A Bic will get the job done, but this "nearly matchless piece of machinery" could be the ultimate tool for lighting a cigar. Made by the Paris-based luxury brand S.T. Dupont, the Complication Lighter ($41,000) consists of 200 interlinking parts, "most of which are visible through its skeletonized body." The case and working parts are finished in palladium or yellow gold and adorned with a diamond and nine rubies. A two-digit combination code unlocks the lid, and wheels spin as the cap opens and closes. Sliding knobs adjust the flame from a soft plume to an intense jet.
Enjoying a cup of coffee has always been a balancing act: First, you might have to wait for it to cool; then you have to drink it before it gets cold. The Ember Ceramic Mug ($80) does away with that hassle by keeping your brew at its optimal temperature — 136 degrees, according to scientific studies — for hours on end. The mug has heating elements in its walls that adjust constantly to create convection currents and maintain a uniform temperature throughout. Though the mug may seem extravagantly priced, "if you're a heavy javahead, there's nothing more satisfying than never getting a bad sip."
Your inner goddess will undoubtedly say "Yeah, right" when she hears all the supposed benefits of using a Vortix Eye Massager ($485). The battery-operated plastic mask aims foremost to soothe the fine muscles and nerves of the eyes and temples using vibration, air massage, and heat. Fine: Every goddess with a desk job or smartphone has once said, "Mine eyes, they are strained and sore." Vortix promises more than relief, though, claiming that eye massage tames stress, insomnia, migraines, and dark circles. Oh, and one more thing: Because it stimulates neglected nerves, it can, ostensibly, restore a user's vision.
Could a $9,000 Ball of Yarn be this year's ultimate status symbol? Just in time for the holidays, Tiffany & Co. has unveiled a new home-and-accessories collection, and it includes — apart from the expected finery — an array of items billed as "ordinary objects made extraordinary." So imagine a pair of paper cups, except that they cost $95 and are really made of bone china. Or a tin can that's actually made of sterling silver and costs $1,000. The ball of yarn shown is one of just five, each handspun from textured strands of silver. It's "absurd in the best possible way."
During our current golden age of drone technology, "the sky is definitely not the limit." With submersible drones invading our oceans, rivers, and lakes, the PowerRay ($1,799) might be the one that changes fishing the most. When fully outfitted, the device can detect fish to a depth of 70 meters, use sonar to measure fish distribution, transmit real-time video, and help place your bait at an exact depth. For $90 more than the price below, you'll also get VR goggles — "so you can feel like you're riding the drone's body as you navigate it through the depths."
"Call them chunky, clunky, or plain old ugly," Balenciaga's Triple S Sneakers ($850) could be the most sought-after casual footwear of the season. On fashion runways and among the rich and famous who line them, intentionally unattractive sneakers are a fresh way to say, "Look at me." At a glance, the Triple S could be an '80s running shoe — one that's been "salvaged from a thrift store and plopped atop a sole that's two sizes too big." But the first shipment sold out almost instantly in Manhattan, and the sneaker is selling at twice its retail price on eBay. Gucci, Dior, and Prada are currently playing catch-up.
Let's get this said right off: Dadybones Puff Ball Phone Case ($35) "isn't designed for this world." Sure, it's easy to fall for. Created by artist Lola Abbey, whose pom-pom placement skills are "exceptional," it's a portable rainbow that you'll love looking at and that other people will love looking at, too. But the pom-poms are glued to a cheap plastic case, they make an iPhone so fat that you can no longer fit it in a pocket, and after a few weeks of shedding confetti, the case also starts shedding pom-poms. Is it worth all that trouble? Not really, but it "does seem like a piece of art."
Eight-ball enthusiasts now have an alternative when traditional pool tables "seem a little bit, well, square." The Banana Pool Table ($15,000), created and handcrafted by Cléon Daniel, is just one manifestation of the Dorset, U.K.–based carpenter's ability to bend billiard games to the whims of buyers. The 8½-foot banana model is constructed of ash, with yellow wool felt, brass pocket plates, and a set of brown balls that match the table's "ripe brown" edge. Daniel also crafts a pool table made to look like a doughnut, complete with a central hole, uneven edges, and a pink felt that looks like frosting.