January 11, 2017
by Kenny Yeo
The first Corum Bubble watch came out in 2000, but for whatever reason, it was eventually discontinued. Then, the brand revived the Bubble watch in 2015. And today, it is one of their more important collections, so much so that they decided to make a unique piece using the iconic Bubble design. This is the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon watch, featuring not only a tourbillon but a menacing skull for a dial.
The Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon watch features a 47mm 18k rose gold case, and further accentuating its size is its large bubble-shaped crown, also made out of 18k rose gold. And as a result of the domed sapphire crystal, thickness is a whopping 18.55mm. Clearly, the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon is no small watch, and it is bound to draw lots of attention. If wrist presence is what you seek, this watch will deliver it in spades. Unfortunately, despite the watch’s beefy dimensions, water resistance is 30 meters, so be wary of liquids.
The Bubble watch is so called because of its large domed sapphire crystal, and it isn’t necessarily just a gimmick. Most watches have flat sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating because they want to avoid distortion. For Corum’s Bubble watch, the opposite is true because the distortion that is caused by its large domed sapphire crystal is what makes the Corum Bubble unique. And because the domed sapphire crystal is so extreme, the distortion it causes gives the watch an otherworldly look.
This is doubly so when you consider that the Corum Bubble 47 Tourbillon watch has large brass skull that makes up the dial. The large hollowed and empty eyes along with the charcoal black dial and the distortion from domed crystal creates a gothic look that is seldom seen in other watches. Completing the creepy effect is the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock, which is framed by the mouth of the skull.
Speaking of which, the skull in the Corum Bubble 47 Tourbillon reminds me of the skull of Marvel Comics’ Punisher. And to me, it has personality, with more menacing and attractive looks than, say, the skull designs employed by HYT in their Skull Bad Boy watch or by Bell & Ross in their BR01 Burning Skull “Tattoo” watch (hands-on here).
Though legibility might be somewhat affected by the distortions brought about by the heavily domed crystal, Corum addresses that by giving the Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon large leaf-shaped hands painted with white Super-LumiNova.
The movement powering the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon watch is the CO 016. It is an automatic movement that relies on a micro-rotor for winding. The micro-rotor features the Corum key in 18k red gold. Power reserve is a very respectable 72 hours, and the movement beats at 3Hz.
All things considered, the Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon is a pretty unusual watch. However, Corum’s boldness to go against the grain and its almost reckless attitude toward design also makes it very cool, especially for watch lovers who appreciate some quirkiness and individualism. The fact that it is a unique piece is just the cherry on the cake. The Corum Bubble 47 Flying Tourbillon watch is priced at 103,000 Swiss francs (around US $100,500). corum.ch