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God of Water - The 5th element of Daniel Strom

Water has always had its divinities: Tlaloc for the Aztecs, Ymir for the Vikings, Poseidon for the Greeks and Nethuns for the Etruscans. All of them reigned over the most fundamental of the four elements. Source of life and purifying symbol across all cultures, water is what connects human beings to the entire living world. 

Just as the stalks of the giant fennel (ferula communis) served as vessels to carry fire in ancient times, Agonium Nethuns II is an authentic machine for preserving life. Clad in its imposing bronze or silver ‘shell’ that is water-resistant to 200 metres, the new Strom model is inspired by the world twenty thousand leagues under the sea. Like something straight out of the wildest childhood dreams and named after the Etruscan ocean god, it evokes both the retro-futurist world of Jules Vernes and the underwater kingdom. 

Of the four known elements, water is undoubtedly that which most inspires life. In a state of perpetual motion, it flows from springs to streams and from rivers to oceans before returning to the sky and being reborn as rain. A perpetual cycle that has greatly inspired Daniel Strom for the creation of his fifth allegorical universe. 

Hand-finished, individually numbered Nethuns II is an authentic diving instrument meeting international water-resistance and safety norms. Its unique construction is based on a sculpted additional outer case fitted over a perfectly watertight case. A sturdy screw-locked crown at 9 o’clock serves to adjust an inner diving bezel, offering a particularly sophisticated solution that prevents any inadvertent handling. 

NETHUNS II like every watch in the collection AGONIUM, comprises two cases. The robust and hermetic inner case houses the movement. The outer case brings the artistic dimension and gives free rein to the sculptor's talent. Each one is fashioned by hand, never two the same, with limited editions in each alloy. A sculpture first. A timepiece second. 

A watchmaker, designer and philosopher, Daniel Strom has constantly questioned the past to enlighten the future. Considering time not as a simple measurement, but as a vital energy, he infuses his creations with a symbolic dimension, consistently highlighting the human condition faced with the eternal nature of life. 


Technical specifications



Mechanical self-winding, Swiss made. 


Hours, minutes, seconds, rotating inner bezel operated by the screw-locked crown at 9 o’clock. 


925 solid silver, bronze (CuSn8), palladium or platinum with steel inner case, 48 x 54 mm (without the lugs). Domed glare-resistant sapphire crystal and anti-allergenic titanium curved back. 

Water-resistant to 200 metres (20 bar/666 ft). 

This one is in Silver


Black with white luminescent hour-markers. 


Black or brown leather or rubber, with pin buckle in 925 solid silver, gold, palladium or platinum.

Who's who

It’s extremely rare for Laurent Picciotto to admit that he’s selected a timepiece without having had any interest in its movement! But he cheerfully admits as much in this case: in choosing Strom, he chose a brand that had “absolutely no pretentions when it came to watchmaking.” So what lay at the origin of the fatal attraction between the owner of Chronopassion and the sculptor of these items with their apocalyptic patterns? “The case,” he confesses. “Everything is in the work on the case and its engravings – intense, with hints of gothic and steampunk.” That said, it’s not the first time an enthusiast for this kind of external design has called at rue Saint Honoré. But to his regret, Laurent Picciotto has usually found the watches of this ilk he’s been offered to be “rather too cheap and cheerful”. Indeed, not a few artists – or would-be artists – have long attempted to conceal fairly rough and ready production behind theoretically impressive designs. At Strom however, style and good workmanship go hand in hand. The first radical, uncompromising watch features angels of death and skulls in sturdy, hand-finished silver cases. These are etched by a skilled engraver onto plain or jewel-studded cases, accompanied by mother-of-pearl dials. The level of finishing and detailing is not immediately perceptible. Laurent Picciotto himself admits that he had often glanced at photos of these watches without them having really caught his attention. It took a call from a friend for him to slip one onto his wrist. Apparently, his friend’s pitch was along the lines of “come on over, I’ve got something really original to show you.” Picciotto replied that he was familiar with the visuals but wasn’t interested in the watch. But in the end he went to see his friend – whereupon he too was mesmerised by the compelling power of the timepieces. In accepting Strom at Chronopassion, Laurent Picciotto is well aware that he is introducing a potentially divisive element. “When you decide to offer such individualistic watches, half your customers will find them to be unwearable, whereas the other half will suddenly find they can’t live without one for a moment longer.” It’s not the first time that a watch at Chronopassion has been the subject of lively debate – and it definitely won’t be the last. 


Journalist : Olivier Müller (11/2012)

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