The idea for the Golden Bridge was born when Corum co-founder René Bannwart met Italian-born, self-taught watchmaker – and later co-founder of the A.H.C.I. (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants/Horological Academy of Independent Creators) – Vincent Calabrese. Calabrese had created a movement that was structural and airy with nothing seemingly tangible about the watch but the movement, and no dial to hide the watchmaker’s work. Corum turned Calabrese’s handmade concept into reality thanks in great part to dynamic and original design and a good rapport between the two men. The Golden Bridge’s famous baguette-shaped movement was complicated to make initially – and complicating it even further was the fact that the duo wanted to make the movement in 18-karat gold, a rare feat.
The watch, whose name comes from the prominent gold bridge inside a cage of sapphire crystal, sent a message to the world that mechanics and art can coexist to make a beautiful, wearable object that is undeniably unique and absolutely unforgettable. Number 001 was presented to the Musée International d’Horlogerie (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds on September 25, 1980, and it is still on exhibit there.
Among these were the Césars of 1989, a collection of unique watches named after Roman emperors, and the Olympus and Pyramide models of 1987, powered by quartz movements and putting every emphasis on their jewelry-like countenances.
The Golden Bridge also received this treatment in the late 1980s and 1990s: it not only came in wrist versions adorned with gold, platinum, and gemstones but was also offered in pendant form to be worn around the neck in a great variety of shapes.
Severin Wundermann, who took over Corum in late 1999, was interested in continuing the jewelry side of Corum. Watch models like Sugar Cube, Potpourri, Heart, Buckingham Vision, Jewels of India, and the Classical Squelette Joaillerie were definitive jewelry pieces that incidentally told the time. And it was Wundermann and his team who had the idea to use the tonneau shape for the Golden Bridge to continue to set it apart.
Today’s proprietor of Corum, Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited, continues this daring tradition with a brand-new collection of jewelry modeled on the brand’s iconic Golden Bridge in partnership with Baechtold, a jewelry maker with which Corum has partnered for more than 30 years. Baechtold, established in 1975 by a German sculptor, is now led by the current general manager and co-owner Tevin Resanond Baechtold, who lived in Germany and studied jewelry design there.
Together, they continue the tradition with jewelry pieces defined by and in homage to the Swiss brand’s icon, the Golden Bridge. In a new collection of jewels made to be worn to accompany the iconic watch (or not!) Corum proves its mettle when it comes to accessorizing. “For me, this project is as much about passion as paying tribute to Mr. Bannwart,” says Vice President of Corum, Boon Chong Soon. “In the past Mr. Bannwart produced a limited jewelry collection based on the Corum key logo, but it ended after a few short years. Moving forward with new Corum jewelry is also our way of remembering the past – especially Mr. Bannwart, and the iconic tonneau shape of the Golden Bridge – while adapting it for the future. Most importantly, this is also a project developed with a second-generation partner who shares the same love for Corum as we do.”
“Making jewelry to accompany Corum’s Golden Bridge collection has been a passion project for a long time and being able to complete the collaboration has been very fulfilling,” enthuses Tevin Resanond Baechtold. “For owners of a Corum Miss Golden Bridge, this jewelry is a beautiful way to expand the presentation of the watch and the iconic shape itself. And to admirers of the classic Golden Bridge, I am most excited to introduce these jewelry collections as they allow collectors to be in full Corum mode – the jewelry really completes the look!”
Corum Golden Bridge Jewelry
Though Corum did not invent the “barrel” case shape called tonneau that has come to define the form of the Golden Bridge, the creative brand has indeed applied it in a fascinating way. First to house the transparent masterpiece of a timepiece that bridges every era of Corum and now to define an elegant jewelry collection. While this jewelry beautifully supplements the Golden Bridge, it also stands on its own thanks to its unique character and unparalleled quality.
The gemstones used in the Golden Bridge Jewelry collection are natural white diamonds that have been mined ethically in accordance with the Kimberley Process and the Responsible Jewelry Council Code of Practices. The gold used is ethically sourced and/or recycled. Each gemstone is perfectly brilliant cut, F-G in color (white), and VVS-VS in clarity.
The jewelry comes in four collections and is available in both 18-karat white gold and 18-karat rose gold, just like the watches.
The Tonneau Snow jewelry collection takes its cues from the “icy” Golden Bridges that have graced the iconic collection for years and the tonneau shape that became part of the Golden Bridge’s design vocabulary more than 20 years ago. It is comprised of 18-karat white or rose gold and two different sizes of high-quality natural diamonds in a unique setting that resembles the sparkle of freshly fallen snow.
The elegant Tonneau Snow ring is available in both S and L sizes. The S size, influenced by the compact look of the Miss Golden Bridge, is somewhat narrower to look more proportionate on delicate fingers. It is set with 42 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.84 ct). In the L size, the shape of the Tonneau Snow ring more closely resembles the larger-size Golden Bridge watch with more gold and diamonds visible on the finger. It is set with 50 brilliant-cut diamonds (1.17 ct).
The Tonneau Snow pendant is a real eye-catcher. As Corum’s self-proclaimed centerpiece of the collection, it is set with 43 highly visible brilliant-cut diamonds (1.13 ct). A rose gold double chain gives it double the presence, too.
This collection is capped by the luxurious Tonneau Snow creole earrings. The eternally classic pair of earrings is set with 72 brilliant-cut diamonds (1.10 ct) and can truly be worn with anything from jeans to formalwear – and everything in between.
The Tonneau Pavé jewelry collection is characterized by classic pavé-set diamonds in combination with the tonneau shape of the iconic Corum Golden Bridge. It comprises 18-karat white or rose gold and high-quality pavé-set natural diamonds that provide endless scintillation. The pavé setting comprises very small diamonds that are set so close together that it looks “paved” with the metal prongs between the stones seeming to disappear.
The Tonneau Pavé ring comes in S and L sizes to fit every hand size, both of which feature 86 diamonds (0.41 ct). The perfectly matching pair of Tonneau Pavé creole earrings are set with 128 diamonds (0.54 ct). Making up the final element of this tonneau-shaped parure is the Tonneau Pavé pendant, which is pavé-set with 98 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.57 ct) and comes on a delicate white gold chain that allows the pendant to take center stage.
For those who desire pure sparkle, Corum also offers a variation called Tonneau Full Pavé with even more scintillating gemstones since the tonneau shape is completely filled in with gold and brilliant-cut diamonds. The Tonneau Full Pavé creole earrings are set with 110 diamonds (1.0 ct), while the Tonneau Full Pavé ringalso comes in S and L sizes to fit every hand: the S size is pavé-set with 91 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.78 ct), while the L size boasts 105 diamonds (1.14 ct).
The Icon collection is based on the same tonneau shape as the Golden Bridge and the other jewelry lines but has evolved to include repeating tonneau shapes, making it appear more independent and daring in character. It is a unique, fresh design that can stand on its own.
The Icon Eternity ring plays with the codes of the established eternity ring by repeating its emblematic tonneau shape ad infinitum. Delicate yet determined, this timeless piece of jewelry is so easy to wear that it is destined to become its owner’s constant companion. Set with 144 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.60 ct) its sparkle is boundless and eternal. The matching Icon Eternity creole earrings are the perfect partner statement to the Icon Eternity ring: set with 76 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.39 ct), they are just as understated yet just as much of a presence.
The Icon Eternity braceletis more than fun; it is a serious piece of jewelry. Available in two sizes – S (small) and R (regular) – the Icon Eternity bracelet makes its own statement on the wrist, worn either on the same wrist as one’s own Golden Bridge or the opposite wrist for a spectacular double effect. Set with 354 brilliant-cut diamonds (1.53 ct in S and 1.69 ct in R), this piece is certainly a must for the owner of a Miss Golden Bridge.
Peace and serenity characterize the Petite Tonneau collection, which is comprised of bangle bracelets and rings in a total of three styles that feature repeating tonneau-shaped inlays.
The Petite Tonneau style features only 18-karat white or rose gold and no extra gems for an unadulterated look that is pure class.
Petite Tonneau half set
The Petite Tonneau half-set style features tonneau-shaped inlays that are set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The Petite Tonneau ring contains a total of 48 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.27 ct), while the Petite Tonneau bangle bracelet boasts 80 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.59 ct).
Petite Tonneau fully set
The Petite Tonneau fully set also features tonneau-shaped inlays, but here it is not only these that are set with diamonds: everything is set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The Petite Tonneau ring fully set features 120 diamonds (0.54 ct), while the Petite Tonneau bangle bracelet fully set boasts 358 diamonds (2.37 ct) for a luxurious look that makes the wearer feel extravagant.
Since its inception in 1955, Corum has always been on the cutting edge of design and technology, regularly taking risks with daring looks and innovative movements. That may be why the brand is known for many different icons in time, from the Coin watch to Admiral and Bubble. Easily the strongest legend in the Corum lineup, though, is the Golden Bridge watch with the world’s first-ever in-line baguette movement that was first released in 1980. Just over 30 years later, in 2011, Corum released an automatic version of the in-line movement that also took the world by storm.
Now, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Automatic Golden Bridge, Corum takes another leap, unveiling a new Automatic Golden Bridge series with avant-garde case that delivers sweeping views of the meticulously finished movement.
The original, almost rebellious, in-line movement was first created in the 1970’s by Vincent Calabrese. A self-taught Italian watchmaker with a passion for doing things differently, Calabrese had begun working on the idea of showcasing an incredible movement as an integral part of the overall design of the watch. He presented his patented concept, a 45-piece highly skeletonized in-line movement, at the 1977 Geneva International Inventors’ Show and the astute management at Corum immediately acquired the patent and worked with Calabrese to develop the revolutionary movement.
The first Corum Golden Bridge, with movement parts made of gold, made its debut at the 1980 Basel Fair. The alluring caliber – showcased in all its glory – was an immediate success and captured hearts around the world. Since then, all of the iterations and evolutions – with their minimalist design and gorgeous baguette movement – have left an indelible impression on the watch collecting world.
Naturally, when Corum opted to create an automatic version, it turned to its strong research and design team to develop the complex caliber. The creation was more than four years in the making, as the brand tirelessly pursued a way to showcase a floating linear movement with an oscillating weight on rails. The Corum Golden bridge Automatic, unveiled in 2011, ushered in a new era for this contemporary icon.
Corum 10th Anniversary Golden Bridge Automatic Collection
In honor of the 10th anniversary of the automatic in-line movement, Corum releases the new Golden Bridge Automatic series. Consisting of four models, the tonneau-shaped case offers a dramatic view of the movement thanks to the panoramic sapphire crystal and case back in a larger size. Also, for the first time, Corum creates the sapphire crystal as a single sapphire piece that extends from the top crystal to the sides of the watch – allowing for a 360-degree view inside. Sapphire is one of the most difficult materials to deal with as it is brittle and can break in the manufacturing process. It also requires special attention to corners and metal case connections to render the watch water resistant. However, Corum’s in-house engineers and watchmakers have mastered the process with this single piece that covers the top and sides.
The new versions feature cases created in polishable Grade 5 titanium with the crown at 6:00 for ergonomic comfort and for aesthetic appeal. They include a titanium and 18-karat gold model in a limited edition of 150 pieces, and a full titanium version in an edition of just 50 pieces. Each of these two materials are also offered with diamonds set on the case. Just 100 pieces of the diamond-set titanium-and-gold version will be produced, and only 25 of the diamond-set titanium watch will be made.
Additionally, Corum has invented a discretely placed floating harness system for its hand-applied indexes, yielding a highly modern and sophisticated flair. The design is actually born out of the need for function. Because there is no dial to affix the indexes to, the harness system links to the movement base so that the markers seem to be floating in space. As indicated in the series name – Golden Bridge – the main plates and bridges of the movement are in 18-karat gold for all versions.
All of the 10th anniversary Golden Bridge Automatic watches boast a sapphire case back made of smoked crystal for an almost mystical look. Additionally, they are all powered by the original automatic movement that remains incredibly advanced even by today’s standards. With all of its 194 parts in one line, the exclusive Corum Caliber C0313 boasts 40 hours of power reserve, a variable inertia balance wheel for long-term precision, a miniaturized barrel and main plate, bridges made of 18-karat gold, and a platinum linear oscillating weight.
Water resistant to 30 meters, the Corum Golden Bridge Automatic 10th anniversary watches are finished with a soft-touch alligator strap and triple folding clasp. If the new case and breathtaking side views aren’t enough, perhaps the best thing about this series is the amazing new entry-level price for the Golden Bridge Automatic.
The refined rectangular look of the Golden Bridge is the original case shape of this iconic in-line baguette movement that was introduced 40 years ago by the avant-gardist founder of Corum, René Bannwart.
“The Golden Bridge became an icon in watchmaking because it was the first watch to be fully transparent showing the work of the watchmaker and the beauty of the mechanics.“ Elizabeth Doerr, Watch Journalist & Editor-in-Chief of Quill and Pad.
Today, Corum is paying tribute to the very first model from the collection by introducing two new limited edition models to celebrate the 40th anniversary.
Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th Anniversary in 18k white gold.
For the first iteration of the Golden Bridge Rectangle, Corum added an astonishing play of finely hand-crafted floral engraving on the 18-carat white gold case to create yet another classic edition of the signature Haute Horlogerie timepiece. The acanthus and fern plants are a nod to the “Style Sapin” created in La Chaux-de-Fonds. These floral details have been engraved on all Golden Bridge baguette movements since the timepiece was launched in 1980. This masterpiece is limited to three pieces honoring the three co-founders of the Brand which was born in 1955.
Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th Anniversary in 18k rose gold.
While the Golden Bridge is proudly honoring its 40th anniversary, Corum is also celebrating its 65th birthday. The 18-carat rose gold version salutes the 40th anniversary of the Golden Bridge collection with an original “Limited Edition 1 0f 40” engraving inside the watch case at 3 o’clock and honoring 65 years since the Brand’s creation with Corum’s iconic symbol – the key – on the sapphire case back. Faithful to the roots of the collection, this Haute Horlogerie timepiece features an 18-carat gold Golden Bridge baguette movement.
“We were inspired by the Art Deco period,” explained Boon Chong Soon (Corum Marketing and Sales Director), “which formed the basis for some of the first pieces designed by Mr. Bannwart. In including our iconic emblem of the Corum Key on the sapphire case back for the Rose Gold version, and hand-engraving on the entire case of the White Gold, these are not only for the anniversaries of Corum and the Golden Bridge but also a tribute to the artisanal history of watchmaking in La Chaux-de-Fonds.”
Perfectly proportioned, the Golden Bridge fits beautifully on the wrist, and unlike its role model from 1980, thanks to modern technology this refined version is fully water-resistant to 30 meters. The Golden Bridge Rectangle shows a timeless and discreet elegance, yet focuses on the functionality of its brilliant movement, leading the eye along the path of Caliber CO113’s energy transfer from spring barrel at 6 o’clock to the escapement at 12 o’clock.
Exactement 10 ans après leur première série limitée commune, le détaillant parisien et la maison de La Chaux-de-Fonds créent une nouvelle œuvre conjointe, limitée à seulement 10 exemplaires.
En 2010, la maison familiale Dubail et Corum scellaient leur destin avec une collaboration horlogère limitée à 25 pièces, une Admiral’s Cup toute de noire vêtue avec des accents de rouge. Une pièce rare dont les collectionneurs se sont rapidement saisis et qui posait les fondations des séries exclusives Dubail : très peu de pièces, gravées et numérotées, aux accents de noir et de rouge.
Depuis, Dubail s’est imposé comme un partenaire de premier plan pour Corum. Le détaillant, fort de six adresses parisiennes, s’est spécialisé sur la Golden Bridge ainsi que sur les collections joaillières de Corum.
La Golden Bridge s’est donc naturellement imposée lorsque Corum et Dubail ont voulu célébrer les 10 ans de leur première série limitée commune. Le modèle retenu est la Golden Bridge Round 43 mm. Une pièce atypique, un cercle parfait au sein duquel s’étire le célèbre mouvement baguette de la maison, créée il y a tout juste 40 ans (1980).
Ses ponts et sa platine sont en or, gravés du nom de la maison, terminés à 6h par la couronne permettant la mise à l’heure et le remontage d’une réserve de marche de 40h. De part et d’autre de ce mouvement se déploient quatre séries symétriques de câbles. Pour Dubail, ils ont été spécialement traités en PVD noir, tout comme la boîte en titane PVD noir.
Ces câbles poursuivent l’inspiration architecturale de la collection si bien nommée
« Bridge » (pont en anglais). La pièce associe le « pont » qui maintient en place son train de rouages à celui qui traverse les villes et rivières pour relier les hommes.
Symbole d’ouverture, le pont est aussi l’un des ouvrages d’art les plus complexes jamais réalisés par l’homme, une prouesse capable de défier les siècles et les éléments. La construction, suspendue dans le vide, convoque l’esthétique des plus grands ponts érigés par l’homme. Elle souligne aussi le caractère aérien du mouvement baguette : le Calibre CO113 et ses 16 haubans parviennent à conjuguer
l’expression légère et suspendue du mouvement avec la force et la résistance de la structure câblée.
Pour Dubail, Corum a habillé sa Golden Bridge d’un bracelet alligator, à la place du caoutchouc. La pièce, gravée et numérotée, sera disponible en mars 2020, uniquement chez Dubail Paris, et éditée à seulement 10 exemplaires.