In our politically correct world, attributing gender to watches is ever so passé (or is it passée?) Have you noticed how many brands are now trumpeting ‘unisex’ as an all-embracing category for watches that glide under the 40mm marker? Corum has jumped on this bandwagon with its signature Admiral watch, now proposed in a unisex 38mm case. The Admiral Automatic we’ve singled out for coverage today comes in a black PVD titanium case with golden accents and an automatic movement.
Compact is in
As our regular readers know, MONOCHROME is a staunch supporter of the current trend for downsizing diameters. We’ve covered a wide range of models, including a Tudor Pelagos, that embrace smaller dimensions. Compact watches are, as you can appreciate from our coverage, a trend, making those hockey-puck-sized models that were all the rage look like dusty fossils in an archaeological museum.
Most of us associate Corum with the spectacular Golden Bridge (1980), a beautiful suspended linear movement mounted on a vertical axis designed by watchmaker Vincent Calabrese. However, there are older watch families at Corum, and the Admiral appeared in 1960, just five years after the company was founded. Inspired by the excitement of the first Admiral’s Cup race in 1957, Corum’s original Admiral featured a square waterproof case with a hand-engraved sailboat on the caseback. Since the 1980s, the Admiral has been easy to spot among the countless maritime-themed vessels in the high watch seas thanks to its twelve-sided case and nautical pennants. Currently available in 45, 42 and 38mm case sizes, it’s the smallest unisex case size that concerns us today.
There are models in the 38mm Admiral family that are pink and have diamonds, but I’m not going to make the mistake of saying that they are ‘probably’ designed for women. With its black PVD-coated grade 5 titanium case, this model swings it both ways, no doubt about it. Being black, the classic dodecagonal case of the Admiral is somewhat attenuated, but you can still make out the twelve facets of the case. The sturdy crown guards, highlighted with two golden screws, flank the screw-down crown that ensures the 100m water-resistance of the case.
Other attractive features of this 38mm model are its slim height of 8.95mm and lightweight titanium case that eliminate the potential bulk and weight of such a studied, angular case. The short stepped and tapered lugs, and the fact that the black rubber strap (also tapered and stepped) dips downwards from the lugs, ensure the watch sits flush with the wrist and give it a more streamlined look.
Described as “Grenadier Fendu”, the proprietary 3D pattern on the dial was designed in-house in 2019 and is now a distinguishing feature of the Admiral collection. Composed of raised triangles arranged to form squares, the pattern adds interest to the dial. The black sloping 12-sided flange bears the famous nautical pennants everybody associates with the Admiral collection. These golden pennants are based on flags that represent numbers conforming to the International Code of Signals and double up as hour indices. If you aren’t a salty dog and not up to scratch with nautical pennants, there are ten applied golden hour markers on the dial filled with white Super-LumiNova. The 3 o’clock position on the dial is reserved for a golden framed date window with a white background, and the position at noon features the brand’s applied key-shaped logo and name, also golden. The golden dauphine-style hour and minute hands with luminous inserts have an openworked area to reveal the patterned dial, and the central seconds hand has an ornate counterweight shaped like the brand’s key logo.
Fitted with a glare-proofed sapphire crystal, the caseback reveals the CO 082 calibre (Soprod A10 base), an automatic movement beating at 4Hz and delivering a standard 42-hour power reserve.
The Admiral 38 Automatic comes on a black vulcanised rubber strap with an embossed Corum key logo and a black PVD steel triple-folding clasp. The watch retails for CHF 4,600. For more information, please visit corum-watches.com.