Fuji Globe-Trotter Graphite Silver edition on sale at Harrods for £11,500
Time was, some forty years ago, when Globe-Trotter was the leading brand among frequent travellers of taste. No self-respecting airline pilot or steward would be seen without a Globe-Trotter in tow. I succumbed, too, and my loft holds three or four vintage Globe-Trotters covered in hotel, airline and city stickers that would not have disgraced Phileas Fogg. According to eBay, they go up in value just like vintage Leicas. Sadly, Globe-Trotters have now become a luxury brand and cost an arm and a leg.
But back to Fuji. Just ten sets of this beautiful (as I must reluctantly admit) edition have been hand-crafted (on the original Victorian machinery, I'm told by Katie Teesdale in Fuji's PR office) in Hertfordshire and will be flying off the shelves at Harrods headed for the snootiest of Christmas stockings.
The price tag is, as Private Eye used to say, not unadjacent to the £12,000 Leica is charging for its limited M60 Edition which comes in 600 individually numbered sets. So Fuji is definitely marching into exclusive territory with the Graphite Silver edition. However, this Fuji set contains a cornucopia of photographic delights in addition to the 21in trolley case and a special handmade day bag. There's even an engraved Apple iPad Air 2, although Fuji couldn't squeeze the pips enough to run to a 128GB model. For your near-twelve grand you get the miserly 16GB Air, hardly enough to store a couple of RAW files taken with every lens in the case.
But it's the camera stuff that will grab your attention. You get the new graphite-silver X-T1 body, of course, plus a clutch of lenses (23mm, 56mm APD, 18-55mm and 50-140mm), an X20 flash unit (to grab a shot in front of the Christmas tree) and a vertical battery grip plus a few odds and sods. I wonder if you also get the boxes? I haven't done the maths but, bearing in mind the extraordinary cost of Globe-Trotter's exquisite confections and roughly totting up the Fuji gear, this kit doesn't seem ridiculously overpriced.
Before I pop down the road to Harrods, though, there's just one question: Which is the better investment, the Fuji/Globe-Trotter edition at £11,500 or the Leica M60 Special Edition for a trifling £500 more? Ho hum, I'd better make a call to Santa and find out. I have hung a very large stocking on the bedpost just in case.