The year is already coming to a close, and it’s been an interesting one, without a doubt. We’ve seen jaw-dropping auction highlights, discussed the topic of custom jewelry and footwear, and kept tabs on the best new watch releases unveiled in 2016. While we’d love to give you a full digest of all the great things to roll across our desks, that’d burn a few too many pages in a hurry. Instead, we present three favorite items we covered this past year.
Bvlgari Parentesi Cocktail Necklace
Big and loud statement jewelry remains a hot ticket item this year, making that tried-and-true “less is more” mantra a thing of the past. When a particular situation calls for a statement piece, Bvlgari is more than happy to oblige. The Parentesi cocktail necklace is by no means over-the-top; however, the pairing of 18k pink gold with amethyst, citrine, quartz and diamonds makes it an absolute standout piece of hardware on any occasion. $43,600.
To find proper bespoke footwear entirely “made in the U.S.A.” was a real treat this past spring. Modern Vice keeps its headquarters and flagship store in Manhattan’s Garment District and offers a full line of both off-the-rack and bespoke footwear options for men and women. Pricing for bespoke starts at an exceptionally moderate $500, but depending on how wild you get with customization, obviously the sky’s the limit. The brand doesn’t like to name-drop too often, but it can boast Cyndi Lauper and Questlove as clients, among many others. Depending on how long you stay in the city, you can be as heavily or lightly involved in the process as you see fit, but one way or another the end product is yours and yours alone.
Seiko Presage Chronograph
This still may surprise some of the watch collectors in the room, but the new Seiko Presage ranks as one of the best buys in watchmaking this year. Seiko continues to make exceptional headway into the realm of haute horlogerie with the majority of its Grand Seiko offerings, and this Presage chronograph is nearly impossible to beat in terms of a value-per-dollar proposition. Available in either a traditional white enamel dial or a remarkably deep black, handworked urushi lacquer, this sleek 42mm chronograph wears brilliantly on the wrist. With the market saturated with plain mass-produced chronographs in the $4,000–5,000 range, this thing truly is a breath of fresh air. White enamel, $2,300; black lacquer, $2,600.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.
CONSIDERING THAT JUST A LITTLE more than a century ago — 1910, to be exact — Miami’s population was only about 5,400 people, it’s easy to see why this South Florida hot spot has long been considered a boomtown. And the evolution continues to impress as the city gears up to welcome an array of new services, amenities and experiences.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Ethiopian Airlines added a daily non-stop between Brussels (BRU) and Addis Ababa (ADD). The carrier previously made stopovers in Vienna (VIE) three days a week, increasing the journey time from seven hours to nine.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Last month, British Airways announced plans to offset carbon emissions from all its flights within the United Kingdom. The initiative begins next year and carbon emissions are offset via the United Nations’ carbon offsetting scheme, which invests in carbon reduction projects around the world, such as reforestation and rainforest protection.