RJ was joined by Mrs. Chiaki Mukai, the first Japanese woman to travel into space. Mr. Tedeschi and Mrs. Mukai spoke to the intimate crowd about innovation, creativity, and discovery, a fitting introduction to the independent Swiss watchmaker’s new celestial timepieces: ARRAW 6919 and RJ Star Twist.
Currently the Vice President of the Tokyo University of Sciences, Mrs. Mukai appeared with RJ as a member of The Association of Space Explorers (ASE). This non-profit organization is composed of current and former astronauts who, like Mrs. Mukai, have completed at least one orbit of the earth over the course of their career. The partnership between RJ and the ASE began more than ten years ago forged on common grounds of innovation and creativity. Marco Tedeschi, CEO and Creative Director of RJ, and Michael Lopez-Alegría, President of the Association of Space Explorers, have joined forces on numerous occasions to speak about space, science, and the future of engineering. The ASE continues to support RJ in the brand’s efforts to promote space exploration through the art and science of contemporary watchmaking.
“RJ has always celebrated mankind achievements, and I can’t think of any other greater accomplishment than the space exploration undertaken by the astronauts of The Association of Space Explorers. We are proud to partner with an organization that reflects our drive to innovate, create, and discover,” remarked RJ CEO and Creative Director Marco Tedeschi.
Following Tedeschi’s ascension to RJ CEO and Creative Director in 2018 and his subsequent establishment of the RJ Studio, the brand’s in-house engineering progressed in rapid time. In less than a year, RJ patented two new manufacture mechanisms which figure prominently in its latest astronomically-inspired watches. Those patents include a gem-set spinning bezel created for the Star Twist and a moon phase movement created for the ARRAW 6919, which displays a three-dimensional moon that rotates a full 360º. The new moon phase movement of the ARRAW 6919 marks a significant step forward in RJ’s evolution as the brand’s first in-house movement.
RJ’s engineering prowess and innovation also extends to material creativity. RJ was able to source material from the legendary Apollo 11 spacecraft for its ARRAW 6919 series, the only watches made with authentic spacecraft material that has gone to the moon and back. RJ encased the Apollo 11 spacecraft pieces within a super light, high-performance composite bezel created specifically for the collection. Available in 100 pieces each, the three ARRAW 6919 models were made to mark the 50th anniversary of man’s first moon landing, and the ASE provides a certificate of authenticity for each watch.
Whether crafted in titanium, ceramic, or red gold+, the 45 mm watches are readily identifiable as ARRAW models thanks to their readily identifiable features, including the iconic rubber RJ BumpersTM and RJ’s interchangeable strap system which allows the strap to be released with a simple ‘click’ by pushing simultaneously on the two lug screws.
The new Star Twist collection also marks a milestone for RJ as the brand’s first ladies’ collection. The Star Twist’s patented spinning bezels offer a unique “spin” on high horology for the modern woman. When in motion, the whirling gem-set bezels (adorned with sapphires, amethysts, or topaz) create a mesmerizing whirl of color that perfectly accentuates the depth and hue of the Star Twist’s painted dials.
The dial designs of these 39 mm models depict four real, distinct deep space entities: Titanium Blue Spiral Galaxy, Titanium Purple Spiral Galaxy, Titanium Glowing Eye Nebula, and Gold Blue Magellanic Cloud. Each Star Twist colorway is limited to only 100 pieces. In a world first, RJ has rendered these galaxies, nebulas, and clouds in four layers of paint and transparent coating over mother-of-pearl. The lustrous, multi-dimensional effect reinforces the immensity and chromatic range of a vast universe. The mesmerizing dials display central hours, minutes, and seconds, as well as a date aperture at 3 o’clock.
50 years after the first moon landing, RJ latest Space collection truly pays tribute to one of man’s most fascinating adventures.