(Photo credit : AHCI)
Two years ago, we reported on an unexpected collaboration between Kari Voutilainen and Chinese mobile phone company 8848. This partnership was evidently a success for both parties, as it was followed up with a second phone that was launched at Baselworld 2018. Coming in either Sunset Orange or Midnight Blue, the 8848 Baselworld 2018 commemorative titanium phone, with a price of 19,888 Yuan and limited to 999 pieces worldwide, was part of a two-pronged approach by the Chinese mobile phone company. The other was the sponsorship, in partnership with the AHCI, of three Chinese ACHI candidates to attend the fair.
The relationship between the two has now been further cemented, with 8848 now a corporate sponsor of the AHCI, and the latter having flown six of its European members to China for the launch of a new phone last week.
There have been a number of Chinese smart watches released over the past few years that have engaged in unofficial use of dial designs from independent watchmakers on their screens. The new 8848 titanium Smartphone M5 is for those who prefer to have a product with AHCI-licensed smart watch faces.
(Photo credit : huanqui.com)
One of the M5’s selling points is the circular display on the back. This screen, which acts in a manner akin to a smart watch’s screen, is the space on which the AHCI watchmakers appear via dial images that can be changed as the user desires. They have called it the ‘Time Eye’; apart from being able to swap your AHCI watch dials at your leisure, it can also display messages, incoming calls, caller ID, WeChat, SMS, and emails. When engaged in a phone call, instead of your chosen dial, it will show a tourbillon.
Pricing wise, they start at 12,999 Yuan, with the most expensive one with crocodile backing, at 29,999 Yuan (around USD 4,500).
(Photo credit : zhuanlan.zhihu.com)
At the press conference launching the phone and partnership, the AHCI was represented by ten members including, as the AHCI photos showed, Vincent Calabrese, Svend Andersen, Konstantin Chaykin, Vianney Halter, Raul Pages and Kari Voutilainen.
(Photo credit : read01.com)
AHCI co-founder Vincent Calabrese said at the press conference: “8848 integrates the watches of independent watchmakers into the mobile phone, allowing more people to see the watchmakers’ beautiful watch works. At the same time, this combination has given the watchmaking industry a new space for the design and craftsmanship that has been passed down for centuries. At the same time, it also makes the high-tech products of mobile phones have some unique connotations. This is a very meaningful new attempt.”