Collaborative efforts have been a pillar of the watch world in recent years, and one of the most consistent of the bunch is a group called Collective Horology. They’ve worked with some of our favorite brands, and as of recently, are a retailer for the British brand Fears. If you’ve been to our recent Windup Watch Fairs, you’d likely have had the opportunity to chat with the group’s founders, Asher Rapkin and (podcast alum) Gabe Reilly. These guys are true watch nerds and each release is an expression of their enthusiasm. Their latest project, a collaboration with Armin Strom, is the third within their Portfolio series, joining the Urwerk UR100 P.02, and the J.N. Shapiro Infinity Series P.01.
The P.01 is an impressive technical showcase featuring Armin Strom’s Gravity Equal Force platform. As you might have guessed, this is a watch that utilizes a constant force transmission, ensuring consistent chronometric performance throughout the reserve of the mainspring. The Armin Strom is the first to apply such a mechanism to an automatic watch, as these generally come in the form of a remontoir, fusee and chain, or other exotic solutions fit to watches at the upper echelons of haute horology. Armin Strom uses a “stop-work” declutch mechanism (partially visible under the mainspring bridge) they’ve developed at their workshops in Biel. This mechanism prevents the mainspring from fully unwinding, leveraging only the part of the mainspring’s unwinding process which can deliver consistent power across its 72 hour reserve. So the transmission to be regulated by the escapement is the same from the first tick, to the last.
The P.03 represents a few firsts within the Gravity Equal Force collection. Perhaps most notably is the use of a titanium case (41mm) that gets a mix of brushed and polished surfaces. Previous versions have been rendered in steel and rose gold, but never titanium. The tone compliments another first for the watch, a green fume dial with applied numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock. The dial section is striking, and legible at a glance, blurring the line a bit between high-end mechanical art, and, you know, a watch that you could realistically wear while doing things.
Another of the new features are some sporty grooves etched into the bridges supporting the visible mainspring barrel and the small oscillating weight filling up the top and bottom portions of the asymmetric open dial space. A third bridge over the keyless works brings home the asymmetric theme going on throughout. Around back you’ll find a different view of the manufacture caliber ASB19 which is nearly as interesting as the front, revealing the balance and escape wheel doing their thing alongside an engraved plaque.
Like all the Collective collaborations, the P.03 is a limited edition, and there will be 30 produced. The watches will be offered to new and existing members of the Collective at the price of $25,000. More details on joining can be found on their website right here. Learn more about Armin Strom right here.