At Baselworld 2013 we witnessed the next chapter in RJ Romain Jerome’s space odyssey with the release of their most sci-fi and space voyage influenced piece to date: the Romain Jerome Moon Orbiter.

RJ Romain Jerome is no stranger to deep space. After their debut wit the Titanic DNA collection from the depths of the Atlantic, Romain Jerome quickly took to the stratosphere and beyond to create their next collection back in 2008, the “Moon DNA” line which incorporated elements of the Apollo 11 shuttle as well as actual “Moon Dust”. In 2010, shortly after Manuel Emch had taken the helm as CEO of this creative brand, the Moon Invader collection was introduced with a new case design that featured “landing feet” discs for the lugs. Last year, RJ Romain Jerome took their passion for all things sci-fi to a whole new level with the Space Craft, a futuristic yet retro piece that was not only a unique design and departure from what we’re used to seeing from the brand aesthetically, but also a great mechanical achievement for this up-and-comer. This year, RJ Romain Jerome takes us to a whole new galaxy with the Moon Orbiter.


From the moment you see the box the Moon Orbiter comes in you know you’re in for a real treat. Resembling some sort of container dropped off by an unidentified flying object from light-years away, the brushed metal “capsule” case the watch comes in slides open with the push of a button. Lo and behold, there’s a miniature space vehicle in there!


The rectangular stainless steel case (forged with actual parts of the Apollo 11 spacecraft) looks every part an interstellar vehicle, with its multiple sapphire windows and the hydraulic piston-inspired lugs. The case, finished with mostly satin-brushed and matte surfaces, has a lot of presence on the wrist but remains comfortable despite it’s size (49 mm wide, 45 mm long and 20 mm thick) thanks to the spring-loaded lugs inspired by hydraulic piston landing “feet” on lunar landing vehicles.





The dial is actually split into 3 parts with their own sapphire windows. On the main central part, you have an offset dial on the right indicating the hours and minutes by two skeleton red-tipped hands, adding a touch of color the watch. On the left you’ll find the flying tourbillon cage, which appears to be hovering over the dial like a shuttle doing a vertical take off. The tourbillon cage takes its shape after the Star Trek Enterprise; a nod to the old-school Sci-Fi fantasies that inspire the brand. On the bottom part of the dial is a discreet power reserve indicator displayed by a red hand between a “+” and “-“ markings, reminding me of a battery gauge.  On the top is the “RJ” Romain Jerome logo engraved onto the 4-pointed star geometric dial. The same dreamy decoration is present on the entire metallic slate dial, which incorporates the moon dust and is finished in a satin radial sunburst. The signature RJ “X” is also prominently present here.




More often than not, cases are made to fit a certain movement. With the Moon Orbiter however, you can tell that the movement and case were designed in harmony, with the “purpose” being to make the tourbilon cage as prominent and visible as possible from almost any angle. The automatic-winding flying tourbillon movement (designed and made in collaboration with La Joux-Perret) takes the same rectangular shape as the case with a rounded, wider middle. What really sets this movement apart is the way the tourbillon cage is elevated onto the dial, thanks to the “launch pad” arm that extends from the top plate of the movement to the hidden bottom plate. One can admire this technical feat through the sapphire window on the left side of the case. Another detail I love (and I’m not even sure it’s intentional) is when the rotor is facing the opposite direction of the two-pronged launch-pad arm, it almost looks like the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars.




With the Moon Orbiter, RJ Romain Jerome have crafted a truly exceptional piece that showcases not only the brand’s design talents and their fun, geeky-nostalgic approach to high-end watchmaking, but also perhaps an indication of things to come under Manuel Emch’s leadership.

The Moon Orbiter is limited to 25 pieces and priced at approximately 107’000 CHF. While certainly not cheap, I feel you’re still getting a tremendous value considering the originality and finish quality of both the case and movement, not to mention the exceptionally well-done sci-fi associations.


le geek c’est chic.