Gavin Hartley, head of bespoke design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, searches for the right word to describe his team’s latest innovation. ‘Ridiculous’ is what he settles on, much to the dismay of the PR manager. The latest release from Rolls-Royce’s internal bespoke design collective – a division which creates everything from personalised cushions to wireless headphones – is unashamedly ostentatious in the way that all luxury objects are to some degree. Luxury means unparalleled beauty; something that never fails to ignite joy. You don’t need it, but you absolutely want it.
‘We make things to make people smile. That is the true meaning of luxury,’ Hartley explains at the launch preview. ‘If it doesn’t make someone smile then we haven’t done our job.’
The Champagne Chest takes the form of a sleek black case designed to sit surreptitiously in a social environment of the owner’s choice; from a superyacht to a roof terrace or lounge. At the touch of a button the chest comes alive, James Bond-style, to unveil hidden compartments for champagne flutes, a chilled bottle of fizz and even your own caviar and blini kit (naturally). The Tudor oak lid transforms into a polished serving tray with laser-cut stainless steel inlay, while the side ‘hammocks’ are adorned in ‘Hotspur red’ Rolls-Royce leather. Attention to detail and the ‘irresistible allure of gadgetry’ (in Hartley’s words) are key, and everything is designed to subtly mirror the covetable nature and exquisite craftsmanship of a Rolls-Royce. The chest’s framework is made from machined aluminum and carbon fibre, swathed in natural grain black leather and embossed with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy. Even two dinky spoons that accompany the caviar caissons are made from anodised aluminium and shimmering Mother of Pearl. And in true Rolls-Royce fashion, every element of the design, down to colour and materials, can be customised according to the client’s individual taste and requirements.
‘The Champagne Chest by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a contemporary and sociable addition to the accessories collection,’ says Hartley. ‘The approach is that of designing a Rolls-Royce motor car; the finest materials are married with pinnacle engineering to provide an experience like no other.’
The Champagne Chest is available through Rolls-Royce dealerships. Prices start from £37,000.