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By Chris | September 16 2013
Luxury watchmaker RJ-Romain Jerome has joined forces with one of the world’s most respected tattoo artists to pay tribute to the tattoo art and to maritime legends through a resolutely contemporary and provocative collection.
Drawing inspiration from the world of sailors with its wealth of traditions and cultural customs, RJ-Romain Jerome has worked closely with Mo Coppoletta, the famous tattoo artist who owns The Family Business tattoo studio in London, and also a keen watch collector, to produce the Tattoo-DNA collection, which embodies a new legend – that of the “sailor’s grave”.
Since the 18th century, tattoos have always been considered as a powerful form of protection. Entrusting their fate to the elements, sailors from all over the world, and in general men confronted with the sea, had the ‘weak’ parts of their body such as the heart or arms tattooed with symbols of strength intended to serve as a talisman or lucky charm.
Humankind has always admired and feared the sea and tattoos were a means of mentally arming themselves against various dangers. Their tattoos were also seen as a means of recounting the key events in their sailor’s lives and of inking their maritime adventures permanently on their skin upon returning to port.
The choice of tattoo motifs took account of numerous maritime superstitions. The anchor for example, symbolises strength, stability and hope – but it is also a link to Mother Earth, which is viewed as protecting sailors. Some tattoos were also made as a tribute to a certain ship or a lost seaman. Such is the case of the “sailor’s grave”, the legend depicted on the dial of the new timepiece from RJ-Romain Jerome.
The models in the Tattoo-DNA collection, issued in 25-piece limited series per version, all feature a 50 mm case adorned with a black PVD-coated engraved bezel. The paws found on every RJ-Romain Jerome timepieces are in steel or black PVD-coated steel.
The various stamped, engraved and decorated silver decorative elements lend an impressive sense of depth to the dial, which features a scene in which the elements are unleashed. Air, earth and sea appear to be threatening to engulf the boat. The anchor plays a predominant role on the dial in order to ward off bad luck and protect this ship caught up in a storm. The bolts of lightning flashing across the sky are red and yellow lacquered according to the versions and enhanced with superluminova green emission.
Ready to face depths of 30m thanks to their 3 atm water resistance, the watches in the Tattoo-DNA collection are teamed with a black fabric strap or with a skin-coloured leather strap tattooed by Mo Coppoletta himself.
Tattoos represent a contemporary art form in their own right, now released from any specific cultural straightjacket while maintaining their undeniable virility and strength of character. By entrusting its dial to the needle of this ‘epidermal graphic designer’, Mo Coppoletta, RJ-Romain Jerome unites two artistically complementary worlds to create a unique collection: Tattoo-DNA.
RJ-Romain Jerome once again pushes the boundaries of classic watchmaking in giving rise to a resolutely contemporary and provocative legend.