Presented in a traditional for the brand cold, technocratic style, the new Armin Strom Skeleton Pure is offered in four versions, each corresponding to certain key elements of nature. Namely: Water, Air, Earth & Fire with the “Air” being a model in lightweight titanium and the “Earth” featuring black PVD-coated stainless steel. All of them look absolutely fabulous.
So far, the Swiss watchmaker has prepared only two models out of four: Water (ref. ST15 – PW.05) and Fire (ref. RG15-PF.5N). The former is crafted from high-quality stainless steel and the latter is fashioned out of much more expensive 18-karat rose gold alloy.
Complementing their styling, Armin Strom also offered two (so far) different finishes for its Caliber ARM09-S in-house movement. The one that goes with the Water model has its gars and bridges polished (and, from the looks of it, also rhodium-plated), while the plates are finished in bright red PVD that perfectly allies with the grayish monochromatic color (yes, it’s still a color) of stainless steel. The other, the one that powers the version in gold, has most of its parts (save for a number of gears that are made of polished brass) treated with gray PVD coating that, too, ideally matches the reddish color of gold.
As usual for the brand, the mechanisms are skeletonized not by a skilled hand of an artisan, but by an advanced, highly precise CNC machine. The result is a high-tech-looking caliber that looks modern even despite its somewhat archaic cadence of balance, which is tuned to just 18,000 oscillations per hour.
The engine’s lack of speed is partly compensated with its impressive power reserve rating. Featuring a double-barrel design, the ARM09-S will run for as long as 8 days (approximately 192 hours) after being fully wound. Not a small feat, that.
As far as I get it, the mechanism is protected from the elements by the same body that the Swiss watchmaking brand utilized for its last year’s Tourbillon Water hand-wound model. Measuring the same 43.40 mm in diameter and being 13.00 mm thick, the watch is too large for a dressy timekeeper, but I am positive that Armin Strom doesn’t intend you to wear the wristwatch on an everyday basis: it is more of a collector’s piece rather than a millionaire’s daily beater.
Like many other skeletonized timekeepers, won’t stun you with a highly legible dial. The watchmaker tried to compensate for the lack of readability with its pair of hour and minute hands featuring thick strips of Superluminova, however, the power reserve indicator, which is located at 9 o’clock sharing the space with a small seconds sub-dial, will probably make your eyes water in case you try to read it in poor light. But that’s probably the only problem of this otherwise gorgeous timepiece.
According to the company, they plan to issue the timekeeper in four bunches -Water (stainless steel, ref. ST15 – PW.05), Fire (18k rose gold, ref. RG15-PF.5N), Air (titanium), and Earth (black PVD coated stainless steel)-, each limited to just 100 numbered pieces. The first pair was revealed earlier this month at Salon SIAR in Mexico-City, while the second is to be presented at November’s Salon QP in London.
Pricing is still to be announced, but it is clear that they won’t come cheap.
Photos: Armin Strom
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Armin Strom Skeleton Pure (Water, Air, Earth & Fire) specification
Price: €28,700 (Pure Water) / €40,200 (Pure Fire)
Movement: Hand-wound, Caliber ARM09-S, in-house, double-barrel, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 34
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Power reserve: 192 hours (8 days)
Movement decoration: Skeletonized
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve
Case: Air (titanium) / Earth (black PVD coated stainless steel) / Water (stainless steel, ref. ST15 – PW.05) / Fire (18k rose gold, ref. RG15-PF.5N)
Size: 43.40 mm
Case height: 13.00 mm
Hour markers: Stick-shaped
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Genuine alligator horn-back strap and ardillon buckle with an additional rubber strap. An optional double-fold clasp included
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Sapphire, antireflective