The new Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force Maillechort is Monochrome’s latest montre de souscription The new Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force Maillechort is Monochrome’s latest montre de souscription

The new Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force Maillechort is Monochrome’s latest montre de souscription

Zach Blass
  • This marks the third montre de souscription from Monochrome
  • Monochrome aimed to design a “warm, discreet, and traditional” take on the Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force
  • This edition stands out with its usage of maillechort, or German silver, for the movement

These days, whether standard models or limited editions, many try to leverage bold colours as a means to break through all the noise and capture the attention of watch buyers. Monochrome as a watch magazine, however, has always kept a horology-first mindset. Their first Montre de Souscription watch with Habring² had a colourful salmon dial, sure. The second, with Czapek, found itself in a rather monochromatic colour scheme, but the intention was very clear. Producing take on these independent watches that had a sense of either classicism and tradition (like a vintage fan-favourite salmon dial) or, in their second release, a discreet, no-fuss take on a high-end independent sports watch with burgeoning popularity. This is a magazine that refuses to cover anything outside the scope of purely mechanical watches after all. With this mission, along with the trajectory of their collaboration watches, perhaps it is no surprise that in their latest collaboration, Monochrome has worked with Armin Strom to curate a traditionally rooted Gravity Equal Force design that puts a coveted traditional material at the forefront – maillechort – also known as German silver.

Packaged in a mixed-finished, 30-metre water-resistant stainless steel case the watch measures in at 41mm in diameter, 12.65mm thick, and 48.09mm lug-to-lug across the wrist, commanding a modern presence. Aesthetically speaking, sure, there is a sense of a modernity with much of the movement on display on the dial side, but, the materials, decoration, and lack of in-your-face colour expression embody a very traditional sensibility. Effectively, due to the different finishes and with a German silver movement, it is a rather monochromatic melange of a grey spectrum of tones, ranging from bright and colder, to darker and warmer hues. German silver, is known to patina and develop a saturation to its grey colour over time – becoming ever so slightly more yellow or rosy. For the watch connoisseur, there is a lot to appreciate here. The off-centred and openworked sub-dial, which conveys the time through concentric hours and minutes rings and an off-centred sub-seconds disc, is sizable enough that it performs its function legibly. The majority of the overall dial, however, offers a view of the delectably frosted German silver mainplate, three hand-chamfered bridges with have a rich linear graining to their topside, a view of the micro-rotor which winds the watch while worn, and the stop-work mechanism that defines this watch and sets it apart.

The in-house calibre ASB19 offers 72 hours of power reserve, and could even provide more. Armin Strom, however, intentionally prevent the mainspring from fully unwinding through this stop-work mechanism. It’s the first time such a device has ever been used in an automatic wristwatch. Armin Strom strategically has the movement stop running before it gets to a point where it can no longer deliver consistent power. Watches, once in a state of low power reserve, typically become less accurate, so this strategic implementation of a stop-work mechanism ensures that the watch is as accurate while fully wound or on the verge of stopping. This is where the watch gets its Gravity Equal Force name.

With a deep appreciation for independent watchmaking, Monochrome clearly connect with Armin Strom’s objective to democratise and introduce access to higher horology at a price point lower than it is typically found. At €22,900, I am by no means claiming this limited edition of 33 pieces is inexpensive, but when you factor in the complexity of this innovative movement, the level to which it is hand-decorated (large Geneva stripes, polished screw heads, bevelled screw slots, chamfered wheel spokes and large, hand-applied anglage displaying a multitude of sharp inner angles), such a high degree of watchmaking prowess would usually command an even higher price tag.

Monochrome x Armin Strom Montre de Souscription 3 Gravity Equal Force Maillechort pricing and availability

The Monochrome x Armin Strom Montre de Souscription 3 Gravity Equal Force Maillechort will be a limited edition of 33 pieces, available to pre-order exclusively from the MONOCHROME Shop on September 7th, 2023 as of 3PM (Central Europe Time). Taxes will apply to clients purchasing from Europe. When ordering the watch, a deposit of €7,500 will be required. Price: €22,900 (excluding taxes)

Brand Armin Strom
Model Monochrome Montre de Souscription 3 Gravity Equal Force Maillechort
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 12.65mm (T) x 48.09mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal on both sides
Dial White opaline, openworked
Lug Width 20mm
Strap Grey Alcantara and calf leather, steel pin buckle
Movement ASB19, in-house, mocro-rotor, stop-work equal force mechanism
Power Reserve 72 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds
Availability Limited to 33 pieces
Price €22,900 (excluding taxes)