If you have a penchant for office furniture with elaborate and – let’s be honest – somewhat pretentious backstories, this list of expensive office chairs is for you.
Whether you think expensive chairs are indulgences for shallow people or must-have items for your next Woollahra mansion, I hope you get what you came here for.
Be informed and mildly entertained, dear reader – but don’t succumb to the vapours. Here are the most expensive chairs in Australia for November 2023.
Shown above: you can have your Cockpit Chair in carbon fibre construction.
Petrolheads of the world, rejoice. Ferrari has partnered with Italian brand Poltona Frau to create an office chair that resembles the driver’s seat of a sports car.
Despite being one of the most expensive office chairs on the market, the Cockpit Chair isn’t immediately available to anybody who can write a hefty cheque.
- Lead time is 16-20 weeks, and you’ll need to be deemed worthy by Ferrari before you get the opportunity to sign up.
(Related: How To Choose An Office Chair).
Shown above: also known as the Time-Life chair, the Eames Executive was originally conceived in the 1950s as a feature piece for the headquarters of Time magazine.
A timeless classic or a dated relic? You decide.
Either way, this vintage Herman Miller leather office chair is a minimalistic lounge chair that takes cues from the larger Eames lounge chair while adding the corporate aesthetic to match the offices of post-war America.
Eames Executive chairs don’t get thrown out or worn out. They get worn in, then age gracefully, becoming more and more comfortable over time.
You’ll probably keep this expensive chair the rest of your life – or sell it about 10 years later to another Eames fan, who will probably happily use it for another 10 years.
- They have a loyal, cult-like following, with men dreaming of owning one until they can finally afford it (or find a sufficiently inexpensive second-hand example).
(Related: Most Comfortable Office Chairs In Australia).
Shown above: not ergonomic nor very comfortable by modern standards, the Wegner is nonetheless interesting for its obsessive commitment to craftsmanship.
First revealed in 1955, the Wegner Swivel Chair was one of the first expensive chairs built with ergonomics in mind.
- The shape of a propeller inspires the backrest’s shape and can be made from oak, ash or cherry.
The chair is handmade from 200-year-old trees by a crack team of joiners, upholsterers and blacksmiths who don’t use machinery.
This probably explains – at least in part – its $13,000 price tag.
There’s something unmistakably Italian about Vitra’s design.
Curved lines of the single-piece egg chair frame combine with an automatic weight adjustment system to create a dignified yet highly usable seating experience.
Fully wrapped in Italian leather, the Vitra costs $4,800 and comes with a free adjustable neck cushion.
(Related: Best Office Chairs For People With Bad Backs).
Shown above: lashings of polished aluminium and fine leather strapped together by a rudimentary (but effective) reclining mechanism, add up to create one of the most iconic – and expensive – office chairs around.
This office chair was designed for corporate offices of 1960s Manhattan.
Since then, it’s become an icon, showing up in home offices, meeting rooms and boardrooms worldwide.
- The Eames couple created this plush soft leather chair to bring comfort and simplicity to the office environment.
It doesn’t exactly sport a modern ergonomic design, but that’s not the point. Surprisingly, the 50-year-old chair design offers some fixed lumbar support.
But what I love the most about the Eames is that it feels like a combination of a task chair and a lounge chair.
What About The Controversial $1.5 Million Chair?
Shown above: handsome and very competent, but certainly not worth more than a few thousand dollars.
You may have seen roundups of the most expensive office chairs that list the Pininfarina Xten Ergonomic Chair as the most pricey chair in the world, at 1.5 million dollars each.
Sorry to spoil the hype party. That figure has been misquoted.
- It was the chair’s development that cost $1.5 million.
You can pick one up for about $2600 if you’re hell-bent.
The patented gel was an example of marketing drivel, dreamt up by MadMen marketing types, probably while sitting in expensive Eames chairs.
Not everything you read on the Internet is true – who knew?