Corum’s universally recognised rectangular watch, which took its name from the golden bridge that held its baguette-shaped movement in place, has been revisited in many ways over a successful 40-year period. In 2016 Corum released the first round case version, and just last year we covered the Corum Golden Bridge Round 43 Art Deco watch, which took inspiration from some of the world’s largest suspension bridges and featured a 43mm black DLC-treated titanium case. The year before that Corum developed a limited edition Golden Bridge watch in partnership with musician, Joachim Horsley. This time around, the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based watchmaker honours the iconic shape and style of the very first Golden Bridge watch with the new Golden Bridge Rectangle Limited Editions – an 18k rose gold version limited to 40 pieces and an 18k white gold version limited to just three pieces.
Shaping the history of watchmaking
Creating a shaped movement is no mean feat, but despite the odds stacked against him, Florida-born artist and self-taught watchmaker, Vincent Calabrese created an innovative baguette-shaped movement that won the heart of Corum founder, Mr René Bannward. The linear-built movement was incorporated into the first Corum Golden Bridge watch in 1980, creating an illusion as if suspended in air (only attaching to the case at 12 and 6 o’clock) within the watch’s striking rectangular-shaped case.
In addition to this, Calabrese envisioned the movement to be held inside a glass display, thus the Golden Bridge watch featured a glass front and back. When it launched, at a time when the Swiss watch industry hadn’t yet recovered from the crushing quartz crisis, the Golden Bridge watch was something of a spectacle, combining not only an unusual case shape but also a benchmark-setting movement.
Both the new rose gold and white gold Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle watches measure 29.50mm x 42.20mm, and pay tribute to the Art Deco period from which Mr Bannwart first drew inspiration. The hand-decorated finishes seen in both timepieces not only honour the 40th anniversary of the famed Golden Bridge design, but also the artisanal heritage of Corum’s birthplace – La Chaux-de-Fonds. Modifications to the design include a 30-metre water-resistant case and a manual-winding calibre CO113. The movement, partially decorated in 18k gold, provides a 40-hour power reserve and beats at a rhythm of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Mounted inside the case of each watch in the same linear arrangement, these limited edition Corum watches echo the work of Vincent Calabrese who, quite possibly, remains one of the most respected names in the field of independent watchmaking. Both watches also feature a sapphire-backed case and an 18ct gold crown, bridges and plate crafted from corresponding gold to match each watch’s case material.
Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th Anniversary rose gold
Inside the 18k rose gold case of the Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle watch are the inscribed letters “Limited Edition 1 of 40”. Turning the watch over will reveal the Corum key emblem emblazoned onto the surface of its sapphire crystal glass caseback. These details reference the brand’s 65th anniversary as well as the four-decade-old Golden Bridge watch. The watch is completed with rhodium-coated and faceted baton hands, along with a brown alligator leather strap with an 18ct rose gold triple-folding clasp.
Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th Anniversary white gold
Tipping its hat to the “Style Sapin” technique created in La Chaux-de-Fonds as a Swiss variation of Art Nouveau, the white gold case of the Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle watch boasts finely handcrafted floral engraving upon its surface. This detailing echoes the acanthus and fern plants that have been meticulously etched into the surface of every baguette movement since the Golden Bridge’s inception in 1980. The three limited edition pieces are a nod to the brand’s three co-founders. Lastly, the blue galvanised and faceted baton hands match the blue tones of the alligator leather strap, which secures to the wrist with an 18k white gold triple-folding clasp.
More details at www.corum-watches.com.