It’s not often that the words “heritage” and “lab” are paired together. After all, the former suggests a deep connection to the past, while laboratory evokes the image of experimentation and innovation. However, the juxtaposition of these two words neatly encapsulates the intentions behind the latest Heritage Corum Lab 01 watch.
At first glance, the Lab 01 is nothing like any of Corum’s watches in its stable. The vast majority, if not all, of Corum’s watches tend to be either traditional-looking and ornate, like the Golden Bridge, or fun and casual, like the Bubble. The Lab 01, on the other hand, looks almost aggressively futuristic—the result of its asymmetric openworked dial, visible mechanics, barrel-shaped case and sporty rubber detailing.
The eagle-eyed among watch connoisseurs will immediately notice that the CO 410 skeletonised calibre housed within the watch is shaped like a barrel, and fits perfectly within the watch’s tonneau case. To have a movement match the exact shape and size of its case is very rare. It indicates that the brand has invested much thought and resources into creating the watch, as a shaped movement can only be paired with the case it was intended for, while conventional round movements can be adapted to a variety of case shapes.
The CO 410 movement was reportedly developed by Le Cercle des Horlogers, a Swiss manufacture that specialises in creating complicated made‑to‑measure movements for various brands. The movement also includes Corum’s signature micro-rotor, visible at 2 o’clock, which has been etched with a contemporary spiral pattern.
(Related: Face To Watch: Corum Ti-Bridge Automatic Dual Winder)
The first iterations of the Lab 01 were released at the end of last year, in conjunction with the opening of Corum’s first dedicated boutique in China. The two watches were made out of titanium with a black DLC coating, and had either red or white detailing on the dial. Both were limited to 99 pieces each.