The Good Life

Ring in the bling

Brands such as Caviar and Gresso are redefining the way you look at your phone, giving it a life of its own

Gone are the days when walking around with a flip cover mobile phone was a status symbol or when we marveled at a new innovation every year. From playing ‘snake’ to virtual reality games such as Pokemon Go, the smartphone has come a long way. Today, it’s just another piece of gadget that everyone uses, including 5-year-old kids, who probably operate these more deftly than your 55-year-old parent! For many, the phone is a functional piece, but for those who are conscious of carrying everything on them as status symbols, there are only a few options to set you apart; especially when it comes to phones at a time when the teenager next to you brags an iPhone.

Russian luxury brand Caviar ensures that you never run out of options to make your gadget look like an extension of your personality. At the right price, Caviar can add style and splendor as per your requirements, and you’ll be able to spot your phone amongst a thousand in a basket. The company that was founded in 2011 offers customisations for iPhones and flagship Samsung phones besides its own products — button Tsar-phones and mechanical watches.

 The team prides itself on assembling all its pieces by hand and decorating them with the most exclusive materials including gold, titanium, carbon, composite stone, natural leather, rare species of wood and diamonds. They also replicate Russian masterpieces into artwork on the phone panels. “We are always full of new ideas. We create things that resemble characters or talk about history; and things that can amaze and delight. We have seen a trend among the buyers of premium phones. They don’t always need a design made just of expensive materials rather something unusual. Therefore, we think of ideas that are beyond simple customisation,” says Sergey Kitov, founder, Caviar.

Needless to say, it doesn’t come cheap. An exclusively crafted iPhone can cost you around Rs.300,000 — 3x more than the price of the phone itself. But Caviar’s most expensive product is the ‘Golden Sheikh’, which is priced at Rs.2.6 million. It is a limited edition Tsar phone dedicated to former UAE president Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The phone comes with an unusual push-button and the whole body is made of gold. The limited editions offered by the company are a guarantee that your phone is as unique as the jewels that it boasts of. 

If you feel like an artist or want to jog your creative side, the brand also lets you design your own phone on its website. You can choose from an array of options — from coating colour to embossment design and the bling you’d like your phone to display. Besides, they also provide options to add volumetric images that will make the characters or the design pop out and appear 3D in nature. Adding inscriptions, portraits and nameplates are some of the other features Caviar has to offer. The website instantly calculates the cost of the phone and the manager contacts you to discuss the process. Kitov believes their pieces make the perfect gift for someone you cherish. “We combine technology, ideas, precious materials and traditions. Handmade products are created with exceptional detail, which adds a certain charm to them and they will always be valuable,” he adds.

If you aren’t impressed and want to go for even rare designs, then Swiss-based Gresso is the best choice. The Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot is designed with a back panel made of wood extracted from a 200-year-old African tree. Each key on the keypad is encrusted with a gem sapphire and you can get this beauty extraordinaire for Rs.70 million. Customising an iPhone XS can cost you around Rs.500,000.

With what these brands have to offer, your phone will not be just another electronic device. It can be everything you can hope for, from an inanimate object.