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Sport a luxury tag this Diwali

Soumik Sen | October 25, 2003

How do you stay 10 steps ahead of the Joneses, the Singhs and the Kapoors? The easiest way used to be to drive a BMW or to sport a luxury tag like Mont Blanc or Omega.

But, what do you do when the Joneses, Singhs and Kapoors are all sporting the same fancy tags?

One way of stealing a march on all those upwardly mobile folk out there -- especially since it's the Diwali season -- could be to check out the limited editions that are coming on the market.

Would you, for instance, like to own a two-door Zen Carbon or Steel? Only 600 models have rolled out of the Maruti factory in Gurgaon, so you won't meet too many lookalikes on the road.

Or take the Tata Safari. Its 2003 limited edition has a range of amazing add-ons including the Sony Playstation 2, a 10 CD Changer, two front headrest integrated LCD monitors and a 12-litre refrigerator cum warmer.

The Fiat Palio too tried to steer into the limited edition business by producing 500 vehicles that carried Sachin Tendulkar's signature.

Unfortunately, Palio's limited edition didn't do too well and people only noticed Sachin's outings in Fiat's upmarket cousin, the Ferrari.

If you aren't keen on limited-edition roadsters there are scores of other options. The luxury watch and pen segments, for instance, have several offerings that they are pushing heavily during the festive season.

Luxury watch manufacturer Tag Heuer has introduced two limited-edition products for two very different customers.

Fitted with a countdown mechanism, for timekeeping, the Kirium Formula 1 is also endowed with alarm and diary appointment functions: it displays the time in a second time-zone and features a perpetual calendar.

The Kirium Formula 1 Chronograph is available with a case and bracelet crafted in brushed steel (Rs 95,500), as well as a black rubber strap matching the dial (Rs 89,800).

What's more, TAG Heuer has equipped the Kirium Formula 1 with a chronograph mechanism measuring time to the nearest 1/100th of a second.

For cinema buffs, there's the "2000 series Exclusive Automatic Chronograph" costing Rs 94,400. This is the watch Shah Rukh Khan was given when he was made brand ambassador for the brand.

While Tag Heuer is tightlipped on the number of such products available , chances are that if you rush now, you can get one.

Other luxury watchmakers are also stepping forward to grab the connoisseur's imagination. Take Corum, which has taken the limited-edition concept to its logical conclusion.

The Classical Dragon has an enamelled dial that is hand-painted with Asian influenced designs. Each of the 50 limited editions has a different dial. And at Rs 21 lakh, the diamond-studded Dragon, could set afire purses and hearts alike.

For ladies, there's a 2003 Corum Bubble special edition featuring the lacquered dial of a roulette wheel, with the seconds hand carrying a white ball that moves to time. It costs Rs 150,000.

Omega has moved onto the racetrack. You can't get a better brand ambassador than spee