News Baselworld 2010

Moon Invader Black Metal Chronograph

The legend beyond legends

The Watch Quote™ - July 29th, 2010

The Romain Jerome Moon Invader Black Metal Chronograph

RJ transcends the legend with its new collection: Moon Invader amplifies the emotions of the epic lunar saga. Four decades after Apollo 11, the Moon has colonised our imagination far more than we have colonised it. The Moon is in us. It is ours. It was, is and will be the first step in our future conquest of the solar system, taking us towards Mars and the asteroids, before we change star. The Moon is our secret code. The adventure is relaunched with Moon Invader : a reality that is stronger than fiction.


The secret codes of a new legend

Astronauts have to conquer gravity – yet that is not the worst form of weightiness. Moon Invader is the fatal weapon of those who wish to escape the bonds of tradition in order to imagine other ways of conceiving legends. Moon Invader is a distillate of new ideas. An aesthetic vision. A technological challenge. A mythological breakthrough.


The case

A technically complex 46 mm new case to frame the lunar legend, featuring a more bevelled yet delightfully rounded cushion shape that is almost a rectangle on its hidden side, made from steel coalesced by fusion with spare parts from Apollo 11. Each watch is thereby literally pervaded by memories of the lunar adventure. This case designed like a safe is an alchemist's crucible: a spaceship capable of exploring boundless horizons, while carrying in its hold Moon seeds that sow dreams.

The back of the Moon Invader watch with moon silver plate


Screws and ball-and-socket joints

The functional ball-and-socket joints in the four “corners” of the “squared circle” featured on the case are cut like the feet of the lunar landing module. These extremely sophisticated components mounted on axles anchored in the case hold the lugs of the rubber strap. They enable the watch to adjust to all wrist sizes. This comfort-enhancing characteristic also creates an immediately recognisable visual identity. As the signature feature of the Moon Invader, the RJ security screws with four ball-and-socket joints are echoed on the functional movement-locking screw on the watch case-back. These screws evoke the futuristic codes of contemporary astronautics.


Aesthetics and the dial

While maintaining the symbolic X that has become a tradition on RJ dials, the Moon Invader line treats itself to a “mesh pattern” directly inspired by the woven metal strands on the tires of lunar roving vehicles. On the multi-layered dial, this gridwork pattern creates a high-tech screen effect never yet used in the watch industry and which lends a symbolic functional element to the new collection codes. Each of the four zones of this meshing appears on the dial in one of the areas formed by the emblematic RJ X motif. The inner bezel rings are hand-applied, polished and drawn; like the hands, they are openworked and enriched with superluminova (creating an electric blue luminescent effect at night).
There is infinite aesthetic subtlety in the offset position of the lugs in relation to the axes of the central X; a great deal of elegance in the way the round minute circle is superimposed on the dial grid, or how the counters are integrated within the dial structure; and a beautifully balanced effect in the respective proportions of the case, the ball-and-socket joints, the dial and the crown.


Case-back

The promise embodied in the special Moon Silver plate on the stellar case-back of the watch is a powerful promise of the Moon on the wrist – thanks to a silver alloy boasting an extremely low oxidisation rate and incorporating moon rocks. This engraved plate depicts the lunar surface, of which the mineral particles interact on an infra-molecular level with the wearer of the watch. The Moon within reach, like a talisman to help keep your feet firmly planted on Earth. The veined pattern and grainy texture on the case-back evoke the future superstructures of lunar colonisation bases. These motifs also extend along the rubber strap. The security screw locks the access “hatch” to the movement of the Moon Invader.

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Romain Jerome Moon Invader Black Metal Chronograph

Technical description


Calibre:RJ001-C
Movement :Mechanical self-winding
Frequency:28,800 vph
Jewelling:23 jewels
Power reserve:42 hours
Water resistance:3 atm
Functions:Central hours and minutes, small seconds at 9 o'clock
Chronograph, 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock
Case:46mm
Black PVD-coated steel
Lugs fitted with safety screws and integrated ball-and-socket joints for optimal wrist adjustment
Case with integrated back, composed of spare parts from Apollo 11
Grainy-textured stellar-patterned back with medallion in representing the moon
RJ safety screw on the case-back, exclusively accessible to watchmakers Screw-lock crown
Dial:Gem-set gridwork motif with integrated X-shaped traverses
Black PVD-coated satin-brushed inner bezel ring, polished and satin-brushed chronograph counters at 3 and 6 o'clock, circular satin-brushed small seconds subdial at 9 o'clock, beadblasted X-shaped traverses
Hands:Oxidised black, polished, with “blue emission” C1 superluminova
Strap:BIack vulcanised rubber
Grainy-textured interior of stellar-patterned strap
Buckle:Black PVD-coated steel
Limited edition:1'969 pieces

The making of... Moon Silver

The secret of a moon siver plate

On the back of each Moon Invader watch, a silver disc evokes a miniature moon featuring a moonscape-textured surface. A few grams of moon dust have been injected into the silver, accordingly named Moon Invader, from which this disc was cut out. Here are a few glimpses of how RJ truly brings the moon to your wrist.

Fusion
The moon dust (a certified sample) is amalgamated with the precious metal in a crucible. This amalgam requires perfect mastery of silver fusion, at a temperature of exactly 961°C: the operation was successfully conducted at Cendres + Métaux, a company based in Biel, Switzerland and specialising in the treatment of metals for high-end watchmaking.

Manuel Emch (left) and M. Manuel Piquerez (right), Swiss Notary with the first “Moon Silver” ingot made by Cendres + Métaux, a metal as yet unknown among precious metal casters and refiners

Blanking
The Moon Silver's is then poured into ingots that are laminated to the thickness required to be blanked into rough discs ready to be stamped. The Moon Silver used by RJ is in itself an extremely special “technological” silver that acquires a beautiful patina through contact with the wrist rather than merely becoming oxidised like ordinary silver. Nonetheless, it must be carefully hand-worked to create the lunar disc of the Moon Invader watch.

Finishing
The rough silver discs are then repeatedly struck with a dedicated tool in successive stamping operations interspersed with annealing operations on the matter, before being entrusted to the master-engraver who devotes his talent to achieving the perfect finish for the RJ Moon Silver's disc.

Manuel Emch (RJ) pouring moon dust into the crucible where the silver is in fusio

Wearing
Once completed, the silver-moon dust alloy disc is placed on the back of the watch, thereby lending unique character to each individual “moonscape” as it experiences a unique and direct contact with the owner’s skin..

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