The gift-giving season is upon us and in the interests of ensuring that mining moguls, media magnates and real estate tycoons are not bereft of stocking stuffing ideas, or just for our own head-scratching amusement, it's time for our annual look at the most ludicrously luxurious wares that have crossed our desk this year. Here's what you're not getting for Christmas in 2016.
An ocean-going fun factory
Sport Utility Vehicles are a proven hit with buyers on land, so why not take the idea – or the nomenclature at least – to the water. That's what Oceanemo did with its "Sport Utility Yacht" line. Ranging in size from 33 to 55 m (108 to 180 ft), the custom-built yachts are specifically designed to accommodate various toys, from PWCs and hovercraft to helicopters, submarines and supercars. So not only will buyers have to dig pretty deep into the wallet for the yacht itself, but they'll have to dig even deeper for the various "accessories" to go along with it.
A luxury land liner
"I'll take the bus," isn't something you'd expect to be uttered by the well-to-do, but most buses don't come with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and scooter garage like the Empire Liner from Germany's Morelo. Ranging in size from the 8.9-m-long 90 L with its scooter garage, up to the 11.3 m-long 110 GSO that comes with a garage big enough to hold a Smart, Fiat 500 or Mini, the Empire Liner starts at €338,500 and tops out at €414,900 – optional extras not included. With the windscreen blending into the side windows that stretch almost the entire length of the vehicle, the luxury motorhome is sure to stand out amongst the various Winnebagos and caravans at the highway rest stop.
One high-rolling concept
By their very nature, you can't put any of the concept vehicles that adorn the floors of the world's motor shows under your tree. However, many evolve to become production vehicles depending on the feedback the concept receives. Not so the Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 (aka 103EX). It is the first vehicle intended purely as a concept in the company's 105-year history, which is probably just as well because we can see various regulatory bodies struggling to deal with a few of the car's design features – those wheel covers don't appear to leave a lot of room for suspension travel, for example.
Your own little piece of the Moon
Even for the most well-heeled, flying to the Moon isn't an option just yet, but wearing a chunk of it on your wrist is. The Lunar Watch is the world's first timepiece made of a solid piece of genuine moon rock – specifically a 4.5 billion year old piece of olivine basalt stone that was picked up by the Soviet Luna probe in 1974. That rock houses a basic analog watch hand-crafted in Switzerland, so for US$27,500 you're not exactly getting a smartwatch … but with only 25 units made, it is way more exclusive.
An Unidentified Floating Object
If you really want to stand out from the superyacht crowd down at Saint-Tropez, the SS18 from London's Glider Yachts might just do the trick. Looking like a cross between a giant water bug and a cylon raider, the SS18 is powered by four sub-surface jets mounted amidships that produce a total of 1,080 hp and push the vessel up to 56 knots (103 km/h). And the price, need you ask, is in the £1 million (US$1.3 million) range.
Still can't get enough of the water? New Living on Water is the latest waterborne residence on offer in Dubai and it packs a six-car garage, cinema, gym, four bedrooms, a living room and a dining room into its three-level, 16,000-sq ft design. This is topped off by a large terrace housing the pool and garden. The home can also be tailored for off-grid living, but what you get most of all for your $11 million-odd outlay is a stunning piece of organic home design.
A nice tax write-off
You can still pick up one of those 70s-style digital clock pens for little more than loose change on eBay, but the Richard Miller RMS05 fountain pen takes the marriage of hand writing and horology to a whole new level. Richard Mille has leveraged its mechanical watchmaking skills for a self-winding mechanism that extends the pen's hand-polished 18K white-gold nib at the press of a button. On the downside it doesn't tell the time, and it's also a tad more expensive than the aforementioned pen clocks, gouging the bank balance to the tune of US$105,000.
A ride in the fast lane
It may not be the most expensive item on this list, but in terms of getting from A to B, the Diamondback Andean triathlon bike may well be the coolest thing we've seen in 2016. Having undergone extensive wind-tunnel testing during its two-year development, the furiously-red, 9.3-kg (20.5-lb) carbon fiber weapon sports Dura-Ace hydraulic disc brakes and HED Jet Black 9 wheels, and there's even space to stash your wallet behind the seat post. The price – a shade over US$8 K.
The king of drones
In a very real sense, drones are set to dominate the landscape – or skyscape – in coming years, and this imposing monster from Hasselblad and DJI definitely oozes domination. Combining an DJI M600 with a 50-megapixel Hasselblad A5D and a Hasselblad HC 3.5/50mm-II lens swinging from a Ronin-MX gimbal, the world's first medium format drone uses six rotors and six independent batteries to keep it airborne, and can transmit data from up to 5 km (3.1 mi) away. With a price tag in the order of US$22,000, suffice to say this is not a rig aimed at hobbyists.
A high-end hole in the ground
In the Shire, they may be modest, yet comfortable, abodes for Hobbits, but this hobbit hole in Huddersfield, England bearing the fitting name of Underhill provides significantly more luxury – and head room. An unassuming sliding circular door set into the hillside provides access to a 4,000 sq ft (371 sq m) four-bedroom home centered around a heated indoor swimming pool complete with bridge. Other features include a stone vaulted cave with a peat fireplace, large glazed doors offering views of the countryside and skylights flooding the interior with light. Listed on the market earlier this year for £700,000 (approx.. US$886.000), interested parties will have to dig elsewhere as Underhill has apparently sold.
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