June 2, 2023
Bubble Clown by Matt Barnes

If watchmaking’s putting you to sleep, If conventions bore you stiff, If time-honoured traditions make you yawn, Corum has just the thing for you… 

An old friend of Corum, Matt Barnes is an American artist who isn’t exactly known for upholding aesthetic conventions. That’s just as well, because neither is Corum. Together, they’ve devised the “Bubble Clown”, a piece created in the image of both the brand and the artist – two enfants terribles in their respective worlds of watchmaking and design. 

A transfigured clown, disturbing, hypnotic, almost intrusive, stares out from the centre of the timepiece.  His snarky smile, piercing stare, and rather disfigured look makes him anything but the stuff of dreams – nightmare fare more like. And yet you simply can’t take your eyes off him. Every detail on the whole is fascinating, and each is deliberately contradictory: a smile – but with razor-sharp teeth; an open yet threatening gaze; a clown costume that reveals innumerable tattoos; carnival make-up daubed over scars; and the traditional wig – styled into a Mohican. Every single distinctive clown feature has been hijacked. The overall effect doesn’t exactly invite itself onto the wrist – it’s more a case of it latching on there in a display of power, consistency, and singularity.

In contrast to the golden model, the Silver Eagle variant uses blue varnished hands and comes with a blue alligator strap, fitted with a stainless steel tongue buckle. Lacking the interior bezel of this gold model, this model features a floating Corum emblem transferred under the sapphire crystal near 12 o’clock. A 0.17 carat round blue sapphire set into the crown illuminates the blued hands and strap and provides this model a more youthful look.The final version in this collection is possibly the most intriguing, a Corum Coin Special Edition reference C082/03152, which utilizes a 925 silver coin out of Israel. This coin has been minted in 1973 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, which has been proclaimed by the first Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948. This coin depicts the Menorah symbol on the watch face (a seven-lamp candelabrum related to the Temple of Jerusalem) and the the Scroll of Independence about the caseback. The Corum emblem is transferred beneath the sapphire crystal at 9 o’clock on this particular model, and also a 0.17 carat diamond is set within the crown. The watch features black varnished baton hands and a fitting alligator strap for a more sober aesthetic.Powering the three Corum Heritage Artisans Coin Watches is your CO 082 caliber, which is a Corum-decorated Soprod A10 movement. This can be an automatic movement with bi-directional winding, hacking seconds, hand-winding capability, and also an Incabloc shock protection program. It oscillates in a contemporary 28,800vph or 4Hz, features 21 rubies, and supplies a 42-hour power reserve. This is a higher-end movement, designed as a replacement for your ETA 2892 and sharing many similarities with the Seiko 4L household of calibers. The Soprod A10 is also very slim at 3.6mm, which leads to the general thinness and wearability of those watches.The Corum Heritage Artisans Coin Watches For 2017 offer three distinct styles for different clientele, from the luxurious Gold Double Eagle to the youthful Silver Eagle along with the somewhat austere Israel Special Edition. These watches should appeal to collectors of valuable coins, as well as people who would like to display patriotism in their respective nations. Lovers of both high-purity gold and sterling silver additionally have much to admire here, because these substances are otherwise very rare in the watch industry. The Gold US Coin model ref. C082/03167 has become the most expensive of the trio, being offered for a cost of $23,000. Both the silver versions (ref C082/03059 and ref C082/03152) are available for the purchase price of $13,800 each.

Bubble Clown by Matt Barnes

Bubble Clown by Matt Barnes © Corum


The mechanical cladding for Matt Barnes’ Clown is pretty off-the-wall, too. The timepiece lacks hands; instead, hours and minutes are displayed by means of two red circles on the flange. In addition, the Bubble Clown is 52 millimetres wide, offering the Clown a creative expanse whose breadth is unprecedented in watchmaking. The Clown’s round face fits perfectly into the Bubble’s curved shape, with the magnifying effect of the convex sapphire crystal further accentuating his facial features. 

 “This is our second collaboration with Matt Barnes – his quirky universe is a perfect match for our niche in watchmaking,” concludes Corum CEO Jérôme Biard. “This limited edition makes full use of the creative freedom we allow in our Bubble timepieces. Today, Corum is proud to be serving as a focal point for Matt and other twenty-first century talents – as well as for the collectors who follow them with admirable loyalty.”