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Holiday Gift Guide: extravagant gifts

Holiday Gift Guide: extravagant gifts


If money's no object, you'll want to start here

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holiday gift guide lead
holiday gift guide lead

Assuming your offshore accounts held up fine in 2012, then why not take the opportunity to really treat yourself and your closest friends and family, and those schlubs covering for you at the office. Hanging cocoons for napping over your pool away from the kids? A special edition Leica that costs for more than your first two cars combined? Your very own Bitcoin mining rig? We’ve got you covered.

Japanese ice ball molds for cocktails

Price: $200-2,400

The perfectly spherical Japanese ice ball isn’t just aesthetic — it’s designed to melt more slowly, keeping your drink cold longer without watering it down. True professionals may carve their own, but the balls can also be made with a metal mold, which turns a large chunk of ice into the perfect shape without leaving a seam. Depending on your taste and wallet, you can mold ice balls anywhere from 1.2 inches in diameter ($185) to a giant 3.14 inches ($1,800).

LG 84-inch Ultra High-Definition 3D TV

Price: $19,999

LG may be using the vague term "Ultra High-Definition," but here’s the rub: it’s a seven-foot, 4K television. Sure, the silver bezel and stand may be a tad ostentatious, but when you’re spending this kind of money on a TV you want people to notice — and they will, even if there’s not much 4K content out there yet. And to make the price even more appealing (if it even needed to be), LG also throws in six pairs of 3D glasses. For free.

Modernist Cuisine

Price: $625

“A cookbook for nerds” doesn’t even begin to describe Modernist Cuisine. It’s a cookbook for the James Bond / Julia Child mashup in all of us. Nathan Myhrvold spends six volumes teaching you to cook just about everything, using awesome and often surprisingly simple science to make sure you’re making everything the best possible way. It’s like a high school science project gone horribly delicious.


Price: $2546.09

Trumstand is either a portmanteau for Trumpet Stand or Trump Stand, and either would be totally appropriate. Yes, it’s an iPhone dock with a trumpet-shaped speaker — there’s no digital sound here, it’s just a 21st-century gramophone. But it’s also almost $3,000, making it a perfect stand for Donald and the Trumps. We haven’t heard the sound ourselves, but let’s be honest — this isn’t a speaker. It’s art.


Price: $11,000

Look, sometimes you just want to sit in an enclosed space and not be bothered. Is buying a $11,000 hanging couch that looks like a wicker cocoon a sad substitute for building a pillow fort? Maybe, but wealthy adults with disposable incomes need quirky relaxation spaces too.

HYT H1 Titanium

Price: $47,000

For $47,000, you might expect this watch to be able to call for help when you’re stranded on a deserted island (like the Breitling Emergency watch). While it’s not quite on the James Bond tier of gadgets, the HYT H1 Titanium is a unique watch that runs on fluid mechanics, and claims to be capable of "shattering all certainties" and "steamrollering conformity." So while it doesn’t explode, control a plane, or have a hidden communicator, it’s a supremely attractive, classy piece that might just get you the girl.

Airclad popup homes and offices

Price: $9568.80

You design it, and Airclad develops computer visualizations of the popup structure you’re looking for. Once you sign off on the design, the production process begins — starting with a structural base in wood, metal, or fiber glass. Be it your own build team or Airlcad’s, the simple-to-install structures come with a full build manual. Build an office, pool room, or rooftop getaway with this environmentally friendly architecture.

Enterprise Refit Artisan Replica

Price: $4,995.00

In 2270 the USS Enterprise received a complete overhaul, changing nearly everything but the familiar two-hull configuration. This hand made, built on order replica not only includes the Botanical garden, and VIP lounge, but it has photon torpedoes that flash red and white when fired! The QMx Enterprise Refit measures 34.5 inches long and 7 inches high. Remember it as it was before Admiral Kirk destroyed it.

Mcintosh McAire

Price: $3,000

The McIntosh McAire is the perfect AirPlay speaker dock for that really special someone. It features Wi-Fi, AirPlay and USB connectivity, with two woofers, two tweeters, and two mid range speakers rated at 25 watts. It’ll crank out your holiday tunes in ear-friendly style, and brings you that classic McIntosh look…and $3,000 price.

Authentic Sting reproduction

Price: $8,000

It’s a particularly good year to be shopping for Lord of the Rings fans, but we suggest you bypass the typical movie tie-ins and go straight for this $7,999 reproduction of Sting, the sword of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. New Zealand’s Weta Workshop, the producer and designer of all of the iconic swords and weapons seen in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, calls its hand-made Sting replica “the most elaborate sword” it has offered for sale to the public (though there’s no word on whether or not it glows blue.) Weta’s only making 25 blades, though, so don’t delay.

Seabreacher X Shark Submarine

Price: $60,000

For the person who has everything: a $60,000 submarine shaped like a shark. Need we say more? The 260hp engine will get you to 25mph underwater or 50mph on the surface, which means you can actually leap out of the water if you get the angle right. Great for supervillains.

Leica M9 Hermès edition

Price: $25,000

Street photography purists might lust for Leica’s recently announced M-Monochrom, but at just $8,000 it doesn’t exactly scream "lottery winner." For that, you’d do well to look at the M9-P Edition Hermès, where German manufacturing precision meets French sophistication and calfskin leather for a classy $25,000.

Comme des Garcons iPad case

Price: $525

If you’re not covering your iPad with something as expensive as the tablet itself, rest assured you’re doing it wrong. And there’s perhaps no more chic way to do it than the $525 sleeve from Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons. Don’t hold your breath for a Kindle Fire version.

Seat as a pioneer astronaut on Virgin Galactic

Price: $200,000

Congratulations! For you, money is no object — so why just buy objects? Fortunately, Richard Branson has an adventure for you: for just $200,000 you can grab a seat as a pioneer astronaut on Virgin Galactic and be one of the first to fly into space on a consumer craft.

Top-of-the-line Bitcoin mining mini-rig

Price: $40,000 + $2,000 monthly fee

They say you have to spend money to make money, and bitcoin mining is no exception. For the digital gold miner in your life, consider buying Bitcoin mining rigs: for just $40,000 worth of GPUs and computers up front you can mine roughly $2,000 a month. Think of the savings!

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