It is unclear to me who the type of people who buy “luxury mobile phones” actually are. While brands like Vertu exist rather commonly in the US (from a retail perspective), I have yet to see someone actually using one. Luxury mobile phones offer quality construction with high-end materials. Often times from an internal hardware or performance perspective they aren’t very special. In fact, having discussions with those who produce luxury mobile phones makes it clear that they aren’t trying to step on the toes of the Blackberrys and iPhones of the world. Luxury mobile phones are “intended” to act as a mobile phone surrogate on weekends when your “work” phone wants to take a rest. As such, luxury mobile phone makers are happy to have their products be a second phone or backup at best.
The irony is that due to rapidly evolving technologies, your luxury mobile phone is often going to be out of date by the time it gets out of the box. As such, if you require usefulness out of it that is above and beyond phone calls, you’ll be picking up your newer Blackberrys or iPhones instead. Luxury mobile phones are status symbols in places where such awareness exists as to allow others to appreciate your several thousand dollar plus phone.
One such brand that produces luxury mobile phones is Gresso - a brand that I have discussed in the past, which is located in Switzerland. One of their newest offerings is the Luxor World Time mobile phone. The title of the product is so “grand” it almost sounds silly to native English speakers. Which is actually why I am convinced the target market for these items exist in countries where English is not the mother tongue. If it is any hint, their website is available in English, Russian, and Vietnamese – an odd combo.
This new addition to the Luxor phone collection has six watch faces on the rear of the case. These are quartz movement based watch faces with 10 year batteries. Given the customizable nature of the phone, Gresso will identify those cities that you wish to be indicated on the back. You’d think with the advanced nature of a mobile phone it would be possible to do something a bit more creative and technologically sophisticated than simply insert watch movements into the phone case.
The phone itself is made up of a combo of materials such as steel, titanium, ceramic, and synthetic sapphire crystal. I have a feeling that the phone will have a solid feel to it, but will no doubt be quite heavy – even though the case is only 12mm thick. Will the combo of a phone with six watch dials on the back of it be enough to woo luxury buyers? Phones themselves often have world-time functions, and the limitation of just six preselected time zones makes the Luxor World Time not the best option for frequent jet setters. Like the overall market for luxury mobile phones, this one remains a bit of a mystery. While it is true that I would personally sport a luxury mobile phone in combo with my standard phone, I would certainly not take the plunge and spend money one – which is the big kicker. It isn’t just a matter of money, it is more a matter of what you are getting for your money. The Gresso Luxor World Time phone (with 6 watch dials) retails for $6,000. A price not very high in the scheme of luxury mobile phones, but certainly more than it will be worth to your lifestyle.
By Ariel Adams