A legacy of passion
When ‘Mr. Armin Strom’ retired from watchmaking, he transferred ownership of his brand to two boys (by then adults) who had had frequented his workshop so often together in childhood: businessperson Serge Michel and Master Watchmaker Claude Greisler.
In 2009, the revitalized Armin Strom built upon Mr. Strom’s historical legacy with the opening of its first fully-integrated Manufacture; located in Biel, Switzerland.
Today the Manufacture produces all of our timepieces in-house and with great reverence for the Swiss-German watchmaking tradition. Our extraordinary team of dedicated engineers and artisans, led by Master Watchmaker Claude Greisler, uphold that tradition with uncompromising passion and commitment.
“Armin Strom represents a unique fusion of the Swiss-German horological tradition, avant-garde ‘transparent mechanics’ and an unwavering commitment to horological innovation.”
Serge Michel is the scion of one of the most prominent families in Switzerland. His unwavering passion and commitment to the business of the Armin Strom Manufacture have made him both the sponsor and the driving business force behind the brand.
Fascinated by watchmaking and watch collecting from a young age, he and his childhood friend Claude Greisler shared a dream of co-founding a watch company; one that would someday produce watches of the very highest quality in the Swiss-German tradition. Today that dream has become a longstanding reality.
Beyond his life in the Manufacture, Serge is a husband and proud father of two girls. His other passions include global travel and wine collecting. Nothing brings a bigger smile to Serge’s face than introducing the latest Armin Strom creation to good friends over a dinner paired with several bottles of fine wine.
Co-Founder and Master Watchmaker
“A passion for ‘transparent mechanics’, both from an aesthetic perspective and to showcase how our watches actually work, has always guided my design sensibility. From a watchmaking perspective, I honor the many generations of Swiss-German watchmakers in my family with an uncompromising commitment to perfection in both movement quality and finishing.”
Claude Greisler is “a watchmaker’s watchmaker.” His greatest passions are watches (past and present) and complicated watchmaking. In actual fact, watchmaking has been a Greisler family profession for generations. Claude’s training began in his grandfather’s workshop, which led to his formal training, beginning with his completion of a four year program at the “School for Watchmakers and Rhabilleurs” in Solothurn, Switzerland; followed by a two-year program in movement restoration at Centre Interrégionalde Formation des Montagnes [CIFOM] in Le Locle; and then a further two-year program at CIFOM focused on the develoment and construction of complicated timepieces. Upon the completion of his 8 years of watchmaking education, Claude honed his craft as a watchmaker at Christophe Claret (a brand known for its ultra-complicated timepieces) as the next step in his longstanding ambition: to dedicate himself to the design and production of horologically significant timepieces. Beyond his watchmaking obsession, Claude is also a passionate skier and outdoorsman. Together with his wife, Gaby, Claude explores the Swiss backcountry as often as his responsibilities at the manufacture will allow.
It all started in Burgdorf…
Serge and Claude were both born and raised in Burgdorf, the same town in Switzerland where Mr. Armin Strom was born and where his first workshop and retail location were established in 1967.
A legend in the art of hand-skeletonization
Armin Strom – A master of hand-skeletonizing
Mr. Armin Strom studied watchmaking and established his first shop in his native town of Burgdorf in 1967. In parallel with the normal activity of a watch shop, he also offered a prominent restoration service. Mr. Strom gradually developed an unparalleled skill set in the art of hand-skeletonization, long before it became fashionable among the mainstream brands.
Eventually, he became an outsourced resource for those mainstream brands and he was ultimately called upon to skeletonize various limited editions of their watches. Mr. Armin Strom soon grew to become a legend in the art of hand-skeletonizing wristwatches. Mr. Strom’s desire to stretch his skills to their absolute limits ultimately earned him a Guinness Book World Record in 1990 for producing the world’s smallest hand-skeletonized watch.
A changing of the guard
Mr. Armin Strom Skeletonizing a wheel
In 2006, Mr. Armin Strom was ready to retire and monetize his life’s work. In a historic sale of the brand, stewardship of Mr. Strom’s legacy became the responsibility of the two boys, now adults, who had frequented his workshop so often in their childhoods: Serge Michel and Claude Greisler.
Inauguration of the manufacture
The manufacture in Biel/Bienne
In 2009, for the first time, the Armin Strom brand had its own fully-integrated Manufacture and the ability to design, develop, mill, emboss, galvanize, hand-finish and assemble all of our watches in-house. 2009 also witnessed the introduction of the brand’s first in-house calibre, the ARM09.
With every watchmaking discipline concentrated under a single roof, we’re now limited only by the scope of our imaginations. These in-house capabilities enable us to easily collaborate and to bring even our most complicated ideas to life – without any of the compromises that typically stem from reliance on a supply chain.
The first watch from our Manufacture
One Week Skeleton
Presentation of the ‘One Week Collection’ with the ARM09 hand-wound movement at Baselworld. This ‘transitional’ series embraced a new ‘modern’ approach for the brand, without any sacrifice of our traditional Swiss-German watchmaking values.
A tribute to Mr. Armin Strom
Pure Skeleton awarded with the reddot design price
With the ‘Skeleton Pure’, the Armin Strom Manufacture brought a longstanding dream of Mr. Armin Strom to life: the creation of a skeleton watch produced entirely in the brand’s own manufacturing facility.
The ‘Skeleton Pure’ offered a fresh and modern direction for the brand; with movement decoration performed at the highest level of Swiss craftsmanship.
A revolution in watchmaking
In November of 2016, Armin Strom introduced the Mirrored Force Resonance, a game-changing resonating dual regulator developed for maximum chronometric precision; one with a captivating oscillation mechanism on the dial-side of the watch.
Oscillation-rate stability is the key to chronometric precision. A resonance watch will always have two balance wheels that must continuously regulate one another to ensure oscillation-rate stability. While the initiation of a resonance state in a mechanical watch had already been accomplished, the follow-on challenge was to consistently maintain that state of resonance in order to enlist the phenomenon to the cause of chronometric precision. Easier said than done, however, as this achievement had historically eluded even the greatest of watchmakers, including Abraham-Louis Breguet. This challenge was complicated by the fragility of the phenomenon; which made it extraordinarily difficult to maintain with any reasonable resiliency against disruption.
The challenge was even further compounded in the context of a watch intended for the human wrist; which is constantly engaged in unpredictable motion and subject to inadvertent shocks. Our solution to these challenges was inspired by the resonance experiments of Christiaan Huygens, (the originator of mathematical physics and the inventor of the pendulum clock).
By successfully overcoming the consistency and resiliency issues that had historically prvented prior resonance watches from maintaining the resonance phenomenon in a stable state, the Mirrored Force Resonance has successfully redefined the practical limit for chronometric precision in a mechanical wristwatch. Its unprecedented resilience to oscillation rate disruption, even when subjected to the unpredictability of the human wrist, effectively made it the world’s first true “wrist” watch.
The first masterpiece
The Dual Time Resonance
The “Masterpiece 1” is a dual-time resonance watch of singular distinction. It is the pinnacle expression of our watchmaking philosophy, technical ability and artistic sensibility.
The inaugural release of our Masterpiece collection, the Dual Time Resonance is a chef-d’œuvre that leverages the Armin Strom team’s extraordinary technical, artisinal and aesthetic design capabilities to maximum effect.
Commemorating 10 years as independent Manufacture: Masterpiece N°2
We celebrate our 10th anniversary
As the world’s first and only resonance chiming wristwatch, the Minute Repeater Resonance offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
Inspired by Bern’s centuries-old chiming tower clock, the Minute Repeater Resonance is limited to just 10 pieces in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Armin Strom manufacture. “Masterpiece 2” highlights both the phenomenon of resonance and the sonorous chiming of the time by placing all of the action front and center on the dial side. It also perfectly validates the resiliency of our unique architectural approach to resonance.
The physical impact of the minute repeater gongs have no effect whatsoever on the stability of the resonance state that’s generated by the synchronization of the two balance wheels within the watch. That they continue to operate in ‘anti-phase’ sympathy without any disruption from the operation of the minute repeater’s chimes provides continuous validation of the inherent resilency of our Manufacture’s differentiated approach to resonance.
The Gravity Equal Force: The inaugural release of the System 78 collection
Gravity Equal Force
The ‘System 78’ collection was conceived to offer fine watchmaking, impeccable finishing and a number of innovative horological ‘firsts’ while maintaining an accessible entry-level price point. The collection embodies the watchmaking sensibilities of Claude Greisler and Serge Michel, co-founders of the Manufacture Armin Strom, who were both born in 1978.
Recognizing the passion for haute-horology among many that have historically been excluded from access to fine watchmaking, Armin Strom has committed itself to the consistently dedicating of a portion of our limited production capacity to democratizing access to haute horology timepieces.
The Gravity Equal Force is a perfect representation of that System 78 philosophy. As a demonstration of their commitment to the collection, a stop-work declutch mechanism was combined with an automatic winding movement for the very first time in horological history. Typically seen only in haute-horology timepieces that are orders of magnitude more expensive, a “stop work” mechanism has never been available in a watch priced even remotely close to that of the Gravity Equal Force. The extraordinary value proposition of this timepiece also extends to the hand-finishing of its movement, which is performed at ‘haute-horology’ levels.
A tradition of transparency
Mr. Armin Strom was widely acknowledged as the Master of Skeletonized timepieces. His commitment to openworked and skeletonized watches are still at the core of our brand. Today our passion for ‘transparent mechanics’, both from an aesthetic perspective and as an opportunity to offer visual insight into how our watches actually work, enables us to showcase our engineering skills and our perfectionist approach to movement finishing.