The Armin Strom Manual Air is one of the four watches within the entry level Manual collection for this Swiss manufacture from Biel/Bienne. While the words 'entry level' might typically convey lower price point in the watch category; when it comes to independent watch manufactures like Armin Strom, we are talking more about a price point situated above the $10,000 USD mark. But hey, one thing we can assure you, is that you get what you are paying for, no more no less. With a very limited production of around 500 pieces a year —all of them of course handmade— Armin Strom has quickly gained momentum in less than 50 years. Established in 1967 in Altstadt area of Burgdorf, Armin Strom watches were initially only available through his shop and it wasn't until 1984 when Armin Strom officially entered the watch world by presenting at the Basel Watch and Jewellery Fair —Baselworld. As part of that great momentum, the Armin Strom Manual Air ref. TI11-MA.11 brings all the DNA of the manufacture in a titanium 100-piece limited edition priced just right.
The Armin Strom Manual Air features a skeletonized dial with a nice contrasting white ring with applied Arabic numerals at 12, 3 and 6, a black minute track, off-centered hour/minutes and a subsidiary running seconds indicator at 9 o'clock. As it is the norm, the Armin Strom brand name is applied on one of the bridges at 3 o'clock. The hands feature a nice thick coat of luminescent material that glows bright and long in the darkness. The dial is further elevated by the matching white ring on the subsidiary seconds.
The Case & Strap
The Armin Strom Manual Air, is fitted with a case measuring 43.4 mm in diameter and 13.0 mm in thickness. As explained in all of our other reviews, Armin Strom names most of their watches based on the four terrestrial elements: Earth —Blackened PVD stainless Steel—, Air —titanium—, Fire —18K rose gold— and Water —mirror polished stainless steel. Therefore, the Manual Air is cased in a satin-brushed finished case in lightweight titanium with its iconic lip at 6 o'clock that can be engraved with the owner's initials. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters and fitted with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides for superb readability. The signed Armin Strom pull-out crown completes the minimalist look of this watch.
The watch is equipped with a stunning gray hornback strap with off-white contrast stitching. The watch is typically delivered with an additional white rubber strap and a double-fold clasp is available as an option for those of you that don't like the tang/ardillon buckles.
The beating heart inside the Armin Strom Manual Air is the manual wound in-house calibre AMW11 composed of 112 parts, 20 jewels and which provides a power reserve of 5 days while beating at a frequency of 18,000 vph. The exquisitely finished movement with hand-engraved cloud motif on one of the bridges, is fully visible via the sapphire crystal display case back coated with anti-reflective treatment on both sides to make things appear even better. The limited edition information is engraved on the main plate.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and quite light. Its gray color scheme is perfect for those watchlifestylers looking for that monochromatic look to match their Balmain outfits. As we've said it before, nothing feels better than wearing a watch that only those that are savvy watch connoisseurs would be able to recognize. This watch is available in a limited edition of 100 pieces.
Sticker Price $13,100 USD. For more info on Armin Strom click here.