Baring the functionality of the heart, by taking away distractions and revealing through a glass display the meticulously crafted movement inside a watch, celebrated watchmaker Armin Strom revolutionised what it meant to entirely understand the inner-workings of a timepiece, through the introduction of his groundbreaking method, skeletonising. Unveiling a special view into the other side of the movement through the transparent watch front and case back, Armin Strom’s ingenuity has earned him the rightful reputation of one of the most recognised skeletoniser worldwide. His collections reveal the special movements that serve as proof of his horology-savvy mindset fused with art and technology, resulting in chic watches that unearth the details of refined watch making.
Founding his first watch store in 1967 in Burgdorf, Armin Strom was already an educated and skilled watchmaker and initially, his business consisted of selling and repairing watches. But his passion for watches saw him working on creating his own timepieces, which focused on his fascination with creating skeletonised watch movements. His first skeletonised masterwork was created in 1983, by cutting away the dial from the front and back display of the watch, the watchmaker was able to showcase the intricately mechanical core, as the components engraved and ornamented with great attention to detail before being fitted into their cases. In 1991, the amalgam of Armin Strom’s mastery at skeletonising and his creativity garnered him a place in the Guinness Book of Records for producing the smallest hand-skeletonised watch, and to this day the record remains unmatched, further cementing his coveted position as one of the most renowned skeletoniser.
In 2006, the watchmaker sold his eponymous company to the Michel family, and officially retired in 2011, and allowed the now-owner Serge Michel to carry on the Armin Strom name and legacy through his innovative genius, yet still maintaining the original essence of the brand. With his Chief Horologist, Clause Greisler, Michel transformed the firm’s watch making capabilities by establishing a full-scale, vertical manufacture in 2008, allowing the watch brand to develop and produce in-house movements, including the micro-rotor tourbillion.
To the onlooker, the movement functions effortlessly, as the rotating wheels spin the hands around the watch, however, unbeknown to most – except of course the watch savant – a movement can be comprised of some 200 parts such as the plates, bridges, levers, springs, wheels, pinions, and screws. To ensure the watches are not only functioning properly, but also are aesthetically pleasing, Armin Strom also has an in-house department for design and decoration, as well as the galvanisation of the parts. And finally, the watch is also completely put together by the Armin Strom team. All of this takes place in the Bozingenstrasse 46 Biel/Bienne factory, validating the brand as one of the most unique, luxurious, and technologically advanced watch brands in the world.
Creators of 11 different types of new movements, Armin Strom’s capacity to pursue innovations and projects that demand an extensive amount of investment in research, time, and technical skill has resulted in the brand’s extraordinary collections. Each of the collections are divided into ‘the four elements’ of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water, and watches designed accordingly. The ‘water’ watches are designed using a stainless steel case, the ‘earth’ watches use a stainless steel PVD black case, ‘air’ watches are designed with a titanium case, and the most precious is the ‘fire’ watches which are created using rose gold. The watch collections are also defined by whether or not they are automatic or manual winding: as the name would suggest, The Manual collection consists of manual-winding watches, as well as The One Week, The One Week Skeleton, and Armin Strom’s technologically phenomenal collection of The Tourbillon watches. The automatic winding watch collections include The Gravity, The Gravity Date, and the Tourbillon Gravity. The exclusivity and luxury of the watches also lies within the fact that of each watch kind only 100 pieces are produced and numbered, identifying the true watch enthusiasts.
With Armin Strom’s Tourbillon collection, the watch brand has really set the standard, as there are very few manufacturers that are capable of producing tourbillons, since it is one of the most complicated movements that can be placed in a watch. The purpose of the tourbillon is to improve the accuracy of the watch, by building the parts of the movement into a cage, which turns itself around once in a minute. This cage helps the watch be precise as due to the body movements the pressure on the wheels inside a watch can make it less accurate, and thus, the tourbillon prevents any error in time keeping. The capability of manufacturing a toubillon also serves as a measurement for the company’s mastery, competence, and credibility as a watchmaker. Of this collection, only 50 pieces per element were manufactured. The watch collection was extended to also have a Tourbillon Skeleton Collection, fusing together the core of Armin Strom with the latest technology to produce a truly extraordinary timepiece.
The brand’s latest collection, which was launched at Basel World 2016 in Switzerland, is also a remarkable display of dexterity in the world of horology and technology, as by introducing ‘The Edge’ double barrel collection, which features a larger case size, designer Claude Greisler has opened up creative possibilities for the company’s transparent aesthetic for years to come. The watches in this collection sport a more masculine appearance as it focused on being more “sporty”. The geometric elements on the watch intensity the futuristic architecture, as the inner life of the watch are exposed to the smallest of detail through the use of polygon shapes, sporty numerals, and 3D structuring. Ensuring all details of the watch are carefully looked at and designed, including the engravings on the back case of the watch that are done exclusively by hand. There is no aspect of great watch making that Armin Strom has not considered, and is home is to an astonishing selection of watches.
The talent and artistry at Armin Strom has also won the brand the International Red Dot Design Award in 2015, for the Skeleton Pure Water watch for its excellent stainless steel design. Working currently on smaller watches to appeal to a more feminine audience as well, the luxury watch brand upholds the superb craftsmanship and tradition of Swiss watch making while showcasing technical innovation with each new collection. They reveal how the enhanced performance and artistry of a timepiece can be achieved through modern technology and its appeal when it is in full-display.
With already in 40 points of sales across the globe, Armin Strom is now in Bahrain exclusively through retailers Projekt8, and watch enthusiasts and horologists alike can experience the innovative brilliance and finesse that is put forth through each of the watches at Armin Strom.
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