Only days remain until SIHH 2019 officially gets started. As the press releases and announcements continue to flow in before the show, we’ve discovered that the first release from Armin Strom in 2019 will be an update to one of last year’s most horologically compelling travel-time releases: The Masterpiece 1 Dual Time Resonance. First revealed in October 2018, the Dual Time Resonance was the latest application of resonance watchmaking for the brand, following the Mirrored Force Resonance in 2016 and the Pure Resonance at SIHH last year. What we have here today, however, is last fall’s innovative timepiece in a new dressing that offers a brilliant view of the horological expertise at work.
The initial Dual Time Resonance offering was a limited edition of eight pieces in grade 5 titanium. It was quickly joined by two more series of eight watches in rose gold and white gold. The new construction, offered in a transparent sapphire crystal case, provides an entirely different feel for the model. Where the titanium and rose gold versions felt like a potent indicator of Armin Strom’s ability, the sapphire model transforms the watch’s appearance into a display of kinetic energy and glamorizes the high-level of finishing that encompasses every angle of the watch. While the harmonious hum of the proprietary Resonance Clutch Spring has always been visible on the front of Armin Strom’s resonance experiments, the scratch-resistant sapphire case enables a complete 360° view of the timepiece’s interior build for the first time.
“This new Sapphire case sets the perfect stage for the detailed work and passion we put into the Dual Time Resonance,” says Claude Greisler, co-founder of Armin Strom, in a release. “The total transparency does not allow for any mistakes and demands a finish on the highest level, which goes in line with our philosophy.”
The Dual Time Resonance is the first in a new collection for the brand billed as Masterpiece. The travel-time model has been given the requisite prefix of Masterpiece 1, of course, and Serge Michel — Greisler’s partner — recently told me that the new collection will revolve around combining multiple complications for a highly limited crowd of experienced collectors.
The two independent time indications, which feature guilloché completed by Comblémine (Kari Voutilainen’s workshop), are powered by two independent movements, which enable the watch to show two different time zones at the same time and are, of course, balanced courtesy of the brand’s patented coupling spring that allows the two dueling gear trains to remain in sync. The two dials are not alone on the oval-shaped case structure, in fact, they are joined by two conical power reserve indicators that are placed within each dial and a single 24-hour indicator set between the two complementary dials that displays the time for both indicators simultaneously via two small hands. The twin movements are billed as manually-wound manufacture caliber ARF17 (although there are two crowns used for setting the time, all winding action takes place courtesy of the right-facing crown which winds both gear trains simultaneously) with a 110-hour power reserve for each movement that comes from the four mainspring barrels — connected by a single ratchet wheel — visible on the backside of the watch.
Not only does the innovative caliber allow for a clear distinction between the two separate time zones, it also amplifies precision up to 20% compared to COSC standards and has been certified by the Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM) as a true system of resonance.
Personally, one of my favorite small details of the Dual Time Resonance is the flexibility it offers to its wearer. Instead of displaying a second time zone, the dueling layout can also be potentially used as a countdown timer, or for tracking elapsed time like a chronograph, or, as Michel noted in our earlier conversation, “If [you] are always late, you can set one time for 10 minutes earlier.”
The Armin Strom Dual Time Resonance Sapphire is delivered with a blue alligator strap — to match the two shades of blue on the dials — and a stainless steel double-folding clasp. It’s priced at CHF 280,000.
Click here to read the rest of our interview with Serge Michel, co-founder of Armin Strom.