Like many modern watchmakers, Corum has had an interesting time over the last few years. Through ups and downs, the brand circa 2016 is rediscovering itself as well as recalling some of the personalities that made the modern brand interesting. Corum of old (like 10-15 years ago) was a true innovator in terms of style and fashion when it came to how people wear modern timepieces. The Bubble, for example, (which is back this year as well) was a true testament to how a high-end watch could also be really fun. The Golden Bridge is easily one of Corum’s most distinct movements and timepiece concepts, but has had a tough time appealing to Western males despite a really interesting visual presentation.
For 2016, Corum might have found a new sweet spot when it comes to the Golden Bridge collection with the new Corum Golden Bridge Round. This is the first time Corum has designed a round case for its linear movement, and the result is pretty interesting. The Golden Bridge movement (here the caliber CO 113) is an interesting mechanical mechanism which is designed to have all the parts stack up in a column-like shape (Corum calls it an “in-line baguette” movement). The bridge holding all the movement parts together is in 18k rose gold, and in this case is decorated with some attractive traditional-looking hand-done engravings. Despite the very compact size of the movement, it still operates at 4Hz with a power reserve of 40 hours – which isn’t too bad at all. The CO 113 movement only indicates the time with hours and minutes.
For the Golden Bridge Round, Corum has oriented the movement vertically in a round case, which leaves some room to the sides of the movement for decorative or other purposes. Corum wanted to get a little architecture here, so the bridge work (literally) on the sides of the movement in the otherwise skeletonized case is taken from the design of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. So yes, the Golden Bridge watch gets some inspiration from another golden bridge… I think that is pretty fun. Actually, the Golden Gate Bridge is red, but when the light hits it the right way, the bridge seems to glow a golden color. I’ll note, having lived near the Golden Gate Bridge, that the sun doesn’t shine on it (through the clouds and fog) all that often.
The last time Corum Coin Watch 50th Anniversary Replica ventured forth in making a more masculine version of the Golden Bridge was with the Ti-Bridge collection (hands-on here). The Corum Ti-Bridge put the movement on its side in a horizontal position and turned the timepiece into a sort of modern sports-style watch. Pricey and without a clear intended demographic, I am sure the Ti-Bridge will be a collector’s favorite in the future, but during its release it was hard to find takers given often niche appreciation of the concept and the competition at that price point.
With the Corum Watches Australia Replica Golden Bridge Round, I think Corum sort of threw in the towel, admitting that, “yes, a round case might be necessary” for the Golden Bridge to work as a men’s watch. I understand that in some parts of the world the tonneau-shape Golden Bridge watches sell to men, but in many ways, the collection until now has been a more feminine design by Western standards. With that said, the Corum Golden Bridge Round is able to capture the refined delicate nature of what the Golden Bridge concept represents, but imbues it with a strong, artistic sensibility that I think is finally masculine enough for more universal appeal.
In 18k rose gold (as well as an 18k white gold model set with diamonds), the Corum Golden Bridge Round watch is 43mm wide and just 8.8mm thick, sandwiched by two pieces of AR-coated sapphire crystal. Also, the sides of the case are set with curved pieces of sapphire crystal offering another glance at the “bridge work” decorating the inner parts of the case that flank the movement. At the bottom of the case is the crown for the movement, which is a nice symmetrical position and leaves the sides of the Corum Golden Bridge Round case free from a crown.
We actually debuted the Seafender versions of this Admiral’s Cup watches if the Seafender 47 Tourbillon GMT premiered in 2011. At 47mm wide, Corum determined it was fitting in the yacht watch set to produce an aluminum-cased tourbillon. There was also an 18k red gold variant. While these Seafender Tourbillons are admittedly interesting, I simply find no company putting them inside of Admiral’s Cup-style cases. The above mentioned model with diamonds has one of the strangest personalities I’ve seen all year. It is not an issue of good or poor even though it is not for me, it’s more a matter than it spins the DNA of the Admiral’s Cup set so much that it has all but lost any meaning.On newspaper, the Corum Admiral’s Cup Chronograph Tourbillon 47 Seafender sounds like a worthy thought. It’s a lot of interesting features and slick materials such that the sum of its components could actually be tremendously provocative. Instead, we’ve got a watch constructed such as a Cadillac that contrasts using an Abrams tanks. These worlds of aggressive luxury boating and high-end complications simply don’t meld together correctly in my eyes.Rather than partner a tourbillon with a GMT complication, this Seafender marries a tourbillon and a chronograph – again with a dial to get the date. Powering the watch is your grade CO 398 automatic that is fairly wonderful. If you remember what I said about the initial Corum Seafender view it had been that the movement view looked better than the dial. The caliber CO 398 is rare, being an automatic to get a tourbillon, and in addition to that, it is a tourbillon that operates in 4 Hz. The 60 minute chronograph is column-wheel based, and the dial features a nice window to the tourbillon (with a Corum key emblem on it). This dial is much more composed than the Seafender GMT, but that variant with the small round-cut diamonds really from the sub dials just does not do it for me personally. Allow me to ask you, although I really do feel that there is a place for diamonds within an Admiral’s Cup case (especially baguette-cut ones)… are they really helping anybody by being on the dial just like this?
The watch hands and flange ring attempt a slight contrast, being done in yellow gold-toned brass. There is a full scale of hour markers on the flange ring, but the watch isn’t super legible by my standards – though for a dressier watch, it isn’t too bad. Attached to the Corum Golden Bridge Round case is a glossy reddish-brown alligator strap that works well with the two gold colors on the case and dial. If you have just the right color of shoes, this strap can look pretty killer.
At 43mm wide, there is no doubt that this is a bold timepiece, but being thin with delicate features, the result is more dignified and artistic than brash. Is this a new golden era for the Golden Bridge? I don’t know about that, but Corum has certainly made a compelling new argument for those people who enjoy the movement concept but haven’t until this point had a properly-designed Golden Bridge watch for their wrists. Price for the Corum Golden Bridge Round watch in 18k rose gold is $41,700 and in 18k white gold with diamonds the price is $48,000. corum.ch