Monday, June 4, 2012
The man who haunted himself: The Daniel Strom Agonium Collection
Daniel, son of well-known watchmaker Armin Strom, has embraced the current skull/Twilight obsession in a series of Gothic skull inspired watches he calls the Agonium Collection. If it all seems a bit passe, in fairness the Memento Mori watch has been on the market for two years. The accompanying press release is full of the usual uber-hype, but that said, the Agonium Collection is an interesting and quality one.
Memento Mori, Carpe Diem
Translated as ‘Remember death, seize the day’. The sculpting and engraving work is excellent. The "Memento Mori, Carpe Diem" watch case is highly detailed and covered with many a Gothic skull and fine engraving of a distinctly Victorian flavour. Even the crown is a skull head, and one wonders how easy it will be to actually use. The watch is available in your choice of precious metal including sterling silver, gold, platinum, and palladium. The dial comes in black or bone white and features polished steel hands and Roman numerals (no skulls), and the look is finished with a black alligator hornback strap with a matching metal buckle.
As for the dial, apparently it borrows from two world-renowned clocks: Big Ben in London and the Zytglogge in Bern. A trio of hands counts time: hours, minutes and seconds.
The watch is powered by a self winding ETA 2824 movement, the watch features an anti-glare double curved sapphire crystal, and is water-resistant to 50m. Prices start at $8,272 for sterling silver and go up to a blood curdling $57,896 for platinum.
Again, the scariest thing about these novelty watches is the price. They are strictly in the spoilt goth teenager ball park. You can shell out €23,000 for an 18k red gold model of this watch as well. In the Draco collection Daniel Strom turns to the mythical dragon for inspiration. Once again the design of the watch, the choice of numerals and engraving all point to heavy Gothic influence. Both pieces are available in limited editions, whichever metal you choose, although you can specify your own custom made option.
Draco is intended above all as a metaphor. It is a symbolic jewel first, a timepiece second. The sculptured case protects the more delicate one that surrounds the movement, an ETA 2824 calibre. The bone white or black dial with a craquelure effect completes the picture, protected by a curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Time flows from twelve Arabic numerals, swept by polished hands.
Even Strom Headquarters where the watches are designed looks suitably spooky. You certainly wouldn’t want to do overtime in this place on your own.
Automatic, ETA 2824 calibre
Hours, minutes and seconds
Solid sterling silver, 18K gold, palladium or platinum, finished by hand. Inner case in stainless steel. Curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Crown in the shape of a royal crown. Water-resistant to 50m / 5 ATM
Bone white or black. Arabic numerals, gold-tones, white or black polished steel hands.
Black horn-back alligator with skull buckle in solid sterling silver, gold, palladium or platinum
Sterling silver: Limited to 88 pieces
Price: 8300 Euros
Sterling silver with crown and buckle in 18K red gold: Limited to 88 pieces
Price: 9 000 Euros
18K red gold Draco: Limited to 44 pieces
Price: 23 000 Euros
Platinum: Limited to 12 pieces
Price: Adjusted to the day's price