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— After a 2014 year of new models spread across all its ranges, Swiss replica watches is focusing on its safe bets this year: the Admiral’s Cup and Golden Bridge. Nonetheless, these iconic models may be overshadowed by the irresistible Bubble which is making its big comeback after ten years in absentia.
After a couple of stormy years in 2013 and 2014, during which the management and design side of the brand were somewhat shaken up, Corum appears to be going back to safer basics.
Unsurprisingly, the brand is placing its 2015 bets on its two flagship collections: Golden Bridge and Admiral’s Cup. Corum’s cautious strategy might well have led it to stop there, but that would have meant not drawing upon the inherent boldness that is an integral part of its rich heritage. In this way, a new work long-awaited by many was born, joining the Heritage collection: the Bubble.
The grand comeback of the Bubble
Many collectors had been repeatedly calling for its return. The Bubble, an atypical model that enjoyed a spectacular rise to fame followed by an equally rapid decline (2000–2005), is now making its comeback in the shape of three models: two 350-piece PVD-coated limited editions in chocolate brown and black versions, as well as a third – unlimited – Bubble Skeleton version.
Basically, the piece hasn’t changed much in its decade-long absence. Its diameter has increased to 47 mm, which is 3 mm more than the largest Bubble in 2005. Its curved shape is still there, notably thanks to a sub-dial thickness of 8.8 mm, taking the piece to 18.8 mm overall.
Another special feature is that the Bubble will retail for CHF 3500, the exact same price as when it was launched 15 years ago. Finally, fans of Vasarely will find the drawing designed by the artist on the dial of the model, accentuating the 3D effect with the many different-size squares.
A ceramic bridge
When it comes to Golden Bridge, Corum has mainly focused on the materials, both in the men’s and the ladies’ versions. Fundamentally, the Golden Bridge for men is no different to the model currently found in the collection. Corum has simply developed a new sapphire crystal case-back treated with a metallisation process. This glass looks translucent when the piece is held in the hand, but opaque when it is on the wrist. In contrast, the solid 18-carat gold baguette-type movement stands out with even greater effect.
Ceramics is on the other hand completely new for Miss Golden Bridge. Corum makes no secret of the issues in machining a case as slim as this, with such well-defined edges, in this material that is known to be extremely fragile during the shaping process. The result is well worth all the effort: in its total-black ceramic version, the Miss Golden Bridge exudes an aura of fascinating depth and exceptionally rare mystery. The piece becomes more contemporary, while its aesthetic composition remains as amazing as ever.
A flying tourbillon for Corum’s 60th anniversary
Corum will be 60 years young this year. For the occasion, the Manufacture is producing a 60-piece flying tourbillon limited edition of its Admiral’s Cup. Corum already produced a tourbillon in 2012 offered at a carefully thought-through price of just over CHF 40,000.
Today, we are seeing a fairly similar pricing approach. The new model is equipped with a tourbillon that has been transformed into the flying variety, and available in a pink gold that starts at CHF 70,000. The regulating organ positioned at 6 o’clock appears to be suspended in space through the play on transparency provided by a double sapphire crystal.
At 12 o’clock, Corum deploys a retrograde date displayed topped by a section of the crystal that has been given a smokier finish in order to enhance legibility. This unprecedented composition stems from an entirely new development which is now equipped with a 17 mm mini-rotor, a hybrid form mid-way between traditional oscillating weight and micro-rotor.
The return of the Admiral’s Cup pennants
Meanwhile, the models in the Admiral’s Cup Collection are making a return to their stylistic fundamentals. Although the brand had not used the pennant symbol in five years, the three new versions presented at Baselworld are all variations on this theme that features on the dial of the AC-One 45 mm and Legend 42 chronographs, as well as on the mother-of-pearl faces of the 32 mm and 38 mm Legend 42 ladies’ models.
This feminine edition also embodies Corum’s determination to return to the spirit pervading the early days of the Admiral’s Cup, including a 12-sided lower bezel topped by the collection’s characteristic round upper bezel. The inner bezel ring has also be reduced to extremely modest proportions resembling those of the original model. Finally, quartz makes a reappearance, repositioning the piece at CHF 1,850 for the steel version, or CHF 2,950 with the pink gold bezel and pushpiece.
The Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Chronograph has also undergone a major facelift with a new dial reminiscent of the teak slats found on boat decks. This finish, exclusive to the Admiral’s Cup collection, is now further highlighted by the fact that the chronograph has now dispensed with the third counter that used to appear there.