Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, “My First Grail Watch.” In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after. Today, we’re speaking with Serge Michel, who is the owner of Armin Strom, an independent watch brand that we’ve featured on these pages quite a bit.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you, and what is your relationship to the watch industry?
Serge Michel (SM): Serge Michel, Owner of the independent watch brand Armin Strom.
ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?
SM: As a child, being one of the first Swatch-Club collectors. I asked my parents for my first watch at 6 and, by the age of 10, I owned about 12 models. I would wear a favorite for a few months and then be ready for a new one. Of course, the one with the transparent case back was my most favorite.
ABTW: What was your first grail watch?
SM: That’s hard to say, as I’ve fancied so many watches over the years. Right now, it’s the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tradition Gyrotourbillon.
ABTW: What drew you to this particular watch?
SM: It’s got it all, especially the complexity and esthetic aspect of the movement.
The Mirrored Force Resonance observe that we got into the handle has been the very first one which comes from 18k rose gold, and it’s also referred to as the “Fire” version (Fire is that the term Armin Strom gives to its rose gold watches). In May earlier this season, Armin Strom followed up with a less expensive steel version called the Mirrored Force Resonance Water (a pretty cool title for a steel variant). The lugs, which curve quite slightly downwards, are prominent and beefy. The bezel is quite expansive too. Together, they create the Mirrored Force Resonance watch seem quite big. On the wrist, the watch certainly has a great deal of presence, in addition to the animated dial draws a lot of attention, but more about the dial later.The crown is quite thick and muscle, which makes winding a breeze and above the crown is a pusher at 2 o’clock. This pusher is just one of the neatest and coolest things about the watch since it lets the user instantaneously reset both moments hands. Therefore the idea here would be to end the watch and let it run for a little and then reset the two seconds hands and let them run and achieve resonance.Overall, the circumstance is neatly completed and a small detail that some readers might not notice is that there’s a small lip on the bezel at 6 o’clock. This is a design trait of early Armin Strom watches in which owners can opt to engrave their initials or whatnot on the watch. Owners of the Mirrored Force Resonance watch can choose to do exactly the same if they wish or leave it as it is.The dial is the ideal aspect of the watch because unlike F.P. Journe’s Chronomètre à Résonance, whose motion can only be admired through a sapphire screen case back, the two resonating balance wheels of this Mirrored Force Resonance watch are visible from the dial side. A quick glance of the opinion is all you want to remind yourself that you’re wearing something that is quite specific on the wrist.
ABTW: So, then, the big question – did you ever get one?
SM: So far I do not possess one. Right now I’m happily sporting our Tourbillon Earth and building my collection of Armin Stroms. I believe part of the passion of the watch industry is to constantly seek new innovations and designs.
ABTW: Was there ever a time where it was “the one that got away”?
SM: Not yet, but I consider myself still young!