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Armin Strom - A lesson in humility

Armin Strom A lesson in humility

Honest and functional, Armin Strom’s first watch from women, the Lady Beat, is a lesson in humility and modern watch design.

There’s strength in humility. That’s what Armin Strom’s latest watch, the Lady Beat, shows in its design. For their first watch made exclusively for women, Serge Michel and Claude Greisler, co-founders of the independent brand, decided to seek out the advice of two female designers. While that may not seem like much of a revolutionary step or approach, there’s something quite rebellious about that in this industry. Having written quite a bit on women’s watches and the approach to their design and conception, I was very intrigued when I first saw photos of the Lady Beat. A quick email to the Armin Strom team and a few days later, I had the Lady Beat on my wrist, to test and see how it lived up my expectations.

A lesson in humility

Lady Beat © Joy Corthésy

The latest from System 78

The Lady Beat is born out of the brand’s System 78 collection, Armin Strom’s entry-level collection that showcases part of its movement (the three bridges) on the dial side. Initially inspired by a vintage pocket watch, the brand had launched in 2019 the Gravity Equal Force, the first piece from the System 78 collection, featuring this all new ASB19 calibre with an innovative stop-works declutch mechanism in the barrel that delivered equal force to the regulating system. Now, the Lady Beat shows a slightly smaller version of this same calibre, now the ALA20, in a 38mm case—a size often considered the “sweet spot” for both women and men.

A lesson in humility

Lady Beat © Joy Corthésy

But the size isn’t the only thing that was adapted for a woman’s wrist in this model.  What’s much more remarkable about the Lady Beat is its softened edges, curved case and rounded half-moon rotor, all of which are clear references to the moon. And yet, it still bears the industrial engineering and straightforwardness that Armin Strom watches are known for. They didn’t sacrifice their innovative movement for the sake of diamonds or to make something smaller and daintier, instead approaching it differently by soliciting the advice of women who not only wear watches but design them as well.

A lesson in humility

Lady Beat © Joy Corthésy

Living to the Beat

Having worn it for a week, here are my thoughts on Armin Strom’s Lady Beat. This isn’t a classic—it’s a watch for a woman who likes to be on the road less taken. It’s avant-garde without being costume-y, bold without any of the arrogance or “look at me!” gimmicks. And it’s comfortable to wear, a criterion that I think is immeasurably important for a watch you want to a) invest in and b) wear daily.

My only wish? To have seen it in white with a rose gold case. It just looks timeless and elegant in a warmer metal and, in my opinion, could easily contend with the likes of more well-known designs like the Rolex’s bestselling Oyster Perpetual or A. Lange & Söhne’s Little Lange 1.

A lesson in humility

Lady Beat © Joy Corthésy

At CHF 16,000, the Lady Beat is Armin Strom’s entry-level watch. Which may seem steep compared to other steel watches for women that don’t have diamonds, but you absolutely get what you pay for: uniqueness, independent and innovative watchmaking from a brand that has been awarded over and over again for their futuristic vision of what mechanical movements can become. And on top of that, the Lady Beat is entirely customizable—another sign that Armin Strom is entirely open to what women have to say.

 

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The ARMIN STROM manufacture expresses the very substance of its founder’s legacy. Its guiding principle is that of reinterpreting watchmaking tradition. To this end, it applies the principle of making movements visible and decorating them at every stage of their design and production.

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