Once again, the creative spirit of the watch brand Romain Jerome hit. During the last few years, we had the chance to witness some very creative timepieces, even if their style and inspiration was, sometimes, a matter of taste. For instance, the Romain Jerome Titanic-DNA watch, made from real rust parts of the Titanic, was a brilliant marketing idea… Based upon a human tragedy with no equivalent. Their Liberty-DNA piece, with parts of the Statue of Liberty, was more acceptable for the final customer. Or recently the Romain Jerome Tattoo-DNA.
Today, Romain Jerome had the great idea to pick its inspiration in the traditional folklore of Mexico. Every year in Mexico, celebrations honouring the dead brighten up the whole country. Classified as part of UNESCO’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” since 2003, the “Día de los Muertos” is the most important date in the Mexican calendar. RJ-Romain Jerome has decided to pay tribute to this traditional custom with a watch in which every detail echoes the joyful, colourful festivities that accompany the Day of the Dead.
Romain Jerome Dia de los Muertos: Blend of cultures and feelings
But where does this custom come from ? 3,500 years ago, when pagan rites of Aztec origin blended with customs inherited from the Spanish colonialists. In Aztec times, people came to the graves of the dead in their families to dance, sing and place offerings intended to fulfil the needs of the dead in the after-life. This tradition did not completely disappear with the arrival of the Spanish colonialists who simply changed the date of the festival so that it coincided with the Christian celebrations on All Saints Day at the beginning of November.
Still today, the “Día de los Muertos” is an occasion for the Mexicans to laugh at death with a certain degree of irony combined with a great deal of humour, derision and sarcasm. This blend of feelings was probably what seduced Romain Jerome, which ever had a communication apart from the standards of the industry.
RJ Dia de los Muertos: Enamel, jewels, champlevé : a true piece of art
Romain Jerome has decided to take its turn celebrating the Day of the Dead with a timepiece available in 5 versions with diamonds, each of them issued in 25-piece limited editions. But this collection is not exactly new as RJ did the first Día de los Muertos piece last year with 2 limited editions (without gem stones). The inspiration for the dial was drawn from traditional Mexican decorations. A hand-crafted colourful applique adorned with a champlevé decoration, cold enameled in different colours, emulates the look of the “calaveras” – the skulls made of sugar given away by the Mexicans as good luck tokens during the entire festival.
The seven colours on the applique are a reminder of the seven stages through which the soul of the dead must pass before being able to rest in peace. The case is made of black PVD-coated steel, associated with a bezel and “paws” in black ceramic. The mirror-polished dial features an engraving of the brand’s emblematic X shape, along with the applied Romain Jerome logo.
In the end, this piece is a true art one, both funny and intriguing. With so much work on its design, it comes at ‘only’ EUR 18,500 for the first gem-set versions. And USD 15,900 / CHF 14,900 / EUR 12,900 for the regular version. The Perfect Halloween apparel ?
Romain Jerome Dia de los Muertos: Technical Specifications
- Caliber: RJ001-A, Mechanical self-winding movement
- Frequency: 28,800 A/h
- Jewelling: 23 jewels
- Power reserve: 42 hours
- Water resistance: 3 atm (30 meters)
- Functions: Central hours and minutes
- Bezel: Black ceramic
- Strap: Hornback alligator