Though Corum has done some interesting work with their Bridge collection throughout the years, it is the Admiral’s Cup that marks the brand’s strongest and most recognizable design language. For 2016, Corum has released the Corum Admiral Legend 42 Auto and Admiral Legend 42 Chronograph watches that serve as a great counterpart to some of their more unusual pieces like the Bubble watch that was reintroduced last year. We’ve got four interesting watches to cover here, so let’s get started.
First, we have two models of the Corum Admiral Legend 42 Auto. Right off the bat, you’ll notice the iconic twelve-sided bezels on these stainless steel pieces that measure in at 42mm. You have your choice of either a deep blue or white dial, and the sapphire crystal over it is double anti-reflective-treated. With an overall water resistance rating of 50m for the case, we would have hoped for a little more from a watch aimed at people who like to be around water.
The dial is graced with a colorful array of nautical flags that bring a nice flare to the table and blend nicely into the theme of the watch – and at 3 o’clock, an inconspicuous date window hidden is in one of the flags. The Rhodium-coated dauphine hands are skeletonized and treated with Super-LumiNova while a small seconds is at work right above 6 o’clock. The back of the case receives a sapphire crystal to show off the movement here as well. The Corum Admiral Legend 42 Auto watches are powered by the CO 395 that offers a 42-hour power reserve. The CO 395 is really a base ETA 2895, and Corum has engraved the rotor on this occasion.
The Corum Admiral Legend 42 Chronographs maintain the 42mm sizing, but consist of one stainless steel model while introducing another similar version outfitted with an 18k red gold bezel, crown, and pushers for added class. The stainless steel model offers a rich blue dial while the red gold is paired with a simple black backdrop with each showcasing time, date, and chronograph counters. The date window for these variants is not integrated into the dial as well as the three-hand versions so you can’t miss it nestled in between 4 and 5 o’clock. The chronographs drop the water resistance rating to 30m and maintain a sapphire crystal case back. The movement shown off is the CO 984 that beats at 4Hz (28,000vph) with a power reserve of 42 hours.
The Corum Admiral Legend 42 Chronographs certainly stand out as classy and elegant but it is the simplicity of the Corum Admiral Legend 42 Auto models that really catch my eye. Corum finds its stride when sticking to a nautical motif, and these models illustrate that point perfectly. While definitely not as intricate or refined as something like the Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck, the Corum Admiral Legend 42 Auto offers a solid alternative for someone with an affinity for sea-themed watches and who doesn’t mind a little extra color in the palette.
BaselWorld 2020 had a large selection of watches you can wear from brands that normally make watches most people cannot afford. While the ultra-high end certainly had its place, many of the watches on my BaselWorld Top 11 watches list were in the “I could feasibly save up for this” range. One of them was this surprise pieces from Corum called the Admiral’s Cup Legend 42. It comes in Legend 42 and 38 styles – which refers to the size of the case. Of course the 42 is for me.
The case design is based on the iconic Admirals’ Cup collection that Corum has been pushing lately. They have transformed the sport watch into a formal watch – and the metamorphosis feels natural. The case has that 12-sided shape and comes in steel or 18k rose gold. The bezel is polished while much of the rest of the case is brushed. There is just enough sport to the design to make it feel not boring, while much of it is taken from the other Admiral’s Cup pieces. The 42mm wide size is smaller than the 44mm wide case that most of the AC watches come in. But the relatively thin bezel and clear face give the piece a good stature.
I love the dial and applaud Corum’s ability to make it both decorative and legible. As a nod to the AC collection, the boat pennant flat images are in thin outlines around the side of the watch on the flange ring. The baton hour indicators are polished but don’t blend in with the dial. The hands are lume covered and stick out for very good legibility. I think you’ll really appreciate the engraved vertical texturing on the dial as well. Not that a few other dial styles are available, and more will come soon I am guessing.
Insertion of the date window is done nicely as it does not require the removal of an hour indicator. It also looks classy with a little polished metal fame. The watch has a subsidiary seconds dial that reminds us of those on many other AC watches. This one is placed a bit close to the center of the watch, but that doesn’t bother me at all. I like the design of it as Corum is here able to inject a bit of subtle sportiness. The dial is available in a few tones, seen here silvered or in anthracite. The use of “60” as the 12 o’clock indicator looking all nice in polished metal is a great example of how the Legend is a smooth transition from sport to slick.
Corum uses their caliber CO395 which is a base Swiss ETA 2895 automatic. Corum decorates it and uses a custom rotor. On the steel models the rotor is in steel, while in the gold cased version the rotor is done in 18k gold. The back of the watch reminds of a the Corum Admiral’s Cup Deep Hull (and progeny). Corum clearly used that aesthetic in the AC Legend – which is alright with me.