I prefer the Corum Golden Bridge in its unadorned elemental form. One could hardly describe such a complex horological wonder as “basic” but I am afraid that is how I like it to be. I am also of the opinion that its creator, Vincent Calabrese would rather see his unique linear calibre suspended with an abundance of empty sapphire all around it to heighten the illusion, instead of having it subjected to an ornate make-over. However, despite my misgivings, there is still much to admire in the artistry of the Corum Golden Bridge Dragon.
The dragon is no stranger to watchmaking and when it makes an appearance on a watch dial, it brings with it more than a touch of drama. Often called upon to be a custodian of treasure, the neat line-up of the CO 113 baguette movement is in this case the riches, and so the scene is set.
The Corum Golden Bridge Dragon watch features a truly artisan dial which has been meticulously hand-crafted. First, red gold is poured into a mould forming a rough outline of the creature. This gives the artist a rudimentary form upon which to work his magic. The striking 3-D effect is gained though two weeks of sculpting, after which even the individual scales of the creature have been brought to life. In its finished form, the dragon seems to wrap himself around the movement offering it his protection. And so he appears, claws drawn ready to defend and ready to breathe fire upon his adversaries, complete with a pearl-tipped tail.
The “baguette movement” was introduced by Corum in 1980, just in time to celebrate their 25th anniversary. The neatly lined-up mechanisms appear to be suspended offering an illusory quality to all Golden Bridge models. This piece is powered by the hand-wound CO 113 movement which features a red gold mainplate and bridges, including an upper bridge onto which the Corum signature has been hand-engraved. The movement beats at a frequency of 28,000 vph and is equipped with a variable-inertia balance to guarantee long-term high precision.
The tonneau-shaped case of the Golden Bridge Dragon measures 34 x 51mm and is distinguishable by its clever look-see case-side crystals which give a superb view of the mechanics, and in this case an added view of the sculpted dragon. Case-back sapphire continues the panorama, and here the artistry continues, with more loupe-worthy attention to detail, depicting a rear view of the majestic creature. The crown is tucked in beneath the six o’clock location so as not to disturb the flow of the case profile or the view of the movement.
Four editions of the Corum Golden Bridge Dragon watch will be made available for purchase, including two high-jewellery editions set with an abundance of round-cut or baguette-cut diamonds. Case choices are white gold, or rose gold editions, or a grade 5 titanium case with black PVD coating. Each edition will be presented on a black alligator strap secured to the wrist with a triple folding clasp, which has been diamond-set for the jewellery editions adding a further touch of luxury, as if it were needed.