The Upgrade: Our 2022 Gift Guide For Those Seeking Only the Best
When it comes to gifting, we’ve always believed that the search for quality should supersede the desire for quantity. After all, expertise and craftsmanship should be celebrated over fast consumption. From the latest tech releases to quality capsules sure to revitalize your wardrobe, find the perfect gift or a well-earned treat for yourself in this season’s 2022 gift guide — no matter the time of the year.
ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL DEEPSEA CHALLENGE
Even beyond the timepiece community, a Rolex watch is just one of those things that sets hearts aflutter. Chalk it up to their household name status, design pedigree, or technical innovation—there’s a multitude of reasons why watch fans daydream of the luxury brand’s wares. This fall, Rolex announced its first fully titanium model, the Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge, tested to withstand water pressure greater than anywhere on earth (that’s 36,090 feet, for your information.) Not that you’ll be travelling down to the Mariana Trench anytime soon, but the technical flex is a big deal and homage to the brand’s roots in pioneering deep dives. The model includes a roll call of Rolex features that exemplify their expertise in dive watches, like the Ringlock system, helium escape valve, Triplock crown, and Chromalight display. Whether you’re a fan of the depths or not, this is one watch that divers and urban explorers alike can appreciate.
SAMSUNG OLED 4K SMART TV
There’s no better way to enjoy your favourite holiday movies than with Samsung Canada’s latest innovation, the new Samsung OLED Smart TV. Featuring a LaserSlim design and minimal bezels, the premium screen fits seamlessly into your home. The improved OLED panel produces industry-leading contrast with the deepest blacks, PANTONE-validated colour, high brightness, and detail for an exceptionally colourful cinematic experience. The TV’s Dolby Atmos Concert hall-like speakers deliver spectacular cinematic surround sound. The TV’s smart features ensure all the benefits of Samsung software, including the ability to play games in exceptional 4K 120Hz without any lag or blur, a voice assistant, video call capability, and a curated selection of media. With its incredible picture quality and stunning industrial design, it’s sure to transport you to whatever world you’re watching this holiday season.
Read more about the Samsung OLED Smart TV in our feature article.
SWAROVSKI CREATED DIAMONDS
Lab-grown diamonds are part of a growing movement with luxury consumers who are looking for a more ethical, sustainable, and consistent alternative to those mined from the earth. Known for their craftsmanship and innovation, Austrian crystal house Swarovski has entered the fine jewellery market using “created” diamonds set in 18K and 14K gold, as well as sterling silver. Identical to its mined counterparts in every way except origin, these diamonds are grown from a tiny carbon seed and then precision-cut and polished to perfection to achieve maximum brilliance, scintillation, and fire. Shoppers can feel a little better knowing that any energy used to produce Swarovski Created Diamonds is offset, making the process climate neutral certified, in addition to adherence to high-level environmental, safety, and labour standards.
Form should never have to be sacrificed over function (and vice versa) if you’re building your wardrobe appropriately. Whether you’re skiing down the Rockies, warming up in a fire-lit chalet, or simply navigating freshly-powdered streets while running errands, this understated yet stylish crewneck from Mercedes-Benz is the perfect sartorial sidekick for tackling whatever winter has to throw at you. If you happen to be in Toronto between November 18th and December 24th, 2022, you can pick this up at Maison Mercedes, a one-of-a-kind sensory exhibition of luxury, while taking in the sights of the Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voiture and more design-driven rides from the German luxury automaker.
COURVOISIER VSOP COGNAC
This skillfully crafted Cognac is a blend of several crus with a perfect balance between Fins Bois, Grande, and Petite Champagnes at the peak of their aromatic potential. This holiday season, treat a loved one (or yourself) with aromas and flavours of luscious peach, toasted almond, and delicate jasmine on a medium-weight palate with an enduring finish by giving the gift of Courvoisier VSOP Cognac. Despite its rich history, 2022 has been a year defined by consistent and relentless evolution from Courvoisier. Whether it’s giving a fresh look to its three standard cognacs or groundbreaking new releases, the brand has refused to rest on its laurels, so neither should your gifting efforts.
HAMILTON RAILROAD POCKET WATCH
Luxury watches remain unmatched for practicality, classiness, fashion, and personal style. Few brands have captivated horological ingenuity — making Hamilton watches the brand of collectors and historians. Hamilton is celebrating its 130-year anniversary this year by reviving its railroad roots to bring you the Hamilton Railroad Pocket Watch. The watch is housed in a 50mm stainless steel case, with a white enamel-like dial. The face features 5-minute demarcations in red along with a fully ordered outer minute track, oversized Roman numeral indices, black lacquered hands, and a small second’s counter over 6 o’clock. Complementing the vintage features is a removable chain and leather pouch, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and 5 bar water resistance completing the contemporary aesthetic. Hamilton’s Railroad Pocket Watch embodies progress and contemporary innovation and is sure to impress both those with an appreciation for history and luxury fashion lovers.
Read more about the Hamilton Railroad Pocket Watch in our feature article.
ARCANA WILDERNESS RETREAT
These days, sometimes all you need is a moment of stillness. A refuge to be in solitude to calm the mind, body, and spirit. If you’re looking for an escape from the chaos of work, the news cycle, or even the frenetic energy of the city, Arcana promises a getaway that will leave you feeling grounded and refreshed. Their philosophy is that the wild is not only a destination but a state of being–a place where you can be reminded that you’re a part of something bigger. Located just two hours outside of Toronto, the mirrored cabins have beds positioned in front of vast windows that look onto the surrounding woodland, where you can also discover 15 kilometres of hiking trails. An on-site cedar sauna, fire pit, and wi-fi (for those who can’t resist) provide visitors with additional comfort.
SAMSUNG Z FOLD4
Samsung pushes the boundaries of smartphone versatility with the Galaxy Z Fold4 – the device boasts one of the most impressive innovations in the industry, the foldable screen. Built to maximise productivity, the smartphone features two full-image displays. Coined Flex Mode, users can enjoy a standard phone experience and a tablet-sized screen. The immersive 120 Hz inside display has stunning colour accuracy and supports the S Pen Fold Edition.
This all goes on underneath a layer of Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus®+, which keeps your device protected from drops and scratches. Multi-Window provides a tablet-level multitasking experience that can fit in your pocket. The phone’s three-camera system captures stunning and incredibly detailed photos with limited noise and great low-light images. The front camera is invisible underneath the display.
The sturdy hinge which folds the phone is firm and durable, yet discrete and trim. Aided by the super fast Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, the device also boasts full-day battery life. The Samsung Z Fold4 is perfect for those looking to maximise productivity or enjoy immersive content from their phone.
Read more about the Z Fold4 in our feature article.
PACO RABANNE FAME EAU DE PARFUM
Back in 1966, Spanish-born Paco Rabanne created his eponymous fashion and fragrance label, rising quickly to fame as a talented enfant terrible in Paris. Almost 60 years later, Paco Rabanne has evolved into one of today’s most beloved fragrance and accessory brands, often referencing the designer’s experience in jewellery design and love of unconventional materials. Housed within a charming 80 mL vessel featuring the brand’s iconic chainmail dress, Fame eau de parfum features notes of jasmine, bergamot, sandalwood, and vanilla, resulting in a fruity and floral fragrance reminiscent of irresistible Parisian summer nights.
‘BEYOND LIMITS’ EXPERIENCE
Travel has returned in grand fashion, at least that’s how Fairmont and Accor are approaching the travel experience. The Beyond LIMITS program by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts features a collection of first-of-their-kind, awe-inspiring experiences meant to dazzle, impress, and engage. Debuting in November of 2022, a select group of properties have crafted and curated a program of experience meant to guide visitors on a unique journey of discovery. In the lush Mexican jungle, visitors to the Fairmont Mayakoba can take in the spectacular sounds of a candlelit concert hall in one of Riviera Maya’s famed limestone caves while guests at Fairmont Orchid in Hawaii have the opportunity to dive underwater to witness a mesmerizing live ballet performance. Closer to home, an exclusive and intimate fireside culinary experience awaits guests at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise within a cosy log cabin at the edge of the frozen lake, while those visiting Banff can breathe deep on a cliffside oxygen bar 7,000 feet up.
BELMOND ANDEAN EXPLORER
This opulent travel experience focuses on the journey as much as it does the final destination. Purveyors of the ultimate in-train experiences, Belmond’s offerings harken back to the Golden Age of travel and bring them up to the modern day in luxurious fashion. Straight out of an Agatha Christie novel or Wes Anderson film (choose your own adventure, if you must), guests aboard the Belmond Andean Explorer are able to discover the magic of the Peruvian Andes. Over the course of three days and two nights, passengers are able to connect with the fascinating landscapes, climates, and flavours of the Cusco-Puno-Arequipa (or vice versa) routes on this all-inclusive getaway. Take in the sights of the natural wonders through your suite window and finish off your day by nestling into the train’s piano bar or observatory with a drink in hand.
VEUVE CLICQUOT BRUT YELLOW LABEL
Any imbiber knows that a home bar or top shelf is never fully realized without a bottle (or several) of Veuve Clicquot. With its signature yellow label, a bottle is just as easily enjoyed at home over dinner as it is while toasting to a new year at the stroke of midnight. Back in 1772, Madame Clicquot (the brand’s namesake) became one of the first women to lead a company of men when her husband passed away and she took over the family business. Since then, the brand has grown into a global leader synonymous with opulence, celebration, and craftsmanship. A trailblazer and visionary, it is in her spirit and testament to the brand’s quality that they remain one of the top champagne houses 250 years later.
JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL
Earlier this season, our team visited Yorkdale Mall to view a new noteworthy partnership with the LCBO, where guests can learn more about Johnnie Walker Blue Label from a whisky expert. An unrivalled masterpiece and the pinnacle of luxury sipping, Johnnie Walker is the perfect gift for any hard-to-shop-for liquor lovers on your list.
Every bottle of Johnnie Walker has its own unique characteristics and markers, much like every friend and family member on your holiday gift list. At the Yorkdale pop-up and stores throughout the country, you can find Johnnie Walker Black, Double Black, Green, and Blue.
But for our taste, we recommend Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Opening up with flavours of vanilla, hazelnut, honey, orange, sherry and rose petals, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label is velvety on the palate. It has a rich and luxuriously long finish that ultimately showcases the brand’s trademark smokiness making it the perfect end to any holiday celebration.
BEARABY WEIGHTED BLANKET
Our office was lucky enough to test out the Bearaby Weighted Blanket throughout the past month and was pleasantly surprised by the refreshingly unique look and feel in the increasingly crowded weighted blanket space. Typically, where weighted blankets deliver in comfort, they leave something to be desired when it comes to style. They’re oftentimes the kind of blanket you hideaway in the hall closet during daylight hours, but Bearaby took all the benefits of a weighted blanket with added innovation. Bearaby is the first knitted weighted blanket we’ve come across and not only does it look different, but it is also more breathable and comfortable. The perfect present to help brave winter weather, give the gift of comfort through Bearaby’s 15 lbs, 20 lbs, or 25 lbs options.
DR. MARTENS TRINITY BOOT
Dr. Martens has always been known for its durable construction and versatile design, but this season, its Trinity Boot represents the next leap forward for the brand in winter protection, combining all of its weather-proof technology into a single piece of footwear.
Strong enough to tackle the harsh realities of winter, the Trinity Boot is built from Kaya Nubuck leather over the breathable DryWair waterproof membrane held with a unique waterproof yellow stitch welt. The perfect gift for those on your list who fuse fashion and function, the Trinity Boot is the perfect, long-lasting gift.
BOWMORE 15 YEAR OLD ASTON MARTIN V8 1972
Designed in collaboration with Aston Martin, this creative collaboration celebrates the coming together of the worlds of single malt and luxury automobiles, making it the perfect gift for those who appreciate master craftsmanship. With a shared desire for refinement and elegance, the Aston Martin AM V8 and Bowmore 15 Year Old perfectly captures the vision of their respective creators. Defining sophistication through every sip, Bowmore 15 Year Old offers the perfect dram this holiday season.
DUER FIRESIDE DENIM
The warmth of fleece-lined denim without the bulk, Duer’s Fireside Denim is interwoven with fleece for a single layer that’s cosy and warm while looking cool and sleek. The perfect gift for those on your list who aren’t dissuaded by brutal winter conditions, Duer has constructed your loved ones’ new favourite pants. Thanks to an evolutionary approach of interweaving fabrics rather than glueing them together, this cold weather jean is lined with an ultra-light fleece lining to keep you warm all day long. With the same great features you know and love, like a silver treatment for odour-neutralisation, this denim is ready for whatever mother nature has in store this holiday season.
IPHONE 14 PLUS & IPAD AIR (5TH GENERATION)
We had the chance to sample the new Red iPhone 14 Plus ahead of the holidays and were absolutely blown away by the big-screen experience, extra-long battery life, and exceptional camera display. The phone makes for the perfect big-ticket holiday gift for the person on your list in need of an upgrade.
For those looking for the perfect tech companion, the 5th Generation iPad Air could be a perfect choice. With sleek, premium design, blistering performance, and an upgraded front camera, the iPad Air remains the best flagship tablet on the market for your loved ones.
GUCCI POKER SET
No brand is quite as familiar with the intersection of opulence and whimsicality as Gucci, especially these days. Looking back to their archives from the ‘50s and ‘60s, this charming poker set is inspired by the playful spirit and curated details from the two eras, presented in their signature beige and ebony GG Supreme canvas. Two emblems from the brand’s equestrian pedigree provide additional flourish while a forest-inspired print decorates the set board. When closed, the set resembles a briefcase or bag that would look just as good as an accessory for those with the confidence to try. Included in the set are two decks of cards, eight dice, and poker chips—all the fixings for an evening of luxurious fun.
CANADA GOOSE TORONTO BOOT
Taking inspiration from its namesake, the Toronto Boot considers the needs and lifestyle of the urban dweller with a penchant for exploration. Water-resistant and insulated, the boots feature an outsole designed for grip, cushioning, and flexibility, while an adjustable elastic cord lets the wearer cinch at the top to trap heat towards the body. Given the brand’s history in performance and technical expertise (they’ve literally outfitted polar expeditions, not just celebrities on set filming their next movie), it should come as no surprise that these outerwear purveyors would excel at making footwear designs to perform and keep you warm. It’s an ideal boot that will carry you from the icy streets of the city to the powder-filled banks of the rugged wilderness.
JVN TOTAL STYLE ROUTINE
Vegan haircare brand JVN Hair was started by Queer icon and Netflix’s Queer Eye host Jonathan Van Ness. With the brand described as a love letter to haircare, the planet, individuality, and self-acceptance, Van Ness, who is queer non-binary, espouses a “come as you are” philosophy. For those on your gift list this year who are unequivocally themselves, JVN Hair offers a wide selection of sustainable vegan products for every hair type. And with a cyber-Monday sale on most products, JVN Total Style Routine is the perfect gift for those who are looking to explore the possibilities of their hair and personal identity. See our full interview with Jonathan Van Ness and how the brand has helped empower him to affect change here.