Luxury watchmaker RJ-Romain Jerome teams up with contemporary artist John M Armleder
Based in Geneva, famous watchmaker RJ-Romain Jerome has created an established niche for itself having released a series of luxury timepieces with a contemporary twist.
Founded in 2004, the Swiss brand has previously unveiled a Moon-DNA model containing material from Apollo 11, as well as dust brought back from the moon for scientific research. RJ-Romain Jerome’s Titanic DNA model used materials salvaged from the famous shipwreck. The brand’s last offering was a Pac-Man-themed watch which was released this summer and sold by Colette in Paris.
The new project, Art-DNA, sees John M Armleder, the Swiss contemporary artist, team up with the brand for a new limited edition line. With only ten examples available, the new watch will retail at €17,500 or $ 22,802. Made from polished steel, each individual piece will carry a unique color and the back of the watch will be engraved with the number and a medallion with the artist’s signature. The skull pattern present in Armleder’s work is inspired by Amerindian culture (perhaps a nod to the Mayan apocalypse of 2012) and is visible on the watch face. The watch will be supplied with a luxurious alligator strap.
Manuel Emch, the CEO of RJ-Romain Jerome, is a devoted collector of modern art, and explained, “I have wanted to link my passions for contemporary art and watchmaking for some time now, and apply this idea of art as a unique item or limited edition to a watch.”
It was the Geneva connection which proved vital, as Emch continued “for me it was important to work with a Swiss artist because of the company’s origins, and my admiration for John M Armleder’s work and his role as a model for young artists meant that I didn’t have to look for long.”
Artist John M Armleder was born in Geneva in 1948, where he still lives and works. Along with Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner he founded the Écart group and gallery. Armleder has twice represented Switzerland at the 1975 Paris Biennale and the Sydney Biennale in 1986.