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SpotlightPurple Reign: Introducing The Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force Ultimate Sapphire Purple

Armin Strom's Gravity Equal Force Ultimate Sapphire Purple stands out with its brilliant lilac hue, a unique collaboration featuring the intricate guilloche work of master craftsman Kari Voutilainen

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Purple is having a moment in watchmaking. While traditional hues like blue and green have become standard-bearers for colour in modern haute horlogerie, purple remains the road less travelled for most brands. That makes Armin Strom’s latest release, the Gravity Equal Force Ultimate Sapphire Purple, all the more striking. The vibrant lilac shade commands attention on the guilloche mainplate, marking a bold chromatic pivot for one of the young independent watchmaker’s most groundbreaking and technically impressive models.

Gravity Equal Force Ultimate Sapphire Purple
Armin Strom’s latest release, the Gravity Equal Force Ultimate Sapphire Purple, features a vibrant lilac shade on the guilloche mainplate

The Masterful Hand Of Kari Voutilainen

The story behind this distinctive purple tone begins with one of the industry’s foremost artistic craftsmen, Kari Voutilainen. The master engraver and watchmaker is renowned for his guilloche work, achieving incredibly intricate wave-like patterns through painstaking rose engine turning. For this Gravity Equal Force edition, Voutilainen applied his talents to create the gorgeous barley grain guilloche pattern on the mainplate using a traditional rose engine lathe.

Gravity Equal Force Ultimate Sapphire Purple
Kari Voutilainen, the master engraver and watchmaker, applied his talents to create the gorgeous barley grain guilloche pattern on the mainplate using a traditional rose engine lathe.

But instead of the usual precious metal base, the decorative engravings were executed on a flat surface that was then treated with a unique 3D PVD process to imbue it with the rich purple hue. The resulting effect is mesmerising, with the vibrant shade reflecting a spectrum of varying tones as light dances across the undulating guilloche waves. It’s an artistic masterpiece fit for the wrist.

The Gravity Equal Force DNA

While the purple mainplate is undoubtedly the star, the rest of the watch remains true to the distinctive look and innovative mechanics that made the original Gravity Equal Force such a groundbreaking release in 2019. The multi-layered, architectural dial layout is intact, with the oversized off-centre sub-dial for the hours and minutes now in transparent sapphire crystal, typically reserved for the range-topping Ultimate Sapphire editions.

Surrounding that transparent sub-dial is a constellation of overlapping circles that lend symmetry. The micro-rotor sits at one o’clock, visually balanced by the barrel at five o’clock, connected by a wheel from the gear train, while the small seconds sub-dial at eight o’clock intersects the main sapphire sub-dial positioned at nine o’clock. It’s a harmonious layout allowing one’s eye to flow across the varied textures and finishings.

Gravity Equal Force Ultimate Sapphire Purple
While the purple mainplate is undoubtedly the star, the rest of the watch remains true to the distinctive look and innovative mechanics that made the original Gravity Equal Force such a groundbreaking release in 2019

Exemplary Hand Craftsmanship

The bridges immediately catch the eye, with their dark ruthenium plating and finger-style design inspired by 19th-century pocket watches. But look closer, and you’ll appreciate the full depth of handiwork involved. The undersides feature a simple matte finish, allowing the sides to take centre stage. Here, the bridges have been straightened with an abrasive diamond paper, leaving behind an intricate graining pattern.

Before applying the final straight-graining finish to the top surfaces, the craftsmen turn to gentian wood, using it to carefully remove any remaining imperfections or lines from the previous steps. It’s an obsessive, multi-day process to adorn a single bridge component.

The artisanal handiwork extends across the entire movement as well. The baseplate boasts a perlage finish created by meticulously punching millions of tiny dents. The blackened screws and countersinks have all been hand-polished to a mirror-like sheen. Bevelled edges on the plates and bridges catch the light at every angle.

Housing this masterclass in haute horlogerie finishing is the familiar 41mm stainless steel case worn by other Gravity Equal Force models, complete with the signature lipped edges along the case middle. Turning the watch over offers a glimpse of the rear three-quarter bridge’s decor and the high-frequency 3.5Hz balance wheel in action.

Gravity Equal Force Ultimate Sapphire Purple
As you’d expect from Armin Strom, the level of handiwork and finishings on display is exceptional

The Equal Force Revelation

But the real magic lies in that equal force barrel. By combining a self-winding system with a stop-work declutch mechanism integrated into the barrel itself, Armin Strom created a groundbreaking system for delivering a steady flow of constant energy throughout the 72-hour power reserve. It elevated the original Gravity Equal Force to one of the most impressive recent debuts.

With this new Ultimate Sapphire Purple, Armin Strom have taken that impressive grand complication base and elevated it further through bold aesthetic choices and avant-garde artistry. Far from just another limited edition colour, this vibrant purple timepiece represents the intersection of innovative mechanics and fine watchmaking excellence. Only 25 examples will be produced yearly, ensuring rarity and exclusivity for this wristwatch.

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