HANDS-ON: The Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force P.03 for Collective looks to make high horology more casualZach Blass
Collaborative limited editions are nothing new to the industry. It would seem over the last few years we see one debut every month, and the trend is still going strong. But with so many hitting the market, it is more important than ever for all parties involved to realise something that is truly fresh that brings something new to a manufacture’s standard production. The best collaborations harmoniously imbue signatures of both the manufacture and their collaborator, showcasing a keen eye for design and imaginative risk-taking. T+T once sat down with the membership-based watch collector group Collective Horology, so we are well aware of co-founders Gabe Reilly and Asher Rapkin’s love for all things watch-related. And as true watch geeks, they have always sought to do more than just switch up a colour scheme. Continuing with their appreciation for less commonly known or independent manufactures, this time around the pair have cooked up an interesting take on one of Armin Strom’s strongest references. The new Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force P.03 for Collective looks to answer the question: what does casual meets high-end horology look like and is it a combination that works?
When I talk about “robust elegant” watches, they typically are sporty watches that can pass as formal. Here the script is flipped. Can a formal watch pass as sporty? The casual meets high-end look and feel of this collaborative take on the Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force P.03 is largely credited to Rapkin’s fascination with technical gear for outdoorsmen. He explains: “It’s not a sports watch, but based on its construction and design, I wouldn’t shy away from wearing it places I wouldn’t dream of taking other haute horlogerie watches. It’s not dainty. This rare, high-end watch will look great worn outdoors.”
As a watch that looks to bring the high-end to the outdoors, the Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force P.03 for Collective is strategically cased in titanium to offer a lightweight and scratch-resistant material that caters to hiking or glamping. Sure, the case carries a lower depth rating of 30 metres. But, for land based adventures where the greatest risk of moisture is splashes of rain, it is fully suited for the task. With its dimensions of 41mm in diameter and 12.65mm in thickness, the watch has the modern presence of sportier pieces with a relative slenderness that will not make shirt and sweater cuffs its mortal enemy.
Its dial is a great point of focus in regard to evaluating and exploring how it balances formal and sporty elements. Its offset sub-dials, barleycorn guilloche, and three hand-finished bridges are trademarks of dressier designs. Yet, the three-dimensional applied numerals and indices, as well as the hours and minutes hands, are filled with SuperLuminova – addressing the sportier concerns of legibility. The only hand without a luminous coating is the smaller running seconds hand sub-dial, placed off-centere within the larger sub-dial. You can also see Rapkin’s appreciation for technical gear on each of the upper and lower bridges, finished with a serrated edge that captures the aesthetic of the EDC knives we often see outdoorsy watch collectors post on their Instagrams.
The darkened nature of the guilloched dial plate mutes the elegance of the traditional finish, giving it a more modern toolly vibe in appearance. Working our way towards the sub-dials, the matte khaki green colour scheme affords a militaristic sense of appearance and utility. Paired with fume gradient to black, however, the look is ever so elevated and it actually ties in really well with the shadowing created by the three-dimensional numerals and markers.
The Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force P.03 for Collective continues the khaki green codes of the dial into the 20mm wide strap, wisely crafted in a khaki bi-material rubber/leather configuration with white stitching and a case-matching, pin-buckle closure. The leather upper has a deceivingly cloth-like texture, making it feel more casual and outdoorsy. And its rubber under is ready to absorb sweat and moisture if you were to bring it along on your outdoor adventures.
With Armin Strom at large, you can always expect interesting tech powering their watches. The micro-rotor automatic manufacture calibre ASB19 is handsomely hand-finished with circular brushing, frosting, linear graining, and chamfering throughout to enjoy. As its name suggests, the calibre ASB19 offers 72 hours of power reserve that is transmitted with constant force – so, whether you have wound the crown a few times to get the watch started, or fully wound after a day of wear, the watch is equally accurate regardless of its level of power reserve due to the consistent power delivered to the balance wheel.
While its pricing, availability, and quantity are definitely prohibitive for some buyers, those who are able to purchase the Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force P.03 for Collective stand to add a distinct stand-out watch to their collection. Taking a $25,000 USD watch along for outdoors adventures may induce vertigo for some, but I think we can all appreciate Collective’s exercise and experiment of blending higher horology with a more casual appearance which also translates to a higher degree of daily utility.
Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force P.03 for Collective pricing and availability:
If you are interested in joining Collective, and acquiring the Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force P.03 for Collective watch, you can visit Collective’s website to access the membership application and more information. Price: $25,000 USD
|Gravity Equal Force P.03 for Collective
|41mm x 12.65mm
|Offset, fume khaki matte, black azurage minutery, subdial khaki azurage / Applied numbers and hour markers with SuperLuminova®
|Sapphire crystal and case back with anti-reflective treatment
|Khaki bi-material rubber leather strap with white stitching and pin buckle
|Armin Strom manufacture Caliber ASB19
|Geneva stop-work limited to 72 hours
|Hours, minutes, seconds, Geneva-drive equal force barrel
|Limited to 30 pcs.