Corum Golden Bridge Table Clock: A Macro Mechanical Sculpture Right In Your Living Room
Sculpture is a very specific form of art that is often neglected when discussing visual arts since painting, drawing, and photography get the bulk of the attention. It could be that those forms of visual arts require the least space and that people are most familiar with them being so accessible on walls all around us. Yet that may also be a result of people not associating sculptures with the art form of sculpture. Let me explain.
When you think about what counts as sculptures, it becomes clear that pretty much every three-dimensional object that is made to be decorative and serve no distinct function could count as sculpture – and even some that do have practical functions. So “sculpture” may have become culturally discounted because modern manufacturing techniques have made sculptures incredibly easy to make, leading to people’s homes being filled with trinkets and decorations that are mass produced in foreign countries. This doesn’t even begin to dive into the proliferation of collectible figurines such as Precious Moments and the Willow Tree collection.
That doesn’t mean sculpture isn’t serious, but it’s possible that out of everything artistic, sculpture lent itself best to mass-produced goods that could be sold as room filler and would easily get people accustomed to having objects of their choosing throughout their homes. Shelves, tables, desks, counters, mantels, and even the dashboard of a car: many people buy inexpensive decorative objects to fill space, more so than 2D images to hang on the wall. As a result, I’ve come to enjoy sculpture as much or more than any other visual art because I feel it is underrepresented, and I dream of having space to display all the cool things I’ve seen over the years.
Objects made from stone, wood, metal, plastic, glass, ceramics, textiles, and every combination thereof inspire me as a spatial and visual person. I love objects in our three-dimensional space, and I love sculptural objects that have a function, even if that function is purely for entertainment or as a demonstration of spectacle. Some of the most intriguing sculptures blur the lines between art, machine, and furniture, such as in the case of the Corum Golden Bridge . . . Table Clock.
Now you might scoff and say that, no, this does not count because a clock is a specifically functional object designed for one use. But this is no clock made to be placed on a table. The table itself is the clock, and it isn’t just loosely inspired by the Corum Golden Bridge, it is made to be a nearly perfect replica of the watch at the scale of a table, doubling as a coffee table (as if you would ever want to cover it up with books and coasters).
Corum Golden Bridge Table Clock
The entire concept goes back to one man, metal sculptor and artist Pedro Costa based in Bogota, Colombia, who has made a name for himself by creating hyper-realistic recreations of iconic watches in super scale to be used as an artistic centerpiece in the home as well as a functional coffee table if one so desires. After tackling pieces like the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time 5990, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore (among many others), Costa set his sights on the equally iconic and even more sculptural Corum Golden Bridge.
The table clock is made mostly of stainless steel, aluminum, and glass and set with an almost completely mechanical movement modeled to look exactly like the bridge movement in the actual watch. The movement is made by Sinclair Harding and uses two separate motors to drive the gear trains and escapement, keeping it appearing to be a fully mechanical movement (more on that in a bit).
The movement itself is visually a perfect replica of the Golden Bridge movement with engraving, jewels, bridge construction, and the same wheel design as seen on the original.
If you were to take a loupe to the wristwatch and compare it to the clock you would find that they are effectively the same. Just like a typical Sinclair Harding clock, the movement is finished beautifully in the 20x scale, with brushing, matte-blasted surfaces, polishing, and naturally beveled edges. Many of the parts are made of brass (of course) and received multiple layers of plating with nickel, 23.5-karat gold, and then platinum if meant to mimic white gold. Some parts are made from aluminum, like the main bridge, and are carefully hand-polished to a bright mirror finish, helping the entire movement shine like the tiny grandfather on the wrist.
The time is adjusted via the crown, though it is a smaller crown hidden within the larger aesthetic crown, and the balance is impulsed to mimic the frequency of the original movement. Overall, Sinclair Harding has created a gorgeous supersize replica of the Golden Bridge movement to rest inside the awesomely accurate case. Sealed with large sheets of glass to mimic the sapphire crystal, you can peer into the table from the top, sides, and bottom. No shortcuts here. It really is a truly fantastic giant replica of the Golden Bridge watch.
Electromechanics for the win
Given the scale, there would always have been an issue in creating a perfect replica of the movement, however, since it couldn’t function in exactly the same way, a very large balance wheel would only oscillate at a very slow speed, possibly only 0.5 Hz at that scale due to mass. This is the biggest concession made but it doesn’t detract at all from the whole.
As stated earlier, the movement is driven by two separate motors, one to drive the time display and one to impulse the balance for the visual impact. The balance is driven by a DC motor that is controlled by an onboard microcontroller to ensure that it consistently beats with the time keeping.
The movement at large is driven by a precision stepper motor with 3,200 steps per revolution, which is over six and a half times smoother than the typical 4 Hz movement found in the Golden Bridge. Since there is no second hand this won’t really be discernable, but it demonstrates how smoothly the gear train should progress as it tracks the time. This motor passes through a gearbox with a 108-tooth gear to further isolate the gear train from the steps to make it move smoothly and quietly. The clock also houses a rechargeable battery that provides 144 hours of power reserve at full charge, allowing six full days before rewinding, I mean recharging.
That allows the clock to sit proudly in the center of a room without being tied to the wall and looking like a lower-end clock. It truly seeks to respect the original Golden Bridge watch as much as possible. Thanks to being 20 times the size, however, it is just slightly heavier than the wristwatch. Instead of being measured in grams, it is measured in kilograms, and it weighs in at a rather hefty 66.4 kg. The good thing about it being this heavy is that you won’t need to worry about it being knocked over when someone bumps into it, but you may end up with a bruise!
Industrial art becomes macroscopic luxury
The case is generally made from precision-cut stainless steel plates that are carefully welded together to form the body, which then requires extensive hand-finishing to mimic a perfectly shaped watch case with mirror polishing. Other models with coatings might be slightly easier to finish but the forming, welding, shaping, and grinding still take plenty of time and effort. If you wanted a model with a leather strap, like this first Golden Bridge, that allows a decent portion of the table to be painted and shaped to look somewhat organic, but if the model has a bracelet, then there are many more pieces that require extensive shaping and finishing.
Each clock is available as a made-to-order item, but the production is not a quick process. If you wanted this exact model then the production should be less than four months, which is the high-end estimate for full production including the design and development of the case and movement, something that can take a while depending on complexity. If you loved this concept but wanted to request a different model version that may have had a different case or base movement then it could take longer. If a model variation is what you desire, then it should only require different plating and finishes but the same physical construction.
It is a stunning example of industrial art, something that wouldn’t be found in a corporate atrium but instead right in your living room. I love the idea of taking a beloved watch and blowing it up for everyone to stand around and appreciate since watches are such a personal object, hard to be adored by more than one person at a time. A massive table clock that looks the exact same is a sort of reverse Honey, I Shrunk the Kids effect, where instead us of being shrunk down to the size of the watch it is maximized up to our scale.
It also allows a functional object – a table – to become a secondary functional object – a clock – while also subverting both of those objects to remain a piece of sculptural art. Too often our furniture lacks any distinct aesthetic so going this route is possibly the boldest way to optimize function and fashion in one swoop. Of course, it won’t come cheap, the starting price for the Corum Golden Bridge Table Clock is 90,000 CHF, and this could rise if one were to make a special request for a different model.
Considering the Corum Golden Bridge Classic in white gold, the same model the clock is based on, sells for just shy of 42,000 CHF, this is definitely not an alternative for buying the watch, but a premium addition. Yet for the person who loves a watch so much that they want a massive model right in their living room, I can see no alternative that is even close to the level of this incredible piece of art.
I may never own this version of the Golden Bridge, but it is such a cool reality to be able to own a massive version of your favorite watch. Out of all the iconic watches that Pedro Costa has built, the Golden Bridge is by far the most amazing as a piece of sculpture since it fully exposes the awesome movement, it has multiple views into the case, and it exemplifies the name “Bridge” while it spans a living room rug.
If you are in the market for something like this, feel free to invite me for an evening of drinks to chat over your fantastically awesome Golden Bridge Table Clock.
For more information, please visit www.corum-watches.com/watch/table-clock.
Quick Facts Corum Golden Bridge Table Clock by Pedro Costa
Case: 124 x 66 x 63.2 cm, stainless steel, aluminum, and glass
Movement: rechargeable Golden Bridge electromechanical caliber by Sinclair Harding, 144-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: made to order
Price: 90,000 CHF (including VAT)
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I’m blown away with Pedro Costa’s work and it’s great to see his amazing skills applied to embiggen a watch that has a great history, but is not a hugely commercial watch. The glass surfaces lend themselves well to a coffee table. A mystery hour watch would make a great coffee table as well, but the degree of difficulty might be a bit higher, as the mystery plates would be much heavier than watch hands. Worth it though. Cartier made a skeletonized version in ~ 2017 that would make for a coffee table to end all coffee tables.