Romain Jerome, as one of the today’s contemporary brands does not stop to amaze us and always brings something interesting and fun to the table. Unlike some other watch brands with a big name it does not limit the boarders more and more with every creation, instead it does the opposite, and explores the boundaries, while always keeping the DNA and origin of the collections as the main focus. We’ve already reviewed the new Tattoo DNA pieces by RJ; the thing about them though is – they use the same ‘steampunk’ casing as most of the brand’s models from the Titanic collection.
Now I plan to explore and share with you a couple of other pieces by the brand, that to me really stand out from all of their collections, and in the watchmaking world in general. Both are interesting mechanically and esthetically, and both are very different, yet united by a similar DNA. First of the two pieces here is the complex Moon Orbiter.
When you think of space, Moon, and watches, what do you imagine? In my opinion Romain Jerome nailed the perfect space watch here… Starting from the name – ‘Moon Orbiter’ that is reflected in the ‘orbiting’ flying tourbillon at 9 o’clock and to the shape of that watch, and every detail about it. We all know that when RJ chooses a theme for their watches it always sticks to it, and really goes out there to create a perfectly fitting watch. In this model, the steel case was made with elements from the Apollo 11 space shuttle; and while in some cases like the Titanic or the Volcano DNA the brand has taken accidents and catastrophes to implement in watches here everything is much less terrible and much more heroic. In case you don’t know Appolo 11 was the space shuttle that landed Neil Armstron and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon back in 1969, so every wearer of that watch is also carrying an important part of the world history.
Another thing I’d like to mention about the watch casing is the lugs. Yes, the watch looks huge, and yes – it looks extremely uncomfortable to wear, but believe me when I say – it’s not ? That is because of the adjustable lugs system, which also to me resemble the moonwalker ‘legs’. Now if we get into the dial of the watch, apart from the tourbillon that I have mentioned already we have the regular time at 3 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 6. Personally, I like the simplistic way they did it, because you can easily see the hand going from + to –
The dial is actually made partially of the moon dust, though I would not advise you to open the watch just to see how it feels ? Now, if we turn the moon orbiter around we will see what I like to call a ‘nice ass’. Especially for Romain Jerome, that usually hides the movements of their watches I think this is a big step up and a true masterpiece. You can already see part of the mechanism on the left side of the casing and at the back the gigantic ‘guillotine’ looking rotor makes the watch tick. Another plus of the watch is the leather strap, that even though contradicts the modern look a little still brings a lot to the table, and mainly comfort to the wrist. With only 25 pieces made (this being 01/25) the watch retails at around $110’000 (not that high for such and exclusive creation)
Now we move to a less pricey and complicated yet still very unusual and interesting monster by Romain Jerome – the Spacecraft, which is part of the ‘Creators Legends’ DNA in the ‘Capsules’ collection. What is interesting about this watch is the way it shows time. I’ve already seen companies create linear timing at Urwerk (CC1 – $330’000) or MB&F (HM5 – $60’000), and both are amazing pieces, that don’t even look like mechanically winded watches. Although if you are interested in getting one of these but don’t have such means I think the ‘Spacecraft’ being a limited edition of 99 pieces has a pretty good price point at around $25’000.
Now if you’re not familiar with the concept of linear timing and this model in particular, let’s do a little bit of explaining. The watch shows hours not with a hand in a circle, but in a ‘timeline’ located in the front side of the case instead! It has a jumping retrograde red indicator that lights up the correct hour. As for the minutes they are displayed on top of the watch, where the usual dial would be located. I find it a little bit uncomfortable, as first you’ll need to see the hours under one angle and then the minutes at another. Though if you don’t care about that it’s a pretty cool watch ? Made of different types of titanium and all sorts of triangular shapes it really resembles a spacecraft on the wrist, and unlike what I’ve been told by a couple of people the watch worked perfectly for me, and I didn’t experience any malfunctions.
I hope this article has changed your perception of the brand a little and expanded the view on ‘space’ thematic watches. Of course these 2 are not the only ones, but they are definitely my favorites (along with the extremely expensive Deep Space tourbillon by Vianney Halter)