I was very surprised last year after Armin Strom declared their Mirrored Force Resonance watch. I regarded them as a brand which makes some interesting watches, but they never really made a strong impression on me until this watch came along, which also happens to be the most complex model that Armin Strom makes. Join us as we get up close with this wonderfully impressive piece and let me tell you why this watch is really special.
The Mirrored Force Resonance watch is so special as it joins a small and elite group of watches that rely on the fundamentals of resonance to improve timekeeping. For readers who are not knowledgeable about resonance, it describes the phenomenon where a vibration or outside force pushes another system to oscillate with increased amplitude. In watchmaking, it generally refers to the usage of two oscillators beating in near proximity to fortify their beat pace. The idea is that if resonance occurs, the 2 oscillators will start to beat in sync with each other and with increased stability. This, then, translates to higher precision and better chronometric performance.
This notion was initially thrown around by highly renowned French watchmaker Antide Janvier and Breguet over two centuries ago, and Breguet made some watches according to this principle. The idea may sound simple, but in practice, these watches are incredibly difficult to fabricate and regulate, which explains why very few contemporary producers and watchmakers even create them.
The Mirrored Force Resonance watch that we obtained to the handle was the very first one that comes from 18k rose gold, and it is also known as the”Fire” variant (Fire is the expression Armin Strom gives to its increased gold watches). In May earlier this season, Armin Strom followed up with a more affordable steel variant called the Mirrored Force Resonance Water (a pretty cool name for a steel version ). The Mirrored Force Resonance’s 18k rose gold case is 43.4mm in diameter and 13mm thick. Even the lugs, which curve quite slightly downwards, are notable and beefy. The bezel is quite expansive too. Collectively, they create the Mirrored Force Resonance watch seem quite significant. On the wrist, the watch certainly has a lot of presence, in addition to the animated dial draws a lot of attention, but more about the dial later.
The crown is quite thick and muscle, which makes winding a breeze and over the crown is a pusher at 2 o’clock. This pusher is one of the neatest and coolest things about the opinion because it lets the user immediately reset both moments hands. So the idea here is to wind the watch and let it run for a little and then reset the two seconds hands and let them run and reach resonance.
All in all, the situation is finished and a small detail that some readers may not notice is that there is a small lip to the bezel at 6 o’clock. This is a layout characteristic of early Armin Strom watches in which owners can opt to engrave their initials or whatnot on the watch. Owners of the Mirrored Force Resonance watch may opt to do exactly the same if they wish or leave it as it is.
Despite the visible balance wheels, the dial stays very legible. The ideal half of the dial houses the sub dial that tells the time. The minute and hour hands are made out of rose gold. They are chunky and are painted with luminescent substance to ensure legibility in low light conditions. The sub dial is black and the hours are marked by Arabic numerals in rose gold (black and increased gold is a winning combination for me). The newest and the version of this watch form a smaller circle inside the dial. I’m not so sure I need to be reminded of the watch’s name on the dial, but this isn’t a deal-breaker for me. Nevertheless , I would however, favor a cleaner design.
And farther to the left of the two subsidiary seconds dials are the celebrities of this watch — the two resonating wheels. The two wheels oscillate at a rather unusual speed of 25,200bph, but what is really unique about it is the patented resonance clutch which joins both equilibrium wheels via the balance spring studs (the endings of the balance spring). This clutch allows the transmission of vibrational drives between both equilibrium wheels, allowing them to find a natural rhythm so they can beat in unison. The clutch, made from steel, is also what sets the Mirrored Force Resonance watch apart from its contemporaries. Rather than a clutch or connecting mechanism, both F.P. Journe’s Chronomètre à Résonance watch and Conquer Haldimann’s H2 Flying Resonance are worried about adjusting the distance of both oscillators to generate the effects of resonance.
The resonating equilibrium wheels are a part of Armin Strom’s new ARF15 movement, which is developed and manufactured in-house. Research and evolution took more than two and a half years and a huge part of it went towards finding the best shape for the resonance clutch. It is a hand-wound movement comprising 226 parts and has a power reserve of 48 hours delivered by 2 mainspring barrels, which can be visible via the sapphire display case back. The motion is decorated with finishes like perlage, circular graining, Côtes p Genève, mirror polishing, and cleaning to create a contemporary and technical appearance.
There’s quite a lot to like about the new Mirrored Force Resonance watch from Armin Strom skeleton watch. The most crucial of all is that it is one of those few watches accessible that uses the principle of resonance in its own timekeeping, which makes it quite distinctive. This brings us to our next point, and that is despite the technical motion of this watch, it remains highly legible and functional, which to me is a sign of good layout and also a testament to the amount of thought and work the team at Armin Strom have put into the watch.
From a purely functional and practical perspective, I find it very difficult to fault this watch. It has a zero-reset function to permit users to admire and see the effects of resonance at work. The sole question here is would you like the way it seems? And that is a purely subjective matter. I think it looks pretty fine, the dialup, in particular, is mesmerizing to look at and quite legible. If I were to nitpick, then I will say there’s not much to see in the case back side of the watch and also the finishing is a little cold.