Luxury mobile phone company Vertu has announced the second device in it’s exclusive five-year Bentley partnership: the Signature for Bentley. Tech-hounds, look away, because it’s probably not going to be for you. If you’re not familiar with it, the Signature is a feature phone. It doesn’t have a touchscreen, has a alphanumeric keypad, and runs Series 40 software.
Before Vertu embraced the smartphone, the Signature was its defining model, a beautifully made device launched in 2002 that existed only to look flash, and make the absolute best quality calls imaginable. Back then, that’s pretty much all that mattered. Today, it’s a different story, but the Signature is still an important phone for Vertu, and the demand is there for a limited edition.
Step forward Bentley. The Signature for Bentley has a stainless steel body with a polished, knurled finish — a look lifted straight from the cockpit of a Bentley Mulsanne Speed, the car which influenced the look of this phone — and a carbon fiber pillow surrounding the speaker. The carbon weave is suitably similar to that on the Mulsanne Speed too.
The leather used for the rear of the phone and the case is taken from the same tannery used by Bentley, and there is a smattering of Bentley logos on both it and the device. There’s no Bentley app like the one installed on the Signature Touch for Bentley, but it does come with Bentley wallpapers.
The big selling point for Bentley owners is the chance to customize the look of the phone to exactly match their car, and there are 2,300 leather and stitching combinations available. Even the gemstone used for the select key can be chosen, and the keypad itself comes in either black metal or sapphire.
The technical specs, as if they really matter, include a 2-inch sapphire-covered display, 4GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 1050mAh battery that’s good for 300 hours standby. The Vertu Concierge personal assistant — who is a real person, not a virtual assistant — is available at the press of a button, 24-hours a day.
Vertu will be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK between June 25 and June 28 to show off the phone for the first time, then again at the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance on August 16. The phone will officially launch on September 18. Now for the hard part. The Signature for Bentley phone costs £14,500, or around $22,800. On the expensive side for a feature phone, certainly; but if you’ve got the $335,000-plus needed for a Bentley Mulsanne Speed, probably not beyond your means.