Extreme Custom Safes and Vaults of the Wealthy

April 9th, 2013

As long as human beings have had wealth, we’ve been developing interesting and secure ways to store it. In the modern age custom safes and vaults can vary drastically in size, shape, cost, and presumed effectiveness, but some are just extreme.

“Narcissus” by Lagerfeld- Perhaps the world’s most expensive safe and most certainly the most aesthetically appealing; ” Narcissus” was envisioned by legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld and built by German safe firm D?ttling, to be the last word in luxury safes.

“Narcissus’ is a hand crafted product that balances high security with high fashion in an indestructibly appealing form. At 1,600 lbs, 6 ft. in height and nearly three in width, this monster safe appeals to the innate desire for security while at the same time offering a truly aesthetically unique device for the storing of worldly possessions.

While a beast in size, “Narcissus” still manages sleekness with its slight form while at the same time conveying a modern feel with a metallic exterior gilded with chrome-plated aluminum, allowing the illusion of large case of glass. The exterior however isn’t the only space-age part of the device as the imbedded security system requires no more than a hand wave for registered user access.

With numerous compartments and customized nooks and drawers to keep valuables, “Narcissus” is truly an extreme combination of form and function, and as such, carries an extreme price in the realm of $340,000. Along with extreme price is extreme rarity as only 30 were ever made, one of which went to Mr. Lagerfeld himself.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York– When you are storing $86 billion dollars in gold, security is kind of a big deal. Expert marksmen are helpful, but one of the most sophisticated and trusted vaults on Earth can’t be beaten.  The vault itself can actually be found at the base of a veritable bunker of vaults three-stories higher which are arranged as stacked strongboxes. The walls themselves consist of structural concrete reinforced with steel.

This vault is actually so secure that it doesn’t even have a door, with the only ingress being through a thin ten-foot walkway set into a balanced nine-foot-tall 90-ton cylinder made of steel which revolves in a concrete and steel frame weighing 140 tons. Entry requires multiple individuals entering their individual codes so that no one person can enter.  Sufficed to say, The New York Fed is so secure that foreign and domestic dignitaries have no qualms about storing their wealth therein.

The Largest Vault In The World (circa. 1874) By Diebold- If “Narcissus is a beast, then this vault is a monster. 47 rail-cars were enlisted just to deliver the raw materials required to build this vault that measured 32 feet in length, 27 feet in width and 12 feet in height.   No slouch in the weight department, this vault tipped the scales at 350,000 lbs. The structure included one fire resistant door and two that were purportedly burglar resistant.

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