Corum made its most indelible mark on watchmaking history in 1980 with the introduction of the first Golden Bridge watch, outfitted with the revolutionary in-line, baguette-shaped movement developed in the decade prior by Italian watchmaker Vincent Calabrese. Just over 30 years later, in 2011, the company followed up the manually wound original movement with an automatic version boasting its own clever mechanics. As the Golden Bridge Automatic reaches its 10th anniversary this year, Corum takes it to the next step, installing the movement inside a tonneau-shaped case with expansive sapphire crystals that offer panoramic views of its workings.
The cases options are either full grade 5 titanium with black DLC treatment, or black DLC-coated titanium with 18k rose-gold details, including the lugs and crown, the latter placed unconventionally at 6 o’clock as in previous Golden Bridge models. The former is limited to 50 pieces, the latter to 150 pieces. Both the full-titanium DLC and bi-metal models are also available in diamond-set versions, limited to 25 and 100 pieces, respectively, for a total of four new references in this anniversary edition. All of the cases, which measure 37.2 mm by 51.8 mm in dimensions, are fitted with a single block of sapphire crystal that wraps around from the front to the back of the watch and thus allows a 360-degree view of the patented Golden Bridge movement inside.
Sapphire is one of the most brittle and fragile materials to work with, which meant that great care had to be taken to mold the corners and case connections so that the finished case would remain water-resistant (to a modest but respectable 30 meters). As the watch has no actual dial, Corum’s watchmakers also developed a discreetly placed harness system to link the hand-applied indices — gold-toned in the bi-material models, rhodium-plated in the full titanium, both with black galvanic treatment — directly to the movement to make them appear to float in space.
Like their predecessor from 2011, the newest Golden Bridge Automatic timepieces contain within their partially transparent cases the Corum Caliber CO313 movement, with plates and bridges made of 18k gold and a variable inertia balance wheel among its 194 linearly-arranged parts. Its miniature, rail-mounted oscillating mass, made of platinum, replaces a traditional swinging rotor and supplies the watch a power reserve of 40 hours in its cleverly miniaturized barrel. The movement details are almost mystically presented, behind the smoked back surface of the wraparound sapphire crystal.
The 10th anniversary Golden Bridge Automatic models are mounted on black soft-touch alligator leather straps and fasten to the wrist with triple-folding buckles whose material construction echoes that of the case, either grade 5 titanium with black DLC treatment or the same material with a 5N rose gold cover. Prices are $29,000 in black DLC titanium, $39,000 in black DLC titanium and rose gold, $36,500 in black DLC titanium and rose gold with 72 diamonds set on the bezel and lugs, and $41,900 in titanium with a white-gold crown and 72 set diamonds.