Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force in 18ct rose gold
The Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force is now available in 18ct rose gold. The initial model was unveiled last year in a 41mm stainless steel case, however, this new addition to the range embraces warm tones, imbuing the model with a different character. It represents the latest chapter in the Manufacture’s impressive success story which began in 2009.
The independent watch brand, Armin Strom, is led by Claude Greisler and Serge Michel. Unusually, the company makes its own movements, including plates, bridges, wheels, pinions, pivots, screws, levers, etc. In 2009, when most companies were hand-wringing due to the financial crisis, Armin Strom was in the midst of equipping its Manufacture. It was able to acquire state of the art machinery at very keen prices. Indeed, survey the company’s production areas and you will notice modern profile turning machines, CNC machines, wire erosion machines and a multitude of other modern plant. Armin Strom is a Manufacture in the truest sense.
Beyond Armin Strom’s impressive inventory of machines, is the company’s remarkable expertise. Claude Greisler, the co-founder of the company, is a master watchmaker with vast experience having worked in the industry for a number of years. Since the Manufacture was opened in 2009, Armin Strom has designed a number of watches, some of which have attracted critical acclaim. Indeed, the brand won reddot awards in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Part of the brand’s design ethos is to disclose many movement components usually hidden from view. This necessitates Armin Strom finishing components to the highest order, often using traditional hand techniques.
Another facet of the Swiss marque’s paradigm relates to its technical ingenuity. It has produced remarkable resonance watches which deliver breathtaking precision. In fact, in 2019, it even combined resonance with a minute repeater, a technical tour de force few brands could replicate.
Returning to the Gravity Equal Force, launched in 2019, the model addressed a problem affecting most mechanical watches, namely, the loss of amplitude. When a watch is wound, the mainspring often harnesses too much energy, sending too much power to the escapement. Ultimately, as the mainspring relaxes, the power supplied to the escapement drops. This fall causes the amplitude, the maximum swing of the balance wheel, to fall, adversely affecting precision.
The Gravity Equal Force has a special mainspring barrel that delivers a consistent power delivery to the escapement and, ultimately, the regulating organ. Furthermore, the barrel is also equipped with a stop-works mechanism which prevents the mainspring being over-tensioned and, conversely, stops power being sent to the escapement when there is insufficient force. The system utilises ‘the central 72% of the mainspring’s possible torque curve, the flattest and most consistent portion’, ensuring the amplitude is within the optimal range, thereby granting superior precision.
Now, the Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force is available in 18ct rose gold, bestowing the model with a very different character. Its rich and warm hues imbue the model with a notable sense of luxury. Interestingly, the brand’s web-based configurator system allows prospective purchasers to create their own masterpiece.
The brand’s press release (August 2020)
After the great success of the premiere model in stainless steel, the edition is now being supplemented by a 18ct rose gold with black alligator leather strap. The black dial gives the remarkable timepiece an elegant retro character and highlights the new design of the watch with striking contrast.
Gravity Equal Force is the newest watch demonstrating an Armin Strom core principle: always be innovating. This watch takes the traditional mainspring barrel and turns it on its head by adding a stop-work declutch mechanism combined with automatic winding to create consistent power delivery to the balance. With a bold redesign of the movement, dial and case, Gravity Equal Force marks the launch of the new System 78 Collection, highlighting innovative watchmaking at a competitive price.
As a guiding principle, every watch that comes from the Armin Strom manufacture must include an innovation. The inspiration behind Gravity Equal Force was a desire to transmit equal force to the balance, thereby increasing the consistency of rate. Building upon the classic stop-works mechanism, Armin Strom developed an ingenious stop-works declutch system that operates inside the mainspring barrel to limit the torque delivered to the balance, providing smooth power delivery. This represents the first time a stop-works declutch mechanism has been added to an automatic winding movement.
Not content with one innovation, Armin Strom found insight in a pocket watch in need of repair from a U.S. collector, which contained a motor barrel design showing clear advantages over the standard going barrel. Inspired, the watchmakers designed a barrel operating in the reverse of a traditional mainspring barrel by driving the going train via the barrel arbor and winding the barrel housing, which both improves functionality and reduces wear.
This state-of-the-art design creates a stable, low-friction axis of rotation for the mainspring to deliver power from the barrel arbor, supported by precision jewel bearings. Though using only a portion of the mainspring by preventing it from completely unwinding, Armin Strom still achieved a power reserve of 72 hours. Wound by a unidirectionally winding micro rotor visible from the dial, the mainspring bears a power reserve indicator on the barrel cover for reference.
With numerous small improvements to the going train and winding mechanism, the new Caliber ASB19 demonstrates Armin Strom’s commitment to continually questioning established theory and using in-house R&D to advance horological technology. Claude Greisler, co-founder of Armin Strom, highlights the improved usability: “We have reinvented the whole functionality of an automatic watch movement to bring another level of precision and to offer our collectors more assurance for reliable daily wear.”
The new Gravity Equal Force also differs from previous models with a new off-centre dial and slimmer case with a smaller diameter. The highlight of the watch is now the triplet of bridges echoing the pocket watch inspiration behind the ASB19. The 41-millimetre case, a first for Armin Strom, should appeal to the more classically-inclined collector.