SIHH 2019: A Watchmaker’s Take On The Armin Strom Dual Time Resonance Sapphire
Radiating the pleasure of precision, Armin Strom has made transparency a hallmark signature for the brand. Here, a look at the Dual Time Resonance Sapphire from the manufacture that’s celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019.
Keeping in tune with the times makes sense, of course, for all watch manufacturers. Master watchmakers have been aware, ever since the invention of the pendulum clock by Christiaan Huygens in the mid-17th century, of the extent to which precision depends on how the balance swings. That said, not all inventors view the regularity of that swing in the same way. Armin Strom, a craftsman with a passion for skeleton-work, founded his manufacture in 1967. He sold the company in 2006 in order to launch his own manufacture in 2009, and has turned the showcasing of mechanical watch craftsmanship into an art form. In the process, he has tweaked the functioning of his mechanical watches to guarantee superior, longer-lasting precision.
Showcasing an invisible revolution
Resonance is not a new watchmaking invention. A number of brilliant visionary artists had already started experimenting with the principle following its discovery by mathematician Christian Huygens in the 17th century. Huygens is credited with having defined resonance’s existence following his continued observation of the invisible force. He identified its synchronizing influence upon the functioning of two oscillating clocks that were very close to each other. At around the same time, master watchmakers including Janvier and Breguet, utilized the influence of this property to create incredibly accurate longcase standing clocks.
Recently, François-Paul Journe created his own his own version of resonance in the case of a wristwatch. Journe’sidea caught on, and Armin Strom decided to create different mechanics that were more impactful visually, by choosing to display two different times on two separate dials. Despite the complexity of the display, it’s easy to gaze into the heart of the movement thanks to an impressive oblong case crafted from a transparent sapphire block. “The new sapphire crystal case is the perfect way to showcase and celebrate the utmost care and passion that go into the making of the Dual Time Resonance,” said Claude Greisler, co-founder of Armin Strom. He added that "total transparency leaves no room for half measures and demands finishing of the highest level, a fact that matches our philosophy perfectly".
A world of total transparency
Aptly named the Dual Time Resonance Sapphire, this traveler-dedicated reference has an oval sapphire case that sits on the wrist lengthwise, and is designed to protect the two manually-wound movements without obstructing the view. A single bottom-plate holds the movements that tell the time in two different time zones simultaneously. These beating hearts are crafted in-house by a team of 20 people, who also create the 400 watches made every year by the independent brand. Both movements are painstakingly finished to the highest standards in the industry, and are fitted with oscillators connected by a new resonance clutch spring attached to their studs.
This movement construction sparked the interest of the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology, earning a certification for bestowing 20 % more accuracy for watches fitted with the mechanism. Launched in a limited edition of just 8 pieces, the Dual Time Resonance Sapphire is a gem of transparency and sells for about CHF 280,000. What makes this piece truly special, beyond displaying two different times while the two independent movements are connected, is the opportunity to see two gear trains remaining in synch. A pushpiece at 2 o'clock resets the seconds displays on both dials and re-synchronizes the balances, that take a few minutes to enter into "sympathy," a term for the coupling principle employed by watchmakers of the past.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)