When you consider that a first class suite aboard the Titanic in today’s money would cost you around $83,200, then the price of this watch from Romain Jerome would secure you two first class suites with plenty of spending money for good measure. And that’s assuming you could get your hands on the watch, because only nine of them were made. It’s rare, $239,000 worth of rare. Sufficiently recherché for a well heeled Titanic loving buyer in India to risk having one smuggled into the country. Unfortunately spoil sport customs officials intervened and tried to find out for whom the watch was intended. They believe it was being smuggled in either to a buyer in Delhi or Mumbai. Whichever it was you can bet there was a lot of duty to pay.
One of the reasons the watch has such a stratospheric price tag is because Romain Jerome managed to create the black face of the dial from coal actually recovered from the Titanic itself, an impressive feat considering the ship famously sunk in April 1912.
RJ also obtained other materials from the ship and from the ship builders Harland & Wolff to create what he terms his Titanic-DNA watch. This top of the line model was created by Yvan Arpa, noted for some of the more eyebrow raising watch creations in recent years, including the Werewolf Blood and Bullets watch, which features a silver bullet inside the dial.
Through a complex process, the watch looks exactly as if it has been quietly rusting in the darkest depths for the last 100 years, but in reality the Romain Jerome Titanic-DNA is rendered from stabilised extreme rusted steel and black satin-finished steel. It’s a process unique to RJ to ensure it does not rust further. The sequential double tourbillion is made from pink gold for the Day Tourbillon carriage located at 12 o’ clock and steel for the Night Tourbillon carriage located at 6 o’ clock.
The Romain Jerome Titanic-DNA is powered by the Calibre RJ One manual-winding mechanical movement and is water resistant to just 50 metres, so in reality, it’s splash-proof rather than Titanic style sink proof.
At 46mm, the case size is sufficiently ambitious to get you noticed in just about any setting, and it’s that, coupled with the rust effect and the fascinating Titanic back story, that should be more than enough to make a good talking point about the watch. And that’s really what you want when you part with just a little less than the cost a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta for a watch.
Founded in Geneva in 2004, Romain Jerome has perfected the concept of obtaining rare and historically important particles from hard to find resources and melding them into expensive concept watches. He has done it with moon particles, scrapings from the Statue of Liberty, even volcanic lava DNA from the unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which has a small chunk of volcanic lava for a dial.
RJ is the Quentin Tarantino of watchmaking, creating watches which may not necessarily be to your taste, but nonetheless are definitely big, controversial and hard to ignore. He even poses in dramatic fashion on his website to illustrate the concepts behind many of his watches.
Steampunk lover RJ has recently released a 50mm Titanic DNA watch collection forged in raw sturdiness and designed with proportions more like a feat of ship building than watch making. The range comes in 99-piece limited editions.
Romain Jerome Titanic DNA – Day & Night Tourbillon Sold Out
Meanwhile if you are looking to add the Romain Jerome Titanic-DNA Day & Night Tourbillon or any other RJ watches, to your collection, RJ recommend that you approach them directly so to as ensure that the quality, authenticity, and the warranty are the real deal.
More resources about the Romain Jerome Titanic-DNA on Official RJ Website