Bowers & Wilkins has announced special Prestige Edition versions of two 800 Series Diamond speaker models.
Three years after the flagship speaker range was launched, the 802 floorstander and 805 standmount speaker are now available as Prestige Edition versions. While technically identical to the standard models, the Prestige Edition variants feature a lustrous rosewood veneer finish.
The Santos Rosewood veneer is treated with no less than 13 coats of lacquer to create high-gloss finish that highlights the deep colour and grain of the real-wood veneer. And because each hand-selected veneer set is different, each speaker set is unique, too.
According to B&W, the Santos Rosewood is rare and sustainably sourced. It’s also difficult to work with. Because the grain structure not only varies from log to log, but also within a single log, veneer sheets have to be carefully selected to ensure colour and grain consistency.
The high-gloss lacquer finish is extremely labour-intensive, and involves the application of three coats of paint and 13 lacquer coats. The enclosures have to be left to cure for 24 hours after every third coat of lacquer, after which the enclosure is sanded.
The process is repeated until all layers have been applied. The final steps include a combination of machine polishing and hand finishing to achieve the required depth and gloss. The completed Prestige Edition speakers are stored for at least 14 days to allow for the lacquer to harden before they are boxed for shipping.
Each pair of 802 Prestige Edition and 805 Prestige Edition loudspeakers is fitted with a special, individually numbered identification plate to confirm their special (and highly collectable) status.
Deliveries commence in August 2018, and a limited number will be offered to South African buyers.