Armin Strom ‘One Week’: A Bonafide Manufacture Haute Horlogerie Sports Watch
by Martin Green
A brand’s progress is often seen in how their watches evolve. Granted, it will be their client base who will eventually rule it a hit or miss, but without taking this into account, watch brands redoing what they have already done before can be an excellent indication of the direction they are going.
I remember the original ‘One Week’ launched in 2010, both because of its impressive 7-day power reserve and primarily due to the stunning layout and decoration of the bridges in its movement.
As this was the first in-house movement of Armin Strom, it served as a grand promise for the future. It became even better when the brand launched a skeleton version of the ‘One Week,’ emphasizing its complex inner workings.
The only thing with these watches that I never could get used to is the lip at six o’clock. It seems like you could flip your nail under it to open the case, which it, fortunately, didn’t do, or open a beer bottle, which I advise you not to do. While a prominent design aspect a few years back, Armin Strom has now discontinued this style, and the lip is entirely absent in the new ‘One Week.’
Moving into Orbit
With the new version of the ‘One Week,’ Armin Strom is positioning the watch more towards the highly successful Orbit. This also makes sense, as this diversifies the collection of the brand a bit more while maintaining its DNA. If you call the new ‘One Week’ a high-end sports watch, I wouldn’t say you are wrong.
With a diameter of 41mm, it is sportively large but not too large. You also don’t have to worry about water; the ‘One Week’ is water resistance up to 10 ATM/100 meters.
The time can be read in low-light conditions, thanks to Super-LumiNova on both the hands and the hour markers, and it even comes with an integrated bracelet.
I am getting a bit tired of integrated bracelets as every brand seems to head in that direction. However, Armin Strom did it before with the Orbit, and they are doing it well. The overall height of the timepiece is a mere 10.60mm, meaning that the ‘One Week’ is a smooth operator regarding wearing comfort.
The bracelet links are even thinner, and why not flimsy as all, they follow the shape of your wrist closely and nicely. As far as the case is concerned, Armin Strom had something new to play with. While the ‘One Week’ is in line with the design of the Orbit, it lacks the bezel with the dates. Instead, Armin Strom opted for a more angular case design with prominent crown guards and a relatively thin bezel. This bezel feeds into the black minute ring underneath the sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating, creating a vivacious vibe while maintaining a clean look.
Paint it blue
As is customary for the brand, this Armin Strom lacks something that can be called a dial. That is also one of the reasons why we like the brand so much. I guess we also don’t need more than a minute track and a subdial for the seconds.
Below we get to admire the caliber ARM21, which Armin Strom redesigned for this new generation of the ‘One Week.’ They have increased the balance frequency from 2.5 Hz to 3.5 Hz. They did this because this means a more stable chronometric performance. However, it also means that the entire gear train had to be recalculated and reconfigured. Two main spring barrels working in sequence still offer a power reserve of seven days, which is indicated by the three dimensional power reserve indicator above the sub-seconds.
A bold move by Armin Strom is opting for a light blue PVD coating on the bridges and the main plate. It is quite a statement, but it suits the new generation of ‘One Week’ very well. It creates a more uniform look making some elements pop, like the beautiful main spring barrels. This is quite fun to play with, as Armin Strom already announced that light blue will only be used on the 25 watches of the ‘One Week’ First Edition.
The back is more conservative, with a main plate so large that it almost makes you wonder if this Armin Strom wasn’t made in Glashütte, Germany. A little bit of blue pops from behind the balance wheel, again very nicely orchestrated by Armin Strom, while the rest is decorated with Geneva Stripes. It also makes the back of the ‘One Week’ quite enticing.
It is great to see how the watch has evolved from its initial form, over a decade ago, to its latest reimagination as a sports watch with an improved caliber. If the original ‘One Week’ served as a promise that Armin Strom was going to fly high, the latest ‘One Week’ is proof that they belong there.
For more information, please visit https://arminstrom.com/en/collection/system-78/one-week-first-edition/
Quick Facts Armin Strom ‘One Week’ First Edition
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; power reserve
Case: 41 x 10.60 mm, stainless steel with integrated bracelet
Movement: in-house Caliber ARM21, 25,200 vph, frequency, 7-day power reserve
Limitation: 25 pieces