I have been hearing a lot about the spending habits of the 0.01 percent lately.
Perhaps, a little bit too much.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a class-warfare rant or a treatise on living the simpler, less materialistic life. Rather, it is a suggestion to some folks that perhaps they might want to make some of their conspicuous consumption a little less conspicuous.
For example, I learned last week that Tiffany & Co. had a secret room for the big spenders. That’s because when you’re dropping $20 million on a necklace that, according to Tiffany’s vice president, is being bought with literally a wheelbarrow full of cash, you want some, you know, privacy.
Or how about those folks who want to learn how to drive a $500,000 car very, very fast and they need to take a specific class? It’s tough luck if you don’t have a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster yet, because they are sold out. So is the new $1.4 million Ferrari LaFerrari. You can still buy a Bentley GT or a Ferrari California T — assuming you don’t mind hearing the derisive snickers of the parking valets behind your back.
The condo in the peak of the Woolworth building is going for $110 million. That isn’t the building, just one apartment. That’s a relative bargain, compared with the Hamptons estate that just was purchased for $147 million dollars.
But it wasn’t a car or a diamond necklace or a house that made me realize that perhaps the ultra rich have become a bit tone deaf; it was a watch — or a “timepiece,” as the brochure describes them. In an advertisement in last week’s New York Times, I saw a picture of the Greubel Forsey GF05. As the picture showed, it’s a busy little number in platinum and black. A quick Google search revealed a selling price of $549,000.