Every piece is unique.
Steel burins in differing sizes and wax-coated holders are the tools of the engraver.
In the engraver’s hands, the workpiece becomes a unique work of art. The engraver draws her own motif design on the workpiece with a needle according to her original drawing. But her hand, working under the microscope, cannot guide the burin to a tenth of a millimeter every time; only a machine could copy the engraving exactly
Filing to perfection.
Embellishing every part of a movement makes every Armin Strom watch akin to a hand-crafted piece of jewelry.
Working bare brass or steel by hand is time-consuming work: edges of plates, bridges and levers are perfectly chamfered or, as the watchmakers call it, beveled. Every part is then polished, even when the embellishing would not visible in the finished watch.
Beveling and polishing calls for a trained eye and fingertip sensitivity together with plenty of patience and perseverance. In a comparatively small part like a pallets bridge, a watchmaker can easily spend half an hour or more on the detailed work.
Finishing with the grinding wheel.
Armin Strom uses traditional machines for grinding patterns onto the movement.
The classic finish used in fine watch-making known as Geneva Stripes (Côtes de Genève), is created thanks to an abrasive disc that is guided over the workpiece in perfectly straight lines.
Circular graining (Perlage) is a decorative motif reminiscent of clouds, typically used on main plates. To achieve this pattern, the watchmaker uses a rotating abrasive pencil and gently makes contact with the workpiece, gradually working across the whole surface. This creates the characteristic overlapping circular grained motif.
All rotating parts of the movement are embellished with a circular grinding.
With loupe, saws and files.
Skeletonizing is the most challenging and intricate form of watch finishing. Thanks to over 40 years of experience on the part of the founder, this high art is also a tradition at Armin Strom.
Here, all material not absolutely essential for the mechanical stability of the watch is removed from plates and bridges by sawing and filing. As a result, the movement’s architecture becomes visible and the interaction of the gear-train can be followed; the watch becomes a three-dimensional living work of art. The skeletonizer’s tools are fretsaws and countless files that he sharpens himself. And because skeletonizing equates to hand craftsmanship, all watches differ from each other in numerous details.