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Preview BASELWORLD 2013Intergalactic mission with RJ-Romain Jerome and its spacecraft

RJ-Romain Jerome unveils its first pilot’s watch: the Spacecraft. Stemming from the joint endeavours of Manuel Emch, Eric Giroud and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, this new timepiece features a complication with its own discreet charm, combined with a pure, restrained design. Space pilots of the world, prepare for lift-off ! The Spacecraft will carry you off on an intergalactic mission to explore uncharted territories…

In taking up this challenge, Manuel Emch, CEO of RJ-Romain Jerome, chose to associate with two of the top names in the watch industry: Eric Giroud and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. The three men pooled their ideas and their creativity to give rise to a unique timepiece they named Spacecraft. Right from the first sketches, Manuel Emch and Eric Giroud imagined a very different type of product, combining retro-futuristic aesthetics and horological complexity. "The design evolved in step with our discussions and our numerous exchanges. That is what makes it such a singular object", explains Eric Giroud. An unusual trapeze-shaped model featuring a black PVD-coated titanium case, the Spacecraft both surprises and intrigues. Its rectilinear profile and its facetted surface echo the aesthetic of spacecraft. A black rotating disc with a red indicator transferred on the sapphire crystal indicates the minutes on the top of the case, while the linear hour display is read off laterally, thereby giving time a whole new dimension.

The pure lines and the apparent simplicity of the Spacecraft conceal a particularly complex movement – which is where the third mastermind behind the project comes into the picture : Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. It was in the latter’s Geneva-based manufacturing facility Agenhor that this mechanical self-winding movement was exclusively developed for RJ-Romain Jerome. "The combination of these four functions – lateral, linear, jumping and retrograde hours – is unprecedented", says Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. The movement features a kind of spring-driven carriage that drives the hour display visible on the side of the watch by means of a red-lacquered cursor moving beneath the metallised sapphire crystal every 60 minutes. The dragging minutes, appearing on a black disc, are read off on the top of the case that also features beadblasted titanium plates. Time-setting is done via a screw-lock crown at 12 o’clock. The Spacecraft watch is fitted with a black polyamide mesh strap. This 99-piece limited edition will delight devotees of horological complexity and original products.

Manuel Emch sums it up in these terms: "The concept we have created with this collection reflects a new approach for the brand, meaning facilitating access to innovative, contemporary and offbeat watchmaking." With this exceptional creation, RJ-Romain Jerome offers a new way of reading the time, as the well-named Spacecraft carries you away to explore new planets at the speed of light.

Manuel Emch

Born in Switzerland in 1972, Manuel Emch studied design at the Art Center in La Tour-de-Peilz before gaining a Master’s Degree in business at Lausanne University’s Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC). The winner of several watch design awards, Manuel Emch is gifted with considerable skills in the field of establishing and consolidating brand identity, which he ably demonstrated at Jaquet Droz, which he revived and repositioned as one of the finest references in the field of Haute Horlogerie.

On January 1st 2010, Manuel Emch joined RJ-Romain Jerome as CEO in order to give it a fresh creative impulse and to establish the credibility and reputation of this youthful brand that shakes up the conventions and clichés often associated with watchmaking. In parallel with his activities in the watch industry, Manuel Emch has for over 20 years nurtured a passion for contemporary art and has built up an eclectic collection.

Eric Giroud

Eric Giroud spent his youth in a cultural and artistic environment in Switzerland. In 1995, after having studied music and architecture, he starts working for different creative studios in Switzerland. He discovers and practices graphics, packaging and product design. Designing objects marks the real turning point, a new horizon and a feeling of deep passion. He opens his own design studio in 1998 and mainly focuses on the design and development of timepieces.

At the same period Eric Giroud discovers a delight for contemporary art and becomes a connoisseur and art collector. As a great source of inspiration, visual arts and music play a very important part in his approach to design. He considers his job an interface between man and industry. His method of work is mainly based on human exchanges and research, both stylistic and technical.

Jean-Marc Wiederrecht

Born in 1950, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht is a contemporary watchmaker little known to the public at large, but highly appreciated by the greatest watch companies for his expertise. When he completed his watchmaker’s training in 1972, a time when the industry was in the grips of the quartz crisis, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht joined the Châtelain company, where he remained for six years. In 1978, he began a new phase in his career by turning freelance and specialising in the assembly of extra-thin movements. Ten years later, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht developed his first retrograde perpetual calendar – which would become one of his specialities. In 1996, he founded Agenhor SA, a Geneva watchmaking manufacturer specialising in the development of mechanical modules, and in 2007 he was awarded the Best Watchmaker Prize at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix.

Jean-Marc Wiederrecht currently works with the biggest names in the watch business, and the list of tailor-made complications he has developed is a long one – as indeed is that of the Swiss, European and international invention patents he has registered.