Vertu launches the new Aster Yosegi Wood
December 7, 2015: Continuing to experiment with new materials and ideas, Vertu has launched the Aster smartphone with the Yosegi wood.
Yosegi woodcraft is a form of traditional Japanese marquetry which originated over 200 years ago during Japan’s culturally rich Edo Period. Wooden strips made of Basswood dyed in different colours are carefully laminated together to form an oblong rod. Many rods are combined to form a large wooden block. The master craftsman then delicately shaves off a veneer layer, which showcases the intricate pattern that is characteristic of Yosegi.
To create the protective gloss finish on the veneer, up to six layers of lacquer are hand applied by master craftsman with repeated sanding and polishing, resulting in the exceptionally tough and beautiful glossy surface. This difficult and laborious process is shrouded in secrecy; only the most highly trained and dedicated Japanese craftsman are privilege to the nuances of the process.
Vertu’s Head of Design, Hutch Hutchison, led the team that conceived and developed Aster Yosegi Wood. He said, “There are multiple challenges to overcome when using luxury materials on a mobile technology product. One issue is size; on a phone every 0.1mm counts. The technical functionality of the product itself is also something we need to keep in mind; we can't use conductive materials in most areas of the product as they could disturb the antenna performance. All our materials need to meet the difficult balance between a luxury look and feel, robustness and quality, after all, a mobile phone is used almost 24/7 so our devices have to be able to withstand a great deal; our quality standards for every material we use have to be extremely high. The idea to use wood for a special edition is kind of a natural progression to me: it is a luxury material, it is a natural growing resource, you can create beautiful patterns and designs with it… and it also fulfills all of our technical needs, it is light, non-conductive, strong and durable.”
There were, however, several challenges to overcome in the Yosegi project. The brand worked with Yamaha Corporation to overcome some of them. Vertu selected a Checkerboard (Ichimatsu-Ajiro) Yosegi pattern which combines traditional designs deriving from bamboo weaves and fishnets.
The limited edition Aster Yosegi Wood, of which only 50 have been produced, is therefore a spectacular fusion of ancient Japanese and contemporary British craftsmanship and design. Aster Yosegi Wood comes with a beige and black calf leather case. It is lined with luxurious suede leather and is adorned with an embossed pattern echoing the black lines of the pattern of the wood marquetry.
As is usual with Vertu, Aster features Dolby Digital Plus virtual surround sound and Hasselblad certified imaging, as well as Vertu’s full portfolio of services, which comprises Classic Concierge as well as Vertu LIFE and Vertu CERTAINTY packages. Vertu Aster delivers exceptional connectivity via its optimised antenna which enables access to high-speed data through quad-band GSM, 3G and LTE 4G capability.