Armin Strom Orbit Takes The Wheel Less Travelled

Here’s the word from Armin Strom who have launched a new watch with the date feature on the bezel. Interesting technical tweak, taking the date wheel onto an outer track in effect. What do you reckon?

It retails at CHF 29,500, or about £21,400.

Entirely conceived, developed and built by the Armin Strom manufacture, the unique complication has been dubbed the “Column-Wheel Date”.

As its name implies, the column-wheel drives the date mechanism, which is visible from the dial side. This system, typically found in chronograph mechanisms, enhances the date indicator’s stability and performance while also providing a satisfying and reassuring tactile experience when engaging and disengaging the date function.

The date is indicated on the bezel by a large central hand with a red “A” tip for Armin. The days of the month – 1 through 31 – are engraved in white around the circumference of the polished black ceramic bezel for a high-contrast and instantly readable effect.

Stationary and active date mode

The date hand essentially has two modes: stationary and active. When the date hand is in the stationary mode, it is essentially “off” and remains in its fixed position pointing at 12 o’clock, leaving the off-centred dial unobstructed. Using the pusher on the left side of the case, the date hand is ”engaged” and jumps to point at the correct date. In this mode, the date automatically advances once a day, at midnight.

With another push of the button, the hand returns to its stationary position, with a mechanical memory allowing it to jump back to the correct date when required by the wearer.

The retrograde mechanism allows the date hand to jump back from 31 to 1, avoiding any confusion with the hand’s position when in the stationary mode. The date can be rapidly set using a corrector button on the 8 o’clock position of the case or can be advanced manually via the crown by advancing the time.

Designed for daily intrigue

Housed in a 43.4 mm stainless-steel case paired with an integrated steel bracelet, the design of the Orbit allows for the technical prowess of the unique column-wheel date complication as well as the micro-rotor mechanism and equal force barrel to take centre stage, all while adding a sporty allure.The bezel immediately conveys a sense of performance and utility while remaining visually sleek. Perfectly smooth to the touch yet highly resistant to scratches, the bezel framing the micro-mechanical spectacle within is crafted in ultra-hard black ceramic, which is engraved and painted with the dates.

With the Orbit, Armin Strom has created a singular timepiece that is innovative yet functional enough to be enjoyed daily by even the most discerning watch-lovers, and different enough to keep them permanently captivated.

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