Corum’s modern Admiral collection has its roots in the original Admiral’s Cup, introduced by the brand in 1960 as one of the earliest and still most iconic timepieces inspired by yacht racing. The collection was still using the Admiral’s Cup moniker, derived from the once world-famous international regatta established in 1957, back in 2013 when the first AC-One 45 Chronograph models were unveiled. Now, with its namesake regatta retired as of 2005, the nautical-inspired family goes by the more concise name of Admiral, and its newest chronograph models strive for a more “urban” and arguably less maritime look and feel with their black-and-white “panda” and “reverse panda” dials.
The Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph sports a handful of small but significant aesthetic updates that differentiate it from its most recent predecessors. The applied numeral “60” at 12 o’clock on the dial has been replaced by appliqués of Corum’s emblematic key emblem and brand logo. The dial retains the 2013 model’s tricompax subdial design, but with more open space on the main dial, which also has been enhanced with a new “Grenadier fendu” relief pattern that Corum developed for its exclusive use. Most notably, the monochromatic color schemes of the collection’s previous chronograph dials have been replaced by the enduringly popular “panda” (white with black subdials) and “reverse panda” (black with white subdials) motif.
The 45-mm case has also been refined, with the edges of the dodecagonal Admiral’s Cup bezel executed in a more angular fashion than the rounded edges of its predecessors. Corum has also included two titanium inserts between the bezel and case middle, indicating that the brand has its eye on future iterations mixing and matching combinations of colors and materials. The case materials available for the two current models are grade 5 titanium and 5N rose gold for the white-dial version and black PVD-coated titanium and 5N rose gold for the black dial. The 12 nautical pennant icons on the dial flange that serve as hour markers — which were multicolored on earlier Admiral’s Cup models, and added to their dials’ often overly “busy” looks — here appear more subtly and add to the watch’s sleek, streamlined aesthetic. The three subdials are framed by either white- or rose-gold rings depending on the case material.
The screwed down exhibition caseback offers a glimpse of the self-winding movement powering the AC-One Chronograph, Corum’s Caliber Co 132, presumably ETA-based, which beats at 4 Hz and stores a 42-hour power reserve. The straps on the watches are also new, made of vulcanized rubber and equipped with a triple-folding clasp, replacing the previous models’ tongue buckle, in black PVD-coated titanium. Both titanium-cased models of the Corum Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph will retail for $9,000, while the rose gold models will be priced at $18,000.