The executive style guide
Want to stand out from the business crowd? Here's all the kit you need.
If you want to look the business, it’s no longer enough to wear polished shoes and a designer suit: the tech you use has to be right too. Here, we’ve rooted out some of the most stylish, sophisticated and genuinely useful products a style-conscious executive should add to his or her wishlist. Or just buy, put on expenses and hope for the best.
dunhill messenger bag
We aren’t fans of big logos on bags; it’s all about clever design, comfort and, yes, that most subtle of badges so that people in the know will appreciate your taste. No one does it better than dunhill, with a wide range of bags available from rucksacks to holdalls. For us, though, it’s the dunhill messenger bag that wins, for a sensible mix of practicality – there’s plenty of room inside – and comfort. Most important of all, they always look good slung over the shoulder.
Like it or not, people will judge you by your choice of laptop. Today, you need a number of elements to make the grade: sleek looks, a gorgeous screen, premium feel (because they will want to pick it up) and obvious craftsmanship. These are all factors HP clearly had in mind when designing the HP EliteBook Folio, and thanks to some hardcore specs it can handle every task you care to throw it. It should even look good after a couple of years on the road, having passed a number of military-grade tests.
There’s nothing hi-tech about this pen, but there are times when you need to put ink to real paper – and, just as it has through the decades, nothing says quality quite like Montblanc. The name would be worthless if it wasn’t such a joy to write with, and the Montblanc Meisterstuech remains the classic: “new since 1924”, to quote Montblanc’s website. And, rather than defaulting to a Moleskin notebook, might we suggest you take a look at Smythson’s range at the same time.
Some things never go out of style, and this couldn’t be more true than with cameras. While your phone’s built-in camera will be great for snaps, and even video, whipping out a classic-looking camera like the Leica M, Olympus PEN or Fujifilm X-Series not only adds an element of professionalism, it will also show in the results. Which you choose will depend on your budget and just how much of a camera buff you are, but the Olympus PEN E-PL7 wins our vote as it’s both affordable and boasts retro style.
Watches are one of the trickiest accessories to get right. Buy the latest Android or Apple watch and you look like you’re following the herd; veer too far away, and you can seem behind the times. That’s why we’re fans of the HP Titan JUXT. There are two versions, but our favourite comes dressed in understated black with stainless steel flashes. At first glance its analogue dials give it a traditional appearance, but closer examination reveals a discreet mono LCD that alerts you to meetings or incoming calls – and lets you know when you’ve reached that all-important 10,000 steps.
Hi-tech music player
Audiophiles have loved FiiO’s range of music players for years, thanks to the promise of “studio grade sound” with no loss of fidelity due to ugly MP3 compression. What’s more, the FiiO X5 players look the part, with a timeless design matched and gorgeous metal finish. So much classier than hooking up headphones to your phone.
If you’re often on the road, we can’t recommend Bluetooth speakers enough. They transform the most mundane hotel room into a home from home, and there’s no doubt at all which speaker is the best for both style and quality: the KEF Muo. Of course it looks good, but what really won us over was the way it handled subtle tracks… and even the odd radio play. A brilliant travel companion.
World’s most beautiful digital book
Eyebrows were well and truly raised when Amazon announced the Kindle Oasis. A Kindle, for £270? It seems almost laughable until you try it out for yourself. An ultra-slim, gorgeous design matched with weeks and weeks of battery life – plus distinctly practical touches that mean it fades into the background when you’re reading – were enough to win it an Alphr award. So much for the doubters.