Corum revisits the shape of its acclaimed Bubble with a fresh pair of eyes, taking it to new, even bigger dimensions at 52mm. The timepiece is the result of a partnership between the La Chaux de Fonds watch brand and DJ and composer Matteo Ceccarini.
Presented as a limited edition of 88 pieces, this Bubble is striking thanks to its intense, piercing oceanic gaze featuring a hyper-realistic eye enhanced by 3D technology under the iconic Bubble domed sapphire crystal.
Marmite of the watch world, the Corum Bubble 52 watch was first released in 2000 where the unmissable dial designs and towering sapphire crystal glass were almost unheard of. The design quickly became a must have piece until it was sadly discontinued a few years later. But this time last year, Corum revived the range by releasing the new Corum Bubble Heritage watches.
The new collection still boasts the same design codes as the original, but has instead been upgraded to include an even mightier 47mm case standing at an impressive 18.8mm in height. Luckily, due to the brilliant minds of the designers, these enlargements have been paired with short curved lugs so the watch moulds perfectly and comfortably to the wrist without looking overly obscure.
These Bubble timepieces feature some of the most extraordinary dials I’ve ever seen. A striking optical art dial is showcased in the pair of Corum Bubble Heritage Limited Edition pieces, each an exclusive run of 350 pieces, where the impressive crystal magnifies and distorts the graduating squares creating an impression of movement.
There is also the Corum Bubble 52 Watch Paiste Edition which has a dial designed like the large cymbals found on a drum kit. You can find a close up of this model in our ‘Hands On’ video at the bottom of this feature. The final piece in the new Bubble Collection is a permanent addition that brings a whole new meaning to a skeletonised watch. Housed beneath the domed crystal, the skeletonised movement will catch every eye in the room as the exposed wheels and inner mechanisms are further magnified.
These are not watches you want to hide under your sleeve as the tall sapphire crystal glass and the intricately designed dials will never be mistaken for anything other than a Corum Bubble watch. You can find yours here.
In 2015, Corum revived its popular Bubble watch with three new models. One of them was the Corum Bubble Skeleton. The Bubble watch has become something of an icon for Corum and it’s not hard to see why – especially with that domed sapphire crystal. For 2017, Corum is updating the Bubble Skeleton, also known as the Corum Bubble 47 Squelette watch, by offering it in three new bright colorways and at a lower price than the 2015 Bubble Skeleton.
Corum, in case you have forgotten, was acquired by China Haidian Holdings (now known as Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited) in 2013. After the acquisition, the brand set about consolidating its collection and trying to build a more focused portfolio of products. The Bubble watch was revived as a part of that. The decision to make the Bubble watch a priority is a pretty astute one, in my opinion. A strong, distinct look is one of the hallmarks of a successful watch and the Bubble watch certainly fulfills this requirement thanks to its impressive domed sapphire crystal. Therefore, the new Corum Bubble 47 Squelette watches for 2017 do not stray far from this formula. These new watches come in the same 47mm case as the Bubble watches from 2015. Made out of stainless steel, it’s a pretty generic looking round case, and the only really notable thing about it is the large bubble-shaped crown.
The dial is where most of the changes are found. While the old Bubble Skeleton had a rather plain skeletonized gray dial, the new Corum Bubble 47 Squelette watches will come with brightly colored dials. There are three colorways, but the differences between the three are quite minor. If you look carefully, you can see that the main skeletonized plate is blue, but the smaller plates and bridges are painted in blue, green, or purple, depending on the reference.
The other main difference is in the hands. The Bubble Skeleton watch from 2015 had skeletonized hands, but the new Corum Bubble 47 Squelette watches have solid hands painted with Super-Luminova in the same color as the watch’s movement plates. Another fun detail about the new Corum Bubble 47 Squelette watches is the lollipop-style seconds hand, which also has Super-Luminova painted in the same color as the movement plates. The hands are also incredibly large, presumably to improve legibility against the skeletonized dial.
And of course, the highlight of the watch has to be the domed sapphire crystal. The crystal itself is 8mm thick, and the overall thickness of the watch is a massive 18.5mm. The large domed crystal gives the watch considerable wrist presence, but more importantly, also creates distortion to give the watch a unique look that changes and shifts (distortion) depending on the angle which you look at the dial. Admittedly, the crazily domed crystal also affects legibility somewhat, but I would argue that skeletonized dials aren’t the most legible to begin with. Furthermore, Corum also aims to address the legibility issue with oversized leaf-shaped hands.
The movement within is the calibre CO 082, which is based on Eterna’s caliber 39. It offers 42 hours of power reserve and beats at 4Hz. Eterna is also under the Citychamp group, and you can learn all about the calibre 39 in detail here. Corum doesn’t disclose what kind of finishing and treatment has been done to the movement except that the bridges and plates have been color-treated.
As I mentioned earlier, there are three colorways in total. The ref. L082/031612 comes in a stainless steel case, with white Super-Luminova hands, and a movement finished with blue plates and bridges. The ref. L082/03165 comes in a black PVD stainless steel case, with green Super-Luminova hands, and a movement finished with matching green plates and bridges. And finally, we have the ref. L082/03166 that also comes in a black PVD stainless steel case, with purple Super-Luminova hands, and a movement finished with matching purple plates and bridges. All three colorways will come with a blue vulcanized rubber strap with a pin buckle.
Corum Bubble watches are fun and often employ a cartoonish design element, and the new Bubble 47 Squelette watches we have here are among the wackiest yet. They are not for everyone, but if you have deep pockets and a sense of humor, they may be right for you. The new Corum Bubble 47 Squelette watches in bright colors
The Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon Skull is one of those watches that has a lot to offer certain sectors of the watch collectors and enthusiasts class. While not the preference of everyone, it is among the most unique collectible time pieces that has been created. In the past few decades the Corum bubble has gained in notoriety in horological circles. There are a few different reasons why it has climbed above so many luxury watchmakers to join as a member of a limited circle in the luxury watch making industry. Not just any watch maker is allowed within this group. There are certain criteria which must first be met in order to qualify.
Of the hundreds of companies out there who provide their versions of a luxury watch, to all have the capacity for turning out true collectibles that only gain in value with the passage of time. Excellence in craftsmanship, quality materials and a name that has come to be recognized for its production of fine luxury watches are the factors which make this a much desired piece. We’re going to take a closer look at the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon Skull and share insights for your consideration.
The Bubble 47 is among the most unique because of its novelty appearance. It was presented at Baselworld in 2015 taking its place as an iconic time piece that features a bulbous shape with distortions and a thicker and larger appearance than most. It was the original Corum Bubble that helped the watchmaker to gain its notoriety and place among the elite ranks of luxury watchmakers. The Flying Tourbillon Skull takes its inspiration from its predecessor the Corum Bubble, first released in 2000. The message is one of a darker nature which has found amazing popularity within collector’s and watch enthusiast circles. The melding of luxury with the overpowering sense of the novel in this case was a wise choice on the part of the designers who set out to offer a truly unique piece.
The Flying Tourbillon Skull has a forty seven millimeter case but when worn, the appearance and feel is quite a bit smaller. The material used for the case a shiny finish of rose gold. The case is made with an eighteen millimeter thickness. This watch features a sapphire crystal case back. The dial is in the form of an oversized skull head which has been crafted of gold plated brass in order to be a perfect match for the case. The skull head is stylized and quite aesthetically pleasing. The background of the dial is a deep black in color which adds remarkably attractive contrast. In following with the darker theme, death in particular, it has een designed with distortions within the dial. The common reasoning behind this is that it represents perceptions of time and it adds an interesting dimension to the time piece.
The Corum Bubble from which the watch derives its’ name is bulbous and round serving as the sapphire crystal that sits atop of the dial with a high dome. It is approximately seven millimeters in thickness. This is the feature that creates the popular dial distortion. While most other watch makers do their best to avoid this, it was the intent of the design team for this novelty watch from the beginning.
The flying tourbillon rests upon the six and it’s jaws are open wide as the hollowed eyes of the skull appear to be staring up at the person wearing the watch. The movement is automatic and it has seventy two horse of power reserve with a four Hertz frequency, making it a modern edition. It is a Calibre CO 016 with 28,800 vph. Its’ functionality includes hours and minutes. A micro rotor is responsible for winding of the barrel. Built for quality and durability, the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon Skull is designed to be waterproof for up to thirty feet.
The strap is also unique in that it is made of black rubber to complement the overall color scheme and theme of the watch. it features a 5N eighteen karat rose gold pin buckle which ties the strap in nicely with the overall personality and design scheme of the watch. It has a comfortable feel about it when worn which makes it all the more attractive for enthusiasts.
These are perhaps the lynch pins that have driven this watch to its current heights of popularity and desirability among collectors. There are few designs that can compete with the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon Skull because of its unique shape, theme and styling. While it is not a watch that will appeal to all tastes and preferences it does have an allure to those who are in favor of the whimsical and the novel. If it is possible to consider that the darker them could be fun, this watch fits the bill nicely. It is truly a special release that has found a place in horology as one of the greats that is highly sought after. Anyone who is interested in owning this watch can call the company for a price quote and further details about it.
The Corum Bubble 47 Flying Toubillon Skull wrist watch has an earthy sense about it that combines a variety of tones and features nicely. It presents itself well as a luxury watch with impressive styling and the use of high quality elegant materials that add a touch of class along with novel good taste in representing the theme of death having blurred lines. The distortion that is afforded the watch via the high dome sapphire crystal bubble handles this aspect of the watch’s personality nicely. There is a faint nuance of psychology which emanates though the design. One could look at it in a straightforward manner or place their own interpretation of the inspiration and a deeper meaning through the melding of the death theme and the luxury styling that indicates a voracious appetite for the finer things in life. Whichever approach is taken, the Flying Tourbillon Skull lends itself to either with no apologies for its departure from tradition i the class of luxury watches.
For millennia, coins have played an important part in world culture. When someone died in Ancient Greece, tradition called for a coin to placed upon or in their mouth. This wasn’t a prototype piggy bank but rather to be payment in the afterlife for Charon the boatman, who transported the souls of the dead across the River Styx to the Underworld. In England, it was tradition for a threepence or sixpence coin to be included in the mixture of a Christmas pudding, and whoever was served a slice of pudding with the coin inside (and was lucky enough to not choke on it) could keep it as a sign of good fortune for the coming year. Even as coins become more of a transactional inconvenience every year, they still stick around in popular culture and in art. For Corum Heritage Coin Watch, coins have been a defining part of the brand since 1964 and recently the brand released three new coin watches in the Heritage Artisan collection.
Founded in La-Chaux-de-Fonds by Gaston Ries in 1955, Corum’s first Coin watch came out in 1964 and was made out of a $20 gold coin. The idea of using coins in watchmaking was nothing new; brands such as Patek Philippe had hollowed out coinage with the movement and dial placed inside and only visible when the hinged case was opened. What Corum did instead was to convert a coin into a wristwatch case and placed the movement on the inside with the hands visible on the outside through crystal. This allowed for easier and quicker reading of the time, and significantly reduced the chance that you’d try and spend your watch in a vending machine.
The Corum Heritage Coin Watch became an instant hit and over the years many United States Presidents wore the watch, including Presidents Reagan, Johnson, Carter, Nixon and Clinton. Two of the new Heritage Artisans collection use American currency with one using a traditional silver dollar coin and the other a solid gold ‘Double Eagle’ $20 coin. The silver coin watch has Corum’s name stenciled on the underside of the crystal in a blue that matches the blued steel hands, leather strap and sapphire cabochon on the crown. The solid gold ‘Double Eagle’ coin watch has solemn, black hands with Corum’s name engraved at 12 o’clock onto a surround gold chapter ring.
The third watch released is a commemorative piece to honor the anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. The silver 10 Lirot coin used for this watch was minted in 1973 for the 25th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, the First Prime Minister of Israel. Corum Heritage Coin Watch chose to keep the design of this piece quite simple and sober, so a smaller Corum logo is stenciled at 9 o’clock on the underside of the crystal so not to obscure the engraved Menorah at 12 o’clock. The inclusion of a small diamond cabochon (also present in the Double Eagle coin watch) is a small touch of decoration on an otherwise stoic design.
I wouldn’t usually describe a solid gold or silver watch as understated, but all three watches are quite reserved in their appearance. Some Corum coin watches in the past have come on solid gold bracelets which is a bit much, but I find the presence of black/blue alligator to be quite tasteful. What is most shocking to me about the watch is their size. As these are special coins not circulated as currency, they are larger than usual coins and so the watches measure 43mm which is quite large for a dress watch. Yet I would wager that as these watches are very slim, they would wear smaller than their measurements would otherwise indicate.
All three watches are powered by the Corum Heritage Coin Watch CO 082 Caliber, a slim automatic movement that boasts a 42 hour power reserve. 42 hours might not be the longest power reserve a wristwatch has ever seen, but consider that the movement is housed inside a coin with a total thickness of just 7.6mm.
As our society becomes increasingly cashless and more reliant on the mirage of digital currency, it will be interesting to see how the heritage of coinage changes. Future generations will undoubtedly see physical money as antiquated relics but hopefully they’ll see the artistic value in what Corum does with coin watches. Much like coinage, the Corum coin watches aren’t all that practical but sometimes practicality needs to be sacrificed in favor of art
The name itself suggests that it is a rare and highly expensive timepiece. Introduced in 2007, CORUM Classical Billionaire Tourbillon is a stunning horology masterpiece that sizzles in an intense radiance created by a spectacular array of diamonds and sapphires, offering a transparent revelation of the most beautiful complication of all time.
It all begins with a genuine feat of technical refinement. The master-watchmakers of CORUM interpret the tourbillon, the crowning glory of horological mechanisms, with fascinating delicacy and creativity. This brilliant complication, which makes light of the disturbing effects of gravity, is revealed through a pristine and magnificently sparkling universe.
The aesthetic beauty of the transparent sapphire crystal bridges and plates is magnified by the fineness of the sapphire. The movement is mounted on joints to enhance its shock-absorbing capacity and appears to be floating in mid-air. Each meticulously cut component guides us to the heart of this ingeniously suspended entity, as if in a game of ethereal moving parts.
Like a celestial body illuminating time, the Corum Classical Billionaire Tourbillon shines in radiant splendour, brilliantly expressing the wealth of dexterity and creativity patiently cultivated by CORUM. Eight hundred and fifty diamonds entirely cover the case, lugs, inter-horn space and crown, while the bezel is lit up by 44 baguette-cut sapphires. The visible gem-setting on the Roman numerals further exalts the magic of the passing hours and minutes. To further increase the effect of depth, the movement, caseband and ring are arranged on three levels.
Studded with blue or black gemstones, this refined watchmaking gem was made in a full-set (59 carats) version featuring a diamond-pavé bracelet, or teamed with a matching crocodile leather strap. Each of the four variations was issued in a limited edition of just 10 watches.
First created in late 2018, the Corum LAB 01 Damascus Steel Watch collection focuses on establishing a dialogue between the past and the future, and two limited edition creations were debuted then.
The latest Lab 01 models retain their distinctive barrel-shaped cases like their predecessors, but Corum has chosen to produce the cases for these new timepieces in Damascus steel- a first for the brand.
Instantly recognizable by its wavy pattern, Damascus steel is a type of alloy well-known to knife and sword makers. The history of ancient Damascus steel dates back to as early as the 4th century A.D., where the ancient city of Damascus was then well known for its weapon-makers and metallurgical prowess.
Damascus steel is known for its exceptional hardness and resistance to shatter. Blades made from this material are sharper, stronger and more flexible than others. The usage of Damascus steel serves as a nod to history, while the futuristic design of the Lab 01 embraces the experimental and modernistic approach to watchmaking that Corum stands for.
The Heritage Corum Lab 01 Damascus timepieces are driven by the caliber CO 410, a curved, barrel-shaped skeleton movement that has been designed specifically to fit the case. The dial is accented with blue or green details; and on both sides of the case, are rubber inserts in the same color. The signature Corum micro-rotor visible beneath the sapphire crystal has been finished with a contemporary spiral effect, which in itself is visually stunning when it begins to rotate.
The Damascus steel case is given black DLC-treatment, while the movement is also given Cotes de Genève finishing and offers a 50-hour power reserve. The hour and minute hands are filled with Superluminova in the same color as the rubber inserts to enhance their legibility against the dark-colored background. The fact one is unable to predict how the wavy patterns on Damascus steel will turn out during the forging process also means that every watch case will have a unique pattern like no other.
In late 2018, Corum introduced a new collection called Lab 01 to accommodate timepieces that didn’t fit within the brand’s signature Admiral or Golden Bridge lines. Positioned as a juxtaposition of heritage elements and cutting-edge mechanics, the line now welcomes two new models that perfectly embody Lab 01’s hybrid ethos.
For starters, the pieces—blue and green versions of the Heritage Corum Lab 01 Damascus—are encased in Damascus steel, the forged steel used for the blades of expert swordsmen in the ancient world. Distinguished by its trademark patterns, the alloy has been sought after throughout history for its extreme hardness and superplasticity (meaning it doesn’t shatter). And yet to look at the watches is to admire timekeeping at its most futuristic: From the tonneau-shaped skeletonized cases to the hour and minute hands filled with Super-LumiNova to a black DLC treatment on the Damascus steel, the watches feature ultra-contemporary styling.
“Part of Corum’s DNA is to use cutting edge mechanics and a mixture of the old and new,” says Boon Chong Soon, global sales and marketing director of Montres Corum. “We selected Damascus steel for this futuristic watch collection, as it has been around for hundreds of years and it seemed like the perfect blend of the past with the future. Damascus steel has never really been explored in the field of watchmaking although some other brands have used it, but not in a full-fledged collection.” The Heritage Corum Lab 01 Damascus models are equipped with caliber CO 410, a curved, barrel-shaped skeleton movement designed specifically for the 39.89 mm x 55 mm case and offering 50 hours of power reserve. The dials are accented with blue or green details, while rubber inserts in a matching color decorate the sides of the cases.
Available in a limited edition of 99 pieces, each of the Heritage Corum Lab 01 Damascus models retails for $16,800. (Two versions in Titanium are also being offered with red or white accents for $13,800.)
But wait—there’s more! For those who like Corum’s experimental side, stay tuned for another infusion of newness in spring 2020.
“As we want to continue to push boundaries further, after Baselworld next year we will be launching the Lab 02 Collection, which will be completely different from the Lab 01 Collection,” Soon says, “with limited editions highlighting an advancement in materials with a brand new usage.”
The Corum LAB 02 is the latest, highly imaginative watch from the brand synonymous with the legendary Golden Bridge. It features a fly tourbillon and an ingenious movement which presents its constituent parts seemingly floating in mid-air.
In 1955, René Bannwart, Gaston Ries and Juliette Ries founded Corum. Over the years, the company has been no stranger to success. One reason for the firm’s prosperity can be attributed to its amazing ingenuity, something which has always been part of the Corum paradigm.
At the same time the Swiss watch industry was still experiencing the destructive consequences of the ‘quartz crisis’, Corum unveiled the highly innovative Golden Bridge (1980). This ingenious watch presented the keyless works, barrel, gear train, escapement and regulating organ in linear form, sandwiched between an upper and lower bridge. A highly innovative case, featuring four panes of sapphire crystal, flooded the movement with light, affording spectacular views of the innovative calibre.
Vincent Calabrese, the esteemed independent watchmaker, was instrumental in the development of the Golden Bridge. Like many of his counterparts, Calabrese experimented with an array of ideas, eager to push the boundaries of creativity and technical know-how. One of his passions was to simplify movements, reducing the number of components and their relative size, culminating in notably clean aesthetics. With the advent of the Golden Bridge of 1980, Calabrese’s philosophy was much in evidence. While the legendary watch has evolved over time, the fundamental ethos of the 1980 original has always been upheld.
Now, the Maison from La Chaux-de-Fonds has unveiled the Corum LAB 02 watch. This model is endowed with a flying tourbillon. Furthermore, the movement features an openworked mainplate which is subsequently placed on a clear, sapphire plate. The resultant appearance suggests all the movement components, along with the hour and minute hands, are magically levitating. Once again, Corum has shown its capacity for blue-sky thinking.
The brand’s press release
On the heels of launching its dynamic “Risk is the Reward” campaign, Corum takes the concept of daring innovation to all new heights with the Corum LAB 02 timepiece. Defying all watchmaking convention, the technically advanced watch boasts a new movement that was two years in the research and development stages. Revolutionary in its design, the new calibre is equipped with a flying gear train and a host of other firsts for the brand.
The LAB 02 is a perfect example of aesthetic perfection and extraordinary craftsmanship. The highly complicated manual movement stretches the imagination as well as the physical constraints of watchmaking. In its creation, Corum’s development team’s members challenged themselves to offer not only a flying tourbillon, but also a flying gear train of sorts. The question they posed: “What if the movement doesn’t have bridges?” They then tirelessly pursued their unconventional quest.
Two years later, Corum unleashes the LAB 02. Its calibre CO 300 consists of an impressive 416 individual components, each meticulously skeletonized and finely finished. Each piece is hand-assembled in a unique format with a flying tourbillon at 6:00, with flying wheels that track the hours, minutes and seconds, and with the bridge set directly onto the mainplate.
Additionally, building a movement that is not sandwiched between the mainplate and bridge was a technical challenge that had to be overcome. The LAB02 required a much longer axis for the gear train, and, without having a top bridge, needed ball bearings instead of rubies on the mainplate to add strength and stability. The single mainplate has also been highly skeletonized. The entire movement is then placed on a fully transparent sapphire plate that allows for magnificent visibility and gives the appearance that the elements are all floating in space.
LAB 02 is further equipped with a grand date function at 4:00 and its power reserve indicator (55 hours) is unusually placed so that it is visible via a sapphire glass on the side of the case at 8:00. Because of the extremely complicated nature of this 45mm watch, just 10 pieces will be made, each identified by a specific plate number on the barrel.
Each LAB 02 can be customized, as well, enabling personal selection of the colour of gold, the choice of diamond cuts and settings, or even of coloured gemstones. The starting price of the watch, in gold, without diamonds, is CHF 180,000.
Staying true to its founding philosophy of always being Avant-Garde in order to preserve its future, Corum developed the LAB series to showcase its unprecedented foray into distinctive and fearless watchmaking. The LAB 02 is the second laboratory watch to make its debut, with LAB 01 released in early 2019. This new pillar of the Corum family pays tribute to the brand’s founders who were always risk-takers and nonconformists. The entire premise of the LAB series is to break the mould by thinking outside of the proverbial box. LAB 02 certainly delivers.
Corum Admiral cup is a Swiss watchmaker that has been around since 1955. This brand is known for its innovative watches—bold, elegant designs that continue to be popular today.
If you’d like to know more about this luxury brand, read on. This article will let you in on some of the most important things to know about Corum like its history, collections, and reputation. We’ll also give information on where you can purchase Corum watches.
The company was founded in La Chaux de Fonds, a town in the Swiss Jura mountains discovered in 1656, which became a popular location for the watchmaking industry (and later became a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Since 1955, the House of Corum Admiral cup has been located in La Chaux de Fonds. The company is currently owned by Eterna and Hong Kong-based Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited.
One of the first watches produced by the brand is the “Chinese Hat” which has a pyramid-shaped bezel that evoked the same shape as the hats worn in China at the time.
Another is the Admiral (which first came out in 1960), a square watch with an engraving of a sailboat at the back. There’s also the Coin watch, released four years later, which is equipped with an ultra-thin movement set in a gold coin.
Corum has four collections: The Admiral, Golden Bridge, Bubble, and Heritage. We’ll take a close look at each of these below, and talk about some of the brand’s most popular models.
As mentioned above, the first Corum Admiral cup watch was introduced in 1960. This watch easily became one of the brand’s most popular models, and according to the Corum website, paving the way for the company’s success.
One of the things that inspired the collection is sailing. The Admiral’s Cup race took place is 1957, and the first watch was introduced in 1960. The current collection has a wide array of models, all of which have a similar look (it no longer has the square shape that was first released). Today’s Admiral collection has a dodecagonal (12-sided) case, with different shapes, materials, and movements).
One popular model is the automatic Admiral AC-One 45 Tides, a 45mm watch with a titanium grade 5 case, with a double anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The first Admiral Tides was released in 1993 and was powered by the exclusive Corum movement CO277, with up to 42 hours of power reserve. This watch also has the same movement, as well as information on the lunar cycle, and times and strength of the tides. The dial is brass, with features like a white superluminova dauphine hour and minute hands and seconds baton hands with a Corum key design.
The collection also has smaller models, such as the 38mm Admiral Legend 38, which has a CO 082 automatic movement and stainless steel, 5N 18kt rose gold case. This also has a version with diamonds on the case with a white alligator strap.
This is arguably one of Corum’s most unique watch collections. The Golden Bridge Collection is composed of watches with four sapphire sides that show an intricate linear movement. This avant-garde watch has the movement placed on the center of the transparent case—”a perfect miniature version of the signature Californian landmark,” according to Corum.
The Corum Golden Bridge Round 43 (as in 43mm), this watch has a CO 113 hand-wound movement, which the wearer would be able to get a 60° view because of the open case. This watch has models with an 18k rose gold case, with or without diamonds.
There are also rectangular versions, like the Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle (29.50 x 42.20 mm), with a white gold case, an alligator bracelet. This design has been used by Corum since the 1980s. There’s also a rose gold version.
The recent models were refined by designer Dino Modolo, a watch powered by the CO 112 hand-wound movement and is the only watch in the market with an in-line baguette movement, which has parts stacked in a column shape. This line also has tourbillon watches (a tonneau-shaped Corum Golden Bridge Tourbillon Panoramique), which has a Featuring 360° visibility, appearing as if it’s weightless at the center of the watch.
For those who are looking for a smaller size, there’s the Miss Golden Bridge, a more feminine model with a 21.30mm x 43.99mm case made with 5N 18kt rose gold. This one’s available with both a rose gold and leather bracelet and has versions with diamonds on the case.
The company refers to the Bubble Collection as “Corum’s fun timepieces.” A Corum Bubble watch, which is is oversized with a large crystal, was introduced in 2000 and was available for around five years. It made a comeback in 2015 after the company continued to receive inquiries even after a decade of not having any new releases.
This collection shows that Corum can produce playful designs, retaining accurate movements. One of the watches from this like includes the Bubble 47 Central Tourbillon, a 47mm watch with a domed titanium case and a brass dial, with a vulcanized rubber bracelet. This model runs on the CO 406 Automatic movement with up to 65 hours of power reserve.
The Bubble is also the collection that the brand is able to incorporate pop culture designs. The Big Bubble Magical Elisabetta Fantone, for instance, is a 52mm piece with a Salvador Dali design on the dial and a vulcanized rubber bracelet. There are also a number of models with a skull design, like the Big Bubble Magical 3D Skull, a 52mm watch with a titanium grade 5 with a black PVD treatment case, and a vulcanized rubber bracelet. This watch does not have hour/minute/second hand markers—instead, the time is marked by red circles on the dial.
The collection also includes a collaboration with DJ and composer Matteo Ceccarini. The Corum Big Bubble Magical 52 Anima is an automatic watch with a 52mm case and a vulcanized rubber bracelet. On the dial is an eye design (or this, and there are minimalist round markers on the outer layer of the watch. A similar model is the Corum Big Bubble Magical 52 Earth.
The Corum Heritage Collection is composed of watches that reflect the brand’s history and creativity.
This collection includes the famous Coin watch, which watch was released in 1964. The watch has a $20 Double dial and became popular with prominent figures (this article by Watchtime mentions that seven American presidents have reportedly owned a Coin watch). Powered by a CO 082 – Automatic with a 42-hour power reserve, this watch has a 43mm yellow gold case and a dial with the American Double Eagle gold coin. There is also the unique engraved model by artist Aleksey Saburov, who created “hobo coins,” which are coins that are reworked by carving with a new design. This watch, according to this article, was presented by Saburov and Corum in Baselworld 2018.
The Heritage Collection also includes the Heritage Eleganza line, which has a feminine style. According to Corum Ceo Jerome Biard, the idea behind Eleganza was “to create a model that was both precious and contemporary.” Fitted with the CO 254 Automatic movement, this is a 40mm watch with diamonds on the bezel and dial. There’s a total of six Eleganza models and colors to choose from.
One of the newer models from the Heritage collection is the Heritage Corum Lab 01 line of watches, which have an experimental style and aesthetic, unlike what the brand has done with its classic Coin and Golden Bridge collections. These watches have a barrel-shaped titanium case (39.89mm x 55 mm), a CO 410 Automatic movement, a sapphire crystal, and an open-worked dial.
Corum is respected by watch collectors and aficionados. The luxury brand is known all over the world for its high-quality watches and limited-edition releases, with the $20 Liberty Eagle Coin watch being one of the most popular and sought-after models.
In 2013, the company was bought by Hong Kong-based Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group, which also runs two of the biggest watch brands in China (Rossini and Ebohr).
In a 2016 interview with Corum’s Davide Traxler, the former CEO said that Corum was growing in Asia, in countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Corum is a well-regarded watchmaker known for its unique watch designs with impressive technical features. The company combines “creativity and boldness” as two of its guiding principles in watchmaking.
Corum is a regular topic on forums such as this one, with many agreeing that one of the brand’s best releases is the Golden Bridge, which has a stunning design. There are mixed reviews of the more modern and daring models like the Bubble collection.
Founded in 1955, Corum Admiral 42 Automatic Chronograph is renowned for his limited-edition watches. Every year, Corum unveils new creative variations of their well-known collection. The automatic Golden Bridge was always a conversation starter between watch aficionados. The Corum Bubble’s free expressivity was pushed to the level of a contest – “Customizeyourbubble”, where the most creative Instagram user could win a Corum Bubble. Another loved collection is the Admiral’s Cup. The sailing inspired watches are a signature collection of Corum and a must have for the brand’s fans. The association between Corum and the Admiral’s Club ended this year, but Corum continued with the collection under the name Admiral. We review today one of the latest addition, the Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph, Reference number A116/03210.
The brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, released the Admiral’s Cup in 1960. The Admiral’s Cup is an international yachting regatta started in 1957. The Admiral’s Cup watches evolved from an initial square shaped case to now a twelve-sided design. The Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Bois was released in 2015. The novelty of these watches was the natural Teak wood dial. The nautical heritage of the collection was enriched with the warmth of natural wood. With the association between Corum and the Admiral’s Cup ended late last year, Corum continued with this wood theme on their latest bronze cased, wood dialed edition under the revamped line simply called Admira.
Corum Admiral AC-One 45, Ref. A116/03210 comes with a new material for case – bronze and wooden ange dial. This material is not tipically used by Corum for watch cases. The brand has a rich history of precious materials and stainless steel. Bronze is a bold choice and gives an original look, unique for each owner. The bronze develops a nice patina over time, sometimes spectacular. Some of the users even speed up the process by using chemicals. An advantage to take into consideration is that bronze can clean up really well. But most of the bronze fans take pride in developing their own formula to hasten the process. Even our reviewed piece has an interesting appearance, but the patina is natural.
The case has a generous size of 45mm diameter and a thickness of 14.3mm. The complex shape reveals a multilayered construction with alternating materials. The case is not entirely made of bronze. Corum used, as in the previous model, two brown inlays between the bezel, the case body and back-case. This not only makes the transition between one element to another but also continues as part of the crown protection. Moreover, the symmetrical shape is broken by the right-side crown protection. This design element is not subtle, and in our eyes, improves the technical aesthetics for a stronger appearance of the Admiral AC-One 45.
Another element where Corum Admiral 42 Automatic Chronograph expended considerable effort is the bezel. The front side roundness is chamfered into a dodecagonal shape. The same shape is found on the double anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The crystal slightly overflows the height of the case, creating an even more, three-dimensional shape. The visual effect is simply phenomenal, particularly considering how hard it is to obtain unusual crystal shapes. The screw in the case-back has the same design as in the older models revealing the calibre CO116 through a sapphire crystal.
The crown was not forgotten. Two rows of rectangularly shaped grips not only that enhance the crown’s usage but have an excellent visual appearance. Due to higher usage, the engraving that tends to catch more oxidation and dust, the crown will have in time a more accentuated patina, as the rest of the case.
The watch’s size sounds like it’s going to wear very large, at least on paper. But due to the intricate design, the watch seats well on the wrist. Even a smaller wrist, used to more classical sizes will have no issues with the Admiral watch. Corum deserves praise for how they handled this case.
The case offers 300 meters of water resistance, as expected for a nautically themed timepiece. Our reviewed piece, still a prototype at the photo-shooting time, has an engraving with 100m water resistance. But Corum assured us that the final and official specification is a 300m water resistance.
For the dial, Corum decided to go again with wood as the choice of material. The wooden ange gives a very engaging view of the watch. The warmth of the dial completes the overall aspect and complements the aged bronze case beautifully. It will be interesting to see, in time, how this will evolve. But the choice of bronze and wood is hardly bizarre. It stems from the maritime origins of the Admiral watch. We find this combination quite often in traditional seafaring vessels.
As a special call sign for the Admiral series, the hour markers are applied coloured nautical flags. The appliques are rhodium plated and printed with the flags by ink transfer. These elements come with a refreshing look, making the dial more enjoyable adding to the vibrance of the textured brown of the wood dial.
The hour and minute hands are rhodium plated with faceted finish. They are skeletonized, which in our view is a good decision. The hands are designed to have a generous width and have the tip finished with SuperLuminova. The central seconds’ hand is baton shaped with the Corum logo as counter-weight.
The date window is discreetly placed at 6 o’clock and is enhanced by a rhodium plated border. The white on black digits looks a bit out of the place in the scheme of things. Perhaps the choice of the colour scheme is not the happiest one.
The sporty feel of the dial fits very well the case. The entire look is pleasant and quite engaging. The watch comes with a brown “Mad Max” leather strap, treated specially to be salt water resistant.
The Corum Admiral AC-One 45 uses the same calibre CO116 as the previous models. This is expected since it is the same collection and the novelties come from other points. The movement has the typical modern characteristics like the 4Hz balance wheel and the 42 hours of power reserve. The Calibre CO116 uses an ETA calibre as a base, with a Dubois Dépraz chronograph module. Everything seems to be done flawlessly as the manipulation of the timing functions is nice and clean, with only minor visible jumps of the hands when the function is engaged, which is typical of such module chronographs.
The movement itself is kept almost hidden under the bespoke rotor weight. The skeletonized rotor plays peek-a-boo, and as it moves let parts of the movement to be visible with its nicely executed perlage. While the movement was clearly not decorated for visual impact, it redeems itself nicely. The oscillating weight features a smooth circular brushing and chamfered “windows”. The brand’s name and logo is engraved, just to remind the allegiance.
Corum Admiral AC-One 45 is priced moderately at S$16,585 (inclusive of GST). For this price, the market offers enough chronograph competitors. But the marine constellation of chronometers in bronze cases is poorly represented.
A lovely chronograph in bronze with 100m water resistance and with a price of US$7,100 is the spectacular Zenith Heritage Pilot Extra Special Chronograph. The watch was released pre-Baselworld 2017 and is a version of the Zenith Heritage Pilot Cafe Racer. The watch sports a 45mm diameter case with engraved solid titanium case-back. Typical for a pilot watch, the Pilot features big luminescent numerals with a nicely done rail-road seconds scale, but it lacks the date function. The gold-plated hands increase the black dial’s appealing and the over all aeronautic style is a nice touch. The Pilot Extra Special is powered by the Calibre El Primero 4069 – a column wheel chrono with 5Hz balance wheel and 50 hours of power reserve. The main difference stays in the Pilot’s classic design that it shows his real size, being not the obvious choice for a smaller wrist.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” was released in 2014. The Aquatimer shares many similarities with our reviewed piece. The 44mm diameter case is a little bit thicker, 16.9mm the IWC versus the 14.3mm of the Corum. Mostly satin brushed, the bronze case has some design elements which removes the classic boredom of a round shape. Interesting is the internal display rotating bezel with SafeDive system, specific to diver watches. The watch features a black dial with vertical layout and date window. The self-winding calibre 89365 has the advantage of the “in-house” tag for the price and flyback chrono function.
Corum Admiral AC-One 45 is an interesting watch with a bold personality. Perhaps polarising due to its size and case material, the Admiral is more a “love it or hate it” piece. We noted the clever case design enables a good fit on the wrist and perhaps masks the generous size. As a sailing watch, it is a bit out in the water, so to speak as it lacks functionality typically required of a regatta watch. But the charms of the natural wood texture will write love stories between the boats’ fans. The bronze patina will leave, in time, unmatched and unique signs that will personalise the watch in a way known only by the owner. A reason for pride, in our opinion. Corum Admiral 42 Automatic Chronograph fits perfectly his nautical theme.
Launched in 1960, the Admiral is one of the most emblematic creations of Corum. Based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Swiss brand was founded only 5 years earlier. Since its introduction, the Admiral collection has always showcased strong links to the nautical world. This is also the case of the latest model of this iconic line, the Corum Admiral 42 Automatic Bronze.
A material that was often used in old ships, bronze is a saltwater-resistant alloy that develops a characteristic patina over time, thus making each piece somehow unique. In order to be as homogeneous as possible over time, the 42 mm case and its dodecagonal bezel has been enhanced by a unique satin-brushed finishing.
Available in navy blue or maritime green, the dial of the Admiral 42 Automatic Bronze features the 12 pennant-shaped hour markers, typical of the line. Equipped with a Corum automatic movement visible through the sapphire case back, the watch features a small second at 6 o’clock and a date at 3 o’clock.
When it comes to Corum, most watch folks would probably call to mind the iconic Bubble line, or perhaps the Golden Bridge line. Those are certainly iconic in their own right, but they’re fairly “recent” additions to the catalog. If you want to go a bit further back, say, to the 1960s, then you’re talking about the Admiral collection. As you might expect, this line is particularly influenced by the water, ships, and sailing. While they come in a variety of sizes, and you have some options with complications, today, we’re keeping it simple with a look at the Corum Admiral 42 Automatic.
First, a quick note of clarification around the name. Throughout this article, we’ll be calling the watch the Corum Admiral Legend 42. Yet, a cursory glance at the dial shows that it’s called the Admiral’s Cup. So, what gives? In asking about it, it seems that the brand uses both names interchangeably, and they are the same watch. So, if you find the Admiral’s Cup, it’s not appreciably some different watch than the Corum Admiral Legend 42. Therefore, we’ve gone with the name that matches what you’ll find on Corum’s site.
As you might suspect by the name of the watch, the Corum Admiral Legend 42 comes in (wait for it) a tidy 42mm diameter. Though, to see that you’d have to have one greatly calibrated eye – the case itself takes the form of a dodecagon (twelve sided). Apart from being a way to distinguish this watch, visually and immediately, from others, it lays the groundwork for the dial itself. You see, that dial, that is really where the Corum Admiral Legend 42 really shines (well, sure the case shines, but that’s because it’s polished).
You see, with the dial the Corum Admiral Legend 42 brings the mizzenmast (that’s a yachting term, right?) to your wrist, in the form of signal flags that make up the indices. This is more than just a silly way to add some color and nautical flair to the watch. No, you see, those flags? They are actually conforming to the International Code of Signals (ICS) for indicating numbers using flags. This is pretty straightforward with the single digits, and then the double-digits just split the pennant in two to have the two digits indicated. While I may not be a boater myself, I like this, as it’s a clever way to integrate the theme, while giving people who really know their stuff something a bit more “hidden in plain sight” to grab on to.
Looking at the dial, something was putting my eye at unease, and I couldn’t place why, at least at first. Then I realized (quickly, thankfully) that not only was the center section (think of it as the wire the flags hang off of) not circular, it’s not even symmetrical (thanks to the date window). One presumes that this was done solely for the sub-seconds (which is more prominent here than on most watches). It also makes one pause to think about an enterprising customizer going with a Fiona Krüger-esque sugar skull there in the center. But I guess that’s more biker and car culture than it is for the marina set.
But I digress. While the number of patterns and colors on the dial of the Corum Admiral Legend 42 could make for a particularly busy watch, it works. Realistically, aside from the white (which is what the dial is, primarily), you’ve only got four other colors – red, blue, yellow, and black. These are all in small doses, and allow the other aspects – the angles, the circular grooves, and the like, to shine through. There is a lot going on with the dial, but it never felt too busy, or presented a problem with telling the time (hey, even the hands are flags – sort of).
For a dial as legible and interesting as the one on the Corum Admiral 42 Automatic, it’s not going to be worth a barnacle if it isn’t accurate. I wasn’t about to put the the watch on a Timegrapher (left it in my other pants), but I had no issues with being on time throughout my day. The watch is driven by what Corum calls the CO395 movement, which starts off with a base ETA 2895, and puts some additional decoration and a custom rotor into the mix. Given the solid ETA base, one would presume that reliability, accuracy, and maintainability shouldn’t be a problem.
Fittingly, for a watch as water-themed as the Corum Admiral Legend 42 (and yet still managing to not be a dive watch), it comes on a rubber strap with folding clasp. With the rubber, you get a strap that’s snugging right into those angles on the case, which makes for a tight look. It also means, if you like swapping out watch straps, you’re going to be stuck with just the stock option, or possibly getting a NATO to work. Anything else, and that case gap will ruin you.
On the flip side of that water-based coin, it’s surprising that the Corum Admiral Legend 42 only carries a 50m water resistance rating. Now, I’m not expecting some depth-crushing 500m rating, or something like that. I would just hope that a watch, that would seem to be most at home on the deck of a boat, would carry at least a 100m rating, so as to better keep things safe should you take a dive into the blue.
Then again, perhaps the Corum Admiral Legend 42 is aimed more at those who captain a desk, like myself, and want to be reminded more of the water’s call. In that case, yeah, the watch works great. In an office environment (or, say, out to a nice dinner) the mostly-white dial paired with the high polish of the case makes for a nice, dressy piece. Find yourself in a funkier setting? Well, the random (to the untrained eye) patterns at the indices liven things up. And yeah, even though I griped about the water resistance rating, it certainly is enough to cover you in your day to day (just don’t get crazy in the water with it).