It’s Christmas (in Switzerland)! Merry Christmas (in Switzerland), errrboday!”
Okay, it’s not strictly Christmas but if you happen to be into cars or watches (or both), you’ll know that things get pretty darn interesting this time of the year. For starters, the horology world is still reeling from the aftershocks of SIHH 2019. Next, we’ve got Baselworld 2019 at the end of March. Meanwhile, car enthusiasts are currently frothing at the mouth with what’s on display at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
Truth be told, I’d be frothing too if I found myself at the Rolls-Royce booth. For the first time on an international stage, the brand will feature its entire portfolio of models replete with Bespoke touches. What exactly is Bespoke in Rolls-Royce speak, you ask?
In a nutshell, it is Rolls-Royce’s personalisation service. Put it this way, if you can put down a blank cheque, Rolls-Royce is able to customise your car to the ends of the Earth and back. The service allows clients to “personalise subtle features such as door handles, driver’s dials and treadplates.” Not enough? How about “having a paint colour developed especially for you – or the veneers crafted from a tree on your estate?”
STILL NOT ENOUGH?!
You can always opt for the brand’s Coachbuild service. Taking it to the extreme, this service allows clients to create their own one-off Rolls-Royce. It’s like taking a look at the current line-up and thinking to yourself, “Hmm… I can do better…” or “I want it to look like a motorized carriage from days of yore.”
It’s all possible. Just take a look at the Rolls-Royce Sweptail and you’ll get the idea. For now, back to the cars at the Geneva stand.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Tranquility
In my personal opinion, the highlight of the collection this time round is the Rolls-Royce Phantom Tranquility. Limited to only 25 units worldwide, it’s available in both Phantom and Phantom Extended Wheelbase configurations. With that said, if you weren’t on the list from the start, you’re already too late as all 25 have been sold.
While the exterior looks relatively plain, the interior is a whole other story. For starters, the Tranquility’s
dashboard Gallery houses “a design inspired by the X-Ray coded aperture masks used on the British Skylark space rocket.” I have no idea what that means. What I simply understand is this – Rolls-Royce has employed the use of “highly reflective stainless steel, 24-karat gold plating and space grade aluminium” to “mathematically” recreate the shadow that appears when radiation passes through the perforated file on the structure of the aforementioned rocket.
Moving on, here’s more overkill of the finest nature. The volume controller contains an actual piece of the Muonionalusta meteorite.
Just let that sink in. The freakin’ volume controller has an insert made out of an actual piece of an actual freakin’ meteorite!
Further drawing out the extra terrestrial theme, the Bespoke Audio Speaker Frets are finished in yellow gold. Why? This is a homage to NASA’s ‘Voyager’ satellite that was tasked to ferry two gold records into space, packed with various sound clips and images that showed the different aspects of life across cultures on Earth. In the event it gets picked up by aliens, they’ll have a rough idea on what us, humans, are like.
Additionally, the interior also features a “Bespoke ‘Technical’ yellow gold, vapour blasted and engraved titanium clock.” Finally, an engineered titanium Spirit of Ecstasy with yellow gold accents is to be found up front.
Rolls-Royce Ghost & Wraith Black Badge
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the Black Badge is a souped-up tier above the regular models. Think extra aesthetic bits and a tad more power. In the case of the Rolls-Royce Wraith, Galileo Blue “was selected to dramatize the dynamic substance” of the car. Further highlights include the Mandarin coachline that runs through the entire length of the car.
On the inside, a similar theme is applied with a combination of Arctic White and Navy Blue leather with Mandarin accents on the seat piping.
Moving on, the Rolls-Royce Ghost features a more stealthy outlook. The Gunmetal paintwork (with an Iced satin upper and deep gloss lower finish) gets offset by the mild Lime Green pinstripe on the car’s wheel centres. Meanwhile, the interior features a combination of Anthracite and Black leather with Lime Green piping and door pockets.
“Eh? That isn’t the entire line-up…”
You’re right. Rolls-Royce is also displaying the Cullinan Genève 2019 and Dawn Genève 2019. The former features a Petra Gold paintwork and a Navy Blue coachline. Inside, Navy Blue and Oatmeal hued leather are to be found, as are the natural Open Pore Royal Walnut veneer.
However, the biggest surprise lies in the boot. Ladies and gents, I present to you The Hosting Service. Located within the removable Recration Module, it contains stainless steel cocktail and seasoning accessories along with American Walnut serving boards. Two stainless steel dishes, highball crystal glasses, paring knives, stainless steel drinking straws and a pepper grinder are also included.
As for the Rolls-Royce Dawn Genève 2019, it features a Blue Crystal hue over the Milori Sapphire paintwork. On the other hand, the interior is swathed in Selby Grey leather up front and Navy Blue leather towards the rear. The effect is meant to highlight “the prominence of the driver’s position”, so says Rolls-Royce.
“It’s good to be filthy rich, right?”
Well, that depends on who you ask. Before this devolves into an existential article, let me just state that money isn’t always the root of all evil. A lack of it would drive someone to do evil things, for instance.
Now, while we can go on and on about the merits of having money, I’ll just be happy that Rolls-Royce is continuing to push the boundaries of customisation. Aside from that, I personally feel that Rolls-Royce is one of the few luxury brands out there that’s doing a damn fine job of staying profitable while keeping true to its ethos.