January 14, 2012

Swarovski Creates $100k Sparkling Toilet

This toilet by INAX and Swarovski contains 72,000 pieces of crystal

First, Japan gave the world high-tech toilets.

Now, a crystal toilet – studded with more than 72,000 pieces of Swarovski cut crystal and valued at over $100,000.

Toilet manufacturer INAX teamed up with the Austrian jeweller to create the ornate fixture, which was on display recently in a showroom in the posh Ginza shopping district, an effort to draw more customers in a year fraught with economic gloom and natural disaster.

In a nod to traditional belief, the sparkling toilet was created to please the “god of toilets,” said Kazuo Sum-imiya, director of the showroom for the Lixil interior fixture company of which INAX is a part.  “In Japan, we believe a deity exists in the toilet.  That’s why keeping toilets clean and taking good care of it have been a Japanese custom since long ago,” he added.   “If we were to sell it, it would probably be worth around 10 million yen [$130,000].”

Visitors admired the dazzling fixture, with one woman saying she’d like to invite her friends and hold a party around it.  But others said it might be a bit too exalted to be useful.

“It’d be hard. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable enough to use it even if I had this at home,” said 22-year-old Chikako Kawanami, an art museum receptionist.

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