The Season’s Essentials


Our complete host's guide to fine wines, spirits & cigars. Gifts for her and him: rare, exotic designer jewels & new ultra-exclusive, ultra-slim watches. Plus, the amazing Rossion Q1, a reshaped Noble M400 that accelerates like the Ferrari Enzo. Also, 10 Winter golf getaways: Spain, California, Vietnam, Mexico & more.

From This Issue

Watches: Child’s Play

Spanish watch collector Franc Vila creates timepieces that he hopes will inspire in others the same sense of wonder he felt at age 6, as he examined his father’s automatic sport watch for the first time. Vila recalls that when he asked why the watch did not work, his father told him it was magic […]

Autos: Spur of the Moment

Etched into the doorsill plates in the latest version of Bentley’s Continental Flying Spur are the letters S-P-E-E-D.This polished aluminum inscription recalls the Speed Six, Bentley’s winning Le Mans entry in 1929. In that memorable race, Bentley drivers finished in first, second, third, and fourth places. The company is now reusing the historic nameplate on […]

Aviation: England’s Finest

By the late summer of 1940, battle-weary Britain found itself outmanned and outgunned by Hitler’s forces. Believing that the Royal Air Force (RAF) was exhausted and vulnerable, Germany focused its aerial firepower on London in an effort to bomb the British into submission. Yet, in one of the greatest David-and-Goliath stories of World War II, […]

Boating: Sea of Green

With the exception of a handful of superyachts that use experimental eco-friendly propulsion systems, vessels employing green technologies have been rarities in the industry. However, Mochi Craft, a division of Ferretti Group famous for its delightfully eclectic line of lobster boat–style yachts, hopes to change that. At the Genoa International Boat Show in October, the […]

Travel: Düsseldorf Doozy

Düsseldorfers are certain that their city is the wealthiest and most fashionable in Germany. And who’s to argue? Gleaming boutiques—from Aigner to Zegna—line both sides of the leafy, canalled Königsallee boulevard in the center of town, while the city’s sense of style is reflected, quite literally, in the whimsical Frank Gehry buildings that rise like […]

Golf: Dove Tale

“Do you think they will like it?” asks Kenn Depew, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, outside of Tucson, Ariz. “They” are the pros of the PGA Tour. “It” is the club’s still-growing-in Tortolita course, which will debut in late February when it hosts the tour’s Accenture Match Play Tournament. Jack Nicklaus […]

Sport: On the Fly

When you know where to look, the intricate maze of reefs and atolls in the Maldives—a nation of 1,190 low-lying islands off the southwest coast of India—can reveal what every surfer is in search of: the perfect wave. Today, however, Jack Chisholm will settle for any waves at all. Chisholm, a guide with Australian surfing […]

Spa: Medieval Revival

An oversize hot tub positioned at the periphery of a steep ravine discreetly suggests that there is more to Castello di Vicarello than just the vineyards. Owners Aurora and Carlo Baccheschi Berti had the tub custom-made to resemble the oak barrels they use to produce their two wines: a savory combination of Sangiovese and Merlot […]

Vacation Homes: Same as It Ever Was

Like many private resort communities in the South, the recorded history of Hampton Island Preserve involves an indigenous tribe, plantation owners, and, eventually, developers. But unlike other Southern resort communities, Hampton Island Preserve—a 4,000-acre parcel located 35 miles south of Savannah, Ga.—will remain private and largely pristine. The project broke ground in 2003, but development […]

Spirits: Sugar Babies

When Prussian chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf discovered a way to extract sugar from beetroot, he effectively ended the Caribbean’s lock on the sugar market in 18th-century Europe. In the decades following his 1747 breakthrough, a lack of demand for cane sugar left the West Indies with huge surpluses of the once-precious sugarcane crop. “Something had […]

Dining: Memorable Morsels

“It’s perfect,” says the taxi driver as he turns to face me. “The best food in Germany.” Although experience teaches the seasoned traveler to rely on the advice of cops and cab drivers for dining recommendations in an unfamiliar city, in this instance, as I survey this side street in the sleepy Frankfurt suburb of […]

Wardrobe: Clothes Session

Tom James is much more than a top tailor. The name applies not to an individual, but to a bespoke service that employs an army of some 600 intensely trained custom clothiers around the world. After two years of instruction and apprenticeship, these tailors, armed with fabric swatches and sample garments, are fully prepared to […]

Jewelry: Forging History

On a cord around his neck, Turkish jeweler Gurhan Orhan sports a well-worn Sumerian jasper pendant carved with cuneiform symbols, an early form of writing that dates to around 3500 BC. Although he has fielded offers of large sums for the amulet, he has always refused to part with it. “This piece carries the spirit […]

Collectibles: That’s a Wrap

Upon walking through the unassuming doors of the Collectors Book Store on Los Angeles’ Hollywood Walk of Fame, you may not know where to look first. “We have ?5 million pieces, easily,” says co-owner Mark Willoughby. “And that’s probably conservative.” From every corner, rare collectibles stir memories of the film industry’s glittery past: Mae West […]

Art: True West

The crack of bullwhips splits the air as 12 cowboys steer hundreds of bellowing cows and calves to a dusty, sun-drenched pasture. Artist Duke Beardsley, manning his post on horseback, wheels around to block a bolting calf. As the animals settle in, he rides over to the ranch manager to discuss breeds, swap stories of […]

Home: Digital Dinnerware

Traditionally, makers of high-end dinnerware have found it difficult to maintain the integrity and consistency of a single design throughout all the pieces of single-theme collections because different materials react differently to various manufacturing processes. For example, metals often shrink 3 to 5 percent during production, and porcelain may shrink up to 18 percent. Consequently, […]

Winter Golf Getaways: Player’s Club

THE ULTIMATE SOUTH AFRICAN GOLF SAFARI WITH THE ULTIMATE SOUTH AFRICAN GOLFER.   Gary Player has designed more than 250 golf courses, some among the most exclusive in the world. But no Player course is more selective than the one he built at his stud farm in Colesberg, South Africa—located 400 miles northwest of Cape […]

Noble Intentions

Building cars, completely or partly, is big business in South Africa. Companies here manufacture catalytic converters, assemble Hummer H3s, and produce right-hand-drive BMWs. A few South African firms also make, as marketing materials say, “pinpoint accurate, quality-crafted component cars”—vehicles better known as kit cars. At least two versions of Ford’s GT40 are built in the […]

Temptations in Paradise

The imagination and artistic vision of the world’s leading jewelry designers take root in nature’s familiar forms, turning them into an exotic array of bejeweled flora and fauna. In this garden of earthly delights, an ingenious, ruby-encrusted mushroom ring draws the eye, a hand-enameled orchid brooch blossoms, and a sinuous, diamond-studded snake choker entices us […]

Cameo Reappearance

Every art, whether major or minor, has its capital: Music has Vienna; fashion, Milan; haute cuisine, Paris. Even the somewhat obscure art of cameo-carving has its acknowledged center: Torre del Greco outside Naples, Italy. Many of the seaside town’s inhabitants make a full-time profession of the craft. But 36-?year-old Amedeo Scognamiglio says that “in Torre […]

Thin Again

For much of the past decade, serious collectors paid little mind to slim, elegant dress watches. Exotic designs, high complications, and large dimensions held the spotlight, banishing most traditional models to the shadows. Recently, however, dress watches have reappeared with a new look and an exciting market momentum. “The thin, clean look is definitely the […]

Beaux Arts Beauty

For a New York businessman, his wife, and their four young children, an 1892 marble-and-limestone townhouse—the city’s first in the Parisian Beaux Arts style—is not only an architecturally significant showplace, but a comfortable family home as well. However, when the owners acquired the residence nearly 10 years ago, they realized that its layout and interior […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: 101 Fabulous Fermentations

If they are  neither conspicuously present nor particularly admired the rest of the year, Wise Men always enjoy a brief but enlightening vogue during the holiday season—reminders of the spirit of generosity that pervades these last two months of the year, and of our obligations to our fellow man. The wise host and hostess, of […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: Leaf Changes

The fancies of high-fashion designers—as expressed in the creations that populate the runways of Paris, Milan, and New York—represent more than simply the latest in practical protection from the elements; they are social snapshots that capture the cultural mood of the moment. Simplicity might reign one season, complexity the next. Although cigar making ranks among […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: On A Roll

In Cuba, it is better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. After all, in a country where the economy runs on the black market and promiscuity is promoted as a tourist attraction, people tend to be understanding. To ask permission, on the other hand, is to call attention to yourself, to arouse suspicion, and, […]

2008 Holiday Host Guide: On A Roll: Forbidden Fruits

It is a violation of the Trading with the Enemy Act for Americans to purchase or consume Cuban products anywhere in the world, so it would be a crime to smoke the following cigars. Since it was created in 1966 as a diplomatic gift with which Fidel Castro could honor foreign dignitaries, the Cohiba has […]

Charter Choice: Casual Elegance

When the owner of the 193-foot Austal Outback told Australian yacht designer Sam Sorgiovanni that he wanted the vessel’s interior to feel like a beach house, Sorgiovanni knew he would have to create a decor far different from the norm. “In many yachts, you walk in and are overwhelmed by the details, paneling, architecture, and […]

Wheels: Run of the Mille

In a private lounge overlooking the start/finish line of the Circuit de la Sarthe—the racetrack in Le Mans, France—Richard Mille, president and CEO of his eponymous watch company, mingled with his guests. Behind Mille, Le Mans, the quintessential racing movie, played on 26 television screens mounted on the ceiling along the top of an expansive […]

Wings & Water: Quiet, Please

“It’s pretty damn quiet up there,” says Robert Mudd, a 62-year-old member of the Albuquerque Soaring Club (ASC), a group of about 70 glider pilots based at central New Mexico’s Moriarty Airport. “Soaring is a hobby, a personal challenge. Everybody’s got their reason for doing it. For me, it’s the solitude.” Mudd should enjoy the […]

Journeys: Natural Progression

In a brilliant morning at Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island, off the southern coast of Australia, hundreds of sea lions are doing what they have done for aeons: feeding and frolicking in the waves, nursing their pups, and sunbathing with their necks extended to the sky as if performing a group yoga stretch. Sandy McFeeters, […]

Style: Smokin’ Seams

The original smoking jackets of yesteryear were never intended for formal occasions. As their name implies, they were meant simply to protect a man’s formal shirt, tie, and waistcoat from collecting any odor while he smoked, usually behind closed doors with other gentlemen. In the 1930s, smoking jackets and dinner jackets became surrogates for evening […]

The Robb Reader

At 78, Jess Jackson has more energy than many people half his age. He travels the world with his wife, Barbara Banke, and oversees 24 wineries under the Jackson Family Wines umbrella (most notably Kendall-Jackson and the spin-off artisan wineries La Crema, Lokoya, and Cardinale). He frequently visits his six Thoroughbred horse farms: one in […]