Historic Corum “Rolls-Royce” Watch

Over 30 years ago, the idea of adorning a watch case with a high-end car’s trademark gave birth to what would be one of the most valuable pieces in the horological history – Corum “Rolls-Royce”

Long before the collaboration of many luxury watch and car brands, a watchmaking company in La Chaux-de-Fonds designed a timepiece that embodies the image of perfection, tradition, luxury and exclusivity of a prestigious automobile manufacturer. Swiss watchmaker Corum took the challenge of developing an avant-garde timepiece for motoring icon Rolls-Royce and later obtained a license to use their name, the radiator design and the mascot “Spirit of Ecstasy”. The case resembling the intricate design of the famous British car’s radiator grille including the badge formed the dial of the watch. In pursuit of technical and aesthetic perfection, Corum designers achieved the three-dimensional effect of the watch case by the most delicate of work and closest attention to detail. As with Rolls-Royce cars, the bonnet ornament “Spirit of Ecstasy” crowns the radiator and links the watch case with the top bracelet attachment.

In June 1976, the first Corum Rolls-Royce model appeared in the market at the well-known London jewelers Garrard. This model with a mechanical movement was produced in a transparent sapphire glass caseback revealing the ultra-flat handmade skeleton caliber 9.21 Frédéric Piguet. During its lifetime, only a total of 143 in white gold and 120 in yellow gold were manufactured despite the relatively high demand for these watches. A few years later, another version of the Corum “Rolls-Royce” model was produced, this time with quartz or mechanical movement in white or yellow 18 carat gold caseback. From 1990, the watches were issued in a limited annual production run of 60 pieces. Crafted in 18 carat white or yellow gold, the Corum “Rolls-Royce” watch comes fitted with either a black leather or gold strap. The hour and minute functions are adjustable via the crown bearing the Corum key symbol.

The name Rolls Royce, the Rolls Royce radiator grille, mascot and badge are Rolls Royce’s trademarks used by Corum with the permission from Rolls-Royce from 1976 until 1996 only. The association of these two companies is so powerful that it still grows interest over the years – a collaboration of two brands that speak of highest standards and quality. The Corum “Rolls-Royce” watch represents the first ever partnership between a high-end watchmaker and a luxury automobile manufacturer.

About the Author


Comments are closed.