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Corum ‘Heritage Corum Lab 01’ Watch

Corum 'Heritage Corum Lab 01' Watch Watch Releases

Watch brands today are often criticized for not being innovative, not being daring, and for clinging on to the past instead of looking to the future. Sadly, there is some truth to this, especially when you consider the trend of vintage-inspired watches which is still going strong. It’s great that brands are respecting and paying tribute to their history but there is a fine line between reverence and being lazy. Forgive me, I digress. We certainly can’t say that Corum isn’t trying new things with the new Heritage Corum Lab 01 watches.

Corum 'Heritage Corum Lab 01' Watch Watch Releases

The Heritage Corum Lab 01 marks the debut of the brand’s new Lab collection, a line that was conceived to experiment with new watch designs and philosophies. This move is critical for the brand as it tries to reinvent itself and shake free from its image of being known simply for the Golden Bridge, and to a lesser extent, the Bubble and Admiral watches. This new collection will be notable not only for its unorthodox designs but also for its technical features.

Corum 'Heritage Corum Lab 01' Watch Watch Releases

Since the Lab collection is all about being different and pushing boundaries, it should come as no surprise that the Corum Heritage Lab 01 comes not in a typical round case but in a barrel-shaped one. There are two variants of the Heritage Corum Lab 01. Both have the same case and movement and only differ slightly in the accents on the dial.

Corum 'Heritage Corum Lab 01' Watch Watch Releases

The barrel-shaped case measures 39.89mm by 55mm and it is reasonably thin at 11.75mm. The case is made out of grade 5 titanium with the case sides covered in rubber. The crown, also made out of titanium and inlaid with rubber, is positioned at 6 o’clock, which gives the case a clean profile. The watches come with rubber straps and titanium buckles. Water resistance is rated at 50 meters.

Corum 'Heritage Corum Lab 01' Watch Watch Releases

Underneath the sapphire crystal is an open-worked dial, which gives owners a good view of the inner workings of the watch. The movement within is unique because it is a “shaped movement.” In other words, the movement has been specially designed so that it fits the case. Most brands don’t go through all that trouble because it limits the options for where the movement can be used – a movement such as this can’t go into a typical round watch.

Corum 'Heritage Corum Lab 01' Watch Watch Releases

Specifically, the movement within is what Corum calls the calibre CO 410. It is a self-winding micro-rotor movement, and the rotor itself can be seen on the top right corner on the dial side. The rotor has been given a spiral finish so that it creates a more pronounced spinning effect when it is worn on the wrist. Just below the rotor, one can also see the single mainspring. Power reserve is about 50 hours and the movement beats at a very modern 4Hz. As I mentioned earlier, there are two variants of the Corum Lab 01 – one has red accents on the dial, the other has white accents.

Corum 'Heritage Corum Lab 01' Watch Watch Releases

It goes without saying that the Corum Lab 01 is a significant departure from Corum’s existing pieces. The aesthetics are certainly unique, and I especially like that they designed the movement such that the micro-rotor is visible from the dial side. It will be intriguing to see where Corum takes it from here. The Heritage Corum Lab 01 is limited to 99 pieces each in red and white, and is priced at 13,800 Swiss francs. Learn more at corum-watches.com

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  • Ulysses31

    I had to do a double-take when I saw cheap rubber grips on either side of the watch. It’s a design element that goes beyond cringeworthy and cheap. Is it really necessary to be reminded that the watch is “limited edition”? They look like grips, but they serve no purpose at all. I’d expect such a cheap looking boast on a packet of crisps or a stick of deodorant, not a premium priced Swiss watch.

    Then comes the dial, which to me looks somewhat confused. There are cut-outs that allows us to see boring, undecorated movement components. There are minute markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 rather than traditional hour markers, usually something you see on a watch focussed on precision timing or sports, yet the lack of any minute track means you can’t time anything with precision on this watch, and of course there’s no second hand either. The weird tracks on the left and right side are an odd choice of decoration. Do they represent some sort of circuitry, to make the watch look more “high-tech”? God knows.

    I could go on but there’s no point. I think it shows exactly why certain brands choose not to be innovative or edgy; they are clueless on how to do it without looking foolish. The basic watch could be so great, but by shoe-horning in seemingly random features for the sake of it, they spoil what could be a solid and handsome timepiece. Corum make some stunningly beautiful watches; this, however, looks like some tat a no-name manufacturer in Hong Kong created.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      What he said.

    • cluedog12

      It totally looks like an affordable skeleton watch from Hong Kong.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    This is the ugliest watch I’ve seen for some time.

    Clunk™

  • SuperStrapper

    Kudos on them for trying, and executing. The watch is not for me but looking closely I assume they achieved what they were looking to do. The rubber case inserts were a mistake but otherwise I dont see why the watch needs to be judged so harshly. The colour accents being incorporated into the bevels is actually pretty cool. To each their own I suppose.
    From my experience, if a non-WIS recognizes the Corum brand it is because of the old coin watches rather than the golden bridge or admirals cup. And aside from a few AC variants that reach out a bit further, this is certainly among, if not their most avant garde piece to date.
    Looking forward to seeing what else they do with this new lineup.

  • Nello Alexandri

    The micro rotor movement does something for me. That is all.

  • Nello Alexandri

    The micro rotor movement does something for me. That is all.

  • Jon Heinz

    When you never will afford a Richard Mille and you know it. As for the watch: In-house, specifically designed movement and a different (for Corum) stylistic approach—it’s definitely not for everyone but I like the general direction this is going. Sometimes you just need to change things up. Remember when Hublot still had the “MDM” on the dial and was a relative outlier in the watch biz? Look at ‘em now. They sell at a price point that makes Rolex a “downmarket” option whilst watch shopping.

  • Jon Heinz

    When you never will afford a Richard Mille and you know it. As for the watch: In-house, specifically designed movement and a different (for Corum) stylistic approach—it’s definitely not for everyone but I like the general direction this is going. Sometimes you just need to change things up. Remember when Hublot still had the “MDM” on the dial and was a relative outlier in the watch biz? Look at ‘em now. They sell at a price point that makes Rolex a “downmarket” option whilst watch shopping.

  • Poor Corum. Seems like every time they attempt something new, they shoot themselves in the foot.

  • BNABOD

    First look and I love it but then I read “ case sides covered in rubber” what what why??? With the Linited Edition writing to make it even more tacky why why why….
    Can the rubber be removed ? What would it show behind it . I really dig the watch and the movement that fits the case but man did they screw it up w the rubber non sense

    • Jon Heinz

      I’m gonna agree. I was all “OOOhh” and then saw the side rubbers and was like “huh??” And, at a quick glance the key logo thingies on the strap look like Japanese characters. Or Chinese.

  • cluedog12

    Holy Christ. All this dial is missing is gold Baroque engravings in the plate.

    Just back up the truck and pay the people who designed the new Zenith Defy Classic Skeleton to quietly refresh these.

  • dr3

    I am finding black designs with accents of white and red a bit tiresome and derivative. The dial design just looks… uncomfortable. Agree with comments that looks like a budget RM.

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