Bubble watches, blending creative energy and rebellious spirit, allow Corum to break the rules of luxury watchmaking and create a language that is unique to the range. From this perspective, the brand gives free rein to artists coming from very varied backgrounds (art, photography, sport or even music) to reinterpret a collection in their own image. After Matteo Ceccarini, Matt Barnes, Juliette Jourdain, Booba, Dani Olivier and Elisabetta Fantone, to name but a few, the Maison now chose American artist Nelson De La Nuez, the King of Pop Art, to re-imagine his own models and create his own exclusive collection.
Nelson De La Nuez © Corum
This version bears the strongest resemblance to the first from 1964, but with the inclusion of an interior bezel in fitting gold around the coin to rise the dial diameter into a more contemporary 43mm. This subsequently provided space for your business branding to be etched near 12 o’clock without modifying the coin face itself, omitting the floating emblem used on the different versions in this year’s Corum Watch Hk Heritage Artisans Coin Watches lineup. The hour indices are stretched in the outer bezel to the golden inner bezel, which makes this the most legible of the three models.The gold model is also noteworthy for utilizing 3N or 22ct yellow gold, which is unusual to get a watch case. This grade of gold is 91.6% pure, instead of the more prevalent 18ct grade that uses 75% gold and 25 percent alloying metals. Because of this, the case of the Corum Heritage Artisans Coin Watch is a richer hue of yellow than most other gold watches on the current market, but it’s also significantly softer and more prone to scratching. The crown is likewise made from 22ct gold and is set with a 0.17 carat diamond. Gem-setting in such a soft metal could prove somewhat precarious, and I’d avoid heavy usage of the crown to avoid deforming the metal and potentially losing the diamond.The hour and minute hands on this watch are thin, baton-shaped, and black lacquered, providing good legibility without obscuring the view of this coin face. The matching black alligator leather strap completes the appealing black-on-gold vintage aesthetic, and contains a more durable 18ct yellow gold tongue buckle. All 3 watches comprise a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment and a thin 7.60mm case, which makes them searchable for dress watch duties. The cases are ranked to 1 ATM / 10m water-resistance, so wearers should take care to prevent any exposure to water outside a light sprinkle.The next model in the Corum Heritage Artisans Coin Watches lineup is the silver mention C082/03059, which features an American Silver Eagle one-dollar coin. The coin depicts a heraldic eagle with shield on the watch face and a walking Statue of Liberty on the caseback. The coin and observe case are made of 925 sterling silver, yet another odd material in watchmaking due to silver’s inclination to tarnish over time. Perhaps the sapphire crystal over the dial will provide a sufficient seal to protect against the watch face from darkening, or at least reduce the rate of oxidization satisfactorily to keep it legible between services.
Upon closer inspection, one might wonder why the partnership between Corum and Nelson De La Nuez hadn’t occurred earlier, as it seems inevitable that their two worlds would meet, something that struck Jérôme Biard, CEO of Corum, while visiting an art gallery: “Nelson De La Nuez is one of those artists who doesn’t follow trends, who creates his own universe by gathering inspiration from his surroundings and always manages to be innovative”.
By entrusting the King of Pop Art with the keys to create this new collection, Corum Watches News once again sets itself apart by not simply absorbing works of art but by allowing its Bubble watches to become art. Currently in the making, the complete Corum Bubble collection by Nelson De La Nuez will be revealed to the public at Art Basel Miami in December 2017. In the meantime, watch the video below to have a glimpse of the artist’s style.