Though RJ has long used pop culture icons – from Hello Kitty to Pokemon to Super Mario – on its watches, the Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon is the most interesting to date, because it’s powered by a newly developed movement boasting a central flying tourbillon and a six-day power reserve.
While earlier RJ cartoon- or comic-inspired were mostly standard watches with design tweaks, the new tourbillon modelled on Marvel’s web-slinger is mechanically interesting on several levels. The Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon is powered by the RJ-7000, a hand-wound movement that, according to the brand, was developed in-house at its recently opened manufacture in Eysins, about 30 minutes from downtown Geneva. More notably is the fact that the concept of the movement was first developed by RJ chief executive Marco Tedeschi while he was studying micro-technical engineering at the École Technique de la Vallée de Joux (ETVJ).
The movement is fully skeletonised, with the large flying tourbillon sitting right in the centre. Though conventional tourbillons are extremely common, central tourbillons are notably uncommon. Only a few brands produce them, most notably Omega and Beat Haldimann, and now RJ.
Open-worked to resemble a spider’s web, the tourbillon cage is made of titanium, and sits just over a pair of eyes taken from Spider-Man’s mask. Because the tourbillon sits right in the centre of the dial, the hands are are peripheral, sitting on the edge of the dial, below the plane of the tourbillon.
The planetary minute hand is linked to the going train and driven by planetary gears. And the minute hand in turn drives the hour hand, via a large toothed ring sitting on the edge of the movement. So legibility isn’t the best – the hands are small and blend into the skeleton movement – but it’s mechanically interesting and looks cool.
Sitting below the tourbillon is a single, extremely large barrel that provides 150 hours, or about six and a quarter days, of power reserve. The barrel is wound directly via a large, pull-out ring on the back. When not in use, the ring sits in a recess and is flush with the case back.
Setting the time is done via the same ring, but a button in between the lugs at six o’clock has to be pressed to engage the setting mechanism. To facilitate that, the strap has a quick release system: pressing on the screw heads on each lug releases the strap.
Two versions of the Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon are available, both powered by the same movement. The Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon has a black and red case made of carbon composite mixed with red fibreglass, while the Arraw Spider-Man Stealth Tourbillon has a case made of black and grey marbled carbon composite.
Both can styles are identical in size and design, measuring 45mm in diameter with four rubber bumpers fitted on the sides. Crystals on both sides are sapphire, but the one on the front is domed. And the case back is titanium.
The Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon starts at US$92,000 for the Stealth version, which is a moderate price as such watches go.
Key facts and price
Spider-Man Stealth Tourbillon
Material: Carbon composite with titanium back
Water resistance: 100m
Functions: Hours, minutes, and central tourbillon regulator
Frequency: 21,600 (3.5Hz)
Winding: Manually wound
Power reserve: 150 hours
Strap: Polyamide and rubber with folding clasp
Availability: Limited to 10 pieces in each, available from retailers
Price: US$97,700 in red, US$92,000 in black Stealth
For more, visit RJwatches.com.
Update October 18, 2019: Added the fact that the movement idea was developed by Marco Tedeschi.Back to top.
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