Swiss luxury watch brand RJ-Romain Jerome, in association with internationally renowned Swiss artist John M Armleder, presents a collection of exceptional timepiece collection consisting ten unique pieces that reflect the successful alliance between contemporary art and Fine Watchmaking. This masterpieces feature a recurrent motif in John M Armleder’s work: the skull. Already featured in mural paintings and as a cut-out on a mirror, this skull inspired by Amerindian culture is now featured on RJ-Romain Jerome watch dials in an unprecedented collection.
John M Armleder is a Swiss visual artist born in Geneva in 1948. His internationally renowned work is above all an attempt to transform the status of works of art in terms of how they are perceived and received. The complex relations that a work can create with different environments and the interactions to which it gives rise are key to the artist’s approach.
In 1969, together with two other artists involved in the Fluxus movement, Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner, John M Armleder founded the Ecart group. Their ambition was to master all the phases involved in artistic production, from creation to presentation and dissemination of the works. They went on to found an art gallery in 1973 that was also named Ecart.
The performances he staged at the time were marked by the influence of Fluxus as well as by a detached and amusing neo-dada spirit. They influenced his approach which played on the integration and disturbance of places. Collage later led him to evolve towards the more geometric abstraction that marked his initial paintings, which were “freely formalistic”. Associated with the neo-geo trend, from 1979 onwards he developed his own vocabulary combining abstraction with the re-use of furniture, creating pieces midway between painting and sculpture which he called Furniture sculptures.
John M Armleder has represented Switzerland at important international events and exhibitions such as the Paris Biennale in 1975, the Sydney Biennale in 1986 and Open Ends at Moma, in New York in 2000. He has taught at ECAL (Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne – Lausanne School of Art) since 1994, and at the Braunschweig Art Academy in Germany. His many apparently disordered works feature a number of different approaches. Irony, detachment and apparent indifference are some keys to understanding this work, along with an enormous sense of jubilation. John M Armleder lives and works in Geneva.
Manuel Emch, CEO of RJ-Romain Jerome, is a keen collector of contemporary art. He has always admired the work of this Geneva-based artist, who refuses any form of classification of his work, preferring instead a principle of constant “questioning” conducive to hybrid interpretations of various genres. The two men thus naturally decided to unite their talents and ideas for the benefit of art.
Conceived like veritable works of art, these Art-DNA pieces are made of polished steel. The skull motif appliqué is raised and serves to decorate the hammered, polished dial. The underside of the applique is lacquered with a colour revealed by a subtle play of shimmering reflections on the dial. Each unique piece is a different colour. The back of the watch is numbered and bears an engraved medallion with the artist’s signature.
Reference: RJ.T.AU.AR.001.01 to RJ.T.AU.AR.001.10
Mechanical self-winding movement
Frequency: 28’800 v/h
Jewelling: 23 jewels
Power reserve: 42h
Water resistance: 30 meters
Functions: Central hours and minutes
Engraved medallion with the artist’s signature on the back of the watch
Bezel: Polished steel
Polished and hammered dial. Skull motif applique raised on the dial. Underside of the applique lacquered with different colour
Hands: Rhodiumed and satin-brushed hours and minutes hands with superluminova “blue emission”
10 unique pieces of different colours
CHF 19,000.-/ EUR 17,500.-