By Thomas Shambler
Expense should never come at the cost of fun. In that spirit, CEO Middle East as put together the definitive list for connoisseurs of all types. From personal submarines to minute repeaters, these dream machines will surprise, delight and, we hope, inspire some serious fun
LUXURY ON THE HIGH SEAS
The evolution of superyachts began almost 25 years ago, with the addition of less-functional (but a lot more fun) sun-deck on the hull. Afterwards, came fold-out balconies, letting those in master suites get even closer to the ocean. Next came swim platforms, and more recently entire beach clubs – incorporated in to the stern of a vessel. Now, Wider's new 150-foot superyacht manages all three.
When at anchor, its 32-foot tender is deployed, with the door to its garage staying open. The tender garage is then refilled and transformed in to a beach club, complete with 23-foot open-air swimming pool and spacious deck. The unique design comes courtesy of Wider's ethos, to find spaces that don't exist on other yachts.
The foredeck, for example, features an open-air living area covered by awnings that raise hydraulically. The vessel has a modest top speed of 15 knots, with the ability to cruise at 11 knots for over 4,200 nautical miles. Two power rooms house a diesel-electric engine, that when turned on to battery mode, will keep the Wider 150 cruising for at least eight hours in total silence.
DRAGON OF THE SEA
If ever you wanted to explore the depths there is surely no better way to do it than at the controls of DeepFlight's Dragon submersible. It can dive as deep as 400-feet below the surface, with tandem seating and two cockpits. What makes the Dragon special are the controls. It's controlled by a lever and joystick, which makes piloting more akin to that of a video game than a submarine.
Two pairs of vertical propellers allow the submarine to hover at depths, while thrusters mounted to the tail allow it to pitch and roll. Buoyancy is built in, which means even if there was a mechanical failure the vessel will simply float to the surface. The Dragon submersible runs on a lithium-iron-phosphate battery back, which can propel it silently at speeds of 4 knots for six hours.
SURPRISING AND SPORTY
Carmakers traditionally run leaky ships. Generally, the moment a drawing has left the design studio of a top-tier manufacturer, its specifications get splashed all over the internet. It makes it increasingly hard for carmakers to surprise the public.
However, at the Geneva Motor show last year Bentley did just that. The EXP 10 Speed 6 made a surprising debut, with Bentley's CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer promising that it was more than just a show car, and it would indeed go in to production.
This is the first Bentley sports car (an idea no more surprising than that of a Bentley SUV) complete with signature mesh grille and rounded headlights. While details about the drivetrain and capabilities under the hood have still not been revealed, the long hood, wide stance and fastback roof make this distinctively a performance vehicle.
Bang & Olufsen's new flagship speakers have everything you might want for something that perpetually stands in your living room. It weights four feet tall, weighs just shy of 150-kilograms and looks like a cubist sculpture. The BeoLab 90s also comes with an 85-inch BeoVision Avant 4K TV, along with two BeoLab 20 surround-sound speakers and a BeoSound Moment music server. The whole package, indeed.
The star of this audio show, however, are the main Beolab 90 speakers, equipped with 18 drivers and 14 IcePower onboard digital amplifies that deliver 8,200 watts of power. Each driver has a sound vision of 360-degrees, meaning they'll sound just as sweet from any location. There are three tweeters and three midrange drivers on the front panel of the five-sided cabinet, with four stacked tweeter/drivers in the remaining. The lower portion of the cabinet features three 8.3-inch woofers and a single 10.2 subwoofer for optimum low-frequency response.
The GMT function – on watches that accurately track time across time zones – is probably the most useful complication on any high-end timepiece. While not the most technically advanced (over say, a minute repeater) in today's connected world it still holds its own, able to give its wearer the time in his home country at a glance – far quicker than having to paw at a smartphone.
Richard Mille has upgraded the humble two-timezone watch, with a rotating bezel that makes this far smarter than your bog-standard GMT. The bezel displays the names of major cities in each of the world's 24 time zones. Once you turn the city to the 12 o'clock position, you can determine the time. While the operation is simple on the surface, it utilizes a ball-bearing system that embodies the level of a Richard Mille watch.
It seems pilots are increasingly looking for a supercar they can fly. The wish-list is almost the same, pilots want speed, safety, comfort and sexy looks. And just like a car built for the road, they want it to be an experience to fly.
That's exactly what Cobalt decided to do with the Co50 Valkyrie, its inaugural model. It's one of only a few aircraft that features a small wing at the nose, called a canard. This helps improve lift and performance, and helps propel the plane to almost 480-kilmetres per hour. Inspired by fighter jets, the Valkyrie sports clean exterior lines and leather seats handstitched by former Hermès craftsman. In addition to seating as many as five people (including the pilot), the Valkyrie also offers enough space for luggage, golf clubs and even skies.
SUM OF ITS PARTS
Almost two decades in the making, the first patents for the Type 1 were filed back in the mid-90s. The brainchild of celebrated French bike builder Olivier Midy, the Type 1 features a custom-designed engine: a forward-facing flat-twin inclined at 25-degrees. It's capable of producing 106-horsepower at 8,000rpm, and developed entirely in house. Of course, a stellar engine alone is not enough to make a great motorcycle, which is why the Type 1 is wrapped in a lightweight aluminium-alloy that's inseparable from frame.
This not only serves as both the chassis and the fuel tank – thereby saving weight – but results in the Type 1's distinct fit and finish. While the bike looks like a mechanical piece of art, it was designed with customisation in mind. As such, just about every piece can be modified with a variety of colours and materials.