Our German author Julia Knaut checks out the Corum Admiral’s Cup Legend 42 Annual Calendar, a model from the Swiss brand’s nautically themed Admiral’s Cup collection. With exclusive photos by OK-Photography.
Corum launched its Admiral’s Cup watch in 1960, naming it after an international yachting regatta that was started in 1957. The original model was square, but in 1983 the company redesigned it, giving it a 12-sided case and replacing the hour markers with colorful nautical pennants that corresponded to the international maritime flag signals. This detail soon became the most identifiable characteristic of the collection. In recent years, Corum has begun altering the pennants, first making them black and white and then reducing them to transparent outlines.
The Admiral’s Cup model that we tested has another new feature: an annual calendar, which is adjusted by means of two buttons on the side of the case. The watch has a polished stainless-steel bezel and reflective, multifaceted markers. The well-balanced design seems to have been given more importance than some other aspects of the watch, such as legibility. The dial does not provide much contrast, and the type on the displays is small. We found the hands to be too short and the seconds track on the outer rim of the dial hard to read precisely. However, strong luminous material on the hour, minutes and date hands allows you to see the time in the dark. Slight color differences in the luminous material may not be considered a flaw, but they are a visual distraction.
The case, made of stainless steel, is highly detailed and cleanly finished. The top of the bezel is smoothly polished; the sides of the bezel and case have a brushed finish. Upon close inspection, we found a minor shortcoming in the assembly of the case and the bezel: their edges are slightly out of alignment with each other. Another troubling feature of the case is its water resistance of only 30 meters, surprising for a watch with a nautical theme. The crown is large, fluted and easy to use. A hack mechanism enables you to set the time precisely. You need a pointed object to depress the recessed buttons used to correct the date and month. The strap is made of crocodile and has a double-folding clasp with stainless-steel deployant buttons, which operate with ease. Because the caseback is flat with rounded edges, the watch lies comfortably against your wrist. The padded strap and flat clasp add to the wearing comfort.
The strap is supple, but it isn’t perfectly made. Although it is carefully stitched and glued, a few places on the clasp show minor finishing flaws and sharp edges. The watch is equipped with the “top”-grade version of the ETA caliber 2892, enhanced with a Dubois Dépraz module for the annual-calendar display. You can see the beautifully decorated movement, powered by a rotor with elaborate Corum engraving, through a sapphire window in the caseback. Our test on the timing machine showed very good results. The average daily gain was only three seconds. The greatest deviation in the various positions was also small, four seconds per day. The amplitude was stable, though not spectacular for an ETA 2892.
The watch’s styling creates a lasting impression. For $9,200, you get a watch with an annual calendar and a distinctive, nautical look, defined by carefully executed and elaborate details. You must be careful not to go overboard while wearing this watch, but you can pass the time on the sun deck following the rhythm of the waves.
+ Distinctive design
+ Good rate results
– Poor legibility
– Low water resistance
Manufacturer: Corum, Rue du Petit-Château 1, CH-2301 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Reference number: 503.101.20/0F01 FH10
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, months; analog date indicator; hack mechanism
Movement: ETA 2892, “top” grade, with Dubois Dépraz module 5933, automatic; 28,000 vph, 21 jewels, Etachron regulator, Incabloc shock absorber, power reserve = 42 hours; diameter = 26 mm, height = 5.2 mm
Case: Stainless steel, curved sapphire crystal with double-sided nonreflective coating, fully threaded caseback with sapphire crystal; water resistant to 30 meters
Strap and clasp: Crocodile strap with stainless-steel folding clasp
Rate results (Deviations in seconds per 24 hours):
Dial up +4
Dial down +5
Crown up +1
Crown down +4
Crown left +4
Crown right +2
Greatest deviation of rate 4
Average deviation +3.3
Flat positions 260°
Hanging positions 247°
Dimensions: Diameter = 42 mm, height = 10.15 mm, weight = 103 g
Variations: With anthracite dial; rose-gold case with anthracite dial ($25,900)
Strap and clasp (max. 10 points): The standard clasp shows some finishing flaws and sharp edges. 7
Operation (5): The crown is very easy to grasp and pull out. The strap and clasp also operate easily. 5
Case (10): Elaborate, nicely finished case, although the edges of the bezel and case do not match up perfectly. 9
Design (15): Unique and consistent design from the dial to the case, with many different surfaces and finishes. 13
Legibility (5): The detailed design of the dial has little contrast. The markers and hands are reflective in all lighting conditions, and the date hand and minutes hand are too similar in appearance. 2
Wearing comfort (10): A rounded caseback and flat clasp make the watch comfortable. 9
Movement (20): The standard movement, ETA 2892, “top” grade, is enhanced with a Dubois Dépraz module and nice decorative finishes. 14
Rate results (10): The timing machine test showed very good results and stable amplitude. 9
Overall value (15): The watch offers unusual design and finishing, plus an annual calendar. 12
TOTAL: 80 POINTS
This article first appeared in the February 2013, issue of WatchTime Magazine.
Collectors do not collect Corum. Why?