March 29, 2009
by Ariel Adams
Sometimes I wonder if Romain Jerome has a watch design sweatshop, hard at work coming out with seemingly fresh derivative models. Other times I think that Romain Jerome’s Yvan Arpa just sits in a room and fleshes out all the designs while watching science fiction TV from the mid 20th century. We may never know, but that is part of the mystery behind Romain Jerome watches, one of the only watch companies to do really well financially last year. Well this new line of Moon Dust DNA watches is more that just a derivative of the others. I basically think that Romain Jerome has promised its customers, “that we will release no fewer that 27 variations on each design!” Gone on the Sputnik inspired hands, here are hands based on the more modern looking antenna and vanes uses on other satellites and the space station. An interesting look to say the least. I have to say it is novel, and novelty is good for luxury watches.
This is also the first time that press images for Romain Jerome Moon Dust DNA watches have featured the special fiber strap that uses “real fibers” from space suits out of the ISS (International Space Station), and of course carbon fiber, that does seem to work in this instance on the strap and case of the watch, but I look forward to a day when carbon fiber on watches has gone the way of acrylic crystals. We have seen these cases on the Moon Dust DNA watches before, but here they are more polished, both literally and figuratively, and I feel the look is getting a bit more refined. The three versions of the new Moon series offer different materials such as gold, white gold, or steel, but also offer three different dial colors that represent different moods we give to the moon – or at least the views we see of it. There is always the gray-silver moon we see, but there is also the white barren moon, and the dark light-less moon. Each of these “moods” is represented in one of these colors. If you don’t buy that “mood” langauge, then this is a way of having a few different color options – fair enough?
The actual moon surface on this watch is refined a bit (over the original Moon Dust DNA line) – made too look a bit more “dry” and somber. With cracked surfaces and more realistic shading. There are no browns really on the moon as was a major color of the original watches (still less than a year old). Much of the inside of the watch and the case is the same with the technical details below:
Calibre C22RJ51 Concepto by Jacquet
Mechanical self-winding movement
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Water resistance: 5 atm
Function: hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock
Dial: mineral structure containing Moon Dust – white, silver, or black
Case: 46 mm
Bezel: Carbon fibres evoke solar panels of spacecraft — titanium and steel comprising fragments from the Apollo XI spacecraft
Paws: blackened steel, or 5N pink gold
Screws: Star screws
Crown designed as space tools
Hands inspired by solar panels of spacecraft
Strap: alligator leather partly woven with fibres from an ISS spacesuit
Buckle: blackened steel folding buckle
Limited edition of 1969 pieces
See Romain Jerome watches on eBay here.