Rich people gadgets

Roberto Baldwin offers Insanely Expensive Gadgets for the Elite. Vertu's cellphones are at the cheap end of the ticket. [Wired]


  1. I was all “You can keep that crap!” until I got to the workstation. Hrm… hmm… uuh… ahhh… well, I don’t have that kind of money, and I’m sure that even if I did it wouldn’t be worth that much… but maaaaan, would something like that be sweet!!!!

  2. Frankly, kind of disappointing outside of the watch and the phone.  The headphones honestly just sound like somewhat expensive professional gear.

    And none of it really compares to a personal car elevator.

    1. The Vertu is just a gold-plated phone with an add on concierge service. Now if it incorporated technologies hitherto only seen in laboratories, or was substantially lighter and thinner than any other device on the market, then it might impress.

      Consider the super car, a staple of these sorts of lists. They’re designed to bring F1 tech to the consumer, perhaps with a bit of whale penis leather to sweeten the deal. The Vertu is the equivalent of a chauffeur driven, leather and gold encrusted Toyota Prius.

  3. That swiss army knife looks awesome. Not all slicked up like it’s supposed to look “rich”, still the same old red knife, but now with 1TB of  data storage. 

  4. $80,000 speakers?  That’s on the affordable end of the spectrum of high-end audio.

    I remember thinking the first time I saw an interview with Fabio in his home that his entertainment center, which was on-screen for not very long, easily contained over $USD1,000,000.00 in gear.

    Let’s try for a seriously expensive stereo, eh?

    The Kharma Grand Enigma system is $1m, but afaik that an integrated collection of all components.   (I could be wrong; I have no experience with any of this stuff.)

    If you go for separates, the Infinite Wisdom Grande speakers are about $400K, the Pivetta Opera One amp is $650K (but you’d want two, of course), there are at least a couple of pre-amps and turntables in the $250K range and it’s easily possible to spend another $100K on wires.  That’s $2.3 Million, right off the top of my head.

    Obviously, the author of the linked article was just phoning this one in.

  5. All that crap just reinforces a long-standing observation of mine (and probably of a lot of other people, too). That is, the extremely expensive is often very similar to the very cheap.

    The first time this occurred to me, it was when watching drag racing on TV. Someone mentioned that one of the best cars on the track at that time was worth well over $100,000. When it inched up to the starting line, this monster race car sounded just like a rusted-out beater struggling to stay alive at a red light. Once the dragster took off, it sounded like the same beater hauling ass down the highway at 4AM.

    So it goes with so much other stuff, too. Vertu phones are just outdated Nokia handsets with tacky shells and some crap-ass babysitter service for out-of-touch morons. What about that $80k speaker set? Ribbon speakers have been around forever, and all the other stuff can be bought and assembled by an audio tech for far, far less than $80k.

    I could go on, but you see what I mean. All that stuff is expensive, sure, but it doesn’t DO anything special. It’s just flashy junk meant to take money from idiots. Same premise behind the cheap shit at the dollar store; it’s just a different demographic being targeted.

    1. Pff. Did you watch the vid about the mind-blowing watch? That bit of gear is about as trick as it comes; a sheer masterpiece of engineering (it is hard to imagine it being worth all that, though). The same is probably equally true of the motorbike, although it’s likely to be less innovative.

      The bike is likely to be worth most of its $18k too. Superlative engineering is a cost-no-object proposition, and although the returns are diminishing, they’re there to be had. Like this $45k 2.7kg bike, for example.

      Such things may be excessive in an everyday sense, but how do you imagine the gear we use every day gets any better over time?

      And sorry, but your example of a drag car betrays either a disingenuous argument, or a disqualifying lack of comprehension of the topic. Do you imagine even for a moment that engine note and idle quality are even the merest shadow of a consideration to guys chasing thousandths of a second down the strip? Come on, dude.

      Yeah, we all know the Vertu is hilarious, and plenty of such products exist. But your assertion that most expensive stuff is junk is equally as laughable. Perceived value on the basis of price can only do so much against being undercut by competition. Most markets include people who don’t get a kick out of paying over the odds for stuff.

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