If you know a thing or two about sailing (unlike me) I’m sure you have heard about the GC32 Racing Tour. It’s a competition where only GC32-class sailing catamarans compete. Armin Strom is the proud main sponsor of one of these teams. By the grace of the brand I managed to experience first-hand how these marvelous boats operate on water. Bright sunshine and 30+ degrees Celsius at the coast of the beautiful Spanish island of Mallorca. It could have been worse. We spent a day on land and sea learning about the boat the team but also about Armin Strom, their resonance concept and their brand-new business venture; the configurator.
After the briefing by team manager and coach, Frithjof Kleen and tactician and main-sheet Erik Heil our little group of 5 jumped into a small and wobbly chase boat to meet the GC32 foiling catamaran in her full glory on the sea just off the shore of Mallorca. The boat is truly something else. A full carbon body, 950 kilo catamaran with length of 32 feet (9.75m) and a top speed of about 40 knots (76 km/h). The sea is full of yachts there. They come in all sizes but the boat, thanks to its cool Armin Strom-themed design is still a spectacle. You realize this when the people on board of the Prince Abdulaziz (one of the largest motor yachts in the world, owned by the Saudi Royal Family) just a few hundred meters from you, are standing on the deck, waving at you and taking photos.
The sailing team consists of a variety of professionals with decades of experience. They are not only seasoned sailors and Olympians but very nice down-to-earth guys. They treated us like old friends and took us on a ride we probably never forget. It’s really outstanding to sit on this beast with your feet hooked in and feel how fast the boat sails while tilted 45%.
After sailing, Serge Michel, owner of Armin Strom introduced us to the brand’s new way of watch making and selling; the configurator. I visited them during Basel World this year and already told you about their project here. Visit Armin Strom’s specially designed website and create a watch that is 1 of 1. You can customize the timepiece down to the smallest details, something no watch brands has offered before Armin Strom. They have great faith in this business model and the experience they had with customers seems to prove them right. You can play around, create your dream Armin Strom and by the click of a button you can even order your watch. Delivery time is up to 8 weeks (4 in case of less complicated watches) and the watch will be shipped to your nearest retailer. Or to your home.
Armin Strom is not only about the configurator of course. Though, according to their plan, this would be the core of their business, the development of new ideas cannot stop. Last November during SalonQP, Claude Greisler director of Armin Strom introduced us to the Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance. A watch that basically has two movements, two gear trains, two balance wheels and so on. By the mechanically connected resonance between these two movements they can achieve higher precision then before. Resonance watches are not new to the watch world. As you might know; Abraham-Louis Breguet created a resonance pocket watch around the early 19th century. Claude broke the idea down to us for easier understanding and gave a few pieces around for closer inspection. It’s a truly spectacular watch, with tremendous wrist presence and a beautiful execution.
As the day came to an end we quickly jumped into something more formal and headed to a downtown restaurant for dinner with our fellow watch journalists, members of the Armin Strom sailing team as well as the lovely people from the manufacture. Even though we were a relatively large group the ambiance was friendly and open. Something that is around every time I visit Armin Strom. They have a very specific idea of what path they should walk on. They are consistent and believe that the company is on the right track. If you are interested in the Armin Strom configurator, the Mirror Forced Resonance or just want to know what’s going on with the brand make sure you visit their site.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more