Armin Strom is quite a new firm (started in 2006), but they have already begun to make their name in the world of Haute Horlogerie, through wise business decisions and sheer talent. By 2009, the firm was already making its own movements, complete with little innovations that made them the brand’s very own. The first was the ARM09, and now, less than five years later, Armin Strom has already got five of their own movements. Few newer brands can boast such speedy progress, or such prowess. That is just a part of what makes Armin Strom a brand watch lovers should be keeping an eye on.
Speaking of Armin Strom’s speedy yet high quality developments, the brand is offering a real treat for their first movement with a tourbillon. Four different versions of this new watch, each named after one of the four elements, are on tour now. Only four of each type will be made. The “Earth” watch has already been unveiled at the foot of the Alps. This location was apparently chosen to represent the element, as the others will also be showcased in locations that represent their elements; Dubai for “Fire”, Singapore for “Air”, and L.A. for “Water”.
All four watches have certain things in common, such as the 43.4-millimeter case, the skeletonized dial, the sapphire crystal window on the caseback, and the Calibre ATC11 movement, a manually wound movement with parts that have been decorated and chamfered by hand. The power reserve lasts up to ten days. Around the tourbillon is an indicator ring for seconds. One of the most interesting things about the dial on these watches is that it’s a little bit off center, a trademark of timepieces by Armin Strom. It leaves a thin crescent on the right-hand side of the watch, like a tiny sliver of a moon.
On the “Earth” version, the case is made of black PVD, with a similarly black dial. With its black horn-back alligator strap, its appearance is, well, earthy. Black plates on the movement further highlight this. The “Air” watch has a much lighter look to it. Its titanium case and white strap give it a heavenly look, and the hand-skeletonized movement adds a subtle tribute to the element after which this watch was named.
“Fire” and “Water” are the most heavily decorated of the watches. The movement on “Water” is set with 159 dark blue sapphires, 76 light blue sapphires, and 44 diamonds, to represent water. A deep blue strap really compliments this theme. The case is made of white gold, and the movement has some parts that look the same as those on “Earth” and “Air” (except for the decorated parts, obviously), except that some of the parts you can see are golden rather than the shiny silver color of the rest of the movement. “Fire” has these same parts in red gold, like its case. It also has flames on the plates and bridges, engraved by hand. Even the hands on this one, including the second hand on the tourbillon, are red-gold. It’s hard to say whether the brown strap actually has just a hint of orange to it or if that’s just an illusion it gets from being juxtaposed with red gold, but whatever the case, the strap definitely works for the “Fire” theme.
Regular production watches with this caliber will be released next year. If you felt that these four were exciting, you might want to keep an eye out for that version. As a matter of fact, you might want to keep an eye out for anything Armin Strom makes, because so far, they have yet to disappoint.