Back in May 2017, we brought you the exciting news about Armin Strom releasing their Resonance watch also in stainless steel. Well, today, we finally bring you our hands-on review of this great timepiece that is nothing but spectacular. Fitted with an stainless steel case measuring 43.4 mm in diameter, the Armin Strom Mirrored Resonance Water and the Mirrored Resonance Fire are truly the only Resonance watches in the market.
Equipped with two oscillating bodies in close proximity that influence each other and eventually synchronize, the Mirrored Force Resonance either in stainless steel or 18K rose gold is a very sophisticated timepiece that took two and a half years to create. Now available in two different metals, the Mirrored Force Resonance just became more appealing for those that prefer the understated look of stainless steel.
The phenomenon of synchronized motion in horology has fascinated watchmakers since the time of Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695). Huygens, inventor of the pendulum clock, was the first to discover the resonance of two separate pendulum clocks, which he logically surmised should keep slightly different time. When hung from a common beam, however, the pendulums of the adjacent clocks synchronized; subsequent researchers confirmed that the common wooden beam coupled the vibrations and created resonance. The two pendulums functioned as one in a synchronous manner. In the eighteenth century, Abraham-Louis Breguet demonstrated his mastery of the phenomenon with his double pendulum resonance clock.
In the pursuit of horological accuracy, precision, and rate stability resonance has generally involved utilizing two independent mainsprings, gear trains, escapements and balances each connected by a rack and pinion to allow fine tuning of the distance between them. Precise adjustment of the distance between the two regulators is necessary to incite resonance, which sees the two balances finding a concurrent rhythm in opposite directions so as to continuously average out errors for maximum accuracy.
One body in motion relays its vibrations to its surroundings. 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.”
To provide an idea of how difficult the horological execution of this concept is, an exhaustive list of watchmakers that have successfully used resonance in an extremely limited number of timepieces only includes Antide Janvier (1751-1855) and Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823). In modern times only Francois-Paul Journe has attempted a somewhat similar complication that in reality is not that much of a Resonance Watch but a timepiece with two independent movements.
Following the traditional art of skeletonization mastered by Armin Strom, the new Mirrored Force Resonance Water in stainless steel features a skeletonized dial with off-centered white subdial for the hours and minutes at 3 o'clock and two white rings for the running seconds indicators at 11 and 7 o'clock. These two indicators make their revolutions in opposite directions —one rotating clockwise and the other counterclockwise—, as if they were performing a magic trick.
The white twin running seconds rings feature a three-spoke hand with luminescent material on one of the spokes and blue numerals. On the other hand, the white subdial that keeps track of the hours and minutes, features dark blue Arabic numerals and the name of the watch in silver transfers. But what makes this dial simply unbelievable, are the two independent balance wheels supported by exquisitely finished bridges and connected by two resonance clutch springs in sweet steel. While we absolutely love the look of the Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance Fire in 18K rose gold, we think that the look of the new stainless steel model is even more versatile.
Once the 48-hour power reserve has been exhausted and the movement requires to be wound, the twin balance wheels need approximately 10 minutes before they can become synchronous once again. In case of any shock, it takes only a few minutes for the two balances to find their resonant rhythm once again. This is because it is not the balance wheels that Armin Strom’s technical team has connected using the resonance clutch spring, but rather the balance spring studs, which receive the impulses.
As you can see in the images below, the satin brushed finish and chamfering on the bridges that support the two independent balance wheels is simply out of this world. While the mainplate is decorated with perlage —circular graining— the bridges feature a beautiful satin brushed finish and anthracite PVD treatment to make this watch one of the best looking watches out there.
Unlike the majority of watch companies operating today, Armin Strom is in reality a full-fledged manufacture with in-house manufacturing capabilities. The resonant caliber ARF15 is a classically constructed manually wound movement —composed of 226 parts and 43 jewels— that was conceived, manufactured, assembled and regulated in-house. The movement beats at the atypical frequency of 3.5 Hertz —25,200 vph—, allowing the observer to really appreciate the patented, resonant regulators in action. While the real show takes place on the dial side, the base plate of the movement is exquisitely decorated with circular Côtes de Genève and with two skeletonized mainspring barrels. Thanks to its two barrels, the movement provides a power reserve of 48 hours when fully wound.
The Case & Pusher
The stainless steel case is satin brushed finished and fitted with a mirror polished bezel with the traditional lip at 6 o'clock that can be engraved. The left case band features a pusher at 2 o’clock that is used to reset the twin seconds’ displays to zero, simultaneously resetting the twin balance wheels.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance Water wears true to its size and with very impressive wrist presence. This new Resonance watch has already positioned Armin Strom at a much higher rank since its launch in November of 2016. Without a doubt, this watch might be the next “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix prize at the next Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2017.
The Mirrored Force Resonance Water like its Fire counterpart is available in a limited edition of only 50 pieces.
Sticker Price $54,000 USD. For more info on Armin Strom click here.