It takes a lot for a timepiece to be truly controversial. I am not just talking about people arguing whether a design is pretty or not.
I mean a real discussion on whether the concept and construction of the watch is in good taste. Few people have been able to pull this off, and in the watch industry one man has been able to do it a few times – Yvan Arpa.
For me, this watch sums him up, as well as the legacy he left behind during his time at Swiss watch brand Romain Jerome.
During the height of the most modern economic boom, Romain Jerome was little more than a quirky brand that sold golf-themed timepieces. The problem was that most golfers didn’t want to wear a watch (or a bulky one) while playing the game.
The owners brought in Yvan Arpa who decided to create a watch that combined a few things: luxury, rarity, and unattainability. It also had to involve something that people all over the world would know about. An idea he settled on was the most famous sunken ship ever, the Titanic.
He imagined a collection called the Titanic-DNA. A steampunkish watch that was said to contain parts from the Titanic. Some people were shocked by the idea, and others thought that it was “pretty cool.” On more than one occasion I had to hear people speak of how horrified they were than someone would disgrace the memories of the people who lost their lives in the tragedy by making a watch with parts from the ship.
Other people felt it was a pretty darn nice tribute to those lost souls. How you are personally going feel is subjective. For me, not being easily offended, I thought it was an interesting concept. My biggest question was always “exactly how much of the Titanic is in it?”
NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.