Omega celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with a commemorative Speedmaster celebrating the only watch that has ever graced the surface of the moon. However, it is no longer the only brand to celebrate that event. Independent brand Romain Jerome has found a novel way to integrate a piece of history into its own:
Unveiled at Baselworld 2014, as one of the newest additions to the RJ-Romain Jerome Moon-DNA collection, the Moon Orbiter Speed Metal is a flying tourbillon featuring Apollo 11 steel and actual moon dust on the dial.
Just like previous iterations of the watch, the new Moon Orbiter looks rather like a spaceship on the wrist. It’s a massive watch, measuring 48.5mm wide, 44.5 mm long, and 20 mm thick, and it boasts a uniquely symmetrical and three-dimensional architecture. Once again, the case combines watchmaking steel with elements from Apollo 11, while the dial features actual moon dust.
Despite these references, the watch boasts a futuristic look. It looks less like the watch Buzz took the moon, and more like the next one to go to space. The dial features an off-centered hours and minutes counter at 3 o’clock, with open-worked red-lacquer hands, while another sub-dial between the lugs at 6 o’clock indicates the level of the 42-hour power reserve via a lacquered red cursor.
The biggest change from the original Moon Orbiter is the new case of the Speed Metal. Its enigmatic black PVD finish makes it look like a much trendier timepiece than its predecessor. While it pays homage to Apollo X1, the star of this timepiece, according to the brand when we met them in Baselworld, is still the flying tourbillon at 9 o’clock. Despite it’s size – it measures the same diameter as the hour and minute sub-dial – the tourbillon floats weightlessly. In fact, it is maintained in orbit by a “3D” arm extending from the lower part of the movement.
A glass opening on the case-back highlights the caliber RJ3000-A, a mechanical self-winding movement that is beautifully decorated, with an engraving of the stars on the satin-brushed cross-strut traverses and a constellation motif.
This new limited edition timepiece is an interesting addition to the line, since independent brands often choose to develop their most successful lines. The watch is also available with blue-lacquered hands and power reserve, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a PVD version of it next.
The Moon Orbiter Speed Material comes in a very limited 25 piece series, priced at $133,500. For more, please visit RJ-Romain Jerome.