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Dear Santa,

 

I know this will come as a surprise to you, as you haven’t heard from me in quite a while. In fact, that may well be the reason why I haven’t had a peep out of you for more years than I can remember.

 

Anyway, if you don’t mind, could we wipe the slate clean and start again? And in that spirit, would you excuse me for thinking big for Christmas 2019? It’s not as if I’ve been pestering you for ages, and you’d make an old man – this old man, I mean, not you – very happy. For what it’s worth (and while this hasn’t always been true of me), I’ve been a very good boy for several years now; I take plenty of exercise and have even cut back on the booze.

 

If you are coming down my chimney on December 24/25 – and, yes, I know that’ll be difficult as (a) I don’t have a chimney and (b) even if I did you’d be unlikely to be able to fit much of the swag I’m asking for into it – be sure to check the refrigerator, where you’ll find a few bottles of fizz ready to crack open. Help yourself – it’s the least I can do.

 

We’ve both been around so long I almost feel I know you. So cheers and – can I say this to you? – have a great Christmas, Santa.

 

Jon

 

 

1
B&O

If any audio brand has mastered the art of making great-sounding hi-fi look arresting and yet blend into its surroundings almost imperceptibly, it’s Bang & Olufsen. That’s especially true of the ultra-sleek Beosound Stage soundbar, which works with any TV and, thanks to 11 drivers and four woofers, turns any living room into an Imax theatre.

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2
Fender

I never quite mastered the guitar, though by God I tried, but this hybrid Fender Telecaster Acoustasonic (around US$2,000) is so impossibly cool that I badly want one. If Keith Richards can still convincingly wield a Tele at his age then so can I — if only, that is, I could play it.

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3
Balmain

Granted there aren’t so many opportunities to wrap up warm in Hong Kong, but when the chance does come around I love the military appearance and slim fit of this double- breasted overcoat by Balmain (about HK$29,000), at Mr Porter. Something tells me it’ll look great with skinny jeans, too.

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4
Sundeck

A tough ask, I know, but what the heck? Italy’s Sundeck makes some of the nicest motor yachts afloat, and I’m just loving the seaworthy and functional lines of its 580 Trawler, with its axe bow and large flybridge deck. It’ll be perfect for a weekends afloat and even putting the land far behind me for days at a time.

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5
Fujifilm

There are so many cameras in my house that I sometimes think there’s no room for anything else, but that still doesn’t stop me wanting this X-Pro2 by Fujifilm (about HK$17,700). Large-ish X-Trans CMOS III sensor, hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, 23mm f2 lens and retro styling — what’s not to like?

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6
Ferrari

I’ve been fortunate enough to drive many Ferraris but sadly never to own one. And the new Roma 2+2, which was unveiled in the Eternal City only last month, is one of the most beautiful Fezzas I’ve seen in ages. Just like Santa’s sleigh it has a prancer up front, even if it’s a horse and not a reindeer…

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7
Lego

Although I love the rugged looks of the new Land Rover Defender, only a poseur would drive around town in one. So this enormous kit — almost 2,500 parts — by Lego (about HK$1,300) is the next best thing, and it’s sure to keep me occupied in the down time between Christmas and New Year.

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8
George Cleverley

Every man needs a good pair of boots, and when it comes to high-quality footwear for fellas there are few names to touch that of London shoemaker George Cleverley (available from Mr Porter). Add double monkstraps with gold buckles, full-grain leather and comfy Vibram rubber soles, and these Frye boots (about HK$4,500), which go with just about anything, are the real deal.

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9
Rolex

As stainless-steel Rolex tool watches are so hard to snag these days they might as well be made from unobtainium, finding a GMT-Master II “Pepsi” that’s magically appeared in my Christmas stocking this year may be the only way I’ll ever own one.

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