Swiss mechanical luxury brand Roland Iten has created the world’s most expensive belt buckle, and is only making three. With 387 baguette-cut and round-cut diamonds adorning the 18-carat white gold and titanium buckle, the Roland Iten Calibre R822 Predator costs nearly $500,000 — more than two and a half times the median home price in the United States.
That’s right — it’s a belt buckle worth two and a half houses.
“Operating the Calibre R822 buckle is a veritable tactile pleasure, and it offers a simple, one-handed adjustment for two positions – looser, for driving or sitting, and tighter, for walking or playing sport,” says the company on its site. “It is equipped with 16 (two rows of eight) self-cleaning track wheels that guide the ardillion slide precisely and securely, while a sprung ball bearing tensioner and dampener ensure smooth operation.”
The Geneva-based company creating the three Calibre R822 Predators was founded by Swiss designer Roland Iten, who back in 2003, designed the world’s first complicated mechanical belt buckle, which was inspired by the mechanical age and the steam engine.
The point of his work, he explains, is that he wants his pieces to not only be functional, but beautiful as well.
“When you know too much, you don’t ask the questions which can ultimately breakthrough the obstacles of the product engineering process. I’m the guy next to the engineer telling him ‘it will work,’ all the time he’s telling me ‘it’s impossible,'” says Iten. “It’s really a very intimate way to make a product. Then comes the considerable refinement phase — sometimes it takes six months to put back the elegance which was in the original design.”
For any person who would like to own a ridiculously expensive belt buckle — but not that ridiculously expensive — Roland Iten also makes an entry-level buckle called the Raptor. It has a price tag of only £37,000, or $57,658, which is several thousand dollars more than a new 2015 BMW 4 Series.
Funny enough, anyone who does buy one of the Predator belt buckles will actually have to pay extra for a belt, which is sold separately.