July 3, 2009
by Ariel Adams
This watch is a self-admitted combination of luxury watch making and the “art” of graffiti from watch maker Pierre DeRoche. What is charming is that the Swiss watch maker sought out a Swiss based graffiti artist – who’d a thought right? The artist they worked with is Sigi “Dare” von Koeding, who takes graffiti art and makes it into fine art. I like his work, but think that it might be hard for lots of people to take it too seriously depending on the role that graffiti has played in their life. I for one being born and raised in Los Angeles have a perception that while graffiti is a cool art form, it has a strong association with vandalism – which is true when you think about how it all started. You should check out the link to his site (click his name above) for views of his work.
If you look below, you’ll notice one of his paintings called “Dare.” It takes the word “Dare” and writes it many times in graffiti text. The same term is applied to these three limited edition Pierre DeRoche Split Rock Dare Collection watches – each in a slightly different style. The three watches will come in a limited edition of just 11 pieces. Each dial is hand painted (not using a spray paint can). The term “Dare” also brings up another memory of growing up in LA in the 1990s – the Dare program. Who could forget that? “DARE To Keep Kids Off Drugs.” In California this was some mandatory program in elementary schools. It was really silly – but actually was done well. It would never fly to day. The message was “yea drugs are out there, lets learn about them and tell you why you should say no.” Better than all that “just say no shit without telling kids what it is all about. Curiosity will defeat dogma any day. Lots of t-shirts and bumper stickers were handed out (like the one pictured below). For a while it was actually quite trendy to wear the t-shirts, especially with the high-schoolers smoking weed in the corner at gym class. Oh irony. While the Dare collection of watches from Pierre DeRoche has no formal connection with the DARE program, it does in my mind given that both adopted an “urban font” for the message.
The Split Rock collection watches are pretty cool and feature as 12 hour chronograph complication all put into one three hand subsidiary dial. Pretty cool right? The pushers are located on the right and left side of the case in a unique fashion. I like how it looks, and it appears pretty easy to use, just don’t mistake it for another watch face. The watch itself uses skeletonized orange-red hands and a subsidiary seconds hand at the top. The watch isn’t exactly the epitome of easy to read, but this is for style, and you can make out the time. Plus, the orange stitching on the black crocodile strap is always a chic sporty touch.
Although the collection is pretty cool, it will appeal to mostly a niche audience of mostly existing Pierre DeRoche watch lovers. I do feel that while there are three different pieces in the collection, they are too similar to each other. Mr. von Koeding could have easily mixed it up a bit giving each version of the Dare watch collection its own style and personality. The movement inside the watch is a Dupois Depraz mechanical automatic, and the case is done in stainless steel. An interesting timepiece with a mixture of luxury and contemporary urban art.
See Pierre DeRoche watches on eBay here.