Monday, 10 December 2012

The GQ Gift Guide 2012: For the Ballers

Do your friends have a thing for tax shelters? Does your name begin with "Crown Prince"? Then these gifts are for you and yours
Joey Roth Ceramic Speakers + Subwoofer
These speakers aren't just minimalist in design: with a mere ten watts per channel, they're probably not blowing away your current setup anytime soon. However, with their acoustically dead porcelain and cork housings, all the power goes exactly where it should, and, well, just look at them—we haven't seen anything this simultaneously organic and futuristic since RoboCop, and he was a damn sight less pleasant to listen to.

Prada Chess Set
History's most intellectual game, as seen through the eyes of the most intellectual designers out there, and made as sleek and modern as one of the Italian house's signature suits.

Porsche 911 restored by Singer
As much as car nuts around the world love the Porsche 911, it's not a stretch to say there's a certain&unsavory stereotyping of the people who buy them (hint: It involves wraparound sunglasses). Not so with this one, though: Singer take an early '90s 964 and replace almost everything except the body, for a thoroughly renovated classic that will never be confused with something out of a used car lot—or any car lot, for that matter.
Bottega Veneta Shirt Boxes
You know what they say, that the box you individually pack your shirt in for travel should cost more than the shirt itself. No one says that? Well, they should when talking about these artisan-crafted cases from Bottega Veneta, featuring the house's iconic intreccio woven leather.
Eames Lounger Set
A La-Z-Boy recliner for the high-design set, the Eames lounger set is equal parts functional furniture piece and modern-art icon. The black leather and walnut is a slick addition to any bachelor pad or man cave, and chances are the last chair and ottoman combo you had wasn't in the permanent collection at MoMA.
Babyletto District Crib
It's one of the cliché rites of fatherhood: assembling a crib. Normally, this sucks. They're hard to put together by yourself—and good luck wrangling a buddy to help you—they can be hideous, expensive, and, in a few years your child will outgrow it and demand a bed shaped like a race car which, yes, you will also assemble by yourself. But not before you drag the crib to the curb, yes, all by yourself. The District Crib solves a lot of these problems. It's beautiful. Made out of repurposed white oak from an Alabama train depot, it makes other cribs look like baby jails. The best part, however, is that, when your child is ready for a real bed, it converts into a gorgeous desk worthy of a corner office.
Brioni Midnight Navy Tuxedo
There are dinner jackets, and there are dinner jackets. This is the latter. And by that, we mean it's expertly hand sewn in Italy by a tailor, who's been making suits since long before you were born. Available exclusively at MR PORTER and, thanks to the cool midnight blue hue, guaranteed to make any guy stand out in a sea of cheap penguin suit rentals.
Assouline Library
Want to turn that spare room into a study but don't want to actually, you know, do any of the work curating a library? The folks at Assouline will design, build, and, stock one for you, complete with a collection of their lushly photographed tomes on everything from classic cars to far-off locales.
Salvatore Ferragamo Crocodile Trolley Suitcase
Let the masses go for aluminum and polycarbonate, you know that the ideal carry-on for a proper jetsetter is composed of crocodile—and lots of it. Ferragamo's sleek chocolate trolley comes swathed in a wide stretch of croc skin, with a matching luggage tag that we guarantee won't be mistaken for anyone else's at the airport.
Scout Field Bed
For those of you who say you could sleep in your well-worn selvedge jeans, your camping gear of choice as arrived. The Scout Field Bed is made of Italian organic selvedge on the outside and soft Japanese chambray on the inside, with Chromexel horsehide pulls and antique brass zippers completing the heritage hat trick; if you're not camping in the Adirondacks bare-chested with a curly mustache&well frankly, you've let the bag down.
Tom Ford Soap
Proving that the man can turn anything into a luxury item, Tom Ford elevates soap on a rope to designer heights. It may cost as much at fifteen bars of the drug store stuff, but one sniff and you'll be hooked.
Leica x Hermès Camera and Carrying Bag
The rare coming together of two companies that actually makes sense. Leica and Hermès, both known for their quiet focus on the highest forms of craftsmanship, join up for this set that includes an Hermès leather-wrapped Leica, three lenses, and exclusive Hermès camera bag to carry it all in.
James DeWulf Concrete Pool Table
Every guy has dreams a pool table; this is a fact. However, nothing says middle-aged man cave like a bit hunk of dark wood and dirty felt in the middle of your living room. This modernist concrete and steel rendition from James DeWulf is the answer, for MoMA members who still want to have actual fun at home
AKG K30003 Earphones
Modern high-end earbuds pack a hell of a lot of power and fidelity into a tiny package—so to get the best, expect to pay a premium. This AKG number offers aural performance on par with anything you could think of throwing at it, without the deconstructed hearing aid aesthetic of many high-end audiophile pairs. Guaranteed to show up all your cabin mates in first class...probably. But everyone in coach, for sure.
Gucci Yellow Gold Cufflinks
The rare cufflink that manages to be luxe, as in molded out of yellow gold, without being obnoxiously attention-seeking. The etched designs add depth to the simple square shape, which look right peeking out of any tux sleeve this season or any other.
Ralph Lauren Carbon Fiber Case
Ralph Lauren's love of automobiles has been well documented, and the designer translates his passion into this media case by crafting it out of sturdy, lightweight carbon fiber. It's like wrapping your iPad in a Formula One racecar.
Traxxas X0-1 RC Car
This would be for the 10-year-old inside of you, but he's probably not legally allowed to use it. The Traxxas X0-1 is a bona-fide R/C supercar, capable of beating almost every real supercar on the planet to 60 mph, and its controller looks like a jet fighter's, and sends telemetry wirelessly to your iPhone. That neighbor kid who had the awesome Hot Wheels collection growing up? He can suck it.
Cartier Custom Fragrance
If true luxury today has as much to do with quality as it does exclusivity, Cartier can guarantee both by crafting a signature scent for you from scratch. The process involves three appointments with Cartier's perfumer, Mathilde Laurent (left), to determine desired notes and once produced, the truly one-of-a-kind fragrance comes issued in a Baccarat flask.
Good & Evil Chocolate Bar
If there's more affordable ultra-luxe gift out there, we'd love to see it. Plus, Anthony Bourdain helped make it, and he doesn't like anything—so you know it's good.
John Lobb Double Monkstrap Shoes
The shoe of the season, bench-made in England out of hearty buffalo that can more than stand up to the elements this winter. Just don't refer to these as "dub monks"; it's insulting to a pair this beautiful.
Sony Bravia XBR-84X900
You know what's cooler than 1080p? 2160p. For the next final frontier of mindblowing hi-def, look no further than Sony's latest offering, which packs 8.3 million pixels in its 84-inch screen. This thing makes your Blu-ray copy of Avatar look like cell-phone theater bootleg; your only challenge will be finding good enough stuff to show on it
Saint Laurent Café Racer Leather Jacket
For early adopters with a sense of downtown cool kid style, this perfectly fitted leather jacket from Hedi Slimane's inaugural offering at Saint Laurent should do the trick.
Burberry Duck Handle Umbrella
We're big on taking style cues from gents across the pond this season, and nothing makes a more appropriate finishing touch to true Brit style than a proper umbrella. Burberry, a brand that knows a thing or two about protecting sharp-dressed men from the elements, offers their old-world take with a hand-carved duck handle that'll be hard to lose.
Dolce & Gabbana x Grado Labs DS2012 Headphones
The Italian duo teams up with the audiophile favorites for a pair of handsome headphones that bring Grado technology to style-minded men. The pair is handmade with mahogany wood details that ensure the cans look as sharp as they sound.
Anna Karlin Cap and Bottle Opener
File under things that do only one thing, as beautifully as possible: The Anna Karlin cap and bottle opener are each cast from pure brass, giving them a luxurious heft your keychain could only dream of. And as for the price, well—you know what they say about having to ask.
Louis Vuitton President Briefcase
The easiest way to feel important? Carry a hard-body briefcase like this Vuitton, in the house's masculine black and gray Damier fabric, that will have onlookers wondering what's inside (unmarked bills? a stash of Berettas? Unobtanium?) even if all you're hauling is a brown-bag lunch.

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