Watches: RJ-Romain Jerome Lucha Libre Mexicana
By Thierry Ané on August 12, 2015
Just last week, I dedicated a brief articleWatches: RJ-Romain Jerome Tetris-DNA to the new Tetris-DNA timepiece and today we are discussing RJ-Romain Jerome again with the Lucha Libre Mexicana limited edition of 25 pieces.
Although I had no particular issue with the watch itself, I was not particularly full of praise in my review of the Tetris-DNA. Indeed, after the many versions of the yet extremely cool Pac-Man-DNA and the equally abundant renditions of the Space Invaders-DNA, I had to confess that the Tetris-DNA felt more like an uninspired marketing coup rather than a true tribute to a great arcade video game.
It is therefore with great pleasure that I realise today that the brand’s design team has not lost an inch of creativity! Building upon the tremendous popularity of “Memento Mori” and the skull iconography, RJ-Romain Jerome has introduced some amazing homage to the Mexican culture through the Día de los Muertos series. Champlevé decorations, cold enamels in different colours, Calaveras engravings and a skilful use of gem-setting has ensured the success of these stunning timepieces.
With the newly unveiled Lucha Libre Mexicana, the brand continues to honour the Mexican culture and tradition while introducing an extremely different model in the “Historical Icons” collection. Indeed, as its name implies, the new watch honours a traditional free fighting sport respected throughout Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries: the “lucha libre” or "free wrestling".
This amateur wrestling sport is characterized by the colourful masks worn by the "luchadores" or wrestlers. Dating back to the days of the Aztecs, these colourful creations are designed to evoke the images of animals, gods, ancient heroes, and other archetypes, whose identity the luchador takes on during a performance. They are so significant to the sport that in some matches the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached!
For its first Lucha Libre Mexicana model (hopefully not the last?), RJ-Romain Jerome retained the 46 mm case in black PVD steel and the time-only RJ001-A self-winding calibre that have been the heart of the “Día de los Muertos” series. The timepiece is also mounted on the refined black horn-back alligator strap we have come to love. The dial still features the characteristic black cross engraving and this time, the iconic paws holding the bezel are crafted in polished stainless steel, mirroring the colour of the skeleton hands.
The specificity of the piece comes from the mask appliqué on the dial and the decorative medallion on the case back. The former uses the green, white and red colours of the Mexican flag and the lacquer technique to create an eye-catching mask any luchador would be proud of. On the case back, the latter features a proud wrestler/luchador in a super-hero-like posture as well as a tricolour ribbon mentioning “edición limitada” and the number of each timepiece. The Lucha Libre Mexicana will retail for US$ 18,500.
This is a really exciting development after the already fascinating “Día de los Muertos” saga and given the diversity and kitsch beauty of the famous “Lucha Libre” masks, there is undoubtedly room for many more exciting creations to come…
For more information please visit the RJ-Romain Jerome web site.