René Bannwart dies at 95 and thus the first Chapter of Corum comes to a close. René Bannwartis remembered for his unique creativity and design. Born in Zurich, he first worked at Pateck Phillipe and Omega before he and his Uncle Gaston Ries founded Corum in 1955. Working as a team, René Bannwart and his uncle rejuvenated his uncle's 1924 watch making workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds under the now world renowned brand Corum.
The name Corum stems from the word “quorum” which means “the minimum number of persons present, required to enable a meeting, to hold discussions and take valid decisions”.
Corum symbol - the key- emblazons every watch, a testament to opening new doors of creativity, innovation, watch design and possibilities. There is always a new door to open and the mystery of time can never be completely unraveled.
In 1956, Corum unveiled its first watches, which were quickly recognized by watch manufacturers for their distinctive creativity. Through the decades Corum has delighted and continues to delight watch enthusiasts and buyers with originality and craftsmanship.
Take a look at some of Corum's original masterpieces:1958 - Corum's "Chinese Hat" with an oblong, almost pyramid shaped bezel looking very much like the hats worn by the people of China.
1960- Admirals Cup watch, originally square, the first water resistant watch ever made which only obtained its contemporary 12 sided case in the 1983. Nautical pennants corresponding to the international maritime code were added and served as hour markers on the twelve-sided bezel. In 1992 the introduction of "The Admiral Tides" incorporated a Corum movement CO-277, which displayed information such as the lunar cycle, the strength and time of the tides, estimation of water levels as well as the strength of the currents.
1964- the "Coin Watch" sporting a genuine $20 Double Eagle Coin worn by U.S presidents and prominent figures looking very much like the Coin Watches sold today at THE WATCHERY.
1965 - Buckingham Model, large in size and extremely coveted. Due to the versatility of this collections shape and size, Corum has taken watch design to the extreme creating watches covered in jewels and others sporting skulls.
1966 - “Romvlvs” watch its hour markers engraved on the bezel not on the dial. The creation of this watch was born from a delivery mishap to a Basel World Fair and the creative quick thinking of René Bannwart. (read more) 1970- Corum introduced dials paved with real bird feathers, below find glowing words from the "San Antonio Express and News" dated December 10, 1972 in regard to Corum's Feather Watch.
In fashion — a beautiful 18 Karat gold watch with a feather dial! A n y o n e on your gift list would be delighted to receive a' new watch, especially an elegant jewel to wear all the time. . The feather dials, designed by Rene B a n n w a r t , are u n i q u e to Corum watches, and the unisex fashion is becoming ,the rage. The dials are made from rainbow - colored peacock or from brown - t o n e d pheasant feathers, which are sealed to.the gold' case. Each watch face is different, since two feathers are never the same in nature. Only feathers which birds have shed are selected, an interesting note that p r o v e s ecology even reaches into the fashion watch business.
1976 - “Rolls-Royce” watch intrigued watch buyers with its resemblance to the grill of a Rolls- Royce automobile, collection resulting from a collaboration between Corum and Rolls-Royce.
1980 - One of the most popular watch collections of today was born, "Corum's Golden Bridge" An incredible innovative movement visible via a sapphire case. (read more)
1986 - "Meteorite Model" with a dial cut from a genuine meteorite.1997 - Corum unveils the the “Tabogan” watch, which contains a mechanism allowing the watch to convert to a small stand up travel clock. Corum Bubble XL Chronograph (Regular Strap) Women's Watch Pink Dial on Pink Strap Diamond Bezel 396-157-47-F168 FP30R
2000 - The hugely popular Bubble Watch which still in hot demand and available at THE WATCHERY for 75% off the list price. The watch gets its name from the "Bubble" that sits above the dial. The "Bubble" is actually 11 mm thick sapphire crystal. The "Bubble Watch" is the perfect Valentines Day Gift.
Corum Trapeze Ladies' Watch Watch Stainless Steel White Dial Diamond Bezel on Pink Leather Strap 196-404-47-0008-PM81
2001 - “Trapèze” named after its elegant shape adding a whispering grace and creating timeless style.2005 - “Classical Vanitas” debuted with exceptional marquetry-work applied to watch dials. Stone stone and marble fragments are cut to fit together as an intricate mosaic. The collection depicted above, displays a skull motif. A motif which Corum often uses over a wide range of collections. (Corum's watches are always a Halloween treat). This particular model depicted above was unveiled in 2006 of which five versions were manufactured with a limited edition of 50.
2005 - Golden Bridge was reinvented.
2007 - Rebirth of the Romvlvs
2008- Admiral’s Cup Tourbillon 48 and Romvlvs Perpetual Calendar
2009- the Ti- Bridge housing the new CO 007 caliber. (I blogged about this watch with much relish - click here to read more)
2010 marks a new chapter for Corum. Corum will continue inspiring the watch world with outstanding timepieces which ,I have no doubt, will all be infused with the creative genius of its founder René Bannwart.