KUSH BOYS STUDIOS FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
Hublot is launching the first ever timepiece that has a scratch-resistant gold case. Called the Hublot Magic Gold, the watches will be presented at BaselWorld 2012. Hublot gold has a hardness rating of almost 1000 Vickers (most hardened steels are up to 600 Vickers). This makes Hublot the hardest in the world, and by some margin it can only really be “scratched” by a diamond.
China, already the world’s second largest bullion consumer, has installed the country’s first gold vending machine in a busy shopping district in Beijing. Shoppers in the popular Wangfujing Street can insert cash or use a bank card to withdraw gold bars or coins of various weights based on market prices. Each withdrawal is capped at 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) or one million yuan (about $156,500) worth of gold.
Gold vending machines already exist in Britain, the United States, the Middle East and Europe. The machine was launched Saturday by the Beijing Agricultural Commercial Bank and a gold trading company, the report said. They plan to install an unspecified number of machines in secure locations such as gold shops and upmarket private clubs. Gold is often used as a hedge against inflation and the machines could prove popular among Chinese consumers looking for a convenient way to safeguard their cash amid rising prices. Chinese consumer demand for gold soared 27 percent year-on-year to 579.5 tonnes in 2010. India, the world’s top consumer, saw a 66 percent increase to 963.1 tonnes.