Up Close With The Armin Strom Limited Edition Tribute 1 Rose Gold
We talk a lot about how dress codes, and society in general, have become less formal. To be elegant today is to have a more relaxed feeling. But that doesn’t mean the dress watch has disappeared. Case in point: the Armin Storm Tribute 1 Rose Gold. A watch should always rise to the sense of occasion.
Watchonista recently had the opportunity to get hands on with this new take on the dress watch in our photo studios in Switzerland and at the recent WatchTime Show in New York, and we’d like to share our reactions with you.
In the Metal
In the past, dress watches were meant to be discreet, to blend into a formal look. The thinking was that after hours, you weren’t supposed to be distracted by the time.
But the Tribute 1’s 18K rose gold case stands out not only for its use of precious metal (a first for Armin Strom, maker who typically focuses on innovative complications like its recent Orbit First Edition), but also for its angular lugs and narrow bezel.
At the same time, it’s not TOO flashy. Other golden assets such as a matching gold barrel bridge, hands and applied hour markers, are balanced by textured anthracite touches on the dial. And measuring in a 38mm means that the watch does not overwhelm the wrist.
While attire seems less formal, the whole point of getting dressed up is to look like you’re comfortable in your clothes. If you’ve ever had a suit fitted, you’ve probably had your tailor talk about the “break” of the fabric at the front of your pant leg, just above where it meets your shoe, while you’re standing. Too long looks sloppy. Two short feels awkward.
The relationship between suit jacket and shirt is just as sensitive. The shirt should peek out from beneath the jacket cuff. Adding a timepiece to the mix just makes things even more complicated.
Either way, if there’s not a good fit, it draws attention away from the awesomeness that is you.
The analog in dress watches is making sure your timepiece sits comfortably on the wrist. The Armin Strom Tribute 1 Rose Gold feels quite fluid, thanks again to the straight lugs and slender case size. The offset crown and black alligator strap also make the overall feel unobtrusive on the arm. It feels good to be wrapped in such luxury.
Take it the Bridge
However, the highest sartorial marks go to the dial of this version of the Tribute 1. This time-only collection was first introduced in 2021, and it is where Armin Strom is really upending traditional dress codes, most notably for placing the bridge up front and off center on the face.
While the display is asymmetrical, the dial finds balance by its use of texture. Hand finishes are a hallmark of Armin Strom, and this model raises the bar. The main surface has a dark grey finely grained texture. The dial that displays the time has the same anthracite look but is engraved with a pattern that, when viewed from an angle, suggests moiré silk. The effect is subtle but effective—we could spend a thousand words alone just reflecting on the play of light.
Finally, let’s not forget the three-quarter bridge adorned with Côtes de Genève stripes; the balance bridge featuring examples of ide graining, anglage, sand blasting and straight graining; and the hand-beveled edges of the escapement and the escape bridge. For such a slender watch, these tactile elements offer a lot of depth.