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Review: Corum Heritage “Hobo Coin” – Authentic and Original

From "the Great Depression" to the great expression: authentic coins and original engravings
by Dan-Andrei Kluska on July 13, 2018

With a history spanning over more of sixty years, Corum is still a relatively young brand. Their watches offers originality and a touch of the spectacular throughout the brand existence. Several collections have gained popularity over the years and established the brand as a confident player between the avant gard watch manufacturers. We would like to recommend the Golden Bridge, the Bubble or the Admiral’s Cup. Another Corum signature collection is the Corum Coin Watch. Started in 1964, the collection uses the US $20 Double Eagle Coin. Today we review the latest Corum watches featuring coin dial – The Corum Heritage “Hobo Coin”.

 

Corum Heritage Hobo Coin portrait

Corum Coin watches stand out through originality: the watch is built around a real coin. The first watches used a US$20 gold coin and now the brand goes with bespoke US$1 silver “Hobo” Coins.

 

Review: The Corum Heritage “Hobo Coin”

The Corum Heritage “Hobo Coin” is a tribute paid to the street artists of the Great Depression. Starting with 1913, the five cent nickel coins gained the name of “poor’s man coin”. The coin value was so low that talented vagrants (homeless people with no means of support – hobos) begun to rework them in an attempt of a profit. In time, this led to the name of “hobo coins”.

In the contemporary times, the genuine hobo coins became extremely rare and became highly appreciated by collectors. The Original Hobo Nickel Society was founded in 1992, with the main purpose to preserve this American Heritage. The Russian freelance artist Aleksey Saburov is part of the move. Living in New Your, he is involved in the historical revival of the move by engraving “hobo coins” using authentic early century five-cent coins.

Corum collaborates with Aleksey Saburov and give him the chance to express his unique works of art in the newest Coin Watch Collection. Using a special micro-engraving technique on the silver coins, Corum made the art into dials in a limited edition of the prominent collection named Corum Heritage “Hobo Coin”.

 

Corum Heritage Hobo Coin Watches

The Corum Heritage Hobo Coin Collection brings the originality once again to the Coin Collection. Using authentic one dollar silver coins, the artist engraves symbols of life and death keeping the original edge lettering engravings.

 

In the Hobo Coin Collection, each watch is unique. Aleksey Saburov let his creativity flourish. The watches are lovely. Before going into a more detailed description, please have a look at the hands-on and wrist shot video from Baselworld 2018.

 

 

The case, dial and hands

Corum Heritage “Hobo Coin” comes with a 43 mm gorgeous silver case. The entire case is designed and built as an extension of the coin dial. The case is coin edged having the pattern present also on the side of the slim and delicate lugs. The nicely polished silver has a warm shine and a very pleasant feel.

The watch’s height of 7.60mm gives an even more elegant note. The “Hobo Coin” is light and it wears delicately. The watch is fitted with a sublime crown crafted in silver and fitted with a gorgeous blue sapphire.

 

Corum Heritage Hobo Coin oblique crown

The entire Hobo Coin watch is designed as a large coin. A nice design feature is represented by the subtle hour’s indexes present on the bezel.

 

The slotted hobnail bezel is reminiscent of the outer side of the coins. At the same time, the indentations on the bezel serve as hour indexes or five minutes intervals’ indices.

Silver is a rather soft metal and imposes a more usage regime as compared to a steel piece. The case is rated to 10 meters water resistance which protects against accidental splashes and rain damage. The silver tends to gain a nice patina during the ageing process. The advantage is that it can be easily cleaned and polished with clean cloth.

 

Corum Heritage Hobo Coin oblique

The Russian artist Aleksey Saburov explore the life and death theme. The “memento mori” motifs using skulls and bones is a manifest of life. A statement that regardless what we do in life, the death will always wait for us patiently. And a reminder that death must be respected through a great life and celebrated as any other important event in one man’s life.

 

The dial is impressive. The lavish engravings of Aleksey Saburov explore “dark” themes in an attempt to celebrate life in all her aspects. His engravings keep alive the work and art of unknown artists of the Great Depression. His work explores the surface of the one dollar silver US coin. While taking care to ensure the design keeps the original coin text is intact, Mr Saburov maximises the area he engraves. The images are rich in detail and have a powerful graphical impact.

The work requires a painstaking precision. The evolution of the dial creation can be observed in this video filmed by our friend from Quill&Pad, Ian Skellern.

 

 

The dial functionality is very minimalistic. The time indication is realised using two slender black baton hands. The legibility is good, perhaps somewhat unexpectedly so. The bezel indexes help for the moments when one might have only a quick look at it.

 

Corum Heritage Hobo Coin dial

The grandiose image of death is imposing expressed. The details are present over the entire dial surface.

 

The movement – Calibre CO 082

The “Hobo Coin ” watch is powered by the calibre CO 082. The 11 1/2”’ (25.60 mm) automatic movement is based on the well know and reliable ETA2892 or Soprod A10. The Corum documentation is not clear as to which is used. The movement offers a power reserve of 42 hours and has a balance oscillating at 28,800vph. The movement is fitted with 21 jewels and lacks the date disk.

We have no other information about the movement. And without the ability to open the case to examine it, are unable to comment on the movement finishing.

 

Corum Heritage Hobo Coin back

The case-back reveals the entire beauty of the one dollar coin.

 

The back side of the Hobo Coin is the reverse of the coin – the Liberty. On the back the reference number and the “Unique Piece engravings are visible . The back side of the lugs wear the silver hallmarks and the brand’s logo.

The watch is fitted with a blue jeans strap that fits perfectly the hobo theme.

 

Competitive landscape

The Corum Heritage “Hobo Coin” are special watches. Their uniqueness cannot be compared. Not even with the Coin Watch Automatic 50th AnnvieSilver watch released by corum in 2016. The watch features a full one dollar coin.

The “Hobo” watch is priced at  CHF21,000. For the sake of conversation, one might think of the artistic importance and could compare it, perhaps, with other artisan manufactured watches.

 

Concluding thoughts

The “Hobo Coin” watch is an interesting proposal. Leaving away for a moment the artistic message, the work is magnificent. The micro-engravings are excellently executed. The watch is, clearly, a niche timepiece. Each is a unique creation. Even the theme is rather unusual. Nevertheless, the watch looks and wears great.

We salute the Corum’s initiative and involvement in keeping a tradition strong. The collaboration with the Aleksey Saburov was fruitful and the result is breathtaking.

 

Corum Heritage Hobo Coin Wrist

Corum Heritage “Hobo Coin” is a light watch due to the silver lightness. The wear is comfortable and the blue jeans denim strap increase the watch’s special allure.

 

Corum “Hobo Coin” Specification and Price

The Corum “Hobo Coin” Ref. 6650-01 has a price of CHF21,000.

 

Movement

Calibre: CO 082

Type: Automatic

Dimensions: 11 1/2”’

Jewels: 21

Power reserve: 42 hours

Frequency: 4Hz / 28’800 vph

Functions: Hour and minute

 

Case

Material: Silver 925

Dimensions of the case: Ø 43.0mm, height 7.60mm

Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment

Crown: Silver 925, 1 Round blue sapphires ~0.17 ct

Caseback: 925 silver coin

Water resistance: 10 meters / 1 ATM

 

Strap

Material: Blue Jeans

Buckle: Pin buckle in silver.

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