Now here’s something you don’t see every day: The Romain Jerome Pokémon special edition. This bonkers brand has made a name for itself producing brightly coloured, endlessly playful, cartoonish fever dreams inspired by iconic games and TV shows. This one is one heck of a reach at $200,000, but the execution of the concept is about as flawless as I’ve seen.
Creating the Romain Jerome Pokemon Special Edition
The vivid, joyful dial is decorated with a selection of the most popular Pokémon from past and present. Bringing this modern scene to life is an age-old technique known as Champlevé enamelling (roughly translating as ‘walled enamelling’). It’s a technique that requires recessed pockets to be filled with opaque vitreous enamel (which takes the form of powdered glass pre-firing), and then heated until the enamel melts and forms a solid block of colour. To get a good idea of how the masters of watchmaking do it, check out Vacheron Constantin’s Metiers d’Art collection.
Despite the fact the Romain Jerome Pokemon special edition is a one-off piece, the company has endured predictable criticism for having the gall to release such a highly priced novelty (and I mean that in the traditional sense of the word) in times of increasing industry austerity.
The finishing is superb; the dial is an exemplary example of a time-honoured craft, the lightning bolt bridge on the Tourbillon complication is achingly cool. But it all amounts to a simply insane piece that will, of course, find an owner, but perhaps not so many fans.
Starting a Dialogue
Pieces like the Romain Jerome Pokemon special edition are a bitter pill to swallow for many follows of our industry. And although I must confess I have no problem with these hyper-expensive whimsies, I do understand the gripes. Other industry experts, such as Ariel Adams of aBlogtoWatch.com, have written about this subject with great eloquence. It would be interesting to continue the discussion in the comments section below.
In this middle month of the industry calendar, the time is ripe for pulling to pieces our own opinions and getting to the bottom of why certain watches have an ability to make us feel so intensely. Because that, after all, is why we love this industry in the first place, and understanding why we keep coming back for more can do nothing but inform our future purchases and the satisfaction we gain from them.
About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.