For their 2012 Admiral's Cup portfolio, Corum have chosen to concentrate their efforts on the Legend - the newer and more elegant model in the portfolio created to fulfill the "everyday wear" niche and this is the Admiral's Cup Legend 42 Tourbillon Micro-Rotor unveiled at BaselWorld.
Last year we reported that the Admiral's Cup watch had "grown up" with the release of the Seafender 47 Tourbillon GMT, the first in the series to offer an automatic tourbillon, the Legend Tourbillon Micro-Rotor is a little less sophisticated - but only on the inside, encased in the sleek and most refined Admiral's Cup case-shape yet, and with a few admirable finishing touches you'd have to say it's a fine addition to the collection.
Over the years the 12-sided case may have been softened and the colourful nautical pennant hour markers may have been reduced to barely there features but somehow the character remains, an Admiral's Cup watch is still instantly recognisable. This piece features a dial of contrasts, snailing on the outer, barleycorn - a firm favourite with Corum's designers - on the inner, texturing which adds interest to the silver-grey dial. Even the outsize "60" at 12 o'clock has been sacrificed to allow full attention to the large-ish opening which reveals the 12mm tourbillon carriage with its openworked bridge, and naturally the eye is immediately drawn to it.
Inside is the automatic CO503 movement which produces 60 hours of power reserve from a 17mm micro rotor which bears the Corum Key and which features some fine Côtes de Genève engraving, viewable through an exhibition caseback. Unfortunately no images are available of this craftsmanship - however what we can show you where the collection started. The first Admiral's Cup watch was presented in 1960 and it was a bit of a ground-breaking model - do not let that elegant Carré case-shape fool you, back then producing a square case watch with water resistant properties was quite an achievement.
The model was re-awakened in 1980 forming an integral part of the marques’ new commercial link to yacht racing. It has evolved but the changes have been gradual, considered and respective to the collection's personality - developments which have culminated in this year's Admiral's Cup Legend 46 Minute Repeater Acoustica the "first ever to strike four notes with four hammers working in pairs to produce harmonies".
The Legend 42 Tourbillon Micro-Rotor will be produced in a limited annual production of 15 pieces in red gold, 30 in red gold and steel, and 75 in steel.
Like Corum? Here's a full biography of the brand with some superb original images of the early stuff - some wacky, all wonderful.