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Published: Wednesday, 10/10/2012

$1M love-story package tops annual Nieman Marcus fantasy catalog

$100,000 hen house, $30,000 role on Broadway among less-pricey selections

ASSOCIATED PRESS
With several Annies on hand, Santa Claus poses with a 2013 McLaren 12C spider sports car Tuesday during the unveiling of the Neiman Marcus 2012 Christmas Book in Dallas. With several Annies on hand, Santa Claus poses with a 2013 McLaren 12C spider sports car Tuesday during the unveiling of the Neiman Marcus 2012 Christmas Book in Dallas.
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DALLAS — 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 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 for $30,000.

The watches from Van Cleef & Arpels are the most expensive item in the catalog and depict scenes from a love story. The face of one shows a woman on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, gazing toward Notre Dame. The face of the other 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 women’s watch strap is silk, the men’s is alligator.

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.

Although 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.

Ms. Reeder said the nine “fantasy gifts” that highlight the catalog are a nod to the spirit of the holiday and the fantasies of children.

Other fantasy gifts include a $150,000 wood-paneled trailer designed for tailgating with a sound system and bar stocked with bourbon and rye; a $99,500 water-propelled jetpack; a $90,000 gaming machine; and a $70,000 video portrait of an owl by artist Robert Wilson. Each is paired with a charity that will benefit from the sale.



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