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.
5 key dates
- About Armin Strom
The history of the ARMIN STROM manufacture began with that of its founder. Armin Strom was born in the picturesque Emmental hills in 1937. He left his father's bakery to learn the trade of watchmaker. During his youth, this profession enabled him to sell his watches in well-known resorts such as St. Moritz, where his services were appreciated by a highly demanding clientele. However, in 1967 an undreamed-of opportunity was to change his destiny: he was able to buy a store in the medieval town of Berthoud. This shop, with a large workshop, was the ideal place for setting up a business where he could devote himself to what had become an increasingly all-consuming passion for the master watchmaker – working on watches to enhance them and add more functions.
At first carried out during his spare time, the results of this line of work were soon on display in the window, attracting customers. Armin Strom then began to become established as a name that was synonymous with attention to detail. It was a signature that gave full meaning to the expression “the patience of a goldsmith”. This was followed by major recognition – assemblers from all over the world and the biggest brands placed orders with the man who by now was known as the “skeletisation master”.
This personal success provided Armin Strom with the opportunity to rise to a new challenge: sharing and passing on his art in order to keep it alive. To do so he established a partnership with Willy Michel, an industrialist and watch-lover, founding the company ARMIN STRONG AG in 2006. Heading up this new entity was Willy's son, Serge Michel, along with manufacturer Claude Greisler. Their modern vision of watchmaking, combined with the unshakable values of the brand's founder, led to fresh development thanks to which ARMIN STROM AG now offers a completely new take on skeletisation.
Some twenty or so people work in the hi-tech manufacture's premises, which opened in Bienne in 2009. Production focuses exclusively on limited editions, gathered together into collections presented annually at Baselworld and sold worldwide. Armin Strom retired in 2011, at the age of 74. He has successfully passed on his passion, determination and integrity to the next generation – and these qualities are to be found in the design of each and every ARMIN STROM watch.
- Armin Strom's philosophy
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.
This results in watchmaking treasures that reveal the hidden time of mechanisms and complications, with skeletisation seen as a creative principle that constantly calls for fresh approaches. The brand now has four calibers, including a tourbillon, made entirely at the manufacture.
Over and above the independence from suppliers it affords, this autonomy makes it possible to give a watchmaking idea the most perfect incarnation possible.
- Armin Strom's 5 key dates
1938: Mr Armin Strom born
1967: Armin Strom opens his workshop
2006: “Armin Strom AG” founded
2009: The Manufacture in Bienne opens; presentation of the first in-house movement
2012: Presentation of the Tourbillon caliber
- Armin Strom's collections
Tourbillon Gravity Collection: Armin Strom’s Tourbillon Gravity Collection had a blazing launch with the Fire model presented ahead of the three other elemental models familiar from the brand’s core collections. While the tourbillon visible at 9 o’clock within the off-centre dial compensates for the effects of gravity on the watch’s operation, the micro-rotor of the ATM13 calibre, which is visible from the dial side, harnesses the same forces in order to power the watch. After the Fire model in 18-carat pink gold, the collection is now completed with the Air (titanium), Water (stainless steel) and Earth (stainless steel with black PVD coating) models.
Gravity Date Collection:The same four familiar variants inspired by the elements – Earth, Water, Air and Fire – and the same familiar case. But the space at 9 o’clock hitherto reserved for the complications of small seconds or tourbillon is now taken over by an easily-readable counter that displays the date by hand, as well as a separate time zone displayed in hours and minutes on the same axis and a day/night scale for ease of use. The functions are powered by Armin Strom’s new ADD14 self-winding calibre, which has a micro rotor visible at 1 o’clock through the open-worked dial and offers five days of autonomy.
One Week Skeleton Collection: The One Week Skeleton Collection represents the fulfilment of the company founder’s dream to produce a skeleton watch that was entirely manufactured in-house. In a fine example of the art that made Armin Strom, the watchmaker from Burgdorf, famous, any non-vital material in the ARM09 calibre has been carefully removed. Even the going barrel springs are visible through the winding wheels. The remaining structural components are then treated to an exquisite engraving. The resulting masterpiece is available in a yellow, red or white-gold case.
Racing Collection: The Racing Collection is updated for 2014 with two new calibres that contain genuine parts from a Formula 1 engine, thanks to the brand’s partnership with the Marussia Formula 1 team. The movement bridges are made from parts of an original Formula 1 engine block, while the two-tone look of the case comes from a combination of brushed titanium and black PVD-coated steel.
Gravity Collection: First watch from the Biel-based Manufacture to feature an automatic winding mechanism with micro rotor. With this first series of automatic watches driven by the Manufacture’s new AMR13 calibre, ARMIN STROM wanted to express the essence of a fundamental law of physics – that of gravity. Thus, the laws of gravity are used in an automatic watch to transform movements into a mode of indicating the time. However, the ARMIN STROM Gravity does not simply provide a glimpse of how this transformation works, rather, the dial is designed to proudly display the micro rotor, which captures the power of the movements and transforms them into energy. The visibility of this mechanism is made possible thanks to an innovative concept of transmission for the rotor, which remains smaller in size than the diameter of the going barrel. Available in four colourways that represent the four elements: FIRE, EARTH, WATER and AIR. The ARMIN STROM Gravity boasts the same exceptional level of finishing that has contributed to the reputation of the brand and of its eponymous founder. This is a timepiece that will appeal to connoisseurs of fine watchmaking wishing to celebrate the movement in all its forms.
Tourbillon Collection: The Manufacture joins the highly exclusive club of horologers that develop and produce their own tourbillon movements. The tourbillon of the new ATC11 calibre is distinguished by a lever worked in 18ct white gold and an assembly that places the balance wheel and seconds pinion on the same axis. A hallmark of the Tourbillon Collection is the exposed, intricate inner mechanics. The brand has promoted modern forms of skeletonising, with designs integrated from the early stages of the calibre before being entirely crafted by hand in the Manufacture. Based on the elements FIRE, EARTH, WATER and AIR present the brand’s aesthetic genius and pays testament to the Manufacture’s full spectrum of watchmaking skills.
Manual Collection: The Manual collection, equipped with the hand-decorated AMW11 caliber, has a split-level dial that adds a sense of depth. This limited edition comes in four element versions – earth, water, air and fire.
One Week Collection: Fitted with the first manual rewind caliber fully produced within the manufacture, the ARM09, this skeleton collection equipped with a power reserve comes in four different versions mirroring the four elements, and provides a breath-taking view of its differential gearings.
- Contact Armin Strom