By John Galt
The iconic bubble has been revived as part of Corum heritage collection exactly 15 years after its first release back in 2000. Corum’s new addition to the iconic design is not merely a re-issue of its predecessor but instead a new version keeping all the aesthetics of the original and bringing them up to date. Let’s take a look.
Three versions are being released, two limited editions and one non-limited. The case has been slightly enlarged from the original 44mm (which back in 2000 was large) to 47mm lending to impressively striking looks. Coupled with short curved lugs it doesn’t feel as big or cumbersome as it should, this is a high piece given that the sapphire crystal is 8mm high on its own!
The bubble sapphire crystal is crafted from a single block then ground down into the bubble shape before meticulous polishing to create a flawless clarity with no optical imperfections. Corum’s bubble designers took advantage of this by designing a dial with a clever optical art motif. Taking inspiration from Hungarian-born French artist Victor Vasarely, The founder of the opical art movement, the dial is decorated with squares which graduate in size getting larger toward the centre of the dial thus creating static patterns that gave the impression of movement or surprising perspectives. The dial of the Bubble is perfectly flat, formed from a lacquered, brass disc stamped with the cube motif.
The optical art dial will only be fitted to the pair of limited edition pieces starting with the Bubble vintage, a bronze toned PVD coated case with treated SuperLuminova for a real vintage feel coupled with bronze dial and numerals, this is a real nod to the original bubble from 2000.
Changing from vintage inspired to much more modern the other limited edition is the Bubble all black, covered entirely in shiny black PVD coating matched with a gorgeous matte black dial and charcoal coloured hands and numbers. This is a real modern interpretation of the Bubble but still keeping the DNA of its assenters.
The third model to be released by Corum is not limited and will make up part of their regular collection called the Bubble skeleton. Housed in a stainless steel case Corum have removed the dial and skeletonised and rhodium coated the movement giving an uncluttered and stunning view through the bubble crystal of the self-winding CO 082 calibre movement. Corum has even gone a step further and skeletonised the hands as well which in the process does lose a little of the legibility but gives a stunning effect.
All of the Bubble timepieces are fitted with rubber straps topped with leather: calfskin for the optical art editions and grey alligator skin in the case of the skeleton. And each is fitted with a buckle matching the case finish.
Prices start at 3,500 CHF for the bronze and black editions which given they are limited is a bargain for vintage inspired timepieces, and the Skeletonised Bubble is priced at 8,500 CHF.
I’m glad Corum decided to relaunch the Bubble, I was a fan of the original especially when first released as they were one of the few watchmakers back then that made large cases and didn’t follow trend. With these new versions Corum have kept the very essence that made them a hit back then but have added a modern twist, especially with the skeletonized which I personally will become a cult classic much like the original models. For more info, please visit corum.ch
JOHN GALT – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
John Galt caught the horology bug back in 2010 on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury HauteHorology, his favorite brands being HYT and GreubelForsey that push the boundaries of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepieces. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow John on Twitter @johng73 Read his articles here.