The Admiral’s Cup has been the flagship timepiece for Corum since its launch in 1960, easily recognisable with its 12-sided bezel decorated with nautical pennants. This powerful identity has been preserved, and combined with modern mechanics and materials to create the AC-One 45 Squelette.
Set in an imposing titanium case, the AC-One 45 Squelette is a modern interpretation of a centuries old art form. Whereas squelette (French for “skeleton”) movements were typically flowery and elaborate since their 19th century origin, the calibre CO 082 inside the AC-One 45 Squelette is sleek and fresh. Its open-worked bridges have been shaped into clean, geometric forms by precise spark erosion techniques and then covered in a dark grey plating for a striking contrast against the gilded wheels.
Shades of grey form the primary colour of the movement, but the monochromatic finish is complemented by visual depth created by careful layering of the dial. A high tech etching process is used to create the date disc, which has every single numeral skeletonised. Because the entire date disc is visible, it has the effect of a decorative perimeter framing the movement.
Sitting just a hair’s breath above the date numerals are the hour markers, each filled with Super-Luminova for vivid nighttime legibility. On the border of the dial is a anthracite-coloured flange with the 12 nautical pennants of the Admiral’s Cup – the hallmark feature of the series since its inception – finished in graduated tones of grey for a subtle reminder of the fabled history of this timepiece.
And above it all floats the Corum logo, made of deposited metal alloy permanently bonded to the underside of the scratch-resistant sapphire glass. The crystal is coated with an anti-reflective layer that renders it nearly invisible, creating a panoramic window into the movement.
A titanium bezel with 12 facets, echoing the 12 nautical flags on the dial flange, forms the most powerful aesthetic feature of the watch. Both the bezel and case have contrasting satin- and mirror-finished surfaces, requiring skilled masking and polishing techniques to achieve.
Stamped from a block of titanium and then carefully milled into shape, the case has black PVD coated inlays to create tonal contrast against the grade 5 titanium alloy. This space-age alloy, favoured in aerospace engineering for its lightness and strength, is used for the entire case, from the bezel to back, and even the screw-down crown.
A sapphire crystal porthole on the back reveals the reverse of the self-winding calibre CO 082, equipped with a ruthenium-coated oscillating weight decorated with an open-worked Corum key logo. Glare-proofed and crystal clear, the case back nonetheless functions like the door of a vault, sealed hermetically against the case, guaranteeing water-resistance to 300 m.
The AC-One 45 Squelette is secured by a push-button, double-fold clasp in titanium, fitted to a black crocodile strap featuring a sculpted lug insert allowing it to conform to any wrist.