Weather was not on our side last weekend in Dallas, where I was the guest of Armin Strom for the ninth race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series. Originally scheduled for Saturday night, June 11, the race was cancelled due to a persistently damp track because of daylong rainsqualls that finally waned early evening. But that didn’t stop our enjoyment, as guests of the company—friends and journalists—were in the presence of Armin Strom Director Claude Greisler and Sebastian Marten, Head of Sales & Marketing and we talked watches (and other things) til the wee hours. The official showing of the Max Chilton Edition Edge Double Barrel timepiece was scheduled for the following day.
Our interview with Max Chilton on Sunday morning was unfortunately preempted by his preparation for the rescheduled race later that day. But Greisler and Marten were superb hosts, answering our questions and organizing photo ops. We had a rare chance to view and try on a variety of exquisite Armin Strom timepieces—in addition to the new Chilton commemorative piece, which is the second watch the company has introduced in honor of this British racecar driver. The first was introduced two years ago, when Chilton was driving for the Marussia F1 team. Now part of the IndyCar Series, he is currently racing for Chip Ganassi Racing of which Armin Strom is a sponsor.
The new Max Chilton Edition Edge Double Barrel is, as its name suggests, part of the brand-new Edge collection introduced at Baselworld earlier this year and rolling out in July. And while it shares the ethos of the Armin Strom Elements collection, this new line is bigger, at 46.80mm, and features the manual-winding Armin Strom caliber ARM16, giving it a heft and weight (both literal and figurative) that makes it totally new. This new size, according to Marten, is in response to clients requesting a larger watch. The Elements collection measures in at 43.4mm.
Chilton is on record, saying, "I love a heavier and larger watch on my wrist that still has a sporty feel to it. The Edge offers this in a way I haven't seen before, and I feel very lucky to have one designed and turned into a limited run of eight."
Yes, that’s right. Just eight pieces of the watch will be produced in a nod to Chilton’s racing number. On the dial side, the numeral eight appears in the small seconds register, and blue hour numbers match the blue on his turbocharged Chevrolet racecar. A special plate on the back is etched with Chilton's "Max" logo and notes this special series is limited to just eight timepieces.
Unfortunately the Firestone 600 was stopped on Sunday after 71 of the 248 laps, when rain again intervened. It is rescheduled for August.