Every May 4, Star Wars fans the world over celebrate a secular holiday to commemorate the 1977 release of the very first film in the mega-popular franchise. This year, a few of those fans who are also serious watch aficionados can acquire a timepiece that is uniquely suitable to join their collections of Star Wars memorabilia and ephemera. Curious? What would you say to a tourbillon watch inspired by the Death Star, offered in an exclusive collectors’ set along with an official screen-used kyber crystal?
The sets, only 10 of them total, are the latest release from the recently launched Swiss design firm Kross Studio, which works with established purveyors of pop culture to produce creative, luxurious in-house pieces aimed at discerning collectors. The watch at the heart of the ensemble, created in collaboration with Lucasfilm, has a 45-mm case made of black DLC-coated titanium, its open dial dominated by a central tourbillon resembling the Death Star, the moon-sized space station and galaxy-threatening super-weapon known to Star Wars fans as the stronghold of the evil Galactic Empire. Rotating once per minute on its axis, the tourbillon cage has a green super-laser cannon mounted on it, a miniature version of the planet-destroying device deployed in the original film.
Aside from the insanely detailed tourbillon cage floating dead in its center, the watch offers additional, subtle Star Wars iconography across many other elements. The hour hand is shaped like an Imperial-Class Star Destroyer, while the minute hand takes the form of a Super-Class Star Destroyer, both ships employed by the Empire against the heroic rebels of the movie series. The hands are attached to a peripheral ring that orbits 360 degrees around the tourbillon and tell the time on a fixed hour wheel, with “blue emission” white Super-LumiNova markers, its design reminiscent of the lighting halls in Imperial vessels. A D-ring-shaped crown embedded into the caseback, developed in-house by Kross Studio, replaces a traditional crown to wind the movement, allowing the case to maintain the sleek, round shape of a space-age satellite. Setting the time is enabled by a push-button, flush to the side, with “Time Set” engraved in its surface in Aurebesh script, which serious die-hards will recognize as the most common written language of the Star Wars fictional universe.
As for the manual-winding movement itself, Kross Studios says it is also conceived and developed entirely in-house. (One of the company’s founders, Marco Tedeschi, began his career in product development at Hublot, and more recently served as CEO of RJ/Romain Jerôme, a watch brand well remembered for its pop-cultural collaborations, and thus brings an impressive track record.) Made up of 203 components, its tourbillon escapement beats at 21,600 vph (3 Hz) and it stores a lengthy five-day power reserve in its barrel. The watch also comes with three strap options, in black rubber with black stitching, gray calfskin leather with black stitching, and red rubber with red stitching and a comfort-enhancing black rubber inlay; the former two feature an embossed Death-Star-inspired pattern.
Also a fully in-house project is the container for the watch and its accessories, designed to be an official reproduction of the armored crates used in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to transport the precious kyber crystals used by the Empire to power the Death Star’s super-laser. Each container is made up of more than 700 parts, primarily of wood, aluminum, and black polymer, and scaled to half the dimensions of the film-used original (3.94 feet, or 1.2 meters, in length). The containers are fully hand-assembled, hand-painted, and divided into nine storage units. Three contain capsules, one each to house the Death Star Tourbillon watch, its accompanying replaceable straps, and a genuine movie-prop kyber crystal from Rogue One. (It’s the first time these props will be released to the public.) The other six sections, all secured with removable top covers, are intended to provide ample “storage unit” space for the owner’s other Star Wars collectibles. (It’s a good bet that if you’re snapping up one of these sets, you already have amassed quite a collection of those.)
The 10 editions of the Kross x Lucasfilm Ltd. Ultimate Collector Set Inspired by the Death Star are all priced at $150,000. Kross Studio says that they are “just the first of more exciting Star Wars-inspired products to come,” so stay tuned, and May the Fourth, as they say, be With You.