This relatively young manufacture, was founded in 1967 by Armin Strom in a small town named Burgdorf located northwest of Bern. The Armin Strom Tourbillon Earth ref. ST13-TE.90 is perhaps one of our three favorite watches from this manufacture. This particular tourbillon is not only beautiful but also very stealth looking thanks to its black PVD stainless steel case. A watch that seems rugged by its looks —specially when sported on its black rubber strap— and size —43.4 mm in diameter by 13 mm in thickness— but with a delicate and perfectionist craftsmanship. Armin Strom's timepieces are always divided in four different watches to represent the four terrestrial elements. The Air in titanium, Water in stainless steel, Fire in 18K rose gold and Earth in blackened PVD stainless steel.
The dial composed of a gorgeous black ring with applied Arabic numerals and white minute track, is designed to proudly display the double-going barrels with their 10-day power reserve. The watch features a gorgeous tourbillon cage at 9 o'clock that makes a whole turn every 60 seconds and serves as a running seconds indicator. The engraved 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. One of the few skeletonized timepieces out there that is easy to read in any type of lighting conditions.
The Case & Strap
The case in blackened PVD stainless steel is superbly finished with a nice satin brushed finish that maximizes the sporty look of this watch. As usual, at 6 o'clock one can find the Armin Strom signature case lip that can be engraved with the owner's initials. Fitted with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, 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. This is the only tourbillon out there that we would definitely take to the pool on a nice summer day. The pull-out crown on the Armin Strom Tourbillon 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. Since this is a 10-day power reserve movement, it will take a while for you to accomplish fully winding the watch. The watch we reviewed here was fitted with the black Armin Strom rubber strap at the time we worked on this hands-on review; however, the Armin Strom Tourbillon Earth —just like all Armin Strom timepieces— is delivered with a black alligator hornback strap with double folding clasp and with an additional black rubber strap like the one you see here.
The beating heart inside the Armin Strom Tourbillon Earth is the manual wound in-house calibre ATC11 composed of 184 parts, 24 jewels and a double going barrel to provides an outstanding power reserve of 10 days while beating at a frequency of 18,000 vph. The exquisitely finished movement 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, with the watch being limited to 50 pieces only.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and overall extremely sporty and nice. This is the type of watch that not only exudes sportiness but also class at the same time. A tourbillon that can be worn in any type of setting, whether is a day at the beach, a Sunday in your favorite Rag & Bone distressed jeans or to a black tie gala at the Meyerson Symphony. The Armin Strom Tourbillon Earth is available in a limited edition of 50 pieces only.
Three things we love about independent brands like Armin Strom are the craftsmanship, exclusivity and price point. It really doesn't get any better. Not many brands out there can pride themselves in making tourbillons in stainless steel.
Sticker Price $79,600 USD. For more info on Armin Strom click here.