Glitzy Magazines Offer Decadent Gift Ideas

Can't think of the perfect stocking stuffer for those well-heeled friends on your Christmas list this year?

What about a customized jet for $70 million? Or a Formula One supercar? Or a $80 million submarine?

Those are some of the suggestions from the Robb Report and the duPont Registry, two publications who cater to folks not too concerned about economic downturns.

"I think a lot of our readers haven't really been impacted by the economy slowdown. They are recession resistant," said Brett Anderson, senior vice president and editorial director for the Robb Report.

The submarine is one suggestion from the Robb Report, which comes up each Christmastime with a list of 21 perfect gifts for its money-is-no-object readers.

The duPont Registry's holiday gift catalogue also features highbrow stocking stuffers: A $450,000 Bentley Estate Station Wagon is described as "the ultimate family vehicle for the truly refined lifestyle." A pair of McLaren Formula One supercars go for about $1.5 million apiece.

There's also a 1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Presidential Landaulet, originally built for Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, for $295,000. And its only got 30,000 miles on the odometer.

The well-to-do also are hanging out at home a lot more.

"There's a lot of spending on home -- entertainment theaters, wine cellars, commercial-grade kitchens," Anderson said. "They are creating their own theater and restaurant in the home. It's cocooning."

Tom duPont, chairman of St. Petersburg, Fla.-based duPont Publishing, said the duPont Registry items are designed to impress. But they also reflect America's trend with staying home.

"Along with the nesting there is nesting going on in the garage," duPont said Wednesday. "People with resources are buying classic and luxury cars -- the everyday car, the weekend car and the commuter car."

The duPont Registry and Robb Report publications definitely aren't for the Chia Pet crowd. The average annual income of a Robb Report reader is $800,000, with an average net worth of $4.9 million.

Robb Report offers a 144-carat diamond necklace at $10 million, a customized private jet for $70 million, the new $350,000 Daimler-Chrysler Maybach 62 sedan, a $1.6 million Formula One Ferrari race car, a residence in London's fabled Regent's Park for $29.9 million and a $1.25 million 24-day America's Cup vacation.

Too expensive? How about an original copy of Ian Fleming's "You Only Live Twice," signed by the author, for $75,000?

Anderson said there's been a subtle attitude in the buying habits of the rich because of the dot-com bust and stock market slide. Conspicuous consumption is seen as tasteless by some.

"People are more interested in discreet luxury," Anderson said. "Back in the heyday of the dot-com boom executives were buying $200,000 and $300,000 Ferraris and there was a lot of show there.

"What has changed is Robb readers are going back to basics -- spending on the home, classic cars and historic artifacts and antiques. They want things that have cultural resonance, things that aren't purchased necessarily an outward symbol of success.

"People are more self conscious about displaying wealth."