With Pokémon GO’s recent 3 year anniversary, and the release of the new film Detective Pikachu, the Pokémon franchise keeps continually updating fans with plenty of fresh poké-content and merchandise. In terms of merchandising—aside from billions of plush toys; vinyl figures; and other accessories sold over the years—Pokémon also has a history with timekeeping. Since its creation in 1996, there has been a steady stream of wrist and pocket watches designed for fans of all ages. Although it’s hard to say when the first Pokémon watch was created, there are definitely plenty of options to choose from. With many being inexpensive “novelty” watches made for quick sale, it can be hard to imagine any luxury timepieces being made for this well-adored franchise. However, some companies have designed high-end watches for fans with larger poké-books. So ahead, we’ll be having a look at some of these finer wristwatches, their price tags, and how the wristwatch fits into the greater Pokémon story.
The Romain Jerome “Tourbillon
Back in 2017, Romain Jerome released an automatic Pokémon watch with a tourbillon movement. Being no strangers to Pokémon, as well as other gaming franchises (Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong), Romain Jerome made this exclusive watch with plenty of flair. The Tourbillon Pokémon wristwatch features an all-black case and band with a vibrant dial decorated with multiple Pokémon—featuring the franchise’s poster child, Pikachu, front-and-center. Each character on the dial took hundreds of hours to hand carve. As well, Romain Jerome used laser tech to design a lightning bolt shape on the counterweight—which is viewable via a caseback crystal. This caseback lightning bolt matches the tourbillon-bridge’s bolt, which pays respects to Pikachu’s primary attack move. With impressive Romain Jerome’s one-of-a-kind wristwatch came with a hefty price tag upon its release: £200,000!
Though this price tag is pretty astronomical, the
craftsmanship is certainly there. Between the handwork on the case, as well as
the anti-gravity capability of the tourbillon movement, it’s quite a technical
achievement. The continual oscillations of the tourbillon in the works of the
watch make it an out-of-this-world capable timepiece. As well, for one diehard
fan, it will pay a fantastic service to whomever managed to catch it and put in
their Pokédex of watches. Indeed: With a power reserve of 60hours, and a water
resistance of 50meters, this luxury wristwatch can help its owner catch-em-all
in nearly any environment.
Romain Jerome’s Pikachu Watch
One year prior to the Tourbillon Pokémon watch, Romain Jerome released a less (albeit still incredibly) exclusive Pokémon wristwatch. Totaling 20 timepieces, this watch features Pikachu individually on its dial. Much like the Tourbillon Pokémon, though, the yellow rodentian character was given the handcrafted treatment. Alongside Pika’s facade, the dial also displays a hand-painted enamel lightning bolt with the “RJ” logo. Donning a titanium case, with sand-blasted and satin-brushed lightning, this Pika-centric watch takes on the Romain Jerome craftsmanship well. Being less exclusive than its later tourbillon counterpart, this Pokémon wristwatch goes for just 20,000USD—10% the cost of the Tourbillon, yet still quite an expense. Would-be owners of this watch would have the first RJ exclusive Pokémon watch, however. Being the first collaboration Romain Jerome did with The Pokémon Company, it’s a fun piece with a decent power reserve and incredibly sturdy design.
Fossil “Poké Ball Classics” Watch
A powerhouse in quartz watch sales and fashion merchandising, Fossil teamed up with The Pokémon Center in Japan to create this timepiece. Currently sold out on the Pokémon Center website, this watch is priced at a modest 150USD. With its affordable price tag and minimalist design, this watch can be a nice hold-over for any Poké-fans that may need some time—or a massive personal loan—to attain its more luxurious counterparts. With a two-dimensional matte-black pokéball on the dial, a grey backdrop, and a red ring on the edge of the dial, this stainless steel case watch looks quite clean. Its black leather band also aids in the overall aesthetics of this watch. Although this timepiece might not feature as much artistry in its movement and case design compared to high-end pieces, it’s still a good looking (and much more affordable) piece of Pokémon watch making. If one wants to do better than a $10-$15 novelty piece, with a more precise Japanese movement, this watch can be a great choice for a Pokémon trainer trying to poké ball on a budget.
Gotta Catch ‘Em All
With plethora watches designed and licensed in the name of Pokémon, it can be overwhelming to nail down which watch will suit any individual poké-fan. However, on the flip side, because of the omnipresence of these timepieces there are plenty of style options. Whether you’re a collector with a good chunk of disposable income, a young kid looking for a first watch, or someone in-between, there’s likely poké-watch out there for you. With ebay sellers, etsy designers, and name brands making custom looks, Pokémon fans from all over the world have immortalized fan favorite characters on both wrist watches and pocket watches alike. With some original Pokémon Center watches selling at hundreds-to-thousands of dollars, there are some more affordable collector items from third-party sellers. So, if you’ve made it your destiny to catch all of these timepieces—happy hunting. There’ll be plenty of options, on any budget, to put these Pokémon watches to the test. Perhaps they’ll even outlast the appeal of the Pokémon franchise itself—though that seems incredibly unlikely.
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