“The events of the past year have caused many people, not least our clients, to re-evaluate their sense of, and relationship with Time. At a moment in history when so much in life seems ephemeral, our patrons are seeking solace in the unique timelessness, longevity and permanence offered by a Rolls-Royce motor car.
It is thus the perfect moment for Phantom Tempus Collection – a magnificent incarnation of our pinnacle product, inspired by a mysterious celestial phenomenon and Time, which Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds in human history, defined as a persistent illusion.
As we all know, Time never stands still, waits for no one. Hence, we manage it, guard it, account for it, weigh and measure it to its smallest fraction. With Phantom Tempus, we have created a space in which those strictures no longer apply – as illustrated by the deliberate absence of a clock. Rolls-Royce clients are not bound by Time; the outside world with all its pressures and demands are forgotten.
Phantom Tempus is a motor car for those who shape the world as they seek their own place in the universe. They understand that whatever our individual gifts, talents and opportunities, we’re all given Time – and it is up to us to make the most of every moment.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Phantom, the marque’s pinnacle product, which resides at the apex of the luxury world, has today become the subject of an exclusive and rare collection, the Phantom Tempus Collection. This arresting 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.