Earlier this month, we got to see horological rock star Kari Voutilainen team up with Armin Strom to release a limited run of the latter’s Mirrored Force Resonance. This week at SIHH, however, Armin Strom was back to announce the Pure Resonance, which the brand describes as being focused entirely on “purity and chronometry.”
Here’s a quick rundown on what a resonance watch is and how it functions.
Watches that utilize resonance are extremely rare due to the significant difficulties in production that go into making them. Resonance timepieces generally involve two independent mainsprings, gear trains, escapements, and balances that are connected by a rack and pinion to allow exact tuning of the distance between each of them. When the two oscillators (all of the above combined) are beating in sync, they are able to find a concurrent rhythm in opposite directions that continuously averages out errors. Basically, the two “resonating” balances offer higher accuracy, energy conservation, and overall better stability.
The new Pure Resonance uses two off-centered subdials to display the time compared to the usual three. This was possible only after the Armin Strom team simplified the ARF15 caliber by removing the twin-seconds flyback mechanism. This allowed the placement of a smaller subdial near 7 o’clock that displays seconds using a baton-shaped white hand and track. Near 3 o’clock, the larger subdial handles the hours and minutes with Roman numeral hour markers.
Armin Strom’s hypothesis here was not complicated. The fewer functions a timepiece has, the more accurate it will be. Claude Greisler, the brand director for the Armin Strom team, wanted this watch to be as straightforward as possible. Think of it as a time-only watch, with a classic Armin Strom resonance twist.
The ARF15 movement was redesigned so that the time displays receive energy from the lower regulator, while the upper regulator creates resonance. You can still see the resonant regulators and resonance clutch spring in plain sight, but the overall function has been totally demystified.
“The purpose of redesigning the movement’s architecture was clarity, thereby putting the focus on the resonance assembly and accuracy,” describes Greisler.
The 42 mm case (which will be available in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold) has also slimmed up, coming in at 1. 4 mm smaller than the original Resonance watch. It also includes reduced lugs and crown and virtually no visible bezel.
Armin Strom’s philosophy has always been about being on the cutting edge of the next horological frontier, but I really like this toned-down move from the brand. It feels like, to me at least, that the Pure Resonance proves that Armin Strom knows what it does well, and wanted to prove that while Greisler and his team can go toe-to-toe with anyone technology-wise, they also know when to slow down and release a watch that is emblematic of the brand’s complex DNA, while still being accessible to those who aren’t looking for the latest horological breakthrough.