Meet the miniature hot-air balloon that costs more than your Lamborghini

The balloon rises on command, revealing a similarly singular 24-karat-gold cigar lighter.

By Richard Carleton 18/12/2018

“Lighter than air” takes on a whole new meaning with S. T. Dupont’s Montgolfière, a dramatic tabletop depiction of the first public demonstration of an untethered hot-air-balloon ascension. That first balloon trip took place on September 19, 1783, over the village of Annonay, in Southern France. The elaborately decorated balloon, which stayed aloft for an amazing 10 solid minutes (cut them some slack—it was 1783), was invented by brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, and the event set the stage for what would eventually become the age of manned air travel.

S. T. Dupont—known for its ultra-luxurious leather goods, writing instruments, and smoking accessories—teamed its artisans with those of another Paris-based firm, 2 Saints, renowned for its exquisitely detailed bronze castings. This isn’t 2 Saints’ first notable collaboration.

Embedded content: https://youtu.be/4rBGuMkO0t8

Together they created a replica of the Montgolfière balloon, which, by use of either an electronic switch or a remote control, slowly rises mechanically from its base to reveal a 24-karat-gold DuPont L2 lighter inset with 110 pavé diamonds that total 3.85 carats. Only available as part of the Montgolfière balloon presentation, this one-of-a-kind lighter’s design was inspired by the Palace of Versailles.

The balloon itself is bronze, and it took 20 individual castings—each requiring a new mould—to finally obtain a perfectly detailed Montgolfière replica balloon. It was then fired in blue porcelain and given a hand patina before the detailed casted ornamentations, including the signs of the zodiac, were individually plated with 24-karat gold. The larger embellishments, such as the fleur-de-lis, which represents King Louis XVI, were individually cast in bronze, plated in 18-karat gold, and separately applied. In all, it took 3000 hours to create this one Ultra Exclusive version of the Montgolfière by S. T. Dupont, which is numbered 1 of 1 and priced at $450,000.

Eight additional Montgolfière by S. T. Dupont balloons, showcasing the same brass, porcelain, and gold workmanship and electronic mechanism, are also available on special order. However, although these will feature the same Versailles-inspired S. T. Dupont L2 brass lighter, it will be made in gold-plated brass (not sculpted from solid gold) and will not be inset with diamonds. Numbered 1 through 8, this Exclusive version can be special ordered for $270,000.

To order either the one-off Ultra Exclusive Montgolfière by S. T. Dupont or one of the eight Exclusive versions, contact Alexis Tresor (atresor.stdupont@gmail.com) or Loria Jennifer (jennifer.loria@davidoff.com).

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Robb Report AU - Newsletter Robb Report AU - Motors Newsletter Robb Report AU - Property Newsletter Robb Report AU - Lifestyle Newsletter Robb Report AU - Style Newsletter Robb Report AU - Business Newsletter Robb Report AU - Travel Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Property Of The Week: 67 Edgecliffe Boulevard, Collaroy, Sydney, NSW

Be quick to nab this truly unique and modern beachside property.

By Terry Christodoulou

15/05/2020

Greg Norman’s Coloradan Ranch Up For Sale

The Australian golfing great’s sprawling property is quite something.

By Terry Christodoulou

15/05/2020

Property Of The Week: 54 Twin Peak View, Wyuna Preserve, Queenstown, New Zealand

With New Zealand set to hold even greater appeal as an overseas destination – time to snare a luxury lodge outside Queenstown.

By Terry Christodoulou

08/05/2020

Property Of The Week: 50 Kerferd Road, Albert Park, Melbourne, VIC

‘Velor’ proves a trifecta of smart, sleek and stylish

By Terry Christodoulou

01/05/2020

Property Of The Week: 33 Parsley Road, Vaucluse, Sydney NSW

Contemporary design and a unique way with concrete make the harbourside living here ‘Eze’.

By Terry Christodoulou

24/04/2020

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected