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This Week In Luxury: Apple Watch, Qantas, Aston Martin

This Week In Luxury: Apple Watch, Qantas, Aston Martin

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This week, Apple reported it placed an initial order of 5-6 million Apple Watch in the run up to its April launch.

And according to CCS Insights, the first Apple smartwatch could sell four times that amount.


Apple Sports Watch
Apple Sports Watch

The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple’s Taiwan suppliers have been instructed to produce an initial run of 5-6 million watches, 50% of which will be the aluminum-bodied rubber strap Sport version and a further one-third of which will be the more substantial stainless steel Classic version.

CCS Insights is predicting that 2015 will be the year of the smartwatch and is forecasting an eight-fold increase in sales over the next 12 months. The company believes that 75 million wearable devices in total — including clip-on cameras and health sensors — will be snapped up by consumers and that as many as 20 million of those devices will be Apple Watches.

A New Travel Dimension: Virtual Reality


Samsung VR Headset
Samsung VR Headset

Also, this week, QANTAS announced it is partnering with Samsung to use a Virtual reality headset – the Gear VR –for a more immersive in-flight entertainment experience.

First class travelers on select Airbus A380 services between Australia and Los Angeles will be able to experience 360° virtual tours of select destinations and other specially developed content as well as accessing the usual selection of Hollywood blockbuster movies.


In Qantas First Class, A Samsung VR Headset
In Qantas First Class, A Samsung VR Headset

“Whether the user wants a virtual tour of our new Los Angeles First Lounge or to experience an A380 landing from the tarmac, this technology gives us a completely new way to connect with our customers,” said Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing & Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth.

During the initial three-month trial VR headsets will also be made available to customers using Sydney’s or Melbourne’s International First Lounge. Qantas is sure that virtual reality is something that can add a new dimension, or set of them, to in-flight entertainment and has already started partnering with organizations to develop original content. Qantas plans to begin equipping its Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges with the headsets in mid-February, while the in-air trial will begin in March.

The Unique Contents Of That Academy Awards Gift Bag


a $167,000 plus Gift Bag at the Oscars
a $167,000 plus Gift Bag at the Oscars

Though the Oscars have been given out last week, questions remain as to what could possibly be inside those $167,586.76 gift bags, handed out to the losers, so they won’t feel like, well, complete failures. Contents like these certainly soften the outcome.

For the past 13 years, Distinctive Assets has put together these swag bags, and this year’s was the most expensive ever. Twenty-one gift bags went out to the host and losing nominees in the categories of best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, and best director.

Goods donated by 59 brands, the most expensive including art, fine wine, jewelry and luxury travel vouchers, are delivered in a box the morning after the awards ceremony to 20 nominees in the acting and directing categories who don’t take home the Oscar.

There are some unusual things in this year’s bag: things that define a wide mixture of travel interests, essential Hollywood, and deep originality. Combining a $12,500 glamping trip with unlimited Audi car rentals for a year valued at $20,000, with gold-flecked Dosha lollipops with a sort of Y-shaped vibrator – takes a great deal of peripheral, disruptive thinking.

Here’s a look at more of the most expensive and certainly diverse items :

Luxury Train Trip: An Oscar Swag Bag Gift

  • A $14,584 luxury rail trip through the Canadian Rockies from Rocky Mountaineer


  • A $1,548 tour to a sea-salt preserve in the South of France from La Baleine Natural Mediterranean Sea Salts


  • An $11,500 Italian holiday in Tuscany and Lake Como


  • $280 worth of organic maple syrup and gourmet condiments from Rouge Maple
  • $68 six-pack of Dosha lollipops speckled in 24K edible gold leaf


Dosha Pops -- Ayurvedic Lollipops With Gold Flecks
Dosha Pops — Ayurvedic Lollipops With Gold Flecks
  • $5,000 medical “O-Shot” procedures created to help women achieve orgasms and enhance sexual pleasure for couples
  • A $5,060 home spa system
  • A $28,000 custom-designed furniture from EF + Facto worth

The full list is here.


The New Aston Martin Vulcan: “A Rare And Thrilling Supercar”


The New Aston Martin Vulcan
The New Aston Martin Vulcan

This week, the British manufacturer Aston Martin released images of a new carbon-fibre racing car that the brand says offers hints of the design it will roll out for future road vehicles.


First, it features a monocoque – or single-piece skin – with sweeping lines, a low-sitting cockpit, and exaggerated front and rear wings.


The interior of the vehicle is stripped down to an absolute minimum to reduce weight and features a racing steering wheel, digital display screen, bucket seats and an angled dashboard with integrated control settings.

It will be the first entirely new design released by the brand under its current CEO Andy Palmer, who left Japanese manufacturer Nissan to join Aston Martin in September.

Only 24 models of the car will be made, and owners will be offered extensive track training prior to delivery. Each car will also have its design tailored to its owner, with various colors available for trims and upholstery.

Aston Martin Vulcan Front End

“Aston Martin Vulcan is, by its very nature, a rare and thrilling supercar,” said Palmer. “Designed and engineered to deliver a genuinely bespoke driving experience that draws on our rich heritage, this car tailors its power and handling to both the capabilities of the driver and the characteristics of the track.”

A New St. Regis: Istanbul, Turkey.


St. Regis Istanbul, Turkey Exterior
St. Regis Istanbul, Turkey Exterior

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announces t debut of the highly anticipated St. Regis Istanbul, in March 2015.

Overlooking Maçka Park and the Bosphorus, the hotel is located in the Nişantaşi neighbourhood on the European side of the city, surrounded by designer boutiques, contemporary art galleries and expansive dining and entertainment venues.


St. Regis Istanbul Suite
St. Regis Istanbul Suite

Designed by award-winning Turkish architect Emre Arolat, the hotel reflects the spirit of the Art Deco era in Istanbul during the 1920s, blending it with contemporary Turkish art. The hotel houses an extensive selection of artworks from the Demsa Collection of Art – a private collection belonging to the Demsa Group, which also owns The St. Regis Istanbul.

“The design of The St. Regis Istanbul focuses on the social and urban context of its surroundings., said Mr Arolat. “Through the details and the works of art inspired by Maçka’s history and culture, I wanted to create an ambiguous perception that makes us wonder if the building is set in this time or not, and how it is there at all.”  Ponderous!