The Corum Bubble Skull X-Ray watch has been regarded as that one watch from Corum’s production line that stands head over heels above the crowd. Corum’s Bubble Skull watch series was first introduced in the year 2000 by the inspired Severin Wunderman as he brought forth this unique concept to the world of wristwatches. As Corum’s new owner and president, he introduced a design which featured a large dome crystal and large forty-four-millimeter case. It was suggested to come from a 1960s watch Wunderman had seen at one point, perhaps from the infamous luxury brand Rolex, and its Deep Sea Special series. The skull dial came as one of the first style options by Wunderman for Corum. Inspired by the depictions of Dia de Los Muertos, the Corum Bubble Skull watch had been designed with a mix of the eccentric and the dynamic. This bold watch perhaps caters to enthusiasts who share Wunderman’s interest in life and death.
Starting in 2021, the limited edition Skull X-Ray model was introduced as a forty-seven-millimeter stainless case with black PVD coating. The skull design remains the same. Overall, there were only eighty-eight watches of this particular design made. For 2022, the subtly upgraded model has a total of 666 watches made. The eight-millimeter dome sapphire crystal creates the intended distortion that seems to amplify the graphic design on the watch’s dial. The curved lugs are short and descend below the case back. The twenty-four-millimeter strap has a synthetic top with rubber backing, which thickens as it joins the case to match its curved silhouette. This makes the watch incredibly comfortable to wear around the wrist as a result. The dome has a polished screw-down crown that is subtly nestled in the crown guards. The contrast between the brushed finish on the case and the crown beautifully complements the crystal. The Skull X-Ray also has a water resistance rating of one hundred millimeters.
As for the design featured on the dial, the oversized 3D skull design owes its dynamic design to the layers of sapphire. The grin featured on the skull may come across as disturbing among watch enthusiasts who don’t share the humor but is fascinating among those who do. The imagery of the skull shifts according to the lighting and how it is angled. When in the dark, the illuminating green seems to pop out to further highlight the skull, as well as the strap’s stitching. The difference between the 2022 model and 2021 is in the minute track and brand name. 2022’s is also illuminated with the Super-LumiNova. Corum’s usage of skeletonized handsets is what sums up the graphic dials of this watch. Powering this watch is the Corum CO 082 caliber, which uses an automatic Swiss movement that’s based on the Soprod A10. The sapphire crystal display can be seen through the screwed-in case back and has much in common with the ETA 2892. There are twenty-five jewels that power the watch and have a forty-two-hour power reserve. The frequency is measured at 4hz. Currently, the Corum Bubble Skull X-Ray watch has been retailing for $4,000.00 USD.
Founded in 1955 by Gaston Ries and his nephew, Rene Bannwart, Montres Corum Sarl started out as a maker of watches in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Also known as Corum Watches, when the company made a watch out of an American twenty-dollar gold coin, it became a best-seller, officially putting Corum on the map when they first came out as part of the Coin Watch series in 1956. Also in 1956, there was their Romulus series. Since the beginning, Corum has made a name for itself with its world premiers and annual limited edition pieces. Known for the high-quality workmanship that goes into each watch design, the pricetags for these watches did not come cheap. They’re still among the higher-priced watches on the consumer market today. From 1955 until January 2000, Corum was owned and operated by its founders.
However, in January 2000, Severin Wunderman became the new owner and president of the company until his death at sixty-nine years old on June 25, 2008. Just prior to his death, Corum was the maker of the famed World Series of Poker watches and the accompanying World Series of Poker bracelets in 2007. When Wunderman took control of the company in 2000, this brought about a new focus to the watchmaking company that added the Bubble, which has become one of the most iconic and recognizable series on the market. From 2000 until 2010, the Bubble series enjoyed a solid production run. It wouldn’t be until 2015 that this line would be reintroduced but with new materials. The bolder design with the infamous skull dial came with three different case sizes. The mini was twenty-six millimeters and the midsize was thirty-five millimeters.
The XXL versions, which include the Skull X-Ray, started at forty-five millimeters. Aside from the Bubble Skull X-Ray series, Corum’s benchmark watch model was the Admiral’s Cup. The inspiration behind that lineup came from the 1957 Admiral’s Cup race, which was held for the first time. Three years after the race, Corum first brought forth its infamous watch design as a squared, water-resistant model featuring an engraved sailboat on the back. Since then, Corum’s Admiral’s Cup watches have a twelve-sided case design that has brightly colored nautical pennants that decorate the bezels. Today, Corum is owned by the Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group, which was formerly known as China Haidian Holdings Limited. This is an investment holding company based out of Hong Kong. Also owned by this investment group is Eterna, the same watchmakers behind the ETA 2892 lineup. Both Corum and Eterna are managed by the management team of Citychamp’s Yeznig Magdhessian, Soon Boon Chong, and Maxime Ranzoni. Citychamp acquired Corum in April 2013, three years after the company’s founder, Rene Bannwart, died at ninety-five years of age.