The memorable Romain Jerome Spacecraft has a new family member and it’s inspired by the caped crusader from Gotham City. The Romain Jerome Spacecraft: Batman is an edgy update on the original model that split opinion with its bizarre shape and novel time indication system. I’m all for uniqueness and instant identifiability and so can’t help but admire the Romain Jerome Spacecraft. That’s in spite of the fact that it looks like a futuristic kitchen appliance from the 1970s… or maybe a badass VCR. I can’t decide which is more appropriate, but either way, I like it because it is different and makes me feel inexplicably nostalgic despite its modernity. This watch is part of the horological icons range and is an official collaboration between Romain Jerome and Warner Bros. Consumer Products on behalf of DC Entertainment. Because its creation has been legitimately sanctioned, this watch is sure to have great crossover appeal.
The Romain Jerome Spacecraft: Batman, is a gritty re-imagining of the original. The body work has been mattified and adorned with a deeply etched Batman logo. Everything about this watch is up-to-date with the modern interpretation of the Dark Knight. The case of the Romain Jerome Spacecraft: Batman clearly resembles the avant-garde Batmobile (or “tumbler”) of the recent Christopher Nolan series. The logo itself is sharp, angular, and nowhere near as campy as the black-on-yellow original made famous by Adam West.
It’s telling, too, that yellow was not chosen as the accent colour for this piece. The original Romain Jerome Spacecraft has red numbers and accents; the Romain Jerome Spacecraft: Batman has electric blue instead. The choice of blue is likely an attempt at “cooling” the overall mien of this piece. Modern-day Batman is a cold creature. His heart is ice. His world is lonely. Yellow might have been the classic choice; blue speaks volumes of the bleakness faced by Bruce Wayne.
Aesthetics aside, this watch is as technically interesting as its forerunner. The time is told by way of a sliding digital system and a top-mounted minute-counting hand. The position of the hours makes me think of “driving” watches. Some of my all-time favourites (such as the Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 Boutique New York watch) were of this type, and I often lament their rarity these days. Although I am sure Romain Jerome did not intend for this watch to fall within that category (simply because the minutes are on the back of the wrist and of the “normal” orientation), it does provide a tantalising glimpse into the possible future of this frequently forgotten sub-genre of watches.
The watch is powered by a proprietary movement, made for Romain Jerome by Agenhor. The movement features four different complications: lateral time, liner time, jumping time, and retrograde action. Considering this timepiece measures just 44.5mm wide and 50mm from the hour indicator to the crown, Romain Jerome has managed to pack a fair bit into the RJ2000-A calibre. The mechanical self-winding movement has an operating speed of 28,800vph, 54 jewels, a power reserve of 38 hours, and a water resistance of 30 meters.
The time is displayed by a linear, retrograde, and jumping hour indicator coated with blue Superluminova C1 (quite a mouthful). The minutes are displayed by a dragging black disc with white indicators. All of the crystals have an anti-reflective coating. This tricolor piece is completed by the black, PVD-coated titanium case with rough finish and engraved bat symbol. The winding crown, located on the “left-hand” side of the watch (where 12 o’clock would normally be), is a black, PVD-coated titanium screw-down crown, with a bead-blasted and polished finish, and an RJ logo. In addition, the strap is a black buffalo leather “cuff” with blue stitching and a titanium pin buckle. There will be just 75 pieces of this official collaboration. The Romain Jerome Spacecraft: Batman will have a price of $32,950, which works out to €29,950, or CHF26,950. romainjerome.ch