Established in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Corum may have a short history as watchmaking brands go, but since their founding in 1955, they have taken us on a horological journey interspersed with a wealth of highlights - sometimes eccentric, often technical, always unconventional - yet despite the often peacockish designs, a high standard of quality was always a feature. Not everyone "got" some of the more flamboyant models, but I for one think that a little design inebriation goes a long way in this often sober industry.
Severin Wunderman, a man who was as industry-savvy as they come, chose his CEO well, appointing Antonio Calce in 2004 - this was a man who had a clear vision of what Corum needed to survive - a trimmed-down portfolio, a re-focus on Haute Horlogerie timepieces and improved distribution. His commitment to the business was affirmed in 2011 when he became a major shareholder.
Perhaps you have heard the term "The Corum 4 Pillars" referring to the Golden Bridge, Admiral's Cup, Romvlvs and Artisan collections, the building blocks of the brand which, under the leadershiop of Antoino Calce have been nurtured and refined.
When Artisans Horlogers went out of business in 2011, Mr. Calce pounced "Biver-style" acquiring a very valuable asset for his brand - the talents of Master Watchmaker Laurent Besse, already familiar to Corum for his development of the Ti-Bridge.
More recently came a partnership with Vincent Calabrese, AHCI co-founder and the man who originally conceived the system of linear gear trains that would become the extraordinary Golden Bridge.
Having two such individuals on the payroll is quite a coup considering the hiring clout of the Swatch Group, LVMH or Richemont. Perhaps Mr.Calce gives an irresistible pitch, perhaps the diversity and potential of the the Corum portfolio appeals, perhaps this is a CEO who lets his watchmakers be watchmakers without too much fussy meddling or perhaps, more importantly, both these talented men see the future potential of this brand.
I find it reassuring that Corum, once viewed by many in the industry as the “other” watch brand, the one which dared to be unconventional has perchance become the envy of some of the larger watchmaking companies - and for the future, the Four Pillars have a very solid foundation.
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