Extraordinary materials have always been at the heart of Vertu’s history. Since the brand’s first phone, the Signature, launched in 2002, featuring a sapphire-crystal screen, ruby bearings and a stainless-steel chassis, the company has firmly positioned itself at the forefront of innovative design.
Building on that tradition is its new limited-edition Aster Yosegi Wood, which, as the name suggests, takes Japanese Yosegi woodcraft as the basis for its design. Originating over 200 years ago, during the culturally rich Edo period, this traditional form of Japanese marquetry creates geometric patterns out of layers of dyed basswood that have been carefully laminated together. Afterwards, the wood receives six layers of hand-applied lacquer before being repeatedly sanded and polished to a gloss finish in an intricate, secret process known only to master craftsmen.
Inspired by bamboo weaves and fishing nets, the Aster Yosegi Wood evokes a typical Ichimatsu-Ajiro, or chequerboard, pattern. But while the design is beautiful, it’s also a small miracle of engineering. ‘To implement a Yosegi veneer on a flat surface is one thing, but to wrap it around the curves of this product, fit it perfectly under all the metal titanium parts and get it to the exact thickness we needed, was another story,’ says Hutch Hutchison, head of design at Vertu. The finished curved casing is a testament to the company’s unfailing craftsmanship.
Behind its traditional Eastern-inspired exterior, the Aster Yosegi Wood comes complete with the latest technology as well as the exclusive concierge service that has become synonymous with the Vertu name. The final product, of which only 50 have been produced, is a spectacular fusion of ancient Japanese craftsmanship and contemporary British design, and unlike any other handset on the market. Perfect for those looking for more from their technology, this isn’t just a phone – it’s a work of art.
The limited-edition Aster Yosegi Wood is now available globally in selected stores, with prices from £7200; vertu.com