Ulysse Nardin Chairman: Blinging kinetic phone apparently not a wind-up

In a move that only makes sense if you're dictator for life of an oil-rich nation, luxury watch brand Ulysse Nardin says that what the world needs now is a really, really expensive phone. That you shake to charge

Flora Graham

It's so typical: just when we dropped eight grand on a Vertu, something even more exorbitantly ostentatious comes along.

Luxury watch brand Ulysse Nardin says that it has partnered with a mysterious UK-registered firm, SCI Innovations, to create a mobile phone. Forget touchscreens -- the true cutting edge is 163-year-old watch technology.

The company tells us that the phone will incorporate a watch-style kinetic system for charging the phone's battery. It's hard to believe that a little hand waving could generate enough juice to run a mobile phone, but the company says that it will only power a backup battery. For normal use, such as calls to berate your personal assistant for incorrectly peeling your grapes, the phone will also contain a standard battery.

Bravely fighting political correctness though the power of bling, the phone will be called the 'Chairman'.

So is the Chairman just a wind-up? (See what we did there?) Well, this is a company that made a watch named the FREAK, and sold it for £44,000. So anything is possible.

No news on price, but since you wouldn't get much change from £15,000 on most of their watches, it's likely this will be a luxury item.

Our contact at Ulysse Nardin confirmed that the watch will be launched at the Baselworld 2009 watch show on 26 March.