Show the symbol of an upright key decorating the dial to any watch connoisseur and he will utter 'Corum'. A leading name in the world of luxury watches, Corum watches are celebrated for their stunning aesthetic beauty, sheer imaginative designs and the knack to offer something different from their competitors. This is also perhaps the reason why Corum states that 'Boldness, distinction and excellence' have been the cornerstones of its philosophy.
The name of Corum is taken in the same breath as Tissot or Patek Philippe. But few are aware of the fact that Corum is relatively a new comer as it was founded in 1955. However, the brand Corum has forged its way into the list of 'must have watches' because of its ability to come up with models that redefine aestheticism and offer technological innovation. The main fact that separates Corum from its rivals is that it tends to bring only limited editions of its watches. This strategy has also helped the Swiss watchmaker to carve a separate niche in a highly competitive market. Some of its hugely successful limited editions include the Corum Bubble watches, Rolls Royce, and Golden Book.
The foundation of Corum was laid when Rene Bannwart and his cousin Simone Ries joined hands with Gaston Ries [father of Simone] who already had a watch manufacturing company in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
The introduction of the $20 Liberty Eagle watch by Corum was an important milestone for the company. The model marked the arrival of Corum in the world of luxury watchmakers. Though, this particular model of watch had existed from the 1920s, they were in the form of dress pocket watches. Corum was the first to introduce it as a wristwatch.
Some of the classic collection of Corum includes:
- Charge d Affaires: Created by Rene Bannwart in 1956, the main feature of this model was the presence of an alarm system that reminded one of appointments due.
- Chinese Hat: This ladies watch was introduced in 1958. The case of the watch resembled a Chinese hat and hence it was christened Chinese Hat.
- Golden book: This particular model was made up of 18-carat gold and had the shape of a book. The watch even had a cover that opened. Corum brought out two editions of this watch. The limited editions actually contained quotes taken from a literary work.
- Buckingham: This particular model started the trend of ' big watch'. The main part of the watch was oversized as compared to its belts. This was in total contrast to the sleek and delicate models, which were in vogue those days.
- Feathered friend: Introduced in mid 1970s, the Feathered Friend actually contained feathered dials of birds such as peacock, pheasant, kingfisher and the red ibis.
- Rolls Royce: Corum actually obtained permission from the carmaker to introduce watches bearing the name 'Rolls Royce'. Corum came out with two versions of Rolls Royce. The first version was an 18-carat whit gold watch that replicated the radiator grille of Rolls Royce ' Camargue'. The second was based on the grille of Rolls Royce 'Silver Shadow'.
- Météorite range: This presentation from the house of Corum actually contained pieces of meteorites that fell on the earth. It is said that Corum bought the 34 ton Cape York [a meteorite that collide with the Earth 10,000 years ago] to make just 999 dials.
Being a late entrant into the field of luxury watchmakers has not proved to be a disadvantage for Corum. After all, it holds the 'Key to Perfect time'.