During Geneva Watch Days 2023, Armin Strom unveiled a revised version of its One Week model, originally introduced over a decade ago in 2010. The One Week was notable for featuring the brand’s first proprietary movement, the ARM09, which provided a remarkable seven-day power reserve – hence its name. Armin Strom plans for this new generation of the One Week to serve as both an aesthetic and mechanical cornerstone, setting the stage for what will become one of the company’s important watch collections. We had the opportunity to spend time with one of the 25 limited First Edition models, and here’s our report.
The One Week First Edition showcases a distinctive Armin Strom openworked design unmistakably characteristic of the brand. It’s the kind of watch that doesn’t need a brand name prominently displayed on the dial for you to recognise its origin. Admittedly, in the case of the new One Week, the brand name (and the model name) does appear twice – engraved on the ratchet wheels that power the dual barrels of the new ARM21 calibre. However, considering the modest size of these wheels and the somewhat subtle engraving of “Armin Strom – One Week – Double Barrel,” the earlier observation still holds.
The dial features two symmetrically arranged barrels, which work in series to enhance isochronism. Two finger-style bridges on the right side of the dial hold these barrels securely in place – as always, finished in an impressive way. Positioned at 9 o’clock, you’ll find a small seconds sub-dial in black with white markings, adorned with a tiny Armin Strom logo. Faceted and polished, made in steel, the hour and minute hands take centre stage, a departure from the brand’s signature off-centred time sub-dials. These hands and the slightly raised and burgeoning baton hour indices placed around the black minute ring are filled with Super-LumiNova for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions.
A unique feature of this watch is the power reserve indicator, situated between 10 and 11 o’clock. This indicator is a mirror-polished conical shape driven by a conical gear symmetrically positioned between 7 and 8 o’clock. While not the most conspicuous feature, it only requires checking once a week, thanks to the impressive seven-day power reserve of the watch. All these elements are set against a light blue, PVD-coloured grainy mainplate with matching bridges, a distinctive decoration exclusive to the First Edition model.
The case’s “simplicity” hints that it is here only to safeguard the artwork of the dial, and the overall design supports the idea well. The 41mm stainless steel case predominantly features a brushed finish, accentuated by a polished bezel and bevels. This aesthetic treatment extends to the integrated bracelet with H-shaped links and the double folding clasp. The combination of these design elements lends the watch an appearance that could easily be mistaken for a timepiece from the 1970s if it were not for the contemporary openworked design of the dial.
The crown, positioned at 3 o’clock, is thoughtfully protected by guards and has a user-friendly size for effortless operation; however, people with smaller wrists may find it sticking out a bit too much. The watch wears comfortably, has a weight that many people like, and the 100m water resistance makes it a perfect and never boring everyday companion.
The watch’s front and back are equipped with sapphire crystals treated with an anti-reflective coating. The transparent caseback provides a backside view of the manually wound ARM21 calibre (25,200vph or 3.5Hz, 194 components and 35 jewels), revealing meticulously decorated and hand-finished plates. These plates showcase Geneva stripes, straight and circular-grained surfaces, chamfered and polished bevels, and impeccably polished screws and sinks. This craftsmanship truly shines when observed through a magnifying glass, highlighting the watch’s artisanal excellence. You can also see the signature finger bridge with the balance wheel and escapement against the blue-coloured surface. I’m curious what colourway Armin Strom will offer with Edition Two, but we all must wait for this to be revealed.
Let us agree that this Armin Strom One Week First Edition is a beautiful timepiece that celebrates the mechanics and aesthetics of the well-engineered and meticulously finished movement. But it’s also a new design direction for the brand, with this integrated style and sportier look (the distinctive lip at 6 o’clock isn’t even there anymore) that feels fresh and in line with current trends.
As a limited edition of 25 pieces and a price of EUR 37,000, the new generation One Week hardly falls in the accessible category. Still, it is one of the not-so-expensive timepieces Armin Strom offers in recognition that fine watchmaking should be accessible to a wider audience than the select few who can easily part with a couple of hundred thousand francs for a favourite piece. So, the manufacture consistently allocates part of the production capacity to more affordable models than, say, Armin Strom watches from the Resonance and Masterpiece collections. To learn more, please visit www.arminstrom.com.