AkriviA – A rising star in haute horlogerie
Last summer, we presented AkriviA as a new independent watch brand from Geneva, when they unveiled their debut model, the Tourbillon Monopusher Chronograph.
The company was actually founded in 2012, by master watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi, who started his career as an apprentice at Patek Philippe. His ambition with AkriviA is to blend the heritage of Geneva watchmaking with a contemporary interpretation of timekeeping.
If the Tourbillon Monopusher Chronograph introduced AkriviA as a serious player among haut horlogerie brands, it is quite impressive to see that in the past few months, they have unveiled no less than three new models, setting a solid foundation for a collection of exceptional watches. We will go through these three novelties, to have a better understanding of AkriviA.
Tourbillon Hour Minute
With this model, Rexhep Rexhepi used the same base caliber as with the Tourbillon Monopusher Chronograph, but this time, it is used to power a timepiece where the tourbillon is the lead character and timekeeping is reduced to its bare minimum: hours, minutes and seconds – because of the tourbillon that makes a 60 second rotation.
The decoration of the movement as well as the dial, whose aspect mat-polish is obtained thanks to a very special technique, is made hand. A blend of crushed rock and oil is laid out on a flat surface such as glass or marble. Then, the steel dial is affixed on this mixture which then carries out tiny circular movements until reaching the perfect homogeneity of the “mat -polish” finishing. This process requires several hours of work to get the desired result.
The Tourbillon Hour Minute is available in stainless steel, 18k gold, or platinum and it comes with a blue alligator strap. The price starts at CHF 99,000 for the stainless steel version.
A regulator watch has the hours and the minute hands on two separate axes of the dial and it is used as mandatory step to become a master watchmaker. For this reason, Rexhep Rexhepi considers this model as the cornerstone of the horological foundation of AkriviA.
The Tourbillon Regulator too is characterised by a minimalist design, where the decorations are concealed in a subtle way in the small details of the watch.
The broad lugs are chamfered in a manner reflecting the bevelling on the calibre; the grey dial features a “polished-matt” finish that is both vintage and innovative. While it recalls the sandblasted bridges of pocket watches, the AkriviA “polished-matt” effect differs from habitual sandblasting in terms of its means of application: the crushed stone is mixed with vegetable oil and applied using a new hand-crafted technique.
The regulator-type arrangement of the dial has the hour hand at 12 o’clock, an imposing minutes hand at the center and a small seconds hand at six o’clock on top of the tourbillon.
The latter is composed of a 13.7mm carriage revolving in one minute and housing a Breguet balance-spring connected to the “AkriviA” balance wheel oscillating at the rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour. The 100 hours of autonomy is supplied by a single barrel. The 11.6mm “AkriviA” balance wheel features four spokes forming a “Quadriskell”, with four fine-adjustment inertia-blocks at the end of each.
The purpose of putting in place these various devices is to have the Tourbillon Regulator certified by two institutions: the COSC and the Poinçon de Genève.
The hand-wound AK-04 calibre, developed by Rexhepi and his team, is entirely decorated on both visible and hidden parts: domed chamfering, hand-crafted Côtes de Genève, circular graining, and straight graining, just as many eye-candies for a connoisseur.
The Tourbillon Regulator is submitted to the ultimate exam for a watchmaker, the 2015 GPHG, where it competes in the Tourbillon category.
The retail price of the Tourbillon Regulator is CHF 125,000.
Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour
I’m going to finish this overview with a piece that I’m particularly found of, because it has two of my favourite complications, the jump hour and a striking complication.
The 43 mm stainless steel case follows to aesthetics of the other models describes above. The dial, crafted from mat-polished black steel is dominated by 13.7 mm tourbillon with a 60 seconds rotation. The hour is displayed in the window at the centre of the dial. When the minutes hand gets to the 12 o’clock position, with the circle at its base perfectly covering the hour window, the Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour comes alive to show all it can do: the numeral in the hour window will instantly change and the striking mechanism get activated.
The push button at three o’clock serves to switch the striking mechanism to silent mode which is indicated to the right of the hammer at 12 o’clock.
As with the other AkriviA models, the hand-wound calibre powering the Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour received a lot of attention when it comes to finishing, performed by Rexhepi and his team using traditional methods: mirror polishing, manual engraving and 56 inward angles.
The Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour too is competing in at GPHG 2015, in the Striking category. While it has to go against heavy-weights of haute horlogerie, such as A. Lange & Sohne, Franc Ville, Girard-Peregaux, Christophe Claret and Hublot, I’m sure that this striker by AkriviA will not go unnoticed by the jury and by the public.
AkriviA’s suggested retail price for the Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour is CHF 180,000.
More at http://akrivia.com/