Roland Iten is credited as being the "Pioneer" of Mechanical Luxury?
Roland Iten created the world's first mechanically performing belt buckle in 1996 and licensed the mechanism to BALLY to produce a simple version, based on 5 pieces in steel which sold worldwide over 80'000 pieces. In 2003, Roland created the highly complicated R8 Mark I Precious version based on the same simple patent mechanism and incorporating substantial inventive steps. Ever since, Roland Iten has applied the same mechanical performance to other men's accessories such as cufflinks and credit card cases and in doing so, remains today, the only serious contender in the sector he created which he calls "Mechanical Luxury for Gentlemen™"
The R8 belt buckle has more than 108 parts, and the R82 more than 150, all of which have to be individually designed, manufactured and finished?
Roland Iten Mechanical Luxury use no off-the-shelf pieces and parts – everything, even down to the micro-mechanical screws, is designed and made to order expressly for Roland Iten.
There is a learning curve for using a Roland Iten Mechanical Luxury product?
These are mechanical products and to use them properly, you have to live with them. Roland: "I love to meet my customers. To see how they use the products. There is a real learning curve and different people use the product in different ways. They develop their own way to use it and it becomes their product."
It takes on average 18 months to design and produce a Roland Iten Mechanical Luxury product?
Each product has to go through an arduous design, prototype, mechanical testing and production process. Time and patience are required to ensure the distinct high standards of craftsmanship are achieved and accepted by Roland Iten.
The reason it is all about mechanics?
Roland: "Without a doubt, it's their honesty. When a product is made to fulfil a certain function, like a fighter plane, or a tank or a rifle, they have an alluring physical power combined with elegance. They are not designed to be beautiful but through their truthfulness, they are automatically beautiful. It's the fascination of total functionality."
Roland loves the sound of gold?
Roland: "For me, it's the noise of it when it is used mechanically. It has a very distinctive sound, like it has substance. You can have mechanical function, you can do all the drawings, but when you have it in your hands, touch it, feel it and hear it for the first time, you love it."
Roland considers diamonds a functional element?
Roland: "I like to use diamonds as reflectors in the same way that chrome is used in car interior design. But diamonds are also emotional… diamonds are a celebration and I like to use them as a celebration for a certain function."
The number eight features in every Roland Iten product?
Roland: "I share the chinese fascination and belief in the magic of this number. Of all the arabic numbers only two of them - 0 and 8 are closed energy systems. 0 is often used as the symbol of pure potentiality and 8 as the life force because the energy ebbs and flows but cannot escape. In my newest collection I merge the number eight with the chinese symbol of the ox because I was born in the year of the ox. And of course the number 8 is the universal symbol for infinity. In my case symbolising an infinite desire to keep on creating mechanical luxury!"
Roland regards his products as armour?
Roland: "A perfectly dressed gentlemen is like a knight in armour, he is untouchable. It is more about his attitude and his style than his clothes. You can create this untouchable image even wearing blue jeans. It goes back to honesty."
It is possible to customise a Roland Iten product?
People loving customisation can choose a special engraving, select different materials or order a wholly customised buckle or other product from the collection.
The Credit Card Case will appeal to a smoker whose given up?
The dispenser will appeal to the man who may have given up his expensive lighter to become a non-smoker. Its something he can play with endlessly and when he uses it in just the right way, he will enjoy the unique dense sound of the gold trigger mechanism in the same way he used to enjoy the ping of his lighter. Smoking may no longer be vogue, but spending with style never goes out of fashion.
A BIC ball point pen is Roland's favourite design tool?
Roland: "Because its an imperfect tool. A light pressure will give a light line, while a strong pressure will give a darker, thicker line. You can really build highlights and contrast into the designs you sketch to give them a third dimension. A perfect ball point or fountain pen gives a perfect line all the time. Fine for a signing ceremony, but not for sketching an idea".
What Roland's favourite product is?
Roland: "I'd have to say that my all time favourite product is my next one. The one I haven't created yet".