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Corum - Heritage on the Move

Corum Heritage on the Move

A travelling exhibition looks back over Corum’s exceptional creative heritage

 “As a rule, if you see something new with what looks like an innovative design, Corum probably invented it a couple of decades ago.” Marc Wälti, head of marketing and product for Corum, knows the power of a good slogan. And they’re even more powerful when they’re true. Corum has never chased after the horological prize of grand complications – that’s something it’s happy to leave to its neighbours in La Chaux-de-Fonds. But it has always had a knack for tracing out a path that more or less everyone ends up following. 

Heritage on the Move

Golden Bridge © Corum

Meteorite dials? Corum. Feathers? Corum again. An extra-thin movement inserted inside a coin? Corum. Square watches, nine years before the Monaco? Yes, Corum. The ingenious baguette movement invented by Vincent Calabrese? Without Corum, it would still be lying in the back of a drawer. And the list goes on. Sometimes, the masterstroke is due to happy accident. In 1966 the Romulus, a design cherished today by certain Roman jewellery-watch brand, was delivered to the Basel Fair without any hour markers, which the supplier had forgotten to add. The Corum team quickly had them engraved directly onto the bezel, and the Romulus was born.

70 years of creativity

It’s this forgotten history that Marc Wälti wants to highlight, today, in a travelling exhibition entitled “Corum Over Time”. Part of the exhibition was visible in Geneva at the end of August, during the Geneva Watch Days. “We occupied the Maison de l’Horlogerie in the city centre,” Marc Wälti explains. “While we were there, we noticed that visitors were as interested in the retrospective of our historic pieces as they were in the new Bubble X Aiiroh. In fact, visitor numbers continually exceeded our expectations. The Maison des Horlogers even asked us to let them keep our collection, so that they could meet the demand. And the visitors keep coming!”

Heritage on the Move

Bubble 47 X Aiiroh © Corum

On the road again

On the strength of this experiment, Corum plans to bring together some thirty pieces to tour the world. This travelling exhibition will be hosted by local partners and retailers, and will be open to collectors and friends of the brand. “The aim is twofold: to remind our historic collectors of the brand’s heritage, and to introduce Corum to younger aficionados who weren’t around between 1955 and 1985,” the brand explains. It’s a welcome approach, at a time when the watch industry continues to be dominated by vintage nostalgia, despite the fact that many of its most prominent advocates are unfamiliar with the history. “Some brands have strong DNA but that can be something of a gilded cage. Corum is the opposite: our DNA is creative, which enables us to break free of all conventions,” Marc Wälti concludes.

 

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The brand

Corum takes aesthetic daring to the heights of technical perfection. Through a number of collections, drawing on the fundamentals of traditional watchmaking, the manufacture continues to pursue its path free from the influence of passing trends.

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