If you thought the diamond-studded Nokia Vertu phones were the ultimate in mobile phone luxury, then you are in for a big surprise. An Austrian designer has made a mobile phone worth Dh4.7 million for a Russian customer.
Named the Brilliant Crypto Smartphone, the handcrafted, diamond-studded phone, cast in platinum, gold and ebony, was the joint effort of JSC Ancort company and Peter Aloisson – a world famous jeweller, designer and inventor of luxury mobile phones.
Talking to Emirates Business about why the customer ordered a Dh4.7 million phone Aloisson said: “We have customers who can afford a Vertu or any other luxury phone. But they want to hang on to the phone of which they know the menu and functions. They do not want to learn the functions and menus of a new phone. And at the same time, they want to have a new look for the phone; they want it customised to their liking, taste and budget. So we give them that and more. In fact, we give them individuality and they are more than willing to pay any amount for that.
“For instance, my customer had not ordered a Dh4.7 million phone initially. He wanted me to create a phone costing a maximum of Dh1.5 million. But during the designing stage we realised it would cost about Dh1.8m. I informed the client and he told me to take it up to Dh3.6m. Then the next morning he called again and said he had been on the internet and discovered that two phones had already been made for Dh3.6m so we should ensure his phone costs more, at least Dh5.5m.
“In the end, it turned out to be Dh4.7m, but the client is extremely happy with it because he now has the most expensive mobile phone in the world.”
What makes it so expensive is the fact that all metal parts of the phone have been cast in solid platinum 950, apart from the Ancort logo, and the navigation key is made of 18 carat rose gold.
The sides of the phone as well as its reverse side are made of ebony. The keypad is in solid platinum and hand-engraved and hand-coloured.
The navigation key carries 28 round-cut diamonds weighing 1.5 carats of G–Vvs1 quality.
The on/off button is made of cut-to-shape, one-carat natural blue diamond and the navigation button and the single button each have a half-carat, princess-cut blue diamond. The side buttons and the double buttons are all made of cut-to-shape blue diamonds. Each side carries five 25 carat princess-cut blue diamonds in a channel setting with a total weight of 25 carats. All these diamonds are D-1F quality. In total the phone has 50 diamonds, including 10 blue diamonds.
Aloisson recalls an amusing incident that happened while designing the keypad.
“We wanted to make the number keys smaller and more elegant. But the customer said: “Take a look at my hands. Do you really want to make the keys that small?” When I looked at his fingers, I decided to make the keys bigger, especially for him.”
But the phone is not just about bling, it has up-to-the-minute technology, too.
The phone uses Windows CE as its operating system, with a touch screen and a virtual keypad. It has all the features of the regular phone but the menu is totally customised. It can store upto 4,000 numbers.
It has tempest-proof special screens, filers and protection methods that prevent non-encrypted information from leaking into the air.
Inside is a physical sensor of equiprobable keys, where the user can enter the selected keys into the phone manually or automatically from a key sensor.
You can also make encrypted communication from the phone, but for that, two similar Crypto Smartphones must be used.
The accessories comprise a handmade leather pouch with platinum trimmings and lock. It also has a handmade presentation box in ebony with suede leather lining.
When asked about how he got involved in the business of making luxury phones, Aloisson said: “It started 10 years ago. I had the feeling then that a mobile phone would cease to be a status symbol soon because everybody would have one. So I decided to make luxury phones. I wanted to own a phone made of gold – and I made one.”
But it was not easy. In 1996, he quit from the post of a marketing and franchise manager of a textile company and started producing “golden mobile phones.” Since he was the first to come up with such an idea and as there was no working technology in the market for such a product, he not only had to develop his own technique to produce gold parts, but also become a jeweller/goldsmith himself.
In 1997 he produced the first diamond-encrusted mobile phone in the world. “Today we produce 40-50 customised phones a year. We can increase the numbers – but we would have to compromise on the quality – which we will never do,” he says.
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When bling is your calling...