Corum Admiral 42 Automatic Bronze For 2020: A Nautically Inspired Watch Perfect For Landlubbers
by Martin Green
It is hard to imagine, but Corum’s Admiral’s Cup collection is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary this year.
To me, the nautical-inspired Admiral’s Cup watches highlight Corum’s unique way of looking at things. When I first became active in the watch world in the mid-1990s, I remember being especially impressed by the Admiral’s Cup featuring a tide indicator. It was a fairly serious complication, yet at the same time also a playfully colorful creation with nautical flags indicating the hours.
While you might dislike this with most watches, on a Corum such an element was a must. It was, and is, what makes this brand so much fun, providing it with a unique position in the industry.
Corum Admiral’s Cup: evolving with the times
Over the years, Corum’s Admiral’s Cup collection has evolved with the times – and in 2020 it adapts to the zeitgeist once again. After the case sizes growing to larger diameters over recent years, they have come down once more to 42 mm, and “Admiral’s Cup” has now been shortened to simply “Admiral.”
This is good news because, as the Admiral’s Cup grew in size, changes to its design made its case much more expressive in a certain way. Now down to 42 mm, and even smaller if you desire, it has kept its charismatic looks while being more wearable for a lot more people.
While I would strap on a stainless steel or steel/gold version in a heartbeat, I was mesmerized when I saw the press release announcing that it would now also be available in bronze.
Just changing the case material would have been a faux pas that Corum has fortunately avoided. While the designers have kept essential elements the same, they have removed all the different hues usually seen in the flags in favor of just one dominant color: a choice of green or blue.
This was a good decision because as the watch ages and the bronze takes on its unique patina, it could over time result in a more and more displeasing contrast with the colorful nautical hours. These two unicolored dials will complement the changes that the case invariably goes through just right.
Corum designed these watches with a keen eye for detail as the hour markers still represent nautical flags, yet the famous motifs are now engraved as 5N red gold pennants. The brand even matched the color of the Super-LumiNova in the hands to that of the dial.
The date window’s background is not color-matched, though, with Corum opting for black there. On the pictures – which is unfortunately all we have right now – it looks like it works. But it is a detail that I would like to further examine in person once that is possible.
One critique I have is that the Admiral 42 Automatic Bronze offers a water resistance of just 50 meters. For a nautical-inspired watch one could expect more – particularly since the gold-encased Admiral’s Cup Tide was water-resistant to 60 meters in the 1990s!
Corum Admiral: moving forward
The Admiral 42 Automatic Bronze is powered by Corum Caliber CO 395, which is based on ETA Caliber 2895. There was a time when I was snobby enough to turn my nose up at this, expecting something a little more exotic.
Today I first always ask myself the question, “what makes this watch fun?” For me, it would be seeing the case get its patina, while at the same time enjoying it as a charismatic day-to-day watch.
For that purpose, this movement is rather practical with its date function and easy-to-read dial. To me, this watch is therefore not about its movement; the ETA is a caliber of tried-and-tested reliability.
I also like the new Admiral 42 Automatic Bronze because Corum presents us with bronze in a rawer form; previous bronze models in the Admiral’s line were given a factory patina, which was stunning, especially in the versions that combined it with a teak pontoon dial, but to me that also took away some of the magic.
By giving them a “pre-patina,” the designer takes control of the watches’ overall look, and that’s exactly what bronze is not about. It is more about seeing the hues of the case change as you go through life with it.
I consider these two new models spot on, at least based on their press releases. And I can honestly not wait until to see them in the metal soon.
For more information, please visit www.corum-watches.com/en/corum-admiral.
Quick Facts Corum Admiral 42 Automatic Bronze
Case: 42 x 10 mm, bronze case and bezel, stainless steel case back with brown PVD coating
Movement: automatic Caliber CO 395 (ETA 2895 base), 42-hour power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; date