Corum – Bubble Clown by Matt Barnes

Bubble Clown by Matt Barnes

If watchmaking’s putting you to sleep, If conventions bore you stiff, If time-honoured traditions make you yawn, Corum has just the thing for you… 

An old friend of Corum, Matt Barnes is an American artist who isn’t exactly known for upholding aesthetic conventions. That’s just as well, because neither is Corum. Together, they’ve devised the “Bubble Clown”, a piece created in the image of both the brand and the artist – two enfants terribles in their respective worlds of watchmaking and design. 

A transfigured clown, disturbing, hypnotic, almost intrusive, stares out from the centre of the timepiece.  His snarky smile, piercing stare, and rather disfigured look makes him anything but the stuff of dreams – nightmare fare more like. And yet you simply can’t take your eyes off him. Every detail on the whole is fascinating, and each is deliberately contradictory: a smile – but with razor-sharp teeth; an open yet threatening gaze; a clown costume that reveals innumerable tattoos; carnival make-up daubed over scars; and the traditional wig – styled into a Mohican. Every single distinctive clown feature has been hijacked. The overall effect doesn’t exactly invite itself onto the wrist – it’s more a case of it latching on there in a display of power, consistency, and singularity.

Bubble Clown by Matt Barnes

Bubble Clown by Matt Barnes © Corum


The mechanical cladding for Matt Barnes’ Clown is pretty off-the-wall, too. The timepiece lacks hands; instead, hours and minutes are displayed by means of two red circles on the flange. In addition, the Bubble Clown is 52 millimetres wide, offering the Clown a creative expanse whose breadth is unprecedented in watchmaking. The Clown’s round face fits perfectly into the Bubble’s curved shape, with the magnifying effect of the convex sapphire crystal further accentuating his facial features. 

And needless to say, the highlight of the watch has to be the domed sapphire crystal. The crystal itself is 8mm thick, and the general depth of this watch is a huge 18.5mm. The big domed crystal provides the watch substantial wrist presence, but more importantly, also creates distortion to give the watch a special appearance that alters and changes (distortion) determined by the angle which you have a look at the dial. Admittedly, the crazily domed crystal also affects legibility marginally, but I’d argue that skeletonized dials aren’t the most legible to begin with. Furthermore, Corum also intends to address the legibility problem with oversize leaf-shaped hands.The motion within is your calibre CO 082, which can be predicated on Eterna’s grade 39. Eterna is also under the Citychamp group, and you can learn all about the calibre 39 in detail here. Corum doesn’t disclose what sort of treatment and finishing was achieved into the movement except that the plates and bridges are color-treated. As I mentioned earlier, there are three colorways in total. The ref. L082/031612 comes in a stainless steel case, with white Super-Luminova hands, and a motion finished with blue plates and plates. The ref. L082/03165 comes at a black PVD stainless steel case, with green Super-Luminova palms, and a motion completed with matching green plates and bridges. And finally, we have the ref. L082/03166 that also comes at a black PVD stainless steel case, with purple Super-Luminova palms, and a motion completed with matching purple plates and bridges. All 3 colorways will include a blue vulcanized rubber strap with a pin buckle.Corum Bubble watches are entertaining and frequently use a cartoonish design component, and the newest Bubble 47 Squelette watches we’ve got here are among the wackiest yet. They are not for everybody, but if you’ve got deep pockets and a sense of humor, they could be right for you. The new Corum Bubble 47 Squelette watches in bright colors are priced at $6,000, which can be $2,300 less than when it was reintroduced in 2015.

 “This is our second collaboration with Matt Barnes – his quirky universe is a perfect match for our niche in watchmaking,” concludes Corum Watches Website CEO Jérôme Biard. “This limited edition makes full use of the creative freedom we allow in our Bubble timepieces. Today, Corum is proud to be serving as a focal point for Matt and other twenty-first century talents – as well as for the collectors who follow them with admirable loyalty.”