About a year ago I was fortunate enough to try on a few different RJ Romain Jerome watches. After careful consideration I decided to review the fantastic and highly original Moon Dust-DNA Black Mood Ochre. This watch actually incorporates genuine moon dust and parts from the Apollo 11 into the design. I feel this timepiece perfectly represents the spirit behind the brand.
This year (2014) RJ Romain will celebrate ten successful years in the wonderful world of horology. In my opinion they have established themselves as one of the most exciting new brands in the industry. Ultimately their bold watches are a great alternative to the more traditional brands like Rolex, Breitling and Omega. They have also produced some really high-end timepieces with incredibly sophisticated movements. One of my personal favourites was the superb rectangular shaped Moon Orbiter. I featured this sensational watch in an article on my website entitled ‘Contemporary Tourbillon Watches’ and for Luxurious Magazine.
The Skylab that is named after NASA’s first space station is one of the company’s latest offerings. With a diameter of 44mm this is also one of their smaller models. Realistically these understated proportions should appeal to a wide variety of buyers both male and female. I also would imagine this watch would feel comfortable to wear on a daily basis. Largely this is down to the ergonomic design of the case and lugs. RJ Romain Jerome has made an effort to lighten the piece by hollowing out the lugs. However for a watch of this price ($16,950) I would have expected a more exotic case material like titanium or ceramic in preference to stainless steel. One of the versions is equipped with a 5N rose gold bezel but raises the cost to nearly $20,000.
Aesthetically the Skylab has a very refined and sophisticated appearance. The skeleton façade is composed of five layers and is designed to replicate the geometrical patterns of the shuttle’s computer motherboard. I love the uncluttered layout that perfectly exposes the beauty of the mechanical movement. Other stylish elements include the open worked hands and second counter. Considering this is RJ Romain Jerome’s first skeleton watch I am really impressed at the overall attention to detail. In my opinion the natural steel model has the most effective design because of its pure simplicity.
Beneath the magnificent exterior the timepiece has an intricate manual winding movement. The Caliber RJ004-M comprises 21-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. RJ Romain Jerome have bought it as a ébauche from Concepto or Lajoux Perret then meticulously decorated and assembled in house. This mechanism is also visible through the watch’s sapphire crystal case back. Functionally the Skylab features hours, minutes and small seconds. It also has a power reserve of 48-hours and is water resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The fabulous Skylab come with a calf leather strap and is limited to 99 pieces. Prices range from $16,950-$19,950.