Bowers & Wilkins is a brand synonym with luxury, known for their exceptional sounding speakers. The Nautilus loudspeaker introduced in 1993 still remains one of their flagship product, and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the avant-garde model, there’s now a new version.
The refreshing Abalone Pearl finish of the loudspeaker comes from the internal shell of marine mollusks. Yes, the very inspiration with which company founder John Bowers kick-started this timeless project. Unfortunately, John passed on just after the initiation of the Nautilus project, and lead engineer Laurence Dickie took the gauntlet on his shoulders to deliver what the visionary ahead of his time had envisioned. A vision to create a loudspeaker that actually didn’t sound like a loudspeaker, paving the way for a new era of audio accessories design all these decades.
After five years of brain-storming and product development, Nautilus stunned the audio and design world with a piece of unique audio equipment. The audio signature of this award-winning speaker is something purists still swear by, and in fact, nothing to date compares to its sublime acoustic engineering. This Abalone Pearl version celebrating three decades of a radically beautiful design is a testament to the brilliant idea John mustered up back in his time.
The hand-built process for crafting Nautilus hasn’t changed all these years at the company’s Worthing factory. Enclosure for each one of these loudspeakers is built in over a week’s time, before even getting the special sanding and polishing treatment. According to Mark Hazell who’s sanded innumerable Nautilus speaker housings says that the process is all about feeling “what you’re doing to get the intended shape.” Those enclosure tubes gradually become narrow to achieve a unique soundstage, and each tube’s length depends on the desired driver energy.
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Such an intricate manufacturing process makes this speaker one of the most elusive audio accessories one can own. Even more so since you must wait for two years before a pair gets delivered to your doorstep. Likewise, this special edition Nautilus with a shimmering pearl finish reminiscent of the marine mollusk’s internal shell will be yours to enjoy only after a couple of years. Bowers & Wilkins has priced a pair of the Abalone Pearl version at around $125,000 – while the other colored versions in midnight blue metallic, silver, and black finish are also quite elusive at $100,000!