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  1. Wealth
August 12, 2010

The ’230,000 spork

By Spear's

Now that you know what a spork is, try and imagine this: a mobile phone which is also a mechanical watch. Which costs ’230,000. That is what I had the pleasure of holding at Harrods yesterday – a Celsius X VI II LeDIX.

I hope you know what a spork is. If not, visit Wikipedia’s spork page before continuing.

Now that you know what a spork is, try and imagine this: a mobile phone which is also a mechanical watch. Which costs £230,000. That is what I had the pleasure of holding at Harrods yesterday – a Celsius X VI II LeDIX. (Yes, even the name is stupid.)

Edouard Meylan, the co-founder of Celsius X VI II, was at Harrods talking about the watch, which is on pre-order now, for delivery in October. When I asked him why you’d want a mobile phone with a watch stuffed inside it (one which weighs in at 240g [when an iPhone 4 is 137g]), his answer was that it doesn’t just call, it doesn’t just tell the time – it makes people dream.

The reason why it was developed in the first place is just as bizarre: when a friend who didn’t wear watches woke up in the middle of the night on a flight, with his phone turned off, he had to ask a stewardess for the time. So, he thought, why not make a phone which also has a watch in it?

Or, you might cry, why not buy a watch by itself instead of spending a tonne of money trying to develop the world’s most expensive spork?

Yes, the technology within is impressive – a tourbillon movement, with 600 mechanical parts in total, powered by opening the clamshell case – but the result is so lumpen, so heavy and so backwards with respect to the capabilities we now expect of even the most basic phone that it makes you wonder why anyone would buy it at all. You don’t even appear to be able to email from it.

Celsius X VI II’s aim, Edouard says, is to create a fully-mechanised mobile phone, one that runs only on user-generated movement, but he concedes that is years off. What you have now is like a Toyota Prius, with both a battery and the mechanism as power sources, except far less useful.

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The company seems to get around issues of practicality by referring to it as ‘a piece of art’, but that will hardly do.

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