Round-UpA Bridge Between Minimalism And Mechanical Mastery: The Finest Corum Golden Bridge Watches
With in-line baguette movements that are stripped down to the essentials, the Corum Golden Bridge showcases the intricate splendour and mastery of mechanical watchmaking in all its glory. We present the finest watches from the contemporary Golden Bridge range
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There’s beauty in the basics—the core essentials that occupy a space. A pursuit of perfection and prioritising what we need the most has often led us to strip things down to the bare necessities. Especially in a world of excesses, the idea of less being more is what drives our quest for minimalism. What that presents is the opportunity to really focus on what’s most important—the things that make the biggest impact, those forming the essence of design and functionality. This is what inspired the design of one marvel in the realm of mechanical timekeeping. It was one watchmaker’s desire to bring to the fore the most essential part of a mechanical timekeeping instrument—the movement itself. Vincent Calabrese wanted the world to see the beauty he saw in a watch mechanism. He worked towards stripping down the movement, and arranged it in a linear fashion. And the result was an in-line baguette movement that not only presented the heart of mechanical watchmaking, but one that also revealed the intricate machinery in all its glory. This was the birth of the Corum Golden Bridge.
Taking the watchmaking world by storm, Calabrese’s in-line baguette movement was incorporated in the Golden Bridge watch by Corum, first introduced in 1980. Presented in a case that was as good as a showcase for a miniature art installation, the Golden Bridge movement became one of the four core pillars of Corum. Adhering to the stringent guidelines of staying true to what the Golden Bridge is, the collection has grown over the years, evolving beyond its visual splendour. Brilliance in form met mechanical mastery when a linear oscillating weight in platinum was added to make a self-winding version of the Bridge. Evolution in shape and structure gave rise to a wider appeal even, all the while maintaining the essence of the Bridge. And when the design was informed by architecture itself, the Bridge found new meaning.
The Golden Bridge has today grown into one of the most respected and admired phenomena in watchmaking. As Corum has mastered innovation in timekeeping display, while honouring the craft of watchmaking itself, the results have been splendid. Here are some of the finest pieces of the Golden Bridge collection that you can find today.
Corum Bridges Golden Bridge Automatic
Although the original Golden Bridge was presented in a rectangular case, the look of the modern Golden Bridge collection has largely been its tonneau silhouette. Tonneau-shaped cases have been the most prominent form of the Golden Bridge, even seen in its horizontally-oriented spinoff series—the Ti Bridge watches. This particular piece is also set in a generously-sized tonneau case, in rose gold, which forms the perfect frame for the gorgeous in-line baguette movement—also largely in gold. The black crocodile leather strap is an additional contrasting element. As the name suggests, the movement is a self-winding mechanism—the Corum CO313 calibre—featuring a linear oscillating weight in platinum. When fully wound, it has a power reserve of 40 hours.
What’s most interesting about this Golden Bridge is how the appearance seemingly changes as you put it on. The 360-degree transparency is lost when it’s on your wrist, in order to form a backdrop for a perfect view of the movement that won’t change from wrist to wrist. This is achieved by the striated metallised decoration on the sapphire crystal caseback, which plays with your visual perspective. The watch features gold hour markers applied onto the sapphire crystal. The time-adjusting crown is seen at six o’clock on the case, which is water resistant to 30m.
Corum Bridges Golden Bridge Rectangle
After several years and many generations of the Golden Bridge watches, Corum brought the rectangle back to the collection last year. A 2017 novelty from Corum, this Golden Bridge Rectangle was designed by Italian jewellery and watch designer Dino Modolo, who translated the Art Deco inspiration beautifully into the avant-garde piece. The all-gold watch in 18-carat rose features structures flanking the engraved and decorated bridge of the in-line baguette movement representing Roman numerals, adding to the architectural charm of the timepiece. At the time of its launch, David Traxler, the then CEO of Corum said, “With the Rectangle version, we wanted to go further with the architecture of the timepiece itself to create yet another classic edition of our signature haute horlogerie timepiece.”
The movement at the centre is the CO113 manual-winding calibre, offering a power reserve of 40 hours after being fully wound. The gold case, measuring 29.5 by 42.2mm, has sapphire crystal on the front and back allowing you to see right through it. It is water resistant to 30m, unlike earlier versions of the Golden Bridge watches that came in rectangular cases. The brown alligator leather is fitted with a rose gold, triple-folding clasp.
Corum Golden Bridge Round
It was the first Golden Bridge timepiece in a round case. This watch made the Golden Bridge collection garner wider appeal among fans of the in-line baguette movement, considering that round cases are preferred more than those in any other shape. The case, 43mm in diameter, is made of 18-carat rose gold. It gives you a view through it, not just right through from front to back, but also when you look at the sides of the watch, as the sapphire crystal on the side walls reveals the intricate lattice structures in rose gold, on either side of the linear movement.
These structures are, in fact, the most interesting feature of this watch. Taking the architectural aspect of this collection to a whole new level, the design of this watch was inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge in California, USA. A line of inspiration that seems like a perfect fit for the collection, the element of the iconic San Francisco structure seen on this watch are the sides. The straight and diagonal beams of the bridge are perfectly replicated here in gold, complete with smaller crisscross bars between the beams in front and those at the back. This sophisticated architecture of the Golden Gate was adapted into the architecture of this watch with perfection by designer Dino Modolo.
The inner bezel and hands are made of brass, while at the heart of this watch is the CO113 manual-winding calibre, offering a 40-hour power reserve. This watch is water resistant to 30m, and comes with a brown alligator leather strap.
Corum Bridges Golden Bridge
Here is a classic version of the modern Golden Bridge watch. In the most distinctive tonneau-shaped case, this one measures 34mm by 51mm, and is as minimal as the Golden Bridge comes. It captures the entire essence of the collection, and presents the classic CO113 manual-winding calibre in all its glory, without anything around it to distract from its view. To ensure that you see all sides of the movement and its engraved and decorated bridge main-plate, the sides of the case are also open, protected by sapphire crystal. All sapphire crystal used in this watch has been glare-proofed, adding to the visual delight this watch offers any beholder. Water resistant to 30m, the 18-carat rose gold case is probably as transparent as a watch case can get.
Corum Bridges Golden Bridge Stream Bridge Automatic
An architecturally superior Golden Bridge, the Stream Bridge Automatic takes the basic Art Deco-inspired design codes of the Golden Bridge Rectangle, and adds elements of streamlining. From the mid-20th century, streamlining originated in the United States, when industrial mass production was booming, and design was heavily informed by dynamic curves in structure. The gold microstructure on either side of the in-line baguette movement reflects elements of the Golden Bridge Round even, through the beams that were inspired by San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. In this piece though, the intricate structure features streamlined, dynamic curves that make it necessary for this watch to feature curved sapphire crystal.
This stunning piece of watchmaking is powered by an automatic movement, the CO313 calibre that offers a power reserve of 40 hours. The 18-carat rose gold case measures 31 by 52.5mm, and incorporates antireflective sapphire crystal in front and at the back, securely sealed so as to ensure water resistance of 30m. This watch comes with a brown strap in alligator leather. A limited edition of 88 pieces, the Stream Bride also has another version, also limited to 88 pieces, which features a red lacquered finish on the 18-carat rose gold microstructure.
With or without decoration, automatic or manual-winding, the technically brilliant, in-line baguette movements stay at the magnificent core of every single watch from the Golden Bridge collection. No matter how long you wear a Golden Bridge, you’re bound to steal glances at it every now and then, and not just to check the time. So go ahead and admire the mechanism from every possible angle.
Minimalism was never this gorgeous.
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