Over the last week I have been writing numerous articles about sensational new timepieces featured at Baselworld 2014. Every year this magnificent show seems to get bigger and better. It is also a great opportunity for watch writers, enthusiasts and retailers to see these exquisite timepieces close up. Ultimately three-dimensional renderings can never do these creations the justice they deserve. My highlights have included watches by Louis Moinet, Hublot, Grönefeld, Breva, Girrard Perreguax, Jaquet Droz, De Bethune and Devon to name just a few. Another watchmaker that always impresses me is Armin Strom.
This year at Baselworld the company unveiled four new collections (the Tourbillon Gravity, Racing, Gravity Date and the One Week Skeleton). Over the last few months I have written editorials featuring watches from both the Racing and Tourbillon Gravity collection. What has inspired me to write these articles is Armin Strom’s meticulous attention to detail. All elements of manufacture (including decoration, engraving, electroplating and assembly) are executed by some of the world’s finest craftsman at the company’s workshops in Bienne, Switzerland.
The One Week Skeleton Water was originally presented at the ‘Only Watch’ charity auction in Monaco last September. This sensational timepiece finally sold for a respectable price of €32,000 ($43,984). Dimensionally this 2014 version has the same measurements of 43.40mm x 13mm as Armin Strom’s other models. These classical proportions should appeal to serious watch collectors and connoisseurs. Due to the fact that I have previously tried on similar size models (from other brands) I suspect the watch would sit comfortably on the wrist. Primarily this is down to the elegant case design and choice of luxurious 18-Karat rose gold in production. Realistically I should imagine the timepiece would only be worn on extra special occasions rather than daily usage.
Visually I find this watch much more striking than the One Week Skeleton Water. The art of skeletonisation has always intrigued me because there is absolutely room for no error. In my opinion this magnificent timepiece showcases this traditional skill perfectly. What makes this watch so superior is that every minute component has been hand engraved and decorated to a superior level. Other wonderful features include an off centre chapter ring and solid 18-karat rose gold hour/minute hands. Overall the composition is well balanced and I feel that is integral to the success of the design.
To power the watch Armin Strom have developed the highly accomplished Caliber ARM09-S. This manual winding movement comprises 34-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. The mechanism contains 146 individual components including the gold escapement and Breguet overcoil. Functionally the One Week Skeleton features hours, minutes and small seconds. The watch also has a power reserve of 7 days and is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.
The One Week Skeleton is limited to 50 pieces and comes with a genuine black or brown alligator horn-back strap.