Size does matter, according to Armin Strom
With the Edge Double Barrel introduced in spring 2016, the Bienne-based watchmaking brand revisits the design of its collection. This watch is bigger, more powerful and has more character, but still features the brand's traditional DNA.
Honestly, does size matter? The century-long debate has been suddenly reopened by a brand from Bienne who has made it its mission to make everyone agree that it does matter. Armin Strom has set about proving this by introducing the case of the new Edge Double Barrel and enlarging it to 46.8mm, which makes a big difference..
At first, its size seems a tad too big as it comes close to the limit where watches stop being watches and turn into technological devices that obstruct wrist movements and keep getting caught on shirt cuffs as they cannot easily slid under them. Yet, that is not the case for this watch whose double barrel movement and alligator strap form a perfect balance. he few added millimeters have changed everything though, the watch has now a sporty and more masculine look that is most appealing.
A new audacity
Armin Strom brought about this change because it wanted to "create iconic models that last", as Claude Greisler, the brand's Director of Horology explained. He drives the point home in his press release by stating that "it is time for Armin Strom to be aesthetically more striking. We have gained in confidence and we are ready to be more daring in our vision and design".
Despite all this, the Edge Double Barrel is a perfect picture of the brand's DNA. The case has strong and simple lines that are a pleasant contrast to the movement's complexity, which can be seen from the dial and at the back of the watch thanks to the anti-reflective sapphire glass.
The hour and minute hands are slightly off-centered to the left so that there is quite a large space on the crown side of the dial. Of course, the watch features its signature small strip outside the case at 6 o'clock that, rumor has it, will be engraved with the monogram of its potential owner. Other than the watch's size, these details make all the difference. Further examples include the eleven cutouts in the black PVD-treated stainless steel bezel and the crown protection that confers the piece a more powerful aura.
Mr. Edge, the robot who has been made ambassador of this model whose armour features the aesthetics of some of the caliber's components and was designed by Bienne artist Herbert Krake. The latter is famous for having been one of the first graffiti artist to promote graffiti under the pseudonym Tarkin.
A reference to industry
The detail that makes the watch stand out in terms of its manufacturing is the finishing of the bridges, a.k.a. "cross grinding". This double-grinding decoration is more likely to be found on machine tools than in the strictly codified haute horlogerie. The material is covered with thin stripes here and there which remind us of handmade paper fibers. They give the piece a slightly rough look that is elegantly smoothened by the hand-finished chamfering.
The next new feature is the large Arabic numerals, as opposed to the usual baton indexes or simply the numerals 3, 6 and 12. This enhances excellent readability that the large white-lacquered steel hands give to the piece.
8-day power reserve
Finally, there is of course the striking spectacle of the double barrel and the gossamer-shaped crown wheels that are activated every time the ARM 16 caliber is hand-wound. Opposite them, in a small counter at 9 o’clock, the seconds hand is beside a power reserve indicator that simply moves up and down without slowing down the amazing eight days of power reserve provided by the in-house movement. The piece is water resistant to 100m and on the back of the piece’s plate features a metallic disk engraved with the number of the watch within the 100-piece limited edition.