Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette

Angus Davies provides an in-depth review of the Corum Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Squelette. This watch reveals each number on an open-worked date disc, delivering a truly unique aesthetic.

This detailed review of the Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

My daughter, Isobel, is now 17 years old. From a young age her passion has always been mathematics. I recall her asking me if I could impart to her some basic mathematical concepts at a time when other girls of her age would have been more interested in Barbie dolls and clomping around in their mother’s high-heels.

I remember my dilemma. On one hand, I did not wish to stifle Isobel’s enthusiasm for study, however, I also did not want to produce a precocious social misfit.

Several years ago, I recall watching a television programme and being horrified seeing a child commence a university degree at a very young age. I was aghast at what appeared to be the theft of a child’s need to play. The notion of a bright, but precocious child, with pushy parents by her side, embarking on a period of premature academic greatness seemed cruel. This child seemed resigned to becoming a social misfit. Indeed, the parents appeared to feel an innate need to vicariously live their frustrated personal ambitions through their child, at the expense of their offspring forming relationships with children of a similar age.

After a period of contemplation, I relented and begrudgingly acceded to her request for instruction on algebra, geometry and other such mathematical subjects. By the time Isobel went to secondary school, aged 11 years, she could already successfully answer examination questions often posed to 16 year olds.

Now, my daughter harbours an ambition to become a mathematics professor in a university. Isobel has always “seen” numbers and mathematical patterns. She will look at a problem and often conceive several different methods of answering the same question. I have listened to her comment on the arrangement of numbers on everyday items and heard her proffer a potential relationship between these figures. It is a gift I sadly do not share.

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

However, now I am able to see numbers I have never seen before, courtesy of the Swiss watch brand. The Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette reveals many numbers often hidden from view, courtesy of its skeletonised design. The date on several watches is often depicted on a revolving date disc, with the prevailing date revealed via an aperture on the dial. This watch does not have a dial and openly reveals all 31 dates with the appropriate date framed at 6 o’clock against a rectangular plate.

Recently, I had the pleasure of appraising the Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette and when I placed the watch upon my arm its innovative design captured my heart. This is a watch which justifies discussion.

The dial

Ordinarily, I talk of the dial at this stage, however, in this instance, there is no dial. This is an open-worked watch with its inner mind freely shown.

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

The hour and minute hands are open-worked and described by Corum as “Dauphine-variant”. They are broad in profile, faceted and feature luminescent treatment to their wide tips. Despite also being open-worked, I did not struggle to see them, partly because of their brilliantly gleaming forms.

The central sweep seconds hand, in contrast, is lithe. It has a narrow, pointed tip which interfaces with the chapter ring and features a counterweight formed in the shape of the brand’s key logo.

At 6 o’clock, a rectangular shaped, silvery white plate provides a background to accentuate the prevailing date. This, in conjunction with a polished frame floating above, draws the eyes to the relevant date. The font used has a modern, unfussy character.

The date display is a fundamental aspect of the design. Those dates consisting of two numerals are arranged vertically, with one number sitting above the other. The rest of the open-worked disc is clearly visible, but not unduly conspicuous. Corum has cleverly revealed all 31 dates without distracting the wearer from seeing the vital information presented on the dial.

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

Luminescent, baton-shaped hour markers emanate from the chapter ring and project over the date disc below. Gracing the inner flange, maritime pennants also mark each hour.

Most notably, beneath the hour and minutes display, the movement is openly shown. I will discuss this in more detail later.

The wearer can see through the watch from front to back, but placed against the arm, I did not readily see my hirsute arms. I am pleased this is the case as some skeletonised watches, once placed upon my arm, accentuate the neanderthal-like wrists, something I find rather unsightly.

Bonded to the underside of the sapphire crystal is the brand’s name and logo. They appear to float above the movement.

The case

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

The case is constructed of titanium grade 5, reinforcing the sense of modernity. It measures 45mm in diameter and has a case height of 13.30mm. There is no doubt this is a substantial timepiece, but in reality it does not seem quite as large as stated on the specification sheet and is comfortable to wear. The design masterfully plays with different forms, mitigating the sense of scale. The bezel consists of 12 facets.

The case band, to the left hand side of the watch, consists of two planes which convene at a point adjacent 9 o’clock. By contrast the right hand side of the watch appears more curved because the black PVD coated crown protectors interface with the case band in such a way as to create arc-like angles. These subtle design elements create a particularly interesting and attractive aesthetic.

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

Corum has expended much effort on several small details. The crown is attractive with two rows of rectangular shaped grips, providing ease of adjustment and much eye-appeal. The judicious pairing of satin and polished surfaces on the case works very well.

The case back of the Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette features a sapphire crystal according a view of the beautiful mind within. Interestingly, despite the profound good looks of this watch and delicate craftsmanship, it still remains very practical with a maximum water resistance of 300m.

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

The movement

The self-winding CO 082 movement is the star of the show. It openly shows its motives with the gear train visible. I particularly appreciate the sight of the exposed mainspring sans barrel cover. This is a watch which invites curious pupils to explore its form.

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

The oscillating mass is grey and open-worked, revealing more of the movement below. It exudes a modern appearance.

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette - in-depth review by ESCAPEMENT

The bridges also exhibit a neoteric air, formed into shapes sympathetic to the profile of the bezel. They include sharp edges, produced using spark erosion techniques, and feature a dark grey finish. The intention of the designer was to deliver contrast with the gilded wheels, something it has evidently achieved.

Admiring the movement from the rear of the watch, I like the view of the numerals on the date disc. They deliver an intriguing appearance with their form delivered in reverse. The vista causes one to study the numbers and appreciate their profile.

Whilst I like traditional finissage, I do like the appearance of this movement. It is contemporary and innovative.

Closing remarks

In the past, I have not always liked every model bearing the Corum nomen but in this instance, I see much appeal in the Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette.

The open-worked design invites the wearer to explore each element of its composition. Invariably, I find myself using words such as “modern”,“contemporary” and “neoteric” to describe elements of its make-up. This is a harmonious design and one which, I personally, find very attractive.

Rest assured, you do not have to be a mathematical genius to see the many numbers depicted on the Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette. Indeed, I for one understand this watch, appreciate its appeal and applaud its innovative design language.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Corum Admirals Cup AC-One 45 Squelette
  • Reference: A082/02336-082.401.04/0F01 FH10
  • Case: Titanium grade 5; diameter 45 mm; height 13.30 mm; water resistant to 30 bar (300 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date.
  • Movement: Calibre C0 082, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 27 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
  • Strap: Black crocodile leather strap supplied on a triple folding clasp.
  • Price: £8725 (RRP as at 10.9.2014)

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