February 8, 2014
by Ariel Adams
Armin Strom offers a unique flavor of independent watch making with contemporary designs and in-house made movements. Several years ago they debuted their first in-house made movement and have since built upon it. Before that time the movements they used, while not strictly made in-house, were often highly customized with skeletonization work or modules that added functionality.
Armin Strom has set a stride over the last few years with a core theme that seems to work for them. I use the term “contemporary” to describe their timepieces because while they are modern, they aren’t futuristic, nor are they at all retro in their execution. I personally find it refreshing to find companies able to make watches that in my opinion very much fit in with “today” as opposed to the past or future. Speaking of today, right now I’d like to check out the Armin Strom Gravity Fire ref. RG12-GF.90 watch.
The Gravity collection is a family of watches that are each part of a limited edition. The various Gravity collection watches are named for each of the four elements – and this piece being the Fire. Why not just call the collection “Elements?” Well that would make sense but Armin Strom has done that before, and the “Gravity” name refers to the operation of the automatic rotor. This isn’t the first time a collection has models that each bear the name of an element. The idea is pretty simple though: Armin Strom chooses a movement and theme, and then produces four versions that offer various color and case material options.
For example, the Armin Strom Gravity Air has a titanium case, the Water, a steel case; the Earth, a PVD black steel case; and the Fire has an 18k rose gold case. At just over 43mm wide and 13mm thick, the case is hefty but not massive. The case has a fresh but simple look to it that frames the dial properly. People often ask about the “lip” on the lower part of the case. What they are looking at is actually a space intended for a unique engraving. Armin Strom recommends that buyers opt to have their initials placed there. It isn’t that they are trying to prevent resale, but rather they feel that it is part of their particular buying experience, just like getting a shirt with your initials embroidered into the sleeves.