Bowers & Wilkins is one of the best audio manufacturers in the world, and millions enjoy their products. The company has been doing this for a long time, and one of its legendary products is celebrating 30 years. The Nautilus speaker is certainly something to behold, and it will do a fair amount of damage to your wallet! • Nautilus has been hand-made to order at the Bowers & Wilkins factory in Worthing for 30 years
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
To mark this milestone, Bowers & Wilkins has created a unique pair of Nautilus finished in a brilliant Abalone Pearl paint, a dramatic finish that the company says “perfectly commemorates” this landmark anniversary.
The unique Pearl-finished loudspeakers star in a new Bowers & Wilkins film that explores the story behind the birth of Nautilus, the craft and passion that goes into making each pair, and the extraordinary impact its design has had on the world of audio.
While I know most of our audience will not buy this any time soon, I also know that you all find such extravagances interesting. You have to admit that even after 30 years, this speaker’s design makes you take notice. Here’s what Bowers & Wilkins had to say about this celebration.
The idea behind Nautilus was simple, but immensely challenging: ‘make a loudspeaker that doesn’t sound like a loudspeaker’. Armed with an exceptionally wide brief, no time constraints and few limitations related to practicality or cost, the Nautilus emerged almost as a concept car made reality, a radical five-year project to explore how many of the negative effects of the loudspeaker enclosure could be eliminated by innovative design.
The result was a revolution in loudspeaker engineering that introduced the concept of the exponentially tapered tube to loudspeaker design. The Nautilus tube would go on to win a Queen’s Award for Innovation and was just one of many breakthroughs developed for the Nautilus project that would subsequently influence all of the company’s future product design. Alongside the equally remarkable 801, the choice of music industry professionals the world over, Nautilus was a key element in elevating Bowers & Wilkins into the world’s leading audio brand.
30 years later, Nautilus is still built the same way. Ironically for a company that has taken the manufacturing of audiophile speakers to new industry standards of automated precision, building a pair Nautilus is a painstaking hand-built process. Simply building one speaker enclosure takes over a week – and that’s before any notions of sanding, painting or polishing each cabinet are involved. Small wonder that demand for Nautilus has consistently outstripped supply throughout its 30-year existence, with the waiting list for a new model currently standing at two years.
Nothing in audio looks or sounds like Nautilus, which remains an icon of radical thinking and revolutionary design to this day. The Abalone Pearl finish of the 30th Anniversary pair is a stunning celebration of one of the most legendary loudspeakers ever created.Bowers & Wilikins
Nautilus is available in three standard colors: Midnight Blue Metallic, Silver, and Black. Bowers & Wilkins also offers a custom-finish service that will match the product’s color to any reference the customer chooses at an extra cost. The asking price is $70K for a pair.
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