News: RJ-Romain Jerome Pokémon Pikachu
Pokémon has had quite the revival over this past summer, with Pokémon Go inspiring large groups of people to shamble aimlessly across roads, their smartphones up in front of their faces, none the wiser to the havoc they were causing among the traffic. It’s been a timely phenomenon for Nintendo, boosting the brand's profits and bringing thousands of new players to the franchise (which has already produced numerous games, cartoon series, and various merchandise). Pokémon has been around for 20 years—having originally been launched in Japan in 1996—and to celebrate that anniversary, RJ-Romain Jerome has released a limited edition, the Pokémon Pikachu watch.
Pokémon might be one of the last things you’re likely to associate high-end watchmaking with, but RJ-Romain Jerome isn’t a stranger to controversial watch designs. It recently released a horological tribute to Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, and its Titanic DNA watch, which used metal from the sunken ship itself, caused quite the debate in the watch community. If any brand was going to make a watch this quirky, it was going to be RJ-Romain Jerome.
The pretty substantial case measures 46mm, and is constructed from matte black PVD. Large, oversized lugs give the watch a fun silhouette—but the focal point of the watch’s design is the cheery yellow Pikachu at the centre of the dial, embracing the skeleton-style hands. The brand’s logo features prominently in a lightning bolt at 9 o’clock, a motif which is echoed in the engravings on the dial. The vulcanised rubber strap matches the yellow of the famous Pokémon, and adds to the watch’s contemporary feel. The Pokémon Pikachu beats with the automatic in-house calibre RJ001-A, which has power reserve of 42 hours—plenty of time for a Poké-hunt or two.
But the RJ-Romain Jerome Pokémon Pikachu watch won’t be as easy to catch as a Weedle or a Caterpie; it’s limited to just 20 pieces, and retails at $20,000 (or just over £16,000).