New York Groove: A Day In The City With Armin Strom’s New Resonance Collection
Two new Mirrored Force Resonance watches now feature guilloché dials, while the pared-down Pure Resonance is a study in simplicity.
Mirrored Force Resonance
In 2016, Armin Strom introduced the Mirrored Force Resonance timepiece to great critical acclaim. Resonance is achieved when “two oscillating bodies in close proximity influence each other and eventually synchronize,” according to the brand. The sheer complexity involved in creating the timepiece with two balances beating at the same rhythm, yet in opposite directions, is a feat that few watchmakers have ever been able to accomplish. After dedicating years to developing the precise mechanics, Armin Strom’s master watchmakers produced the finished timepiece, a true testament to the brand’s watchmaking prowess.
Patience Leads to Perfection
As a brand that has specialized in skeleton watches since its founding, Armin Strom knows a thing or two about patience. The Resonance’s clutch spring alone took its master watchmakers a full two and a half years to design and produce. But the spring is just one of the many components that had to be painstakingly developed and fine-tuned in order to make the watch’s movement run smoothly and accurately. “The Raison d’Etre of the Mirrored Force Resonance is to display the interesting functionality of the resonant balances while improving the watch’s overall precision. The resonance clutch spring provides the watch with a fascinating and patented ‘animation’ of the way it functions,” the brand said in a statement. “The balances’ perfectly matched rhythms, moving in opposite directions, serve to provide optimal timekeeping precision.” Beyond that, watching the movement is truly mesmerizing.
Two Bodies in Motion
So how does this dual system actually work? “One body in motion relays its vibrations to its surroundings,” according to the brand. “When another body with a similar natural resonant frequency to the first receives these vibrations, it will absorb energy from the first and start vibrating at the same frequency in a sympathetic manner. The first body acts as the ‘exciter,’ while the second acts as the ‘resonator.’”
The movement protects the watch’s accuracy after a shock, too. If a shock makes one of the balances slow down, the other will speed up to the degree of the other balance’s slowed movement, and they will adjust back to resonance. The watch’s patented hand-wound movement has a power reserve of 48 hours. If the watch does stop, when it’s rewound it will take about 10 minutes for the balances to synch up once again.
New Guilloché Dials for 2019
This year, Armin Strom is offering guilloché dials on the Mirrored Force Resonance in a variety of colors and patterns crafted to the customer’s wishes. The brand explains that the new dials create “a striking contrast with the high-tech movement, and will be available in multiple colors (blue, black, anthracite, red or bi-color), and in several different pattern options (sun-ray, concentric waves or barleycorn), depending on the client’s wishes.”
Armin Strom has also taken the bold and wise step of enlisting another touted Swiss watchmaker, Kari Voutilainen, to create the new dials. Voutilainen's manufacture in Môtiers is equipped with engine-turned lathes that can only be operated by hand. Each dial’s patterns are engraved “by chiseling a smooth metallic plate with extreme precision and care,” the brand states, and “are true pieces of art, reflective of the craftsmen’s skills and virtuosity.”
The New Pure Resonance
Armin Strom has also introduced the Pure Resonance timepiece this year. Like the Mirrored Force Resonance, the watch benefits from two balances operating in resonance. In the Pure Resonance, though, the balances do not “mirror” each other by going in opposite directions, they operate in the same direction. The Pure Resonance’s dial is further simplified with a seconds subdial at 7 o’clock that allows for easy reading at a glance, versus the Mirrored Force that has a twin seconds flyback display.
Keeping it Simple
The relative simplicity of the Pure Resonance is intentional. “The purpose of redesigning the movement’s architecture was clarity, thereby putting focus on the resonance assembly and accuracy,” says brand director Claude Greisler. “The reason for this watch’s improved chronometry can be found in the straightforward approach to the movement: the fewer functions a timepiece must perform, the better it can concentrate on accuracy.”
Despite its simplicity, the Pure Resonance’s movement is perfectly finished, in keeping with all of Armin Strom’s watches. Its case is smaller too, with reduced-size lugs and crown, measuring 42mm across. The watch is available in either a rose gold or stainless steel case and fitted with the proprietary ARF16 movement with a full 48 hours of power reserve. Armin Strom owner Serge Michel declares, “the Pure Resonance heralds a new era at Armin Strom.” What else will this new era produce? Only time will tell.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)