As all of you know, Armin Strom is a brand very well known for mastering the art of skeletonization and the Gravity Earth ref. ST13-GE.90 we are reviewing here, happens to be one of our favorite watches from this manufacture, especially when fitted with a black rubber strap and tang buckle. This relatively young manufacture, was founded in 1967 by Armin Strom in the picturesque town of Burgdorf located northwest of Bern the capital of Switzerland. Armin Strom's first masterpiece was a gold pocket watch, with a hand-engraved dial in polished blue lapis lazuli. Armin's mature manual dexterity and incredible attention to detail soon made the him aware of where to specialize in his valuable items: the art of skeletonization. The Armin Strom Gravity Earth like all other Armin Strom timepieces in the Gravity collection, is fitted with a case measuring 43.4 mm in diameter and 13.4 mm thick. The Gravity collection is composed of four different watches that represent the four terrestrial elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. While the Gravity Air is made of titanium, the Gravity Water sports a stainless steel case, the Gravity Fire an 18K rose gold case and in the the case of the Gravity Earth we are doing this hands-on review on, a blackened PVD stainless steel case.
The Gravity collection first launched at the end of 2013, is the first series of automatic watches driven by the Armin Strom Manufacture’s new AMR13 calibre with micro-rotor —a special movement feature quite common on Patek Philippe watches and now also present in Panerai calibres that allows for a thinner calibre. The dial composed of a gorgeous black ring with applied Arabic numerals and white minute track, is designed to proudly display the micro rotor located between 6 and 4 o'clock with running seconds at 9 o'clock. The Armin Strom bridge as usual is located at the 3 o'clock position. The hands feature applied luminova and at night they glow bright and long.
The visibility of this mechanism is made possible thanks to an innovative concept of transmission for the rotor, which remains smaller in size than the diameter of the going barrel.
The case in blackened PVD stainless steel is superbly finished with a nice satin brushed finish that maximizes the sporty look of this watch. Fitted with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, the visibility of the dial is never compromised by unwanted glare. Perhaps the only thing we would've wished for on this watch, was a screw-down crown to not worry about water resistance issues, regardless, Armin Strom states a water resistance of 50 meters for this timepiece. The matching pull-out crown on the Gravity Earth is easy to grip and very nicely finished with the Armin Strom AS logo. When winding the watch or setting the time, the crown feels very solid and tight.
The case features the traditional lip at 6 o'clock that can be engraved with the owners monogram. Not sure if we would be brave enough to get the lip engraved as the look of the watch might changed drastically depending on ones initials.
The watch is typically delivered with a black alligator hornback leather strap with pin buckle in matching black PVD stainless steel and with an additional black rubber strap like the one pictured here. A double-fold clasp in black PVD stainless steel is also available as an option. The strap is very soft, maleable and extremely comfortable.
The beating heart inside the Armin Strom Gravity Earth is the automatic in-house calibre AMR13 composed of 171 parts, 26 jewels and a micro-rotor and which provides a power reserve of 5 days while beating at a frequency of 18,000 vph. The exquisitely finished movement —and we are not exaggerating—, is fully visible via the sapphire crystal display case back coated with anti-reflective treatment to make things even better. The limited edition information is engraved on the movement itself.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and overall just very nice. This is the type of watch that not only exudes sportiness but also classiness at the same time. One thing we love about independent brands like Armin Strom besides their designs and exquisite finishes, is that you'll rarely run into another watchlifestyler wearing the same watch you are wearing.
Sticker Price $14,200 USD. For more info on Armin Strom click here.