A French-based company brings the glamour of the ancien regime to the modern desktop, making luxury bespoke computers with materials including bronze, marble, lapis lazuli and gold leaf.
MELUN, FRANCE (AUGUST 30, 2012) (REUTERS) - If Louis XVI had needed a computer, he might well have been tempted by
A company based in France has for several years been serving the technological needs of the great and the good with a series of computers which would not look out of place on the writing-desks of Versailles.
Rejecting the uniform black and grey plastic which dominates the modern desktop, Romanian creator Georges Chirita went back to the archives of French design.
"From the beginning it was about creating a computer which was much more stylish, in harmony and concorde with the interior design, but in the end I realised the computer had become a pretext to create a real decorative object to enoble our surroundings," he said to Reuters TV.
The computers come in three principal styles -- Louis XV, Louis XVI and Empire -- and are built using luxury materials including marble and lapis lazuli for the bases, and bronze and brass for the monitors, plated with gold leaf.
But Chirita said his designs do not neglect quality hardware.
"To bring together and create this world of 'luxury technology', first of all you've got to use the latest high-tech innovations, in terms of the electronic components to build a computer like that, and we also use classic French styles which are timeless styles. Today, if you look through history, the only styles which have travelled through time are classic French styles."
Chirita says that his client base is international with orders coming from all over the world, although he admits that wealthy internet users from the Middle East and China have been particularly drawn to his brand of 'luxury technology'.
Among his distinguished fanbase there is even some European royalty.
"I really liked the festivities which were organised for the Queen of England's diamond jubilee, and I tried to participate in these festivities by sending a USB stick with fleurs-de-lis. And to my surprise, the Queen replied saying she had greatly appreciated the USB stick with the fleurs-de-lis decoration which, amongst other things, is the oldest symobol of royalty. And for me that was an enormous surprise and a great pleasure," Chiritas said. Although he added that his letter of thanks came from a lady in waiting rather than from Her Majesty herself.
Whilst the Queen was lucky enough to receive her USB stick as a present, luxury technology does not come cheap. Prices for the computers start at 17,000 euros but vary depending on the materials used and the extras included.
But given the workmanship that goes into crafting each model, Chirita believes the price tag is justified.
***THING ABOUT THE OLD SCHOOL CRAFTSMANSHIP***