Armin Strom is the newest watch makers around who is proud to announce that they will be making their own movements. Funded by some big money gentlemen who want results, they wanted their brand to have in-house made movements, so they made it happen. Until now Armin Strom watches featured impressively decorated movements sourced from ETA, but that is all about to change. The ARM09 is proof of that. Usually when a watch maker releases their first in-house made movement it is fine. Nothing special, but it is still their own “baby.” Armin Strom on the other hand has given us something very pretty, with impressive specs to make.
One thing I can’t get out of my mind. The design on the movement has an uncanny resemblance to another watch I know. Compare the Armin Strom calibre ARM09 with the MB&F HM3 (specially the Sidewinder). I don’t even need to explain, you’ll see how similar they are. ARM09 stands for “Armin Reserve Marche 2009.” This should make sense. For those who don’t know, Reserve Marche is a power reserve indicator. The manually wound movement has a very impressive 8 full days of power reserve, and will feature a power reserve indicator so that you know when to wind it. It will also have the hours, minutes, and a subsidiary seconds display. Interesting that the power reserve is all in just two barrels. Not a very easy feat to achieve, but like I said, Armin Strom was able to afford the R&D.
Just as important as the technical specs is how impressively the watch is decorated. There are a number of different types of polish on the watch, as well as beveled edges. On the front of the movement you have perlage, and brushed surfaces. On the rear there are thick Cotes de Geneve strips, and a very nice, hand-engraved bridge for the balance wheel. They are borrowing a bit here from the style of decoration in luxury German watches such as A. Lange & Sohne and Glashutte Original – but there is nothing wrong with that.
I also quite like the high level of symmetry in the movement design. This is hallmark touch of very high-end stuff. Meaning the watch maker has not only designed a functional movement, but one that is aesthetically pleasing. Note the high level of symmetrical design on both the front and rear of the movement.
No word yet on the watch(es) the ARM09 movement will be in yet. Nor on the average price of such watches. I anticipate that watches will be on the higher-end, likely with gold cases. The movement will at least be displayed through the caseback of any resulting watch. Maybe some partial dial skeletonization as well. I will just wait and see what they come up with next.
Here are some specs about the movement direct from Armin Strom:
Functions: Hour, minute, small second, power reserve display
Wind-up: Manual wind-up with crown wheels turning on the dial side
Driving: Twin mainspring barrels made of special brass alloy, specifically developed for brass-brass contact, main springs with a total length of 1800 mm and a blade strength of 0.088 mm
Gear train: Through-hardened pinions, pinion leaves polished, wheels turned in non-abrasive manner and interlocking profile milled in the rolling procedure.
Plates and bridges: Produced from thermally relaxed watch brass
Rubies: Rubies individually produced for Armin Strom
Escapement: Escape wheel and pallets made of massive gold with hardened functional areas
Regulating system: Genuine screwed balance with gold screws, adjusting of the mass moment of inertia by four clamped steel screws, Breguet spiral curve
Frequency: 18,000 A/h
Number of rubies: 34 rubies
Number of individual parts: 146
Power reserve: 8 days