Does that special someone in your life love the thrill of shaking a package, gingerly untying a silky ribbon, carefully removing crisp wrapping paper and slowly lifting the lid of a box—as if the act of opening a present were an erotic dance? Robb Report has tapped some of the most rarefied names in luxury goods to ensure the climax will be anything but disappointing.
From a one-of-a-kind necklace by the peerless sculptor Alexander Calder to a pair of elegant Delage automobiles—one from 1938, the other the marque’s first production car in nearly 70 years—these objects are nothing short of spectacular. Apologies in advance: We realize the Tankoa superyacht will require quite a few yards of ribbon.
A Parmigiani One-of-a-Kind 18-Karat Rose-Gold Tondagraph GT With a Chronor Movement
Known predominantly for its high-end, well-engineered dress watches, Parmigiani released in July the Tondagraph GT, which offers an elite annual-calendar chronograph in a sportier look. The watch debuted in steel as well as 18-karat rose gold with the PF043 caliber. Now the company is offering to make a one-of-a-kind version for a Robb Report reader: an 18-karat rose-gold piece exclusively equipped with a chocolate dial and the Swiss watchmaker’s elevated Chronor PF361 caliber in solid 18-karat rose gold. It will combine an integrated chronograph with a split-seconds function, prized by horse- and car-racing enthusiasts for the ability to time two separate intervals simultaneously.
While more poetic complications like tourbillons or minute repeaters receive much of the limelight in high horology, the truth is that integrated chronographs are among the most complex functions to make, in terms of precision and adjustment.
This watch will be a singular opportunity for a Robb Report reader to get their hands on a unique creation from one of Switzerland’s highly respected, niche watchmakers. The 42.1-by-14.7-mm timepiece will take approximately four months to deliver upon purchase, but this gift will be well worth the wait. $179,000, 786-615-9656. Paige Reddinger
An Art Deco Cocktail Shaker (and More)
Do happy hour in high style with this vintage silver-plated zeppelin shaker. Mixers in the shape of the sleek airships were first produced by the German firm of J. A. Henckels in 1928 (which aviation buffs will recognize as the same year that the Graf Zeppelin made its record transatlantic flight) and grew popular during the Art Deco era. This example is a rare Henckels original from that period, which also gave us the seminal Savoy Cocktail Book, still a bible for some in the spirits world.
Sourced by Simon Teakle, the former head of Christie’s New York jewelry department who now runs an eponymous gallery in Greenwich, Conn., the zeppelin is both a piece of collectible design and a functional tool. As for the latter, this beauty does more than just mix drinks. Like a matryoshka for tipplers, it disassembles into everything needed for a well-appointed nip: The main body houses a generously sized flask; the nose unscrews to reveal a strainer and nesting cups; the tail transforms into a nut dish; and the undercarriage contains four spoons. Is it five o’clock yet? $5,800, 203-769-5888. Kareem Rashed
The Elite Wine Cellar From Benchmark Wine Group
If you’re equal parts impatient and thirsty, Benchmark’s Elite Wine Cellar, being offered exclusively to a Robb Report reader, is the ideal gift: Shortcut years of collecting and cellaring wines by snapping up this custom assortment of 100 noteworthy bottles hand-chosen by the Napa Valley-based company that’s America’s foremost rare-wine reseller.
Less than half of one percent of wines receive a perfect score of 100 from top critics, such as Robert Parker or Wine Enthusiast. Each of the bottles in your instant cellar will be part of that elite group, drawn from vineyards around the world: among them, Bordeaux-based Pétrus, Penfolds from Australia’s Barossa Valley and Napa’s own Screaming Eagle. Benchmark will also produce a custom catalog with tasting notes, and one of its sommeliers will be on tap to discuss how to store, enjoy or even resell some of the wines.
Toast the occasion with a bonus 101st bottle: an ultra-rare Methuselah of Louis Roederer Cristal 1990, produced in limited quantities to celebrate the millennium on New Year’s Eve 1999. $75,000, email@example.com Mark Ellwood
Bespoke Glasses by Thierry Lasry
Suits, shirts and shoes are easily ordered bespoke. Custom eyeglasses, though, are virtually unheard of—because the small tranche of high-end factories that make the world’s best frames are closed to outsiders. Unless, of course, you’re working with Thierry Lasry. The French designer, a favorite of actor Henry Cavill and football star Odell Beckham Jr., among others, is known for his oversize creations and fashion-world connections. This holiday season, he’s offering to deploy his insider reach for a single Robb Report reader, working with him or her to develop a pair of one-off glasses.
First, Lasry will hold an in-person or virtual meeting to discuss the concept, then sketch ideas for review, perhaps drawing from his extensive archive for inspiration. He’ll create renderings and send the final choice to one of his factories in France to make a prototype. “It’s my expertise, my taste and my aesthetics first,” says Lasry, who has stores in Paris and New York. “And then I can ask for a favor to make it happen.” Together, Lasry and his client will finesse the final design, before that bespoke pair of glasses arrives after a painstaking process of four to six months. $50,000, firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Ellwood
A Custom Bugatti Baby II Pur Sang
When Ettore Bugatti’s son Roland turned four years old in 1926, he was gifted some awesome loot: one of his father’s pioneering automobiles. The doting designer indulged the tot by creating a one-off miniature of his Type 35, tailor-made for the young boy. So many regular customers commented on the scaled-down replica that Ettore put it into production for a brief period; with just 500 ever made, it’s the ultimate addition to any enthusiast’s collection.
Last year, in celebration of its 110th anniversary, Bugatti announced an homage to this early vehicle, the Baby II. But while the original was half-scale, this new vehicle’s proportions are 75 percent of the full-size car, perfect for thrill-seeking tweens and teens but big enough for most adults: The standard maximum speed of 28 mph jumps to 42 mph with a “speed key” upgrade. Exclusively for Robb Report readers, Bugatti is offering just five of the Baby II Pur Sang models in a custom color palette; its high-performance power train and hand-formed aluminum bodywork come as standard. The livery and customization will be developed in partnership with a designer at Bugatti’s HQ in Molsheim, France, after a tour of the sports-car firm’s atelier. The package also includes an induction for drivers from Le Mans legend Andy Wallace, plus a ride-along with Wallace as he tackles the local roads in a Bugatti Chiron. All that, plus a monogrammed vintage-style leather tool kit, personalized overalls and a vehicle cover. $125,000 per car in a limited edition of five; Anna Whitcombe, email@example.com Mark Ellwood
A Frette La Serenissima Collectible Bed Linen Set
All Frette bed linens are admired far and wide, but among the most coveted are its collectible ultra-luxe designs. Each year, the Italian brand develops a new motif to showcase its craftsmanship—but produces a mere 100 sets.
For 2020, the blue-and-antique-white-striped design is a nod to the elaborate colors and textiles of Venice. “We looked to the textiles produced there during the 17th and 18th centuries for inspiration and wanted to pay homage to one of the city’s signature colors—blue was one of the preferred colors of Tintoretto, and his painting La Serenissima inspired the name of this collectible set,” Frette CEO Filippo Arnaboldi tells Robb Report. The soft milky white is, of course, a Frette signature.
The linens are made by hand at Frette’s Italian atelier; the silk-heavy jacquard blend, backed with a smooth cotton sateen, is intended to evoke a lush textile from Venice’s heyday. To help you snag a set for your bed, Frette is staying mum about the linens’ arrival through December and has set up a Robb Report VIP hotline: 917-375-3665. $7,900, including one duvet cover, two euro shams, two standard shams and one flat bottom sheet, all king-size. Mark Ellwood
A Custom-Made Kitchen Knife
After years of handcrafting hunting knives and swords, Quintin Middleton started making kitchen knives, too. That was about a decade ago, and it was a rocky start, with few sales. One day, a Charleston chef pulled him aside and told him that, though his blades were beautiful, they weren’t the precision tools needed in a kitchen. So the South Carolina artisan studied chefs at work to understand how to shape better tools for them, creating lighter, thinner and more ergonomic knives that still hold a razor-sharp edge.
Now award-winning chefs swear by them, and he launched his Echo line of blades to pour his knowledge into an affordable option for younger cooks and chefs. But for you, he’s offering a custom knife that begins with a consultation, where he’ll walk you through finding the right size, shape and blade material to complement your cooking. He could forge you a classic eight-inch chef ’s knife for general use, an elongated blade specific for slicing or a Japanese nakiri designed for cutting vegetables. You choose the color of the handle, too, as Middleton dyes maple burl wood himself. It will be not only a beautiful showpiece but also your new best friend in the kitchen. From $1,200, firstname.lastname@example.org (use “Robb Report” in subject line). Jeremy Repanich
A One-of-a-Kind Handmade Piece From Silversmith Puiforcat
This year marks the 200th anniversary of fine French silversmith Puiforcat. While the maison got its start in 1820, it became famous for its Art Deco designs under the creative direction of sculptor and master silversmith Jean Puiforcat in the 1920s. That aesthetic still fuels the brand’s innovative and contemporary pieces, only a handful of which are released each year.
To fête the milestone occasion, this holiday season Puiforcat is offering one Robb Report reader unprecedented access to Jean’s hand-drawn sketches from the company archives for a one-of-a-kind chance to commission a piece that has never been issued or choose from a small selection of fully realized pieces—like the engraved tray pictured here—that have been crafted only once before and are no longer for sale. Either chosen object will then be created in the house’s Paris workshop, where just 15 artisans hand-make every item. From $120,000; Olivier Pechou, 212-835-6521. Janice O’Leary
Apex Custom Ski Boots and a Gold Pass
Any alpine skier who’s spent more than a few hours on the trails in 20-degree weather knows the frozen discomfort of having feet clamped into those torture instruments otherwise known as ski boots. Why do snowboarders get to wear cozy, comfy shoes?
The engineers at Colorado boot manufacturer Apex have been working on the problem since launching a soft boot with firm exoskeleton in 2009. Now they’ve devised the Antero 3D, a carbon-fiber 3-D-printed ski boot contoured to suit the individual quirks of a skier’s foot. The material also makes the boots lighter and stronger than previous Apexes, delivering unprecedented performance on the slopes. And while the company’s signature combo of open-chassis and soft internal boot already helps toes feel toastier, the Antero includes a New Zealand sheepskin lining for snug warmth.
Apex is offering a pair of custom-made Anteros for each of two Robb Report readers this winter; you’ll have a personal fitting with Apex’s technical experts and select a custom color (expect a two- to four-month build-out). The boots will be teamed with a coveted Gold Pass (only 450 are issued in any given year) for the 2021–22 ski season, allowing VIP access to the slopes at more than 250 ski resorts around the country, from Deer Valley and Aspen to Big Sky and Killington, all while supporting US Ski and Snowboard team athletes. $20,000, 303-530-3340, email@example.com Janice O’Leary
An Illuminating Tender
With its enclosed owner’s garden and multilevel interior, the Dominator Ilumen created a new style of superyacht. Now Dominator Yachts is planning an equally smashing follow-up: what managing partner Angela Pernsteiner is dubbing the Mini-Ilumen, to be used as a zippy yacht tender or as a custom speedboat for a non-yacht owner. Dominator is offering first dibs on the yet-to-be-built vessels to a Robb Report reader.
Ranging from 20 to 46 feet, the Mini-Ilumens will be constructed to superyacht standards (offering more comfort and lighter weight than competitors in the same size range), along with high-performance hulls. The sleek design, with an unusual wraparound windshield and open stern, is expected to run 53 mph. At a friendly cruise speed of 29 mph, the boat will have a range of almost 300 nautical miles. The tenders will be outfitted with Seakeeper gyrostabilizers, which provide exceptional stability in ocean swells, as standard equipment. And every Mini-Ilumen’s interior will be customized to the owner’s wishes, says Pernsteiner, in keeping with Dominator’s bespoke-build philosophy. From $350,000, firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Verdon
A Rashid Johnson Pendant
In the grand tradition of modernist artists with a side hustle designing jewelry (see gift No. 38), acclaimed artist Rashid Johnson teamed with Liz Swig’s LizWorks on a range of very limited-edition rings, pendants and cuffs this year, all riffing on his “Anxious Men” series of angst-ridden, scribbled-looking faces. What better way to encapsulate the 2020 zeitgeist? Now they’ve added a special version of a piece to the collection and are reserving 3 of the edition of 15 for Robb Report readers.
The nine-karat yellow-gold pendant with a ruby and jet, the largest piece of jewelry Johnson has made, hangs from a rope cord tipped with red enamel, a nod to the red in his recent expressive paintings. Like his other pieces, the pendant looks as right on a man as a woman. “His paintings are so powerful,” says Swig, who has previously collaborated mainly with female artists, including Cindy Sherman, Wangechi Mutu and Shirin Neshat. “I just wanted to break it down and put it in wearable form.” Swig has been donning his signet ring and military tag as talismans of a sort against anxiety. “There’s a comfort to it.” Even more mood-boosting: Johnson is donating his royalties from the project to Black Mental Health Alliance and Prep for Prep. $15,500, email@example.com Julie Belcove
A Goyard Trunkful of Assouline Books
If you dream of the golden era of glamorous international travel, today’s hazmat suit/ mask/latex gloves airport ensemble probably isn’t your idea of chic. More your style: owning the entire Assouline Icon collection of gorgeously produced travel books, all snugly encased in a handmade trunk crafted by the artisans at Goyard, trunk makers to everyone important in Paris and beyond for over 150 years.
Goyard, whose historic client list includes the names Rockefeller, Romanov, Windsor, Picasso, Cartier, Chanel, Balenciaga and Lagerfeld, to name just a few, is working with Assouline, the luxury Parisian publishing house, to produce a “small private travel library,” in the words of Prosper Assouline, the brand’s cofounder. He is making the gift available to Robb Report readers exclusively until mid-December.
Assouline and Goyard first teamed up for a custom piece containing 100 fashion memoirs, which came out in the early 2000s. This time round, the offering is 40 vintage-style guides to destinations from Rio to St. Barts, nestled in a classic black-and-white trunk made from wood, leather and Goyard’s signature textured waterproof canvas, with the Assouline logo on the side. Handmade to order, the trunk will take 8 to 12 months to produce and deliver. Dimensions are 22 by 15 by 9 inches. $14,500, firstname.lastname@example.org Lucy Alexander
A Pair of Rare Delage Cars
To many car collectors, owning a model’s first vehicle from the factory is the holy grail, and when it’s an extremely limited offering by a storied marque, well, that makes it all the more sacred. Now one Robb Report reader has the opportunity to possess chassis No. 01 of the newly announced 1,100 hp Delage D12 hypercar, restricted to only 30 examples. Elevating the exclusivity, it will also be the first production automobile built by the illustrious French automaker in nearly 70 years.
When the working prototype is ready in 2021, Formula 1 racer and Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve will spend a day coaching you at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours on how to handle the car’s power and performance capabilities—travel to France included. Then, when you take delivery of the D12 in 2022, Villeneuve will give you a private lesson either in France or at an FIA- approved track of your choosing. After one of those lessons, you’ll have dinner with Delage CEO Laurent Tapie, who resuscitated the long-dormant company, which was founded in 1905, only last year.
What really kicks the package into overdrive, however, is that it includes the title on a 1938 Delage D8-120. Maintaining the original body by coachbuilder Figoni et Falaschi, it recently finished a 12-year restoration and is concours-ready. For any connoisseur of classic automobiles with space in the garage, this is an unmissable and unique opportunity. In fact, scratch that. Build a new garage. $5.9 million, offer expires March 1, 2021, email@example.com Viju Matthew
An Exclusive Guide Boat
Wooden boats are arguably the most charming handcrafted vessels on the water. With the varnished-wood hulls gleaming in the sun and oars softly paddling across small lakes, they are beautiful throwbacks to a quieter, gentler era. Adirondack Guideboat has been making showpiece wooden skiffs for decades, and now the family-owned company is offering a Robb Report reader a one-of-a-kind 17-foot boat. Choices include cherry, walnut and curly maple, among others, and the builders are also happy to use repurposed wood or incorporate your own timber if you supply an item with sentimental value. “There isn’t a lot of wood we can’t use,” says Justin Martin, who, with brother Ian, runs the boat shop in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.
Designed to transport hunters and fishermen across remote northeastern lakes in the early 20th century, the guide boat blends a lightweight, low-riding hull with on-water stability. The Martins spend more than 400 hours building each of the admired cedar boats, curving 200 red cedar strips for the outer hull, which is coated with a thin, protective layer of fiberglass, and shaping spruce strips for the interior. All boats also have cherry-caned seats and brass oarlocks, and your vessel will come with two sets of oars, cradles, backrests, a sneak paddle, a cover and a custom brass plaque. From $27,000, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-425-3926. Michael Verdon
An Alexander Calder Necklace
In Alexander Calder’s 1943 retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the sculptor famed for his kinetic mobiles surprised some by showing a few examples of his striking jewelry. His jewelry production was prodigious, estimated at more than 1,800 pieces, often made on a whim; for creative convenience, Calder kept wire and pliers in his pockets at all times. The resulting pieces were often impromptu gifts to friends or for his wife, Louisa James Calder. After he made a particular necklace for Louisa, a client commissioned a similar version in gold, circa 1946. It was a rarity for Calder to work in that precious metal. Manhattan-based jeweler Stephen Russell is offering that one-off commission for sale to a Robb Report reader, along with a personal tour of his vault, filled with one of the world’s most important fine-jewelry collections; many of the pieces he owns, from the likes of Cartier and Boucheron, are regularly loaned to museum collections worldwide. Russell suggests this Calder necklace could form the anchor of a similar collection. “It’s wearable art. Some people would put this in a beautiful case, and others would wear it,” he says. “What’s better than doing both?” $595,000 on 1stDibs. Mark Ellwood
A Distinctive Pair of Made-to-Order Monk Straps
George Esquivel is one of a very few independent bespoke shoemakers working in the United States today. His hand-lasted, hand-burnished designs—marrying old-world techniques with a rakish sensibility—have been a favorite of musicians and Hollywood fashion plates for 20 years. Exclusively for one Robb Report reader he’s offering to resurrect one of his most striking styles from the archives: a riff on a formal dress shoe featuring an idiosyncratic monk strap that buckles on either side of the vamp, a sleek profile and a chiseled toe—all in lustrous black alligator.
The made-to-order process begins with a trip to Esquivel’s downtown-LA atelier, or the brand can dispatch samples for you to try in the comfort of your home. Based on those measurements, the artisans at Esquivel’s headquarters will create a prototype for you to test-drive, and once the fit has been perfected, the final pair will be handcrafted in luxurious American alligator, sourced, tanned and dyed in the US. $9,500 on Esquivel Shoes. Kareem Rashed
A 230-Foot Superyacht by Tankoa
Acclaimed Italian shipbuilder Tankoa is giving Robb Report readers first dibs, through January, on its latest spectacular design, a 230-foot superyacht dreamed up by Luiz De Basto with plenty of contemporary flair. “It’s not a radical design, but I did want it to be instantly recognizable for its beauty and distinct lines,” says De Basto, whose recent award winners range from the 296-foot Dar to the 65-foot Astondoa 65 TopDeck. “I wanted to give this Tankoa a sportier, forward-looking design, unlike the stacked, wedding-cake look of most yachts in its class.”
De Basto combined long swathes of glass along the decks with subtle curves. He also put the staterooms on the main deck, with the owners in the forward portion, which has access to a “panoramic salon” with 180-degree water views. “It’s a new concept where the owners now have a waterfront view—rare on most superyachts—that serves as their living room,” he says.
A second, even larger panoramic salon on the deck above serves as a communal area. “People can sit down and have a drink, work on a laptop or maybe play cards,” De Basto notes. “With three open sides and three skylights, natural light comes flooding in.”
Other special touches include glass staircases supported by clear structures, giving the appearance that “everything floats,” he adds. Even the lower-deck beach club, gym and spa are unique, connected by an internal stairway. The designer also left the sky lounge open, without a hardtop, for socializing under the sun. “The idea was to make everything as simple-looking and balanced as possible,” De Basto says. “The openness makes it look more slender and attractive, even though it’s a high- volume boat for its length.” From $82 million, email@example.com Michael Verdon
An Exclusive Edition of Technogym’s Kinesis Personal Vision
Benches and free weights have their place, and that place is invariably the gym. Amassing a personal collection of bars and plates can get unwieldy, which is why Technogym’s Kinesis wall, designed by architect Antonio Citterio, is so useful. Not only can you perform 200 different exercises with it (accompanying training videos serve as friendly form reminders), but it takes up little room and looks striking in your home, yacht or even jet.
This year the Italian fitness brand has offered to create an exclusive black-and-gold version of its Kinesis Personal Vision for just one Robb Report reader. The steel façade of Kinesis has been reimagined as a one-of-a-kind, gold-mirrored surface. The functional elements, such as screws and polished aluminum arms supporting the cables, have been restyled in an opaque black coating, and the handles are handcrafted in leather.
Technogym is also including three training sessions, either in person or virtually (depending on location as well as health and safety guidelines at the time of installation), with one of its master trainers to explore which of the vast range of training protocols offered is best suited for you to improve strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. $30,000, firstname.lastname@example.org. Janice O’Leary
Chopard Emerald and Diamond Earrings
Each year, Chopard uses the glamorous backdrop of the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France to debut its Red-Carpet Collection of high jewelry. And while Covid-19 derailed the annual affair, it has also presented clients with a rare opportunity to get their hands on the prime jewels before they have been thrust into the international spotlight. Chopard is offering this spectacular pair of Art Deco and Victorian-inspired diamond and emerald earrings, highlighted by 23.9 carats of six Zambian emerald cabochons and 5.05 carats of pear-shaped white diamonds.
The silhouette is inspired by late 19th-century garden gates, while the emeralds mimic the shape of leaves. But despite its traditional references, the earrings are thoroughly modern in appearance. Designed diagonally to trace the slope of the ear, the grid-like structure of the setting has been crafted with links and hinges to allow for movement of the stones.
The earrings took six artisans 150 hours to complete and come set in 18-karat ethical white gold. Beginning in July 2018, the company pledged to source all of its gold from small-scale South American mines that, according to the brand, meet the highest international environmental standards. Today, Chopard says it is the largest buyer of Fairmined gold—evidence of its commitment to craft exceptional pieces from the ground up. $285,000. Paige Reddinger
A Bespoke Wardrobe
Closet in need of another upgrade—or do you just deserve a treat? Robb Report has put together a unique collaboration: Four of London’s most elegant makers will be working in tandem for the first time to outfit one reader in bespoke finery from head to toe. Over the course of two days, you’ll be guided through private fittings to commission custom eyewear from E. B. Meyrowitz, shirts from Turnbull & Asser, shoes from Edward Green and a suit and furnishings from Anderson & Sheppard.
Founded in 1875, Meyrowitz is renowned for meticulously handcrafting glasses, those most intimate accessories. Owner and creative director Sheel Davison-Lungley will personally measure and advise you in designing pairs of both eyeglasses and sunglasses in Italian acetate, buffalo horn or tortoiseshell. A similarly personalized experience awaits at Turnbull & Asser, which has shirted the likes of Winston Churchill and Sir Sean Connery. Choose from over a thousand fabrics to order four models of your liking, whether dress or relaxed-fit shirts or any combination of the two. At Anderson & Sheppard, the Savile Row pioneer of the London drape cut, the firm’s master tailor will fit you for a bespoke two- or three-piece suit, and the haberdashery team will aid in selecting neckwear, pocket squares and a sweater to style your suit in two different ways. And at Edward Green, you’ll be measured for a hand-carved last, which will be used to create a pair of calf dress shoes in a design of your choice. While the brand typically offers made-to-measure footwear, this bespoke service is not available outside of this singular gift.
After your day conferring with London’s sartorial heavyweights, you’ll retire to the elegant accommodations at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair. In addition to the best suite available at the time of booking, a complimentary breakfast and an airport transfer, Brown’s concierge will arrange all transportation on the ground in London and ensure your trip is as impeccable as your new wardrobe.
From $20,520, dependent on materials and add-ons chosen; Nick Sievewright, email@example.com Kareem Rashed