Watch Strom

In the world of fine watches, there is a unique watchmaking dynasty, made up of two independent watchmakers and watchmaking brands, two different pairs of hands which both share the same name, Strom, but which offer two very different ways of displaying time, their use of silver, case design and even the styles of hands they prefer. Reading the reviews of the limited edition pieces from Armin Stroom A.G. is a very different experience from the reviews for the limited edition pieces from Daniel Strom.

Indeed, it was only relatively recently that Daniel Strom entered the watchmaking field, adding another Strom watchmaking brand to that founded by his father; the far longer established Armin Strom Watch. Although one form, that of ‘skeleton’ watchmaking, unites the two watchmaking brands (although in fundamentally different interpretations of that word), in almost every other sense, the watches offered by the respective brands with the Strom family name could not be any different. Those from Daniel Strom, particularly his gothic-horror-space-monster inspired H.R. Giger co-produced and Memento Mori ‘carpe diem’ skeleton adorned pieces, offering an unashamedly dark aesthetic, while Armin Strom’s focus has always been a more traditional Haute Horlogerie masterclass, with watches and design elements of a more traditional nature, being one of the first to reinstate skeleton construction, the tourbillon, the concept of resonance and appeals to water gods in the names of his limited-edition collection pieces.

While  Armin Strom thus offers a traditional, sober form of Haute Horlogerie famous for his skeleton and tourbillon complication pieces that form the bulk of his collection, Daniel’s work, as all the reviews confirm, is a producer of much more contemporary watches, whose every detail from the hand-worked, silver cased and silver cast dial to the skeleton adorned hands, exclaiming that this is indeed a unique, limited edition collection watch from the brand.

Unlike the limited edition Strom watches from Armin Strom, many of which feature traditional Haute Horlogerie complications such as the tourbillon, the resonance concept, and a skeleton movement, the Daniel Strom watch brand has taken a different route to produce limited edition pieces for its own collection and had a long-standing connection with sci-fi special effects developer and creator of the legendary fantastic realism inspired “bio-mechanical creature” of the Alien movie brand franchise, H.R. Giger. H.R. Giger’s death eventually led Daniel Strom to produce what many hands-on reviews suggest is arguably his most famous work, the “In memoriam HR Giger”.

The “In Memoriam HR Giger” was unveiled at the HR Giger Museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland, a limited edition piece of just 99 pieces. The entirety of the hand-worked in silver ‘casted’ or cast dial was inspired by another of HR Giger’s works, the “ELP II” canvas, created with airbrush techniques in just a single night. The allure of the mouth of the skull featured in the ELP II canvas by HR Giger, signifying the memento mori like ‘carpe diem’ injunction to ‘seize the day’ of sufficient strength for Daniel Strom to include just this feature for his “in memoriam HR Giger” limited edition piece, the three hour, minute and seconds hands rotating centrally about the skull mouth for the display of time.

In contrast to the gothic beauty of the hand-worked silver case limited edition (99) piece “In memoriam HR Giger” and the other unique watches that make up the output from the Daniel Strom brand, as confirmed by all the reviews, every limited edition piece from the collection of Armin Strom and every detail of it, has a very different inspiration, focusing on Haute Horlogerie complications such as the tourbillon, the concept of resonance, and the skeleton movement, seen to fine effect in Armin Strom watches such as the Armin Strom Watches One Week Skeleton, the Armin Strom Watches Pure Resonance Fire, the Armin Strom Watches Pure Resonance Water and the Armin Strom Watches Mirrored Force Resonance Fire and Water.

Taking just one Armin Strom watch as an example, the Armin Strom Skeleton Pure Water, it is very easy to see why Armin Strom and his watches receive such rave reviews, and why his brand time after time receives the many applauding hands that it does. As a member of the Strom Skeleton Pure Collection, with the Skeleton Pure Water Armin Strom places the watch movement center-stage, exposing the incredible beauty of the skeleton movement, open-worked design and “dial rings” in the place of a traditional dial, in this case, created from sapphire with indexes applied later. The ability to create such a beautiful, mechanical open-worked skeleton movement, whether for a model featuring Strom “Resonance”, a tourbillon or other complication in stainless steel, silver or other material, depends upon whether or not the brand is an “integrated manufacture” or not. Armin Strom, under the leadership of Serge Michel and Claude Greisler, is such a brand, a genuinely integrated manufacture, with the ability to design and create every unique detail of its watches, from the case, the design of the hands to tell the time, to the use of silver or not, which elements of the movement should be in skeleton form, if a particular model should have a tourbillon or not, and just how many pieces should make up a limited edition piece for a collection.

Being a fully integrated manufacturer is not unique in terms of watchmaking in Switzerland, but it is rare enough for any brand with this capacity to encourage reviews of the (usually limited edition) watches that form part of its main collection, and very careful analysis of complications such as those employed by Armin Strom in models such as the Armin Strom Watches One Week Skeleton, the Armin Strom Watches Pure Resonance Fire, the Armin Strom Watches Pure Resonance Water and the Armin Strom Watches Mirrored Force Resonance Fire and Water. Fortunately for Armin Strom, reviews and reviewers themselves have the time on their hands to really examine limited edition pieces in addition to the entire collection and know exactly what to look for when assessing so-called ‘unique’ features such as a resonance complication, tourbillon or the quality of skeleton work to a movement. This type of hands-on analysis has been extraordinarily positive for the brand Armin Strom, yielding a host of positive reviews, particularly as regards the brand’s use of silver and its casework.

The mention of these two elements, silver and casework, brings us full circle, to the ‘other’ Strom watchmaking brand, that of the son of the original founder of Armin Strom watches, Daniel Strom, and his gothic memento mori “Carpe Diem” inspired creations, which while appearing very different to the output of Armin Strom Watches, make use of the skeleton for their own purposes, and as the reviews confirm, limited edition pieces such as the gothic beauty of the hand-worked silver case (99 example) “In memoriam HR Giger” have their own rare beauty, that many would consider the equal of any of the more classically inspired skeleton plus tourbillon or resonance complication delights from the brand Armin Strom Watches.

Chronopassion is an AUTHORIZED RETAILER of STROM since 2012

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