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The best non-car stuff to buy from Bentley, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce

The charming-but light-in-the-wallet-Joey uses the tableau to pick up women under the pretense of owning a cool car

Hannah Elliott | Bloomberg 

(Clockwise from left): The Chronotimer Series 1; P'8479 sunglasses; and Roadster Hardcase Luggage Set Black Edition by Porsche Design.
(Clockwise from left): The Chronotimer Series 1; P’8479 sunglasses; and Roadster Hardcase Luggage Set Black Edition by Porsche Design.

You’ve seen Friends, right? Did you see the episode in which Joey dons a jacket and fanny pack, holds a keychain, and stands on the street near a pile of cardboard boxes shaped like a 911 underneath a cold-weather cover? The charming—but light-in-the-wallet—Joey uses the tableau to pick up women under the pretense of owning a cool car.

The kicker to the scene is that, as Joey tells his friends, “only an idiot would wear this stuff if he didn’t own the car.” Ha, ha.

At the time, that scenario wasn’t far off. In the 1990s, most of the produce hawked from car brands was cheaply made and tacky. Years ago, the flimsiest pair of headphones I ever used were given to me by Lamborghini; any normal human, not to mention someone with a sliver of fashion sense, would balk at wearing the screaming red polyester polo shirts produced en masse from Ferrari.

Things have changed. In fact, several automakers are producing some of the best-designed, most functional—and yes, even coolest—watches, sunglasses, and leather goods on the market today. As well they should—at some companies, the cars and the accessories originated virtually hand-in-hand. Here are some of the best items on sale from Porsche and a few other brands you’ll recognise.

Porsche Design sunglasses, $475

These are the iconic pair that Yoko Ono made famous many times over. The ones sold here are a reproduction of the model from 1979. They are made out of titanium and polycarbonate and come with a Porsche-branded carrying pouch. They’re a strong statement, so proceed with caution. When done right, they look killer.

Porsche Design Chronograph, $5,100

This Chronotimer Series 1 in Polish Black resembles the original designs from Porsche Design in the 1970s—in fact, it’s based off the first run of watches Porsche made. The timepiece comes in sapphire crystal dial cover with a sapphire case back, a polished titanium case, and black titanium, carbide-coated bracelet. Water-resistant, it’s made in Switzerland. Early issues cost half what new ones do today. Deadstock vintage ones go for closer to $10,000. Expect these to appreciate similarly.

Porsche Design luggage, $2,145

These bags are sleek, functional, and low-key, the way a good 911 should be. The locking set comes with ergonomic aluminum grips and lightweight side bars, four independently rotating wheels, and two large, main compartments with a strong mesh divider.

Ferrari scarf, $160

Here’s a low-key piece that is distinctly Ferrari without yelling about it. The soft jacquard knit scarf features the famous Ferrari shield repeated in a big pattern above a small fringed edge. True to form, it’s made in Italy. Consider it a necessary addition for those drop-top drives in early spring.

Ferrari umbrella, $135

It’s a little expensive, but this black umbrella is probably the most subdued item Ferrari makes. It comes with a rubberised grip, sturdy aluminum structure, and a carbon-fibre effect on the outside canvas that helps to block UV rays. Keep it in the trunk; you’ll be glad you did.

Scuderia Ferrari x Puma shoes, $115

Most car-branded shoes are not cool. It’s better to drive in sneakers or loafers, anyway. But these shoes, made from brick-red cowhide, are cute and don’t scream for attention. They come with a thick, padded tongue and sock liner, with reinforced heel and toe. Wear them in the car and out.

fountain pen, £595 ($833)

For the pen collector who has everything (they do exist), makes an unexpected gift. This one, by the 102-year-old Italian brand Tibaldi, has an 18-carat solid gold nib and Tibaldi’s famously smooth ink flow. Call it perfect for updating the maintenance ledger on the Mulsanne. It comes in “Silver Tempest,” “St. James Red,” “Silverlake Blue,” and “Beluga.”

driving gloves, £95 ($133)

These refreshingly minimal gloves are for ladies, though Bentley makes soft, supple ones for men, too. They have a subtle design, with a keyhole back, perforated fingers, and a Bentley B stud closure that resembles the wheel centres on the Continental coupe, among other Bentley cars.

© Bloomberg

First Published: Fri, April 06 2018. 22:07 IST