A hot air balloon is the first air travel means of transport that a man used to fly from the ground.
That first balloon trip took place in Southern France and was made by the Montgolfier brothers on June 5, 1783. In their balloon, on November 21, 1783, the first pilots were Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Fransoa Loren d’Arland, who flew to a height of 1000 meters.
The brand S.T. Dupont, recognizable across the globe for its luxurious leather items, writing instruments and exclusive lighter designs, has created in collaboration with the Paris art firm 2 Saints, nine replicas of the famous Montgolfier hot air balloon, which are very small works of art.
With the help of an electronic remote control, the balloon mechanically rises from its base and detects a DuPont L2 lighter of 24 carats gold, which is decorated with as many as 110 diamonds weighing 3.85. The lighter was inspired by the design of the palace in Versailles.
The balloon was made of bronze and needed 20 individual castings, each of which required a new mold, in order to finally get the identical shape of the Montgolfier balloon. Then, it is coated with blue porcelain and is patinated manually before adding ornaments and symbols of zodiac, individually covered with gold of 24 carats.
Large decorations, such as fleur-de-lis, representing King Louis XVI, are individually poured into bronze and coated with 18-carat gold and are separately applied. In sum, it took 3,000 hours to create this ultra-exclusive version of Montgolfier by S. T. Dupont, and is numbered with 1 by 1 and cost $326,000.
Eight additional lighters are also made of brass, porcelain and gold and have an electronic mechanism. They are available for purchase by order.
However, although they will look identical, they will be made of gold plated brass, not of pure gold and will not possess diamonds.
This version of the lighter will be available at a price of $195,284.