In pursuit of perfection

July 21, 2014
Hutch Hutchinson, head of concept creation and design for luxury phone company Vertu, is on a mission to deliver the ultimate mobile phone, and with the company's latest creation, the Signature Touch, he's not far off. We caught up with Hutch to quiz him on the Touch, as well what he thinks the future holds for the high-end phone business.

Who is the average buyer of a phone like the Signature Touch?

We have some of the most diverse and discerning customers in the world, but if I were to narrow it to a design inspiration, I see the buyer of the Signature Touch as a successful CEO or chairman. He has worked hard to earn his success and demands the best in everything he owns; exceptional performance as well as craftsmanship. 3

How does Vertu compete in this market with companies like Amodoria who bespoke iPhones with gold and diamonds? Are those phones not more high-end and exclusive than yours?

With little to differentiate technically between models, mainstream brands and consumers alike are looking to the luxury end of the market, where personalisation and material innovation are key drivers. Over the past ten years Vertu has become an expert in both fields, delivering genuine value and desire for buyers. This places us in a leadership role within the market. We continue to use the finest materials for our phones, in select models even including gold and diamonds. However, we always combine form and function, ensuring our materials provide a superior product performance. For example, our screens are made of a 118-carat, 5.1-inch piece of solid sapphire crystal. Impervious to anything less than diamond, it's strong, highly scratch resistant and optically perfect. This technology, pioneered by Vertu, is now being pursued by the mass market. 6

What’s the best thing about owning a Vertu phone?

Besides Vertu using the world’s finest materials and incredible craftsmanship - every Vertu phone is hand made in England by a single craftsman - owning a Vertu also grants access to an exclusive world of services that cannot be found on any other phone. Vertu Concierge, which is available for all Signature Touch customers, provides an effortless, everyday service, which has the ability to assist in all matters. It is a sophisticated system that can learn and adapt to individuals; as the customer uses the system more and more, it becomes more attuned and tailored to their needs. Vertu Life offers customers a personalised selection of exclusive privileges and unrestricted access to elite events, available directly on the device. Features include complimentary entry to the most exclusive private members’ clubs around the world, access to invitation-only events and closed-door shopping experiences. Vertu Certainty protects the customer, their phone and their data through best-in-class technology and expert partners. This includes encrypted communications, comprising voice calls, text and video, delivered in partnership with Silent Circle. There is also global Wi-Fi access via iPass as well as anti-theft and anti-virus by Kaspersky.

5

With the mass-produced market producing more advanced phones than ever, how long can luxury phone companies continue to set themselves apart? And how will they do it?

Some things are always going to be better when done by hand. Our commitment to hand craftsmanship allows us to use materials that can't be mass manufactured, and which in turn deliver a better product experience, such as virtually scratchproof sapphire crystal and grade 5 titanium. With Signature Touch, we are also setting an industry standard by having Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers, Dolby® Digital Plus virtual surround sound, Hasselblad-certified camera, as well as a host of other top-of-the-range specifications. Our customers will not be disappointed.

1

Can Vertu keep up with the technological advances Samsung and HTC are making, and the expected new tech in the iPhone 6?

Vertu has no intention of entering a technological race with mainstream mobile manufacturers. The Vertu brand offer is quite different and our customers are looking for something much more than the latest trend. Stable and relevant technology combined with craftsmanship, design and materials and service is far more important than simply pursuing bleeding-edge tech for the sake of it. We choose to excel in the technical areas most relevant for our consumers, namely the audio and imaging. The endorsement of two renowned brands, B&O and Hasselblad, illustrates the lengths that our engineers have gone to, to deliver an exceptional user experience for our customers. [gallery link="none" ids="5999,5990"] Details: visit Vertu.com