SIHH 2019 officially begins Monday, but in advance of the first watch trade show of the year, independent watchmaker Armin Strom has unveiled the latest wristwatch from their Masterpiece collection, the Dual Time Resonance Sapphire.
The watch features Armin Strom’s unique dual time resonance movement, which we covered previously, now in a completely transparent sapphire case.
Like the movement which took many years to develop, that case requires a lot of work to get right. Sapphire crystal watch cases are very difficult to produce and require a rigorous process that includes cutting, milling, and polishing – sometimes for days at a time.
According to the manufacture, “Sapphire crystal rates 9.0 on the Mohs scale, as opposed to 9.5 for moissanite and 10 for diamond. Diamond-coated tools spend days cutting, then milling the case components from massive sapphire crystal blocks. These are then left for a few days to allow any tension generated by the heat of machining to be evenly distributed throughout the crystal. The case is then polished for days, transforming the opaque milled crystal into one that is crystal clear.
Sapphire crystal’s main challenge is its extreme hardness. Like the less glamorous but equally contemporary ceramic cases, hardness is the cause of susceptibility to chipping, cracking, or shattering: sapphire crystal is fragile, and this creates a manufacturing process that is very long, and very complicated with a lot of breakage.”
Apart from the sapphire crystal case and two new blue dials, the Dual Time Resonance “Sapphire” has the same specifications, as the rest of the line, which now comes in four case choices: white gold, rose gold, titanium and sapphire.
Retail is approx. $280K.