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Maybach Exelero – The $8 million car.

It´s not every day you come across a factory made one of a kind road legal vehicle, especially one from such a revered organization as Maybach. The Exelero is an outright beastly two-seater based off the legendary Maybachs from the 1930’s. It is powered by a twin turbo V12 which delivers a stunning 700hp, pretty wild considering that the car was presented in 2005.

So how come the Exelero even exists?
Well, apparently the German tire manufacturer, Fulda Tires, used a 1939 Maybach SW 38 to test tires back in the 40’s and in 2005 Fulda tires wanted a new Maybach to test a new generation of tires. They commissioned the Exelero, which turned out to be more than just a show car – In tests on the Nardo high-speed oval, the prototype reached almost 350 km/h despite weighing over 2.66 tones.

The design is a result of a competition amongst students at the Pforzheim Polytechnic Department of Transport Design. A contribution from a 24 year old named Fredrik Burckhardt won and Fredrik got to work closely with Maybach during the development of the car. The Exelero project took shape out of the ashes of a Maybach 57 limousine.

When Fulda no longer required the service of Exelero it was purchased by a diamond industrialist by the name of André Action Diakité Jackson for 5 million euros. Jackson allowed Jay-Z to use it in his Lost One music video before selling it to a “European Entrepreneur” named Arnaud Massartic. In 2011 Arnaud announced that the Exelero was for sale yet again, and Bryan “Birdman” Williams almost immediately notified Arnaud that he was willing to pay a whopping 8 million dollars for it.

A few months later there was quite a few articles suggesting that Birdman had failed to present the money and nothing has been heard about it since. Who knows where it is now?

Author: Olle E. Wistén

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Sunseeker Predator 130

Sunseeker is a brand known for its serious yachting. From Dorset, England, they have been making boats since 1979 and they currently have dealers in 61 countries around the world. In 2008 they were featured in The Sunday Times list of Britain’s fastest growing private companies.

With a workforce of 2,100 employees and a next level factory they are able to maintain a decent delivery period and offer a huge range of different yachts. Most epic of them all is the Sunseeker Predator 130.

The ship, which requires some 180,000 components to build, weighs in at a massive 180 ton. If you’d go for the biggest engine option (twin V12’s) your Predator would be pulled by almost 8000 raging horses and every time you’d fill her up the gauge would stop at 22,200 liters. In this setup, cruising at 12 knots, the Predator 130 would be able to cover 1500 nautical miles. Should you opt for Kamewa Water-jets the Predator will top 30 knots, a very serious machine indeed.

Wood grains, walnut, wenge, granite and glass are just some of the materials offered when it comes to interior. Almost all things on the ship are customizable, you could for example get a gym, a complete one-off sky deck saloon, saunas and hydraulic-controlled wide balconies.

Its onboard garage holds two jet skis and a 190hp tender, which should suffice for you average day of water sports. I personally feel that Sunseeker has done incredible well with the design of the Predator 130; aggressive, beautiful and majestic. It’s no wonder Sunseeker ships have been featured in the four last bond movies.

A Predator 130 will set you back at least 13 million dollars though you can legitimately call yourself “The Boss” for as long as you keep it.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

29 11 09 004

Ferrari F40

As I’ve previously stated, the late 80’s was an exhilarating time for motor sports. The Group B rally, which was almost unregulated when it came to performance of the cars, really spurred the producers to develop their automobiles. Group B regulations demanded road versions of every rally car in order for the manufacturers to participate (which has left us with some truly awesome cars).

In order to challenge Porsche’s 959 in the Group B, which at the time was the fastest and most advanced car in the world, Ferrari produced 5 rally cars which they called the 288 GTO Evoluzione. With the sudden termination of Group B, Ferrari had no forum to use these cars and decided to use them as prototypes for a road car.

The result is legendary. Said by many, including the Top Gear guys to be the greatest super car the world has ever seen. It is comparable to the release of the Ferrari Enzo or the Bugatti Veyron.
You can tell that the F40 is based on an 80’s rally car, the wide body kit complimenting the Ferrari shape well and combining function with beastly looks.

Because the twin turbo V8 only has to move a total of 1,100 kg the F40 is blazing fast. It was the first road car ever to break the magical 200 mph barrier and it held the title as “the fastest road car in the world” for four years. Let’s not forget that this is a car without any driving assistance such as ABS, power steering or anti-spin.

Fortunately for most, Ferrari Produced a total of 1,315 Ferrari F40’s, which makes them somewhat reasonable in price and easy to find, should you want one. In contrast, 36 of the Ferrari 250 GTO were produced and they currently fetch prices around $30 Million dollars.
Below is a video about a repainted F40 (the only color choice offered by Ferrari was red) and its German owner. Curiously enough, he seems to be wearing a Patek Philippe 5960P.

A race version of the F40 was also produced; the F40 LM. I’m sorry about the bad quality but the clip delivers the feeling I’m after. The high pitched noise comes from the F40 LM’s straight-geared dog box. While writing this article I found myself repeatedly listening to this clip. I think I’m going to set it as my ring tone.

Author: Olle E. Wistén

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Billionaire of the week: William Henry “Bill” Gates III

“Philanthropy etymologically means “love of man”, in sense of caring for, nourishing, and enhancing the quality of life for human beings”; that’s what Wikipedia has to say about the beautiful word “Philanthropy”. Perhaps the world would be a better place, should the word be used more frequently. However, one might safely presume that Bill Gates is mentioned in the majority of worldwide conversations regarding philanthropists.

One can’t help but to marvel at Bill’s history, the Seattle native, who at the age of 13 wrote his first computer program. Shortly following, Gate wrote the school’s computer to schedule students in classes. He modified the code so that he was placed in classes with mostly female students. At the age of 18, he scored 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT and he enrolled at Harvard. There, he didn’t have definite study plan but instead spent a lot of time using the schools computer. After a year he dropped out of Harvard and formed Microsoft with Paul Allen.

Just a few days before his 32nd birthday, Bill was listed as a billionaire in Forbes. With a net worth of $1.25 billion, he was the youngest self-made billionaire ever. He currently holds 6.3% of the Microsoft Stocks.

On April 29th, 1975, at the age of 19, Bill was arrested by the Albuquerque Police department (arrest record #52090). The charges were speeding and driving without a license.

His last full time day at Microsoft was June 27th 2008, after which he devoted is time solely to his humanitarian project he started in 2000: the Bill & Melinda Foundation. Through the foundation Gates has donated around $28 billion dollars which in turn has saved about 6 million lives, more than Spiderman, Batman and Superman together.

In December 2010, Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet signed a promise they called “Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge”, in which they promise to donate half of their wealth to charity over the course of time.

Amongst the more interesting acquisitions I’ve read about in a while is the one Gates did in 1994 when he purchased the Codex Leicester for a mere $30.8 million dollars. The Codex is a memoir written by non-other than the legendary Leonardo da Vinci.

Author: Olle E. Wistén

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Space Travel by Virgin Galatic

All of a sudden, when you’ve achieved everything in life, a melancholic and claustrophobic sensation might grow root in your mind. Money has gotten you everywhere and the world is simply not enough. One might very well assume that it was feelings of this kind that led Sir Richard Branson to found Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic, founded in 2004 and based in New Mexico, aims to, within the near future, provide sub-orbital spaceflights to space tourists. Sub-orbital means the vessel is launched in such a trajectory that it exceeds altitude higher than 100 km above sea level but does not complete a full orbit.

New Mexico Spaceport (commissioned by New Mexico)

In 2009, Sir Branson, unveiled the SpaceShip Two, which is based on the first ever private vessel in space, the SpaceShip One. The 18 meter long SpaceShip Two holds a crew of two and six passenger and is powered by a hybrid rocked engine.

The SpaceShip Two will be carried to about a 16.000 meters by its mothership, White Knight II, before undertaking the rest of journey to 21.000 km by itself.

It´s planned trajectory will overlap the Earth’s atmosphere at 21.000m giving the space tourists about six minutes of weightlessness (you’re allowed to release yourself from your seat during the period weightlessness). The total travel from takeoff to touchdown will last approximately 2.5 hours.

A ticket will set you back $200.000, with an initial deposit of $20.000. As of June 2012, Virgin Galatic already has over 550 paid deposits. Ticket-holders include Stephen Hawking, Tom Hanks, Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jones. In other words, mostly people tired of their terrestrial existence.

It’s marvelous to behold where humanity’s insatiable lust for conquest and adventure.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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American Express Centurion Card

When it comes to symbols of power and wealth, the Amex Black Card is second to none. It all began in the 80′s with rumors of a no-limit black credit card that would allow you to get a Concorde for yourself or purchase the horse Kevin Costner used in the Dances with the Wolves (1990). They said it was easier to acquire than George Clooney’s cell phone number.

It’s not impossible that the urban legends about American Express’s top-tier-card were bestowed upon the market by Amex’s own marketing team.
The real card, the Amex Centurion, incarnated the myths and hit the market in 1999 and to make it more exclusive they made it out of (and still does) anodized titanium.
Initially it was “invite only” and it was estimated that the top 1% of American Express’s clientele received an invite.

The Requirements?
• Blemish-free credit history
• An annual spending of at least 250.000 dollars
• Accept an introduction fee of 5.000 dollars along with an annual fee of 2.500 dollars
• Have a “major” net worth.

The Benefits that comes with Amex Centurion has varied some over the two last decades:

Concierge:
Amongst the most famous benefits offered to Centurion Cardholders is the state of the art Concierge-service. They hold the keys to almost everything in the world. It is no problem getting a table at a fully booked restaurant, getting on the guest list for any hot nightclub, or front-row tickets for the Vienna New Year’s Opera.
A few years ago, my friend’s car broke down on the way to a ski resort and the Black Card concierge team had a tow truck and a rental car there within the hour.

Travel Benefits:
Originally the Black card featured automatic first-class upgrade on any airline and sometimes holders even got a free complimentary ticket with one first class ticket purchase, however, the amount of airlines currently offering these services has dwindled noticeably.

You still, however, get access to all V.I.P.-lounges and platinum status with most car rental services. You also get one of the most extensive travel insurances around and priority at check-ins and security controls at airports.

Centurion Card Exclusivity:
Often as a Centurion cardholder you don’t even need the concierge service, just the mere sight of a black card unlocks a lot of closed doors.
As a cardholder you will receive invites to very special events around the world such as champagne tasting and dinners with Sir David Attenborough (of course at your own expense).

Over the years the Black Card has received some criticism, mainly the cost/benefits ratio being to degressive.
Since 2010 the Black Card has gone from invite-only to being a card you can apply for. This has led to a growing membership base – but also the loss of some exclusivity feel.
The hefty card can also bring troubles. A friend, different from the one above, were renting skis in the Alps of France when his black card got stuck in the card machine, it took the staff almost two hours to get it out.
In one of the more fashionable parts of Stockholm, supermarkets has put up notices saying that they’re not being able to handle black cards, stating that the cards have destroyed too many terminals.

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Wally-Hermès WHY

Monaco based Wally is amongst the top producers of naval vessels in the world. While Wally vessels are very photogénique, the pictures rarely do the real thing justice. You really have to see one in real life to see what the fuzz is all about.

Currently best know for their spectacular millennium-award-winning Wallypower 118 that might be about to change.

In 2009 Wally announced a joint venture with legendary French fashion house Hermès called WHY (Wally Hermès Yacht). Hermès was involved in every step of the process, from concept to realization. The common value and complementary expertise of the two brands are sure to deliver an outstanding product.

As you can see from the pictures the WHY is enormous, it’s bigger than most mansions. Really, it is all about substantiating a dream. The CEO of Wally, Luca Bassani says it to be: “A new and unique way to live on the sea while caring about it”. The hull, which was tested in a secret facility in Gothenburg, Sweden, measures 58 x 38 meter and is driven by a diesel electrical engine. A surface of the photovoltaic panels, which measure approximately 900 square meters, provides a large portion of the power needed to subsist the boat.

The WHY addresses the very real problem of consumption; it is efficient enough to cross the Atlantic four times without refueling. All the components required to produce a WHY are chosen with environment in mind, from the water resistant buffalo leather to the beautiful teak deck.

The teak deck that surrounds the vessel serves as a coastal-path-inspired jogging track and in the forward end there’s a 25-meter long swimming pool.
The construction of the hull allows for the boat to create a totally flat surface of calm water behind it, like an Olympic size pool, where you can swim in total peace.
The roof opens like Venetian blinds and has been designed to flood the interior in natural light.

As of yet, not order has been placed on the WHY, still Wally has created a WHY-team because of the interest the market has shown.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

James-Goldstein

Billionaire of the Week: James Goldstein

As mysterious as they come, James Goldstein is a man of extraordinary wealth.  I had the pleasure of making acquaintance with James on a beach club in the south of France, a meeting that stays in my heart to this day.

His flamboyant appearance together with an insatiable appetite for basketball and fashion has gained him worldwide recognition.

In his possession he also has one of the sickest homes which he started building some 50 years ago. The John Lautner designed Beverly Hills mansion has been featured in movies like The Big Lebowski (1998) and Charlie´s Angels: Full Throttle (2003).

David Stern, the commissioner of the NBA said that: “James Goldstein is our largest investor in NBA tickets in the world”, James can be seen on almost every NBA-game front row.

A veil of mystery surrounds the truth behind James wealth; 70’s porn directing, an affair with a famous Hollywood pinup and from trailer-park businesses are just some of the theories circulating. He has admitted many times that he enjoys the attention this secrecy brings.

James has a profound love for Fashion and can be spotted on almost every mayor fashion week around the globe. His trademark daily uniform consists of tight leather garments made out of exotic animals. Do check out the video about his house below, it is astonishing.  Afterwards I’m sure you´ll be aching for 90210, so here’s the link to our shop.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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Monaco

You’ve made it. You have sold your company, or you made a stock profit, maybe you won the U.S Open or on the Lotto. Life just went from good to great. You pause for a second, giving yourself time to grasp the moment and contemplate the peculiarities that led you to this point.
As time progresses you grow tired of different entities wanting to great a piece from your cake and the thought of moving to someplace less greedy gets less foreign by the day.

One of the worlds most important races, the Monaco Grand Prix has been held anually since 1929.

Monaco is something out a fairy tale, a tiny playground for the filthy rich, free of taxes and funded by its own casinos. But why is this and why should you bring your money here?

My favourite hotel in Monaco, The Hermitage

Monaco is the second smallest and most densely populated country in the world. It also sports the highest life expectancy and lowest unemployment rate. Citizens of Monaco are called Monegasques and since 1870 they enjoy a tax free existence. Originally funded by solely Gambling, Monaco has sought to diversify its economy. Today tourism is the major income of Monaco with gambling only representing 5 percent.

Monaco resident Lewis Hamilton takes his McLaren for a spin in the city.

The Formula 1 race driver David Coulthard told The Daily Mail: “I’ve probably saved tens of millions of pounds by living here, and my quality of life has been fantastic”.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a director for many years at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.

What’s unknown to most be the fact that Monegasques are not allowed to gamble in Monaco. The Monegasque government holds the somewhat praiseworthy view that it should not exploit its own citizens. Furthermore, to the extent that the purpose of the casino is to attract wealth into Monaco, clearly there is no point in having residents gamble there.

Having no airport itself, the closest one is Cote d’Azur airport located in Nice. However the heliport of Monaco is heavily trafficated with an interval of 20 minutes between take-offs and landing.

Prince Albert II de Monaco

The current Monarch, Prince Albert II descends from the House of Grimaldi, which has ruled Monaco since 1297.
Monaco consists out of 10 wards, with the by far most famous being Monte Carlo. 32,000 registered citizens with only 6000 holding Monegasque passports, the rest of international heritage.

Inside the Opéra de Monte Carlo.

Monaco is free from graffiti and Monegasques tend to leave their homes and cars unlocked and to the great delight of many super stars paparazzi’s, has since long been banned from doing unofficial work in Monaco.
There’s laws adressing dresscodes (yes, really) and there’s CCTV:s on EVERY street corner, not to mention the incredible ratio of one police officer to every 72:nd resident.
Every vehicle that enters Monaco has their license plate photographed and is checked against the central criminal intelligence computer.

Monaco houses around 2000 millionaires and 50 billionaires. To which group will they count you? Pick up a resident in our shop and embark on your journey to Paradise.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén

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Patek Philippe 5970

Happy New Year’s everyone.
I hope you have had a prosperous and wonderful year and that your next will be even better.
One might think that choosing a subject to blog about on the last day of the year will prove a challenge, but it really wasn’t.

I present to you the Patek Philippe 5970:

If you would enter a conversation about Holy Grail horology anywhere in the world, Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronographs are sure to be mentioned.
Patek launched their first movement of this type in 1941,, the 1518 which of lately has been fetching prices around 1.2 million euros.

About a year ago Patek ended the 5970 production and replaced it with the 5270. Assuming the 5970 will appreciate as the previous Patek-movements of this kind, it will for sure prove a healthy investment.

The 5970 houses one of Patek’s very own movements, which is exposed through the sapphire case back; the hand wound 27-70 Q Caliber.

The 27-70 Q Caliber is an interpretation by Patek on the 60 year older Lemania 2310 Movement.
The features: Chronograph with 30 minutes counter, perpetual calendar (day, month, date and leap year), Moon Phases and am/pm indication.

The beautiful case has a diameter of 40 mm, the perfect size in my opinion. It is just over 13 mm thick with a rather massive bezel that is breathtaking.  Patek really outdid themselves with the finish on these watches, considered by many amongst the best in the industry. Just look at the rose gold version.

In October 2010, world famous actor Charlie Sheen had a rampant night with a young lady (Porn star Capri Andersson) at the Plaza Hotel in New York.  The day after he thrashed the room causing several thousand dollars’ worth of damage, all because he thought that his date had stolen his watch. The time piece in question was a Patek Philippe 5970.

Guitarist extraordinaire Eric Clapton’s watch of choice when roaming around the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.

Epic musicians named John also seem to prefer Perpetual Calendrs from Patek. Below Mr. Lennon and Mr. Mayer

We’re hoping well be able to sell one in our shop soon.

Author: Olle Elander Wistén