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19 Insanely Luxurious Things

By: Sharp Staff|January 19, 2015
Tagged With: Sharp List



The Claydon Reeves Aeroboat

Great things go fast. Really great things go really fast.

UK superyacht designers Claydon Reeves have unveiled a small, sexy and tremendously quick powerboat for those who like really fast, really great things.

Powered by a massive 27-litre Rolls Royce V12 Merlin Engine (also found in WWII Spitfire fighter planes) with an output of 1,100 horsepower, the 15-metre Aeroboat will be capable of reaching speeds of over 50 knots.

The Aeroboat’s design takes cues from the Spitfire, too, with shock-mounted forward seats fashioned after aircraft landing gear, a bold air scoop intake and aircraft-inspired helm controls.

Only 14 Aeroboats are being built, with a price tag upwards of $5.5 million dollars apiece. And if the speedboat’s dramatic lines weren’t distinctive enough, it will, of course, include extensive tailoring options to suit buyers’ individual tastes.

Martin Rondeau Nude Film Art

Montreal-based artist Martin Rondeau is one of the few photographers who still work with film, and his approach to the nude is even more unique. Rondeau has developed his own method of 3D photography, which begins with a large-format photo painstakingly sliced into thin vertical strips—as if run through a giant office paper shredder. He then weaves wider paper strips through to create a tapestry of light and shadow, deconstructing the photograph and creating an arresting new image. The works from his most recent show, Confession, are brightly shot pinup-style nudes interspersed with photo negatives for an effect that demands much more than a glance.

Borealis Fat Bike

While they’ve been around for a decade or so, this is the season in which fat bike will truly come into their own. Unmistakable with their balloon-like tires, riders bundled against the elements as they pump across ice and snow, the fat bike provides a fourth season solution for the avid outdoor cyclist.

Based in Colorado Springs—home to more than its share of prime mountain biking terrain—Borealis Bikes’ creations stand out from the growing pack. By building their Echo and Yampa models from carbon fibre, they’re able to keep the large bikes under 30 lbs, keeping them maneuverable while retaining the requisite stiffness. The broad tires (up to 4.8 inches wide!) and low tire pressure provide masses of traction, allowing you to float over snow, sand or debris, and stick to ice with remarkable tenacity.

Mother Nature isn’t about to change her icy ways—especially in our backyard—making the fat bike a welcome addition to the weekend warrior’s winter regimen.

$3,600 to $6,250

Danny Lyon’s The Seventh Dog

Danny Lyon is an adventurer of the old school. He was self-taught, a pioneer and a trailblazer in a time when information had to be sought out in the flesh and physically gathered, not simply copied by typing a question into a search engine.

The Bikeriders, first published in 1968 and now available in its original, journal-sized format with additional and reproduced photographs and a new intro by Lyons, is a study of the 1960s American biker subculture. Equal parts art, journalism and anthropology, the collection is comprised of images and interviews gathered from 1963 to 1967, when Lyon was a member of the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club. A rare, unfiltered look at a little understood group in a tumultuous era, Lyons’ reportage is reminiscent of greats like Hunter S. Thompson and Joan Didion, with a Lyons’ beautifully composed photos picking up where his interviews leave off.

We are a awarded an even more in-depth look at the work that made the man with The Seventh Dog, Lyon’s semi-autobiographical collection of images—colour and black and white—letters and musings that provide insight into the formation of a great artist alongside some of the most defining American events of the 20th century.

(The Bikeriders: $35, from The Aperature Foundation. The Seventh Dog: $125, from Phaidon)

Tribeca’s Cast Iron House

As Manhattan real estate prices continue to soar ever higher, developers are continually attempting to outdo each other to attract the world’s wealthiest (and most discriminating) buyers. New York-based developers Knightsbridge Properties have teamed up with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban to create the Cast Iron House, a collection of duplexes and two superlative penthouses at an 132-year-old TriBeCa address.

Before the introduction of steel during the Industrial Revolution, cast iron was often used in construction, a heritage developers honoured by including original cast iron accents throughout the 11 duplexes that make up the Cast Iron House’s main offering.

The units attracting the most attention, however are Shigeru Ban’s airy, modern penthouses (the largest of which is 4,500 square feet, including 1,500 square feet of terrace and priced at just under $13 million) that appear to float atop the landmark structure. Thanks to clever cantilevering, the penthouse units boast sliding glass walls that create a seamless transition between the interiors and the large outdoor areas—not to mention offer stunning uninterrupted views.

A spectacular achievement of both design and engineering, The Cast Iron House will surely provide a worthy challenge for the next developer looking to make an impression.

Victorinox Swiss Army Knives

One hundred and thirty years ago, near Lake Lucerne in the centre of Switzerland, an enterprising man named Karl Elsener began making knives for the army. They started as simple tools, suited to the simple tasks of disassembling rifles and opening cans of food. By 1897, the tool had been improved to include several blades, a screwdriver, and a corkscrew (a soldier needs to unwind on occasion after all). A hundred and thirty years later the basic design remains virtually unchanged, and the little red knife has a place in the pockets, tackle boxes and desk drawers of men everywhere.

The factory where the knives were first made has since moved, but not far. Across the street in the village of Ibach now stands a space that’s large enough to accommodate 1,000 employees and the 3,000 tons of steel that pass through its doors each year, ending up as the 60,000 Swiss Army knives and 60,000 pieces of cutlery that are finished each day. Despite the scale, it’s still a community-run business fronted by an Elsener descendant, producing the knives in the spirit of the original. The saltine smell of oil and metal, one of Switzerland’s defining scents, continues to waft down the streets. .

The quality of the stainless steel used is certainly part of Victorinox’s success (the name is a combination of the founder’s mother’s name, Victoria and the French word for stainless steel, inox). Victorinox steel has a hardness of 55-56 RC (Rockwell hardness), which is relatively low on the scale for steel, but this is done intentionally to allow for re-sharpening over many years. The quality of this metal is attributed to a top-secret proprietary process that happen behind the factory’s closed doors.

In recent decades the spirit of utility, clean aesthetics and simple functionality that made the Swiss Army Knife a design icon has filtered down through Victorinox’s other endeavours: clothes, luggage, fragrance, timepieces. Their fashion line wears blend style and functionality with nods to military design and Alpine tradition, as well as a pronounced effort towards sustainability. Even their fragrances reflect the brand’s roots with energetic notes of cedar, fresh lavender and mint—like a hike through the Alps in spring. They’re also celebrating 25 years of watchmaking. While that’s relatively young in terms of other Swiss timepiece brands, it hasn’t stopped them from making a name for their attention to quality and design in the Jura Mountains, the cradle of Swiss horology. To honour their 25th birthday, Victorinox has created the INOX, a new line of timepieces that are nearly indestructible, subjecting them to a battery of tests—including being driven over with a 64-tonne military tank.

It’s rare for a company to grow so large and diversify so far without losing sight of the values that first gave it form. It’s far more rare, however, for a product conceived in the late 19th century to remain relevant 130 years later, its design still remarkably close to the original. Such is the beauty of the little red knife.

Ghurka‘s Military-Inspired Collection

When New York-based furniture craftsman Richard Wrightman was a child, his father, a military man, would have him assemble and disassemble furniture pieces to pass the time (and build character, no doubt). Today, he is bringing these experiences to a partnership with Ghurka, known for their sturdy leather luggage and accessories.

The Ghurka soldiers of the Himalayas were known throughout the world for their courage, loyalty, self-sufficiency and resilience. In the spirit of this, Ghurka creates pieces that capture that same tradition of longevity and strength from the culture of soldiers it derives its name from.

The Ghurka Campaign Furniture collection—the brand’s first foray into furniture— is a collaboration that couples the elegant wanderlust aesthetic of the label with the simplicity of military design in solid oak, vegetable-tanned calfskin and solid brass hardware. Ghurka military campaigns were often on the move across Africa and India and the seven-piece capsule collection, which includes a campaign desk, a stool, an officer’s chair and folding bar, are built to be disassembled and reassembled with ease. Once placed in your living room, however, you’ll be reluctant to pack them up any time soon.

$295 – $6,250

Persol Frames

Persol, the iconic Italian sunglass brand has long since been the go-to for men who balance refined style with devil-may-care attitude—and now you can wear their classic frames even after sundown.

Two new lines of optical wear—the vintage-camera-lens-inspired PS 3091 and the collapsible PS 3075—both capitalize on the current trend of minimal, rounded frames, while remaining true to Persol’s immediately recognizable silhouette.

The ultra lightweight frames are constructed from acetate with metal temples through a 30-step process and are reason enough for any man to wear sunglasses indoors.

Now That’s An Infinity Pool

On the picturesque island of Tinos, Greece Kois Associated Architects have worked with the land to build a stunning yet unobtrusive dwelling that offers panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. More noteworthy than the pristine setting, however, is the rooftop infinity pool, which blends the clean lines of the house seamlessly with the glittering sea below.

Beneath the pool, the one-storey, 3-bedroom home extends into the natural plateau. Outside, the overhanging edge of the pool shades an open-air living room that faces south toward the sea. The walls surrounding the Mirage House are built from locally-sourced stone, which (perhaps most impressive of all) allows its spectacular design exist harmoniously with the surrounding landscape.

The Four Seasons Jet

The Four Seasons Jet is set to be the world’s first branded private aircraft experience, offering the chance to bounce from one Four Seasons location to another on a bespoke vacation. Aboard their all-new black Boeing 747—retrofitted from its 200-person capacity to transport just 52 passengers in a Four Seasons level of comfort and service—layovers, screaming babies and microwaved meals will become a distant memory.

The first of three planned trips for 2015 will take off from Los Angeles in February and usher guests (at $130,000 per couple) on a 24-day voyage stopping in nine destinations including Hawaii, Bali, Bora Bora and Agra (home of the Taj Mahal) before concluding in London. For the more artistic-minded, a trip scheduled for April will stop in six locations including the Estates Theatre in Prague, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and feature a private gala in the Pavlosk Palace near St. Petersberg, Russia. For the more adventure-seeking, a nine-destination expedition to take place in August will transport guests to exotic locations including a Serengeti safari lodge, Beijing’s Forbidden City and the remote island paradise of the Maldives.

Peloton Bike

Designed as a high-tech spinning bike for people who’d rather sweat it out at home, the Peloton is a smooth, intelligent, quad-shredding machine.

By using a belt drive in place of a chain, and magnets instead of brake pads, it’s much quieter than a traditional spinning bike—the loudest noise will likely be the sound of your breathing as you push up that last hill. Should you choose, however, pre-scheduled, live classes, or on-demand sessions are available at any time. A live leader board and a variety of metrics (cadence, distance, calories, resistance, etc.) allow for competition between users, while a screen-embedded camera lets you chat—or chirp—your friends during live classes. And in case you’re looking for an excuse to hold back, the Android-operated, full HD, 21.5-inch touchscreen is fully water resistant.


Porsche Art

For a true Porsche fan, it may be that having one (or more) in the garage is not an adequate expression of devotion. Porsche, perhaps more than any other car manufacturer, has inspired a following so loyal that the very idea of their cars, the sound of the engines, the sight of their silhouettes, is enough to prompt a visceral response.

It’s fitting, then, that they would become the subject of fine art. Photographer Aaron Miletich has been preaching to the the legions of Porsche faithful with his stunning aluminum prints of Stuttgart’s legendary racing fleet. By infusing dyes straight into specially coated aluminum, Miletich is able to finish with a sheer gloss that allows some of the material’s reflective properties to show through and add a subtle 3D effect.

The result will look great in your office, or even better hanging next to your 911.

From $250

Ressence Type 3 Watch

The Ressence Type 3 timepiece doesn’t want anything getting between you and the time, not even air. By filling the emptiness in this pioneering timepiece’s face with a fluid which closely matches the refractory properties of the crystal, even less light is bent, making the time appear almost two-dimensional. Unanchored white discs that replace the hands and are juxtaposed against the black dial, which along with the lack of a crown add to the effect of weightlessness.

While its aesthetics are the definition of stripped-down (essence + revolution = Ressence) the movement inside is anything but. Four hundred and seven components whir away inside (including 28 gears and 57 jewels for the display alone) powering separate indicators for hours, minutes, seconds, day and date. Since there’s no crown, adjustments are made by rotating the caseback. If it weren’t unique enough already, production is limited to just 50 pieces at $45,500 each.

Shangri-La at the Shard

From its lofty perch in Renzo Piano’s skyline-defining tower in London, the five-star Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard has given itself a leg up on the competition—which in a city that’s playground to the world’s super-rich is no small feat. Located on the 35 to 52nd floors in the tallest building in Western Europe, suites offer thrilling, 180-degree views of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Canary Wharf and the Tower of London. Each room features floor-to-ceiling windows, body-contouring beds, heated marble flooring, in-suite personal Butler service as well as exclusive Acqua Di Parma toiletries.

After sundown, make your way up to the hotel’s intimate cocktail bar, GŎNG, located on the 52nd floor, whose champagne list is a carefully curated balance of smaller growers and grand marquee houses, or choose from one of the seasonal drinks on the cocktail menu curated by mixologist Hennig Neufeld.

The top floor also features an infinity pool, a tranquil respite from which to take in London’s glittering cityscape below.

Christopher Schultz’s Shark Gun

Blurring the line between flesh and metal, these sculptures look like something a Batman villain might turn on the citizens of Gotham, but actually speak to a dichotomy much more profound.

The collection consists of four pieces—White Tip Uzi, Raygun, Leopard AR and Blue AK—all fashioned from marine-grade stainless steel and Lucite. All will be on display (and sale, for $4,000 – $42,000) at the CK Contemporary gallery in San Francisco, the product of forward-thinking, shark-loving artist Christopher Schulz. Schulz says they’re a statement on our fascination with dangerous objects that, left alone, are harmless, but you’d be forgiven for just wanting one because it’s a freaking shark machine gun. A whimsical addition to any modern décor—or underground lair

Zaha Hadid Shelves

Legendary British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid has teamed up with the Italian interior design firm Citco to create an exclusive, three-piece collection of stone furniture worthy of the most opulent spaces.

One of the world’s foremost architects, Hadid’s use of cantilevers and her affinity for computer-assisted design set her apart from her peers and helped to make her the first female to earn the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004.

Three pieces form the collection: the Tela shelves, Luna table and Calla fireplace, each formed from a single mass of absolute black granite, carrara white marble and marquina black marble respectively.

Tela, with its long cantilevers, is typically Hadid. As with many of her architectural structures, the fluid, interweaving lines make the almost three-meter-long, 400-kg unit appear dynamic and much lighter than it actually is.

The Calla fireplace and Luna table are similarly impressive in terms of presence and sheer heft, weighing in at 400kg and 1,300kg respectively. Calla means lily in Italian, and there’s no need to stretch the metaphor to get the connection—the curved, shell-like formation shares an aesthetic with some of Hadid’s architectural works, like the London Aquatics Centre she designed for the recent Olympic Games, as does Luna, which is punctuated by a trio of structural bowls on the tables surface and three delicately curved legs.

Spiegelau Glass for Stout Beer

When the time comes to pull that rare bottle of stout that has been aging in the cellar for two years, you won’t just tip it into a straight beer glass. It deserves better than that. You wouldn’t sip champagne from a highball glass, would you?

Spiegelau, a 500-year-old company dedicated to crafting beer vessels (Germans, right?) has collaborated with Colorado’s Rogue Ales and Oregon’s Left Hand Brewing Company to produce the world’s best stout glass.

What makes this particular tumbler ideal for a dark, complex beer such as a stout? First of all, the shape: the wider conical opening and narrow base maximize aromas and taste, driving the chocolate and coffee notes upward to the nose and mouth. Secondly, the material: the pure quartz from which the glass is fashioned highlights the brew’s natural colours, so it may be enjoyed with the eyes as well as the palate.

Gucci Leather Luggage

Certain things should match. Your suit jacket to your trousers, your belt to your shoes, your carry-on to your suitcase. Some things just look their best when cut from the same cloth, or in this case, hand-tooled Italian leather.

Gucci’s new structured Diamante leather luggage collection includes everything for any length of journey: the structured suitcase has a telescopic handle and wheels for easy terminal traversing, shoes will travel first class in the Guccissima Leather Shoe Trunk, with an interior wooden structure and 13 drawers, while your suits will be similarly comfortable in the Diamante Leather Heritage Travel Trunk, which has five drawers, a garment bag and six hangers. Both trunks are painstakingly crafted by hand over a 20-day process in Gucci’s Italian workshop.

While the set takes its styling (and attention to detail) from the era of grand trans-Atlantic steamships, Gucci offers it in unmistakably modern bright primary blues, reds and yellows. Not that you needed any help standing out from the crowd.


Racing Watches

Motor racing is all about precision: machines engineered for maximum performance and drivers who use every centimeter of track to outrun their rivals. Timing is at the centre of it all so it’s no wonder that just about every major timepiece brand produces chronographs in honour of the pursuit of the checkered flag, with designs and materials taken from the cars, tracks and teams they honour.

Pieces pulled from the archives celebrate past glory, like Hamilton’s Pan Europ ($1,245) with its racing-inspired black and red accents. A modernized version of a 1971 watch, the original version contained one of the world’s first automatic chronograph movements. The watch on which Omega’s new Seamaster Bullhead Rallye ($9,600) is based was a favourite of collectors due to its unique case shape, created to offer racing drivers easier access to the chronograph function. The new edition offers the same vintage styling, with the benefit of a thoroughly modern Omega movement.

Chopard’s Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition ($12,900) looks to the future, marking the return of Porsche to the FIA World Endurance Championship. With design cues taken directly from Porsche’s pioneering 919 hybrid race car, the watch’s production is limited to an exclusive 919 pieces. Oris, meanwhile, celebrates their new partnership with Audi with the new Audi Sport timepiece ($4,100). Just as Audi’s high-performance WEC and DTM cars will wear the Oris badge, the new chronograph proudly displays the vaunted Audi Sport logo on its face.

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