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Romain Jerome Moon Orbiter Tourbillon Watch Hands-On

Romain Jerome Moon Orbiter Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This is the Moon Orbiter Tourbillon ref. RJ.M.TO.MO.001.01 (debuted here with more details) and it does not make any apologies for being a space ship for your wrist– with a tourbillon. Say what you will about Swiss watch brand Romain Jerome, but don’t say they are boring because they most certainly aren’t. Among the more established watch makers, there is perhaps none more controversial, weird, and just plain interesting than Romain Jerome (RJ). Over the last decade the brand hasn’t been managed by typical people, and the timepieces they produce are a more than clear result of that fact.

I’m never surprised to be surprised by the new watches RJ releases. Often the most interesting models are the most limited. 2013 saw the release of this wild-looking Moon Orbiter Tourbillon and other models such as the also limited edition Space Craft (hands-on here). No accident there– the brand is on a serious “space kick” and there is no sign of that lessening anytime soon. It started with the Romain Jerome Moon Dust DNA collection, but really took off with the Moon Invader collection (hands-on here)– the first range of models meant to emulate the look of space ships and other celestial landing craft. Having said that, the Moon Orbiter Tourbillon is the current flagship of all the RJ space watches.

Romain Jerome Moon Orbiter Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Back in mid 2013, I found myself sitting at a lounge in Las Vegas with Romain Jerome’s CEO Manuel Emch. Typically known for his black suit, white shirt, and black tie “work uniform,” Emch was relaxing in a polo shirt and jeans, wearing the Moon Orbiter Tourbillon. That is what the watch industry calls beta testing. If you work at the company (or run it) you get the privilege of wearing the new watches around to see how they work in real life. So I ask him, “how’s the watch working out?”

It is funny because as I ask him the question I think to myself how either totally awesome or completely inappropriate the watch is with his casual attire. At 48.5mm wide in steel, with a less than orthodox shape, it looks like a class-A nerd device that seems out of place in Vegas-style surroundings. I am imagining a guy who has his own helicopter to fly for fun and who has a custom desk chair made by H.R. Giger as the type of customer that would wear something like the Moon Orbiter Tourbillon casually; Someone who has no interest in steampunk because it is too full of hot air– someone that wants to go directly to modern sci-fi nostalgia. That is a born RJ guy.

Romain Jerome Moon Orbiter Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On



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  • I find parts of the decoration contrived. But overall, I’m very glad this wacky watch exists. There are lots of interesting bits to it and you can tell it took lots of engineering and perseverance to bring it to market. Perhaps not a daily wear watch, but how many $115K watches are anyway? Something to wear when you want to make a statement (whatever that statement is). Thanks for covering this watch.

  • MKRoma

    This and the Day & Night are the only RJ pieces I like as everything else looks tacky.  However, I have an overwhelming urge to wipe the lugs with a glasses cleaning cloth…

  • MKRoma

    MarkCarson “Lives or dies on it’s merit as art for your wrist”.  Great line.

  • Ulysses31

    CNC machines have long been able to cut titanium.  A minute spent on Youtube would confirm this.

    So, the gap-toothed robot returns.  I like the unconventional design and different patterns and textures used on the watch, and while strange it isn’t ugly like much of what RJ throws out.  The movement side is very attractive in a sober sort of way.  Unfortunately unless you take it off and let someone examine it closely they’d think it was a “fashion” watch.  I say that only because the layout and overall design resembles those “edgy” ones that are so familiar in the fashion focussed segment of the market.  Still, it has a curious appeal, but at $115.000 it should be love at first sight and for me, it’s not even close.

  • LapYoda

    When I look at the tourbillion assembly, I don’t automatically think, “Federation starship.”  That being said, this watch looks really cool and has a lot of appeal to me.  If I had the money, I could see myself buying it.

  • WimadS

    I like! Wear it as a dress watch. Dress watch? Yes dress watch!

    You dress up on parties right? And in what situation do you need conversation starters? Yes, at parties! Very expensive decadent parties with James Bond, the president and some Arabic royalties of course.

  • mcv1973a

    It looks far too much like a $99 Diesel you can buy down at the outlet mall…

  • elanjacobs

    In fact, in today’s world, CNCs are pretty much the ONLY way to cut titanium – especially if you want any semblance of accuracy.

  • Looks like he’s giving it the Ariel Adams douche take. What kind of pretentious douche refers to himself in third person #fail.

  • nateb123

    BiggestDoucheAriel  The butthurt is strong with this one.

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