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dunhill biometric wallet: A rebadged iWallet?

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We may no longer carry bundles and bundles of cold, hard cash these days, what with the advent of technology and the cashless lifestyle, but we can’t argue the fact that the wallet is still the most essential item in our purses – at least for those of us who don’t depend on others to survive and get what we want. It’s our life in our pocket.

We still use them to lug around our credit cards and our IDs, the currency of today’s world, so their relevance has yet to wane. Louis Vuitton Brazzas do a fine job of keeping your most valued possessions organised in one neat place, but in the age of BlackBerries, Twitter and Facebook, shouldn’t we be asking for a more technologically-advanced solution?

Enter the dunhill biometric wallet. Activated with a touch of its owner’s fingertip, the dunhill biometric wallet secures everything valuable to you in a sturdily-constructed, theft-deterring carbon fibre case.

The high-tech materials used to produce these wallets provide a virtually-indestructible architecture in a feather-weight form. The system can also be hooked up to your mobile phone via Bluetooth to alert you if something fishy is going on, i.e. the wallet becomes too far from you and your cell.

It sounds all good, but with a price tag of AED 3,205, it makes you wonder if there are less expensive alternatives on the market. So we wondered, and so we searched.

A little query on Google landed us on the homepage of a $599 (AED 2,200) carbon copy of dunhill’s offering, sans the English brand’s logo, called the iWallet.

It looks every bit like the dunhill piece, and so the question begs to be asked: Is the dunhill biometric wallet a rebranded iWallet with a AED 1,000 markup? Hmmm. It could be. It most probably is, especially if we figure in the fact that the iWallet website has a page where you can download a dunhill wallet Fingerprint Management Software.

The $599 iWallet is made of 100% carbon fibre and offers an RFID anti-theft feature. Meanwhile, cheaper fibre glass models are available at $399 (~ AED 1,500).

So, is the dunhill logo alone worth AED 1,000? For some, it is. Because after all, it’s not merely the logo that defines a brand. A label is merely short code that represents everything the brand has done in its generations of existence, and that is what matters to its customers.  Its colourful history plays a major role in persuading customers to take home and personally own a piece of the brand.

In the case of Alfred Dunhill, it’s not the logo per se that literally commands a premium, but the rich heritage of the brand: the culture of passing down valuables from generation to generation, given the excellent quality of the products by dunhill. So what one would view as an extra AED 1,000 on the outset is actually an investment into the long future ahead of the product.

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