The Batman returns in an imposing 48mm wristwatch by RJ, the brand previously known as Romain Jerome. Having undergone a recent rebranding, the Romain Jerome name has disappeared into the darkness of a Gotham City alleyway, only to return ready for action as RJ. For fans of its quirky, larger than life portfolio, thankfully not much else has changed, and so the styling, the big, oversized proportions and the tie-ins with heroes of the gaming and comic book worlds are all still very much present and intact.
The fact that in its previous guise RJ has always veered towards the eccentric and unconventional has actually been key to the brand’s success, building a cult following with (dare I use the word ‘fun’ in this serious world of watchmaking) watches made from super exotic materials which celebrate milestones in engineering, space and nature at its most extreme.
Based on the Skylab collection, which is defined by a completely stripped back and skeletonised movement, the RJ Batman is not for the shy, retiring or faint of heart. With a mega-sized case and a three-dimensional face dominated by a black bat motif which soars above Gotham City, this is surely the ultimate luxury accessory for the Batman completest, and it’s not a watch that’s going to go unnoticed, especially after darkness falls.
A watch of epic proportions, the round matte black case measures a huge 48mm across and features signature such as the claws which clasp onto the bezel, and elongated lugs which offer contrast against the black PVD coat of the rest of the case.
Beneath the sapphire crystal, the distinctive skeletonised hands with luminous tipped arrowheads circulate above the black bat motif. Blending in with the architecture of the movement, and against the metallised lace of city streets printed onto the inside of the bottom crystal, it’s not so prominent in daylight, but as it’s outline is filled with Super-LumiNova, once it gets dark the bat glows a piercing blue.
Inside, the stripped back openworked movement is fully exposed thanks to the minimalist framework where everything, from the gear wheels and bridges to the open barrel with the mainspring coiled within have been reduced to their bare essentials, a reminder that behind the extroverted appearance, lies a highly technical and beautifully executed heart of horologic craftsmanship.
Manual winding, the Calibre RJ004-M is the designed and developed by movement specialists Concepto and boasts 48 hours of power reserve as it beats at 28,800 vph.
With its dominating proportions and contemporary styling, the RJ Batman is a watch with a massive presence. It is presented on a black alligator leather strap with folding deployant clasp and is rated to 30m of water resistance. It is produced in a limited run of only 75 pieces.