There’s never a bad time to win the lottery, but take home the jackpot just before Christmas and you’ll have a million new ways to spread the festive cheer.
What should a recently minted giver get for their nearest and dearest? You can’t purchase inspiration, but you can buy gift cards – which is the next best thing for those devoid of originality. Or, for top-dollar treats that don’t disappoint, consult this money-no-object gift guide free of charge.
From high-end speakers to electric SUVs to projectors that cost more than a plug-in hybrid, this is a Yuletide shopping list for the well-heeled and excessively generous. Service charge optional (but encouraged).
Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000 (£3299)
On the rare occasions that an audiophile leaves their pressure-controlled sonic chamber and exposes their ears to the disturbing sub-standard sounds of the outside world, they need a portable solution to soften the blow. Enter Astell&Kern’s latest bank-breaking player.
Beneath its arrestingly angular housing resides all manner of audio wizardry, including AKM AK4499EQ dual DACs, independent channels for balanced and unbalanced outputs and support for 32bit/768kHz and DSD512 playback. And if you don’t know what any of that means, you don’t need to buy one.
Mercedes-Benz EQC (from £65,640)
If someone’s been good enough to deserve a new ride in the drive this December, it ought to be a special one. And the Mercedes-Benz EQC qualifies as pretty special indeed, given that it’s the first all-electric road car in the German marque’s illustrious history.
Suitably luxurious inside and good for an impressive 259 miles on a brimmed battery, it’s also surprisingly understated for such a seminal SUV. Until you see the price tag, that is. Thank goodness for the UK’s £3500 plug-in car grant, eh?
Bell & Ross BR 05 Blue Steel (£3990)
Possibly the nicest, most expensive piece of unintentional Zoolander merchandise ever made, the beautifully simple Blue Steel face on this Bell & Ross ticker is the antithesis of Le Tigre’s loud pouting.
Also available with black and silver facades, the BR05 melds a classic round dial with the squared-off shell that’s become a signature of the aviation watchmaker’s stunning timepieces. Stylish, rugged and suitably chiselled, it’s everything Derek would want from a watch.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (from £1149)
Some say Apple sets the prices of its iPhones by feeding the number of lenses, Bono’s current age and one brave decision into a secret and complex formula stored on an original Macintosh somewhere in Cupertino.
And that seems to hold true, given that the U2 frontman is now 59, the iPhone Pro packs a trio of incredible lenses and the most expensive flagship – the Pro Max in 512GB guise – will set you back one pound shy of £1500. Too much? Unlike an ageing MagSafe cable, the equation never falters.
Teufel x Rosenthal (£3490)
If you’re intending to spend more than your monthly salary on a pair of high-end Wi-Fi speakers, it helps if they’re multi-talented. Thankfully, Teufel’s groundbreaking porcelain creations can do a lot more than mere audio streaming.
Besides a built-in alarm clock and hat stand functionality, the striking pieces are perfect for the role of alien tripod in your stop-motion recreation of The War of the Worlds. Talk about bang for buck.
Fujifilm GFX100 (£9999)
With many pro snappers moving to the compact, speedy convenience of mirrorless, the mammoth machines of medium format might seem like a photographic anachronism. Yet if your aim is absolute quality, the GFX100 is the whopper for you this winter.
As heavy as ten turtle doves and priced like five gold rings, everything about it screams festive excess: a 102MP CMOS sensor, a 5.76 million dot OEL display and a faintly ludicrous 3.76 million phase detection pixel count mean this year’s Christmas family portrait is guaranteed to be a winner.
McIntosh MTI100 (£7945)
Calling an £8000 audio system good value is like calling a Formula 1 car efficient: technically correct but only in relative terms. Still, if you’re looking for a comprehensive music setup that doesn’t require you to stick a cabinet beside your Christmas tree, the MTI100 is your answer.
Topped by a turntable, it packs an amplifier, vacuum tube and phono pre-amps, Bluetooth receiver, aux, digital and optical inputs and all the outputs you could ask for. Just add speakers and you’ve got the whole hi-fi package.
Kjus 7SPHERE HYDRO_BOT (£1299)
Many people would find themselves sweating as they stand at the top of a treacherous black run. Most would take a deep breath and brave it. Some would slowly shuffle back to the bar. A rare few, though, would stare down the ski slope, embrace the terror and hit the remote in their pocket, knowing that the more they sweat, the more effectively the electro-osmotic moisture-management membrane in their HYDRO_BOT jacket will function. Whatever it takes to get their money’s worth.
Orbitsound Air D1 (£12,000)
Ask a keen-eared audiophile and they’ll probably tell you that no single unit can hope to rival a full hi-fi setup for crisp, clear sound. Which means said audiophile hasn’t experienced Orbitsound’s revolutionary D1: an exquisite vertical slab a decade in the making, it’s the ultimate one-box system.
Suspended on a tilting stand, the speaker’s Airsound tech projects sound into the surrounding air to create an unrivalled, distortion-free listening experience wherever you are in the room.
Canon XEED 4K6021Z (£31,000)
Yes, good cinema is all about substance. And, yes, the best films are great whether you watch them on a screen the size of a house or an old iPod Video. But if movies are your thing and you’ve got a bit of bling, why wouldn’t you drop thirty grand on a 4K laser projector good for 40,000 hours and 6000 lumens?
Sure, you’ll need a dedicated space to do it justice, but given you’ll be living on a popcorn diet, you can probably do away with the dining room.