At the annual BaselWorld watch fair in 2014, RJ-Romain Jerome put the spotlight on a very special motorbike that was customised by Hardnine Choppers. Founded and owned by Danny Schneider, Hardnine Choppers is a specialist garage based in Switzerland that customises motorbikes.
The motorbike on display at the RJ-Romain Jerome booth was the 1943 WLC Harley-Davidson 750cc which was previously owned by the Canadian Army. Back in 1943, the Canadian Army had ordered 20,000 of such bikes for military use.
The customised Harley-Davidson bike required six months of work by Hardnine Choppers and the activities included the manual reshaping of the fenders, gas and oil tanks, the front fork, the exhaust pipe and the reconditioning of the original motor, among other things.
The bike was then hand-painted in a metal purple flake colour with hand-drawn pinstripes highlights on both sides of the gas tank, fenders and front fork.
Moreover, the steering column features South Park’s “Cartman” figurine to manually change the gears of the bike and the “Slayer” hard rock group name is cut out on the grip of the right footstool.
Other decorative features are the hand-painted “L.A.” lettering and the number “9” on parts of the motor that are visible.
This unique customised 1943 WLC Harley-Davidson is paired with RJ-Romaine Jerome’s H9C-DNA watch and is sold together as a set.
The RJ-Romain Jerome H9C-DNA watch with a red gold bezel and black PVD-coated steel case has a complex five-layered skeleton movement highlighting “the angled bridges recalling the intricate structure of a V-Twin motor”.
What is most striking is the skeletonised skull applied on the dial and hand-painted in purple metal flake colour complimenting the customised WLC Harley-Davidson bike. The barrel can be seen through the skull logo and the balance is beneath its teeth.
The RJ-Romain Jerome H9C-DNA wristwatch comes with a perforated “guidoline” leather strap, a material inspired by the bike’s custom-made handlebars.
At its launch in Basel in March 2014, the WLC Harley-Davidson motorbike and RJ-Romain Jerome H9C-DNA watch set had already been sold.
However, for hard-core bikers into watch collecting, RJ-Romain Jerome has also produced nine H9C-DNA timepieces known as Speed Metal with the mirror-polished H9C skull on the dial. These are offered for sale on their own.