The 25 Greatest Supercars Of The 21st Century (So Far)

From the Bugatti Veyron to the Pagani Utopia, this is our revised list of the very best models from the new millennium…at least for now.

By Robb Report Staff 07/11/2022

There is no denying that the landscape of the automotive industry is seismically shifting. Advances in autonomous driving, ubiquitous ride-sharing platforms and even new app-driven models for ownership, while convenient, do not nurture a love for the automobile or contribute to any semblance of car culture.

Yet it would be a mistake to assume that younger generations are becoming unilaterally apathetic. How could they? We are at a confluence of tech and tradition, analog and artificial intelligence and nowhere is this more evident than with the current ultra-high-performance machines on the market.

To that end, we’ve updated our list of the 25 greatest supercars so far this century, and it’s by all means an exercise in subjectivity. Some models that made it here may not be the fastest production cars out there or the most agile, but they have either fuelled our imagination or introduced new levels of innovation. And honestly, in some cases, they’re just the ones our inner child feels compelled to draw . . . all the time. And the fact that these will all become the classics of the future has us confident that when it comes to the life automotive, the kids are going to be just fine.

McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 supercar.

Ok, so the first one on this list is technically from the last century, the 1990s to be exact, but it’s here as a benchmark and baseline for the models that follow. A top speed of 371 km/h. Back in 1992, no other production car had ever gone that fast. It was mind-blowing. But that’s what the McLaren F1 did; blow minds. With its feather-weight carbon-fiber chassis, single-minded focus on shaving weight and a bespoke six-litre, 627 hp BMW V-12 for power, it could sear to 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds.

Costing nearly $1 million at launch, it was also mind-blowingly expensive. Today, however, in the rare chance that one of the 106 examples comes to market, expect to pay around $20 million. The ultimate supercar? Some would say there’s no question. Howard Walker

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport on a racetrack.
Kailin Huang/Shutterstock

Bugatti stormed back to the modern age from the pages of automotive history with the 2005 Veyron, which announced its intentions with quad-turbo twin-V8s that made an astonishing 1,200 hp. Fast forward a half-decade, and the Super Sport version of the Veyron promptly claimed the Guinness Book of Records title in 2010 as world’s fastest production car with a 418 km/h run at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg test track.

The Veyron Super Sport has been eclipsed by the 1,500 hp Bugatti Chiron Super Sport which, driven by Andy Wallace, hit 489 km/h in testing in 2019. However, nobody is apt to forget the Veyron—the machine that made the modern version of Bugatti what it is today. Marco della Cava

Ferrari LaFerrari

A Ferrari LaFerrari.

2013 was an auspicious year for supercars, with no fewer than three major releases debuting from McLaren, Porsche, and Ferrari and earning the “Holy Trinity” nickname. Though fiercely individual, each of the trio claimed a hybrid power-train layout.

Of the three, only the Ferrari LaFerrari boasted a V-12 engine— and a raucous, naturally aspirated one, at that. The LaFerrari also happened to be the most powerful (and, unofficially at least) the most charismatic of the wild bunch. Eponymously named to suggest it was the quintessence of the Ferrari nameplate, the 950 hp hypercar may go down in history not only as the pinnacle of its era, but also as one of the greatest prancing horses of all time.

McLaren P1

The McLaren P1.
Oleksiy Maksymenko/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

Of the three renowned hybrid hypercars that debuted in 2013, two (the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder) hailed from long-established carmakers, while the other—the McLaren P1—was a relative newbie on the scene. Not that the British manufacturer hadn’t earned itself a spot in the hypercar pantheon with the 1990s-era legendary F1, but the lengthy absence made building this flagship like starting from scratch.

McLaren used advanced carbon-fiber construction based on its lesser, more approachable (relatively) offerings, but the top dog P1 claimed a screaming 903 hp and a remarkably lightweight chassis, which made it a more than worthy contender against the supercar establishment of the time. B.W.

Porsche 918 Spyder

A Porsche 918 Spyder at the Paris Motor Show in 2018.
Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock

The 918 Spyder was a true game changer, demonstrating the potential of plug-in hybrid technology in the supercar stratosphere. A naturally aspirated, 4.6-litre V-8 with 599 hp got added power from two electric motors, for a total output of 877 hp and 944 ft lbs of near instant-on torque.

Penned by Porsche’s chief designer, Michael Mauer, the 918 was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010 as a concept to gauge market interest, going into production in late 2013 with a base MSRP of $845,000. The entire allocation of—surprise—918 units, sold out by the end of 2014, so eager were VIP Porschephiles to acquire the most powerful street-going Porsche ever made. Production ended by mid-2015, and the 918 remains a highly desirable collector car today. Robert Ross

Koenigsegg Regera

The Koenigsegg Regera on display.
Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock.

Sweden may be known largely as the home of proletarian transportation king Volvo, but sports car enthusiasts also know it as the land of Koenigsegg. And one of the mightiest models to leave that factory is the Regera, brainchild of company founder Christian von Koenigsegg who was, reportedly, inspired after a few sprints in a Tesla Model S P95.

The Regera, however, runs on hybrid power combining three electric motors with a 5-litre V-8. The power-train configuration, in total, produces a staggering 1,700 hp—all of which completely and wonderfully upends the image of Swedes being models of self-restraint. M.C.

Lamborghini Huracán Performante

A Lamborghini Huracán Performante on display.
Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock

Lamborghini’s Huracán was no slouch, a flying wedge of a car powered by a 10-cylinder engine producing a touch over 600 hp. But four years after the model’s debut in 2014, it was decided that this Italian raging bull needed a track-focused makeover. Carbon-fibre bumpers, skirts and an adjustable wing removed weight and added downforce, while an engine massage bumped horsepower up 5 percent and took the coupe’s zero-to-100 km/h time down to just less than 3 seconds.

The interior was just as race oriented, with sports seats and digital speedometer off the Aventador. All that added up to a brief but celebrated 2016 track record at Germany’s haloed Nürburgring, not bad at all for a company whose roots were in tractors. M.C.

Pagani Huayra Roadster

The Pagani Huayra Roadster on display.
Shutterstock

Follow-ups to massive debuts are tough nuts to crack. But Argentine engineer Horatio Pagani did just that with the Huayra, the successor to his stop-the-presses Zonda. Back in the engine bay is a monstrous AMG-tuned power plant, this time a six-litre twin-turbo V-12 producing 738 hp.

Wrapped around the driver and passenger of this roofless wonder is a tub made from a combination of carbon fibre and titanium for greater stiffness and lighter weight. But those are just the raw specs for a vehicle perhaps best known for being as meticulously refined as a Swiss watch, a true tastemaker’s triumph. M.C.

Ruf CTR 30th Anniversary Edition

A 30th anniversary edition of the Ruf CTR.
Cyril Zingaro/EPA/Shutterstock

Ruf’s 340 km/h Yellowbird may have looked like a slightly tweaked Porsche 911, but the heavily modified creation was nothing short of groundbreaking, vanquishing titans like the Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini Countach in a 1987 Road & Track magazine cover story. Its legend became cemented with a Nürburgring-shredding session in the “Faszination” video.

The latest CTR, marking its 30th anniversary, once again appears approachable at first glance, but this time around it boasts an entirely bespoke carbon-fiber chassis hiding a cornucopia of exotic hardware, from inboard suspension to a quick-revving 700 hp power plant. At once classic and futuristic, the CTR marks a momentous milestone against the original Yellowbird, offering a wildly capable supercar that hides in a discreetly familiar body. B.W.

McLaren Senna

The McLaren Senna supercar.
Courtesy of McLaren Automotive Limited

Being named after the legendary Formula 1 world champion Ayrton Senna guarantees the fearsome McLaren Senna rarified status. But it’s the car’s savage, rock-out-of-a-catapult performance and breathtaking capability, both on and off the racetrack, that heighten its near-mythical appeal.

Unveiled in 2017 with production set at 500 examples, the $960,000 Senna is a road-legal, super-lightweight track missile powered by a 789 hp, mid-mounted four-litre twin-turbo V-8. It can run zero-to-100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 340 km/h. While we think the F1 still ranks as the ultimate McLaren, the Senna is certainly right behind it. H.W.

Ferrari SF90 Stradale

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale at its debut in China.
Courtesy of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S

While the days of Maranello’s 12-cylinder halo rockets may be fading in today’s eco-climate, the eight-cylinder SF90 Stradale more than delivers. Billed as a street car tribute to Ferrari’s SF90 Formula 1 machine, the SF90 Stradale is an unabashed hypercar boasting 1,000 hp from three electric motors and a twin-turbo V-8.

Its combination of exceptional hybrid power-train performance and dramatic looks pull from the best of existing aft-engined models. Note the nod to the 488’s flank scoops as well as to the marque’s racing pedigree—the nose simply screams motorsport, which this car salutes by name: Scuderia Ferrari, 90 years. M.C.

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+

The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ hypercar.
Courtesy of SSC North America

On August 2, 2019, Bugatti’s Chiron Super Sport became the first series-production automobile to break the 482 km/h mark on a German test track with official Bugatti test driver and Le Mans–winner Andy Wallace behind the wheel. Inspired by that achievement, the manufacturer created the eponymously named Chiron Super Sport 300+.

Limited to 30 examples worldwide, it’s distinguished by carbon bodywork that extends the longtail by 9.8 inches, along with aero enhancements that improve high-speed performance by further lowering drag and increasing downforce. It’s about power too, where the 8.0-litre, W-16 quad-turbocharged engine produces 1,600 hp, 100 hp more than a “garden-variety” Chiron. As regards fuel consumption, depending on how fast you drive, your mileage may vary. R.R.

SSC Tuatara

The SSC Tuatara supercar.
Courtesy of SSC North America

To reach 482 km/h . That’s the target that Washington State–based SSC North America has for its new SSC Tuatara hypercar. To hit that mark, the carbon-fiber–bodied Tuatara—named after a spiny lizard found in New Zealand—carries a 5.9-litre twin-turbo V-8 packing a massive 1,726 hp.

Production has already kicked off with the goal to build 100 examples, each priced at $1.6 million. SSC isn’t new to the high-speed business. In 2007, its 1,287 hp Ultimate Aero clocked 412 km/h . The record stood for three years before Bugatti’s Veyron Super Sports came along. But on January 17, 2021, the SSC Tuatara took the record back with two runs that averaged 455 km/h , and the results were verified by Racelogic. More recently still, it officially clocked 474 km/h. H.W.

Lamborghini Essenza SCV12

The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 supercar.
Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

While Lamborghini’s lineup of 21st century road cars is more outlandish than ever, nothing earns street cred more than how track-worthy a model is. Enter the Essenza SCV12, Lambo’s postmodern hat tip to track specials of yore like the Diablo GTR and Miura Jota.

Freed from the constraints of road legality, the Essenza uncorks Lamborghini’s naughtiest impulses from bow to stern. Extreme bodywork yields over 2,600 pounds of downforce, more than a GT3 race car and, liberated from emissions equipment, the hulking 6.5-litre, 819 hp engine is Lambo’s most powerful V-12 yet. Then there’s the futurist cockpit, which features a button-and-dial-clad steering yoke that wouldn’t be out of place in a Formula 1 car. And although the 40 buyers of the $2.6 million Essenza won’t have their own competition series, Lamborghini promises Essenza-only track days that should satisfy the owners’ race cravings. B.W.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

The Aston Martin Valkyrie at Silverstone racetrack.
Courtesy of Aston Martin.

Supercar greatness in the form of Aston Martin’s Valkyrie is now in production. The model is a new benchmark for the automaker when it comes to street-legal, production-car performance. It’s what happens when you bolt a 1,000 hp, 6.5-litre V-12, along with a 160 hp Rimac-developed hybrid-electric system, into a lightweight, super-strong carbon monocoque.

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, remember the car has been designed by Adrian Newey, a rock star in Formula 1 design and the current chief technical officer for Red Bull Racing. Production will be limited to 150 examples, each costing $3.2 million. H.W.

Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4

The Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 supercar.
Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

It’s been a half century since Lamborghini gobsmacked the supercar world with the Countach and its wedge-shaped silhouette. Now, more than 50 years later, the Countach LPI 800-4 revives the iconic nameplate with a similar-but-not-the-same take on the model’s age-old formula.

Some haters have dismissed the new Countach as a needless nod to the past; not only is the name dear to enthusiasts’ hearts, but so are signature design cues like the massive side-mounted ducts and air inlets at the haunches. However, the heart of the LPI 800-4 speaks more to Lamborghini’s hereafter than any sheetmetal could, namely an 802 hp, hybrid power train that seals the deal on the future relevance of the Raging Bull marque. B.W.

Rimac Nevera

The Rimac Nevera hypercar.
Philipp Rupprecht, courtesy of Rimac Automobili

Landmark cars often hail from unexpected places, but the Rimac Nevera has dealt earth-shattering blows to the supercar microcosm. For starters, the battery-powered Nevera obliterated internal combustion records by routing 1,914 hp to all four wheels, eclipsing zero-to-100 km/h times of everything from McLarens to Koenigseggs. More shockingly, the EV hypercar is the brainchild of 33-year old Croatian wunderkind Mate Rimac, who founded the firm in 2011.

The Rimac Nevera’s early impact arose from its sensational performance stats, but the legacy of this hypercar will transcend a mere model. In summer 2021, the Croatian startup purchased a majority stake in Bugatti, marking the first (and likely not the last) time a legacy supercar brand falls under the control of an EV upstart. B.W.

Mercedes-AMG One

The Mercedes-AMG One hypercar.
Courtesy of Daimler AG.

How can a car that just entered production rank as one of the supercar “greats” of the 21st century? Because we’re oh-so-confident that the 1,000 hp Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 racer for the street appears next summer, it continue to be mind-blowing for years to come.

Unveiled back in 2017 as the Project One concept, this road-going monster was plagued by technical challenges, but then there’s a lot going on when you basically build a Formula 1 car you can take on the freeway.

Powered by a hybrid-boosted, 1.6-litre turbo V-6 and a trio of electric motors, it’s expected to cover zero to 200 km/h in less than 6 seconds and top out at 350 km/h. Not surprisingly, all 275 examples of these $2.6 million tour de forces are taken. H.W.

Koenigsegg Jesko

The Koenigsegg Jesko hypercar.
Courtesy of Koenigsegg Automotive AB.

Back in 2017, Sweden’s Christian von Koenigsegg saw his Agera RS become the world’s fastest production car with a two-way top speed of 447 km/h. The Agera’s successor, the mega-winged, 1,660 hp Jesko—named after Christian’s father—may have what it takes to top the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport’s 490 km/h mark.

The $3 million Jesko’s go-fast technology includes a screaming, 5.0-litre twin-turbo V-8, which features the world’s lightest V-8 crankshaft, weighing a mere 28 pounds. It’s no wonder that all 125 examples of the model scheduled for production have been presold. H.W.

Pininfarina Battista

The Pininfarina Battista hypercar.
Pininfarina S.p.A.

Automotive nameplates don’t come more legendary than Pininfarina. The Italian studio’s 62-year association with Ferrari, for example, created such icons as the 275 GTB, 365 GTB/4 Daytona and that Tom Selleck Magnum P.I. classic, the 308 GTS. The Cadillac Atlante? Not so much.

With a little help from India’s Mahindra Group, who rescued Pininfarina in late 2015, and the Croatian EV electric geniuses at Rimac, comes the sensational Pininfarina Battista hypercar. Packing 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm of torque from its 120 kwh lithium-ion battery pack and quad motors, this truly-gorgeous electric two-seat coupe can slingshot from zero to 100 km/h in 1.8 seconds, and run zero to 300 km/h in 12 seconds. Flat out, it’ll hit 350 km/h before the electronic nannies kick in.

The first of the 150 cars being built—priced starting at $2.2 million each—has already been delivered. Want something really special? There’s a lavishly equipped Anniversario edition, of which only five will be produced. They’re priced closer to $2.9 million but, alas, all have been sold. H.W.

Lotus Evija

The Lotus Evija hypercar.
John Wycherley, courtesy of Lotus Cars Limited

It’s simply the most powerful series-production road car ever built. It packs an astonishing 2,011 hp and 141 Nm of torque. That’s enough to catapult this hip-high projectile from zero to 100 km/h in less than three seconds and whisk it from zero to 300 km/h in just 9.1.

This is the all-electric Lotus Evija from the fabled British sports-car maker founded by the visionary Colin Chapman back in 1952. The new Evija—it supposedly means “the living one”—is all carbon-fiber monocoque, Le Mans–inspired aerodynamics and a state-of-the-art electric power train developed by the technical wizards at Williams Advanced Engineering.

And what a power train. With prodigious electric motors at each wheel, and a mid-mounted battery pack echoing Lotus’ tradition of mid-engine positioning, pure electric driving range is around 250 miles. Hook it up to an 800 kw charger and the whole pack will replenish in just nine minutes.

Only 130 examples of the Evija will be built, with first deliveries in early 2023. As for the price, expect to pay around $2.3 million. H.W.

Pagani Utopia

A Pagani Utopia hypercar.
Pagani Automobili S.p.A.

Utopia is defined as “an imagined place where everything is perfect,” an ideal Horacio Pagani has been chasing since he became a boutique carmaker some 30 years ago. His latest stab at perfection replaces the Huayra, and edges toward that goal by combining his familiar AMG-sourced twin-turbo 852 hp V-12 with the choice of an automated single clutch, or a fully traditional three-pedal manual gearbox. The former is a staple for the power-addled set; the latter, catnip to enthusiasts addicted to driving with all four limbs.

Pagani’s (predominantly) analog Utopia makes a case for blending old and new in familiar-yet-fresh packaging, while innovating with a chassis that leverages the best of both carbon fibre and titanium. Horacio’s new hypercar breaks new ground while resisting the urge to add a hybrid or electric drivetrain, making a power play for both modernity and nostalgia available to only 99 customers. B.W.

Ferrari Daytona SP3

The Ferrari Daytona SP3 supercar.
Photo : Ferrari S.p.A.

The Icona series of limited-production models tips a hat to the past by wrapping modern underpinnings with retro-futuristic skins. The third Icona to hail from Modena is the Daytona SP3, which recalls the Ferrari 330 P4s which finished first, second, and third at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967.

Though its air intakes and aerodynamics are functional, the spirit of the SP3 is strictly nostalgic—specifically its naturally aspirated V-12 that revs to 9,500 rpm and produces 829 horsepower. From its swollen fenders to its dramatically straked rear end, the $2.2 million Daytona SP3 will serve as kinetic art when its 599 owners take delivery of their special steeds. B.W.

McLaren Solus GT

The McLaren Solus GT supercar.
McLaren Automotive Limited

McLaren threw out the rulebook when imagining the Solus GT. Rather than sticking to hypercar conventions, the Woking-based brand went for broke with a single-seater, track-only special that will only see 25 examples built. Gamers might spot the resemblance to McLaren’s Vision GT, the fictional racer seen in the video game Gran Turismo Sport.

This time around, the physical car departs from McLaren’s V-8 tradition by packing a 5.2-litre V-10 capable of spinning at 10,000 rpm and launching to 100 km/h in less than 2.5 seconds. If the nearly 830 horsepower power plant isn’t compelling enough, the Solus GT’s featherweight 1 tonne mass and 1,200 kgs of downforce should make this ultra-rare model super collectible down the line. B.W.

Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster

The Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster hypercar.
Hennessey Special Vehicles

We loved the outrageous 1,817 hp Venom F5 Coupe from maverick Texas supercar builder John Hennessey and his team at Hennessey Special Vehicles. When it debuted back in 2021, the Venom F5 was fast, furious and designed to shatter the elusive 482 km/h barrier. While it has yet to hit that particular bullseye, a recorded max of 437 km/h certainly shows its potential.

Now it’s the turn of the new, Venom F5 Roadster to go for 482 km/h. Being powered by the same 1,817 hp, 6.6-litre twin-turbo “Fury” V-8 as the coupe, and weighing only 45 pounds more, the open-top torpedo could have that speed benchmark clearly in the crosshairs. Just know that the lift-out, featherweight carbon-fiber roof panel—it weighs just 8 kgs—will have to stay in place for the Roadster to get anywhere close to the 300 club.

Yet, to us, the beauty of this Venom F5 Roadster will be taking off the top and hearing the full thunder of those eight cylinders as it roars to its 8,500 rpm red line. Hennessey plans to build 30 examples of the Roadster, each priced at a cool $3 million. H.W.

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Watches & Wonders 2024 Showcase: Laurent Ferrier

We head to Geneva for the Watches & Wonders exhibition; a week-long horological blockbuster featuring the hottest new drops, and no shortage of hype.

By Josh Bozin 18/07/2024

With Watches & Wonders 2024 well and truly behind us, this week we look at Laurent Ferrier, a brand hailing from Geneva.

LAURENT FERRIER

Laurent Ferrier Classic Moon

The 63-year-old, third-generation independent watchmaker continues the tradition of his Genevan ancestors. Since 2009, his namesake brand has thrived in an ultra-competitive industry thanks to his dedication to classical timepieces, assembled by hand, using the highest grade materials available.

The Laurent Ferrier Classic Moon builds on this storied heritage. The 40 mm dress watch (the brand’s first moonphase complication) is available in silver with a blue-ish dial, or rose gold with a brushed silver dial. It salutes the vintage dress watches of yesteryear with Roman numerals and baton-shaped indices; vintage-inspired date numbers; Assegai-shaped hour, minute, and date hands; a double moonphase; and a pebble-shaped case reminiscent of 19th-century pocket watches. 

The attention to detail continues with an attractive subdial made of Murano aventurine glass, engraved in moon and star motifs and hand-applied white paint details. The engraving is also hand-filled with Super-LumiNova, while the subdial is covered with a translucent disc in petrol-blue enamel.

At roughly a $116,000 starting price, it may deter those who would rather invest in a dress watch from, say, Patek Philippe. But the Classic Moon certainly captures the charm of this style of timepiece, and those willing to support the self-sustaining Swiss brand won’t be disappointed with the result. This a timepiece made to the highest levels of craftsmanship—and a fitting climax to a week spent in the horological heaven that is Watches & Wonders.

laurentferrier.ch

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Bay Watch 

After losing its lustre for decades, Sydney’s Double Bay is undergoing a renaissance. And with harbour views, lush parks and a friendly village feel, it’s no wonder luxury developments are flourishing.

By Horacio Silva 16/07/2024

The boarded storefronts on the strip of New South Head Road in Double Bay currently under construction near Cross Street are plastered with archival images of the harbourside suburb in its 1960s and 1970s heyday. In the grainy black-and-white images, passers-by dressed in their imported European finery inhabit the bustling streets and fashionable shopping destinations of the time, including Mark Foy’s department store on Knox Street and the chic boutiques of Claire Handler, Maria Finlay and Nellie Vida—three Hungarian expats who sourced the latest trends from the Continent for style-starved locals. 

The images serve as a reminder of an era when European designers dictated the style for modish Australians. They’re also a document of how much this prestigious enclave, located 11 minutes’ drive from the CBD and a snow-cone’s throw from some of Sydney’s best beaches, has changed.

The area’s once-thriving boutiques are a thing of the past, replaced by all manner of beauty-focused establishments. Gone too are the open-air dances in Steyne Park, the old Hoyts Theatre (an Art Deco gem of a building on the main drag that was the nexus of the community) and the illegal casino a few doors down from it called the Double Bay Bridge Club.

Which is not to say that this once-sleepy hollow, whose fortunes have ebbed and flowed in the last 50 years, has become the profligate relic that detractors, who pilloried it as “Double Pay”, predicted it would become after it fell from favour over the past few decades. Far from it. “There’s only one Double Bay,” says Angela Belle McSweeney, director of Australian Turf Club and a former public relations maven whose office was located for years on Knox Street, above the famed 21 restaurant.  “In terms of Australian glamour, it’s always been the benchmark and now more than ever.”

Joseph Hkeik, the owner of All Saint Clinic, which caters to the taut skin of the city’s high society, concurs. “There really is something palpable in the air,” says Hkeik, who is in as good a position as any to talk about the changing face of the place.

“A lot is happening, and everyone wants to be seen in Double Bay. It’s the hotspot of Sydney.”

All Saint Clinic

If Double Bay is once again the talk of the town, it’s in no small part due to chef and restaurateur Neil Perry. After stepping away in early 2020 as founder of the Rockpool Group, through which he created legendary restaurants such as Rockpool and Spice Temple, Perry resurfaced a few months later with plans to start anew on the prized willow-festooned corner of Bay Street and Guilfoyle Avenue. In June 2021, he opened his award-winning seafood restaurant Margaret, and soon after, the adjacent bar Next Door and the Baker Bleu bakery two premises along.

He has not looked back. The fat cats today may be younger than the potentates who used to frequent the area’s old stamping grounds like George’s and the Hunter’s Lodge, and the ladies who lunch are more “wind-swept” than their pre-Botox predecessors, but the Lamborghinis and Ferraris parked nearby suggest that this is once again where the elite meet to eat.

“It is definitely going through a renaissance,” says Perry of his new domain, “but I honestly think it’ll be more than a passing moment. Double Bay has the beautiful parks and waterfront, and for all the glitz it also has that village atmosphere close to the city that everyone wants. And there is so much investment in the place.” That’s somewhat of an understatement.

Originally earmarked to be the site of Sydney’s Botanic Gardens when it was settled in the 1820s, the suburb remains as green as ever, but these days it’s hard to see the trees for all the construction cranes. 

On Bay Street alone, real estate powerhouse Fortis has broken ground on mixed-use properties that are among the city’s most hotly anticipated new addresses. Of the new developments, perhaps the most eagerly awaited is Ruby House, a luxury five-storey strata office block on the corner of New South Head Road and Bay Street, due for completion in early 2025. A collaboration of luminaries, including Lawton Hurley as lead architects and interiors by Woods Bagot, Ruby House will offer a range of sun- dappled office spaces, ranging from 60–550 m², with starting prices around $3 million. The ground floor will feature retail spaces, as well as three best-in-class restaurants, adding more culinary heft to a street that already includes Bibo, Matteo and Tanuki.

Ruby House

“Our vision for Double Bay is to bring life back into this once-great suburb,” says Charles Mellick, director of Fortis, “and to create a vibrant precinct that is seen as the most sought-after neighbourhood in Sydney, if not all of Australia.” Big call, indeed. And yet take a stroll along the suburb’s verdant paths and suddenly Mellick’s words do not feel so hyperbolic. A few doors down from Ruby House, 24 Bay St is slated to open this August in the heritage- listed modernist masterpiece, Gaden House, designed by Neville Gruzman, a former Mayor of Woollahra and one of Sydney’s most influential 20th-century architects. Fortis is also teaming with architects Lawton Hurley on the building, which will house Song Bird, Neil Perry’s (does this man ever sleep?) new three-storey, 230-seat Cantonese restaurant. Underground will be the speakeasy Bobbie’s, helmed by Linden Pride of Caffe Dante in New York, voted best bar in the world in 2019. 

“Double Bay used to have two of the best Chinese restaurants in the city,” says Perry, referring to the defunct Cleveland and Imperial Peking. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel with Song Bird so it’s going to be great to continue that tradition.”

Across the street at 19-27 Bay Street, the first flagship RH Gallery, formerly Restoration Hardware, is also under construction. A five-level commercial building, opening in late 2025, it will house bespoke luxury home furnishings and a rooftop restaurant not unlike the company’s jumping location in New York’s Meatpacking District. Meanwhile, a few blocks over on Cross Street, Ode—a luxury tower developed by Top Spring Australia—is slated to open in 2025 next to the InterContinental Hotel (itself recently sold and being reimagined to include top-floor apartments and retail). Designed by Luigi Rosselli Architects, Ode’s 15 spacious residences and penthouses, with shimmering harbour views, are being eagerly contested by the one percent, with two of the three penthouses already being bought off-plan for $21.5 and $24.9 million.

Ode, Double Bay

For all the positivity, and dollars, swirling around the suburb, there is no cast-iron guarantee that these new commercial opportunities will help rekindle the moribund boutique scene and return Double Bay to its former fashionable standing. It’s been a while since Claire Handler and her Hungarian cohorts made cash registers sing.

As such, not everyone is convinced about the suburb’s supposed rebirth. “The rents in this area are astronomical as it is,” says Tony Yeldham, the legendary menswear impresario who opened his Squire Shop for discerning gentlemen as a teenager in 1956. “It’s going to be near impossible for smaller players to stay alive, but I’ve seen this area go through so many ups and downs so I’m hopeful if sceptical.” For the most part, the locals remain sanguine about the area’s potential, with one proviso. As Joseph Hkeik explains, “We just need these lovely builders to finish up so we can all get some peace and quiet.”

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The Finer Things

Shimmering with gold, diamonds and precious stones, these women’s watches represent the pinnacle of haute horology. Just look at them…

By Belinda Aucott-christie And Josh Bozin 16/07/2024

Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chanel, Piaget, Chopard and Cartier were among the prestige brands to unveil women’s novelties at this year’s Watches and Wonders fair in Geneva. Here we review some of our favourites, including a new style from Bulgari who impressed via an artistic collaboration with architect Tadao Ando and Chanel whose latest bobbin cuff was inspired by a spool of thread.

BULGARI

Tadao Ando Serpenti

The brand’s collaboration with lauded Japanese architect Tadao Ando artfully remixes the enduring Serpenti Tubogas model. The collection celebrates the four seasons; pictured here is the Summer (natsu) with a two-tone, yellow-gold-and-steel bracelet and a green aventurine dial. $27,600. Availability on request; Bulgari.com

VAN CLEEF AND ARPELS

Lady Arpels Brise d’Été 

The maison’s Poetic Complications novelties ensure that telling the time becomes a spectacle. On this occasion, the flowers on the dial blossom and close in a randomised pattern at the touch of a button. Van Cleef & Arpels’ latest lesson in horological theatre was four years in development, with the dial alone taking 40 hours to master. Price and availability on request; vancleefandarpels.com

CHANEL

Bobbin Cuff Couture

Playing on the vintage “secret” watches of the 1920s, the Bobbin Cuff Couture was inspired aesthetically by a spool of thread. The idiosyncratic jewellery-watch is crafted entirely in 18-karat yellow gold, set with rows of brilliant-cut diamond “threads” and a 17-carat emerald-cut sapphire that hides the watch face. Price and availability on request. Chanel.com

PIAGET 

Limelight Gala Precious 

At 26 mm, a timepiece that captures the poise and elegance that has come to define Piaget’s jewellery watches. Now, with the inclusion of 38 brilliant-cut diamonds, the 18-karat rose gold “Decor Palace” dial and matching bracelet, this Limelight Gala is arguably the best of a collection that interweaves art, design and jewellery, with an emphasis on beauty. Around $118,500. Availability on request; Piaget.com

CHOPARD 

L’Heure  Du Diamant Round 

Chopard showcases its smarts in the art of diamond setting. Here, the maison’s artisans have orchestrated an amalgamation of contemporary design and alluring precious stones. The green malachite dial is a standout feature, as is the Chopard MD29 hand-wound mechanical movement. Price and availability on request; Chopard.com

CARTIER 

La Panthère de Cartier

From one of the brand’s most symbolic collections, this iteration of the Panthère de Cartier watch is designed in a rhodium-finish white gold case set with 136 brilliant-cut diamonds, and a rhodium-finish white gold panther head set with 297 brilliant-cut diamonds. The striking, pear-shaped eyes are crafted from emerald. Price and availability on request; cartier.com

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Marc Newson Has Designed Everything from Pens to Superyachts … Now He Wants to Go to Space

On the heels of a new career-spanning book, the industrial designer and Apple alum shares his ultimate design project.

By Lee Carter 16/07/2024

Sporting shades, Marc Newson reclines on a sunny terrace of his Greek island retreat. If he appears exultant, he has every reason to be. Devoting his life’s work to elevating everyday objects into items we covet, Newson has become one of the most sought-after industrial designers in the world.

Case in point, Newson has just returned from Salone del Mobile, the sprawling design fair in Milan, where he launched a colossal book about his equally colossal career, signing copies for devoted fans barely able to lift it.

Over 400 pages, the monograph chronicles Newson’s nearly four decades in design from his start as a jewelry major at Sydney College of the Arts to producing avant-garde furnishings to now crafting luxury speed boats for Riva and even a concept plane in an art project for the Fondation Cartier. All told, Marc Newson: Works 84–24 (Taschen) is a testament to his tireless pursuit of perfection.

Asked to reflect on 40 years of soaring success, the Australian designer all but blushes—or perhaps it’s the Mediterranean sun. “When I look at my own work,” he says, “particularly in the context of a document that begins and ends, it almost feels like I’m reading about someone else.” After all, he demurs, he’s only doing his job. “The core of my occupation is troubleshooting [and] problem-solving. I apply the same rigor, process, and rules to every project, whether it’s a pen or a mega-yacht.”

Marc Newson’s Horizon luggage, designed for Louis Vuitton, and his Orgone chair demonstrate the importance he puts on curves. Taschen

The Newson look is aesthetically niche, but touches almost every sector, from fashion to household goods. It’s bold yet pragmatic, sumptuous yet futuristic, reverential yet iconoclastic. A transparent timepiece for Jaeger-LeCoultre, a sensuously curved cognac bottle for Hennessy, and a sleek aluminum luggage collaboration with Louis Vuitton (the latest of which just appeared in Pharrell Williams’s spring 2025 collection) all point to a singular, forward-looking vision. Or how about the katana sword he created in 2019 with a ninth-generation master swordsmith in Japan? He calls the tradition and sophistication required to execute that work “unfathomable, almost alchemical, practically spiritual.”

Two decades ago, in 2004, he created the Zvezdochka sneaker for Nike. Modelled entirely on a computer and made from a single piece of injection-molded resin, the footwear—named after the 1961 rocket-riding Russian dog—was intended for astronauts to wear during their daily exercises in zero gravity. As Newson notes, “Where else would you need the perfect sneakers but running on a treadmill in space?”

Newson’s groundbreaking Lockheed Martin Chaise.
Taschen

From the beginning, Newson—who helped lead Apple’s design department, and the development of key products such as the Apple Watch, for five years—has always possessed the unusual ability to bend ideas about design to his will. His Lockheed Lounge, a shapely chaise pieced together from curved aluminum panels, became an instant phenomenon with its 1988 introduction. Named for its resemblance to the early aeronautical stylings of Lockheed Martin, the furniture piece bucked the reductive ethos of modern design at the time. In 2006, it broke the record for the highest price paid at auction for the work of a living designer, topping that price 11 years later in 2015, going for $3.7 million at Phillips London.

Around the turn of the millennium, Newson—a vintage sports car enthusiast who once flew to the U.S. to purchase a 1959 Aston Martin DB4 with the entirety of a paycheck—shifted gears to focus his energies on the transportation sector. Asked by Ford to jot down some concepts, he came up with the 021C in 1999. A radically simplified three-box configuration, the model had a main cabin, hood, and trunk; the latter two sections were mirror images.

The Ford 021C, which Newson claimed caused “a lot of head-scratching” at the American car company.
Taschen

“It was utterly ridiculous and childlike,” Newson says of the design with a laugh. “There was a lot of head-scratching [at Ford], but I reasoned that since I’m not an automotive designer, I don’t want to and can’t play the typical automotive games.” Thanks to the support of Ford’s “brilliantly curious and open” top brass, the cartoon of a car became a drivable reality and a beloved Newson fan favorite. Soon after the release of the 021C, the Australian airline Qantas came knocking, seeking Newson’s design eye for a variety of projects, including the interiors of its airport lounges and, more challengingly, the invention of a fully horizontal bed for its premier passengers on long-haul flights. No small feat of imagination, this triumph led to his appointment as the company’s creative director.

The Qantas Skybed, designed for the Australian airline’s long-haul flights. Qantas

As Newson’s fame ascended, so did the demand for his work—in the design industry and beyond. New York gallerist Larry Gagosian was quick to add the maverick designer to his roster of art stars, such as Jeff Koons, Richard Serra, and Michael Heizer, and in 2007, he mounted Newson’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., featuring a limited-edition, experimental furniture series. “The stuff I do with Gagosian is not exactly mainstream design,” Newson says. “They’re these sort of rarefied follies [or] crazy experiments that I concoct. I don’t have to answer to anyone except myself—and perhaps Larry.” One object in the exhibition was a nickel surfboard with a storied lineage. “I wanted the prototype to be tested by [professional big wave surfer] Garrett McNamara,” Newson recalls. “He took the board to a Pacific island notorious for its huge swells on top of a coral reef. He actually lost the board in the waves and was driving back to his hotel when he saw a local with this tangled mass of metal under his arm. The story goes that the Mir space station had plummeted into the ocean the day before, and this guy thought he had found pieces from the crash. He had no idea it was a crushed surfboard.”

Is there a project he has yet to tackle? “Every time I think I’m at the end of the list,” he says, smiling, “I think of something new.” Space, for instance. “I would love to work more extensively in the area of space exploration. That is something I continue to find compelling and fascinating. It ticks all the boxes for me in terms of engaging with technology, incredible processes, and modern materials. And, of course, I would love to go to space. That’s the end game.”

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Piaget Just Dropped a Colourful High-Jewellery Line with 1970s Style

“Essence of Extraleganza,” a fusion of the words extravagance and elegance, is a tour de force of haute joaillerie that celebrates Piaget’s 150th year.

By Victoria Gomelsky 16/07/2024

Long before Piaget was a jeweller, it was a watchmaker. The luxury brand traces its roots to La Côte-aux-Fées, a village in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel where Georges-Édouard Piaget founded a movement-making company in 1874.

In 1959, the maison introduced jewellery for the first time, showcasing its creations at the new Salon Piaget in Geneva. Almost immediately, the brand established itself as a trendsetter across both realms.

Piaget

Proof that the watchmaker-turned-jeweller continues to occupy the most rarefied precincts of the luxury trade arrived last month, when Piaget unveiled its “Essence of Extraleganza” high jewellery collection. The third and arguably most spectacular of the brand’s 150th anniversary product introductions (following the reboot in February of its Piaget Polo 79 timepiece and the April unveiling of the thinner-than-thou Altiplano Ultimate Concept Flying Tourbillon), the collection of 96 jewels and bejewelled timepieces is a tour de force of craftsmanship and gem-setting that bears an explicit connection to Piaget’s roots in jewellery.

“Of our three major launches this year to date, none of them have just been a launch — each and every one of them has hinged on a product, a story, a saga bringing the past and present together,” Benjamin Comar, CEO of Piaget, tells Robb Report.

Piaget

“So of course, this high jewellery collection had to bring more density than a regular collection. And this is why it’s called ‘Essence of Extraleganza’ — because through these 96 pieces, Piaget’s artistic director, Stéphanie Sivrière, went back to the Piaget DNA, to the moment when Piaget evolved from watchmaker to jeweller, to the decisive moment where this Swiss maison decided to revolutionise the watch world by imagining a new avant-garde vocabulary, filled with colours, textures and gold: the 21st Century Collection.”

That collection, introduced in 1969, included an array of jewellery watches that reimagined how to wear time. From metal bracelets with a fabric-like texture to swinging sautoirs, the pieces were bold, colourful and utterly of the moment.

Piaget

Three years ago, when Sivrière began working on what would become Essence of Extraleganza, she took her inspiration from those heritage designs of the 1960s and ’70s. The result is a stunning lineup of bold, cheerful and wildly original jewels, including highlights such as a necklace featuring a fiery cascade of trapezoid-cut carnelians set in rose gold and centered on a 21.23-carat cushion-cut spessartite garnet; a cuff watch loaded with 26.11 carats of baguette-cut Colombian emeralds; and a suite of blue-on-blue designs including a V-shaped necklace set with sapphires, tourmalines, and marquise-cut aquamarines surrounded by opals, turquoise and diamonds, along with a matching ring and pair of mismatched earrings.

Piaget

“Stephanie chose to highlight the couture inspiration of Piaget and paid homage to our chainmaker skills as a golden thread throughout the collection,” Comar says. “This was very impressive to witness unravelling in front of our eyes week after week. The carnelian necklace, for instance, was created like a never-ending puzzle: first the mesh structure completely hand-woven, then every hue and piece identified by a number and patiently assembled to create this mix-and-match yet balanced effect.”

The throughline that connects the 2024 collection to the one introduced 55 years earlier is, undoubtedly, Piaget’s willingness to embrace modernity while employing traditional techniques in service of timeless designs.

“Piaget’s jewellery style is still coherent and that’s the beauty of it,” Comar says. “When Valentin Piaget asked his Swiss designers in the early Sixties to go to Paris in order to attend a couture show and get inspired by this fashion revolution (think Cardin, Courrèges, Twiggy) this was so incredibly new for the time. And today, when we look at their past gouaches where they would create the swinging sautoirs directly on the glossy pages of the fashion magazines to really picture what this woman would be wearing today, it’s so modern. And still has the same effect today: timeless yet modern. That is the Piaget paradox.”

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