What To Get The Man Who Prefers The Finer Things In Life
The luxury gifts to splurge on this holiday season
We all know one. Notoriously hard to please, they can spot a hastily wrapped gift set at a hundred yards. It’s not that they’re ungrateful – they just know what they like, and that happens to be the finer things in life. These are the people whose presents require significant thought and careful preparation. So, now that it’s November – otherwise known as the month when it becomes socially acceptable to whisper about the upcoming festive season – we’ve decided that this, the first in our series of gift-giving guides this season, will focus on the very best all-out, no-holds-barred luxury presents MR PORTER has to offer. And luxury, regular readers no doubt appreciate, is a thing we know a thing or two about. Scroll down for our pick of the cream-of-the-crop gifts to give this season.
FOR THE TIMELESSLY STYLISH
Taking what is indisputably one of the world’s finest garments and turning it into something even more desirable (not to mention exponentially softer) tells you everything you need to know about the league in which Loro Piana is operating. Baby cashmere, the label’s own discovery, is a fabric so remarkable that a book has been written about it. Sourced from the first fleecy coat of a baby cashmere goat, the fibres – which are slightly tapered and finer than those harvested from their full-grown counterparts – shed naturally, are gathered by hand and then painstakingly combed before being spun into yarn, eventually becoming, among other stylish things, ultra-cosy sweaters like this one.
FOR THE MAN WHO MEANS BUSINESS
Much like those who still get the paper every morning or have their shoes shined, gentlemen who carry briefcases are becoming something of a rare breed. The compound effect of relaxing dress codes and an increase in the number of smarter commuting options (even some backpacks are now considered corner-office appropriate) has resulted in a dearth of them on city streets. Which means those men who nevertheless choose to tote their daily accoutrements around in a slick attaché are making a statement of sorts, one that we imagine is something along the lines of: “I mean business”. Sound familiar? Well, he’s bound to appreciate one as impressive as this. Without a logo or conspicuous branding, Valextra’s minimalist briefcase is recognisable only to those “in the know”. This particular iteration is handcrafted from cocoa-coloured calfskin leather and is only available at MR PORTER. It doesn’t get much more exclusive than that.
FOR THE AUDIOPHILE
This is not just a wireless speaker. This is a Devialet Phantom Reactor 900 wireless speaker. A mouthful, yes, but when you’ve spent a decade researching aerodynamics, acoustics and mechanics, you’ve earned the right to give the result a long-winded space-age name. Inside its glossy oval exterior there’s a cornucopia of features to please even the most discerning audiophile, including ADH® (Analog Digital Hybrid) noise-cancelling technology, HBI® (the rather terrifying sounding Heart Bass Implosion) to supply super low frequencies and SAM® (Speaker Active Matching), a revolutionary audio development that precisely recreates the pressure level of music as it was originally recorded. You may not be able to turn it up to 11, but in every other respect it delivers. And that’s before we get to its Mr Stanley Kubrick-esque good looks.
FOR THE WATCH CONNOISSEUR
Mechanical watches fit the “luxury gift” description precisely because they are no longer a necessity. In fact, the Swiss watch industry really shouldn’t exist. Traditional timepieces were dealt what was supposed to be a deadly blow when the more accurate, longer lasting and, crucially, cheaper quartz movement debuted in 1969. Computers just made things worse. In 2019, why should anyone shell out the big bucks for something that your phone, laptop and even microwave already does? If you know someone who could pen a powerful rebuttal to that question, then you’re buying a gift for a watch connoisseur, and they can be tricky customers to please. Unless, of course, you present them with a timepiece from Vacheron Constantin’s impressive collection. This one boasts one of the world’s most complex (and therefore covetable) complications, a perpetual calendar, as well as a handsome 18-karat rose-gold case that’s as timeless as they come.
FOR INTELLECTUAL TYPES
When he wasn’t defacing urinals, artist and chess superfan Mr Marcel Duchamp had some thoughts about those who played his favourite pastime: “I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists,” he said in 1952. That’s certainly true of Messrs Chris Prosser and Ian Flood, two designers who founded Skyline Chess after whiling away their evenings engaged in battle over a board. Each marble set is based, as their name suggests, on the horizon of iconic cities (London and San Francisco feature in MR PORTER’s collection) and includes 3D-printed playing pieces modelled after said city’s most iconic landmarks and skyscrapers. Perfect for architecture buffs and grand masters alike.
FOR THE WELL-TRAVELLED
Bellerby & Co Globemakers is fully aware how taxing it can be to find the perfect gift for discerning types. The brand itself began when founder Mr Peter Bellerby failed to find an adequate gift for his father’s 80th birthday. Bored of books, socks and the like, he settled on a globe, but even that proved difficult. Every option on the market fell into two categories: fragile vintage varieties or cheaply made scholastic iterations, both of which often featured glaring errors and inaccuracies. Convinced he could do better, Mr Bellerby perfected his own technique and established Bellerby & Co Globemakers. A decade on, the 20-person team toils away in its north London workshop making globes such as this one, a celestial companion to traditional territorial models that is hand-drawn and painted with 88 intricate constellations. As a result, no two will ever be the same. A one-of-a-kind gift for a one-of-a-kind gent, then.