Jean-Claude Van Damme is a man of many talents: actor, martial artist, fight choreographer, gymnastic star… But it seems as if designing watches is not one of them.
The 61-year-old Belgian action movie star recently unveiled an exclusive line of watches produced in collaboration with Helfer, a little-known Swiss watch brand, which are all now available for pre-order on his merch website.
Weighing in at a hefty 46mm in diameter; available in either silver and black, rose gold and black or fully black; emblazoned with his initials and retailing for US$3,330, the Helfer JCVD Limited Edition is… A lot. Too much, in fact.
Leaving aside how the watch looks – which, to our eyes, is truly hideous – they’re just terrible value. Over 3 grand for a watch that looks like the kind of thing you’d find in a flea market? Honestly, if you want a watch that’s as tough as Jean-Claude Van Damme, just buy a G-Shock. They’re somehow more subtle than these monstrosities…
At least JCVD’s watches seem to have some semi-decent specs. They’re powered by the venerable ETA 2824 movement, which is one of the most common watch movements on the planet. Actually, that’s a good thing: the 2824 is reliable and any watchmaker on the planet will be able to service one. They also have sapphire crystal glass and interchangeable rubber straps.
And while the design might be derivative, it is at least unique. Most of Helfer’s designs seem to be bizarre mash-ups of Breitlings and Panerais.
It’s a shame that JCVD has penned a deal with such an average brand when other actors of his ilk have had far more impressive horological collaborations. Sylvester Stallone, for instance, has made watches with Panerai and Richard Mille.
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Ah well. None of them can do the splits like you can, Van Damme.
Speaking of action movie stars, check out our guide to the coolest watches worn by on-screen action heroes below.