Corum, established in 1955 are as watch brands go still a youthful brand. In 1957 one of the first watches they presented was the Précis, a piece very much in keeping with the popular classically styled dress watches of that time. It came long before the foundations were set for the Corum "Four Pillars", before they split coins to create watch dials, before the wonderfully wacky seventies feather dials and Rolls Royce avant-garde watches, before the Admiral's Cup and before the Corum Master Watchmakers designed calibres which were formed into almost impossibly slim baguette forms. The Précis was one of the building blocks on which the brand was built. Fitted with a high precision handwound movement, hence its name, the Précis announced to the industry that Corum were going to be a serious contender. Safely stored away for more than fifty years some calibre components of the 1957 Précis survived and have been used to create the new Grand Précis. This is a very authentic re-edition of the original.
The piece features a 38.5mm case, a slight up-size from the original 36mm piece, but perfectly proportioned for today's marketplace. Inside is the handwound CO162 Calibre, built from original parts with hand finished bridges. Never owned a manual timepiece? I'm hardly suprised. Rotor-kenetics and quartz movements are now so much the norm that a generation have been denied the physical act of winding a watch. The winding ceremony is one which many would not care for, but for others it is a gratifying way of "staying in touch" with their watch - for me, both are good but with a manual watch I do find it quite comforting to own something which isn't actually broken when it stops, and without a big chunky rotor to block the view you have a full-on view of the movement and generally a slimmer calibre. The Co162 is notable for its extra large balance wheel, built for precision and when fully wound will have a power reserve of 38 hours.
The dial is champagne-toned with a brushed finish, features gold elongated baton markers and hands and the original logo appears beneath the "Corum Key". A whisker-slim crosshair divides the dial with another, in miniature forming the small seconds. A watered down version of the snipper-style crosshair has been used to form the small seconds of the Zenith Elite 681 and also by Jaeger-LeCoultre on their Master Hometime but its use on the whole dial of the Précis is subtle, flawless and engaging.
The Corum Grand Précis will be a limited edition of 100 18 carat red gold case pieces and 50 with 18 carat white gold case. Water resistance is to 30m and the piece comes presented on a black crocodile leather strap.