Gaston Ries opened up a watchmaking facility in 1924 and would spend the next 31 years creating timepieces independently in his workshop in La Chaux de Fonds until he teamed up with his nephew, René Bannwart in 1955. The watch company would be called Corum, simplified from the word quorum which denotes the number of persons required to make a decision. The concept behind the brand was accompanied by a logo, a key pointing up towards the skies, symbolising the perseverance and mysteries of the company’s future soon to be unlocked.
Serving as a foundation to the brand’s heritage, the first models developed by Corum like the Golden Tube and Chinese Hat watch were noted for their creativity. During the early 60s, the Admiral’s Cup collection was born, named after the legendary sailing race. Aside from the company’s water resistant models, Corum’s line of Coin watches made use of an actual gold coin in their design and became the choice of watch for six consecutive US Presidents including President Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
From the late 60s up to 1980, Corum developed and released the Feather watch with a dial adorned in designs elements that nodded to the company’s rich heritage and artistry. Corum also partnered up with luxury car manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, creating the iconic Corum Rolls-Royce watch with a sleek avant garde design that incorporated radiator grill inspired features. The year 1980 marked the release of the Golden Bridge watch with a hand engraved baguette movement and a design that created the impression of a floating dial beneath a sapphire crystal glass lens. The launch of this iconic watch connected Corum to the Swiss watch industry deeply, recognising it as a reliable and reputable authentic watchmaker.
During the years 1983 to 2001 Corum continued with its popular Admiral’s Cup collection with a new dodecagon design in 1983, marking a distinct move away from its former square profile. Nautical elements were present in the form of the hour markers, framed by an eye catching 12 sided bezel which was well utilized by sailors including members of the Corum sailing team. The watch was inextricably linked with the world of sailing thereafter, having proved its efficiency and reliability in the Admiral’s Cup sailing race. The Corum Admiral’s Cup Tides watch soon followed, powered by the CO 277 movement with the ability to follow the lunar cycle and the strength of the tides. The Admiral’s Cup Tides watch was an indispensable tool for sailors and yachting professionals alike. Under the leadership of Severin Wunderman, Corum excelled further with models like the Bubble watch, equipped with an 11mm thick sapphire crystal glass lens. A year later, the Corum Trapeze watch launched with yet another unusual case design.
In 2005 Corum celebrated its 50th anniversary. Marking this milestone was a revival of the classic Golden Bridge watch as well as uplifts made to the Admiral’s Cup watch and the Romvlvs watch which originally launched in 1966. As of its 55th anniversary in 2010, Corum pioneered the baguette movement with linear winding as well as its first inhouse made self winding movement fitted to the heart of the Corum Ti Bridge watch. Corum was also acquired by Citychamp Watches & Jewellery Ltd which opened up new opportunities and a unique positioning within the watch industry for distributing its timepieces.
Today Corum continues to link its rich heritage in Haute Horology to its passion for precision technology. The brand’s unique story is shared with watch enthusiasts who travel from all over the world to visit the manufacturer’s museum which now showcases a broad range of 150 notable models to date.