As the UAE's summer really starts to heat up and the sun blazes relentlessly, it's time to take a look at seasonal accessories: specifically, sunglasses.
Top price shades have recently included Louis Vuitton's Evasion model for US$1,200, the Luxuriator Style 23 for $65,000 and Dolce & Gabbana's DG2027B for a whopping $383,609.
But it's going to be difficult to beat the price of the jewelled shades designed by De Rigo Vision for Chopard, the Swiss maker of jewellery and watches. Unveiled in Milan last year and initially on sale in Dubai at Paris Gallery outlets in The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, these glasses are still available in Italy for a cool Dh1.5 million.
So what makes these shades so expensive? It's the diamonds that adorn them: all 51 of them, with a weight totalling four carats.
The fully cut gems have also been set closer together than the classic pave setting to make the light they give off especially dazzling. Also used to create the frames are 60 grams of 24-carat gold.
And the "C" logo decorating the sides of the temples is made of hand-ground, coloured glass powder that has been placed in an oven four times.
Chopard's frames smash the previous record for the most expensive sunnies: Emerald Sunglasses designed by Shiels jewellers in Australia are worth a staggering $200,000. Albert Bensimon, Shiels managing director, says the company's glasses were inspired by the Roman emperor Nero, who apparently viewed gladiator fights through polished emerald green gems held up to his eyes.
However, Chopard's glasses provide unlimited star appeal.
The actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale are both fans of the brand's sunglasses range, along with crooner Tom Jones.
Just make sure you don't get them smeared with sun block or leave them by the side of the pool.
Chopard. That name seems familiar. Was it in the news recently?
Indeed it was. Chopard jewellery initially reported to be worth more than $1 million was stolen from a hotel during the Cannes Film Festival. Ironically, the theft occurred just as The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppla’s film about LA teenagers stealing luxury items from celebrities, was screened. The company later said the value of the jewellery was less than reported. In a separate incident, Chopard’s co-president, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, last year, somewhat carelessly, lost a £1m (Dh5.7m) emerald and diamond ring in a Hong Kong bathroom. She raced back to retrieve it seven minutes later but it was gone.
What else can you tell me about Chopard?
The collaboration with De Rigo Vision is not its first. In recent years, the company teamed up with the designers Alberta Ferretti and Giuseppe Zanotti to create a jewelled dress and shoes respectively. Elton John also designs a range of watches for Chopard of which a percentage of the sales profits goes to combating Aids. Chopard also has a Happy Mickey Collection with Disney.
Any other fun facts?
Yes – and this one relates to the Middle East. The largest Chopard boutique in the world is in Kuwait City. It opened in April of this year in the Prestige Mall of the Avenues.