Undeniably 2009 has been a very innovative and successful year over at Corum. The brand launched their second in-house movement and a number of novelties, including the very unique Ti-Bridge series. So it is fitting then that one of their latest creations is the focal point for our last Weird Watch Wednesday entry for 2009, a category that celebrates the unusual, the innovative and the downright crazy!
A Clear Work Of Genius
Since 2007 a key characteristic of Corum novelties has been the reinterpretation of transparency. The Ti-Bridge series is an excellent example of this as it has no dial to speak of. Thanks to its clever design when you look through the front of the watch, all you see is the movement, the hour and minutes hands, the bottom plates and the triangle casing clamps.
Well now the brand has stepped up this creativity and craftsmanship to another level again, with the creation of the Golden Tourbillon Panoramique with grey PVD coated sapphire crystals.
First introduced in 2007 this latest incarnation of the Golden Tourbillon Panoramique is deceptively complex. Even at first glance the level of difficulty involved in constructing a piece of this caliber is immediately obvious. However, what makes this timepiece truly special is the fact that the mainplate and the three bridges are made of sapphire crystal, a very delicate and brittle material.
The level of expertise and precision required in the fabrication and shaping of synthetic sapphire crystal is immense and the high probability of breakage during the manufacturing stage makes this an extremely time consuming process. Thus it is important to take this into consideration in order to appreciate the exceptional level of craftsmanship involved in the creation of this watch.
As a result a truly unique visual effect is created by the slightly grey color of the sapphire crystal, which partly reveals the mystery of the conception and accentuates the strength of the timepiece. This stunning piece of aesthetic trickery is almost overpowered, however, by the 309 diamonds set in the white gold Tonneau-shaped case that surrounds the movement.
This is truly a dedication to decadence.
In Full View
The movement is a mechanical hand-wound Corum 382 based upon LaJoux Perret 7951 and features a tourbillion complication. Beating at 21,600 vibrations per hour the timepiece offers an impressive 90 hour power reserve when fully wound. Each movement is assembled and adjusted over a period of three weeks, before being cased up and comprised of 168 individual parts. To ensure the wearer can fully appreciate the mechanical complexity of this piece four sapphire crystal glasses offer the maximum view of this stunning movement.
Given the high-level of complexity involved in the creation of these pieces they are only available in a Limited Edition of 5 pieces.
The Final Word
The Golden Tourbillon Panoramique with grey PVD coated sapphire crystals is indicative of what can be achieved when money is no barrier. Yes it is unusual for a manufacturer to produce a limited run of only 5 watches but at the same time it is very exciting to see that even the bigger brands have not lost sight of the true watchmaking spirit of innovation and creativity. Sure this piece is not practical and the price tag is likely to rival that of a Super Car but that’s not the point. It’s an expression of artistic vision and craftsmanship to the highest degree possible and for that, I say thank you.