Based in Biel/Bienne, which is home to companies such as Rolex, ETA, and Omega – Armin Strom is an independent watchmaker, and a true watch manufacture, with the ability to produce calibers fully in-house, and has already been offering customized features by special request for a long time.
Over the years they have gotten very proficient at the process, and today, they are debuting a new interactive online personalization service called the “Watch Configurator,” which is similar to the customization options TAG Heuer launched earlier this month with their Connected watch. However, these are purely mechanical watches, not smartwatches.
Using the online Watch Configurator, you can select from multiple options, in real-time, such as movement/watch type, which can be a hand-wound, skeleton, tourbillon – basically anything from the Armin Strom. From there you can then choose different colors for bridges and components; you can personalize the dial, hands, the clasp. You can add a personalized engraving, such as initials, which has long been available, but not with an online preview. You can even change the stitching on the thread and view it to give a better idea of how it will look IRL. The options go so deep, in fact, that you can pick between different ratchet wheels for the movement, and according to Armin Strom, as the system evolves more options will become available. And crucially, you can buy what you see.
“My technical team and I are proud to have been able to develop an innovative system like the Watch Configurator based on the exceptional depth of manufacturing that Armin Strom possesses. This is a new way to go with the times that excitingly enables the collector’s deepest wishes for a unique timepiece to be fulfilled with a true Haute horology timepiece,” says Claude Greisler, Director of Armin Strom.
It is worth noting that watches purchased through the Watch Configurator system are no more expensive than serial models made by Armin Strom. And once ordered, your unique Armin Strom timepiece can be picked up at any nearby authorized Armin Strom retailer or even at the Armin Strom factory in Switzerland – in which case a tour of the factory is included in the price.
“I’m very happy to be able to integrate our retail partners in such a groundbreaking project as this, one that offers truly new perspectives in the luxury world. It emphasizes the fact that we are all partners,” remarks Serge Michel, Owner of Armin Strom.
Not everyone wants a customized watch, but if you can give them access to the tools to build it online, at no additional charge, there is definitely value to that, and I foresee many more companies doing the same thing in the near future.