The question of size has deep roots in the world of watches. First and foremost, the wrist watch was an exercise in the miniaturisation of mechanical clock; time was, that small watches were considered the most en vogue because they communicated an apex of technique and sophistication. Today things are somewhat different.
Having mastered the art of mechanical miniaturisation, watch companies are responding to the desires of collectors who prefer larger watches that more boldly display their passions. With that in mind, it explains why Romain Jerome is now offering the Skylab 48, a 48mm wide version of the Skylab timepiece, which debuted at 43mm in width.
At heart, the Roman Jerome Skylab is a modern timepiece with a highly skeletonised mechanical movement. Popular today for their aesthetic beauty and deeper communicative meaning, skeletonised movements also – in an era of smartwatches and other wearable electronics – give traditional watch lovers the means to share this interest, showing off such mechanical machines with easily visible gears, springs, and bridges.
Counter to the traditional, almost antique manner of movement skeletonisation and decoration many brands follow, Romain Jerome's Skylab series on the other hand employs angular, modern lines and surface finishes that are part of a larger trend toward asserting a “contemporary design” in today’s mechanical watches.
At 48mm wide the Romain Jerome Skylab 48 will initially arrive in two limited edition variants, known as the Skylab 48 Speed Metal and Skylab 48 Red. The former will have a case made from a combo of black-coated steel and polished steel, the latter in 18k red gold and black-coated steel.
Each will have traces of metal from Apollo 11 incorporated into their case, in keeping with the brand's tendency to incorporate storied materials in their timepieces, and a nod to their taking inspiration from NASA's early space-faring efforts, evidenced across their entire MOON-DNA collection, within which the Skylab falls.
Romain Jerome will produce only 99 Skylab 48 Speed Metal and Red watches apiece.