Only 25 lucky owners will get their hands on the solar eclipse-inspired Black Badge Ghost Ekleipsis.
Total solar eclipses have long been events rich with stories from oral traditions behind them. From a dragon or snake in the sky eating the Sun to angry quarrelling Gods inflicting damage on each other, the occasion where Sol is fully obscured by Luna leaving a ring of fire visible to those in the umbra is certainly an experience of a lifetime.
And so, Rolls-Royce has drawn inspiration from the spectacle, mystery and drama of a total solar eclipse to herald the coming of the equally rare Black Badge Ghost Ekleipsis Private Collection. Limited to just 25 units worldwide, the launch of these highly bespoke vehicles coincided with the annular solar eclipse that was visible in parts of the Western Hemisphere on 14 October.
“With Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost Ékleipsis, we draw inspiration from a total solar eclipse: a seldom-seen and spellbinding phenomenon that reflects the rarity and beauty of Rolls-Royce Private Collections."
"In capturing the magic of this celestial alignment, our Bespoke Collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople have once again elevated contemporary craftsmanship, with a landmark series of exquisite details that project the marque’s culture of ambition and excellence."
"We are exceptionally proud to present these motor cars to 25 of our most significant clients around the world – it is these individuals who inspire greatness within our brand, and who drive us to create ever more bold and richly detailed expressions of modern luxury,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The outside of the Black Badge Ghost Ekleipsis is bathed in an ethereal hue called Golden Darkness, which takes after the light that's cast during a total solar eclipse. This bespoke finish incorporates powdered copper pigment, which appears darker until it catches the light when it produces a rich and dramatic iridescence.
Mandarin adorns the inserts below the Pantheon Grille and brake callipers, reminiscent of the intense pulses of sunlight witnessed as the eclipse progresses.
On the inside, the Black Badge Ghost Ekleipsis features a fully Bespoke Starlight Headliner with a solar eclipse-mimicking special animation. As the coach doors close and the engine is started, the ‘stars’ in the Starlight Headliner darken and a mesmerising sequence begins, replicating the totality of the solar eclipse, when the dark silhouette of the Moon completely obscures the bright light of the Sun.
A circle of 940 ‘stars’ is formed, representing the bright corona of light around the lunar silhouette. This is surrounded by a further 192 illuminating ‘stars’, recreating the otherworldly spectacle of stars visible in the sky during daylight, which occurs only during a total solar eclipse.
The animation remains visible for precisely seven minutes and 31 seconds, which is the longest possible duration of a total solar eclipse. Once this time has elapsed, the full constellation of stars in the night sky is restored.
Needless to say, this highly technical feature required Rolls-Royce to spend a year of painstaking development, in which the Bespoke Collective produced three complete prototypes to perfect the design and sequencing of the ‘stars’.
It's not just the headliner that gets the eclipse treatment, but the illuminated fascia and "diamond ring" timepiece too.
The illuminated fascia of the Black Badge Ghost Ekleipsis is adorned with 1,846 laser-etched ‘stars’ in a symbolic timeline of a total eclipse. A single Bespoke designer had sole responsibility for adjusting the individual size and position of each ‘star’ to create the mesmeric effect; a delicate and exacting process that took over 100 hours to complete.
The composition culminates in a Bespoke timepiece, which incorporates a brilliant-cut 0.5-carat diamond, recalling the "Diamond Ring" effect, when a single, dazzling point of light can be seen on Selene’s outline in the split seconds just before and immediately after it obscures Helios. This also represents the first time in Rolls-Royce's history that a gemstone has been integrated into the clock's bezel.
The Black Badge Ghost Ekleipsis also features what Rolls-Royce calls a "Panoramic Sunset Interior." At the totality of a solar eclipse, there is a moment when a golden twilight surrounds those viewing the eclipse, giving the illusion of a 360-degree sunset. The beauty of this rarely observed phenomenon is captured in bi-coloured seats with a unique perforated artwork, made of over 200,000 individual perforations.
The bold Mandarin leather is tinted in a black shade that is then perforated to reveal the brighter contrasting colour beneath, creating a visual effect with extraordinary depth and subtlety.
Bespoke finishing touches include illuminated treadplates, umbrellas with Mandarin piping concealed in the coach doors, and a unique indoor motor car cover bearing the Private Collection’s wordmark.
If total solar eclipses catch your fancy and you're thinking of springing for one, well, you can't. Rolls-Royce says all 25 examples of the Black Badge Ghost Ekleipsis Private Collection have been allocated to clients around the world.