It’s supposedly summer here in the UK but things seem just as dreary and grey as ever. Fortunately though I have something that is going to brighten up your day, and your wrist! It’s the new Steampunk Chrono Colors collection from Romain Jerome, introduced by the brand earlier this year at Baselworld. Offering a choice of five bright colors each watch is also available with a matching set of Titanic inspired propeller cufflinks.
Thanks to its distinctive looks the Steampunk Chrono has become one of Romain Jerome’s most popular models, so it makes sense that the brand would want to offer its fans a bit more variety. As part of the Titanic DNA collection it’s not hard to see that the design of the watch takes much of its inspiration from those early models that first put Romain Jerome on the map.
Housed within a 50 mm-diameter case, the Steampunk Chrono has no real dial to speak of. The basic elements are there of course, Romain Jerome’s trademark over-sized roman numerals feature prominently at 12 o’clock for example, whilst the white sub-dials at six o’clock add a bit of contrast but by and large it is all very raw and industrial looking, which is kind of cool.
To further strengthen the nautical theme there is also is a mobile propeller at 6 o’clock that is driven by an oscillating weight. Controlled by an innovative new mechanism, the propeller turn four times faster than the oscillating weight and always in the same direction, independent of the latter’s rotational direction. It’s kind of fun to look at and just adds that extra element to make the dial a little more special, plus it balances out the large roman numerals nicely.
Around the outside is a polished steel bezel, which contains authentic steel from the wreck of the Titanic that lays some 3,840 metres beneath the ocean, as well as steel supplied by the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast where the Titanic was built a century ago. I have to say I find the mirror-polished finish of the bezel and the case quite attractive and in the flesh it really provides a nice contrast against the roughness of the dial, although fingerprints may potentially become an issue.
Providing the power is the RJ001-CS calibre, a mechanical self-winding movement developed specifically for Romain Jerome and comprising over 330 parts. It features a 42-hour power reserve and is held in place by four pistons, which are visible from the dial side.
Now, I did promise you some color and indeed the inner bezel ring has been lacquered in a variety of them, five in total: yellow, red, blue, green or orange. I personally found myself quite partial to the Yellow and the Red however hopefully there is enough choice here that there will be something for everyone. If that’s not enough to brighten your day there is also a matching set of steel cufflinks available, complete with tiny propellers and all containing polished steel from the wreck of the Titanic.
Each color is offered in a 99-piece limited edition series, with the cufflinks issued in limited series to match. Pricing is very reasonable at US$15,950 for the watches and US$600 for the cufflinks. All in all not a bad way to brighten up your summer.
The Final Word
The Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono Colours collection offers something a little different for those who like to stand out from the crowd. It’s certainly not an everyday watch given its oversized case and bright colors but it’s a great piece to strap to your wrist on those lazy Saturday afternoons when you feel like just lounging at the bar at your yacht club and enjoying life. Plus it’s a great conversation starter!
Category: Baselworld 2013