A €142k motorbike ride with Keanu Reeves and 9 other ridiculously pricey Christmas gifts
The Christmas stockings of the rich could be worth hundreds of thousands, writes Louise McBride
With only 18 shopping days to Christmas, a motorcycle co-designed by Keanu Reeves and a balloon trip to the edge of space are probably the last things on your gift shopping list. But if money was no object, it might be a different story. Here are 10 things the rich can expect to find under their Christmas trees this year.
Motorbike trip with Keanu Reeves: €142,000
Fans of the Hollywood star Keanu Reeves might be willing to splash out on a custom motorbike co-designed by the actor - and a two-day motorcycle ride with him around California. At €142,000 ($150,000), the price won't be hard to forget either. You can hold on to the bike after the trip - but there are only three bikes (and therefore trips with Reeves) up for grabs. The gift - the Arch Motorcyle and Ride Experience - is in this year's Neiman Marcus Christmas book, which has a tradition of showcasing gifts that "only dreams are made of". These presents are known as fantasy gifts and for each one bought, the US luxury retailer Neiman Marcus donates money to charity.
Balloon trip to the edge of space: €85,000
Another outlandish gift in the Neiman Marcus Christmas book, this balloon trip to the edge of space costs €85,000 ($90,000). It includes a trip on board a luxury pressurised capsule strapped to a high-altitude balloon 100,000ft above the earth.
Ashoka diamonds: €100,000s
Made famous by Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon who has one in her engagement ring, Ashoka diamonds are selling well in the run-up to Christmas, according to James Amos, director of the British fine jewellers Boodles, which has a store on Dublin's Grafton Street.
"We have seen an increase in sales of bigger exciting diamonds over the last month," said Mr Amos. "Ashoka-cut diamonds are selling particularly well, with a three-carat D Flawless stone selling in late November for a six-figure sum."
You could easily pay €20,000 for an Ashoka diamond ring - and some people have paid hundreds of thousands of euro. The price of an Ashoka-cut diamond set in a pendant could run into seven figures. Expect to pay at least €13,500 for Boodle's Pas de Deux collection pieces - Ashoka diamond jewellery inspired by the Royal Ballet.
Patek Philippe Nautilus: €29,760
Patek Philippe is one of the world's most exclusive watch brands and people have paid hundreds of thousands - even tens of millions - to own one. For example, a rare handmade watch by the Swiss manufacturer sold for about €18m a year ago. You don't have to splash out millions to buy one, though. The Nautilus 5712/1A is on sale for €29,760 in Boodles, Dublin. This steel watch, inspired by a ship's porthole, includes a moon-phase indicator and is water-resistant to a depth of 60 metres.
Boodles started to sell Patek Philippe watches last May. There has been "genuine interest" in the watches here, according to Mr Amos. "Last Christmas, we only had presents for men to buy women - this year we have presents for women to buy men - in the form of Patek Philippe watches," said Mr Amos.
Top-of-the-range drone: €20,000 plus
They're being described as the train sets of today's generation and are hot items this Christmas. However, with price tags as high as €20,000 or more, drones - essentially, remotely piloted aircraft systems - can be expensive. The most common type is the 'Phantom' drone by the Chinese manufacturer DaJiang Innovations (DJI). You can expect to pay anything from €800 to €1,400 for one, according to Damien Doyle, owner of Copter Shop Ireland, which sells DJI drones.
The next step up is DJI's Inspire drones - a mid-range model costs around €3,500.
"Our sales of DJI drones have increased by about 50pc compared to last year," said Mr Doyle. "Drones are popular among people in the film industry. Parents often buy them for their child if he or she is studying film or communications."
More advanced drones, particularly professional drones built to carry top-of-the-range cameras, could set you back €20,000 or more. One of the most expensive drones is the XactSense MAX 8 drone with a price tag of €60,000.
Racing simulator: €175,000
American retailer Hammacher Schlemmer is well known for its quirky gifts. Its Christmas guide this year includes a selfie toaster, which makes toast with the image of your face on it, and a tabletop fireplace, which rests on any stable surface and provides the crackle of a wood-burning fire (without the smoke or sparks). One of the retailer's most expensive gifts is a racing simulator for €175,000 ($185,000). The simulator reproduces racing conditions, such as entering a turn at 200km an hour - or moving up a bank in the slipstream of an opponent, according to the store.
Desktop bar: €16,170
Closer to home, the London luxury department store Harrods has a desktop bar for about €16,200. It consists of a case that opens to reveal two decanters, two high-ball glasses, two tumblers and four leather coasters.
3D Printer: €3,300
Printing out a guitar, a pair of shoes, or a plastic coffee mug might all seem a bit too like Star Trek to be true - yet that's exactly what you can do with 3D printers. If you can draw a three-dimensional image of something, you can print it. Who knows? Get it in time and you could even print out your own Christmas tree decorations. Interest is picking up, but the Form 2, a 3D printer by the US manufacturer Formlabs, will set you back about €3,300 ($3,500) before shipping costs.
Tiffany gold key: €10,210
Not something you would want to confuse with the key to the front door, Tiffany's 'Petals' key pendant is made of 18K rose gold and round diamonds. (18K gold is 75pc pure gold). This pendant costs €9,850 in Tiffany's Dublin store - and you'll pay €360 for a chain in 18K rose gold. It's described by the high-end jeweller as a "symbol of a bright future". (Well who wouldn't feel optimistic, having something this valuable around their neck?) You could also splash out on a 'Bow' cuff in 18K rose gold with diamonds for €8,900 or a small 'Olive Leaf' gold cuff (pictured) for €8,550.
Designer handbag: €2,600
For those whose loved ones won't settle for less than a handbag with a €2,000 price tag, a Mulberry, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent or Loewe should do the trick. Brown Thomas has a Loewe 'Puzzle' shoulder bag for €2,100, a Valentino 'My Rockstud' stripe bag for €2,380 and a Mulberry Bayswater embossed calf-hair bag for €2,600. These are among the most expensive in the store's collection.
"Accessories are selling really well this Christmas, with customers investing in luxury bags and leather goods," said Brown Thomas fashion director Shelly Corkery. "Customers are looking for statement pieces, colour, and a mix of different textures and leathers."
A designer wallet, meanwhile, could cost up to €650 in Brown Thomas - almost as much as the average weekly wage and certainly more than the value of any coins or notes that most of us would have to put in it. An Yves Saint Laurent monogram quilted double-zip wallet, for example, costs €650 at Brown Thomas; a Givenchy crocodile zip wallet costs €550.
Less than €1,000 budget
For those after a luxury gift for their loved one this Christmas - but with less than a grand to play with - Arnotts has an Appleby rose-gold rope-chain necklace for €459, a burgundy Lulu Guinness Daphne bag for €475, and an Anastasia ruby ring (pictured) for €475.
"The 'it' bag from Lulu Guinness this season is the Daphne Bag," said Deirdre Devaney, fashion director with Arnotts.
"For the music lover, the Sonas Play 5 sound system, which is priced at €579, has seen a big demand this year. Also, for those who love tech, the 'Star Wars' BB-8 Droid is the must-have toy this year."
That droid is priced at €169.99 in Arnotts.
Brown Thomas has a pair of Givenchy pearl- drop earrings for €690, a Smythson leather-bound diary for €200 or, for coffee lovers, a Tom Dixon copper-plated cafetiere for €195.
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