Valued at a staggering $550,000 the Calibre R822 Predator is undoubtedly the most expensive belt buckle in the world. Curious why it’s called the ‘Predator’? Well, its Swiss creators say they chose the name simply because it “eats up every other belt buckle out there!”
The Calibre R822 Predator weighs 145 g, and is made of 18-carat solid white gold and titanium. It is adorned with 387 baguette-cut and round-cut diamonds, amounting to a total of 14.15 carats. But what makes the world’s most expensive buckle really special is its intelligent and innovative design. The mechanical buckle is made of 167 components, making it very similar to a high-quality, complicated Swiss timepiece.
It comes loaded with a host of high-tech features such as self-cleaning mechanisms and safety catches to minimise accidental release. Its ergonomic design enables the wearer to close the belt with ease and also loosen, tighten and change out the leather belt effortlessly. However, the $550,000 price does not include the belt. You’ll have to buy that yourself.
The super-expensive men’s accessory is being offered by Geneva-based men’s luxury brand ‘Roland Iten’. The company website states that “Operating the Calibre R822 buckle is a veritable tactile pleasure, and it offers a simple, one-handed adjustment for two positions – looser, for driving or sitting, and tighter, for walking or playing sport.”
“It is equipped with 16 (two rows of eight) self-cleaning track wheels that guide the ardillion slide precisely and securely, while a sprung ball bearing tensioner and dampener ensure smooth operation,” they added. Only three exclusive Predator buckles will be manufactured by the company, ensuring that if you buy one, you’re not likely to see it around your neighbor’s waist as well.
Inspired by the mechanical age of the aeroplane and the steam engine, founder Roland Iten is famous for creating the world’s first complicated mechanical belt buckle in 2003. He explained that he wants to make products that are beautiful as well as functional. “When you know too much, you don’t ask the questions which can ultimately break through the obstacles of the product engineering process,” he said. “I’m the guy next to the engineer telling him, ‘it will work,’ all the time he’s telling me ‘it’s impossible.’”
“It’s really a very intimate way to make a product,” he added. “Then comes the considerable refinement phase – sometimes it takes six months to put back the elegance which was in the original design.
For those who cannot afford the Predator, Iten also makes an entry-level buckle called ‘Raptor’ – which will set you back by a measly $60,000.
Photos: Roland Iten