Corum of La Chaux-de-Fonds is a low-volume art house known for its”Bubbles,” “Feathers,” “Coins,” and the dodecagonal Admiral’s Cup line of sports watches. But it’s the Corum Bridge series that underpins the brand’s claim to haute horologerie street creed. Like the original 1980 “Golden Bridge,” the Corum Bridge Ti-Bridge Tourbillon makes a commanding statement about Corum’s in-house watchmaking acumen.
Consider what the Corum Ti-Bridge Tourbillon represents; it’s a Golden Bridge re-imagined in titanium, and a flying tourbillon re-imagined as a sports watch. Not only is this avant-garde complication a striking affront to tradition, but it offers something like the holy grail for enthusiasts of horology’s most prestigious complication; a tourbillon you can wear daily, in any attire.
Corum launched the first-ever Ti-Bridge model in 2009 and followed up with the even more audacious Ti-Bridge Tourbillon in 2010. More than a tourbillon grafted to the in-house Ti-Bridge movement, the manufacture caliber CO 22 bypassed the more common tourbillon for a flying tourbillon mechanism. The flying tourbillon is an early 20th century innovation that omits the bridge structure on the visible side of the tourbillon carriage. It’s more difficult to execute and more spectacular to behold.
Corum’s Ti-Bridge case offers an spacious gallery in which to exhibit the main attraction. With its gossamer baguette bridge, skeletonized strut bars, and linear drive train, the CO-22 is an open book that enables close reading with a loupe, looking glass, or even the naked eye. Like its Golden Bridge forebear, the Ti-Bridge is a linear showcase for the individual components that comprise the mechanical essence of a Swiss-lever movement.
In a very literal sense, power travels from the winding crown at three o’clock to the gyrating carriage of the flying tourbillon at nine. Twin mainspring barrels flank the movement and provide a three-day (72-hour) power reserve. While the alloy underpinning this impressive web of watchmaking is PVD coated and officially termed “ARCAP,” its chemical composition is very similar to the well-known “German Silver,” a nickel-copper alloy famous for its use in vintage watches and modern day offerings from A. Lange & Sohne.
Corum’s mechanical ballet whirls across a stage bounded by an aggressive and ergonomically-inspired titanium shell. While the original Golden Bridge was a slight prism that resembled a frail crystalline shell, the Ti-Bridge thrusts across the wrist with the assertive stance of a Richard Mille tonneau.
While no less than 51mm from lug-to-lug and 42mm in width, the cambered case back of the Corum Ti-Bridge Tourbillon enables it to fit securely on a wrist as small as 15CM. The titanium case features predominantly brushed finish in order to keep attention firmly fixed on the mechanical centerpiece, but the gunmetal grey form of the Ti-Bridge is imposing all the same. Moreover, the exotic metal wears light on the wrist.
A superb black alligator leather strap combines with a hardy deployant clasp for security and comfort. The strap features anchor points that begin prior to the bounds of the case lugs, so its downward curvature begins prior to the edge of the case; small wrists benefit. All wrists will take pleasure in the soft calf leather underside of the Corum strap, and the tank-like construction of the twin-trigger double deployant clasp speaks to Corum’s standards for its flagship model.
Want more? You got it; the Corum Ti-Bridge Tourbillon features full shock protection on the tourbillon carriage and 5-ATM water resistance on the case. Either feature is rare in this class of complication, but in combination, the tandem of refinement is exceptional. Add the immense antimagnetic and corrosion resistant properties of the ARCAP movement, and it becomes clear that the Corum Ti-Bridge Tourbillon is designed to spend its days being enjoyed, not babied. Truly, this is the tourbillon for the collector who believes watches are built to be worn. Breguet – the man, not the brand – would love it.
See the Corum Ti-Bridge Tourbillon in high-resolution images on www.watchuwant.com.