New diamond crusted key ring to cost more than $750,000
SUPERCAR owners can now buy a customised car key that costs more than the car itself.
Finnish company Awain - which has offices strategically located in Dubai, where over-the-top opulence for the wealthy is celebrated - has created a jewel-encrusted range of keys designed to stand out when it lands on the bar at the local golf club.
Each is a numbered limited edition bursting with diamonds and gold.
For now, the most affordable is the Quantum, priced at €49,000 ($77,000).
It has 354 diamonds within 175 grams of 18-karat gold, the raw price of the gold around $10,000.
The mid-level Serenity is priced at €89,000 ($140,000) and steps up the indulgence with 1250 diamonds in the same basic key that is shaped like an elongated royal crown.
For the ultimate extravagance there is the Phantom, a unique piece that will not be duplicated but sets you back a whopping €500,000 ($786,000).
In each case, you can configure the colours and exact colour of the gold, the latter choosing between white gold, rose golf and plain old gold.
The keys mount the original key's electronics within a new case and "are available only to owners of the world's most exclusive brands of luxury automobiles", including Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and McLaren.
The keys are the brains of Awain CEO Jalmari Mattila, a former motoring writer and luxury car salesman from Helsinki, Finland, who says he noticed a hole in the market.
He says rather than "nondescript" keys "made of plastic", the Awain offers next-level "craftsmanship" and "finesse".
He says the keys - which are individually numbered and signed by the maker - took two years to design.
"I enlisted the help of designer Leevi Markkula and watchmaker Joakim Jokela to help me create a really beautifully crafted, bespoke and incredibly luxurious key."
Each key is produced in Finland and takes between 100 and 300 hours to make.
"Luxury car owners no longer have to settle for using a standard key to drive their customised vehicle," says Mattila. "As a passionate car enthusiast myself, I believe that the very best cars in the world deserve the very best keys, and our pieces really make a statement of excellence. We now offer an option for supercar owners who will accept nothing short of an unparalleled luxury experience and craftsmanship."
It certainly brings a new level of fright to losing your keys.
The brand's business could be shortlived, though.
Car makers as diverse as Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz are increasingly turning to technology to move away from traditional keys, instead using near field communication (NFC) in smartphones to bypass keys altogether.