31st May 2019, Las Vegas
Swiss watchmaker RJ celebrated their collaboration with DC Comics during COUTUREtime show with a Joker-themed party at the Wynn Villas. RJ CEO/Creative Director Marco Tedeschi hosted VIP guests and showed off the latest RJ DC Villians collaboration ARRAW The Joker watch.
The Joker and his Henchmen were on hand to aid and abet the caper, complete with duplicitous card tricks and lithe acrobatic maneuvers in the night.
“We at RJ were proud to create a memorable event experience for the watch industry’s tastemakers and buyers inspired by one of DC Comic’s most iconic villains,” said Marco Tedeschi. “Just like our ARRAW The Joker watch, this event represents what RJ is all about: statement-making horology, pop culture, and creative collaboration.”
BATMAN and all related characters and elements © & ™ DC Comics.
Photos by RJ Watches unless otherwise stated.
ARRAW The Joker Chronograph by RJ ($15,100)
Starting with the successful Skylab Batman watch, RJ continues the collaboration with Warner Bros and DC Entertainment bringing their infamous villains like The Joker and Two-Face to life as limited edition collectors’ watches. The latest watch to seal RJ’s place in both popular culture and watchmaking is ARRAW The Joker Chronograph by RJ.
These 100-piece, limited editions mark the first time that RJ has used its signature ARRAW case design to produce a collaboration watch. The new RJ Joker watch features the aesthetic of the comic strip villain. Flamboyant design cues from the character appear throughout the watch, from lethal razor-tipped playing cards to striking eye shadow make-up. The self-winding Joker chronograph is circular satin-brushed 45mm titanium version of RJ’s signature ARRAW case with distinctive rubber RJ Bumpers™, shaped lugs and arrow-shaped hands. The special titanium bezel is laser engraved with a chaotic Joker motif embellished with jester’s cap & bells.
Beneath the anti-reflective sapphire glass, each Joker dial is individually hand-painted, meaning no two Joker watches will have the exact same make-up. The watch dial is a graphic interpretation of the Joker’s face, with an intricately airbrushed finish. The dial fades to white at the edges but you are memerised by two piercing black eyes at the centre.
The ARRAW hands on the Joker watch are styled with ‘Aces’ as the tips. The same ‘Aces’ motif are dial markers, while the chronograph second hand is finished in Joker Purple with a stylised ‘J’ at its base.
The case back features a laser-engraved portrait of the Joker and each watch is marked as a ‘One of 100 Limited Edition’.
Every RJ Joker watch is supplied with three interchangeable straps including the Joker’s notorious colours. Alligator skin versions are bright green or purple with contrast stitching to match the Joker’s hair and clothing.
The rubber-lined alligator straps can be easily swapped by pressing the Batman logo release screw on the watch lugs. How ironic!
A third full-rubber black strap is also provided. Each strap is fastened using a titanium deployment buckle clasp.
As part of the collectors’ edition, each watch will be presented with an exclusive deck of Joker playing cards.
Interviews with Marco Tedeschi
I compared my notes from two interviews with Marco Tedeschi (RJ CEO) in Spring 2018 and Spring 2019 to see what progress has been made during his first full year of tenure as new CEO. It was like a checklist at a Goals & Objectives Evaluation; in the main, I think he achieved nearly all of them.
He addressed the previous image of the brand by changing the name from ‘Romain Jerome’ to RJ Watches. While keeping the “DNA” of the brand, a modern outlook is projected with the name change. Coming from a background of design-oriented watch brands, most recently Roger Dubuis, Hysek and Hublot, Marco is well versed with re-establishing a brand image and getting away from historical legacy and controversial PR disasters.
He addressed the issue of a missing core collection with the introduction of the top ARRAW line, supported by collaborations and special issues of other lines.
The in-house movement is nigh upon us partly accelerated by acquisition of 5-axis CNC equipment and an engineering works. Their movement manufacture does work for other customers for extra revenue and the engineering challenge, including non-watch projects.
They started with an in-house moonphase module revealed in January 2019 and later this year, a completely new, complicated, in-house movement will be revealed (we are sworn to secrecy).
The global points-of-sale network has been reduced from 180 to 80 outlets, focusing on high demand from Japan, Middle East and Mexico. Next, growth in USA is planned as evidenced by the fancy bash in Las Vegas last week.
AlphaLuxe readers may recall we reported on RJ Collaboration watches inspired by famous comic superheroes like Batman and Spider-Man, or iconic video games like Pokémon, Tetris, Colors, Super Mario, Space Invaders and Pac-Man, or favourite cuties like Pikachu and Hello Kitty!
ARRAW The Joker and Two-Face take it up a notch in finishing standard and pricing as the top, core collection. While naysayers may lament about the current ETA/Dubois Depraz movements, which are perfectly precise and reliable mechanisms used by mighty luxury conglomerates, they are not cognisant of the wondrous things to come…
“The true cost of luxury is the choice that it affords.”
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web magazine. He was former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).