By James Phang
Ahhh, that nostalgia of playing Super Mario Bros on the ultra-cool Gameboy. I still remember I used to spend hours clearing the levels are replaying them all over again.. Recently, Romain Jerome made my heart skip a couple of beats again when it released the limited edition Romain Jerome Super Mario Bros. timepiece. The watch is the fourth video game-themed one made by Romain Jerome, following the Pac-Man watch, the Space Invaders watch and the Tetris watch. While it seems that most people are not willing to spend a fortune on a cartoon/ hero-themed gimmicks on a luxury timepiece, someone somewhere clearly thinks otherwise, and the strong demand would still make these collectibles command a hefty premium (think of the Gerald Genta Mickey Mouse, HYT Iron Man and Omega Snoopy, which have maintained strong intrinsic values, in some cases, even appreciating by quite a bit).
As a precursor to the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Romain Jerome chose to release their Super Mario Bros. watch at the end of 2015. In fact, they would only have 85 pieces available, coinciding with the actual year the game was released: 1985. Most would agree that Super Mario was one of the games that really caught on like wildfire back then, in part due to the fact that we could relate more to it as compared to say, PAC-MAN (which coincidentally, Romaine Jerome has also released a special edition PAC-MAN watch back in 2011).
Moving on to the watch itself, the Super Mario Bros. timepiece is housed in a 46mm PVD-coated black titanium Moon-Invader case. The dial has a pixelated look and feel to it which really drives the point home. Romain Jerome has also employed a unique 3 layer technique to the dial, bringing emphasis to the three-dimensional enamel coated Super Mario, and the all-so-familiar mushroom, clouds and bush pixel figurines. It will also feature lugs that move along with the strap to help ensure a better fit to the wrist. The heart of the Super Mario Bros. is powered by the RJ001-A mechanical movement operating at 28,800 bph with a 42-hour power reserve – nothing fanciful, but the dial has already won the kid-in-me ten times over.
At a retail price of US$18,950, it’s definitely an inner struggle within me, much like a kid pleading with his parent to buy a toy for him, but hey – you know what they say, the parent almost always gives in!
For more info, please visit romainjerome.ch
JAMES PHANG – CONTRIBUTING WRITER
James Phang is a young watch enthusiast from Singapore and is a self-professed fanatic of independent brands for their unique avant-garde designs. Some of his favorite brands include MB&F, Urwerk, Romain Jerome, Sarpaneva, Peter Speake-Marin and Azimuth. His love for art extends out to all things handmade, and he has made it his personal mission to find the best handmade straps and buckles worldwide for his humble collection. Read his articles here