THE ORBIT REINVENTS THE MOST UBIQUITOUS HOROLOGICAL COMPLICATION WITH THE WORLD'S FIRST DATE FUNCTION DISPLAYED ON A BEZEL.
The date is driven by the unique column-wheel date complication, that can be activated and deactivated with the push of a button. A large central hand with a red “A” tip for Armin indicates the date on the black ceramic bezel which makes up the sporty look of the watch.
Transparent mechanics on full display are a driving force for the Armin Strom manufacture, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Orbit. The most recent addition to the System 78 collection, which is the manufacture’s line of inventive and unexpected haute horlogerie creations in its purest form, the First Edition of the Orbit was unveiled in March 2022 and immediately appealed to discerning collectors. Now, the uniquely Orbit returns as permanent Manufacture Edition with an even more decidedly sporty aesthetic.
REINVENTING THE DATE
Visually captivating and mechanically ingenious, the Orbit completely reimagines one of the most useful and ubiquitous watch functions in existence: the date. By combining several complications into one, the “Column-Wheel Date” is a singularly creative and refreshing take on a complication that’s rarely ever revisited. Entirely conceived, developed and built in-house by Armin Strom, the Orbit flips the script by offering a new and unprecedented implementation of the date, with its inventive mechanics entirely visible on the dial side.
THE «COLUMN-WHEEL» DATE
The Orbit’s most outstanding feature is its unprecedented and playfully imaginative date function. Entirely conceived, developed and built by the Armin Strom manufacture, the unique complication has been dubbed the “Column-Wheel Date”. As its name implies, the column-wheel drives the date mechanism, which is visible from the dial side. This system, typically found in chronograph mechanisms, enhances the date indicator’s stability and performance while also providing a satisfying and reassuring tactile experience when engaging and disengaging the date function.
STATIONARY AND ACTIVE DATE MODE
The date is indicated on the bezel by a large central hand with a red “A” tip for Armin. The days of the month – 1 through 31 – are engraved in white around the circumference of the polished black ceramic bezel for a high-contrast and instantly readable effect.
The date hand essentially has two modes: stationary and active. When the date hand is in the stationary mode, it is essentially “off” and remains in its fixed position pointing at 12 o’clock, leaving the off-centred dial unobstructed. Using the pusher on the left side of the case, the date hand is ”engaged” and jumps to point at the correct date. In this mode, the date automatically advances once a day, at midnight. With another push of the button, the hand returns to its stationary position, with a mechanical memory allowing it to jump back to the correct date when required by the wearer. The retrograde mechanism allows the date hand to jump back from 31 to 1, avoiding any confusion with the hand’s position when in the stationary mode. The date can be rapidly set using a corrector button on the 8 o’clock position of the case or can be advanced manually via the crown by advancing the time.
Based on the development of the Gravity Equal Force that was unveiled in 2019 as the world’s first automatic watch with equal force transmission, the Orbit’s movement delivers consistent power to the balance, with a power reserve of 72 hours. Its “stop-work” mechanism within the barrel prevents the mainspring from fully unwinding, thus leveraging only the part of the mainspring’s unwinding process that can deliver power most consistently.
And true to the manufacture’s unwavering commitment to offering true haute-horology craftsmanship across its entire collection, the movement is fully hand-finished and decorated with features such as chamfered and polished edges, polished chatons and perlage graining.
A MEN’S COMPLICATION WITH A SPORTY ALLURE
Envisioned as a piece of haute horlogerie for daily active wear, particular attention was paid to the overall ergonomics and aesthetic of the Orbit Manufacture Edition. Rugged yet sophisticated at the same time, the Orbit ushers a new category for Armin Strom: Men’s complications in a sporty package. Perfectly integrated with the 43.4 mm stainless-steel case, the bracelet of the Orbit was carefully designed to offer a minimalistic look that doesn’t take away from the micromechanical spectacle within. Superbly finished with alternating polished and satin-brushed surfaces, the surprising slimness of the steel bracelet makes it exceedingly comfortable.
Compared to the First Edition, which predominantly features dark grey “black gold” coating, the Orbit Manufacture Edition emphasizes contrast and sporty sleekness with a black offset dial and silvery rhodium-coated bridges. The dial occupying the left side of the display indicates the hours and minutes as well as the seconds on a separate counter. The numerals, hour markers and hour and minute hands are filled with off-white Super-LumiNova® for optimal legibility in the dark. A rare feat for most watch manufactures, the steel hands are manufactured by Armin Strom and, like all the visible parts of the movement, are meticulously hand-finished in-house.