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12. 13. 2006

Holiday Gift Guide 2006 - Luxury

Here it is- the 2006 installment of our luxury gift guide -- full of things from the sublime to the ridiculous, robot speakers to clones (seriously).

So far, the only known successful dog clone is Snuppy the puppy, but some day, perhaps in the not too distant future, cloning beloved pets will be possible. Surely you'll need to save up the cash for such a procedure, but much more importantly, you can gene bank your pet now, with a CryoSure service -- having your animal's cells cultured now (just a small sample is taken and your pet isn't harmed) and then cryopreserving them in liquid nitrogen until you, science, and the world are ready for clones. Gene banking is $1,500, with a $150 annual fee for cryogenic storage. (Mia)

Do you nod gormlessly when the sommelier asks if you can smell the hints of spicy oak or black fruits in the the glass of wine in front of you? Train your nose with the Le Nez d Vin wine tasting kit, a handsome Italian case filled with vials of 54 aromas that are common in red and white wines. Some of the included scents are butter, cut hay, quince, and mushroom. $1,699 from Frontgate.

Charles and Ray Eames created the Lounge Chair and Ottoman in 1953. Sixty-three years later they still feel fresh and modern. As opposed to the over produced/copied Barcelona Chair, which is in just too many building lobbies. Instead, the molded wood invoke eternal coolness. Herman Miller versions are available at Design Within Reach for $3,595.50. (Ray)

Tailgating parties at sporting events have matured far beyond cooking hotdogs over portable charcoal grills. The Grill-n-Chill Tailgating Grill has a built in AM/FM radio (for listening to the game) and CD player. Cook gourmet burgers or steaks on the 24,000 BTU grill, and keep drinks cool in the 60 quart insulated cooler. For $2,999.99, you can take one home from Costco. (Ray)

,For those of you who fondly remember the days of vinyl, here is a gorgeous turntable for the rich and nostalgic. The German made Transrotor ZET 3 retails for € 3,736.00 ($4857) and will spin your LPs like no other player can. (Ray)

The Neiman Marcus Christmas book offers two Pet Homes, from Italian designer Marco Morosini. The $5,000 Nomad comes with matching rug and wall paper. Whereas, the $7,000 Good Life model is an Italian leather armchair encased in crystal glass. (Ray)

When it comes to the ultimate remote control that one can have, the Philips Pronto TSU9600 comes pretty close. Quite simply, it has got the best display among remotes, with its 3.7-inch touchscreen capable of dishing out VGA-quality graphics. When coupled with WiFi and RS232 extenders, it enables you to control an entire household of digital devices, ranging from high-end home theater equipment and custom lighting to multimedia servers. Available only from custom installers (you can locate one in your area via this link), this one will set you back around $1,299 (does not include the cost of configuring the remote). (Kanchana)

The most expensive television in the world -- the Yalos Diamond special editon High-def television, studded with diamonds, and yours for just $195,000. From Yalos. (Saresha)

"Giant Beauty" is an apt name for the GE Monogram 72" built-in bottom-freezer refrigerator. Done up completely in premium stainless steel, it measures H84"xD29" W72", with a total capacity of 41.2 cubic feet. Within this large space are 10 glass shelves -- 8 adjustable and 2 fixed, ensuring that all kinds of food storage requirements can be handled with ease. The Advanced Temperature Management System provides even distribution of air throughout the refrigerator, keeping your food fresh for longer periods. The other goodies include an automatic icemaker, water filtration system, ice storage bin and wine caddy. Evidently, size does matter. Available from US Appliance for $12,949. (Kanchana)

Wireless speakers for your MP3 player are a dime a dozen these days, but the Miuro iPod speaker adds a new twist: five different sensors work to locate you so the speaker follows you around on little wheels. Can also be used as your computer's speakers. $1,099 from AudioCubes.

Panasonic has been producing some of the most impressive plasma televisions. Watch movies on this 65" Diagonal Plasma HDTV and feel like you're actually on the set with the action. The official site lists it for $9,999.95. (Ray)

The Eclipse AVN5495 combines the best of in-car audio/video with navigation capabilities. Equipped with the usual CD/MP3 and DVD playing features, the AVN5495 scores over its competitors by swapping its CD drive with an internal 30GB hard drive. This drive holds the navigation database as well as the Music Juke feature that can automatically rip and store up to 3,000 MP3 tracks from your CDs. The 6.5-inch tiltable TFT touch screen conceals a single DVD slot and a memory stick slot. An ideal gift for those who spend more time in their cars than at home. Priced at $2,159.

The K2 X-Arm motorized mount will certainly delight those who are passionate about their wall-mounted plasma or LCD televisions. The X-Arm is designed to eliminate glare and reflection by allowing the user to adjust the viewing angle of the TV with the touch of a remote control button. The swivel can be controlled from 20º to 32º (left/right) and from 7º to 25º (up/down). You will be able to view the TV without glare even if you keep shifting places. Isn't that tempting? The arm is suitable for flat panel displays between 40 and 65 inches and is available for a cool $2,000 from TigerDirect.com. Long live the couch potato culture. (Kanchana)

At the end of the Second World War, an old French house put a large golden V and "Année de la victoire" at the top of their labels. The celebratory sentiment helped give the vintage a place in contemporary history, and as a child I remember hearing grandparents discuss "the marvelous vintage of '45." Robert Parker gave the 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild 100 points, and for $150,000 you could own a case. That price includes a guided trip to France with the seller's wine buyer; two nights at a spa, a tasting at Mouton Rothschild, and lunch at the Mahler-Bess wine cellar. (Johnny)

In 1792, Napoleon was on his way to exile, and his ship stopped at the island of Madeira to buy supplies. The little giant picked up a 348 liter barrel of fine Madeira wine, but it was returned to the seller after his death. Part of the barrel was used to fill two hundred bottles, and the rest was used to make a famous Solera blend. There are two bottles of the pure 1792 Madeira up for sale from Finest & Rarest. $3,750 buys a single bottle shipped anywhere in the world, packed well enough to take a bullet and survive. (Johnny; Note - for the record, I plan to someday buy one of these and drink it with my friend Bruce.)

If you want to party like Paris, you need over-the-top BLING. Take these Swarovski encrusted headphones designed by celebrity DJ Donna D’Cruz -- and you can take them if you have a spare $2,500. D'Cruz reportedly had them made to DJ for swanky parties, such as the ones thrown by Dolce & Gabbana, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Naeem Khan, Zac Pozen... They come in a variety of colors to match your outfit, which, frankly, was my first concern. Via Luxury Launches. (Evan)

If you have a Lance Armstrong in your life, they would appreciate this bike for Christmas. Engineered by Mercedes-Benz, the Carbon bike is ultra lightweight and priced accordingly at $3,650. Carbon fibre is not only very light and very strong, it's also very expensive. This racing bike weighs in at a mere 8.3 kilograms. Mercedes Benz currently uses carbon fibre in just one of its products -- the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, with a bodyshell made entirely of carbon fibre. Cheaper to buy the bike. Via Giz Mag. (Evan)

Most gift baskets are boring affairs, with the moldy fruit, anonymous nuts, suspicious chocolate, but not the ones from DEAN & DELUCA . If you've got the cash, you can order this luxury package packed in a brown leather box for $1,000. A few of the savories included: Four Luxury Cuvée Champagne Flutes; Siberian Sturgeon Caviar, Artzner Foie Gras Terrine with Truffles, DEAN & DELUCA Ballotin, Buckwheat Blini, Fig Log, Brillat Savarin cheese, Daniel Boulud Smoked Salmon, Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Aceto and much more. Hungry yet? (Evan)

As a kid, we loved our Etch-A-Sketch and our Slinkys and we could count on getting one every year. FAO Schwarz has taken this beyond our childish imagination. Artist Nicole Falzone captures your child’s likeness on the Etch-A-Sketch, then makes it permanent so it can never be erased. The result is a one-of-a-kind caricature, much like what you see from those artists at amusement parks. Personally, they look kinda scary to me, but to each their own. Available at FAO Schwarz for $5,000. (Evan)

Every year Neiman Marcus comes out with it's Christmas Book, which is required reading as far as I'm concerned. It's a purely vicarious pleasure, as I never actually order anything. Here's the best item in the book this year, in my humble opinion -- the His & Hers Twike commuter vehicle which can convert from pedaling to electric power with the flick of a switch. Powered by a three-kilowatt electric motor, it can get up to a speed of 55 mph with a range of up to 90 miles per charge. The Human-Electric Hybrid Vehicle is priced at just $40,000.00. Of course, true big spenders would splurge on a trip to outer space on the Virgin Galactic Charter to Space for $1,764,000. (Evan)

Posted by Mia    Category: gift guide 2006
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Comments (2)


Genetic Savings & Clone
were cloning cat and dogs until they closed this year due to low demand


At first glance, I thought that grill was a casket...

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