Good Thinking

Here's what you're not getting for Christmas in 2017

Here's what you're not getting...
New Atlas' list of things not to bother putting on your Christmas list
New Atlas' list of things not to bother putting on your Christmas list
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The Signature 1200's living quarters are guaranteed to be luxurious
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The Signature 1200's living quarters are guaranteed to be luxurious
The Variomobil Signature 1200 is the ultimate RV
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The Variomobil Signature 1200 is the ultimate RV
The HM6 Alien nation from MB&F has a case made almost entirely of sapphire
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The HM6 Alien nation from MB&F has a case made almost entirely of sapphire
Each of the micro-sculptures with arms and necks finer than grains of sand were individually modeled and hand-sculpted by engraver Olivier Kuhn
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Each of the micro-sculptures with arms and necks finer than grains of sand were individually modeled and hand-sculpted by engraver Olivier Kuhn
The "Captain" of the HM6 Alien nation
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The "Captain" of the HM6 Alien nation
924 Bel Air Road boasts a total floorspace of 38,000 sq ft (3,530 sq m), spread over four levels
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924 Bel Air Road boasts a total floorspace of 38,000 sq ft (3,530 sq m), spread over four levels
924 Bel Air Road comes stocked with cars and motorbikes worth over $30 million
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924 Bel Air Road comes stocked with cars and motorbikes worth over $30 million
924 Bel Air Road's four-lane bowling alley and lounge
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924 Bel Air Road's four-lane bowling alley and lounge
924 Bel Air Road boasts 270-degree unobstructed views of the Los Angeles area
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924 Bel Air Road boasts 270-degree unobstructed views of the Los Angeles area
A deactivated Bell 22A helicopter used in the TV series Airwolf can be found on the roof of 924 Bel Air Road
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A deactivated Bell 22A helicopter used in the TV series Airwolf can be found on the roof of 924 Bel Air Road
The flowing lines of the Benetti Se77antasette concept
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The flowing lines of the Benetti Se77antasette concept
With two freshwater pools on board, you should never be short of water to swim in on the Se77antasette
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With two freshwater pools on board, you should never be short of water to swim in on the Se77antasette
The Benetti Se77antasette concept yacht debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show 
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The Benetti Se77antasette concept yacht debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show 
Luxurious interior of the Se77antasette concept
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Luxurious interior of the Se77antasette concept
The Se77antasette's second freshwater pool offer protection from the elements
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The Se77antasette's second freshwater pool offer protection from the elements
The C Seed 262 UHD TV's 262-in (6.65 m) screen is for those that know size does matter
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The C Seed 262 UHD TV's 262-in (6.65 m) screen is for those that know size does matter
The C Seed 262 comes with a motorized custom cover that will make the screen look like a painting when not in use
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The C Seed 262 comes with a motorized custom cover that will make the screen look like a painting when not in use
The Terzo Millennio was revealed at MIT's EmTech Conference in November
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The Terzo Millennio was revealed at MIT's EmTech Conference in November
Lamborghini's Terzo Millennio concept offers a vague outline of the Italian supercar giant's pathway to an electrified future
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Lamborghini's Terzo Millennio concept offers a vague outline of the Italian supercar giant's pathway to an electrified future
The all-electric Terzo Millennio was built in collaboration with scientists from MIT
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The all-electric Terzo Millennio was built in collaboration with scientists from MIT
 The Terzo Millennio would leave behind the brawny V-12s Lamborghini is known for in favor of greener and more compact electric engines in the wheels
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 The Terzo Millennio would leave behind the brawny V-12s Lamborghini is known for in favor of greener and more compact electric engines in the wheels
Swiss design firm MB&F teamed up with manufacturer L'Epée 1839 to create the marine-themed, high-end Octopod table clock
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Swiss design firm MB&F teamed up with manufacturer L'Epée 1839 to create the marine-themed, high-end Octopod table clock
The Octopod's inner movements are contained inside a bathysphere-like bubble
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The Octopod's inner movements are contained inside a bathysphere-like bubble
To make sure the time can be clearly seen no matter what pose the Octopod is arranged in, the glass sphere can rotate 360 degrees
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To make sure the time can be clearly seen no matter what pose the Octopod is arranged in, the glass sphere can rotate 360 degrees
Development of the Pluma (Portuguese for "feather") took a year
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Development of the Pluma (Portuguese for "feather") took a year
The Pluma Track BIke features a PRO 5 Spoke Carbon Track front wheel
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The Pluma Track BIke features a PRO 5 Spoke Carbon Track front wheel
The Pluma's distinctive fairing consists of a PVC foam core, sandwiched between outer layers of carbon fiber
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The Pluma's distinctive fairing consists of a PVC foam core, sandwiched between outer layers of carbon fiber
The Neptune's flanks look as sleek and curvy as speedboat hulls
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The Neptune's flanks look as sleek and curvy as speedboat hulls
Aston Martin and Triton collaborated on this sleek submersible design
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Aston Martin and Triton collaborated on this sleek submersible design
New Atlas' list of things not to bother putting on your Christmas list
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New Atlas' list of things not to bother putting on your Christmas list
Ruby chocolate is expected to hit the market in 2018
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Ruby chocolate is expected to hit the market in 2018
The flavor of ruby chocolate is described as being "not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness"
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The flavor of ruby chocolate is described as being "not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness"
View gallery - 32 images

Looking for the ideal Christmas gift? Look further. Even if your digital pockets are bursting with Bitcoin, the following collection of outrageous items are likely beyond your reach. It's time for our annual recap of the most extravagant, over-the-top and, in some cases, downright nonsensical examples of luxurious excess that have crossed our desks throughout the year. Here's what you can't have for Christmas in 2018.

America's most expensive house

924 Bel Air Road boasts 270-degree unobstructed views of the Los Angeles area
924 Bel Air Road boasts 270-degree unobstructed views of the Los Angeles area

Any real estate agent will tell you that location, location, location are the three most important factors when buying a new home. On that front 924 Bel Air Road, with its 270-degree unobstructed views of the Los Angeles area, certainly delivers. But the humble abode also has a few other things going for it, including four-lane bowling lane, 40-seat 4K Dolby Atmos home theater, five bars, 21 bathrooms, three gourmet kitchens, a private showroom stocked with cars and motorbikes valued at over $30 million, and a deactivated Bell 22A helicopter used in the TV series Airwolf – and we're still barely scratching the surface.

Dubbed "Billionaire," there are no prizes for guessing the target market for the house. It was listed for sale at US$250 million in January, making it the most expensive house for sale in the US. Unfortunately for Bruce Makowsky, the real estate developer who enlisted some 250 workers to build the structure over a period of four years, the house is apparently still on the market.

The world's biggest 4K widescreen TV

The C Seed 262 comes with a motorized custom cover that will make the screen look like a painting when not in use
The C Seed 262 comes with a motorized custom cover that will make the screen look like a painting when not in use

Sure to not look out of place in any of Billionaire's 12 bedrooms, the C Seed 262 lays claim to being the world's biggest 4K widescreen TV. Austria-based C Seed made its name with big screens intended for the outdoors, but in making the move to indoor units decided not to scale things down. In fact, the company went in the other direction, with the TV's 262-in (6.65-m) screen leaving the 201-in (5.11-m) C Seed 201 outdoor TV in its shade. Since the TV would leave a massive black rectangle in the room when it's switched off, it comes with a motorized custom cover that will make the screen look like a more tasteful painting instead.

What's the price for this televisual behemoth? A paltry $549,000, not including the optional installation fee of $38,500.

A creepy clock

To make sure the time can be clearly seen no matter what pose the Octopod is arranged in, the glass sphere can rotate 360 degrees
To make sure the time can be clearly seen no matter what pose the Octopod is arranged in, the glass sphere can rotate 360 degrees

As a species we seem to be obsessed with time, and even though it's found on just about every mobile device nowadays, there's a subset of humankind that still hanker for exceedingly complicated mechanical timepieces costing a small fortune. With eight articulated legs and inner working contained within a bathysphere-like bubble, the Octopod is definitely exceedingly complicated. And at $36,000 it's definitely expensive. It's also impractical, potentially nightmare-inducing and largely unnecessary. Luckily for those of us who can't afford a $36,000 clock, a $10 Casio will do the same job.

An alien time capsule

The "Captain" of the HM6 Alien nation
The "Captain" of the HM6 Alien nation

In a similar vein, it's a case of Roswell meets Rolex in this exquisite timepiece fit for an alien overlord. The Horological Machine No. 6 (HM6) Alien Nation does away with the Earthly notion of a glass case and replaces it with a 12 handcut blocks of sapphire crystal that were polished for up to 510 hours each to achieve the perfect fit (not counting the hundreds of hours lost due to breakages). Along for the ride are five delicate alien micro-sculptures made of white gold who watch over the intricate workings of this otherworldly timepiece. Even if you have a lazy US$500,000 lying around, this ship has flown – only four examples of the HM6 Alien Nation were made and they've already been sold to a single collector.

A million-dollar motorhome

The Variomobil Signature 1200 is the ultimate RV
The Variomobil Signature 1200 is the ultimate RV

If "Did I pack the Porsche 911?" is a phrase you're likely to mutter when gearing up for your next camping trip, this humungous motorhome might be for you. The Mercedes Actros-based Signature 1200 is 39 luxurious feet of road-going getaway that packs a 523-hp six-cylinder turbo diesel, air suspension and a suite of driver-assist technologies.

Unsurprisingly for an RV that starts at €773,500 (approx. US$922K), the bespoke interior can be tricked-out with all the comforts of home, and given parking on those poky European streets could well be a challenge, there's also the option of a 360-degree camera system. The icing on the cake is the pop-open tailgate with hydraulic ramp that caters for your Porsche 911, Mercedes SL or Mini Cooper. That's what we call last-mile transport!

Batman's bicycle

The Pluma's distinctive fairing consists of a PVC foam core, sandwiched between outer layers of carbon fiber
The Pluma's distinctive fairing consists of a PVC foam core, sandwiched between outer layers of carbon fiber

Bicycles first gained popularity as utilitarian people-movers, and although it might have two wheels and rely on pedal power for propulsion, the Pluma Track Bike is definitely not within reach of the common man. Based on a concept design by Portuguese industrial designer Nuno Teixeira, the Pluma features an aerodynamic fairing that covers the rear wheel. In fact, the aerodynamics of this bike are taken to such an extreme the wheel enclosed within that fairing was also chosen to minimize drag. If you're hoping to see how the bike performs we have bad news – it was built as a one-off for a Geneva-based client.

A floating palace

The flowing lines of the Benetti Se77antasette concept
The flowing lines of the Benetti Se77antasette concept

There's really no better platform for an uber-luxurious design concept than a superyacht, and this sumptuous effort from Benetti should certainly pique the interest of anyone with enough money to make it a reality. Along with your standard trappings like a freshwater pool and spa, the flowing lines of the 253-ft Se77antasette concept harbor the master of all master suites – a 100-sq m (1,076-sq ft) apartment, with another 140 sq m (1,507 sq ft) of private outdoor space that can't be accessed from the rest of the boat. A welcome addition to any billionaire's private marina.

Tomorrow's supercar

Lamborghini's Terzo Millennio concept offers a vague outline of the Italian supercar giant's pathway to an electrified future
Lamborghini's Terzo Millennio concept offers a vague outline of the Italian supercar giant's pathway to an electrified future

As a concept, the Terzo Millennio dreamt up by Lamborghini in collaboration with MIT researchers isn't something that will be appearing in anyone's garage this Christmas. But as a thought experiment intended to inspire the engineering breakthroughs for the next generation of electrified supercars, there's a chance some of the car's technologies, such as supercapacitors replacing conventional batteries and a self-healing bodyshell that doubles as energy storage, may appear in a future Lamborghini. But who are we kidding? We won't be able to afford one of those either.

An underwater Aston Martin

The Neptune's flanks look as sleek and curvy as speedboat hulls
The Neptune's flanks look as sleek and curvy as speedboat hulls

Designers over at Aston Martin have been keeping their pencils very sharp of late, producing stunning creations like the Valkyrie supercar and the sleek AM37 yacht. For us though, the pick of the bunch is the Project Neptune submersible, a vehicle that takes Aston Martin's signature styling and plunges it below the waterline. A collaboration with submersible specialist Triton Submarines LLC, the three-person Neptune is still at concept stage, but even if it emerges from the depths it will likely remain in that rarefied realm frequented by megayacht-owning billionaires.

Chocolate like no other

The flavor of ruby chocolate is described as being "not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness"
The flavor of ruby chocolate is described as being "not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness"

There are three types of chocolate: dark, milk and white. That seemingly immutable law of nature was broken in September with the announcement of a fourth family member – ruby chocolate. Developed by Switzerland's Barry Callebaut company, ruby chocolate's distinctive color and flavor (described as a "tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness") come naturally from the ruby cocoa bean. It's not exorbitant cost that's keeping this new breed of chocolate from ending up under your tree this year though – it's just the fact that ruby chocolate won't hit the market until 2018.

Looking for the ideal Christmas gift? Look further. Even if your digital pockets are bursting with Bitcoin, the following collection of outrageous items are likely beyond your reach. It's time for our annual recap of the most extravagant, over-the-top and, in some cases, downright nonsensical examples of luxurious excess that have crossed our desks throughout the year. Here's what you can't have for Christmas in 2018.

America's most expensive house

924 Bel Air Road boasts 270-degree unobstructed views of the Los Angeles area
924 Bel Air Road boasts 270-degree unobstructed views of the Los Angeles area

Any real estate agent will tell you that location, location, location are the three most important factors when buying a new home. On that front 924 Bel Air Road, with its 270-degree unobstructed views of the Los Angeles area, certainly delivers. But the humble abode also has a few other things going for it, including four-lane bowling lane, 40-seat 4K Dolby Atmos home theater, five bars, 21 bathrooms, three gourmet kitchens, a private showroom stocked with cars and motorbikes valued at over $30 million, and a deactivated Bell 22A helicopter used in the TV series Airwolf – and we're still barely scratching the surface.

Dubbed "Billionaire," there are no prizes for guessing the target market for the house. It was listed for sale at US$250 million in January, making it the most expensive house for sale in the US. Unfortunately for Bruce Makowsky, the real estate developer who enlisted some 250 workers to build the structure over a period of four years, the house is apparently still on the market.

The world's biggest 4K widescreen TV

The C Seed 262 comes with a motorized custom cover that will make the screen look like a painting when not in use
The C Seed 262 comes with a motorized custom cover that will make the screen look like a painting when not in use

Sure to not look out of place in any of Billionaire's 12 bedrooms, the C Seed 262 lays claim to being the world's biggest 4K widescreen TV. Austria-based C Seed made its name with big screens intended for the outdoors, but in making the move to indoor units decided not to scale things down. In fact, the company went in the other direction, with the TV's 262-in (6.65-m) screen leaving the 201-in (5.11-m) C Seed 201 outdoor TV in its shade. Since the TV would leave a massive black rectangle in the room when it's switched off, it comes with a motorized custom cover that will make the screen look like a more tasteful painting instead.

What's the price for this televisual behemoth? A paltry $549,000, not including the optional installation fee of $38,500.

A creepy clock

To make sure the time can be clearly seen no matter what pose the Octopod is arranged in, the glass sphere can rotate 360 degrees
To make sure the time can be clearly seen no matter what pose the Octopod is arranged in, the glass sphere can rotate 360 degrees

As a species we seem to be obsessed with time, and even though it's found on just about every mobile device nowadays, there's a subset of humankind that still hanker for exceedingly complicated mechanical timepieces costing a small fortune. With eight articulated legs and inner working contained within a bathysphere-like bubble, the Octopod is definitely exceedingly complicated. And at $36,000 it's definitely expensive. It's also impractical, potentially nightmare-inducing and largely unnecessary. Luckily for those of us who can't afford a $36,000 clock, a $10 Casio will do the same job.

An alien time capsule

The "Captain" of the HM6 Alien nation
The "Captain" of the HM6 Alien nation

In a similar vein, it's a case of Roswell meets Rolex in this exquisite timepiece fit for an alien overlord. The Horological Machine No. 6 (HM6) Alien Nation does away with the Earthly notion of a glass case and replaces it with a 12 handcut blocks of sapphire crystal that were polished for up to 510 hours each to achieve the perfect fit (not counting the hundreds of hours lost due to breakages). Along for the ride are five delicate alien micro-sculptures made of white gold who watch over the intricate workings of this otherworldly timepiece. Even if you have a lazy US$500,000 lying around, this ship has flown – only four examples of the HM6 Alien Nation were made and they've already been sold to a single collector.

A million-dollar motorhome

The Variomobil Signature 1200 is the ultimate RV
The Variomobil Signature 1200 is the ultimate RV

If "Did I pack the Porsche 911?" is a phrase you're likely to mutter when gearing up for your next camping trip, this humungous motorhome might be for you. The Mercedes Actros-based Signature 1200 is 39 luxurious feet of road-going getaway that packs a 523-hp six-cylinder turbo diesel, air suspension and a suite of driver-assist technologies.

Unsurprisingly for an RV that starts at €773,500 (approx. US$922K), the bespoke interior can be tricked-out with all the comforts of home, and given parking on those poky European streets could well be a challenge, there's also the option of a 360-degree camera system. The icing on the cake is the pop-open tailgate with hydraulic ramp that caters for your Porsche 911, Mercedes SL or Mini Cooper. That's what we call last-mile transport!

Batman's bicycle

The Pluma's distinctive fairing consists of a PVC foam core, sandwiched between outer layers of carbon fiber
The Pluma's distinctive fairing consists of a PVC foam core, sandwiched between outer layers of carbon fiber

Bicycles first gained popularity as utilitarian people-movers, and although it might have two wheels and rely on pedal power for propulsion, the Pluma Track Bike is definitely not within reach of the common man. Based on a concept design by Portuguese industrial designer Nuno Teixeira, the Pluma features an aerodynamic fairing that covers the rear wheel. In fact, the aerodynamics of this bike are taken to such an extreme the wheel enclosed within that fairing was also chosen to minimize drag. If you're hoping to see how the bike performs we have bad news – it was built as a one-off for a Geneva-based client.

A floating palace

The flowing lines of the Benetti Se77antasette concept
The flowing lines of the Benetti Se77antasette concept

There's really no better platform for an uber-luxurious design concept than a superyacht, and this sumptuous effort from Benetti should certainly pique the interest of anyone with enough money to make it a reality. Along with your standard trappings like a freshwater pool and spa, the flowing lines of the 253-ft Se77antasette concept harbor the master of all master suites – a 100-sq m (1,076-sq ft) apartment, with another 140 sq m (1,507 sq ft) of private outdoor space that can't be accessed from the rest of the boat. A welcome addition to any billionaire's private marina.

Tomorrow's supercar

Lamborghini's Terzo Millennio concept offers a vague outline of the Italian supercar giant's pathway to an electrified future
Lamborghini's Terzo Millennio concept offers a vague outline of the Italian supercar giant's pathway to an electrified future

As a concept, the Terzo Millennio dreamt up by Lamborghini in collaboration with MIT researchers isn't something that will be appearing in anyone's garage this Christmas. But as a thought experiment intended to inspire the engineering breakthroughs for the next generation of electrified supercars, there's a chance some of the car's technologies, such as supercapacitors replacing conventional batteries and a self-healing bodyshell that doubles as energy storage, may appear in a future Lamborghini. But who are we kidding? We won't be able to afford one of those either.

An underwater Aston Martin

The Neptune's flanks look as sleek and curvy as speedboat hulls
The Neptune's flanks look as sleek and curvy as speedboat hulls

Designers over at Aston Martin have been keeping their pencils very sharp of late, producing stunning creations like the Valkyrie supercar and the sleek AM37 yacht. For us though, the pick of the bunch is the Project Neptune submersible, a vehicle that takes Aston Martin's signature styling and plunges it below the waterline. A collaboration with submersible specialist Triton Submarines LLC, the three-person Neptune is still at concept stage, but even if it emerges from the depths it will likely remain in that rarefied realm frequented by megayacht-owning billionaires.

Chocolate like no other

The flavor of ruby chocolate is described as being "not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness"
The flavor of ruby chocolate is described as being "not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness"

There are three types of chocolate: dark, milk and white. That seemingly immutable law of nature was broken in September with the announcement of a fourth family member – ruby chocolate. Developed by Switzerland's Barry Callebaut company, ruby chocolate's distinctive color and flavor (described as a "tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness") come naturally from the ruby cocoa bean. It's not exorbitant cost that's keeping this new breed of chocolate from ending up under your tree this year though – it's just the fact that ruby chocolate won't hit the market until 2018.

View gallery - 32 images
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FerrisPoobah
"Even if your digital pockets are bursting with Bitcoin,"
For the naughty, Bitcoin is the new coal.