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History

1955: Corum established in La Chaux-de-Fonds

In 1924, Gaston Ries opened a watchmaking workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He was joined, in 1955, by his nephew René Bannwart. Together they transformed the workshop into a watchmaking company with its own brand: Corum.

The word "quorum", which denotes the minimum number of persons required to approve a decision, fascinated the two men. They simplified the spelling as Corum and decided to take a key pointing skywards as their logo, a symbol of mysteries waiting to be unlocked and a reminder of the ingenuity and perseverance a watchmaker must possess if he is to master time. Corum's founders made clear their determination to position the brand at the vanguard of the Swiss watch industry. From the mid-1950s, Corum watches stood out for their innovative designs and original mechanisms, with models such as Chinese Hat, for women (1958), the Coin watch (1964) and Romulus (1966). Other models would return over and over, such as Admiral's Cup, created in 1960, or Golden Bridge. The latter's hand-engraved baguette movement is the work of Vincent Calabrese and reveals the transparency of the case. Corum would also produce a number of watches whose dials explore the métiers d'art. Plume (1970), for example, uses feathers while Classical Vanitas (2005) are embellished with stone and marble inlay.

Corum was taken over in 2000 by Severin Wunderman, who became the new chairman. In 2005 he appointed Antonio Calce at the head of the brand. When Severin Wunderman passed away in 2008, Corum appointed Serge Weinberg, his personal friend and financial advisor, as chairman of the board. A year later, Corum bought its distribution agent CORUM USA LLC, and put Antonio Calce in charge of the new American subsidiary. René Bannwart died in 2010 shortly before his 95th birthday. The following year, Antonio Calce became a shareholder in Corum. In 2014, China Haidian Holdings Limited, which had acquired the company a year earlier, introduced managerial changes and Antonio Calce left the brand.

 



Key dates

1956

The first Corum watches appears on the market and the brand launches a succession of original new ideas that quickly set the brand on the road to success. It is even recognized by its peers as one of the most creative in the industry.

Creation of the "Chinese Hat" watch for ladies, so-called because of the shape of its bezel.

First interpretation of the Admiral’s Cup model with a square case. The first ever water-resistant square watch.

The "Coin" watch transformed an authentic $20 "double eagle" gold coin into an original and distinctive timepiece. A symbol of the pioneer spirit and free enterprise, it would be worn by several American Presidents.

Launch of the "Buckingham model" with its oversize proportions, something of a revolution in its day.

The Romulus watch stood out for an hourless dial and hour markings on the bezel.

Launch of the "Feather" watch whose dial is set with a genuine peacock feather.

Beginning of the use by the brand of materials of extreme delicacy.

The "Rolls-Royce" watch is unveiled, sealing Corum's avant-garde partnership with the most famous and prestigious automobile marque of the day.

The "Golden Bridge" by Vincent Calabrese, with its delicately hand-engraved baguette movement beneath the perfect transparency of a sapphire surround, is testimony to the expertise of a watchmaker driven by new challenges and a passion for design.

A new interpretation of the famed "Admiral’s Cup" watch marks the hours with nautical pennants corresponding to the international maritime code, and introduces the twelve-sided bezel.

The dial of the "Meteorite" watch is cut from a piece of genuine meteorite.

Launch of the Admiral’s Cup "Tides" watch fitted with an exclusive Corum movement indicating the current state of the tide and also enabling the height of the water and the strength of the current. A watch made to match the ocean's force.

The arrival in January of Corum's charismatic new owner and CEO, Severin Wunderman, an internationally respected figure in watchmaking, coincided with the launch of the "Bubble" watch. Distinguished by an 11mm domed sapphire crystal, it lent its unmistakable form to multiple collector's versions.

With the "Trapèze" watch, Corum creates a new style evoking subtle grace. Its shape reflects in its name and its large size lends it a truly timeless design.

The "Classical Vanitas" marks the world premiere of marquetry-work as applied to watch dials. The stone and marble parts are meticulously cut to fit together like a mosaic.

In celebration of Corum’s 50th Anniversary, the “Golden Bridge” is reinterpreted in a contemporary vein, imbuing the original 1980s model with the spirit of the 21st century.

At Severin Wunderman’s request, Antonio Calce joins Corum.

2006

The "Admiral's Cup" underwent a complete makeover, emerging with a bold, more contemporary design but still with its signature twelve-sided case and nautical pennants.

2007

The legendary "Romvlvs" was reborn in a contemporary design that retained the Roman numerals engraved around the bezel of the original, as well as the distinctive double-curve case.

Severin Wunderman passes away. Corum appoints Serge Weinberg – a personal friend and financial advisor of Severin Wunderman – as Chairman of the Board.

Thanks to a repositioning driven by a determination to achieve consistency, along with the launch of several emblematic models, all confirming its remarkable expertise in

the field of Haute Horlogerie – most notably the Admiral’s Cup Tourbillon 48 and the Romvlvs Perpetual Calendar – Corum experiences a remarkable year.

Corum unveiled the second movement to be designed, developed and assembled in-house. The plates and bridges of the CO 007 calibre are cut from titanium. Also this year, the brand unveiled the "Ti-Bridge".

The company took over its North American distributor, Corum USA LLC, and appointed Antonio Calce at the head of the new subsidiary. Opening of a Corum store in Hong Kong.

New store openings in Shanghai and Geneva. René Bannwart died in his 95th year.

2011

Antonio Calce became a shareholder in Corum, declaring "this is part of a process that began some time ago and is one more stage in my commitment to Corum. I have complete confidence in the brand and its capacity to reach the upper echelons of the watch industry."

Corum joined Loïck Peyron and Energy Team in their America's Cup bid. The brand was also behind the skipper when he set a new record in the Jules Verne race, sailing triumphant into Brest on January 7th 2012.

The new Golden Bridge Automatic is praised for its streamlined construction.

In a press release on April 23rd, the Swiss brand confirmed it had entered into an agreement with China Haidian Holdings Limited, as a result of which the Asian group became the owner of the company. Through the agreement, China Haidian would anchor its position in haute horlogerie and Corum would continue its international development and growth.

Presentation of the Corum Ti-Bridge Automatic.

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