Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch Watch Releases

With the release of this limited edition Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. watch everything has finally come full circle for me when it comes to my relationship with luxury "nostalgia" watches. I once smirked sarcastically when people bought watches that reminded them of their favorite 1960s and 1970s era race car driving heroes and I rolled my eyes as brands sought to charge high prices for gimmicky "collectible" watches inspired by historic events. Sure, sometimes those timepieces were very cool items, but would consumers really want to get them mostly for their nostalgic value?

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch Watch Releases

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch Watch Releases

Today, I am able to present to you a timepiece that I've known about for almost a year, and am lucky enough to share with the world for the first time as an expensive limited edition luxury watch that recalls something from my childhood that I certainly don't mind remembering on a regular basis. I've finally come full circle to finding that gimmicky limited edition luxury nostalgia watch that I want. If you think I am silly for my desire, I am OK with that because, from the outside, it might indeed look pretty weird. With that said, I have no qualms about looking you in the eye and with a serious tone saying, "put Mario... I mean, 'Super Mario,' on my wrist in a way that only Romain Jerome can do."

The Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. watch is being introduced at the end of 2015 so as not to miss the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System (Nintendo has a fun micro-site) video game console. Mario as a character debuted in earlier games, but his world really became popular with the famous 2D action scroller that, for one of the first times, made video gaming an exciting and challenging adventure for a new generation of games. While the game was released in 1985, I didn't get it until a few years later when I was old enough to play it.

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch Watch Releases

I recall a memory of waiting for my father to get me a Nintendo after pleading with him when all my friends had one. During a holiday time when I expected to get a Nintendo, I discovered that my new video game system was not a Nintendo but a competitor device, the Sega Master System. My father explained to me that it had the capability of rendering superior graphics, and my thoughts at the time were, "it isn't about that, it is all about the games!"

Eventually, I got my Nintendo (NES), and my first three games were Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metriod. Let's not forget Duck Hunt as well, actually... Super Mario excited a new generation of games because of the colorful and approachable graphics as well as the precise controls which help navigate the often challenging levels. Super Mario was also the first video game character that I think entered pop culture in a serious way, being much more "human" than previous popular characters such as PAC-MAN.

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch Watch Releases

Speaking of PAC-MAN, that was actually the subject of Romain Jerome's second video game themed watch which was released as a limited edition in 2012 (debuted here). The Romain Jerome PAC-MAN followed the brand's first video gamed-themed watch with the Romain Jerome Space Invaders that came out in 2011. By the time RJ released the PAC-MAC watch, I was pretty sure that a timepiece with Nintendo was inevitable. It appears that the biggest issue was simply trying to get Nintendo to agree to license their characters for use in a luxury watch - something that Romain Jerome's CEO Manuel Emch spent years trying to secure. The Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. will further be part of a very limited edition of just 85 pieces as a reference to the year 1985 when the game was released.

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch Watch Releases

When I laid eyes on the Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. timepiece, I smiled widely, knowing that Romain Jerome hit my heart in a sweet spot and that I liked the timepiece more than I knew my conservative self wanted to admit. Could I see myself seriously wearing a timepiece that featured an important icon from my childhood? A representation of such a seminal part of my personality development? Yes, I think that I could totally rock this timepiece and pull it off well.

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch Watch Releases

Like all of Romain Jerome's video game-inspired watches (there is also a Tetris watch), the Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. timepiece comes in a Moon Invader-style case which is 46mm wide in PVD-coated black titanium. The "feet-style" lugs move with the strap to help form a better fit on your wrist.

The dial is produced using an interesting three-layer technique meant to create a "pixel" look which I've always found to be really cool in person. Super Mario, along with a mushroom, cloud, and bush, are all three-dimensional pixel-style figurines on the dial and brightly colored in enamel. Of course, I could wish for things like dial animation or other "movement," but even in static form, the dial looks great. All that you have to distract you from the Super Mario scene are the hour and minute hands.

Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. Watch Watch Releases

Inside the watch is a mechanical RJ001-A automatic movement which, I believe, is a base Concepto. It operates at 4Hz (28,800 bph) with a 42-hour power reserve. Nothing super fancy in the scheme of luxury timepieces, but that isn't why you are getting a high-end video game watch, now is it?

I don't think Romain Jerome is going to have too much trouble finding 85 people around the world with money to spend and fond memories of playing Super Mario Bros. as a youth in the 1980s. It amazes me how much of what I grew up with from video games to cartoons and toys are still such a big part of culture today in 2015. I suppose that makes me lucky, since I get to feel like a kid much longer. But it will take some adult money to purchase the limited edition of 85 pieces reference RJ.M.AU.IN.011.01 Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. watch that has a price of $18,950.

  • Berndt Norten

    Georges Clemenceau is reputed to have said: ‘America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.’ Now, as someone who spends a good deal of time on work in Paris, I find myself nauseated by the rampant anti-Americanism that is shared by a large minority of the French. Except of course when the two nations realize how much they really have in common (as in right now). All nuance aside, if this blog post survives, and if this watch survives into the 23rd century, future ‘scholars’ will cite it as an example of a particularly American variant of decadence. Again, I love America and baseball (like America) has been very, very good to me. Americans have no monopoly on decadence. But holy — Batman, this is awful. What is there to say about this watch other than it is juvenile in its conception and gaudy in its execution? I almost wish that Skeletor / AKDISQUS were still with us. Is he???? What shall be his new user name?!!!

    • MEddie90

      He’s been over on the dink for a little bit now, and he’s back to one-upping his own comments too. Hopefully they’ll be biding us a bit of time before the reincarnation.

  • TrevorXM

    This must be some kind of high water mark when it comes to “disposable income”. It’s not even stupid cheese cool like the flaming evil eye RM — it’s just stupid. But hey, it’s not my money.

  • I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about this watch. Just more overpriced nonsense from RJ. Not a fan – I’ll leave it at that.

    • JimBob

      But that’s their whole thing now, right?

  • SuperStrapper

    Well, I am documented as never really having enjoyed much about RJ watches in the past, and this watch is no different, all in. But, I have to say the the enameling looks really top notch. It is a huge letdown that the dial is static like this, and a boring movement with a stale handset is globbed on to make it a watch. Concepto is a serious firm, they make a lot of excellent movements with great tech in them. This watch, especially with a case this big, could have used a much more interesting movement that used the exact same enameled figures as indicators and moved them over the dial. Mario could rise up along his jumping path on a minute scale as the mushroom moves along to indicate the hours. Cool movement to look at, and no boring handset in the way.

    It took me less than a minute to think that up looking at this watch, but RJ went through all this development and secrecy to churn out the exact same watch they always make, but now with newer dial! New ad campaign- “Romain Jerome: we phone it in real good”.

  • Ulysses31

    The enamelling reminds me of some keyring souvenir in a shop for tourists. You’d think $19000 would get you a seconds hand and some indices, but no. I have long ago exhausted my bile reserves for this brand. I just don’t see the point of building something so abysmal so supremely well. It’s a wasted effort and the definition of folly. Might as well make a hyper-realistic RJ-branded fake cat turd. “But it’s been crafted to within 10 microns of precision!”, he’d say. “F&%k you”, i’d say.

    • SuperStrapper


      I disagree about your views on the enameling though.

  • Lurch

    I wish I knew how many they sold or will be selling? Boggles the mind I’m sure.


    When is the Leisure Suit Larry version coming out?

    • Omg…i remember playing the first one as a kid, and trying to pass the “adult verification system” in the beginning, in order to play the game…those were the days…

      • WINKS

        Naughty kid, you were.

  • DanW94

    Nostalgia items when done right can be immensely popular (and big business), but like SuperStrapper mentioned below, this is neither creative or well conceived, and ridiculously priced.

  • If one felt nostalgic about the console games of their youth, why not drop a few hundred on a Nintendo hand-held, or buy a vintage console, and actually play the thing? This watch has the same allure as a framed screen-shot. I’m sure every flea market has some cross stitched objet d’art if you felt particularly spendy.

  • iamcalledryan

    I must confess, I love this range from RJ. The Space Invader and Pacman ones are my favorite. The pricing on them is too heavy IMO. I would be adding a Space Invader one to my list if it was around the $5k mark.

  • What has Romain Jerome done with olive Mario!? I disagree with the creative license taken in enamelling original Mario with a cheery blue, rather than the actual NES colours.

    It is like papering over the glorious cracks of history.

  • haaha love it!

  • Marius

    Cool watch, great movement, and solid value.

    • Marius

      Also, who is Mario, and what is a Nintendo and a Sega Master System?

      • DanW94

        Mario is a plumber from Jersey City or Brooklyn who owns a business with his ex-con brother Luigi. He’s always chasing around some crazy chick that thinks she’s a Princess. : )

  • commentator bob

    A watch from ~1990 that can actual play Super Mario is available on eBay for ~$100 or less. Wearing one of those is going to show you as much more of an in-the-know fan.

    I am a fan of mechanical watches but it is ridiculous how far divorced some watches are from any kind of value. The Veblen effect is strong.

    I suppose the fact that a quartz watch is more accurate than a mechanical watch, for less money, means that to a certain extent mechanical watch fans have to divorce themselves from value. But that ignores the value that comes with a mechanical movement. Having the gears that led to the mechanical revolution on your wrist.

    Maybe mechanical watch fans can agree that they still care about value, even though they are willing to pay extra for interesting mechanical movements.

    If so then a Christophe Claret watch that could actually, in some incredible way, mechanically play Super Mario would be amazing.

    But a basic black coated titanium watch with a basic ETA or ETA clone movement? We have a good benchmark for that. The Hamilton H70575733. $995 MSRP, but available for $625 on a popular discount watch site.

    In addition to what this Romain Jerome watch offers the Hamilton also offers a seconds hand and date complication.

    Simply putting some Mario graphics on the watch does not justify a $100 premium over the Hamilton MSRP, much less the actual $17,955 premium.

    • Marius

      Oh, but please don`t forget that this isn`t just an ETA movement, this RJ uses a Concepto caliber. Also, the dial is very special, requiring lots of hand work, which can exponentially increase the price. Lastly, since the watch is produced in a limited edition of 85 units, means that we are dealing with a small batch, which further increases the price. So, in my opinion, not only is the price fully justified, but it could even be much more expensive.

      • commentator bob

        Right, an ETA clone. With no complications. Not mentioned as COSC certified (not sure it matters without a seconds hand anyway). The case and movement are used in other watches, so it is only the dial that is limited to 85 units. So a $17,955 premium over the Hamilton for the dial (with the lost of the seconds hand and date complication that the Hamilton offers).

        85 people will likely pay that, so great for RJ. But it advances the watch industry no more than a $1,000,000 Toyota Camry with a Mario vinyl wrap advances the auto industry.

  • JimBob

    Ha ha, RJ, you so crazy.

  • SwissMatic

    Putting Super Mario on a mechanical wristwatch is like putting the band Kiss on a bathmat; totally nonsensical cash-grab nostalgia. For the price of this watch I could build the ultimate video game man-cave and play any iteration of Mario to my heart’s content.

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  • mclonts

    My son loves Super Mario Bros…I love my son & see this watch as a cool gift idea, but not to the tune of 18k!!!!!????

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