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 financial elite. 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. 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 $2,749, 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 belle vie: 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 château. 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 $3,995, but for oenophiles with vast cellars 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 $5,600.

By contrast, Amosu Couture's remaking of the Samsung Galaxy SIII (not pictured) adds more bling to your ring with 500 Swarovski crystals embedded in the case. Cost: about $3,400.

platinum iPhone 5
Credit: Gold Striker
Heavy metal: iPhone 5 in gold or platinum

Android phones don't have a lock on excess. Goldstriker 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 24ct gold, 18ct rose gold or platinum panels; both gold models cost $4,300, while the platinum one (shown here) 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.

Blossom One Limited coffee machine
Credit: Blossom Coffee
Strange brew: Blossom One Limited coffee machine

Once you try coffee made by the Blossom One Limited, a cup of Starbucks sludge will never do. The $11,000 machine does without noisy pumps or valves to deliver the perfect-temperature water in serenity, and the coffee touches only glass and stainless steel as it is made.

There's a built-in camera and Wi-Fi-connection so you can scan the QR code on your bag of artisan coffee beans, then download the roaster's recipe for brewing the perfect cup -- which may, the Blossom website helpfully notes, change as the beans age.

The device should be available in limited quantities in the spring, but you can fill out a form on the website to be considered for early access to prototype models.

Leica M9-P Edition Hermes camera
Credit: Leica
Smile and say 'opulent': Leica M9-P Edition Hermès camera

It may look like a classic 1950s rangefinder film camera, but Leica's M9-P Edition Hermès is all digital. It can take 18mp shots and use a variety of interchangeable lenses, and its titanium case has hand-sewn Hermès Veau Swift calfskin grips instead of the plebian vinyl that's used on the $7,000 M9-P base model.

The $25,000 M9-P Edition Hermès Set 1 includes a 50mm lens and leather strap; only 300 will be made. Better act fast: The company has already sold all 100 of the $50,000 Set 2 kits with three lenses, a matching Hermès bag and a Jean-Louis Dumas photography book. The camera is not available online, so you'll need to jump into your Rolls and tell the chauffeur to step on it.

D&W Aural Pleasure Loudspeakers
Credit: Hart Audio
Solid gold music: D&W Aural Pleasure Loudspeakers

Looking like alien spaceships that just landed on earth, Hart Audio's D&W Aural Pleasure speakers are the utmost in ostentatious audio. Offering superb sound and the ability to reproduce tones that humans can't hear, there are three Aural Pleasure models available: bronze ($64,000), silver ($320,000) and 18ct gold ($4.8 million). Limited to 105 sets (only one made of gold) these objects of audio lust scream exclusivity.

Need something to power these super-speakers? Audio Power Labs' liquid-cooled 50TNT amp (not pictured) is a pleasure to listen to -- or just watch its six old-school tubes light up the room with a soft, warm glow. For a mere $47,500, it delivers 50 watts of pure audio power that covers the range of human hearing.

Numi toilet
Credit: Kohler
King of thrones: Numi toilet

Going to the bathroom has never felt more luxurious than with Kohler's Numi commode. Sporting a lid that pops up automatically as you approach, it abounds in extravagances like a heated seat, a foot warmer, a built-in bidet with three different spray patterns, a dryer and a deodorizer.

This rarest of privies can even play music and provide ambient lighting while you're on it. The whole thing is controlled by a small LCD touch-screen remote that magnetically attaches to the side of the toilet and can hold settings for up to six individuals. Price: $4,000.

Motion Pro II simulator
Credit: CXC Simulations
Gentlemen, start your chairs: Motion Pro II simulator

Professional Formula 1 and NASCAR drivers use the CXC Simulations Motion Pro II simulator to get ready for a race. Why shouldn't you?

Built around a laser-cut steel frame, the MP II can turn a living room into the Nürburgring. Its racing-style seat provides so much pitch and roll feedback from driving games that you'll need to strap yourself in with the four-point harness. (Wearing a helmet is optional.)

The simulator's sights and sounds come from a wraparound trio of 46-in. HD displays and a 1,000-watt surround-sound audio system backed by a high-performance Core i7 processor and Nvidia graphics. Fully equipped, the rig will set you back nearly $50,000, but hey, it's cheaper than a Ferrari.

Magic Mushroom USB key
Credit: Shawish Jewelry
Rock star: Magic Mushroom USB flash key

The current jeweler of choice for the rich and famous is Geneva-based Shawish Jewelry, the company that created a $68 million 150ct ring cut from a single diamond. Its gem-encrusted Magic Mushroom USB memory key can hold 32GB of your most precious files and can be worn on a necklace or your keychain. It weighs about two ounces and the cap hinges open to reveal the USB connector, which, oddly enough, is not even gold-plated.

The ultimate in digital bling, the sparkling 'shrooms come in several different combinations of rare metals and gems, ranging from a model made of pink gold, sapphires and diamonds for $22,000 to one made of white gold, diamonds and emeralds for $38,000.

DLA RS66 projector
Credit: JVC
Image is everything: JVC DLA-RS66 projector

If you want a home theater as good as the multiplex that the masses pay to go to, start with JVC's DLA-RS66. The projector puts an astounding 3840-x-2160-pixel image onscreen and features a 130,000:1 contrast ratio and THX audio. It can show 3D content and comes with a pair of active-shutter glasses. At $12,000, its luxuries include a gold-tone rimmed lens ring and an automatic lens cover.

On the other hand, if you're looking for something that resembles a Modernist sculpture, consider Goldmund's Eidos Reference Blue Blu-ray player (not pictured), equipped with gold-edged control panel and spring-loaded suspension. The company will only make 50 of these Blu-ray bad boys, and they cost $135,000 each.

Field Power Desk
Credit: Kanz Outdoors
Comforts of home: Kanz Field Power Desk

Jumping on the glamping (glamorous camping) trend, where no luxury is left behind? The Kanz Field Power Desk can keep your mobile devices charged while you're "roughing it" in the great outdoors. Powered by solar panels, the desk includes one or two lithium batteries and lets you charge up your phone, laptop or tablet with 5- and 12-volt connections; it includes all the adapters you're likely to need to stay at 100%.

Made of Baltic birch and marine-grade aluminum, the desk has drawers for your gear and room for a satellite router. The Field Power Desk 120 model with a single battery and a 20-watt solar panel costs $1,995, while the 240 model sells for $2,495 and comes with two batteries and a 40-watt solar panel.

Sphere 2 mouse
Credit: OreObject
On the ball: Sphere 2 mouse

OreObject's Sphere 2 is the cure for the common plastic mouse. Made of surgical stainless steel, it's a real show-off with your choice of titanium, 24ct gold or platinum plating. The spherical mouse weighs a hefty 8.3 oz., has a 2.6-in. diameter and sits on a silky smooth Teflon base.

The Sphere 2 has a pair of vertical actuation buttons and a scroll wheel, and it can be set to a resolution of 800, 1200 or 1600 dpi. It comes with a travel pouch for trips to your chalet in St. Moritz.

The best part is that you don't really have to be a 1 percenter to get one. Priced from $185 to $320, it's a luxury the rest of us can splurge on.