1. The most expensive of 2014

The most expensive of 2014

We take a look at some of the pricey items that made a mark in the year

Updated: December 28, 2014 1:02 AM

Motorhome Elemment Palazzo RV

They are a rare sight in India because of our narrow roads, but in the West, motorhomes, or recreational vehicles (RVs) are a great way to go for a road vacation with family or friends. The top-end ones are luxury on wheels with bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and lounging areas, but 2014 has seen the king of the motor home, the Elemment Palazzo RV, which is being sold for $3 million.

For that price, what you get is a luxury mobile home with a pop-up roof terrace apart from the two-storied layout, which includes a huge master bedroom and bathroom taking up the entire top floor. The lounge has a 40-inch TV, a bar and a fireplace. The press of a button in the cockpit causes the rooftop terrace to emerge for a better view of the surrounding countryside.

Designed by Luigi Colani, a famous German industrial designer, the 510-hp diesel-powered vehicle also boasts a slide-out deck that enables the interior to expand to 430 sq ft. With that much living space, owners can choose their own configuration that could include wireless Internet, streaming video surveillance, heated flooring and satellite TV.

The most impressive section is the ‘Sky Lounge’, which transforms into a personal retreat with a pop-up cocktail bar, underfloor heating and extravagant marble lighting. Everything from the kitchen to the bedrooms and baths would put any five-star hotel to shame, making this RV the height of luxury, literally. Once the pop-up sky lounge emerges, all the owners need to do is make sure there are no bridges to pass under.

Painting Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon

A visit to the Wynn hotels and casinos in Las Vegas comes with a bonus—one of the world’s greatest art collections. Stephen Wynn is the owner of some of Vegas’ iconic properties, and his collection includes a Turner, a Rembrandt, a Van Gogh, one of the two Vermeers in private hands, a Monet and a Picasso.

Now, his ex-wife, Elaine, has bought the most expensive painting sold in 2014, Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon. She spent $142.4 million on the painting at a Christie’s auction in November, 2014. At first, the identity of the buyer remained a secret but later it was confirmed that the buyer was Elaine Wynn, co-founder of the Wynn Casino Empire and Stephen Wynn’s ex-wife. The purchase set a record for a work of art sold at auction, says the Wall Street Journal. Three Studies of Lucian Freud depicts Sigmund Freud’s grandson, a fellow painter and friend of Bacon. Bacon is known for his figurative portraits of men.

Car Lamborghini Veneno Roadster
The costliest car launched in 2014 was the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster. It costs $4.5 million and, as proof of its exclusivity and brand appeal, it made its public debut in Abu Dhabi, where the venue for the unveiling was something out of a Hollywood movie scene—an aircraft carrier.

This gorgeous looking Italian beauty is also a beast, with its 750-hp, 6.5-litre, 12-cylinder engine that can get you from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and register a top speed of 221 mph. The reason it is so expensive is that Lamborghini plans to build only nine copies.

Among many other innovations, its lightweight body design makes extensive use of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer. In fact, so exclusive is the sports car that a lucky buyer has already advertised it, for an incredible $7.4 million, almost double the starting price. The car is listed on an auto website and includes 19% VAT, but even that makes for a huge profit—a $1.7 million premium over the as-new price from Lamborghini.

The Veneno Roadster comes with an exclusive exterior colour—’Rosso Veneno’—which is combined with the alloy wheels. What is interesting about the new car is that it has no roof, just a strong rollover bar for optimum safety. Clearly, the potential buyers are not located where it rains or snows a lot – in Europe, Asia or Russia, but, judging by the launch venue—the Middle-east.

Open-topped sports supercars are not everyone’s cup of tea, so when it comes to the title of the most luxurious car of 2014 that has to be the Mercedes S-class, as declared by Britain’s Auto Express, the country’s biggest selling periodical on the automotive industry. The magazine says the best luxury cars need to “blend opulence, comfort, refinement and cutting-edge technology into one hugely desirable package—and no model does it better than the Mercedes S-Class”.

Wine Chateau Margaux Bordeaux

It’s currently on display for sale at Le Clos, the luxury wine and spirits retailer at Dubai International Airport. This is a set of three bottles of Chateau Margaux Bordeaux has a price tag of $195,000. They are being advertised as the world’s most expensive bottles of wine for sale in 2014.
The bottles are actually what the trade calls Balthazars, which hold 12 litres of wine compared to the standard 750 millilitres. Château Margaux is a prominent first-growth Bordeaux, and one of four wines to achieve Premier cru status in the Bordeaux classification of 1855. The estate’s best wines are generally very expensive—a bottle of Château Margaux 1787 holds the record as the most expensive bottle of wine ever broken, and had been insured for $225,000. The high price tag of $195,000 for the Dubai Duty Free set comes with some delectable extras. Whoever buys the set will be flown first class to Bordeaux for a private tour of the cellars and vineyard, as well as dinner with the chief winemaker. The wine is the 2009 vintage, which was a very good year, making the $195,000 wine very special indeed.

Yacht History Supreme

No one knows who owns it, the only clue is that it was a Malaysian business tycoon. This is the History Supreme, which costs a staggering $4.5 billion, the world’s most expensive luxury yacht. The History Supreme was designed by UK luxury designer Stuart Hughes and took three years to complete with the hefty price tag on this luxury liner owing to the 1,00,000 kg of solid gold and platinum used to adorn it.

The base of the super-yacht boasts a thin layer of solid gold while the entirety of the vessel including the deck, rails, staircases, dining area and even the ship’s anchor—all feature precious metals. The competition between the world’s billionaires to own the biggest and best yacht has evolved into unrivaled extravagance redefining the concept of luxury as demonstrated with the Streets of Monaco, possibly the most elaborately designed yacht in the world, and also among the costliest.

Designed by Yacht Island Design in England, it features a floating replica of the city of Monaco or, to be more precise, a scaled-down version of Monte Carlo showing the city’s most famous landmarks including Café de Paris, Hotel de Paris, the famous Casino and FI racetrack, and La Rascasse. It also has swimming pools and tennis court, but the most outstanding feature of this luxury liner is, without a doubt, the atrium, which houses seven guest suites accommodating up to 16 people.

Men’s shoes

A pair of evening pumps designed by Tom Ford Noted gemologist Jason of Beverly Hills has taken a pair of evening pumps made by designer Tom Ford and turned it into a piece of art by covering it in an expensive mesh consisting of 14,000 round white diamonds —approximately 340 carats—which were set into white gold and then fixed to the shoes. They cost close to $ 2 million, making them the most expensive men’s shoes ever made, and worn. They were displayed by one of the hosts at a popular TV programme, America’s Got Talent, earlier this year, but chances are they will eventually be put on permanent display.

Home Palazzo di Amore

At a price of $195-million, this was the most expensive house to go on sale in 2014. Located in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, the estate comes with its own vineyard, a wine cellar for 10,000 bottles, a bowling alley, a 50-seat cinema, a revolving dance floor, a waterfall and a luxury spa.
The estate, nicknamed Palazzo di Amore—or palace of love—comprises a main house, a mansion that covers 35,000 sq ft with elevators to allow residents and guests to avoid climbing the large number of staircases. The size of the dining room can be gauged by the fact that the dining table is big enough to host up to 250 guests at a time. The estate covers a total of 25 acres, and requires an army of gardeners and groundkeepers to ensure all is in order.

The entry is along a quarter-mile drive but there is on-site parking for up to 150 cars. A floating-style glass walkway over pools lined by 70-year-old olive trees leads to the complex, which has limestone floors with marble and maple inlay and hand-painted ceilings. The Playboy mansion is just down the road.

Smartphone iPhone 5 Black Diamond Edition
A phone for $16.5 million? This is an iPhone 5, and the reason for its extravagant price is, well, the extravagance. Stuart Hughes who specialises in such work, has produced a unique, hand-crafted piece called the iPhone 5 Black Diamond Edition. The luxury handset comes with a home button that is a 26-carat flawless black deep cut diamond. This is just one of the hundreds of gems covering the phone’s surface. The piece was sold in 2014 to a Chinese businessman.

Watch Limited-edition Greubel Forsey GMT Black
In 2014, there was only one watch which earned the title of most expensive (outside of auctions). It is, according to Forbes, priced at over $500,000, and is made by ultra-high-end boutique Swiss watch-maker Greubel Forsey.

The watch in question is a limited edition of its Greubel Forsey GMT Black, and comes in a black-coated titanium case. What makes the watch such extravagant luxury is that it has a limited-edition version in gold and platinum, but Greubel Forsey knows that black stands out and gives their GMT watch a unique look.

The process they use preserves the appeal of expertly polished titanium. The case is coated with DLC (an amorphous diamond-like carbon) which is superstrong. More black elements are used to enhance the deep black dial. Inside the watch is a meticulously polished tourbillon-based movement.

In addition to the time and power reserve, the manually wound movement offers the wearer the ability to see the time in any of the 24 major time zones via a three-dimensional representation of the earth on the dial.

On the movement-side of the watch, there is a city indicator ring. In the Swiss watchmaking industry, Greubel Forsey is well-known for the painstaking and handcrafted work that goes into every one of their watches. The parts used in the interiors and exteriors of their movements are hand-polished and decorated in a process that can take months.


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