Entering the Corum showroom at Baselworld is like stepping into an art gallery – truly befitting a brand whose signature feature lies in its hollow dial and artistic interpretation of the conventional timepiece.
Despite having stepped up as CEO in August last year, Jérôme Biard exudes an air of quiet confidence, not unlike the brand he spearheads. Moving forward, expect to see more surprises from Corum, featuring bold expressions of art, combined with creative aesthetics, impeccable quality and precious jewels, he says.
Up close and personal with Jérôme Biard, CEO of Corum
Q: Tell us more about the new collections at Baselworld.
A: Each new collection we’re showcasing here differs in terms of price, choice and style. We’re moving towards a youthful, more dynamic image for Corum, capturing the attention of younger consumers through our artistic vibes and innovative features. They’re well-read and intelligent; and they appreciate a bit of boldness in their personal styles. The new generation possesses an impressive spending power, and I’m glad to share that Corum watches are very well-accepted.
Q: How does Corum continue to come up with creative strategies for exploring new designs?
A: We’re always actively developing new technologies and features, even for some of our most iconic bestsellers. Take the Golden Bridge timepiece, for example. Even though it’s been almost 40 years, we continue to intrigue our fans. Currently, we’re looking into incorporating more jewelry elements into our watches, which is also the direction we’re moving towards in future. The latest edition at Baselworld, Golden Bridge Diamonds, features a marquise cut that gives the impression of rays of light radiating out from the movement itself.
Q: Which is your personal favourite among all the new selections?
A: I like the Admiral Teak Wood for everyday wear – it’s elegant yet dynamic. Another one of my favourites it the Admiral AC-One 45 Skeleton. This collection has received a great deal of enquiries at Baselworld, as it really complements the urban wearer who wants a unique yet versatile watch.
Q: What’s the most important aspect of watchmaking?
A: Design and aesthetics. There is simply no limit when it comes to seeking inspiration – from current trends to art; sometimes even buildings and paintings – anything that jumps out from the board is worth looking into.
Q: What is Corum’s biggest advantage in the industry?
A: Unlimited creativity, and the courage to push limits and break traditions.
Q: Any new discoveries in the watch industry?
A: Competition is definitely stronger now. There are more and more new brands in the market, and our competitors are also launching new designs more frequently. I think we can no longer stick to conventional business operation models, but instead, we need to observe and explore different strategies at a retail level.
Corum highlights at Baselworld
Admiral AC-One 45 Skeleton
Boasting a sleek new look, the Admiral AC-One 45 Skeleton is more than just a watch without a dial. The 45mm, 12-angle black PVD titanium watch features a selection of dominant colours in turquoise blue, yellow or red, distributed in different places on each version. With a more youthful silhouette, the watch also has a power reserve of 42 hours and a water depth of 300 metres. Sporty chic and energetic, the limited edition collection only carries 288 pieces per model.
Hobo Coin 43
Bringing art to life is something Corum does best. For the first time ever, an old folk art is transformed into a collector’s piece by Russian artist Aleksey Saburov, turning what used to be dubbed as the “poor man’s coin” into the key element of the Hobo Coin 43 watch. Entirely hand-engraved, Saburov has produced a number of original motifs for Corum, each of which adorns the dial of a 43mm timepiece, complete with a denim strap and blue sapphire crown.
Golden Bridge Diamonds
Corum’s latest Golden Bridge Round 39 features a horizontal baguette movement and a half-moon on each side of the round 39mm case, with five exceptional stones adorning the watch: diamond, sapphire, ruby, tsavorite and amethyst. The diamond version, however, is a dazzling showstopper – 76 Wesselton diamonds on the case, 12 marquise-cut diamonds and 24 round-cut diamonds on the microstructure, 46 round-cut diamonds on the bridges of the microstructure and 60 diamonds on the flange, amounting to a total of 6.41 carats!
Bubble 47 Central Tourbillon
With its three-dimensional, domed surface, the Bubble collection has always been the quirkiest out of all Corum timepieces. This time, the brand presents a complex tourbillon in the center of the dial, a feature originally created for pocket watches to counter the effects of gravity on the watch. Designed for everyday life, the Bubble 47 promises a 65-hour power reserve, and is made of lightweight titanium. Three versions are available: black and pink gold on rubber, natural titanium and blue on rubber or on grade 5 titanium Milanese mesh. But the most impressive detail has to be the complete absence of hands on this minimalist watch; triangular markers indicate hours and minutes, while the tourbillion itself indicates the seconds.
Romvlvs 44 Annual Calendar
The Romvlvs proves that sometimes, the best things in life were born from accidents. In 1966, when Corum received the dials for its new creation, Romvlvs, the hour markers were missing. As an emergency measure and in a rush for Baselworld, Corum founder René Bannwart decided to have the hour markers engraved directly on the bezel, and the rest is history. This year, for Baselworld 2018, the Italian watch returns to its original glory with a retro-inspired, pink gold on feisty green colour combination, accentuated with a matching sporty rubber bracelet. This calendar watch has a large 44mm case, with a smoky quartz sapphire dial that’s mysteriously transparent. Presented in a limited edition of 25 pieces, the Romvlvs 44 Annual Calendar is the epitome of fine craftsmanship meets artful elegance.
[Pre-Basel] Igniting the passion of style with classical music
Inspired by the breathtaking magnetism of music, Corum presents a limited edition Golden Bridge in a melodious collaboration with renowned composer Joachim Horsley, breathing new notes into the brand’s iconic timepiece.
Horsley has composed film scores for Dreamworks productions, arranged songs for Michael Bublé and John Legend, performed on stage with Ben Folds, and even has a YouTube channel for his own arrangements, reaching 10 million views in six months with his Cuban-inspired reinterpretation of the classic Beethoven’s 7th Symphony – a feat unmatched by any other solo pianist.
Partnering with Horsley was a natural conclusion; as an ode to creativity, non-conformism and celebrating new possibilities. On 15 February, the Golden Bridge Rectangle Joachim Horsley timepiece was unveiled at an exceptional show at the Folies Bergère in Paris, marking the beginning of an enduring partnership between Corum and Horsley.
With a CO113 hand-wound movement and 40 hours power reserve, the 18K white gold watch features the Golden Bridge Rectangle’s signature hollow dial. It is also the first Corum watch to have a metallic decoration on its sapphire case back, depicting an extract from the original score of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Available in white gold or pink gold, the Golden Bridge Rectangle Joachim Horsley comes nestled within a unique presentation case in the shape of a grand piano, perched atop a music box that plays three different melodies personally arranged by Horsley himself: Bach, Mahler and Beethoven compositions, reinterpreted as rumbas.
There’s more – you too can create your personalized Golden Bridge timepiece! Choose a different musical score, a motif, letters or even a coat of arms to adorn the metallic sapphire case back, for a watch that is as unique as you.