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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Armin Strom Unveils ‘The Edge Double Barrel Max Chilton’ Timepiece At IndyCar Race

Racecar driver Max Chilton wearing The Edge Double Barrel Max Chilton Edition timepiece. Photo by Gretchen Friedrich

By Gretchen Friedrich, Jewelry News Network’s social media manager

The relationship between Swiss watchmaker Armin Strom and IndyCar driver Max Chilton continues to evolve. What began four years ago as a sponsorship scenario is now a symbiosis of timepiece enthusiasm and high-performance mechanics.

Armin Strom Director Claude Greisler and Head of Sales and Marketing Sebastian Marten unveiled the Max Chilton limited edition of The Edge Double Barrel Max Chilton Edition timepiece June 12, during an event surrounding the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 in Ft. Worth, Texas. Only eight models are available, a tribute to Chilton's IndyCar number.

The Start
Chilton discovered Armin Strom during his Marussia Formula 1 days. The Swiss company was one of Marussia's team sponsors in 2012, the same year of Chilton's first F1 wins. As a watch enthusiast, Chilton appreciated the craftsmanship of Armin Strom. When he made the leap to hand-formed timepieces, he chose an Armin Strom as his first purchase.

When Chilton decided to move to IndyCar, the first F1 driver in 10 years to do so, Armin Strom followed. “When Max [Chilton] left, we went with him,” Greisler said. “He's a loyal customer, and now part of our team as a representative of Armin Strom.”

About Armin Strom
The manufacturer's legacy began in 1967 when Armin Strom founded the independent company as a retail establishment. He utilized the space in the back of the shop as a creative space in addition to repairing and restoring timepieces.

In 1981, Strom created a gold pocket watch in his shop, and through this process, he decided to specialize in highlighting the movements of horology. By 1983, his reduced dial, "skeleton" watch appeared in the store's display cases, a year later he debuted the design at the International Watch and Jewelry Fair in Basel, Switzerland.

Strom's transparent timekeeper continued to gain recognition over the decades. When Strom retired in 2011, his successor, Serge Michel, who purchased the company from Strom, remained faithful to the art of the skeleton watch.

The Edge Double Barrel Max Chilton Edition timepiece. Photo by Gretchen Friedrich

The Mechanics of Movement
Carrying forward the tradition of constructing the gears by hand, the Max Chilton Limited Edition run features 194 individual components, most of which are made in-house. Armin Strom employs a team of dedicated watchmakers to accomplish the detailed task of carving out all the elements for each piece.

For The Edge, both limited and standard editions, Armin Strom wanted a bolder look, but they did not want to just make the existing components bigger. They engineered the gears and double barrel specifically for The Edge to produce the desired effect.

The watch is powered by the caliber ARM 16 with an eight-day power reserve, a double going barrel for the impulse, and cross grinding decorations for the plate and bridges.

Moving Forward
The U.S. is the next frontier for Armin Strom, and with Chilton's IndyCar tour underway, the company is making strides to find its niche in the market.

Sebastian Marten's approach to attracting the right customer is aesthetics first, technical understanding second. "When you see the watch, you either like it or you don't. If it appeals to you, then we can tell you about all the work that goes into creating the piece."

That statement summarizes how Chilton came on board, so it seems their philosophy is working.

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