Insider: Armin Strom Manual Fire. This Level of Watch in 18K Gold at this Price Point, is Simply a Great Deal.

The Armin Strom Manual Fire ref. RG11-MF.90 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 $10K USD mark and in the case of this 18K rose gold piece right above $20K —which is not bad at all for a piece of this calibre in gold. 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.

The Dial

The Armin Strom Manual Fire ref. RG11-MF.90 features a skeletonized dial with a nice contrasting black 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 black ring on the subsidiary seconds.

The Case & Strap

The Armin Strom Manual Fire, 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 Fire is cased in a satin-brushed finished case in 18K rose gold 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 Armin Strom Manual Fire is equipped with a gorgeous brown hornback strap with off-white contrast stitching. The watch is typically delivered with an additional brown rubber strap and a double-fold clasp is available as an option for those of you that don't like the pin/tang/ardillon buckles.

The Movement

The beating heart inside the Armin Strom Manual Fire 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 flames 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 100-piece limited edition information is engraved on the main plate.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and with impressive wrist presence, just like any 18K rose gold timepiece. Its color scheme is perfect for those watchlifestylers looking for that sporty yet elegant look to pair with their Lanvin sneakers. Considering the exclusivity of the brand, the price point, the fact that the watch is cased in 18K rose gold and the craftsmanship, this is pretty much, the deal of the century. The Armin Strom Manual Fire is available in a limited edition of 100 pieces.

Sticker Price $23,300 USD. For more info on Armin Strom click here.