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Swiss turn Titanic into timepieces

Liner's steel plate used for luxury wristwatches

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If you've got between $7,800 and $173,100 to spare and fancy owning a piece of history, Geneva watchmaker Romain Jerome has just the thing for you: a watch incorporating steel and coal from the Titanic.

Watches in the "Titanic-DNA" collection are made from gold, platinum and steel, the latter coming from a 1.5 kg piece of the hull acquired by Romain Jerome from an unnamed seller*. The plate has been authenticated by Titanic's builder Harland and Wolff and is alloyed with steel "being used in a Harland and Wolff replica of the vessel", Reuters explains.

The black laquer of the watch face also boasts "coal recovered from the debris field of the Titanic wrecksite", sold by RMS Titanic Inc.

Romain Jerome chief exec Yvan Arpa reckons the Titanic-DNA timepieces will appeal to "collectors and garrulous luxury goods buyers". He said: "So many rich people buy incredibly complicated watches without understanding how they work, because they want a story to tell. To them we offer a story."

Getting up a full head of steam, Arpa continued: "The combination of new and old materials infused the watches with a sense of renewal, instead of representing a reminder of the 1,500 passengers who drowned when the oceanliner met her tragic end off the coast of Newfoundland". He concluded: "It is a message of hope, of life stronger than death, of rebirth."

Romain Jerome says it will make 2,012 Titanic-DNA watches to commemorate the 2012 centenary of the Titanic's demise. ®

Bootnote

*The plate was recovered in 1991, Reuters notes, before the Titanic site was protected to prevent further exploitation.

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