May 30, 2012
by Ariel Adams
Last year Romain Jerome announced a licensing agreement with Taito Japan to bring the world Space Invaders themed wrist watches. I wasn’t allowed to show images of the actual watches, but now I can. Few people are ever going to see these watches, but they are worth knowing about – at least from a watch trivia standpoint. Would I wear them? Yes actually. But then again I am the type of guy who can pull off most any watch (unless it is too small). So let’s check them out in their colorful, pixelated glory.
The Romain Jerome Space Invaders watches are part of the Moon Invader collection, which itself was an extension of the Moon Dust DNA collection. The Moon Invader watch range has a case that resembles a moon lander of sorts, and uses some metal taken from Apollo XI spare parts. On the back of the watch is a special coin-style emblem that has a moon surface motif. Whether it has meaning on the watch is not relevant, it does seem to help complete the package.
Whether you like the Moon Invader range or not, you can’t deny it is unique looking. There is that signature Romain Jerome “X” in the design of the lugs across the case, and it does wear comfortably on the wrist. The “feet” of the lander are connected to the straps and move with it. The case is 46mm wide, here in steel and PVD black coated. The matte sandblasted tones of most of the case meld well with the polished sections. Inside the watches are Swiss automatic movements.
In a sense, the Moon Invader case is among the most modern available from Romain Jerome today. Most of the Moon Invader watches are relatively clean, and are almost aesthetic opposites compared to the Steampunk or Titanic DNA watches. Adding the Space Invaders theme would not make sense on any other Romain Jerome watch – unless they wanted to produce a unique case.
What Romain Jerome did with the Space Invaders watches is attempt to visually recreate a moment of game play on the dial. You have your ship at the bottom shooting at the ceaseless onslaught of… well space invaders. The first version of the Space Invaders watch had a multi-color dial with red, blue, green and yellow characters. What Romain Jerome then did was produce other models using single colors, and added white and purple version as well. In total, there are seven limited edition versions of the RJ Space Invaders watch. Pieces are limited to between 78 and 8 pieces per style.
The dials themselves are very well-done for what RJ is going for. Romain Jerome was able to create a three-dimensional display that looks as though it was built out of pixel layers. The characters/sprites on the dial are colored with a special lacquer. Nothing feels flat, and given what Romain Jerome wanted to do with the dial and the Space Invaders’ theme, I think they did a good job. Reading the time via the hands is fine, but there are no discernible hour markers to help out.
Who is this watch best for? Well how much do you consider yourself a product of the video game generation? If you don’t have ties to early video games that chirped and beeped as you racked up points… then the point of this watch may be lost on you. Romain Jerome expects a few select people to share their vision and enjoy what this piece is all about. Their relationship with Taito is far from over, and it makes me happy to know stuff like this is getting made. Niche for sure, which makes it cool. Price is 16,550 Swiss Francs.