The watch you will see here is one of the finest watches one could ever hope to own – or wear, if even for a few minutes. If I think of what this watch tells me when it is on the wrist or under the loupe, I would say that the Armin Strom Blue Chip Automatic Skeleton exudes strength & power, individuality & intricacy – all at once. With its massive 46.5mm diameter and 16mm thickness, the case of the Blue Chip Skeleton says unequivocally that it is built for a “power player”, and that it is a watch that will take a back seat to none of its equally sized peers. But this is just the beginning, as this watch has far, far more to offer than just another hulk-sized case. You see, it is full of incomparable vibrancy and depth – individuality, one might say. With a fully skeletonized, engraved and finished movement inside the case, the Blue Chip Skeleton tells you that it was carefully, meticulously, and deliberately brought to life by the steady hands of a master.
With this introduction in mind, I invite you to now enjoy my video and photo review of the Armin Strom Blue Chip Automatic Skeleton (reference no. ST09-SA.75):
Photo Gallery: Armin Strom Blue Chip Automatic (17 Images)
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List Price: $17,600.
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ARMIN STROM SA – Tradition and Vision
Amongst watch aficionados, Armin Strom’s name is synonymous with the highest level of hand-made skeletons and watch engraving. An exclusive series of skeleton watches based on decades of tradition is now being created in Biel under the watchful eye of the Master. At the same time, a new collection is being launched as “Armin by Armin Strom”, geared towards modern tastes and with a technical orientation.
Armin Strom SA was founded in 2006 and is based in the watch-making center of Biel. The main investor is the well-known Burgdorf industrialist, Willy Michel. At work is a motivated crew whose average age is much lower than the norm for the industry. Targeted investment in state-of-the-art production facilities has allowed the young firm to be increasingly independent from suppliers. The aim is to exist as an actual manufacturer and to make watch movements entirely developed independently. The company’s plans are for the long term with an awareness and strategy to build up in several years a reputable brand, highly regarded for quality production and design.
The firm offers a watch collection under the “Armin Strom” brand whose movements are enhanced with various levels of hand-engraving or partial skeletons, up to a fully hand-made skeleton watch. Understatement is in demand nowadays which is why the skeleton movement is often only visible on the back. The watches are meticulously executed as Armin Strom has always been uncompromising when is comes to quality.
The newly launched label is called “Armin by Armin Strom”, with the emphasis on proprietary manufacture. However, it also represents the modern style of movement embellishment, without neglecting important traditional values. A young, superbly trained and highly motivated team creates new collections emphasizing a modern, technical image. Serge Michel, Managing Director of Armin Strom SA, explains: “We intentionally try to blend tradition with new innovative methods; provisions are being made to transfer the know-how as Armin Strom himself trains the junior watch-makers in-house.”
The first step on this path was taken in 2008, with introduction of the regulator in the Four Elements models, under the new “Armin by Armin Strom” label. Based on a standard movement, the complete construction of a regulator with an off-center arrangement of seconds, minutes and hours, as well as a retrograde date display, was developed and produced “in-house” for the line, all with a modern appearance, including a striking polished or brushed titanium case. The manual winding movements are beautifully engraved and can be admired through the glass back. This engraving is within the DNA standards of Armin Strom.
“We still have a few tricks up our sleeve,” says young watch-maker/constructor Claude Greisler who is responsible for designing new models. “Our own movement has reached a decisive stage, but it will be some time before we can achieve final introduction and subsequent mass production.”
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