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Whilst ev­ery Rolls-Royce is spe­cial, many cus­tomers de­sire ex­tra­or­di­nary dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures to make their car com­pletely unique. This falls to the mar­que’s Be­spoke de­sign depart­ment; a col­lec­tive of the au­to­mo­tive world’s finest de­sign­ers, en­gi­neers and crafts­peo­ple.

This ap­proach has dis­tin­guished Rolls-Royce for over a cen­tury, with to­day’s meth­ods echo­ing the age of the coach­builder when cus­tomers pur­chased their chas­sis and en­gine be­fore send­ing it to be bod­ied to their ex­act­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

From the finest de­tail­ing to the bold­est state­ment, cus­tomers work in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the team to re­al­ize their de­sires. In­spi­ra­tion can come from any­where; whether it is a re­quest to per­fectly match the ex­te­rior fin­ish to a fa­vorite gar­ment or a more elab­o­rate cre­ation that seeks to tell a story, no idea is left un­ex­plored.

The Phan­tom Met­ro­pol­i­tan Col­lec­tion, un­veiled at the Mon­dial de L’Au­to­mo­bile in Paris, fea­tures ex­quis­ite hand-crafted de­sign in­spired by the mod­ern me­trop­o­lis. Just 20 of th­ese beau­ti­fully crafted mo­tor cars will be avail­able to com­mis­sion.

Phan­tom’s launch in 2003 em­phat­i­cally her­alded the re­nais­sance of Rolls-Royce Mo­tor Cars by af­ford­ing the world’s most dis­cern­ing and suc­cess­ful men and women the con­sum­mate su­per-lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ence. Cen­tral to the allure of its unique prom­ise is an in­te­rior fur­nished in the very finest ma­te­ri­als; ex­pertly hand-ap­plied by the master crafts­peo­ple at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Good­wood, Eng­land. It presents a space that cos­sets oc­cu­pants and pro­vides the ul­ti­mate sanc­tu­ary in which to tra­verse and ob­serve the city in supreme com­fort.

The Phan­tom Met­ro­pol­i­tan Col­lec­tion pays homage to the world’s great me­trop­o­lises through the metic­u­lous ap­pli­ca­tion of mar­quetry – the art of in­lay­ing small pieces of wood ve­neer to form dec­o­ra­tive mo­tifs. When open, Phan­tom’s sig­na­ture pic­nic ta­ble presents oc­cu­pants with an el­e­vated view of the city, cre­ated through the ex­pert ap­pli­ca­tion of 500 in­di­vid­ual wood ve­neer pieces. In­deed, the process of hand-cut­ting, colour­ing, shap­ing and ap­ply­ing is so com­plex th­ese unique ob­jects d’art take an ex­pert wood craftsper­son sev­eral days to com­plete. On clos­ing the ta­bles, a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive of the cityscape is of­fered – re­flect­ing the view one gets when ef­fort­lessly trav­el­ling in the rear of a Phan­tom.

“I can think of no more fit­ting lo­ca­tion than Paris to de­but this re­mark­able new mo­tor car. This is a city that echoes Rolls-Royce’s very spe­cial brand prom­ise in per­fectly com­bin­ing the time­less and mod­ern in a man­ner that cel­e­brates the art of the master craftsper­son,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Rolls-Royce Mo­tor Cars. “Our cus­tomers across the globe de­light in chal­leng­ing our de­sign­ers and crafts­peo­ple to cre­ate true, oneof-a-kind pieces of au­to­mo­tive art. This lat­est Col­lec­tion serves to showcase the ex­tra­or­di­nary scope for Be­spoke per­son­al­i­sa­tion af­forded to ev­ery pa­tron of the mar­que.”

Metic­u­lous care is taken when se­lect­ing the in­di­vid­ual wood ve­neers. Minute im­per­fec­tions such as knots and flecks lead to in­stant re­jec­tion. Ad­just­ments to the colour of each piece are made through the tra­di­tional hand-process of hot-sand shad­ing be­fore a fi­nal in­spec­tion un­der mag­ni­fi­ca­tion on a light box to en­sure per­fec­tion.

The cityscape theme ex­tends beyond Phan­tom’s many wood sur­faces. A spe­cially de­vel­oped Aetherius Grey leather colour was cre­ated to echo the colour pal­ette of the mod­ern city whilst 6,800 two-tone stitches to the cen­tral rear seat flutes de­pict an ab­stract

im­age of a sky­scraper. A spe­cially de­vel­oped Be­spoke clock ex­tends the theme to the front of the car. For the first time in the mar­que’s his­tory, a ro­tat­ing bezel ex­press­ing 24 of the great ci­ties of the world and their time zones – Paris in­cluded – adorns the cen­tral con­sole of a Rolls-Royce mo­tor car. An ex­te­rior hue, Dark­est Tung­sten, in­spired by city sky­lines fin­ishes the ex­te­rior sur­faces of the mo­tor car on dis­play in Paris. How­ever, as af­forded to any Rolls-Royce cus­tomer, the full pal­ette of 44,000 colours is avail­able to those com­mis­sion­ing a Phan­tom Met­ro­pol­i­tan Col­lec­tion mo­tor car. Should that not be enough, the mar­que’s Be­spoke crafts­peo­ple will cre­ate a per­fect match of any colour or ob­ject a cus­tomer may wish to repli­cate. The ex­te­rior is com­pleted with a hand-ap­plied coach­line that de­picts an ab­stract sil­hou­ette of mod­ern sky­scrapers. This is the lat­est in a line of re­mark­able, in­di­vid­ual Be­spoke mas­ter­pieces. 2014 has seen such high­lights as the Phan­tom Drop­head Coupé Water­speed Col­lec­tion that paid trib­ute to Sir Don­ald Camp­bell’s record-break­ing achieve­ments and the Pin­na­cle Travel Phan­tom that made its de­but at the Beijing Auto Show. Th­ese limited Col­lec­tions serve to in­spire cus­tomers, with record lev­els of Be­spoke de­mand re­ported in Septem­ber 2014. Nearly ev­ery Phan­tom across the globe, 90% of Wraith and 80% of Ghost fam­ily mo­tor cars were com­mis­sioned by cus­tomers with some el­e­ment of Be­spoke de­sign. With an un­par­al­leled scope for per­son­al­i­sa­tion, Be­spoke is very much the jewel in the crown of Rolls-Royce Mo­tor Cars’ unique brand prom­ise, in­deed Be­spoke is Rolls-Royce.

by Mai Yomioto

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