RJ Teams with Marvel for Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon
The Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon by RJ marks not only the iconoclastic watchmaker’s second collaboration with Marvel but also its very first in-house movement.
The watch follows RJ’s first Spider-Man piece from 2018 and takes it to the next level of horological complexity, with a central tourbillon inspired by the arachnid hero and developed and produced entirely at RJ’s atelier on the shores of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva. RJ also wanted the watch’s movement to have an extra-long power reserve — 150 hours, or more than six days — so its engineers pLaced the extra-large mainspring barrel in the center of the movement, where it spans nearly the entire expanse of the openworked dial. The tourbillon cage thus needed to be placed directly above the centered barrel and on the same axis. Made from grade 5 titanium, the tourbillon cage, along with its going wheel train, sports an openworked design reminiscent of a spiderweb; it is flanked by two black eyes in the style of those on Spider-Man’s mask, affixed to the mainplate with contrasting finishing.
The hours and minutes display on the watch is also decidedly unconventional, using a planetary gear system that orbits 360º around the tourbillon to tell the time on the periphery of the dial with two black ruthenium hands shaped to mimic the legs of the spider emblem on the superhero’s costume. The hands and hour appliqués are treated with black luminescent coating. The system is fixed on two wide, high-precision ball bearings for maximum efficiency. One will also note that the watch has no crown; winding the mainspring involves lifting a hoop built into the caseback and turning it like a key, a system that ensures faster winding than does a conventional crown. To set the time, the wearer must press a concealed push-button tucked under the strap at 6 o’clock on the case while turning the same hoop in either direction.
The 45-mm case with the characteristic RJ black rubber “bumpers” is available in two materials; each version is limited to only 10 pieces. One case combines superposed layers of black carbon and red fiberglass and offers a textured matte surface; the other (officially named the Spider-Man Stealth Tourbillon) is made entirely of carbon, with gray and anthracite tones; fans of Spidey’s comic book version may associate it with the wall-crawler’s stealthier black-and-white uniform that eventually morphed into the costume of his arch-foe Venom. Both have a cartridge-engraved caseback with polished letters on a micro-blasted surface proclaiming the watch as a limited edition; not one but four sapphire windows in the caseback allow a view into the movement, which RJ has dubbed Caliber RJ-7000.
The Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon comes on an interchangeable, black polyamide strap, with a webbed texture like that of Spider-Man’s costume and a spider icon which has been thermoformed on the surface area nearest the lugs, and reinforced on its underside with a black rubber inlay. To swap out the strap, the wearer simply presses simultaneously on on the two lug screws. The packaging for the watch is also distinctly spidery: a black wood box with RJ bumpers, a Spider-Man web and logo engraved on the lid, and eight spider legs fixed to its sides. Inside, the watch is held in the strands of a steel spiderweb. The Spider-Man Tourbillon retails for $97,700, the Stealth Tourbillon for $92,000. Each version is limited to just 10 pieces.