Watches: Armin Strom Armin One Week Skeleton (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on May 12, 2014

Before founding his eponymous brand, Armin Strom made a name for himself with his incredible expertise in the arts of skeletonising and engraving. These traditional decorative techniques have thus been at the heart of the brand’s DNA since its inception and, although the master retired a few years ago, the brand’s watchmakers have kept this tradition very much alive as evidenced by the lovely Skeleton Automatic released in 2013 to give a single example.

The One Week Skeleton unveiled at Baselworld this year, however, marks an important turning point for the brand as it is the very first skeletonised and engraved movement entirely developed and produced in-house.

Limited to 50 pieces, the new watch is housed in a luxurious rose gold case mounted on a brown horn-back alligator strap with contrasting white stitches, secured by a rose gold pin buckle. With contemporary dimensions of 43.40 x 13.00 mm, this immediately identifiable frame with a protruding paw at 6 o’clock offers ample space for the openwork movement.

Views of the AMR09 calibre

The manually-wound ARM09-S calibre inside is the skeleton version of the movement found in the Armin One Week series. Thanks to the presence of two barrels, it offers the same impressive seven-day power reserve. The pictures above and below let you assess the extent of the skeletonising and engraving undertaken by the brand’s artisans.

Views of the skeletonised counterpart: the AMR09-S

First of all, the slightly off-centre position of the rose gold hours and minutes hands is more obvious on the skeleton version. The C-layout of the two spring-barrels (at 1 and 5 o’clock) and the small seconds and power reserve counter at 9 o’clock is also largely enhanced by the careful hollowing out of the movement parts. The amount of light that comes through the openwork barrels is absolutely amazing. The careful engraving of what is left of the bridges is equally remarkable and reveals the extreme attention to detail that goes into such a refined timepiece.

A sapphire ring with applied baton hour markers set atop the movement makes the reading of time absolutely effortless and adds to the sensational sense of depth and three-dimensionality of this beautiful timepiece.

Aesthetically, the view is equally breathtaking from the sapphire case back and I encourage you once again to compare the original and skeletonised version of this movement to fully grasp the amount of work and expertise that go into the new One Week Skeleton model.

All these efforts have a cost though and the watch displays a price tag of US$49,900, which may seem a little stiff to many for a small brand like Armin Strom but that is, unfortunately, completely justified by the quality of the piece. A beautiful realisation, for true watch connoisseurs…

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: