Orbit Manufacture Edition
- Stainless steel Case
- Diameter: 43.4 mm
- Off-center black dial with subdial
- Stainless-steel bracelet with a double folding clasp
The Orbit - the world's only watch displaying the date on a bezel – returns in the Manufacture Edition
Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, July 14, 2022: Following the resounding success of the Orbit First Edition, the world’s only watch with a column-wheel driven date displayed on the bezel returns in the Orbit Manufacture Edition, a piece of forward-thinking haute horlogerie with a resolutely sporty appeal. The new edition emphasizes contrast and sporty sleekness with a black offset dial and silvery rhodium-coated bridges.
Transparent mechanics on full display are a driving force for the Armin Strom manufacture, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Orbit. The most recent addition to the System 78 collection, which is the manufacture’s line of inventive and unexpected haute horlogerie creations in its purest form, the First Edition of the Orbit was unveiled in March 2022 and immediately appealed to discerning collectors. Now, the uniquely Orbit returns as permanent Manufacture Edition with an even more decidedly sporty aesthetic.
REINVENTING THE DATE
Visually captivating and mechanically ingenious, the Orbit completely reimagines one of the most useful and ubiquitous watch functions in existence: the date. By combining several complications into one, the “Column-Wheel Date” is a singularly creative and refreshing take on a complication that’s rarely ever revisited. Entirely conceived, developed and built in-house by Armin Strom, the Orbit flips the script by offering a new and unprecedented implementation of the date, with its inventive mechanics entirely visible on the dial side.
As its name implies, the column-wheel mechanism drives the date indicator, which is visible from the dial side. This system, typically found in chronograph mechanisms, improves the date indicator’s stability and performance while also providing a satisfying and reassuring tactile experience when engaging and disengaging the date function. Indicated on the black engraved ceramic bezel by a large central hand with a red “A” tip for Armin, the date hand essentially has two modes: stationary and active.
When the date hand is in the stationary mode, it is “off” and remains in its fixed position pointing at 12 o’clock, leaving the off-centred dial unobstructed. Using the pusher on the left side of the case, the date hand is “engaged” and instantaneously jumps to point at the correct date, then advances once a day at midnight. With another push of the button, the hand returns to its stationary position, with a mechanical memory allowing it to jump back to the correct date when required by the wearer. The retrograde mechanism allows the date hand to jump back from 31 to 1, avoiding any confusion with the hand’s disengaged stationary mode. The date can be rapidly set using a corrector button on the 8 o’clock position of the case or can be advanced manually via the crown by advancing the time.
Further enhancing the three-dimensional mechanical appeal of the Orbit Manufacture Edition is the movement itself. Based on the development of the Gravity Equal Force – the world’s first automatic watch with equal force transmission – the Orbit’s movement delivers consistent power to the balance, with a power reserve of 72 hours. Renewing and evolving the wisdom and principles of watchmaking from centuries past, its “stop-work” mechanism is a clever solution to providing more consistent torque from the barrel by preventing the mainspring from
fully unwinding, thus leveraging only the part of the mainspring’s unwinding process that can deliver power most consistently. This marks the first time that such a mechanism is incorporated in an automatic wristwatch movement.
And like all Armin Strom creations, the manufacture movement is finished to exceedingly high standards reserved for the upper echelon of haute horlogerie. Hand-finished and decorated elements include chamfered and polished edges on the bridges, polished chatons and perlage graining on the main plate.
A MEN’S COMPLICATION WITH A SPORTY ALLURE
Envisioned as a piece of haute horlogerie for daily active wear, particular attention was paid to the overall ergonomics and aesthetic of the Orbit Manufacture Edition. Rugged yet sophisticated at the same time, the Orbit ushers a new category for Armin Strom: Men’s complications in a sporty package. Perfectly integrated with the 43.4 mm stainless-steel case, the bracelet of the Orbit was carefully designed to offer a minimalistic look that doesn’t take away from the micromechanical spectacle within. Superbly finished with alternating polished and satin-brushed surfaces, the surprising slimness of the steel bracelet makes it exceedingly comfortable.
Compared to the First Edition, which predominantly features dark grey “black gold” coating, the Orbit Manufacture Edition emphasizes contrast and sporty sleekness with a black offset dial and silvery rhodium-coated bridges. The dial occupying the left side of the display indicates the hours and minutes as well as the seconds on a separate counter. The numerals, hour markers and hour and minute hands are filled with off-white Super-LumiNova® for optimal legibility in the dark. A rare feat for most watch manufactures, the steel hands are manufactured by Armin Strom and, like all the visible parts of the movement, are meticulously hand-finished in-house.
Technically tantalizing and visually compelling, the versatile and unequalled Orbit Manufacture Edition now officially joins Armin Strom’s core collection and opens new avenues of creativity and mechanical marvels for the independent manufacture. While the Manufacture Edition is not a limited edition, it will be produced in limited quantities.
- Column-Wheel Date
- Date indication on the ceramic bezel
- Automatic winding with micro rotor
Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator, date
- Stainless steel, fixed ceramic bezel
- Sapphire crystal and case back with anti-reflective coating
- Diameter: 43.4 mm
- Height: 12,6 mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 48.96 mm
- Water-resistance: 5 ATM / 50 m
Armin Strom manufacture Caliber ASS20, Automatic winding with micro rotor, Geneva-drive equal force barrel, offset display with subdial seconds, Column-Wheel Date
Regulating system: Balance wheel with 4 regulating screws
Power reserve: Geneva stop-work limited to 72 hours
Dimensions: 35.52 mm x 8.42 mm
Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
Finishing: Hand-finishing to the highest quality level
Number of components: 273
Black dial with sundial, numbers and indexes with Super-LumiNova® filling
- Steel with hand finishing and Super-LumiNova® filling
- Stainless-steel with a double folding clasp
- Width lugs/buckle: 22/20 mm
About Armin Strom
Armin Strom is an independent watch company based in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. Armin Strom timepieces offer a unique fusion of the Swiss-German horological tradition, avant-garde “transparent mechanics” and an unwavering commitment to horological innovation. The hallmark of the brand’s low-volume, artisanal approach to watchmaking is its commitment to exposed dial-side movement mechanics, with every part hand-finished to the highest haute-horology standards.
Armin Strom was established in 1967 by Mr Armin Strom, a legend in the art of hand-skeletonization. In 2006, the stewardship of Mr Strom’s legacy became the responsibility of Master Watchmaker Claude Greisler and businessman Serge Michel, who together revitalized the brand with the opening of Armin’s Strom’s first fully-integrated Manufacture in 2009. Today the brand designs, develops, mills, embosses, galvanizes, hand-finishes and assembles all of its own watches in-house, enabling Armin Strom to bring even the most complicated ideas to life without any of the compromises that typically stem from reliance on a supply chain.
When ‘Mr. Armin Strom’ retired from watchmaking, he transferred ownership of his brand to two boys (by then adults) who had had frequented his workshop so often together in childhood: businessperson Serge Michel and Master Watchmaker Claude Greisler.
In 2009, the revitalized Armin Strom built upon Mr. Strom’s historical legacy with the opening of its first fully-integrated Manufacture; located in Biel, Switzerland.
Today the Manufacture produces all of our timepieces in-house and with great reverence for the Swiss-German watchmaking tradition. Our extraordinary team of dedicated engineers and artisans, led by Master Watchmaker Claude Greisler, uphold that tradition with uncompromising passion and commitment.
Serge Michel is the scion of one of the most prominent families in Switzerland. His unwavering passion and commitment to the business of the Armin Strom Manufacture have made him both the sponsor and the driving business force behind the brand.
Fascinated by watchmaking and watch collecting from a young age, he and his childhood friend Claude Greisler shared a dream of co-founding a watch company; one that would someday produce watches of the very highest quality in the Swiss-German tradition. Today that dream has become a longstanding reality.
Beyond his life in the Manufacture, Serge is a husband and proud father of two girls. His other passions include global travel and wine collecting. Nothing brings a bigger smile to Serge’s face than introducing the latest Armin Strom creation to good friends over a dinner paired with several bottles of fine wine.
Claude Greisler is “a watchmaker’s watchmaker.” His greatest passions are watches (past and present) and complicated watchmaking. In actual fact, watchmaking has been a Greisler family profession for generations. Claude’s training began in his grandfather’s workshop, which led to his formal training, beginning with his completion of a four year program at the “School for Watchmakers and Rhabilleurs” in Solothurn, Switzerland; followed by a two-year program in movement restoration at Centre Interrégionalde Formation des Montagnes [CIFOM] in Le Locle; and then a further two-year program at CIFOM focused on the development and construction of complicated timepieces. Upon the completion of his 8 years of watchmaking education, Claude honed his craft as a watchmaker at Christophe Claret (a brand known for its ultra-complicated timepieces) as the next step in his longstanding ambition: to dedicate himself to the design and production of horologically significant timepieces. Beyond his watchmaking obsession, Claude is also a passionate skier and outdoorsman. Together with his wife, Gaby, Claude explores the Swiss backcountry as often as his responsibilities at the manufacture will allow.
At Armin Strom, we’re obsessed with every detail of every watch that we make. We develop, mill, emboss, galvanize and hand-finish all of our watches in-house. We adhere to the very highest haute-horology standards because we know that Armin Strom collectors appreciate looking at more than just the time.
Armin Strom represents a unique fusion of the swiss-german horological tradition with avant-garde ‘transparent mechanics’ and an unwavering commitment to horological innovation. Our watches are designed to both showcase how our movements actually work and to validate the attention to detail that goes into their production. Whether with a loupe or with the naked eye, with an Armin Strom timepiece there will always be something captivating to see.
At Armin Strom, our highly qualified and dedicated team invests an incredible amount of enthusiasm, passion and effort to create watches that are mechanically exceptional and meticulously well-finished. “The only difference between the possible and the impossible is that the impossible takes a little longer.” [Mrs. William Tilton, “The Washington Herald”, 1921].
Our passion for ‘transparent mechanics’ is at the core of our watchmaking design philosophy, but perfection in our execution and in the long-term reliability of our watches is always paramount. These priorities are the hallmarks of the Swiss-German watchmaking tradition. We honor that tradition with every watch that we produce at the Armin Strom Manufacture.
Every piece is unique.
Steel burins in various sizes and wax-coated holders are the tools of the engraver.
In the engraver’s hands, each workpiece becomes a unique work of art. The engraver draws their own motif design on the workpiece with a needle according to their original drawings; working under the microscope.
Embellishing every part of a movement makes every Armin Strom watch akin to a hand-crafted piece of jewelry.
Working bare brass or steel by hand is time-consuming work: edges of plates, bridges and levers must be perfectly chamfered or, as watchmakers call it, beveled. Every part is then polished to perfection, even when the embellishment won’t be visible in the finished watch.
Beveling and polishing requires a trained eye and fingertip sensitivity together with both patience and perseverance. For example, even a relatively small part like a pallets bridge will require at least half an hour to complete – and often more than that.
Here a classic fine watch-making finishing technique known as “Geneva Stripes” (Côtes de Genève), is displayed. They’re created via the use an abrasive disc that’s applied in perfectly straight lines to create the Côtes de Genève on the workpiece.
Circular graining (Perlage) is a decorative motif reminiscent of clouds, typically used on main plates. To achieve this pattern, the watchmaker uses an abrasive pencil and gently makes contact with the workpiece, gradually working across the whole surface. This creates the characteristic overlapping circular grained motif.
All rotating parts of an Armin Strom movement are embellished with a circular grinding pattern.
Up to this point, they were all just individual parts – turned, milled, polished and decorated. Now the watch will begin to take shape.
The watchmaker uses a pressing tool to insert the jewel bearings for the spindles of the toothed wheels into the plate and bridges. This is a crucial operation. The way the jewels are pressed in influences the correct vertical play of the gear-train. Do the gear-wheels and pinions mesh together correctly? Does the height need adjusting by a few hundredths of a millimeter? Once the gear-train is adjusted, the bridges and plates are screwed down, and the mainsprings are assembled in the going barrels, then the movement is ready to receive the escapement. With the installation of the escapement, consisting of the escape-wheel, the pallets and balance-wheel, the watch comes to life.
After the first assembly, the movement is completely disassembled and each individual part is then cleaned, dried, reassembled and lubricated. After the second assembly, the movement is meticulously regulated before the watchmaker sets the hands and re-inserts the movement back into the case. The back of the case is then fixed in place. The completed watch is subjected to a multi-day rate test on a watch winder. Water resistance is also tested. Once the watch has passed these quality tests, it is finally certified as complete.