New: Corum LAB 02 with Editorial Commentary

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Corum releases the second in their LAB series with the 02, a watch with a flying gear train. Quite a novel idea. And rings true to their “Risk is the Reward” campaign theme. A total of 10 movements will be produced, ensuring that this watch will be a very rare piece.

Press Release with commentary in italics

On the heels of launching its dynamic “Risk is the Reward” campaign, Corum takes the concept of daring innovation to all new heights with the Corum LAB 02 timepiece. Defying all watchmaking convention, the technically advanced watch boasts a new movement that was two years in the research and development stages. Revolutionary in its design, the new caliber is equipped with a flying gear train, and a host of other firsts for the brand.

The Corum Lab 01

Our earlier coverage of the Lab 01 when it was released.

Corum LAB 02

The LAB 02 is a perfect example of aesthetic perfection and extraordinary craftsmanship. The highly complicated manual movement stretches the imagination as well as the physical constraints of watchmaking. In its creation, Corum’s development team’s members challenged themselves to offer not only a flying tourbillon, but also a flying gear train of sorts. The question they posed: “What if the movement doesn’t have bridges?” They then tirelessly pursued their unconventional quest.

Two years after the LAB 01, Corum unleashes the LAB 02. Its caliber CO 300 consists of an impressive 416 individual components, each meticulously skeletonized and finely finished. Each piece is hand assembled in a unique format with a flying tourbillon at 6:00, with flying wheels that track the hours, minutes and seconds, and with the bridge set directly onto the mainplate.

Additionally, building a movement that is not sandwiched between the mainplate and bridge was a technical challenge that had to be overcome. The LAB02 required a much longer axis for the gear train, and, without having a top bridge, needed ball bearings instead of rubies on the mainplate to add strength and stability. The single mainplate has also been highly skeletonized. The entire movement is then placed on a fully transparent sapphire plate that allows for magnificent visibility and gives the appearance that the elements are all floating in space.

LAB 02 is further equipped with a grand date function at 4:00 and its power reserve indicator (55 hours) is unusually placed so that it is visible via a sapphire glass on the side of the case at 8:00. Because of the extremely complicated nature of this 45mm watch, just 10 pieces will be made, each identified by a specific plate number on the barrel.

The power reserve indicator, visible on the case band at 8 o’clock.

Each LAB 02 can be customized, as well, enabling personal selection of the color of gold, the choice of diamond cuts and settings, or even of colored gemstones. The starting price of the watch, in gold, without diamonds, is CHF 180,000. As only 10 movements will be available, with the option of metal and choice of gemsetting, this is likely to ensure each piece is unique.

Staying true to its founding philosophy of always being Avant Garde in order to preserve its future, Corum developed the LAB series to showcase its unprecedented foray into distinctive and fearless watchmaking. The LAB 02 is the second laboratory watch to make its debut, with LAB 01 released in early 2019. This new pillar of the Corum family pays tribute to the brand’s founders who were always risk takers and nonconformists. The entire premise of the LAB series is to break the mold by thinking outside of the proverbial box. LAB 02 certainly delivers.

While the LAB 01 was neither groundbreaking nor innovative, the LAB 02 certainly breaks ground like no other. The entire gear train from barrel to the wheels, to the tourbillon are in flying configuration. This idea of having a flying gear train is the first we have seen anyone attempt. The concept is usually applied to the barrels and/or on the tourbillon, usually as a strategy to control the height of the movement.

The press photographs showing the rose gold base model which currently exists, look superb. The final effect of not having a dial nor bridges on the upper side is rather interesting. The visual aesthetic is very powerful, and the watch seems to be a regular skeleton dialed, or rather dial-less piece until one realises that there are no upper bridges! The entire movement looks like it is just suspended between the sapphire glass, which wraps around from the dial side, the movement side, as well as on the case band. We look forward to handling and photographing this watch soon to bring you our hands-on views.

Corum LAB 02 Specifications

Availibility: Limited Edition : 10 piece(s)

Movement number: CO 300
Winding system: Manual
Functions: Hour & Minute • Date • Flying
tourbillon • Power reserve
Power reserve: 55 hours
Frequency: 3 Hz, 21’600 vph
Dimension: 16 1/2”’
Rubies: 33
Material: No dial
Shape: Round
Dimension: 45 mm
Thickness: 13.40 mm
Case material: 18 kt white gold, or 18 kt rose gold. Also available with diamonds on the bezel and horns.
Crown material: 18 kt white gold or 18 kt rose gold.
Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective
Back type: Open screw back, sapphire crystal
with anti-reflective treatment
Water-resistance: 30 meters / 3 ATM
Hour and minute: Baton • Rhodium-coated • Faceted
Material: Alligator leather
Colours: Black
Interhorn/Buckle: 22/18 mm
Buckle type: Triple folding clasp
Buckle material: White gold 18 kt or 19 kt rose gold.


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