Corum Classical Billionaire: A Unique Piece That, While Pricey, Isn’t (Quite) As Expensive As It Looks And Its Name Suggests
by Martin Green
If there is one thing I like, it is a well-designed diamond-set watch. And while there are quite a few around, there aren’t many as good as the Corum Classical Billionaire.
Corum’s Classical Billionaire fully focuses on displaying the art of diamond cutting and setting. No less than 424 diamonds (for a total of 13.46 carats) decorate the white gold case. That is a lot of stones, but diamonds alone don’t automatically make for a great watch. It’s the way that the gems are cut and set that ultimately decides if they add something more than just their precious and pricey nature.
Corum Classical Billionaire: rows of diamonds
One of the things that Corum cleverly did was to frame the dial with a double bezel. As each bezel part is on its own level, it adds depth to the design. Additionally, it also allows light to enter the stones at different angles, ensuring that the fire and scintillation typical of diamonds add even more life and sparkle. Corum also opted for relatively large diamonds. This gives the Classical Billionaire an even more exclusive appearance – in line with its name.
It’s customary for diamond-laden watches to also have the dial fully set with diamonds; however, Corum took a different route, opting for Crystalium as the dial material instead. A unique material produced by a Genevan company named CristalTech, Crystalium comprises pure (>99.995 percent) ruthenium, a rare member of the platinum family, which is “grown” on a substrate to produce the shiny, grainy look replicating very small diamonds.
In effect, Crystalium looks like fine diamond particles evenly sprinkled over the dial. As it also displays a tremendous play of light, the material holds its ground against the diamonds surrounding it. The blued skeletonized hands both give the watch a playful touch and ensure perfect legibility. I am always particularly fond of this second hand featuring the Corum logo as a counterbalance.
Corum Classical Billionaire: missing the point
When it comes to diamond-set watches, the choice of movement is often fuel for comments by people who don’t love this type of watch. In my opinion, they are missing the point.
Watches like the Corum Classical Billionaire aren’t about the movement, but rather about diamonds and the art of cutting and setting them. That said, I am a bit disappointed when brands go the quartz route. Fortunately, Corum didn’t: inside we find a mechanical ETA 2892-A2, which happens to be one of my favorite automatic movements. It is high-end enough to be special, relatively slim, and yet robust and precise. Perfect for the trouble-free enjoyment of this spectacular Corum timepiece.
While its name might indicate that you need to be a rare kind of wealthy to afford it, this is fortunately not the case. Of course, CHF 89,300 is a lot of money, but it is still rather inexpensive for a “billionaire” experience. In that area, the Corum Classical Billionaire overdelivers as it plays the part effortlessly. Taking into account that it is a piece unique also helps as true luxury is still about owning something unique, and the last thing you want is to see somebody else with the same watch.
For more information, please visit www.corum-watches.com.
Quick Facts Corum Classical Billionaire
Case: 46 x 9.84 mm, white gold, set with 424 brilliant-cut diamonds (13.46 ct)
Dial: Crystalium (ruthenium)
Movement: automatic Caliber ETA 2892-A2, 40-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Limitation: one unique piece
Price: CHF 89,300