Among the thousands of novelties that will make a debut at the BaselWorld fair this year several manufacturers are also introducing their latest in-house movement creations. Over the past five years or so many firms in the Swiss watch industry has taken a turn towards creating their own movements from the ground up. One would think that only large market firms, like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Tag Heuer, Panerai, and Breitling, (among several others) would have the capital available to produce completely in house watches; but we are also seeing smaller, independent brands with high customer loyalty ambitiously invest in the design and construction of some very special engines of their own.
So, come this March 18th in Basel visitors to the fair will be properly introduced to Armin Strom‘s ARM09 (ArminReserveMarche09). After a full 3 years of development, on November 17th, 2009 at the Armin Strom headquarters in Bienne and manufacturing facilities in Biel, a select group of international press agents were introduced to the ARM09 and were able to witness it being produced in its various stages; from milling the base plates to the final assembly and decorating all, of course, performed by hand.
As for the nuts and bolts of the ARM09; it’s a 34 jewel hand-wound movement pulsing at 18,000 vib/h, comprised of only 146 components. It features an 8-day power reserve (with a reserve indicator on the dial) and in a nod to fans of the artistry of mechanical movements the crown wheels are visible on the dial side which allows the owner to view them as they turn. With a lot of manufacturers looking into silicon parts as the future of movement production; Armin Strom stood proudly alongside history and used traditional materials for its first in-house calibre.
The ARM09 will be featured in Armin Strom’s “One Week” collection that is to be unveiled at the upcoming Baselworld fair. Armin Strom has done a fine job of keeping this new collection under wraps until its official debut, but rest assured Perpetuelle.com will bring you pics of the collection as more information is available. Armin Strom CEO Serge Michel is very excited about what this potentially means for the future of Armin Strom claiming; “Of course this step is the fulfilment of a dream for us, but it also ensures our independence in other areas.”
In a time when the world’s economy is slowly working its way out of a near collapse I’m encouraged to see so much industry fanfare, and new development being showcased in Basel this March. It’s nice to hear that watch firms, big and small, are relying on innovation to keep their customer base loyal during a time when money could easily be spent elsewhere. I welcome Armin Strom to the exclusive club of “manufacture” and am excited to see what the future holds for them.
Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out our hands-on review of the Armin Strom Blue Chip Skeleton here!