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A $500,000 TV and four more stupidly expensive tech toys

Here's what happens when electronics and luxury collide

Published: August 01, 2014 11:57 AM
Panasonic TH152UX1W

Luxury is not limited to just yachts, mansions, and jewelry. Peddling everything from massive television sets to opulent speaker systems, electronics companies push the boundaries of technology and design in hopes of attracting public interest and big spenders. The result: electronics devices that can cost more than a high-end Ferrari.

While there exist a number of diamond and platinum-clad products such as the Luvaglios $1 million laptop, we focused on devices that justify their prices based on craftsmanship and technical superiority.

—Karim Lahlou

Panasonic TH152UX1W, $500,000 

If you think 50 inches is big for a television, multiple that number by three and you’ll come close to the screen size of this behemoth (pictured above). This 152-inch plasma television from Panasonic costs as much as two Ferrari 458 Italias, and while it can’t let you cruise down Route 66, it’ll come pretty close to recreating the visual experience.

The gorgeous plasma display, 4K resolution, and 3D capability guarantee a smooth viewing experience for you and your friends—all of them. Do be careful when mounting this television though, as it weighs a whopping 1,200 pounds.

Leica M9-P Edition Hermès - Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas, $50,000

Released in 2012, this limited-edition point-and-shoot camera from the renowned German manufacturer Leica is a tribute to the partnership between Leica and the former president of the French high-end fashion brand Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas. With a production of just a hundred cameras, this luxury item features calfskin detailing, an anodized aluminum body with redesigned control points and top and base plates by Walter de’ Silva, the same guy who oversees the design for Lamborghinis and Bugattis, among other cars.

In addition to the camera, you also get a luxurious camera bag created by Hermès, three lenses, and a book with a selection of black-and-white photos taken by Dumas with his Leica.

For more affordable electronics, check our buying guides and Ratings for TVs, cameras, and phones.

Acapella Sphaeron Excalibur, around $455,000

Unique doesn’t begin to describe these handmade speakers. They feature four distinctive horn speakers, eight subwoofers, and a modern art design that is sure to impress style-focused listeners.

The German manufacturer, Acapella, describes the sound of these speakers as three-dimensional, allowing the softest sounds to “caress your skin” and the loudest to “sweep you away to the epitome of joy.”  Make sure you have room for them, though, as they measure over 7 feet and weigh 1,364 pounds each.

 

Chairman by Ulysse Nardin, around $50,000

Resembling something out of a steampunk novel, the second iteration of Ulysse Nardin’s Chairman is a combination of mechanical parts and digital electronics that comes in a variety of precious metal casings and accents. The phone, released in 2011, features a legacy number pad and a touch screen, a sapphire crystal display (rumored to be the type of display that the next iPhone will have), and 32GB of memory.

The hallmark feature of this phone, however, is the mechanical watch rotor on the back, the kind you’ll see in high-end Swiss watches. If that weren’t enough, the Chairman also has a crown that may be wound to add some charge to your phone. Getting your hands on one of these phones may be tricky though,as a representative of Ulysse Nardin indicated that their partnership with SCI, the company that manufactures the actual phones, has ended.

The Emperor 200, $49,150

If you ever wanted to feel like Link from "The Matrix," and you have about a Corvette’s worth of cash to spare, this futuristic workstation is perfect for you. The Emperor 200, by MWE Lab, features three 27-inch screens, Bose speakers, an air-filtering system, and a touch-screen control pad that lets you recline the chair with the help of electric actuators. If you get the urge to re-enact the cliched "evil guy" chair reveal, you can plunk down extra for a 360-degree rotating podium. 

   

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