Skeleton watch specialist Armin Strom is launching its newest collection, called Tourbillon Skeleton, at Baselworld 2016. As with other Armin Strom watch families, this one will consist of four watches representing the four elements, Earth (black PVD case), Air (titanium), Water (steel), and Fire (rose gold). The first to be released is the the new Armin Strom Tourbillon Skeleton Earth.
The watch’s black PVD-coated stainless steel case is 43.4 mm in diameter and 13 mm thick, with nonreflective sapphire crystals covering the front and back and a water-resistance of 50 meters. The dial ring that floats above the multi-layered skeleton movement is made of sapphire and features founded appliques for the hours and minutes; a separate, off-center small-seconds subdial is built right onto the movement, directly above the rotating tourbillon cage.
The real story here, of course, is the skeletonized, manual-wind movement that is on display, Armin Strom Caliber ATC11-S. Its fully openworked mainplate features a black PVD coating that echoes the case material. It is equipped with a double going barrel that stores an astounding 10-day power reserve; in addition to witnessing the rotation of the tourbillon, the wearer can see the winding mechanism in motion on the dial side. The escape wheel and pallets are made of solid gold with hardened functional areas, and the screwed balance has a Breguet overcoil. Caliber ATC11-S consists of 184 total parts, including 24 jewels, and has a frequency of 18,000 vph.
The Armin Strom Tourbillon Skeleton Earth (Ref. ST15-TE.90) is delivered with a black hornback alligator strap and a double-folding clasp in black PVD-coated steel, along with an additional black rubber strap. Prices for the watch will be revealed — and, presumably, the rest of the Skeleton Tourbillon collection unveiled — at Baselworld 2016.
Armin Strom Tourbillon Skeleton Earth (Ref. ST15-TE.90) looks stunning, but one cannot read the time at a glance that is the primary difficulty with these skeleton watches.
Apart from that there is also the small matter related to the price of these watches, as almost all of these timepieces cost at least an arm and a leg.