Although only fifteen years has passed since that time, the landscape of the luxury watch market has changed beyond recognition. The initial Bubble has been 44mm broad, which made it an outlier in these days. Along with that, the design was fairly unusual. Watch collectors weren’t quite so used to risks as they are today, but still, the Corum Bubble found favour among a dedicated demographic. It’ll be intriguing to see how the re-release of the Corum Bubble is greeted by a consumer base that is far savvier than it had been at the turn of the century. With nothing in the manner of a drawback to pique interest, the Corum Bubble watches lean heavily on design.Exploding from the mind of this late Severin Wunderman, the Corum Bubble watches defied expectations upon release. The profile of this watch remains remarkably towering, with among those highest-domed crystals I have ever seen. The effect that has on the dial is not possible to ignore. The glass distorts the dial providing it an unnatural sense of thickness. That is appropriate in terms of design fidelity, as it completely adheres to the usage of spheres throughout the watch — most obviously on the rubber-ringed crown at 3 o’clock. Additionally, it manages to stay true to Wunderman’s unique vision, which has been inspired by a 1960s dip watch that comprised a huge crystal to withstand the pressure of deep-sea exploration. However, is this watch only an homage, or possess Corum upgraded it considerably to appeal to a contemporary audience?
Long Corum’s signature wristwatch, the Golden Bridge now has a gilded dragon snaking around the narrow baguette movement, seemingly intertwined but actually sitting a hair’s breadth away from the calibre.
The Corum Golden Bridge revolves around a simple premise – an incredibly compact movement laid out in a linear manner and suspended in a wide watch case. This left lots of space around the movement, drawing attention to its fine shape. Now Corum has filled that space with a dragon, resplendent in hand-engraved rose gold. Coiled tightly around the movement is an intricately detailed dragon, chasing a pearl, the symbol of luck and wealth. First cast as a rough form, the dragon is entirely engraved by hand. It is visible from the front, but sapphire crystals on both sides and the back illuminate it from all corners.
The resulting details – especially the fine scales and delicately defined claws – are stunning. Because of the texture of the dragon, it catches the light and really shines, literally. The dragon actually makes it way around the movement, though never touching it, and is visible from the rear as well.
Despite the tiny dimensions of the hand-wound movement, it has a 40 hour power reserve. Though visually similar to the impractically delicate Golden Bridge of the eighties, this CO 113 movement (and also the rest of the Bridge movement) is a new calibre that is robust. Like the dragon, the movement bridge and base plate are made from 18k rose gold and relief engraved with curlicues. It sits inside a case that is 34 mm wide and 51 mm long, modest dimensions but nonetheless extremely striking on the wrist thanks to the golden dragon.
Pictured here is the DLC coated titanium version, which costs 100,700 Singapore dollars before taxes, or about US$80,500. This is also available with a rose gold case for 117,700 Singapore dollars before taxes, equivalent to about US$94,100. Versions set with diamonds are also available.