It's that time when the editorial staff get to ruminate about what this year has given us. From the products that impressed the pants off of us to the drinks that got us asking for seconds, this Christmas, we present some of our favourite things that have our stamps of approval.
We don't like being a "sheeple" but every time we think of switching to another smartphone, the annual Apple keynote keeps us anchored to the next model. The iPhone 15 Pro series had new additions: a faster A17 chip; an upgraded camera technology; a Dynamic Island in place of that damnable notch; a titanium casing... But the biggest "OMG finally" news is the phasing out of the brand's propriety Lightning connector for the USB-C (thanks EC laws!). All in all, the iPhone 15 Pro is enough to keep us enamoured until the next Apple keynote.
You know an item’s a winner when it’s pretty much unavailable in boutiques islandwide (trust me, I’ve checked, multiple times). There’s just something about Loewe’s Anagram denim jeans that makes it a covetable piece. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of the Anagram motif right on the knees; or the draw of brand ambassador Taeyong of NCT wearing one for the brand’s Pre-Spring 2024 campaign. Either way, this is high on the list of things I’d recommend (someone) getting (for us).
“CarbonGold” is a mix of high-tech carbon and gold elements that was first introduced in 1993. Bulgari recently outfitted the Octo Finissimo Automatic with said material but the maison went further with that by adorning the carbon cases with rose gold crowns and the carbon dial with matching gold-coloured accents. The case, strap and dial are crafted from exceptionally lightweight, anthracite-coloured carbon with a matte finish. Gold bridges and a gold-plated platinum off-centred micro-rotor is added to the automatic winding; this clearly is a thing of beauty.
In a time when Xiaomi and Dreame are already putting out their own robovacuum, Dyson is pretty late to the game. But for a company that is stringent about its tech, the delay is warranted. The 360 Vis Nav model has the brand's patented cyclone tech, which has 65AW of suction power and automatically uses more suction power when more dust is detected; meaning EVERYTHING that gets in the machine's path gets sucked up. And, unlike the other robovaccums on the market, the machine's camera is situated on top; which scans its surroundings and maps out your home. It's the most expensive robovacuum on the market but the engineering is worth every penny.
For a brand known for its outdoorsy ruggedness, it made perfect sense that Luminox and survivalist, Bear Grylls' paths would intertwine. The team-up yields the Mountain Series, a collection of four watches that marks the 25th year of Grylls' 1998 climb of Mount Everest. The limited edition version has a white dial, deep blue strap and a red crown that matches the hues of the Nepal flag. The caseback is etched with Mount Everest itself and the chapter ring with “8848M”, which as you Everestheads would clue to is the mountain's altitude. With only 800 pieces worldwide, the Limited Edition Mountain timepiece also has a removable bull bar to protect the dial. And with it's highlighted with Luminox’s Light Technology, which ensures every Luminox timepiece is visible in any light conditions for up to 25 years.
The perfect cropped hoodie exists and it’s by Entire Studios. The Los Angeles-based brand is known for its exaggerated puffer jackets but the hoodies are cut quite beautifully too. Designed cropped and with extended sleeves, it’s the perfect hoodie to layer over just about anything, or not. Upgrade your usual airport fit for this and you’d probably never want to wear anything else when travelling.
We raved about Jabra's Elite 7 Active but the newer version really takes the cake. We had previous earbuds that we use for running and they never could stay in the ears. Especially, when they hit the ground, they tend to get scraped up (you'll be missed Klipsch T5). Jabra's Elite 8 Active is marketed as the world's most durable earbuds and buddy... they are right. The Elite 8 Active went through nine US military-grade testings. Nine. Do you know how tough your product has to be to get that sorta certification? And you know how certain products are "water resistant"? The Elite 8 Active is WATERPROOF. Sweat, rain, submersion, waterboarding... these earbuds can weather whatever wetness you throw at it. And the cherry on top? Their patented Jabra ShakeGrip trait (a Liquid Silicon Rubber compound) kept these suckers firmly in my ears. Oh, and add to that are the Dolby-powered 6mm speakers; an Adaptive Hybrid ANC and HearThrough feature really round up the Elite 8 Active. We can't recommend this enough.
We still stand by the superiority of ear cuffs—there’s no needless skin-poking and you can always take them off whenever. This duo-gold Chanel ear cuff sits comfortably right at the top of the ear to give an illusion of wearing two cuffs at the same time. We’d pair it with another cuff towards the lobe for added bling but just the one on its own makes for an edgy statement this Christmas.
'Tis that season where it is acceptable to open up that celebratory wine ("What can we say, we're traditionalists"). But wine is the sort of drink that requires a commitment to polishing the entire thing off. That's where Coravin comes in handy. Its Timeless range is a wine preserver. Without uncorking the bottle, the Timeless device uses a hollow needle to extract the wine by perforating the cork. It also fills the bottle with argon gas to pressurise it, keeping it as fresh as the day it was bottled. When the needle is removed, the cork reseals, protecting the wine from oxidation. Now in two new limited-edition colourways that are inspired by exploration—Timeless Three+ in Deep Sea Blue (shown in pic) and Timeless Six+ in Mist—the Coravin allows us to savour our bottles at our own pace.
Not quite ugly and not quite a Christmas jumper, but the Radar jumper by OAMC is the kind of statement piece you’d want to bust out every winter travel. The cut is perfection, amplified by structured raglan sleeves that display the radar-inspired design to its full effect. Sure, it’s a bit pricey for something partly made from polyester but you’re really paying for the design and cut with this one.
The average Woodford Reserve 750ml is a tasty treat in a glass but do you ever wanna drink in style? Like real opulent-like? Welp, there's the Woodford Reserve's Baccarat Edition. This is an experience at PLUME. Order yourself a Birds of Baccarat cocktail where you have your Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition—a masterful mix of select XO Cognac barrels (American and French oak)—that's mixed with saffron, cinnamon, manuka honey and garnished gold flakes. And it's served in a Baccarat crystal glass. It'll cost you a pretty penny—SGD1,688++ but not only do you get a serving of the Birds of Baccarat Cocktail, you'd also take home the Baccarat glass it came in, as well as a special Baccarat crystal rabbit zodiac figurine.
You're familiar with Devialet, especially with their Mania portable speakers. Beneath these beatific shells lie its pulsing heart—the aluminium full-range drivers (4) and woofers (2). Full-range in its processing, that covers the entire audio spectrum from bass to medium to treble. The Mania's adaptive 360° sound wraps you in a tapestry of melodies; each note is experienced with clarity and depth. And now it comes in two new colourways—Sunset Rose and Sandstorm. Something for Christmas, surely?
A spirits brand with a lifestyle collection with Stella and Mary McCartney? Yes, please. The curated set called TOGETHER, drew inspiration from nature. It includes vibrant handmade glassware, an ombre ceramic flask encased in an apple leather alternative sleeve, brass ice stamps with hand-painted ceramic handles and a brass napkin weight shaped like an acorn—a tribute to the oak casks maturing The Macallan whisky. And if homeware isn't up your alley, there's always the third edition of The Harmony Collection, which features two distinctive expressions: Amber Meadow and Green Meadow.
If you’re like us and you’ve grown up on all the commercially driven lore of Christmas—Santa, elves, reindeers and whatnot—you’d appreciate Swarovski’s latest Christmas-themed collection. The Holiday Cheers line features a range of icons crafted from crystals that’ll sit pretty all year round. And because Swarovski makes them different year after year, here’s to starting a new collection.
Grail may have underwent a rebrand but it still retains its firm commitment to sustainability. Another surprise from this local brand: the sunscreen (pictured, second from left). Made with a unique eco-friendly formula, it doesn't have that thick sticky residue that your conventional sunscreen has. The application of the Daily SPF 50+++ (maybe someone should come up with a simpler name?) is so light that it almost feels like there was nothing slathered on to begin with.