Romain Jerome Eyjafjallajokull Volcano DNA Watch
I was more or less expecting something like this from Romain Jerome. The brand that brought you the Titanic DNA and Moon Dust DNA watches has been struggling to "find what is next' after they lost Yvan Arpa, their charismatic former CEO. He invented the "DNA" watch concept and this Volcano DNA watches doesn't really fit into that concept. I will get to that below.
In a nutshell, Romain Jerome was able to collect some of the volcanic ash from the now popular recent eruption from the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano. This ash was used in making this one-of-a-kind watch. The case and dial are mostly adapted from the Moon Dust DNA collection, but instead of a moon surface, the dial is meant to look like molten lava - red hot on the inside and black carbon colored on the surface. The look is carried over in segments on the bezel. Hands on the watch are meant to look like little airplanes, a reminder of what effect the volcanic eruption had on our society for that limited amount of time. As a "right now" novelty, the watch is fun. The piece unique will have just one piece made. I am sure someone will buy it. But they better get it soon, because in the coming weeks, and of course years, the memory of airport nightmares will fade. Unlike previous RJ DNA watches, this material and name has no real lasting quality or commemorative value. Pretty much everyone around the world knows about the Titanic (thanks in big part to James Cameron), and the moon? Well that is pretty self evident in its popularity.
Which allows me to return to the topic of what the original DNA watch concept was all about. Yvan Arpa imagined using a material that was 1) almost unattainably rare, 2) luxurious, 3) and known by most people for a long time. There is nothing rare or hard to attain about volcanic ash, not even from Eyjafjallajokull. In time people will have no idea what this watch is about, or why we should care. RJ claims that the watch is meant as one of an ongoing collection of pieces that "illustrate the legends of our time and the mythologies that will forge the memory of the 21st century." Perhaps. In the end they made just one piece so their investment in it is low, and with a primary of goal of getting media for the brand, the watch wholeheartedly succeeds.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.