The Armin Strom Racing Carbon features unusual carbon fiber inlays on the plates and bridges. In this article from the online watch magazine Escapement, Angus Davies reviews this luxury sports watch from the Swiss brand based in Bienne, Switzerland.
The relentless advance of new technology has seen various new materials enter the automotive world, especially within the high-performance and motorsport sectors of the market. Strength, rigidity and low mass are three characteristics that have proved necessary to compete in the highest echelons of motorsport.
Moreover, other industries have sought to embrace new materials, not only for the functionality they confer but, in some instances, because of their alluring aesthetics.
While carbon fiber is a material that is increasingly being used in the world of haute horlogerie, I recently saw it being utilized in a very unusual way on a limited-edition Armin Strom timepiece.
Armin Strom, an independent watch manufacturer based in Bienne, has produced a limited series of Racing Carbon models featuring carbon fiber inlays applied to the bridges and plates.
The brand has created a watch that exudes much originality and style. Rather than featuring conventional dials, Armin Strom often chooses to make the movement the focal point of the watch, openly revealing the inner components. The Racing Carbon is no exception.
The Armin Strom Caliber ARM12 is a hand-wound movement featuring an off-center hours and minutes display as well as a seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. Its design shares much in common with Caliber ARM09, save for the addition of the carbon fiber inlays.
Plates and bridges are produced from thermally relaxed watch brass that has been subjected to electroplating. The carbon fiber is then applied to the plates and bridges. Its purpose is not to improve functionality or replace any conventional parts but merely to enhance the appearance of the watch. In this regard, Armin Strom has been particularly successful with the resultant chessboard-like motif proving very appealing.
Admiring the dial, I particularly liked the carbon applied to the two bridges spanning the twin spring barrels. Furthermore, as evident from the rear view of the watch, via the exhibition caseback, the adept skill of Armin Strom’s artisans is evident, with the carbon fiber following the contour of the bridge and faultlessly enveloping the jewels. Everything lines up with perfect precision.
Armin Strom does not create conventional watches, but timepieces imbued with design prowess and passion. The ingenious use of carbon fiber on the Armin Strom Racing Carbon provides a point of differentiation from other watches employing the woven material. While it is purely aesthetic, the contrasting black squares make this timepiece devilishly handsome and particularly appealing to those who live on the racing line.
- Model: Armin Strom Racing Carbon
- Reference: TI12-RC.90
- Case: Black titanium PVD; diameter 43 mm; height 13 mm; water-resistant to 50 meters; sapphire crystal front and caseback
- Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds.
- Movement: Armin Strom Caliber ARM12, hand-wound movement; frequency 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz), 23 jewels; power reserve 7 days; 159 parts
- Bracelet/strap: Black alligator leather and carbon fiber strap, with black titanium PVD pin buckle.
- Limited Edition: 50 pieces