The most expensive luxury products of 2009
Once thought immune to the ebbs and flows of economic fluctuations, the year 2009 snatched away the reputation of luxury sector for being recession-proof, but thanks to the aspirational consumers, who inspired the manufacturers to increasingly bring out the exceptional products of luxury. Our list closes the year that gloomed around the globe with some of the unmatched products of desire with the hope to see better year ahead for each one of us and of course, a better growth in the luxury segment worldwide. January 2009 La Fraicheur Wine Coolers The month as usual started off sluggishly but in the light of the festive season, who better than a true wine connoisseur would know the importance of perfect wine accessory to make the occasion really special. La Fraicheur, an Amsterdam-based company, brought the limited edition wine coolers encrusted with diamonds and crystals with a hefty price tag of $145,000. February 2009 Yves Saint Laurent’s armchair The month of love saw the most blinged-up souvenirs like the diamond-studded kitchen knife, world’s most expensive pen and the embellished portrait, but Yves Saint Laurent’s armchair stole the show at Christie’s. Auctioned in Paris for a whopping $28 million, this brown leather armchair became the most expensive piece of 20th-century design ever auctioned. March 2009 The Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur For much part known for the International Women’s Day, the month of march saw a range of products aimed at women, however, to make it to the top in our list of “most expensive” is the $30 million diamond dress by Stylo. Dubbed the “Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur,” this $30 million dress left Victoria’s Secret far behind in the race for the most expensive couture, with the second runner-up being the $20 million diamond dress designed by jeweler Chris Aire, but just in tune with the $30 million diamond studded bikini created by Susan Rosen with Steinmetz Diamonds. April 2009 $4.2 million designer tiara for a pet While the month of April saw Mr. Mervis decorating a $30,000 cupcake with diamond toppings and the queen of bling, Paris Hilton adding a little more sparkle to her life with a $400,000 diamond-encrusted dashboard, Leon Verres thought to bring out the most exclusive and most expensive champagne of all times. However, long after making the pet fashion go mainstream, Paris Hilton inspired a Thai jewelry designer, who crafted a tiara worth $4.2 million for his pet dog. Using precious stones given to him by his mother, the designer encrusted 250-carats of emeralds and diamonds in titanium to make the tiara for his really pampered pooch. May 2009 Ferrari Pontoon-fender Testarossa While Marc Newson’s luxurious Lockheed Lounge chaise created uproar at the beginning of the month with its $1.6 million price tag, but it was the iconic 1957 Ferrari 250 Testarossa that set a new world record for the most expensive motor car ever to be sold at an auction. The car went for $12 million in an auction of Italian supercars organized by RM Auctions at Ferrari’s Maranello home in Italy. June 2009 Most expensive bridal gown As the buzz surrounding Slumdog Millionaire continued even after its big Oscar night back in February, there was still scope for the world’s most expensive curry to coincide with the DVD launch of the Oscar-winning flick. However, amid all the talks of slowdown, cutbacks and layoffs, there were still manufacturers who kept the spending spree alive. The month saw some of the world’s most expensive products, like this world’s most expensive espresso machine, the world’s most expensive magazine and Vi-spring $84,425 eco-friendly bed, but to steal the show was the most expensive bridal gown in Vietnam, valued at $117,000. This white silk and satin bridal gown from Vietnam is decked out with 222 diamonds and 100 red rubies. Showcased at the Ruby Plaza trading center in Hanoi on June 28, this shimmering gown is a creation of young fashion designer Huy Vo. The gemstone-made flower on the gown has 22 big rubies and 8 big diamonds. A big water drop-shaped ruby that symbolizes love has been used for the pistil. It took 40 days to complete this unique gown. July 2009 Audi Design’s grand piano For most part of the month, the death of Michael Jackson created an unprecedented global outpouring of mourning, tribute and celebration. It was a $25,000, solid bronze, 14-karat gold plated custom casket that holds the King of Pop in eternity as the fans bid final goodbye to the royal departure. With all the fevered grief, S.T. Dupont had to light up in style with its gold and diamond lighter to cater to the uber-rich smokers. However, Audi Design Studio followed Porsche’s footsteps in designing a truly unique piano. Designed by Philip Schlesinger, who implemented the project at the Concept Design Studio in Munich, the piano priced at $139,867 debuted in the Audi Forum Ingolstadt, to celebrate Audi’s 100th anniversary. August 2009 “Star of India” Rolls-Royce If you think there are very few things in the list that actually amazed you, consider a $21,495 haircut. Amazed! Gotta be. The Sultan of Brunei known for his classy taste, made the statement with the world’s most expensive snip, but to match the grace and aura of the Sultan, our list includes the renowned “Star of India,” a one-off 1934 Phantom II 40/50 HP Continental “All-Weather Convertible,” that belonged to the Maharaja of Rajkot. Priced at $14 million, this prized Rolls-Royce is also considered to be the world’s most expensive car. September 2009 World’s most expensive diamond encrusted BlackBerry The kings followed this month too, but it was the bling king this time around. Alexander Amosu unveiled the world’s most expensive diamond encrusted BlackBerry after a slew of BlackBerrys in precious metals including the Pearl Limited Diamond Edition, Tellor and the Pink BlackBerry Bold. This limited edition, $200,366 BlackBerry is crafted in solid 18 carat yellow gold and encrusted with 4,459 brilliant cut diamonds (weighing 28.43 carats). Only three will ever be made and of which one handset has already been sold to a client in the Middle East. October 2009 Victoria’s Secret diamond bra The month was all set to buzz with the machine-gun-packed $1 million Batmobile followed by the $1.4 million Dartz Monaco Red Diamond Edition that also boasted of whale penis leather interiors, only to find Pamela Anderson with a stop sign on their way to the blue waters. However, in the later half of the month Ukrainian designer Verlingieri Lesya brought in the hottest fashion trend with her $10,000 Swarovski corsage, probably inspired by the corsage worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City. But, for an elegant yet sexy look, the embellishments were completed by Victoria’s Secret $3 million diamond bra. Designed by the Italian jewelry house Damiani, it took 15 artisans about 800 hours to craft this one-off bra with an 18-karat gold harlequin-patterned net and embellished with 2,355 colorless and cognac diamonds. This diamond-studded stunner has a 16-carat heart-shaped champagne diamond pendant dangling in the middle. November 2009 World’s most expensive bauble With things setting more into festive mood by the end of the year, it was obvious to see more liquor flowing through the streets. To come up first in the league to stimulate our senses was the world’s most expensive beer at $1200 for the 12-liter bottle of Vieille Bon Secours ale, followed by Dalmore Oculus that almost set record for world’s most expensive whisky at $46,400 in an auction at Bonhams. However, as we approached Christmas, the world’s most expensive bauble with a price tag of $136,000 set our pulses racing. The one-of-a-kind tree decoration is made of 18-carat white gold and is plastered with over one and half thousand stunning diamonds. Surrounded by two incredible rings made of 18-carat fat gold wire, it features 188 red rubies that took a year to complete the designing and manufacturing. It was dreamed up by a 38-year-old, Mark Hussey, the owner of 30-year-old family business, Hallmark Jewelers. December 2009 World’s most expensive furniture To close the year with a bang, auctioneers, product manufacturers and designers took out wonderful delights from their closets to feed our voracious appetite for luxury. Designer Luisa Di Marco couldn’t resist but bring out the most expensive studs in history. Three pairs, together valued at $623,000, were auctioned for charity at the VIP launch of Rio Ferdinand’s new Live The Dream Foundation. Ginza Tanaka crafted $135,000 Mount Fuji in pure gold and somebody thought to throw a treat with treat world’s most expensive cupcake. However, nobody would have guessed that the year would close with the world’s most expensive piece of furniture. Auctioned at Christie’s for a whopping $7.3 Million, the ornate Cucci Cabinet dates back to 1665 to 1675 and is one of three wooden cabinets crafted by Italian artist and master craftsman Domenico Cucci. This magnificent cabinet features Florentine “pietra dura” plaques with opulent gilt bronze mounts, elaborate marquetry and beautifully modeled figurative carvings.