Armin Strom unveiled their new Skeleton Pure collection last year at Salon QP in London. And we recently got some hands-on time with the steel version and will give you our thoughts below.
The Skeleton Pure is available in either steel (Water), 18K rose gold (Fire), titanium (Air), or black PVD treated steel (Earth). The dimensions of the case are 43.40 mm diameter by 13 mm thick case, with the brand’s signature lip at six o’clock (which can be personalized with an engraving if you like). Polished to a mirror finish are the bezel, lugs, and case flanks, whereas the back has a satin-brushed matte finish.
An open-worked movement can be easily done wrong, but the depth of the Armin Strom caliber immediately pops out at you, especially because of the contrast of blue and silver finishes. All visible through anti-reflective treated sapphire glass, front, and rear.
Powered by Armin Strom’s manually wound in-house movement, caliber ARM09-S beats at 2.5Hz (18,000 vph), has 146 components (34 jewels), and double-barrels which provide a lengthy 8-day power reserve (192-hours).
Visually, the non-essential elements of the main plate, gear-train bridges, and barrel bridges have been trimmed away, revealing components such as the stacked mainspring barrels. Further, the main plate has a blue PVD coating that is colored to match its respective “water” element (whereas the fire, air and earth models feature grey PVD treated main plates). The gear train and barrel bridges feature rhodium (water) or ruthenium treatment depending on which variation you choose. Many of the bridges, wheels, and other components have been decorated with a straight-grained matte finish, providing contrast with the polished elements of the movement. Every component is hand-finished, including hand beveled edges for many of the parts.
Framed with a signature off-center clear sapphire dial ring, with applied hour and minute markers, the dial is readable without sacrificing the view of the movement. The small seconds indicator, at 9 o’clock, also features a clear ring. The remaining power reserve is indicated on the left half of the small seconds subsidiary dial, via a red arrow-tipped hand. A prominent hour and minute hands or in stainless steel (on the Air model) feature white luminescent material.
Armin Strom’s Skeleton Pure collection is limited to 100 numbered pieces per variation (Water, Fire, Air, and Earth). Each piece is individually engraved with “X/100” is on the balance bridge. The Pure Water comes with a dark blue alligator horn-back leather strap with contrast stitching and a buckle, as well as an extra rubber strap also in dark blue. The water resistance rating is 50 meters. The retail price is $33,400 in stainless steel (Ref. ST15-PW.05).
Armin Strom makes beautiful open-worked timepieces that have long power reserves and are powered by robust Swiss manufacture movements. If you are looking for a unique skeleton timepiece – not built on an existing caliber – the Skeleton Pure is a great option. The black and gold versions are nice, but it’s the steel and titanium versions that I find particularly attractive.