The Art Of Transparency: Inside The Iconic Corum Golden Bridge Collection

29 May, 2024 Chat 0
The Art Of Transparency: Inside The Iconic Corum Golden Bridge Collection

One of the most important requirements when crafting timepieces is innovation. Often, this innovation is the result of years or even decades of research. And sometimes, it is the indirect result of a car accident.

That is precisely the story of the now legendary Corum Golden Bridge. Inspired by some harmless words of a connoisseur simply looking to get his watch fixed, Vincent Calabrese created a movement so unique and so remarkable that it has become a signature and a staple of the maison ever since. Today, we tell you everything about this story: how it began, how it became the only successful in-line baguette movement in the industry, and how it is still shaping the way watches are made at the house of Corum.

The Birth Of The Iconic Linear Movement

In the late 1970s, a young and self-taught watchmaker, Vincent Calabrese, stumbled upon an idea that would revolutionise the world of watchmaking. During a repair job on a Breguet minute repeater watch damaged by a car accident, the client’s dismissive remark about the insignificance of a movement that is not visible ignited a spark within Calabrese.

Vincent Calabrese
Vincent Calabrese, the mastermind behind the ingenious linear movement of the Corum Golden Bridge

Subsequently, he vowed to create a timepiece where the movement would take centre stage, showcasing the watchmaker’s art in its purest form. Over the next few years, Calabrese dedicated himself to developing a movement that would defy traditions and preconceived notions of watchmaking design. His goal was to achieve a simplistic yet striking shape where the “inner beauty” is the highlight of the timepiece. After countless hours of meticulous work, he unveiled his patented 45-component linear movement at the 1977 Geneva International Inventors’ Show, earning a well-deserved gold medal.

“The customer told me, ‘No one sees the movement anyway, so there is no need for any repair’! His words stung my ears and it led me to produce a timepiece where the movement, and not the case or design that is the star. Like what we say these days, it is the ‘inner beauty’ that counts!”

Vincent Calabrese—

The Corum Golden Bridge Collection Takes Flight

After facing rejections from several brands, Calabrese’s groundbreaking creation caught the eye of René Bannwart, the founder of Corum. A man with a keen eye for art and design, Bannwart immediately recognised the potential of Calabrese’s linear movement. Without hesitation, he acquired the patent, and three years later, in 1980, Corum unveiled the iconic Golden Bridge at the Baselworld fair, celebrating the brand’s 25th anniversary.

iconic Golden Bridge
An early iteration of the iconic Corum Golden Bridge

The Golden Bridge collection was an instant hit among watch connoisseurs, captivating collectors worldwide with its revolutionary linear design. It solidified Corum’s reputation as an authentic and innovative watchmaker, setting the stage for a lineage of timepieces that redefine transparency and artistic expression in watchmaking. Over the decades, the Corum Golden Bridge Collection has continued to evolve, pushing the boundaries of watchmaking while staying true to this iconic linear movement.

The Modern Corum Golden Bridge Collection

Since its inception in 1980, the Corum Golden Bridge collection has undergone several transformative iterations, each a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and artistic expression. While staying true to the essence of Vincent Calabrese’s groundbreaking linear movement, Corum has continuously pushed the boundaries, introducing new designs, materials, and technical advancements.

One of the most significant evolutions has been the introduction of the automatic winding system. The Calibre CO313, unveiled in 2011, marked a major milestone as the first self-winding linear-winding baguette movement featuring a platinum oscillating weight. This development opened up the Golden Bridge collection to a broader audience, catering to those seeking the convenience of an automatic timepiece without compromising on the iconic design.

Automatic Corum Golden Bridge
The Calibre CO313, unveiled in 2011, marked a major milestone for as the first self-winding linear-winding baguette movement, opening up the Golden Bridge collection to a broader audience

Another notable evolution has been the exploration of different case shapes and materials. While the original Golden Bridge featured a tonneau-shaped case, Corum has since introduced round and rectangular variants, such as the Golden Bridge Round and the Art Deco-inspired Golden Bridge Rectangle. These new case designs not only offer a fresh aesthetic but also demonstrate the versatility of the linear movement, seamlessly adapting to various forms.

Golden Bridge Rectangle
Golden Bridge Rectangle
Corum Golden Bridge Round
Corum Golden Bridge Round
Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle and Golden Bridge Round

In terms of materials, Corum has incorporated titanium and ceramic into the Golden Bridge collection, resulting in timepieces that combine elegance with durability. The use of grade 5 titanium in the Golden Bridge Automatic Titanium and Ceramic model, for instance, adds depth and contrast to the design, complementing the 18-carat red gold elements.

From The Vault: Corum Golden Bridge Classic Rose Gold

The Corum Golden Bridge Classic Rose Gold is a true masterpiece. This tonneau-shaped timepiece captures the eccentric yet captivating design of this iconic watch with a twist. It features the crown positioned at the bottom – a bold departure from traditional watchmaking norms.

Corum Golden Bridge Classic Rose Gold at Second Movement
Corum Golden Bridge Classic Rose Gold at Second Movement
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Crafted from exquisite 18-karat rose gold, the case and bezel exude a warm and timeless allure, perfectly complemented by a rich brown alligator leather strap secured with a classic pin buckle. Despite its simplicity in displaying only the skeletonised hour and minute hands, making the baguette movement the focal point, this watch is a testament to understated sophistication.

Measuring 34mm in diameter and 51mm from lug to lug, with a thickness of 11.35mm, the transparent case offers a mesmerising glimpse into the intricate details of the remarkable calibre CO 113. This ingenious manual-winding linear movement, beating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, generates a decent 40-hour power reserve.

Corum Golden Bridge Classic
Corum Golden Bridge Classic 113.160.55/0002 0000
Golden Bridge Classic 113.160.55/0002 0000
Corum 113.160.55/0002 0000
Corum Golden Bridge

One of the most captivating features of this timepiece is the ability to witness the total switch of power transitioning seamlessly from the spring barrel at six o’clock to the escapement at 12. This ingenious design not only accentuates the technical prowess but also enhances the aesthetic appeal of this exceptional timepiece.


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