Romain Jerome can be quite a polarizing brand. Even here at the Monochrome offices – all of us die-hard watch aficionados – we don’t share the same enthusiasm about the various RJ timepieces. However Romain Jerome’s newest creation can count on many “yaes”, leaving the “nays” well behind. No dial, a fully skeletonized movement and the iconic case with four struts grabbing the bezel. And now the diameter has been reduced to a very agreeable 44 mm, we believe that Romain Jerome hit the jackpot.
What Romain Jerome has taught us, is that we do not have to take watches too serious. Most of his timepieces are equipped with an ETA/Valjoux 7750 (or similar) movement, which is a very strong and reliable movement that also used throughout the industry (for instance by IWC, Breitling and TAG Heuer). The real work goes into the design of the case, dial, hands and these parts set RJ apart from the rest. When we saw the new Skylab models, we were pretty amazed to see the increased attention for the mechanical movement. Three models have been introduced, from left to righ: Skylab Heavy Metal, Skylab Speed Metal and Skylab Red.
The new Skylab models come in either stainless steel, stainless steel with a black PVD-coated bezel or black PVD-coated stainless steel case and paws with a rose gold bezel. As for the movements, the bridges come in two flavors, either in anthracite (Skylab Heavy Metal) or in black PVD-coated steel.
The name Skylab comes from NASA’s first space station and celebrates the 40th anniversary of its launch. The skeleton structure of the movement sort of recalls the original space station and its revolutionary construction by combining sleek lines and a complex system of solar panels.
What is so cool about the new Skylab, is that all component of the movement looks like they are floating in space, carefully held by (angled) bridges. The sapphire crystal on both sides enhances that sense of zero gravity, and at the same time highlights all the different movement components. At the 12 o’clock position is the main spring barrel, and the balance wheel can be seen at 6 o’clock.
On the Skylab, the iconic paws have been enlarged, while the lugs have been hollowed to “lighten” the watch. These paws form a unique case closing system and it offers a good opportunity to apply different metals and/or finishing.
The three variations are limited to 99 piece each and come at a retail price of € 14,950 Euro (or $ 16,950 USD )for the Skylab Heavy Metal and Skylab Speed Metal or € 17,550 Euro (or $ 19,950 USD) for the Skylab Red. For more information, or to select a retail location near you (a webshop is available for countries without retailers!), please visit the Romain Jerome website.