Luxury tech: A gift guide for the 1%

There's no shortage of tech gear aimed at those for whom price is no object. From French Revival PCs to gem-encrusted flash drives, these outrageously expensive gadgets and gizmos prove that having a lot of money doesn't guarantee good sense or good taste.

Emperor 200 workstation
Credit: MWE Lab
The lap of luxury: Emperor 200 workstation

A regular old desk chair is just not good enough for the 1% crowd. MWE Lab's $49,150 Emperor 200 workstation starts with a leather recliner that can be electronically adjusted and adds three 27-in. screens that combine for an amazing 7860-x-1440-pixel wraparound view. The power chair is climate controlled, and you can order it with a high-performance Windows or Mac system for a fully immersive experience.

The whole thing weighs nearly 500 pounds, sits on a raised pedestal that can rotate the seat 360 degrees and is controlled by an Android tablet with a 10-in. screen. For those whose portfolio has taken a beating, MWE's lesser-but-still-impressive Emperor 1510 sells for $5,950 and does without the leather, the computer and some of the doodads.

Edition 10 headphones
Credit: Ultrasone
Sweet tunes: Ultrasone Edition 10 headphones

With exotic materials like ruthenium, Ethiopian sheepskin leather and Zebrano wood, Ultrasone's Edition 10 headphones bring music to the ears of the rich. Based on the company's S-Logic Natural Surround Sound technology, the headphones bounce sound waves from each cup's 40mm titanium-plated drivers around the listener's outer ear, creating a fuller sound. They can reproduce tones as high as 45,000 hertz, which humans can't even hear, but that's beside the point for the luxury crowd.

At $2,750, these upper-crust headphones cost about what a wage slave might make in a month. They come in a wooden box and include a matching stand so your friends and servants can admire them.

French Revival PC
Credit: Chirita
Vive la luxe: French Revival PCs

For those among us who are sad that France's Ancien Régime is nothing more than a sumptuous memory, the lifestyle and furnishings of the Bourbon monarchy live on in a series of desktop computers made by George Chirita. These all-in-one PCs echo the eras of Louis XIV, Louis XV and the First Empire with designs that are pure indulgence.

There's gold leaf around the display, plus brass, bronze, alabaster, malachite or lapis lazuli accents. Each system is handmade and comes with a matching keyboard and mouse, providing a touch of elegance to any chateau. These imperial systems start at $22,000, and Chirita has matching USB memory sticks for $1,200 each.

eSommelier Wine Inventory System
Credit: Frontgate
Bottle genie: eSommelier Wine Inventory System

Finding that last bottle of 1996 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche to serve with lunch can be such a hassle, particularly if your sommelier has the day off. Frontgate's eSommelier Wine Inventory System can make quick work of finding all your rare vintages by cataloging your cellar in a digital database housed in a 15-in. touch-screen device.

Every bottle gets a unique bar code that identifies it, and eSommelier lets you put your finger on it by scrolling through the wine labels. You can select your wine based on vineyard, region or year. The system can even warn you when a bottle is at its peak. It costs $4,000, but for true oenophiles it's worth its weight in Château d'Yquem.

Grand Touch Aston Martin
Credit: Mobiado
The sports car of smartphones: Grand Touch Aston Martin

Need a phone that won't clash with your $280,000 Aston Martin Vanquish sports car? Try Mobiado's Grand Touch Aston Martin. Perfect for taking to the Monaco Grand Prix, the quad-band world phone is minimalist with machined aircraft-grade aluminum, a sapphire crystal battery cover, mother of pearl accents and optional yellow or rose gold plating.

Based on Samsung hardware, it weighs over 9 oz., has a low-res display and isn't sold by any of the big three networks in the U.S. You can pick one up in Paris for about $5,500.

By contrast, Amosu Couture's remaking of the Samsung Galaxy SIII adds more bling to your ring with 500 Swarovski crystals embedded in the case. Cost: about $3,400.

platinum iPhone 5
Credit: Gold Striker
Striking iGold: iPhone 5 in gold or platinum

Android phones don't have a lock on excess. Gold Striker has created an iPhone 5 that says "too much is never enough." The company starts with an unlocked off-the-shelf 64GB iPhone 5 and replaces its back panel and edging with hand-crafted 24K gold, 18K rose gold or platinum panels; both gold models cost $4,300, while the platinum one will set you back $4,600. The phone's pièce de résistance is the raised diamond-studded Apple logo on the back that is likely making Steve Jobs roll in his grave.

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