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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" – the world's most expensive belt buckle

Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Pr...
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Significantly better than a piece of string
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Significantly better than a piece of string
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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Belt not included in the US$400,000 price
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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Belt not included in the US$400,000 price
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Short course required to operate
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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Short course required to operate
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Significantly better than a piece of string
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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Significantly better than a piece of string
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle
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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle
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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: An investment, when you really think about it
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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: An investment, when you really think about it
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: it's this, or more than 10,000 goats for poverty stricken kids in Mozambique
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Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: it's this, or more than 10,000 goats for poverty stricken kids in Mozambique
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If you're going to do something, you might as well do it properly, that's what my mum always told me. Roland Iten makes belt buckles, and I suspect his mum is quite satisfied that he's given it his best effort.

Iten attacks the problem of holding trousers up with a vigor and ingenuity that has to be seen to be believed. His pieces are as much mechanical jewellery as they are clothing, made with intricate mechanisms, exotic materials and the finely detailed machining of a Swiss watch.

Pretty much everything this guy makes will secure a trouser with tactical precision. If you see a man wearing a Roland Iten belt, and his pants are down, that's no accident. You can be damn sure those pants are down for a reason, and you'd better plan your next move accordingly.

The previous pinnacle of Iten's belt buckle design, made in conjunction with Bugatti, was hailed as the most expensive in the world. The R22 Bugatti Calibre retailed for just under a hundred thousand US dollars and only eleven were made. Enough to impress the most eagle-eyed of bucklistas, surely?

Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle

Maybe for you and I, the R22 is a good enough belt buckle. But without making too many assumptions, I think it's fair to say you and I don't secure our pants with the same burning passion that Roland Iten does. We may all put our pants on one leg at a time, but when Roland Iten tucks his shirt in and buckles up, he's heaving in his girth with a US$400,000 Calibre R822 Predator buckle, and you and I are not.

There are 167 separate components on a Calibre R822 Predator buckle. If there was 168, it could ship with its own leather belt, but no, you'll have to buy a separate piece of cow. Or several – because one of the Predator's key mechanical features is how quickly and easily it attaches to a belt strap.

Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Short course required to operate
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: Short course required to operate

"Once the wearer inserts the end of the leather strap in the buckle," Iten's website tells us, "the double ardillion tang engages effortlessly with the holes in the strap… 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."

Simple and effortless, eh? Your correspondent has operated a number of belt buckles in his time, always with effort. So we'd need to test drive this thing to comment further.

But this is a "quadruple complication" belt buckle, not some mere triple complicated trifle that can only be attached to a belt, done up, and then precisely loosened when you've overdone it at Christmas dinner. The fourth complication is a security mechanism that prevents any of the other three complications from occurring by accident.

Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: An investment, when you really think about it
Roland Iten's Calibre R822 "Predator" belt buckle: An investment, when you really think about it

The Calibre R822 Predator is studded with some 387 baguette- and round-cut diamonds, totaling 14.15 carats, and its mechanical platform is "high tech titanium" ... which is loads better than that low tech stuff you see so much of these days.

Only three will be made, which is probably enough. I'd suggest for the next one Iten looks into building in a fifth complication, and I have just the idea that might appeal to the high net worth individuals that form Iten's market. How about a mechanism which can't be opened by a third party until they've signed a legal waiver and confidentiality clause?

More information: Roland Iten

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18 comments
Milton
And I thought it was sad that some people justify spending $100,000+ on a car. I guess this buckle marks a new low.
Threesixty
This caters for the the market of three. Maybe one is enough?
Mel Tisdale
If I come across a man with his trousers down, the last thing I am going to worry about is his belt buckle, the very last thing, I promise you.
Vince Pack
Milton, I must agree completely. For $400,000, both the manufacturer and purchaser should be required to match that amount in charitable donations.
The car thing? Well, maybe we can agree to disagree on that one - although with my budget, that's really a moot point!
f8lee
What this suggests to me is there may be a market for mens trousers made of woven scrotal yak hair that would sell for $500,000 - then wait for rappers and Justin Bieber to get in line!
Knotyboy
We've gone waay past stupid with this one! Let me get down to Wal-Mart and get one before their all gone!
ezeflyer
For the oligarch that has money to burn along with his global warming oil companies.
StWils
I really did not think it was possible to redefine the boundaries of "wasteful" and "shallow" from the last time I saw an article for an excessively large, overly powerful, motorcycle or boat priced in the "vulgar" range. Well, guess again.
Ordinarily I would not endorse the Chinese stealing intellectual property but this is an exception. Someone should use the photographs shown here and reverse engineering this thing after which it should be made by the thousands in China. I look forward to seeing this tacky thing show up on the streets of Manhattan executed in "regular tech" titanium and bedazzled with cubic zirconiums. Or how about a Maker Community 3D printed version?
sk8dad
Seriously, for that much I'd better get real customer support, and I don't mean outsourced either. I think prospective buyers should be offered alternatives, not to save money of course since the ridiculously well-heeled would doubtless have plenty. Rather, from the perspective of catering to the delicate egos of the these uber-wealthy and powerful individuals, I propose this instead. Hire an army of virgins whose sole purpose is to walk with you everywhere and hold up your pants, 24-7 if needed. The upside is that you would be promoting one's own PR image of generosity and of the people by creating jobs for women. There's really no downside other than having to maybe move the furniture around a little to accommodate the additional staff on one's mega-humongo-yacht.
Griffin
Tacky,vulgar article for a tacky,vulgar product.
Appropriate, it would seem.