Hands-on With The Armin Strom Gravity Water Mens Watch
It’s been put forward that the correlation between accelerating time and increasing age is tied to a phenomenon based on the theory of relativity. At ten years old, a single lap of the sun represents a massive ten per cent total lifespan, whereas at fifty, it is a mere two percent. Whether that’s correct or not, it has to be said: it seems like only yesterday that Swiss Armin Strom AG was a young upstart, and now it’s making in-house movements with front-loaded micro rotors and even tourbillons.
We’ve got the more affordable non-tourbillon Gravity here, which is as inspiring a timepiece to behold as any Armin Strom Mens Watch before it. As you may or many not know, Armin Strom (the man) is the recently retired genius and artist behind some of the best movement skeletonisation ever undertaken. His work includes the world’s smallest watch to ever be hand skeletonised, which gives you some idea of the man’s talent.
The open dial layout Strom was famous for is the heart of the design ethos of Armin Strom (the brand), and the Gravity makes full use of that by mounting the micro rotor for the in-house, five day AMR13 movement on the front of the watch. It can be spied inside the minute and hour ring, at five o’clock, and its half-in-half-out arrangement encourages you to look closer.
And look closer you should, because as far as watchmaking goes, this is some of the finest. Don’t let the bold colours and chunky case fool you; this is no fashion watch. The elegantly curved rotor ratchet mechanism is as much a thing of beauty as it is a solution to an engineering problem, the long, curving springs tensioning hinged teeth on the opposite sides of the rotor.
Because all the good stuff is laid out on the front of the watch, the rear isn’t that much to look at. Or so you’d think, but actually that couldn’t be further from the truth. And as impressive as the screwed balance and gold escape wheel and pallets are, the three-quarter plate is easily the standout component. A blank canvas for Armin Strom-inspired engraving, the three-quarter plate of each version of the Gravity (there’s Earth, Air, Fire and this one, Water) features its own themed hand engraving.
The Gravity is an easy to watch to like, and its price also makes it an easy choice to buy. If you’re in the market for something truly special (and rare – each edition of the Gravity is limited to just 100 pieces), with an in-house movement as well executed and functional as this, you’ll be hard-pushed to find something better for the money. As the years go by and time gets faster, it’s a decision that just gets easier and easier.
Watch Spec | Armin Strom Gravity Water ST13-GW.50
Case: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 43.4mm dia, 13m thick
Crystal: Anti-reflective coated synthetic sapphire
Water Resistance: 50m
Movement: Calibre AMR13, automatic
Frequency: 18,800 vph
Power Reserve: 5 days
Price: £10,000, limited to 100 pieces