"The Official Formula 1 Opus Bernie Edition" is the most luxurious and expensive publication ever put forth about Formula 1.
By Heike Söns
Formula 1 (F1), the most popular and prestigious international racing competition, is usually associated with utmost excellence. Its most recent publication, from Kraken Opus publishing house, could not be any less than spectacular. With a market value of $1million, The Official Formula 1 Opus Bernie Edition is the most luxurious and expensive publication ever put forth about the emblematic race.
Also known as The Bernie, the title of this monograph is a tribute to the iconic Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of the Formula 1 organization. In fact, it was Ecclestone himself who chose the elegant gray tone for the book’s cover, made of carbon fiber. The British tycoon’s signature is elegantly stamped on the cover in silver.
But when it comes to signatures, The Bernie has enough to spare. Inside, the editors have gone to great length to include a page that carries the original autographs of 22 international Formula 1 champions, including the late Phil Hill— the only American to win a Formula 1 cup in history—who died in August 2008 shortly after he signed the book.
Weighing 77 lbs. and more than 20 inches thick, The Bernie is a very exclusive edition, only one book will be printed. The spectacular tome has a total of 850 pages, featuring 1,200 photographs, 600 of which have never been published before.
However, buying The Bernie not only represents access to unpublished F1 files. Its owner and three other guests will also have privileged tickets to all the 2014 races, anywhere in the world. This means that, among other benefits, the foursome will have a table at the exclusive Formula 1 Paddock Club, where they can share the exciting experience with Ecclestone, and also have access to the tracks and the drivers.
"It may seem a large sum of money [to pay for a book], but with The Bernie the buyer is acquiring much more than an outstanding book," says Karl Fowler, CEO of Kraken Opus publishing house and a collector of exclusive edition books. "With The Bernie, the buyer is also acquiring a carte blanche to go wherever and do whatever he wants—within reason— in each race throughout the season. It is a freedom that, in general, you simply cannot buy.”
Precisely for this reason, the launch of The Bernie has been extremely popular among senior executives because it offers them the possibility of entertaining three guests in a unique way. Also, the passes to the races can be sold individually, which could result in a windfall for the owner of the book.
In addition to this single volume, there will be two alternative editions of the book. One of them will have a silk cover and a print run of 1,500 copies signed by Ecclestone. Each issue will be sold for $2,000. The alternative edition with a print run of only 100 copies will feature a carbon fiber cover and the signature of Ecclestone and 22 world champions, and each copy will cost $20,000. ■
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