Life's little luxuries
THE PHRASE less is best rings true when it comes to limited editions. Take the new Rolls-Royce Phantom motorcar, unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Only 30 will be produced. Designed in collaboration with Iranian-born fashion designer Bijan Pakzad, the vehicle is in Bijan's signature yellow. Bijan, an avid luxury-car collector, is known for his ostentatious style, and his Beverly Hills, by-appointment-only boutique on Rodeo Drive has been described as 'the most expensive store in the world'. The Phantom project is designed to demonstrate the capabilities of Rolls' newly enhanced bespoke division.
If you invest in such an extravagant pair of wheels, you'll want the best possible maintenance money can buy. At least, that's the justification behind the world's most expensive car wax, priced at GBP24,000 (HK$292,900) for 480ml. Packaged in a hand-crafted solid marble pot, Brough & Howarth's 'Definitive Wax Marble' is made from a blend of Brazilian Carnauba wax, beeswax and refined natural fruit oils. Only one pot currently exists.
Car fanatics looking for a piece of motoring history, but on a more manageable scale - 850 grams, to be exact - may be interested to hear Ferrari has created a sculpture of the company's 'Prancing Horse', limited to 99 pieces. The horse's history began in 1923, when company founder Enzo Ferrari won his first racing trophy and met Countess Paolina, mother of First World War air-force hero Count Francesco Baracca, who used to paint a horse on the side of his planes. The countess invited Ferrari to use the symbol as a good luck charm on his own cars. The 20-centimetre horse is in solid silver, and features an etched label to guarantee the exclusivity of the edition.
Japanese jewellery-maker Ginza Tanaka is selling a 2011 'Miffy' calendar made of 6kg of pure gold. Featuring the famous rabbit conceived by Dutch artist Dick Bruna, the calendar costs a whopping 55 million yen (HK$5 million).
Dubbed the most coveted camera in the world, Leica's M7 limited-edition Herm?s blends the technical knowhow of the German optics company with the luxury French fashion house's exquisite leather finishes. The camera's body and matching carrying strap are made in Swift calfskin, a drummed leather with extreme suppleness. Its wide-angle lens is complemented by a classical round lens hood in silver anodised metal, manufactured exclusively for the limited edition. Quality and style combine in two eye-catching varieties in 'etoupe' and Hermes's signature orange. Only 100 cameras are available in each colour.
There are few better excuses for a night in than Stuart Hughes' PrestigeHD SUPREME Rose edition TV set. Dubbed the world's most expensive television at a lofty US$2.39 million, the 55-inch set boasts a base and outer frame of 28 kilograms of solid 18ct rose gold, adorned with 72 brilliant round-cut flawless diamonds. Any remaining nooks and crannies are stuffed with sunstone and amethyst, while the inner screen layer is made of hand-sewn alligator skin. Only three will be made.
And after all that spending, a cool beer to drown any regrets might be in order. Antarctic Nail Ale, brewed in Perth, Australia, is made from Antarctic ice. At an auction it recently fetched US$800 a bottle, earning it the title of world's most expensive beer. The ice was extracted from Antarctica in one of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's campaigns against whaling.
If you're looking for something with a little more kick, Mexican distiller Hacienda La Capilla, has unveiled a 1.3-litre tequila bottle called 'The Diamond Sterling'. Designed by Fernando Altamirano, the bottle has a 2.3-kilogram layer of platinum and boasts more than 4,000 diamonds totaling 328 carats. Valued at US$3.5 million, it is hoped to break the Guinness World Record for the world's most expensive bottle.