Watch brand Ulysse Nardin has launched a hybrid luxury smartphone called the Chairman, designed in partnership with Scientific Cellular Innovations (SCI), a company that aims to unite elegant design and leading technology.
The phone was unveiled at BaselWorld earlier this month and was exhibited at both the Ulysse Nardin stand and SCI’s own booth, and is said to “pair the historical, mechanical art of watch-making with modern technology”.
Bobby Yampolsky, co-founder of SCI, said: “2012 has already been a groundbreaking year in which we have seen the first deliveries of the Chairman to our discerning clientele and we are excited to build off the momentum established.
“Solidifying the notion that people now view their mobile devices with the same intention to convey personal style and craftsmanship as with an elegant timepiece, the Chairman’s popularity at BaselWorld has exceeded expectations with the introduction of new iterations and inspired us to further explore ways to fulfill the needs and desires of our customers.”
The Chairman smartphone features several of Ulysse Nardin’s design elements including the its mechanical watch rotor, displayed on the phone’s rear side beneath sapphire crystal. The rotor works just as it would on wrist, creating kinetic energy in the same fashion as a wristwatch.
The Chairman also incorporates a working crown that can be hand-wound, and both the rotor and crown fuel the Chairman’s power reserve.
Each phone has been hand-assembled from more than 300 handmade parts including anodized aerospace grade aluminum alloy, an 18ct rose gold case, a 22ct gold rotor, sapphire crystal, carbon fiber, marine grade stainless steel and rhodium-plated components.
Only 1,846 pieces of each Chairman style are available, a tribute to the brand’s founding year. Each smart phone is numbered with a limited edition plaque found below the watch rotor.
During BaselWorld Bobby Yampolsky and Paul Williams, chief operating officer at SCI, presented a custom-made Chairman to Chai Schnyder, the wife of late Ulysse Nardin chief executive Rolf Schnyder, who passed away in April last year.
Guests at the Ulysse Nardin stand were also able to view a full pave diamond model of the phone set with 3,100 round brilliant cut hand-set diamonds, with only 100 units available in the black diamond version.
By mid-2012, SCI hopes that the smart phone will be available in more than 20 countries on five continents, through either Ulysse Nardin Boutiques or selected retailers.