Gear and Gadgets

The New Silver Cross Surf – Aston Martin Edition

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Back in September 2012, iconic British brands Silver Cross and Aston Martin combined to create the Silver Cross Surf – Aston Martin Edition, a limited edition pram which came as close to perfection as we thought we would ever see. Now, as we introduce the stunning second model from this unique collaboration, the new Silver Cross Surf – Aston Martin Edition, it’s fair to say we were very wrong.

When Silver Cross – a brand long-associated with hand-built craftsmanship, engineering and incredible luxury – describe a product as ‘the most beautiful pram we have ever produced’, it means they have created something pretty special. Although it’s easy to be blinded by the sleek materials and supercar-derived details, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an example of ‘style over substance’, as the Surf is every inch the practical pram system parents crave.

In fact, as Phil Taylor, Head Designer at Silver Cross explains, ‘although it’s strange to think, the practicality and luxury elements actually go hand-in-hand. For example, we wanted it to be lightweight and compact, and that’s where this high-tech magnesium alloy material came in. It’s obviously expensive and high-quality, but it also satisfies the practicalities of what’s required.

Similarly with the luxurious Alcantara fabric, which is used on the roof-linings of the vehicles and seats in Aston Martin sports cars, the reason being it’s incredibly resilient and doesn’t deteriorate over time – and you can clean it really easily, it’s amazing. Using the most expensive materials and latest technology naturally added to the luxury element of the design.’

The Hardware

Hearing Phil talk of ‘hardware’ when describing the new Aston Martin Edition was enlightening. Yes, it has immensely cool features, which will have dads looking at their reflection in windows as they stroll by, driving the Vanquish of pushchairs, but the obvious commitment to engineering a pram that also delivers great functionality for your child cannot be ignored.

‘A pram is a combination of hardware elements – plastics, metals and steels – and fabric engineering. There is a real effort made to make something that is essentially an engineered item look luxurious, beautiful and desirable from a consumer’s point of view, whilst also keeping those elements of suspension and manoeuvrability that make it comfortable for a baby or small child.

Silver Cross is all about centering on the baby or child and making something that is really nice for them – balancing that with what is convenient and aspirational for parents. Combining those two is the trick and that’s what the Aston Martin pram does really well.’

Are those real alloy wheels?

Yes they are! Amongst the features that will have you purring are a wheel design based on the Aston Martin One 77 Supercar, high chrome metal and full grain hand-stitched leather on the handle (a veritable nod to a car steering wheel), computer-engraved Aston Martin winged logos on the chassis and a specific numbered plaque, designating the model number and you may have already guessed it, just like those applied to Aston Martin engines.

The first Aston Martin Edition was a categorical success, being lauded for its unparalleled luxury and glossy design. However, the new edition seems to be in a universe of its own. Although ‘both brands are all about understatement, finite detailing and classic elegance’, the second edition – playing with bright colours and softer textures – seems even more sure of itself. As Phil elaborates, maybe this is a result of familiarity.

‘On the first edition, we had a gloss piano black frame with a black and cream Alcantara fabric on the apron, whereas on this new edition we have a pearlescent white finish on the frame – which is actually based on an Aston Martin car colour called Morning Frost. So we’ve gone contrast to the original one which is a conscious thing, with tan leather on the handle as opposed the black. The colours are just working really nicely and it creates a perfect contrast to the original.

It was definitely easier this time around because a lot of the basic elements were already established on the previous model – I mean it definitely didn’t design itself – a lot of hard work went in from a lot of people in the team, but we learnt from the first one and made the second edition even better I think. I need to be careful what I say because the first one had an incredible response, but we wanted to do something different with this one and achieve a contrast, from black and beautiful, to light, bright and beautiful too.’

Style and Function

The new Silver Cross Surf – Aston Martin Edition offers parents a complete pram system with fully reclining seat, forward- and rear-facing pushchair settings, plus a carrycot for use from birth for the ultimate lie-flat environment. This flexibility is always a huge plus, particularly for battling the demands of life in the city.

The air-ride suspension, touch perfect handling and ultra- lightweight magnesium alloy structure mean balance and safety are also assured. For us, it’s also the accessories that put this product a cut above the rest.

When you combine the visually striking chassis with a sheepskin liner, made of premium white sheepskin from Buckfastleigh in Devon and the exclusive woven cashmere baby blanket – both of which come as part of the package – the combination of traditional processing and highly skilled craftsmanship are on show for all to see.

When it comes to the new edition, looking at the colours, attention-to-detail, alloy wheels, puncture-resistant tyres, sublime finishes, accessories and a design that really has no equal, you’re left with a single word: ‘ultimate – this is the ultimate contemporary pram and there is nothing else like it!’

The new Silver Cross Surf – Aston Martin Edition retails for £3,000 and is available exclusively from Harrods.