Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Lifestyles

October 10, 2012

$1M pair of watches tops Neiman Marcus gift list

DALLAS (AP) — Neiman Marcus rolled out its annual Christmas catalog Tuesday, offering a set of "his and hers" watches paired with a trip to Paris and Geneva for just over $1 million to shoppers who aren't worried about a holiday budget.

The Dallas-based luxury retailer is known for featuring expensive and often outrageous "fantasy gifts" in its Christmas Book. The 86th edition also includes a $354,000 red, special edition McLaren 12C Spider sports car, a $250,000 dinner for 10 featuring four famous chefs and a $100,000 hen house inspired by a French chateau.

Those looking for something a little less pricey might be interested in a walk-on role in Broadway's "Annie: The Musical," which goes for $30,000.

The watches from Van Cleef & Arpels are the most expensive item in the catalog and depict scenes from a love story. One face shows a woman on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, gazing toward Notre Dame. The other watch features a man on top of Notre Dame looking toward the Eiffel Tower.

"It's a classic love story. Boy meets girl, a romance is sparked, but fate has intervened and they are separated, but both are left longing to find one another," said Marisa Neira, watch product manager for Van Cleef & Arpels.

Figures on both watches move, and the faces are surrounded by diamonds. The woman's watch strap is silk, the men's is alligator.

Each watch is "a little work of art," Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Ginger Reeder said.

The accompanying trip takes buyers to Paris, where they can see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame themselves, and Geneva, where they can tour the Van Cleef & Arpels watchmaking workshops.

While the watches and trip cost $1,090,000, those with smaller budgets can take heart. Almost 40 percent of the items in the catalog cost less than $250. The least expensive item is a $10 monogrammed mug.

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