New Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez extravagance: a ‘10,000-year Clock’

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For the couple who have everything and who could always have more, more, more, Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez have invested some of their billions into building a unique project: A subterranean clock built deep into the side of a mountain range in West Texas.

Sanchez tells a writer for Vogue that the “10,000-Year-Clock” offers her and her future husband, the second richest man in the world, a way of “thinking about the future.”

The irrepressible Sanchez opened up about the 10,000-Year Clock while flying the Vogue writer on a helicopter tour of Bezos’ West Texas ranch, one of the more than half a dozen luxury properties in his estimated $500 million real estate portfolio, as the New York Post also reported. 

At the ranch, Bezos and Sanchez host holiday gatherings for their extended, blended family, and the Amazon founder launches rockets from his Blue Origin space facility, Vogue reported. The West Texas property also includes a family compound, clustered around a two-story main residence and a swimming pool, “made to appear like a pond with rocky banks,” Vogue writer Chloe Malle, who happens to be Candice Bergen’s daughter, reported.

Bezos, in case you missed it, also recently purchased two side-by-side mansions, worth a combined $147 million, on South Florida’s Indian Creek Island, known as “Billionaire Bunker,” Insider reported. There, neighbors will include the recently divorced Tom Brady and the polarizing former White House aides Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the latter of whom Sanchez mingled with at Kim Kardashian’s birthday bash in October. Earlier this month, Bezos, who has an estimated net worth of $160 billion, announced on Instagram that he was leaving his longtime residence of Seattle so that he and Sanchez could make Miami their new home base, Insider reported.

Sanchez, though, can continue to regard herself as the face of philanthropy in Los Angeles, Vogue said. That’s because the former TV newscaster and Bezos also have a $165 million Tudor mansion in Beverly Hills, the New York Post said. This past weekend, their good friends Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, hosted a second, star-studded engagement party for them at their Beverly Hills mansion. Sanchez’s longtime friend, Kris Jenner, and her daughters Kim and Khloe Kardashian, were among the celebrity guests.

Back in West Texas, Sanchez and Bezos posed for glamour images for Vogue’s December cover story, shot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. One photo shows Sanchez and Bezos, in a cowboy hat, sitting cheek-to-cheek in a pickup truck. Another shows Sanchez in a red-sequined, body-hugging Dolce and Gabbana gown, descending a spiral staircase into the subterranean complex that houses the 10,000-Year Clock.

The Daily Beast’s “wealth and power reporter” Noah Kirsch said that the clock, located 500 feet underground, seems to be “a somewhat confusing initiative.” Kirsch also said that the Vogue cover story about Sanchez and her conspicuous consumption with Bezos almost seemed intended to inflame the “eat the rich crowd.”

In the story, Sanchez brushes off questions about whether she and Bezos are eco-hypocrites. The couple promote themselves as dedicated environmentalists with their Earth Fund, a $10 billion commitment to climate solutions. But it’s evident that the couple’s lifestyle choices also create a massive carbon footprint. Like other ultra-rich people, they enjoy their multiple mansions and their private jet travel. At least their super-yacht Koru is a sailing vessel, but Sanchez also likes to get around by flying her own helicopter, as she did when she took the Vogue writer to see the 10,000-Year Clock.

Malle described how Sanchez landed the helicopter, on the side of the Sierra Diablo mountains, so that the two could descend into the mouth of a cliff to explore the clock. Sanchez insisted that they go all the way to the bottom, to get a better sense of “the engineering feat envisioned with next generations in mind.”

For the website for the 10,000-Year Clock, Bezos said he was working with the its “father,” inventor, entrepreneur and computer scientist Danny Hillis, who pioneered parallel computers and their use in artificial intelligence. Other partners in the endeavor include the San Francisco-based Long Now Foundation, which was created to foster “long-term” thinking with this “Clock of the Long Now,” “an immense, mechanical monument.”

Malle reported that it took over a year to drill 500 feet into solid limestone and quartz to create the space for the clock, and two years for a diamond-cutting robot to slice stairs into the stone. Inside, enormous titanium and stainless gears look like parts to the inside of a giant wristwatch and showcase a 10,000 pound bronze-cased concrete pendulum, Malle reported.

Sanchez tried to explain the concept of the clock, telling Malle that there are five metal anniversary displays that will function like traditional cuckoo clocks chiming at one year, 10 years, 100 years, 1,000 years, and 10,000 years. Bezos probably explained it a bit better by saying that the clock will tick once a year, with its century hand advancing once every 100 years. The clock should keep time for the next 10,000 years, becoming “a symbol” and “an icon for long-term thinking,” Bezos said.

If the concept remains “a bit confusing,” as the Daily Beast reported, Sanchez suggested a more immediate use for the clock, one that could include a visit by the Kardashians and her other celebrity friends. She told the Vogue writer: “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a Halloween party here?”

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