Only Roland Iten could take a 60.66-carat diamond and put it in a man’s belt buckle. Meet the one-of-a-kind R60 Diablo.
The R60 Diablo
A few months ago I received an email from the team over at Roland Iten telling me I would be getting a special preview of something incredible at Baselworld earlier this year. As you can imagine I was pretty excited. Sure, I’ll admit there is a lot of marketing hyperbole thrown around in the luxury industry – I’ve been guilty of it myself on numerous occasions I’m sure – and so you generally need to take everything you hear with a grain of salt but this was Roland Iten we were talking about, a man’s who’s ability to create exceptionally luxurious (and fun) gentleman’s accessories seems to know no bounds.
Needless to say the suspense was killing me a month later as we were ushered into a private room at the famous Trois Rois hotel in Basel. And then I saw it; the R60 Diablo, quite possibly the most gorgeous and yet most insane belt I have ever encountered. Right there in front of me was a stunning 60.66-carat fancy cognac-colored diamond flawlessly set in a custom-made made Roland Iten mechanical belt buckle and all I could think was; “I could wear that, couldn’t I?”
Now, as you might have guessed large fancy (colored) diamonds, such as the one you see here, are very rare. Even rarer still is such a nearly flawless (type VS2) colored diamond of this size. Discovered in India, the stone is from the Golconda region, origin of some of the world’s most famous diamonds. What’s really interesting though is how it came to be set in a Roland Iten belt buckle. For the answer to that question we look to another major player in the industry, Claude Sfeir, a world-class expert in the art of collecting vintage jewels and watches.
It seems that at some point Iten and Sfeir got to talking and discovered they have a shared vision that is simple and clear: to place important stones into the everyday repertoire of high-end gentlemen’s accessories. Now if that isn’t a sign of things to come I don’t know what it is but after seeing the R60 Diablo in person I know I want more.
It seems counter-intuitive I know – diamonds are supposed to be a girl’s best friend after all – but there’s just something so masculine about the R60 Diablo. I think this has to be in part due to the rare kite-shaped cut of the stone itself. To ensure full emphasis of this unusual feature, Iten created an exclusive suspension pillar system and a mechanical mount to allow the stone to “float” above the buckle plate. As such, all corners of the stone are visible but protected by a surrounding gold embankment, allowing the full kite-shaped cut to be visible from all sides of the buckle plate. This somehow gives the buckle a more aggressive feel to me, almost like the head of snake getting ready to strike.
Much like the diamond the buckle itself is also a work of art, although the latter has most definitely been crafted by man as opposed to the enormous forces generated by plate tectonics. Manufactured one hundred percent in Switzerland on the same machinery used to manufacture components for the fine watchmaking industry, the R60 Diablo comprises precisely 109 components in 18-karat red gold and white gold with grade 5 titanium utilized for the chassis architecture. Entirely handcrafted, polished, and assembled by master craftsmen in Geneva the R60 Diablo boasts hand-crafted bridges, cogs, wheels, springs, and pinions that interconnect to create a mechanism that allows the wearer to obtain an absolutely precise fit.
Officially unveiled at Christie’s Private Sales in Geneva on Monday the R60 Diablo will soon embark on a global tour to cities including London, New York, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, and Shanghai so that it may be viewed in person by important collectors. Unfortunately though it will not be on view to the public. The good news however is that a portion of the sales of the R60 Diablo will be donated to the Art Center College of Design Norman Shureman Memorial Scholarship Trust, in recognition of the pioneering work of Roland Iten’s friend and mentor Norman Shureman.
If you would like to learn more about the R60 Diablo please click here visit the Roland Iten website.
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