Geneva’s RJ Watches (formerly Romain Jerome) has a knack for novelty, and its collaboration with Warner Brothers’ DC Entertainment division goes full-on Batman to delight your inner comic geek.
Rather than focus on Batman’s cool factor as it has in the past, the unconventional brand turns to the dark side of the saga, taking inspiration from two notorious Gotham villains: The Joker and Two-Face.
“The villains of the DC Comics universe have always appealed to audiences around the world for their evil brilliance and ability to shock and thrill in equal measure,” said Marco Tedeschi, RJ CEO and creative director, in a press release. “We believe that our first two DC Comics Villains watches will be a fitting tribute to their spirit of anarchy and disruption.”
The limited editions of 100 numbered pieces each are part of the brand’s core Arraw collection, distinguished by its rounded voluminous modular case appointed with four rubber bumpers, extended lugs, and skeletonized arrow-shaped hands.
Arraw The Joker ($17,900) pays tribute to Batman’s flamboyant arch enemy going all the way back to the very first edition of the DC comic published in 1940.
The 45 mm automatic chronograph alludes to The Joker both figuratively and literally. The satin-brushed titanium case is laser-etched with a chaotic repeating pattern depicting the villain’s face, and the case back is laser engraved with his portrait and the piece’s number.
Meanwhile, the dial of the watch is intricately airbrushed to evoke his creepy makeup with a white “pressed-plaster” finish that is punctuated by two black chronograph sub-dials that mimic his darkened eyes.
The hands of the watch are tipped with stylized playing card aces, evoking his razor-tipped playing cards. The ace is also used for hour indexes on the dial. And finally, the second hand is tinted The Joker’s signature shade of purple and finished with an elaborate J at its base.
Each piece comes with three easily interchangeable straps in bright green and purple alligator with contrast stitching and a durable black rubber, plus a deck of special Joker-themed playing cards.
The Arraw Two-Face ($22,700) elaborately expresses the split personality of Gotham City’s ill-fated district attorney and former Batman ally, Harvey Dent, who became Two-Face when he was attacked with sulphuric acid. Dent goes mad as a result of his deformities and obsesses on good-versus-evil duality.
Like its namesake nemesis, the watch’s face is divided down the middle with an exposed manual-winding skeleton movement on the right side contrasted with a sober black dial on the left. A laser-engraved coin spins as a seconds hand, alluding to the coin the villain spins to make life and death decisions. (Each watch comes with a special Two-Face commemorative coin). The 45 mm satin-brushed titanium case and the calf leather strap similarly present a yin-yang personality with one half clean and the other distressed on both the front and back.
“Two-Face is such a complex character that only a watch with an equally split personality can truly do justice to his malice and tricks,” said Tedeschi. “To recreate his scarred face and exposed features has been a fantastic challenge and has forced us to push the envelope of what is possible when the worlds of horology and comic culture collide.”
The new Batman themed pieces continue RJ’s legacy of merging pop culture with mechanical watchmaking. Previous special editions have depicted Spider-Man, Super Mario, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man. Founded in 2004 as Romain Jerome, the boutique brand put itself on the map with its unique DNA watches infused with authentic historic materials such as steel from the wreck of the Titanic and genuine moon dust.