivered in May and made its public debut at the Monaco Yacht Show in September. On Param Jamura IV, natural light fills an interior […]

FrontRunners: Vinyl Remaster

The recent release of the Limited-Edition Linn Sondek LP12 ( celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Scottish manufacturer’s original Sondek LP12. That turntable has achieved legendary status among analog enthusiasts. The tribute version, which is priced at $37,750, features a solid wooden plinth made from an oak cask that once held Highland Park single-malt whisky. […]

FrontRunners: Digital Delight

The Danish digital-audio pioneer Peter Lyngdorf, who founded Steinway Lyngdorf in 2005, has lately been lending his technical prowess to another company he started the same year. The Lyngdorf Audio TDAI-2170 (, which began shipping in December, demonstrates just how much digital technology Lyngdorf can pack into an amplifier. Shown here stacked beneath Lyngdorf’s new […]

FrontRunners: Higher Calling

Sleeker and more modern looking, the Vertu Constellation ( is the successor to last year’s Ti, the first Android-enabled smartphone from the English mobile-phone maker. The Constellation is equipped with a 1.7 GHz processor that runs the Android 4.2 operating system or the new Android 4.4 operating system known as KitKat. The phone’s sapphire-crystal touchscreen […]

FrontRunners: Sand Castles

Lavish beach villas take shape at three Caribbean resorts. Mayan Marvels: Set where the jungle meets the sand, the Viceroy Riviera Maya’s ( five Signature Villas ($840–$1,120 per night) debuted in October with plunge pools and butler service. Cay Club: The Bahamian private-island resort Kamalame Cay ( opened three villas ($2,325–$4,070 per night) this month, […]

FrontRunners: Anchors Aweigh

A trio of expedition ships sets sail. Darwinian Delight: Launched in September, Silversea’s 50-suite Silver Galapagos ( explores the islands for which it is named, encountering blue-footed boobies and other rare wildlife. Pacific Star: Also from Silversea, the 128-guest Silver Discoverer (, scheduled to debut in March, will ply remote archipelagos in the Pacific Ocean, […]

FrontRunners: On the Mark

A collaboration between one of the United States’ oldest men’s clothiers and a nearly 500-year-old Italian firearms maker has yielded the Brooks Brothers and Beretta Cordura Jacket (;, a high-performance field jacket. The jacket has a cotton shell and an interior lined with Brooks Brothers’ signature tartan. It is available in navy or green […]

The Robb Reader: Henk de Vries

Henk de Vries has boatbuilding in his blood. His great-grandfather was a boat maker in the Netherlands in the early 20th century, and his grandfather cofounded Feadship in 1949. The Dutch shipyard, of which de Vries is now CEO, has since grown to become one of the world’s leading builders of megayachts. Feadship has launched […]

From the Editors: A Telling Fortune

Foresight is perhaps the most prized of human faculties: Nothing gives us greater pleasure than to know what the future holds—as, we hope, this month’s Private Preview 2014 (page 81) attests. Yet for many, the most pleasing consequence of prescience is a handsome profit, and few individuals have transformed their instincts into income more capably […]