Good Thinking

The top 10 things you CAN'T have for Christmas 2015

The top 10 things you CAN'T ha...
A few things you won't find under the tree this year
A few things you won't find under the tree this year
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Deepflight's Graham Hawkes at the controls
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Deepflight's Graham Hawkes at the controls
Deepflight Dragon taxis out toward the middle of Lake Tahoe, California
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Deepflight Dragon taxis out toward the middle of Lake Tahoe, California
Deepflight Dragon: underwater drone that works in reverse
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Deepflight Dragon: underwater drone that works in reverse
Loz takes the Deepflight Dragon under the surface
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Loz takes the Deepflight Dragon under the surface
Deepflight Dragon: this personal submersible might look like the Speed Racer Mach 5, but it's actually an incredibly easy and safe sub to drive
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Deepflight Dragon: this personal submersible might look like the Speed Racer Mach 5, but it's actually an incredibly easy and safe sub to drive
The US$2 million Eden of Coronet at Baselworld 2015
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The US$2 million Eden of Coronet at Baselworld 2015
The white Gibson SG is now home to more than 400 quality diamonds embedded in 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) of 18 K gold
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The white Gibson SG is now home to more than 400 quality diamonds embedded in 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) of 18 K gold
The 900 hp, $300K Fenyr Supersport
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The 900 hp, $300K Fenyr Supersport
W Motors Fenyr Supersport
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W Motors Fenyr Supersport
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The SeaXplorer will be able to move "backwards" through ice up to almost one meter thick
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The SeaXplorer will be able to move "backwards" through ice up to almost one meter thick
The SeaXplorer will have space for a helicopter, along with one or more rescue boats, dive support boats, Zodiacs, submersibles and personal watercraft
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The SeaXplorer will have space for a helicopter, along with one or more rescue boats, dive support boats, Zodiacs, submersibles and personal watercraft
The SeaXplorer's bridge deck sky lounge
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The SeaXplorer's bridge deck sky lounge
Villa Gug _ the ultimate auto barn
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Villa Gug _ the ultimate auto barn
The looping​ Villa Gug​ design by the Bjarke Ingels Group​ (BIG) integrates the cars into the main body of the house
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The looping​ Villa Gug​ design by the Bjarke Ingels Group​ (BIG) integrates the cars into the main body of the house
The lower level of Villa Gug houses a spacious library
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The lower level of Villa Gug houses a spacious library
The ultimate, fully-certified version of Cobalt's Valkyrie will be available by the middle of 2017 and set you back around $699,000, before options of course
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The ultimate, fully-certified version of Cobalt's Valkyrie will be available by the middle of 2017 and set you back around $699,000, before options of course
The Valkyrie is claimed to be able to cover more than 1,400 nautical miles (1,600 mi/2,590 km) at 220 knots (253 mph/407 km/h) in economy mode with a pilot and one passenger
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The Valkyrie is claimed to be able to cover more than 1,400 nautical miles (1,600 mi/2,590 km) at 220 knots (253 mph/407 km/h) in economy mode with a pilot and one passenger
Cobalt's Valkyrie looks just as menacing from the rear
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Cobalt's Valkyrie looks just as menacing from the rear
The owner's initials are imprited in gold on the Sarto 18K
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The owner's initials are imprited in gold on the Sarto 18K
The Sarto 18K features a Zimbabwean crocodile skin seat and handlebar grips
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The Sarto 18K features a Zimbabwean crocodile skin seat and handlebar grips
The Sarto 18K gets its name from the 18-carat gold touches to the bike
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The Sarto 18K gets its name from the 18-carat gold touches to the bike
Sound is produced via a platinum-vaporized diaphragm placed between two gold-vaporized ceramic electrodes, with the resulting diaphragm coming in at just 2.4 microns thick
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Sound is produced via a platinum-vaporized diaphragm placed between two gold-vaporized ceramic electrodes, with the resulting diaphragm coming in at just 2.4 microns thick
Each set has over 6,000 components, with the amplifier combining both vacuum tube and transistor technology within a handcrafted glass and sculpted Carrera marble casing
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Each set has over 6,000 components, with the amplifier combining both vacuum tube and transistor technology within a handcrafted glass and sculpted Carrera marble casing
The best headphones in the world?
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The best headphones in the world?
Inventor David Mayman tests the JB-9 jetpack
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Inventor David Mayman tests the JB-9 jetpack
The JB-9 can fly for 10 minutes in its current configuration
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The JB-9 can fly for 10 minutes in its current configuration
The JB-9 has some fearsome capabilities
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The JB-9 has some fearsome capabilities
A few things you won't find under the tree this year
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A few things you won't find under the tree this year
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This is how it's supposed to work: You pen a note to Santa outlining how wonderfully well behaved you've been throughout the year and put forward a wishlist of all the goodies you deserve in recognition of your exemplary performance. The elves then set to work with their hammers and saws and carbon fiber fabrication techniques to produce your heart's desire before Santa loads it up and drops it down your chimney with no regard for physics or reindeer haulage limitations. Ok, it's not going to pan out that way, but that doesn't stop us from setting aside the crushing reality of socks and scented soap for a moment and dreaming a little dream. Here's our annual list of the top 10 things you CAN'T have for Christmas.

Something to break the ice

The SeaXplorer will have space for a helicopter, along with one or more rescue boats, dive support boats, Zodiacs, submersibles and personal watercraft
The SeaXplorer will have space for a helicopter, along with one or more rescue boats, dive support boats, Zodiacs, submersibles and personal watercraft

Bored with crystal clear tropical waters or Mediterranean playgrounds like Monaco or Saint Tropez? Dutch shipyard Damen is targeting luxury yacht buyers seeking a different kind of exclusivity; an exclusivity that can only be attained with a hull that can slice through ice caps up to 90 cm (35 in) thick. If you're keen to head off the beaten waterways, then the SeaXplorer is the luxury yacht for you. Coming in three sizes, ranging from 65 to 100 m (213 to 328 ft) in length, each yacht has its own helicopter, a selection of support craft and PWCs, and can remain self-sufficient for up to 40 days.

An underwater flying machine

Deepflight Dragon: underwater drone that works in reverse
Deepflight Dragon: underwater drone that works in reverse

Looking more like a Formula 1 car than a personal submarine, the Deepflight Dragon is actually an upside-down manned quadcopter capable of going 400 feet (122 m) underwater – and it's so easy to fly that any fool can do it. Loz Blain ventured onto beautiful Lake Tahoe to test that theory out, and the results can be seen in the video below.

Review: Deepflight Dragon - submarine meets quadcopter

Oh, and there's two reasons you can't have a Deepflight Dragon for Christmas this year: a) it's not yet production-ready and b) it costs about 1.5 million dollars.

A diamond encrusted Gibson SG

The US$2 million Eden of Coronet at Baselworld 2015
The US$2 million Eden of Coronet at Baselworld 2015

While guitars strummed by the greatest rockstars understandably garner a pretty penny at auction, there are not too many that go for 2 million dollars off-the-shelf. To be exact, there's only one. Verified as the world's most valuable guitar by Guinness World Records, this diamond-encrusted Gibson SG.

Called the Eden of Coronet, this collaboration between Gibson Brands, jewelry designer Aaron Shum of Coronet and musician/designer Mark Lui sparkles with more than 400 diamonds that are embedded in 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) of 18 K gold for good measure. It took 700 man-days of work from a 68 person team to complete ... and if you're brave enough to pick it up, apparently it's playable.

Hype a car

W Motors Fenyr Supersport
W Motors Fenyr Supersport

W Motors burst onto the supercar scene in 2013 with the Lykan HyperSport, which was limited to just seven units, each carrying a price tag of US$3.4 million. While its second offering, the Fenyr Supersport, won't hit the hip pocket nerve quite as hard, with a price estimated to be in the $200K to $300K region and a bigger run of 25 units, it's likely to be even more sought after. This is thanks to W Motors dropping exorbitant trimmings found on the Lykan, such as diamond-encrusted gold headlight surrounds, in favor of a focus on performance that sees a boost in horsepower (900 compared to the Lykan's 750 hp) and 400 km/h-plus (249 mph) top speed, and an even more aggressive, angular look.

... and if the Fenyr doesn't do it for you, never fear, 2015 delivered a bunch of beautiful supercars for those with dollars to burn.

The ultimate auto barn

Villa Gug _ the ultimate auto barn
Villa Gug _ the ultimate auto barn

Now that you have your supercar, you'll need somewhere super to park it. Blending seamlessly into the Danish landscape this luxury garage come luxury home could be the perfect resting spot for your high-end wheels. The looping Villa Gug design by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) integrates the cars into the main body of the house, transitioning from driveway to auto showroom to gym to the house proper ... all topped by a rooftop terrace and with a library below that's reached by spectacular spiral a staircase.

A sound investment

Each set has over 6,000 components, with the amplifier combining both vacuum tube and transistor technology within a handcrafted glass and sculpted Carrera marble casing
Each set has over 6,000 components, with the amplifier combining both vacuum tube and transistor technology within a handcrafted glass and sculpted Carrera marble casing

While it may not be unusual for those in pursuit of audio-Nirvana to drop hundreds of dollars on high-end headphones, shelling out for a set that costs €50,000 (US$55,100) is definitely taking things to a new level. Billed as the "best headphones in the world" (and we should hope so), the Sennheiser Orpheus headphones are in a league of their own. Each hand-crafted set has over 6,000 components, its own amplifier, a handcrafted glass and sculpted Carrera marble casing and a platinum-vaporized diaphragm. All of this delivers an audio range of from 8 Hz to more than 100 kHz and an incredibly low distortion rate of 0.01 percent at 1 kHz.

A jet-powered joyride

The JB-9 has some fearsome capabilities
The JB-9 has some fearsome capabilities

That old chestnut, you say. True, Santa didn't even have a beard when this one first appeared on our Christmas wishlist, but 2015 saw the dream of personal jet-powered flight really get off the ground in. Last month inventor and aviator David Mayman flew the JB-9 jetpack around the Statue of Liberty in an awesome demonstration of power and agility. The JB-9 uses two vectored kerosene-burning jet engines to reach (horizontal) speeds of over 62 mph (though it could go twice as fast) or blast skywards at a rate of up to 1000 feet a minute.

Unfortunately, even the well heeled will have to wait a bit longer before strapping in and shooting off. "Technically we could start selling them in the ultralight category tomorrow," Mayman tells us. But would he sell one? "Right now, I wouldn't. We've had some people in the office writing some pretty large multi-million dollar cheques in front of us and we've said no. I want to be sensible about who's got their hands on this thing."

One creepy clock

It's modern art meets Swiss precision meets 90's PG horror flick ... and it even tells the time. Dubbed Arachnophobia, this high-end clock from horologist Maximilian Büsser and Swiss manufacturer L'Epée 1839 gives a nod to Louise Bourgeois' famous Maman sculpture with its spidery shape.

At one end of the time-displaying torso, the head houses the regulator with its balance wheel while the other end holds the power-generating mainspring. The clock can be mounted flat on a wall or placed standing on a desk with its front legs raised for a slightly more sinister effect. This weird timekeeping talking point will set you back CHF 15,300 (about US$15,700), or CHF 17,500 if you want the gold plated version ... and why wouldn't you?

Get taken for a ride

The Sarto 18K gets its name from the 18-carat gold touches to the bike
The Sarto 18K gets its name from the 18-carat gold touches to the bike

Bicyclesare among the most stolen objects on the planet, and stealing could be the only option if you want to get your hands on the Sarto 18K we checked out at theNorth American Handmade Bicycle Show in March. Somehow we suspect anyone whosnapped up one of the 25 18Ks on offer wouldn't make pilfering their ride aneasy task, though. After all, if you'd just spent $27,000 on the bike that features acarbon-fiber frame adorned with 18-carat gold (hence its name) and Zimbabweancrocodile skin seat and handlebar grips, you'd probably invest in the latest high-security bike lock to go with it. In addition to having the owner'sinitials imprinted in gold, each bike is made to order to provide aperfect fit for the rider's specific dimensions, so the odds are the bikewouldn't fit you anyway.

A bauble for the bat-cave

The ultimate, fully-certified version of Cobalt's Valkyrie will be available by the middle of 2017 and set you back around $699,000, before options of course
The ultimate, fully-certified version of Cobalt's Valkyrie will be available by the middle of 2017 and set you back around $699,000, before options of course

If you'rein the market for your own private jet, then cost probably isn't your primaryconcern. If you're after speed and range then the Gulfstream G650ER should be atthe top of your list, but if you spend your time away from running an internationalconglomerate fighting crime, then the Valkyrie from Cobalt aircraft could be foryou. With its canard front wing and sleek lines aided by what Cobalt claims isthe largest single-piece canopy in the world, the Valkyrie doesn't look likeyour average private plane, but it can still take care of business, carrying upto five adults and their luggage at speeds of up to 300 mph (482 km/h). The priceof striking fear into the hearts of supervillains as you soar overhead? Apaltry US$699,000 – before options.

Noel McKeegan and Darren Quick

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