Five custom-made Christmas gifts for men

For the man who has everything…

Noble Audio Savanna earphones, £799
Noble Audio Savanna earphones, £799

The ultimate earphones

At first glance, they look like cufflinks made from semiprecious stones. They are, in fact, bespoke in-ear headphones made by Texas-based hifi specialists Noble Audio. The bespoke element relates to the in-ear moulding and the casing, for which there is a plethora of options in terms of build and finish. A shell of acrylic, exotic wood or carbon glass (among other materials) is chosen, and then personalised design choices can be considered, incorporating, perhaps, 24ct gold or carbon fibres in inlays, swirls or any other desired effect. Hardware is selected according to the user’s music preferences: the entry-level, three-driver Trident model (£599), for instance, provides elevated low-end and treble for “a refined pop sound”, while the Savanna (£799) is tailored to suit acoustic recordings. First, send Noble an impression of your inner ears (a service available from most audiologists, and through Amplifon in the UK). The product takes around eight weeks to create from the time Noble receives the moulds (a rush-order service speeds this up to about 10 days), and provides a listening experience as personalised as a carefully curated music collection. nobleaudio.co.uk. MARK C O’FLAHERTY

Ermenegildo Zegna’s bespoke overcoat service combines modern fabrics with design history
Ermenegildo Zegna’s bespoke overcoat service combines modern fabrics with design history
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The singular overcoat

Men who are meticulous about their suits can sometimes ignore the fact that during winter it’s their overcoat that makes the first impression. Today, more and more tailors are offering bespoke styles that return the overcoat to what it should be: a personal expression that transcends mere function. Italian overcoats are structurally more relaxed than their English counterparts – they’re softer with a more laidback silhouette, and the fabric is the undisputed star. Ermenegildo Zegna, which began its history as a textile firm, offers a service (from £4,800) where it weaves a custom textile that approximates to any tweed or pattern a client desires. If a man wants to recreate his grandfather’s greatcoat, that’s possible. And because of advances in technology, Zegna can do this in lighter fibres than were available half a century ago. The result is a more versatile fabric combined with a design with a sense of history. zegna.co.uk. DAVID COGGINS

A Gibson Custom koa-wood Flying Eagle guitar, $8,299
A Gibson Custom koa-wood Flying Eagle guitar, $8,299
Chisel & Mouse’s founders, brothers Gavin, left, and Robert Paisley
Chisel & Mouse’s founders, brothers Gavin, left, and Robert Paisley

The significant sculpture

Brothers Robert and Gavin Paisley’s plaster and 3D-printed scale models of architectural gems – from Trellick Tower (£150) to the Temple of Artemis (£720) – can be found in the smartest design stores, as well as from their web shop. They also do a brisk bespoke business (from £1,200 for façade models). They are often asked to make models or façades of people’s homes, either as a way for the family to remember a significant house in their history or to celebrate the completion of a project. These remarkably faithful architectural sculptures are made using “a combination of an artisan’s approach with modern innovation and transformative technologies”. Or a chisel and a mouse – the name of their company. Work begins with the production of a 3D-printed model made from durable nylon, which is covered in a rubber mould and cast in plaster. The brothers and their craftsmen then add architectural details such as etched metal windows, doors and acrylic balconies – a process requiring dexterity, artistry and a great deal of patience. A bespoke project takes about 12 weeks, and the result certainly repays the patience of those involved. These sculptures are both accurate replicas of the buildings they honour and finely crafted objects in their own right. chiselandmouse.com. CHARLOTTE ABRAHAMS

Gladstone London leather G9 duffel bag in Smoke, £850
Gladstone London leather G9 duffel bag in Smoke, £850
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The luggage to last a lifetime

Craftsman John O’Sullivan established Gladstone London having worked in made-to-order luggage for over 30 years, including stints at Chanel and Tanner Krolle. His aim was to revive styles and construction techniques of London-made luggage from the 1920s – substantial pieces with panels sewn edge-to-edge to create a rigid, boxy effect (that didn’t need to consider the logistics of economy air travel). The result, which captures some of the romance of early 20th-century travel, is the perfect gift for going on the road. Leathers are cut by hand ­– softer versions of the luggage are made in Italy, while the harder (usually one-off) pieces are made using traditional methods unchanged since the early 20th century. The bespoke service starts at £7,000, by appointment at the label’s Shepherd Market boutique (or, from February, Harrods’ Second Floor), and can take anything from six months to two years if certificates of provenance for certain skins – such as Nile crocodile – are needed. Any bag or case can also be hand-gilded or finished with graffiti or other handpainted effects, as desired. gladstonelondon.com. MARK C O’FLAHERTY

The dream guitar

The style names of Gibson guitars are themselves the stuff of rock legend – to own one is every amateur strummer’s dream. Each year, on top of its standard releases, the Nashville-based brand produces a Custom Shop range of special edition and vintage-inspired models. For those wanting to take personalisation a step further, Gibson offers its bespoke Made2Measure service (from £3,600), which enables clients to specify every detail of their chosen iconic model, from body finish to fretboard design, electronics, pickup and neck size and weight. Electric Les Pauls, SGs and ES-335s, Firebirds, Explorers and Flying Vs are all available to order, as are storied acoustic models such as J45s, Hummingbirds and J200s. gibson.com. TIM AULD

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