RJ-Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono Yellow
A recent “hands-on” encounter with the RJ-Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono Yellow made me reconsider my perceptions of this Swiss brand.
This detailed review of the RJ-Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono Yellow includes live images, specification details and pricing.
I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It may seem a strange admission to make when beginning a watch review, however, it does explain some of my purchasing motives.
Locking doors is one obsession. Another trait is an excessive need for cleanliness and order. I like items to be aligned in straight lines, presented in seemly fashion.
It should therefore come as no surprise to learn that “distressed” items, with a worn appearance, don’t always appeal to me. The “rusted steel” of some RJ-Romain Jerome models is at odds with my own character. However, I recently caught sight of the Steampunk Chrono Yellow, a shiny and bright model, blessed with a pristine mien. I felt its polished steel case and bright yellow detail were cheerful and it did not cause any unwelcome anxiety.
The RJ-Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono Yellow dispenses with a traditional dial, revealing various bridges and some of the 39 jewels of the movement towards the lower portion of the dial area. Four steel pistons are positioned at 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock and bestow a robust demeanour.
Only one numeral is featured on the dial at noon. The Roman numeral “XII” is presented in “raw” finishing with an intentional scratched appearance. Whilst this particular finish works on this watch face, mirror polishing or satin-brush, with regimented lines, would have appealed to me much more.
The hour and minute hands are open-worked with luminous tips. The subdials, at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, display 30-minutes and small seconds respectively. Romain Jerome has featured a black hand on the chrono counter and a yellow hand on the subsidiary seconds. They have a charm and are said to reference the Titanic’s manometers.
At 6 o’clock a ruthenium propeller resides. It is purely decorative in the sense it does not impart any information. The propellor is driven by the oscillating mass, referencing the propeller of the ill-fated Titanic. However, unlike the oscillating mass, the propeller is uni-directional. It is a playful piece of showboating which will no doubt provoke much discussion among likeminded souls and elicit a few grins in some.
A yellow inner flange featured on the model I tried on my wrist. However, there is an array of different colours to choose from.
This is a huge watch, measuring 50mm in diameter, although it did not feel quite so large once placed upon my wrist. It was also quite comfortable to wear despite its leviathan proportions and the fact that it sits high on the wrist.
The highly polished case is attractive and I particularly like the way the four “paws” located adjacent the aforementioned pistons hug the bezel in purposeful union. They imbue the watch with a sense of solidity.
The solid caseback is retained with six screws and features a propeller motif at its heart.
One aspect which may appeal to some, is the use of steel reclaimed from the wreck of the Titanic. Conversely, the use of the metal may prove distasteful to others.
The watch features conventional pushers at 2 o’ clock and 4 o’clock with the crown residing in its usual home of 3 o’clock. The crown features a smattering of yellow, matching the shade employed on the inner flange and delivering more ebullience.
A black alligator leather strap, with contrasting yellow stitching, completes the ensemble and complements the dial admirably.
The self-winding movement has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz), contains 39 jewels and has a power reserve of 42 hours.
The caliber RJ001-CS is hidden from view owing to the solid caseback. I have therefore been unable to appraise the finishing within. I initially assumed the absence of an exhibition caseback was because the watch had been designed for deep sea use. However, with a water resistance of only 30 metres, this is clearly not the case. I cannot therefore understand why RJ-Romain Jerome has chosen not to add an exhibtion caseback.
To my shame, I had previously dismissed RJ-Romain Jerome’s products as not to my taste, based on seeing its rusted steel models. However, when I tried on the RJ-Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono Yellow I actually found many aspects of the watch quite appealing. The bright hues and pristine, polished appearance of the case are wonderful and do not provoke dissonance in this self-confessed sufferer of OCD.
There is a sense of fun and optimism imparted with this watch.
This is a lesson to all collectors and would-be watch buyers. Sometimes a timepiece makes you reconsider your previous perceptions of a brand. It is always worth revisiting brands you had once dismissed. Based on my experience with the RJ-Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono Yellow I certainly intend to look more closely at RJ-Romain Jerome products in the future.
- Model: RJ-Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono Yellow
- Ref: RJ.T.CH.SP.005.06
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 50mm; height 17.16mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds; chronograph
- Movement: RJ001-CS, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz), 39 jewels; power reserve 42 hours
- Strap: Black alligator strap with yellow stitching and steel buckle.