The longer the retro-watch kick endures, the longer I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand many of the pieces bore me into a comatose like state where all I can think about is how the slathering of modern luxury values on vintage tool-pieces feels wholly unsavory. On the other hand, there is a sort of freshness, in the revival of classic designs that are good not because they are classic, but because they were so entirely focused on a smooth blending of both form and function at the time.

Rarely do you see a vintage piece with hands which are too short or completely preposterous design features. Purism with a hint of class was the predominant aesthetic choice back a couple of generations ago. In today’s sea of retro-themed watches I see the good and the bad. The high-end and wannabe high-brow. To be honest I wish there were less of these watches, and that brands would focus more on having fun and making unique watches rather than playing follow-the-leader after they just finished a speech on how they were the first to do everything and overly using the term “audacious.” In fact, my new rule to watch brands (and yes, I not speaking directly to all the European brands) is stop using the term “audacious” or “audacity.” I don’t care what you think it means or what the dictionary says, but to us native English speakers, it more or less means “rude.” So stop proudly claiming how you, your watch makers, and your brand’s founders are so unapologetically audacious.

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Now that I have got that off my chest I can tell you that I quite like this new limited edition Corum watch. It doesn’t matter to me that it is based on a vintage design, what I care about is that I really like the design. The Grand Precis (precious? precise?) is a 38.5mm wide watch available in 18k red or white gold. The classic looking case has a bit of pizzazz The lines are a nice mixture of straight angles and nice curves. I particularly like how the lugs angle inwards. The dial is a triumph of design goodness from days long past. You know what seals the deal for me? The cross-hairs, those totally make the dial.

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The dial is vertically brushed and done in a champagne color. The light texture is welcome and I love the bare bones subsidiary seconds dial. Hands are dauphine and not too short. They not only go with the dial nicely and offer excellent legibility, but fit with the theme nicely. Just a great design (from the past).

Another element I really like is the movement. It is the Corum CO162 manually wound caliber. It isn’t anything super special from a complication standpoint, but I love the design of the bridges. It is isn’t exactly modern, but more 1960’s futuristic – which is a nice departure from the same movement style and decoration we see all the time.

For those who want a nice classic piece with some tradition and a particularly smooth design, the Corum Grand Precis is a nice rare find. Corum will offer 100 pieces in 18k red gold and 50 pieces in 18k white gold. Look for them a bit later this year.

Tech Specs for the Grand Precis limited edition watch from Corum:


Movement CO12 – Hand-wound

Functions: Hour, minute, small second

Power Reserve   38 hours

Frequency: 2.5 Hz, 18’000 vibrations per hour

Diameter: 13’’

Jewels: 17

Finish: Satin-finish bridges


Shape: Round

Dimension: 38.5 mm

Materials: 18kt red gold 5N or 18kt white gold case

18kt red gold 5N or 18kt white gold crown

6-screw open back cover with anti-reflective treatment

Thickness: 10.25 mm

Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment

Water-resistance: 30 meters


Color: Champagne with vertical brushed

Distinctive features: 5N red gilded or white gold coated applied indexes

5N red gilded or white gold coated applied CORUM key

Charcoal grey minute circle transferred on the dial

CORUM logo transferred on the dial

Grand Precis logo transferred on the dial


Distinctive features: Red gold 5N or white gold coated “dauphine” type skeleton hour and minute hands with superluminova

Red gold 5N or white gold coated baton small second hand


Materials: Crocodile leather strap

Color: Black

Buckle: 18kt red gold 5N or 18kt white gold tongue buckle


Year of creation 2011

Limited Edition 100 pieces in 18kt red gold 5N, 50 pieces in 18kt white gold

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