RJ-Romain Jerome has launched its first contemporary art timepiece under the Art-DNA banner, collaborating with Swiss artist John M Armleder.
This Art-DNA model plays with a skull motif – already featured in mural paintings by Armleder – said to be inspired by Amerindian culture.
The brand’s chief executive Manuel Emch is a keen collector of contemporary art. In a recent interview with WatchPro he hinted at the prospect of the Art-DNA timepiece. He said: “Something that I have in the pipeline that I’m very proud of, and that is the ultimate watch I want to do, is a watch in connection to contemporary art. I am passionate about contemporary art.”
Emch has been a long-term admirer of the work of Armleder, who is said to refuse any form of classification of his work.
Emch said at the announcement of the timepiece: “I had since long wished to combine my twin passions for contemporary art and watchmaking, and to apply the principle of a unique work of art to a limited-edition watch.
“Given the brand’s origins, it was important to me to work with a Swiss artist and my own admiration for John M Armleder’s work and his status as a role model for young artists meant that my choice was quickly made.”
The polished steel watch features an applique skull design that is raised and serves to decorate the hammered, polished dial. The underside of the applique has been lacquered with a colour and each piece will be a different colour. The watches are numbered on the case back where an engraved medallion will feature the artist’s signature.
Armleder said: “The skull evokes a memento mori and an allegory of the passing of time, which is an appropriate subject for a timepiece and which interests both art and watch collectors.
“All these watches that give the impression of looking alike are ideally suited to death, which is basically the same for everyone, but which takes place differently each time.”