Independent Swiss watchmaker Armin Strom presents Orbit, a brand-new mechanical timepiece featuring the world’s first date function displayed on a bezel.
This new creation features a highly legible date driven by a column-wheel that can be activated and deactivated with the push of a button. The “Orbit” first edition is limited to 25 pieces.
With its System 78 collection, the independent Armin Strom manufacture seeks to create new and innovative expressions of fine watchmaking, with ingenious and practical world firsts executed in an unmistakable language of design. The latest addition to the line, the Orbit first edition, reinterprets the date – one of the most common watchmaking functions – by combining several complications in one in a totally new way.
The Orbit’s most outstanding feature is its unprecedented and playfully imaginative date function. Entirely conceived, developed and built by the Armin Strom manufacture, the unique complication has been dubbed the “Column-Wheel Date”.
As its name implies, the column-wheel drives the date mechanism, which is visible from the dial side. This system, typically found in chronograph mechanisms, enhances the date indicator’s stability and performance while also providing a satisfying and reassuring tactile experience when engaging and disengaging the date function.
The date is indicated on the bezel by a large central hand with a red “A” tip for Armin. The days of the month – 1 through 31 – are engraved in white around the circumference of the polished black ceramic bezel for a high-contrast and instantly readable effect.
The date hand essentially has two modes: stationary and active.
When the date hand is in the stationary mode, it is essentially “off” and remains in its fixed position pointing at 12 o’clock, leaving the off-centred dial unobstructed. Using the pusher on the left side of the case, the date hand is engaged and jumps to point at the correct date. In this mode, the date automatically advances once a day, at midnight. With another push of the button, the hand returns to its stationary position, with a mechanical memory allowing it to jump back to the correct date when required by the wearer.
The retrograde mechanism allows the date hand to jump back from 31 to 1, avoiding any confusion with the hand’s position when in the stationary mode. The date can be rapidly set using a corrector button on the 8 o’clock position of the case or can be advanced manually via the crown by advancing the time.
Based on the development of the Gravity Equal Force that was unveiled in 2019 as the world’s first automatic watch with equal force transmission, the Orbit’s movement delivers consistent power to the balance, with a power reserve of 72 hours. Its “stop-work” mechanism within the barrel prevents the mainspring from fully unwinding, thus leveraging only the part of the mainspring’s unwinding process that can deliver power most consistently.
And true to the manufacture’s unwavering commitment to offering true haute-horology craftsmanship across its entire collection, the movement is fully hand-finished and decorated with features such as chamfered and polished edges, polished chatons and perlage graining.
Housed in a 43.4 mm stainless-steel case paired with an integrated steel bracelet, the design of the Orbit allows for the technical prowess of the unique column-wheel date complication as well as the micro-rotor mechanism and equal force barrel to take centre stage, all while adding a sporty allure.
The bezel immediately conveys a sense of performance and utility while remaining visually sleek. Perfectly smooth to the touch yet highly resistant to scratches, the bezel framing the micro-mechanical spectacle within is crafted in ultra-hard black ceramic, which is engraved and painted with the dates.
The offset dial is a black-gold colour, indicating the hours and minutes as well as the seconds on a separate counter. The numerals, hour markers and the hour and minute hands are filled with off-white Super-LumiNova® for optimal legibility in the dark. A rare feat for most watch manufactures, the steel hands are manufactured by Armin Strom and, like all the visible parts of the movement, are meticulously hand-finished in-house.
This first iteration of Orbit is further distinguished by the fact that the three bridges– the barrel, the micro-rotor and winding bridges– are specially coated in black gold.
This timepiece is offered with a 10-year year warranty–twice as long as Armin Strom’s standard warranty.
Model: Armin Strom Orbit – First Edition
Reference no. ST22-GEFD.75.ST
Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator, date
Armin Strom manufacture Caliber ASS20
Automatic winding with micro rotor, Geneva-drive equal force barrel, offset display with subdial seconds, Column-Wheel Date
Regulating system: Balance wheel with 4 regulating screws
Power reserve: Geneva stop-work limited to 72 hours
Dimensions: 35.52 mm x 8.42 mm
Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
Finishing: Hand-finishing to the highest quality level
Number of components: 273
Stainless steel, ceramic fixed bezel
Sapphire crystal and caseback with anti-reflective treatment
Diameter: 43.4 mm
Height: 12.6 mm
Water resistance: 5 ATM
Offset, black gold, numbers and indexes with Super-LumiNova® filling
Hands: Manufactured by Armin Strom, steel with hand finishing and Super-LumiNova® filling
Stainless-steel with a double folding clasp
First edition limited to 25 pieces
CHF 29,500 / EUR 31,300 / GBP 26,500 / USD 29,500