In a major move designed not only to celebrate its 65th birthday, but also to revisit its roots and position itself for a strong future, Corum unveils an exciting full-brand revamp and launches its “Risk is the Reward” campaign.
Relatively young in the centuries-old watchmaking world, Corum was born 65 years ago in 1955 in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Since its inception, Corum has regularly been on the cutting-edge of design and aesthetics – introducing powerful collections that were always ahead of their time. Last year, the brand made a strategic decision to relaunch using its rich history of innovation to propel it forward. After revisiting its incredibly creative past, the brand revitalizes the very essence of its avant-garde DNA in a visionary and modern manner.
Corum’s new “Risk is the Reward” campaign underscores everything the brand has accomplished in its 65 years. Identifying risk more as an opportunity for success than as a peril or fear, Corum has always been a risk taker when it comes to unveiling incredibly daring product collections that became icons, including the first sports theme model, Admirals, Haute Couture with the Feather Watch, truly “Time Is Money” with the Coin, and of course the Golden Bridge with a watch in its purest form. The new campaign reinforces Corum’s unparalleled willingness to take chances and do things that others have not done before. After all, it is precisely this philosophy and way of thinking that has propelled the brand forward decade after decade.
The all-encompassing “Risk is the Reward” campaign concept is about approaching life with a daring and adventurous spirit. As such, Corum has aligned itself with ambassadors who are also risk takers in their fields. They are people who embody the philosophies of Corum: of thinking outside the proverbial box and against all odds in order to move forward, of being more original and intrepid than anyone else, and of remaining true to themselves no matter what. Among those ambassadors are Miralem Pjanic, footballer for Juventus Turin who fled his homeland with his family to safety during the Bosnian War and then pursued his dreams, and Chinese actor Hu Bing, an aspiring yachtsman who had to retire in his early 20’s due to injury. He then entered the world of acting, pushing himself assiduously to embody characters that leave a vivid and lasting impression.
The campaign is the first step of an amazing new adventure for the brand. Not content, though, with shout-outs to the anniversaries, Corum is creating a new Avant Garde style with the Lab 02, and is re-developing its collections to showcase the philosophy of the brand. Those fantastic new watches will be launched progressively over the next 12 months.
The adventurous and provocative nature of Corum is captured in the new campaign, which will have digital, social media and print outreach. The print ad for the Admiral line, for instance, showcases a bird’s eye view of the crashing ocean waters as a yacht maneuvers in a race, while the Golden Bridge ad depicts a spectacular view of another architectural icon, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which was declared one of the wonders of the modern world – much like the status of the Golden Bridge watch in the modern horological world. For the magnificent, high-tech Damascus steel LAB 01 collection, a stunning black-and-white zebra-motif from nature provides the brilliant visual. Even the evocative Miss Golden Bridge with snow-set diamonds appears with a moody blue snowflake backdrop.
A true non-conformist, Corum demonstrates its pioneering spirit in a host of other ways, as well. It is the only company that does not have a CEO at the helm, but instead has a three-person management team (a quorum) reporting to the owner. This process enables it to move more swiftly and inventively when it comes to decision making, such as with the “Risk is the Reward” campaign and its highly creative soft launch. For this, Corum took another risk no other brand has taken. It reached out to noted journalists, collectors and designers, and interviewed them on video for social media about their feelings for the brand and its watches. A novel method — with real people talking real feelings — it makes the brand highly approachable and genuine.
After all, the “Risk is the Reward” concept is designed to let today’s customers see that Corum, a brand that may be under the radar compared to older, more established brands, is worth taking the risk on. Customers are buying into the brand’s rich history of being distinctive, and the majority of today’s young buyers are looking to differentiate themselves, make their own statements, and be leaders in time – just like Corum.
Corum unveils new models for its futuristic Lab 01 collection made in Damascus steel
One may not associate the concepts of ‘heritage’ and ‘lab’ with each other. However, it is this juxtaposition that inspires Corum to embody a disruptive and contemporary approach towards watchmaking. First created in late 2018, the Corum Lab collection focuses on establishing a dialogue between the past and the future, and two limited-edition creations were debuted then. This year, Corum unveils another two new additions to the Heritage Corum Lab 01 family, each limited to 99 pieces.
The latest Lab 01 models retain their distinctive barrel-shaped cases like their predecessors, but Corum has chosen to produce the cases for these new timepieces in Damascus steel- a first for the brand. Instantly recognizable by its wavy pattern, Damascus steel is a type of alloy well-known to knife and sword makers. The history of ancient Damascus steel dates back to as early as the 4th century A.D., where the ancient city of Damascus was then well known for its weapon-makers and metallurgical prowess. Weapons made with this historical alloy were used by some of the most well-known warriors in the past, including the Crusaders.
Damascus steel is known for its exceptional hardness and resistance to shatter. Blades made from this material are sharper, stronger and more flexible than others. In ancient times, one was said to be able to slice through a strand of hair with a Damascus steel-sword in mid-air, and still have it remain extraordinarily sharp throughout the next few battles. However, the ancient art of producing this legendary alloy was a secret closely guarded by its makers, has been shrouded in mystery over the years.
It is said that to date, no one has actually succeeded in uncovering the actual know-how behind ancient Damascus steel. However, technological advancements have enabled metallurgists to reproduce modern-day Damascus steel that have characteristics very similar to its ancestors. The usage of Damascus steel serves as a nod to history, while the futuristic design of the Lab 01 embraces the experimental and modernistic approach to watchmaking that Corum stands for.
The Heritage Corum Lab 01 Damascus timepieces are driven by the caliber CO 410, a curved, barrel-shaped skeleton movement that has been designed specifically to fit the case. The dial is accented with blue or green details; and on both sides of the case, are rubber inserts in the same color. The signature Corum micro-rotor visible beneath the sapphire crystal has been finished with a contemporary spiral effect, which in itself is visually stunning when it begins to rotate.
The Damascus steel case is given black DLC-treatment, while the movement is also given Cotes de Genève finishing and offers a 50-hour power reserve. The hour and minute hands are filled with Superluminova in the same color as the rubber inserts to enhance their legibility against the dark-colored background. The fact one is unable to predict how the wavy patterns on Damascus steel will turn out during the forging process also means that every watch case will have a unique pattern like no other.
Corum pushes creative boundaries once again with the AC-One 45 Openwork Automatic and Automatic Tourbillon. In 2013, the Admiral collection welcomed a new line to the family – the Admiral AC-One. Keeping in mind the key design codes of the Admiral collection, the lines of the iconic dodecagonal-shaped case was reworked to become more rounded, and angles less prominent. Taking into consideration the size and weight of the 45mm diameter-case of the AC-One 45, titanium became the material of choice for this contemporary reinterpretation. Designed as a robust timepiece to complement luxury offshore boating, the Admiral AC-One 45 is even sportier, bolder and pushes the boundaries of creativity a step further.
This year, Corum presents the AC-One 45 Openwork Automatic, which introduces an exquisitely crafted skeletonized dial. The movement fitted within the AC-One Openwork Automatic is the caliber CO 297, a new movement that was developed by Corum in-house specifically for this model. The bridges visible on the dial side were specially designed to be in harmony with the dodecagonal-shaped case, as well as the silhouettes of the nautical pennants. A sub-dial displaying small seconds is at the 9 o’clock position, while the power reserve indicator sits at 3 o’clock.
Like the AC-One 45 Squelette that was released in 2014, the ingenious architecture of the AC-One 45 Openwork Automatic juxtaposes this otherwise hefty timepiece with a touch of lightness and refinement. Unlike the Squelette which features a completely skeletonized double-date disks, Corum makes use of bolder and cleaner-cut lines to give a more robust and athletic feel to the Openwork Automatic.
The AC-One 45 Openwork Automatic is presented in two variants. The first, with a case crafted in grade 5 Titanium to add lightness of the overall design, and at the same time evoke a futuristic vibe. The second variation pairs contrasting rose gold with black PVD-coated titanium as the case material, giving the watch a bolder and sportier feel. The back of the movement is visible through the screwed-in open back bronze cover with anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Both timepieces offer water resistance up to 100 meters, while the movement has a power reserve of 42 hours.
Taking mechanical beauty a step further: AC-One 45 Openwork Automatic Tourbillon
For aficionados who prefer something more complicated and gravity-defying, Corum has prepared the AC-ONE Openwork Tourbillon. At the six o’clock position lies a tourbillon, in addition to the above details present in the AC-One Openwork Automatic. This showcases the not only the beautiful heartbeat of the movement, but also Corum’s artistry and flare in technical watchmaking. The addition of a tourbillon also ensures higher accuracy in timekeeping under conditions at sea.
Both the AC-One Openwork Automatic and Openwork Tourbillon also feature redesigned straps. Crafted with rubber on the surface and synthetic textile on its underside, these bi-material straps are designed to seamlessly integrate with the lugs. This minimizes any possible gaps between the lugs, strap and wrist, which not only makes wearing the watch more comfortable, but also protects the lugs and straps from being damaged by external aggressions.
Creating scaled-down versions of men’s watches for ladies can no longer suffice their desire for substantial and practical timepieces. With more women leading busier and more active lifestyles than before, timepieces for ladies have also gravitated towards designs with sportier overtones to complement their needs. In 2011, Corum’s iconic and unquestionably masculine Admiral collection was readapted into a daintier, 38-mm diameter version just for the ladies- it has since captured the hearts of many female fans and remains as one of the most sought-after marine-inspired ladies’ timepieces on the market
Launched in 2013, the AC-One line embraces the design identity of the iconic Admiral collection, yet at the same time writes a new chapter by infusing it contemporary updates such as a giving it a more rounded shape, plus combining both polished and satin-brushed finishes on the case. This year, Corum has again turned its focus towards the ladies, by unveiling the AC-One 38 Automatic.
Counting on the popularity of the earlier AC-One models, the AC-One 38 Automatic aims to complement the 45mm-diameter models with feminized version. Having a much smaller case diameter of 38mm means that the original proportions of the dodecagonal-cased AC-One 45 had to be scaled down carefully. While adhering strictly to the design codes of the AC-One, the case of the AC-One 38 was given a slight makeover in order to make it more curvaceous than its masculine counterpart.
Together with the creation of a shapelier and svelte silhouette for the AC-One 38, Corum had to redesign its signature Corum-decorated micro-rotor for the CO 082 automatic movement used to power this new ladies’ timepiece, in order to fit the size of its case. This watch has a power reserve of 42 hours and is water resistant up to 50 meters. New straps and a triple-folding clasp were also created for the timepiece to make it more comfortable on the wrist.
The AC-One 38 Automatic is presented either with a Titanium grade 2 or 5N 18k rose case. Its dauphine-style hands are partially skeletonized and filled with white superluminova. The white dial, decorated with three-dimensional “Grenadier fendu” finishing, is paired with white rubber straps for a crisp and chic look. The icing on the cake? 72 round VS-grade diamonds set around the bezel. Sporty, practical and elegant at the same time, the AC-One 38 is incredibly versatile and will be the perfect companion for the stylish, upbeat and outdoor-loving woman, be it at work, a glamourous evening, or while enjoying a luxurious weekend getaway at sea.