The Admiral is one of the pillars of Corum’s heritage. Unveiled in 1960, five short years after the brand’s creation, it embodies the Swiss watchmaker’s idea of maritime-inspired watchmaking. Although it has always been loyal to its artistic fibre, it has never been afraid to set sail for distant shores. This year, it gives its Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph a facelift so as to modernise the collection while lending it an urban sportiness.
First introduced into the brand stable as the Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Chronograph in 2013, the masculine-looking watch has always been a combination of power, elegance and performance with a huge dose of inspiration from the sailing world. The new Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph retains the essence of its sporty predecessor except for a few minor tweaks. The “60” hour marker at 12 o’clock has been replaced by the Corum key and brand logo, which have been slightly enlarged to give better brand visibility. Another benefit from this minor design modification is the introduction of more breathing space on the dial—the watch face of the previous incarnation felt busier and with this small change, the Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph looks sleeker and more contemporary.
Corum also worked on the case shape of the watch. While it follows strictly to the case shape of the legendary Admiral watch, there is a marked difference—the Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph features a more angular dodecagonal bezel compared to its predecessor, which boasted more rounded corners in a bid to create a more sophisticated aesthetic. For the new variant, Corum has also included two titanium inserts between the bezel and case so as to offer the option of playing with colours and materials—the possibility of mixing and matching is boundless and is something that the Swiss watchmaker will experiment with in the future. The result lends a more powerful and athletic presence on the wrist, which also makes the watch highly suitable for the rigours of everyday wear.
For the chronograph display, Corum stuck to the same tri-compax arrangement but what has changed is the dial design. The watch face comes with a “Grenadier fendu” motif, which is a unique pattern worked on by a team of experienced designers back at the Corum manufacture in La-Chaux-du-fonds. This also means that the dial is only unique to the brand. And instead of monochromatic dials as with the predecessor, the Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph comes with black or white dials with contrasting sub-dials. On the former are white sub-dials framed by either white or rose gold rings, while the latter features black sub-dials encircled by white or rose gold rings.
While the previous versions were offered with either the rubber strap or metal bracelet, the new Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph comes with a vulcanised rubber strap that features a triple folding clasp, which replaces the old tongue buckle. Corum will also offer the watch with either a titanium or rose gold bracelet.
The 12 nautical pennants, which are synonymous with the Admiral collection, remain on the flange as hour markers albeit without the bright colours so as to allow the watch to look sleek and modern. Powering the chronograph is the highly reliable Calibre CO 132, a self-winding movement that beats at 4 Hertz and boasts 42 hours of power reserve, 100m water resistance and decorative finishes specific to Corum. Turn the watch over to appreciate the finer details and finishing through the screwed-down open-worked caseback.
The Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph is available in 2 dial colours of black or white. The black dial version comes available in either 5N 18kt rose gold or titanium grade 5 with black PVD treatment; while the white dial is available in titanium grade 5 or 5N 18kt rose gold. All versions come with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, which makes reading time a cinch from any angle.
While the Admiral AC-One 45 Chronograph may not have undergone major modifications, it is important for the watchmaker to tweak an icon to suit modern tastes and offer product longevity to the end-consumers. With these changes, the chronograph will now speak to a wider audience that runs the gamut from sailing enthusiasts to sports watch lovers to corporate eagles looking for fuss-free horological cred on the wrist.