Watches: Armin Strom Skeleton Pure: the Whole Collection (+live pics & videos)

By Thierry Ané on November 12, 2014

Just a week ago, on the eve of Salon QP opening, I introduced the readers of Watch Agora to two of the new timepiecesFlash News: Armin Strom Skeleton Pure Collection from the “Skeleton Pure” collection by Armin Strom. If you are not familiar with this excellent Swiss manufacture that offers incredible watches in the pure Fine Watchmaking tradition but with a resolutely modern and original aesthetic, their elegant collections are organized around the four elements that many philosophies and religious views believe to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything can consist or upon which the constitution and fundamental powers of everything are based. Every model is thus interpreted in its Earth, Water, Air, and Fire versions with an associated case material and colour scheme.

The brand’s new creation is the “Skeleton Pure” line, a tribute to the founder, Mr Armin Strom, and his outstanding expertise in the art of skeletonizing but also a testament to the manufacture’s attachment to contemporary lines and designs. In the “Skeleton Pure” series, this traditional and utterly challenging form of watch embellishment is entirely reinterpreted to fit into the more modern look adopted by the brand for all its collections.

The Skeleton Pure Water and the Skeleton Pure Fire were officially introduced early last week and Armin Strom unveiled the final two models, the Skeleton Pure Air and the Skeleton Pure Earth during Salon QP. With the whole series now revealed and our live pictures from the exhibition, it is a pleasure and I think a good idea to dedicate another article to these magnificent timepieces…

The ARM09 and the ARM09-S with a Blue PVD Plate for the "Water" Model

The heart of the “Skeleton Pure” collection is the in-house ARM09-S calibre. This outstanding manually-wound movement with 8 days of power reserve, off-centred hours and minutes display, sectorial power reserve indicator, and a small second was already known by the brand’s aficionados in its ARM09 form that animates the “One Week” collection (again, the Earth, Air, Water, and Fire versions) presented in 2012. An incredible work of skeletonising has been made, however, to let the light dive into the movement and reveal its mechanical beauty. The superimposition of cogs and wheels on several layers is now fully apparent and brings out an incredible sense of depth. In particular, I would like to draw our attention on the incredible work made on the two barrels that provides this long power reserve. The barrel covers and drums have ben openworked to create a see-through effect particularly striking when the watch unwinds and the mainspring disappears.

Because such an incredible openwork grabs the eye to the most unsuspected and hidden places, the finishing of a skeleton timepiece has to be absolutely flawless. It requires a lot of hard work, expertise, and aesthetic sense to create a harmonious ensemble. Delivering a modern take on such an ancient decorative art is undoubtedly an additional difficulty. Armin Strom managed everything smoothly: perfectly bevelled and mirror-polished edges, discreet use of perlage, nicely brushed surfaces, and meticulously rhodium- or ruthenium-coated bridges bring out the very best of this modern skeleton work. As an extra touch of refinement the main plate of each model is coated with a different PVD colour that best characterises the element it is associated with!

Let me start with the two models already presented last weekFlash News: Armin Strom Skeleton Pure Collection: the Skeleton Pure Water and the Skeleton Pure Fire. The former is in stainless steel associated with a blue horn-back alligator strap, a blue PVD main plate and rhodium bridges. The latter is crafted in rose gold mounted on a brown horn-back alligator strap. Its main plate showcases an elegant dark brown PVD coating and its bridges are ruthenium-coloured. The newly revealed Skeleton Pure Earth presents its usual black PVD steel case with a black PVD main plate and ruthenium bridges for a darker look. Lastly, lightweight titanium is used for the case of the Skeleton Pure Air that presents rhodium bridges on a grey PVD main plate. It is mounted on a very smart elephant grey horn-back alligator strap but the usual white version is also available if you prefer.

All models feature a stunning sapphire dial ring with founded appliqués and the brand’s name (3 o’clock position) in a colour matching the tone palette used for the rest of the watch. The 43.40 x 13.00 mm case boasts the usual unmistakable paw at the 6 o’clock position. The straps are all hand-sewn with contrasting white stitches and usually come with a traditional pin buckle in the same material as the case but folding buckles are available as an option. Water resistant to a depth of 100 meters, these timepieces are also delivered with an additional rubber strap for a sportier use (blue, black, brown or white for the Water, Earth, Fire, and Air versions respectively).

The Skeleton Pure Air, Skeleton Pure Earth, Skeleton Pure Fire, and Skeleton Pure Water are each limited to just 100 pieces and I honestly find it hard to determine which one I prefer: they all are absolutely superb! The price range is from US$ 33,400 (Skeleton Pure Water) to US$ 46,400 (Skeleton Pure Fire) which remains moderate considering the amount of “Fine Watchmaking” these watches represent. All in all, four stunning creations that strengthen our love for this small brand…

For more information please visit the Armin Strom web site.