With a Latin motto meaning “All Things for All People, Everywhere,” a yearly revenue of over $1 Billion (2012), 12,000 employees, and world famous departments (including food halls), Harrod’s is the most distinguished department store in all of Europe. Infamous for its upscale luxury brands and equally prestigious legacy, the British Department store founded by Charles Henry Harrod in 1834, has been referred to as “the Mecca” (of department stores) from the former owner himself, Mohamed Al Fayed.
The billionaire businessman, and father of the late Dodi Al Fayed (boyfriend of the late Princess Diana of Wales), sold Harrods for $2.5 billion in May of 2010 to ‘the sovereign wealth fund of the emirate of Qatar.’ Today Harrod’s boasts 330 department stores, 32 restaurants, personal shopping assistants (by appointment), a pharmacy, beauty spa & salon, financial services, a sommelier (or wine steward), and an ongoing list of any product or service the 300,000 daily visitors could yearn for; and yes that includes gold bars and coins.
The luxury retailer has offered "off the shelf" gold products ranging from 1g to 12.5 kg since 2009; but the lavish items don't end there. With a box of chocolates priced at $10,000, a kilogram of tea imported from Eastern Asia is a steal at almost $8,000. If you're interested in shopping for something extraordinary, get ready because we've tracked down 15 of the most exclusive and expensive items ever sold at Harrod’s.
14 Ambootia Snowmist: $7,864/kg
Hailing from the Far East, Ambootia Snowmist tea leaves are harvested only in sunshine and are processed in a distinctive manner. The splendid tea product is considered one of the most luxury tea brands in the world, and perhaps the top in price. The picking and plucking process is the only one of its kind, requiring the leaves only be plucked before sunshine to preserve their natural fragrance. The tea is only trimmed during winter, and considered an elite variety for the wealthy.
13 Patchi Chocolates: $10,000/Box
This ‘heart made’ premium chocolate, was the dream of an 11 year old boy, Nizar Choucair. Choucair’s aspiration was to convey chocolate into gifts, and bring joy to chocolate lovers everywhere! By 1974, the entrepreneur was able to do this; and Patchi evolved in an exclusive brand worldwide. Patchi chocolates are handmade chocolate gift collections in elegant packaging created by the Patchi Ateliers team. Each haute couture crafted gift, as they refer to it, consists of timeless pieces and chocolate jewels made with elegance and topped with a unique look. Absolutely no preservatives or coloring is allowed, and only the finest chocolate is used.
12 PG Tips Tea Bag: $15,250
The British tea brand introduced the diamond encrusted PG Tips Tea Bag for their 75th anniversary in 2005. Redefining the concept of ‘tea time,’ this one-off, luxury tea bag consists of 280 glistening diamonds, and was made by Boodles jewelers using Makaibari Silver Tips. The tea is accurately labeled ‘the world’s most expensive tea bag’.
11 Eye Catcher: $15,729
This limited edition eye-catching refrigerator glistens with 7,000 Swarovski crystals. The posh fridge freezer comes complete with a radio receiver, a cook book, voice messages and a voice alarm. In case you weren’t one of the lucky buyers of this luxury item (only 10 were ever manufactured) there's also another model available. The lower end version features 3,500 crystals and is priced at $2,325.
10 Factor 001: $36,000
This sophisticated ‘British superbike’ features a carbon frame, is powered by the Shinamo D12 electronic gear system and yields hydraulic carbon ceramic brakes for prompt stopping. The bike, designed for those looking for the ultimate in acceleration and stability, comes with a GPS and performance-monitoring system, which according to the manufacturers analyze the rider's heart rate, effort, and prevailing road conditions. It takes about a week and six skilled engineers to manufacture the luxury bike.
9 Eton Shirt: $44,740
Designed for the wealthy yearning for the ultimate in luxury, this Eton men’s shirt was unveiled for the company’s 80th anniversary. The shirt is made of Egyptian cotton, features colored diamond studs, and diamond-encrusted cufflinks, and is available exclusively at Harrod’s.
8 Diamond Manicure: $51,000
Considered the most expensive manicure in the world, this $51,000 treatment is comprised of 10 carats of exclusive cut diamonds. The sparkling manicure is offered by Cherish… Me, the company created by renowned diamond manicurist Cherish Angula. The $50,000 manicure includes the maintenance of your manicure and, later, the removal of the diamonds from your nails. Apparently the process is parallel to that of a French manicure, however the white tips of the nails are replaced with 10 carats of white, cut and polished diamonds. The London based team is also said to make house calls (worldwide), for those in need of a few gems along with perfectly cut cuticles.
7 Krug Trunk: $54,000
This luxurious champagne trunk was designed especially for wine lovers looking for the best in class and performance, as well as mobility! Clients investing in this piece of lavishness won’t be looking for a replacement any time soon; the trunk’s exterior is built to resist decay and rust, while the interior is read calfskin leather. The Krung Trunk also comes equipped with three exquisite Krug Grande Cuvee champagne bottles, and a luxury ice bucket, designed by Francois Bauchet. Lastly, this mobile special edition trunk (Harrods limited the sale of the Krug Trunk to 30) features an adaptable top that converts into a table!
6 Vi-spring Eco-Bed: $84,425
The lush Vi-Spring Eco-Bed is a collaboration between Vi-Spring and the luxury retailer. Known as the Majesty, the king size bed is constructed from sustainably-sourced beech, and complete with a mattress, duvet, headboard and scatter cushions. All components are comprised of the highest quality materials, such as silk, cashmere, blended lamb’s wool, and cotton. The mattress is also adorned with 6,240 springs.
6. Diamond 2-Ball Putter: $161,000
Commissioned by Golf club maker, Odyssey Golf, this gold and diamond putter will add a new swing to any golfer’s game! The sparkling 18-carat putter features a white gold head, 240 rubies and 378 diamonds. The putter was endorsed by the famous British golfer, Nick Dougherty and is undoubtedly the most expensive putter in the world.
5 Clive Christian No.1 Perfume: $232,645
While a splash of a beautiful scent may change your mood, it’s not known to severely alter your bank account, until of course the world’s most expensive perfume was launched. The luxurious perfume, Clive Christian No.1, is bound within cut glass crystal flacon and adorned with a large diamond. An 18 carat gold collar tops the extravagant décor. The limited edition unisex scent (only 10 were ever made), resonates of bergamot, cardamom, and Indian Jasmine, and is available exclusively at Harrod’s.
4 Baldi-Harrods Crystal Bathtub: $790,000
Redefining the bubble bath for the luxury shopper is a Crystal Bathtub derived from the finest white rock crystal. Constructed from one block of the purest white rock crystal discovered in Brazil in 2006, the beautiful bathtub featured in the Harrod’s window was the second tub produced from the precious rock. The first was displayed in 2008 in Salone del Mobile and purchased by a Russian mogul.
3 Advent Calendar: $1 Million
Exclusively manufactured by Porsche Design, the million dollar, Advent Calendar is 1.75 meters in height and features 24 windows offering owners luxurious surprises such as a Porsche Design Indicator Chronograph watch in rose gold, a designer kitchen, and an 8.5 meter speedboat. A pair of gold sunglasses, cufflinks, and running shoes were also added to the calendar. There were only seven created worldwide.
2 Stuart Weitzman’s Ruby Slippers: $1.6 Million
Designed for the 2003 Oscars, these Oz inspired, ruby encrusted pumps feature 123.33 carats and silky red satin. The stunning slippers are covered in 642 Burma rubies, and half a pound of platinum. The spectacular slippers were brought to Harrod’s for exclusive sale after they were never worn on the red carpet.
1 Project Mars: $165 Million
Topping the list for the most expensive item ever sold at Harrod’s is the luxury yacht, Project Mars. While the lavish yacht features a horseshoe shaped exterior lounge, it is adorned with multiple luxury amenities including a VIP room, children’s quarter, a private ‘Beach Club’, private gym, and a jacuzzi. Project Mars was created by Fincantieri Yachts and H2 Yacht Design, and is manned by a 34-person crew.