Albert Einstein referred to time as a persistent illusion. Time and the evocative principle is the inspiration behind Rolls-Royce’s new Phantom Tempus Collection. The stunning new new iteration of Phantom is inspired by Time – how it passes, and how it can be made seemingly to stand still. The Collection is strictly limited to just 20 examples, all of which have already been allocated to clients.
The design of the Phantom Tempus Collection encompasses various aesthetic and intellectual themes relating to time and the cosmos. A key component is a rare astronomical phenomenon, the pulsar, unknown until 1967 and found only in the deepest reaches of space (the nearest yet discovered is 280 light years, or 1,680 trillion miles, from Earth). These very dense, white-hot stars emit electromagnetic radiation in extremely regular pulses, making them some of the most accurate clocks in the universe.
In Phantom Tempus, this remarkable force of nature is rendered as a centrepiece in a Bespoke Starlight Headliner consisting of fibre-optic lighting and intricate Bespoke embroidery, creating the unique and beautiful Pulsar Headliner.
Another aspect of time – the illusion of its standing still – is captured in the ‘Frozen Flow of Time’ Gallery. This unique artwork is housed in the fascia from which the clock is deliberately omitted to signify patrons’ freedom from time and its limitations. A single billet of aluminium is milled to form 100 individually contoured columns, representing the 100-million-year period of a rotational spin of a pulsar star. Each column is black-anodised and hand-polished to reflect the light. As the eye travels along it, the whole structure, though entirely solid, appears to ripple and flex.
A description of the Gallery can be found on an engraved plaque in the glove compartment, together with a quotation from Albert Einstein, “The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion”.
A swirling, twisting pattern of stars is presented on the interior of the doors. Created by hundreds of illuminated perforations, additional perforations in contrasting leather add a greater depth and detail to the effect, providing an atmospheric aura even when not illuminated.
The exterior of the Phantom Tempus Collection is presented in a new Bespoke paint finish, Kairos Blue, created to embody the darkness and mystery of space. The paint incorporates jewel-like blue mica flakes, which glitter and glint as they catch the light, representing the stars. This effect is highlighted by black exterior detailing.
Gracing the bonnet of Phantom Tempus is the Spirit of Ecstasy, now in her 110th year, personalised with a unique date and location of particular significance to the client. A marriage, the birth of a child or even a major business success, can be engraved as a timeless reminder on the base of the iconic figurine.
As a finishing flourish, a unique accessory has been developed to accompany the Collection. Based on the widely acclaimed Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest, the Tempus Champagne Chest incorporates a distinctive element of the Collection. A pulsar artwork is hand-painted onto the table, below which, the perfectly appointed chest houses thermal flasks for chilling both champagne and caviar, four hand-blown crystal champagne flutes arranged to evoke the cylinders of a V12 engine and a fine mother-of-pearl caviar spoon.
In response to continuing travel restrictions and limitations on face-to-face interactions in dealerships, Rolls-Royce has created a Virtual Reality presentation for Phantom Tempus, accessible via the Google Cardboard app. Providing patrons with a fully immersive, 360° walkaround of the Collection’s interior and exterior, clients are able to relish Phantom Tempus’ extraordinary presence at a time to suit them, wherever they are in the world.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, concludes, “Phantom is our pinnacle product, so producing a Collection Car is always a supremely important moment for us and our clients. With Phantom Tempus, our sources of inspiration are on appropriately grand scale: time, deep space, and a theoretical physicist who changed the way we see the universe and our place within it. That all 20 cars have already been reserved indicates that these are themes that truly resonate with our patrons around the world.”