Although most manufacturers already presented their new collections at SIHH 2011, the Swiss watchmaker Corum will demonstrate its upcoming Corum Golden Bridge (Ref. 313.150.55/0001 FKO2) automatic watch next month at Baselworld 2011 event. Featuring an astonishing design and offered at a relatively affordable (for a gold wristwatch from a major watchmaking brand anyway,) the luxury gadget will officially go on sale later this year.
The new timekeeper’s main point of attraction is the CO 3131 baguette-type automatic movement that features a rare linear winding system.
While in normal self-winding watches a rotor simply rotates back and forth on its vertical axis, here the oscillating weight is moving up and down like a tiny steam hammer.
According to the Swiss manufacture, the oscillating weight, although very small, is done in platinum and is therefore very massive tipping the scales at impressive 4 grams (0.14 ounces.) To increase the winding system’s life span, it is equipped with a set of dampers that slow the oscillating weight down at its lowest point and send it in an opposite direction.
As you can see on the photos, the gorgeous mechanism is perfectly visible both from the transparent case back and through the minimalistic dial.
To provide even better view at the tiny mechanical gadget, the watch’s 37.20 x 51.80 mm case is equipped with two more sapphire crystals installed in its sides. The winding crown doesn’t obstruct the view, since it is located at 6 o’clock, on the opposite side of the balance wheel, which is also perfectly visible.
I am trying to be as unbiased as I can (this is very hard, believe me,) but I think that this watch is going to be one of the brightest stars at the upcoming trade show in Basel.
As for the price, it is actually not as low as I think I made some people to believe in the second sentence of this brief review article. Soon to be offered at a minimum recommended street price of $45,000 USD (as usual, it may be noticeably different on different markets around the globe due to different tax systems and custom duties,) it is not particularly affordable and definitely is not cheap (well, maybe if you are a prince or a serial startaper with a history of successful projects the length of Mississippi.) However, given how rare is the movement that powers the piece, how beautifully it is done, I really do think that this watch makes an average Grand Complication watch that is three times more expensive look dull and boring. In this respect, it really is a piece of affordable luxury.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Corum Golden Bridge Automatic (Ref. 313.150.55/0001 FKO2) automatic watch specification
Price: $45,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber CO 3131, linear winding system, 26 jewels, 28,800 vph, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Plate and bridges made of 18kt gold, guilloche
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Rose gold or White gold
Bezel material: Rose gold or White gold
Case shape: Tonneau
Bezel shape: Tonneau
Case size: 37.20 mm x 51.80 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Black or Gray, transparent in the middle
Hands: Rose gold or White gold, skeletonized
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black crocodile leather strap, hand-stitched with tongue buckle in rose gold or white gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire (vertical cutout to show the linear winding system in work)