Fifty years ago, Corum introduced the Admiral’s Cup watch in honor of the international yacht race. The line has since evolved into one of the world’s premier nautical-themed luxury sport timepieces. While the actual Admiral’s Cup race tradition has ended, the Corum collection has taken the name as its own.
Every Admiral’s Cup watch is identifiable by its geometric, 12-sided case, Corum’s key logo, and the ubiquitous pennant flags. Once in rich colors, the pennant flag hour markers have been subdued to monochromatic tones in recent versions. While always large in stature, modern Admiral’s Cup watches have grown over the years to the current size of 45-mm wide.
For 2010, Corum pays homage to its beloved Admiral’s Cup collection by developing an extremely complex movement and a design that, while extremely modern, is true to the line’s tradition. The Admiral’s Cup Minute Repeater Tourbillon 45 is a true connoisseur’s watch. It is made of 18-karat red gold and limited to just 10 pieces worldwide. I used to think that the tourbillion-plus-minute-repeater combination was reserved for stuffy formal watches, but this one changed my mind. Seemingly ironic in design, two delicate horological complications are paired with a watch eager for action. Traditional ship life was marked by constant bells and whistles, so Corum designed the minute-repeater complication to reflect that. Twisting the entire watch bezel clockwise activates this complication, and also winds and powers the minute repeater. The watch then begins an animated process where gongs and hammers aurally indicate the time via a series of spaced chimes. The watch has a smoked sapphire crystal inside the dial over the newly developed CO 010 manually wound movement. When the minute repeater is in operation, the modern look of the exposed movement is visually compelling.
The tourbillion carriage complication, placed under an unusual V-shaped bridge, uses a space-age silicium escapement. The PVD-smoked sapphire crystal dial has red gold hour/minute markers, which complement the broad, lume-coated hands.
The Admiral’s Cup Minute Repeater Tourbillon 45 sits at the apex of a long line of the timepieces in this family. It is a complex new type of watch from a typically style-oriented brand that is built on the silhouette of prior Admiral’s Cup editions.