Amazing considering that Armin Ström was only thirteen years old (not counting the years performed by the skeleton master, Mr. Armin Ström). Now in the hands of Serge Michel and master watchmaker Claude Griesler, Armin Strom has amassed an impressive portfolio of highly technical watches and integrated a unique and contemporary design language. Together with the brand’s fully integrated manufacturer, with the ability to produce practically all of its components in-house, Armin Strom is a force to be reckoned with on the indie scene. System 78 collection along with some of the brand’s heavyweight haute horology pieces. The idea for the Tribute 1 model is to offer excellent watchmaking content at an affordable price in a homey, contemporary package. In response to demand from collectors, Armin Strom introduces this dressier 18k rose gold version of the Tribute 1 in a limited edition of 100 pieces powered by an impressive in-house movement with its 100-hour power reserve.
As Armin Strom co-founder Serge Michel pointed out in an interview with Monochrome, the reason for creating the System 78 was a response to his frustrations as a young collector: “Since childhood, I have admired these types of watches. Can’t Afford Them: If you don’t have a budget, you don’t have a budget. With four subfamilies – Gravity Equal Force, Lady Beat, Orbit and Tribute 1 – sharing the same platform, the System 78 allows Armin Strom to scale production, share parts and keep costs under control. Offering innovative horological content with impeccable hand finishes and accessible prices, “System 78” is named after the year Greisler and Michel were born – 1978.
The Tribute 1, a compact stainless steel 38mm time-only model, launched in 2021 with an off-center handmade grenage dial in stainless steel and an exposed motor barrel and bridge. Reappearing with blue, black and Californian dials, the Tribute 1 becomes a dresser this year and comes in an 18k rose gold case.
A modern dress watch
The proportions of the Armin Strom Tribute 1 – 38mm diameter x 9.38mm height – are precisely calibrated for a dress watch. The 18k rose gold case displays alternating brushed and polished surfaces and differs from traditional dress watches with its crown at 2 o’clock. Other features include the distinctive straight, angled lugs, thin bezel and the signature ‘lip’ at 6 o’clock seen on Armin Strom watches, but smaller and more discreet.
The off-center dial for the hours and minutes of this luxurious Tribute 1 features a black gold (anthracite) color adorned with a delicate concentric pattern. Rose gold-coated elements to match the case material include applied hour markers at 12, 2, 8 and 10, elegant openworked hour and minute hands, and a central seconds hand. The dial plate surrounding the barrel and the off-center dial exhibit a gray granular surface obtained using the grenage technique. The technique involves finely hand-carved impressions on solid black gold plate, which are then filled with lacquer, polished and hardened with diamond paper.
An exposed barrel held by a beveled openworked finger bridge with a rose gold hand, intersecting the hour and minute dial. As with other Tribute 1 models, the inscription ‘One Hundred Hours of Power Reserve – Manual Winding’ is engraved in relief on the exposed surface of the barrel. As the brand emphasizes, all elements of the dial are made in-house and finished by hand.
AMW 21 caliber
Armin Strom’s manual-winding caliber is designed with compactness and power in mind. With a height of just 4.20mm, this slim movement features an innovative motor barrel that revolves around the mainspring to save space and increase efficiency. The watch offers a robust 100-hour power reserve and also features a variable inertia balance wheel housed by a finger bridge and beating at a frequency of 3.5Hz. Like all Armin Strom watches, the movement is assembled twice. The hand-finishing is consistent with the rest of the watch, meaning they are traditionally executed but modern.
The three-quarter plate has thick Côtes de Geneve polished bevels; Balance bridge includes side graining, anglaze, sandblasting and straight graining; The mainplate displays circular graining; Countersinks are polished; and the inscription “1 in 100” (as in the barrel of the dial) is engraved in positive relief on the matte surface. In keeping with its luxurious dress watch appeal, this Tribute 1 comes on a sleek black alligator strap with a rose gold-plated clasp.
Availability & Price
The Armin Strom Tribute 1 Rose Gold is limited to 100 pieces and will retail CHF 23,900 / EUR 26,500 / USD 23,900 / GBP 25,000.
For more information, please visit arminstrom.com.