A few years ago, Rexhep Rexhepi took center stage in the world of watchmaking, when he launched his own brand AkriviA. A young gun, 27 years of age at that time, who came out with a strikingly sexy Tourbillon Monopusher Chronograph. It was almost unheard of. Since that first creation we’ve seen several other stunning pieces, including the Chiming Jump Hour, all featuring a tourbillon movement. For Baselworld 2017 though, AkeiviA has launched its first non-tourbillon watch: the hand-wound AK-06!
Rexhep Rexhepi is considered by some to be the next Philippe Dufour, which is as good an indication as any of the level of watchmaking this young man is capable of. Whether he will achieve the same esteem remains to be seen of course, but there is no doubt about his craftsmanship. If you follow AkriviA’s Instagram page, you get flooded with short clips and pictures of the various stages of designing, building, adjusting, finishing (finishing, finishing, finishing) and more, that go into each watch. Heat-blued dials, hands and screws or black polishing of bridges for instance. Another example of the incredible level of finishing is the hand applied anglage to various parts, with a bombé cross section; something that can only be achieved by hand! The techniques used, require copious amounts of time and patience and are extremely difficult to master.
After the Tourbillon Monopusher Chronograph in 2012, AkriviA followed with the Tourbillon Heures Minutes, the Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour, the Tourbillon Regulateur and the Tourbillon Barette de Miroir. For its latest creation however, AkriviA is exploring a new area of watchmaking. No tourbillon this time, but a hand-wound movement exposing (part of) it’s guts on the dial side of the watch. Symmetry is always key for Rexhep, as can be seen with the construction of both movement and dial. If you look closely, you will see that the left and right side of all AkriviA’s are mirrored. Of course there are details where it doesn’t match like the little blued spring on the dial side, at 2 o’clock. These exceptions are necessary, but other than that the similarity between the right and left side are striking.
Talking about the little blue spring, it is part of the running gears used to rotate the outer disc of the power reserve indicator (centrally placed at the 12 o’clock position). The indicating triangle on the inside of that, always points upwards while the outer ring is rotated with the toothed lever on the right side of the indication, which in turn is spring loaded.
This architectural approach of designing a movement is somewhat typical of Rexhepi, as is the fact that all his calibers are hand-wound. Rexhepi considers the winding of the movement the most intimate part of owning and using a mechanical watch, and I have to agree with him on that. It is so comforting to turn a carefully crafted crown, and feel your own fingers supplying power to the movement, causing it to kick into action. Seeing the gears turn, if you have a (partially) visible movement, and the barrel spring tighten, is the romantic part of watchmaking isn’t it?
On the dial side a lot of parts are exposed. You can see for instance polished bridges, and the key-less works coming from the crown to the single barrel. The latter stores up to 100 hours of power, and you can see the running gear driving the central hours and minute hands. A real spectacle to look at. Details like the finishing of the small seconds indication, especially the “rings” on which the 20, 40 and 60 second markers are positioned or the power reserve indicator, show the finishing in all their glory.
The newly developed, in-house caliber of the AkriviA AK-06 displays hours and minutes, small seconds and a power reserve. It sounds pretty ordinary at first, looking at the type of indications, but considering this brand doesn’t do “ordinary” the AK-06 features a little more than that. Usually, a seconds indication on a mechanical watch either keeps running or stops where it is positioned when the crown is pulled out. However, the movement of the AkriviA AK-06 is equipped with a system that stops and resets the small seconds hand to zero, allowing for even more precise setting of the time. This is achieved with a tiny heart-shaped cam underneath the small seconds hand. It is a bit tricky to spot, but you can see it in the pictures.
All this pure craftsmanship is packed into the familiar AkriviA case, but this time a slimmed down version of it. This makes the watch even more comfortable to wear as it slips under your cuff even more subtlety at just 9.9mm thick. The 41mm wide case will be available in stainless steel, titanium, rose gold and platinum with added customization options if desired. Dials will be finished in various ways and colors so basically a one-off is easily imaginable. Previous AkriviA’s have seen hand blued finishing on a full dial, a hand-hammered dial with a unique and surprising texture as a result, or one finished with a rock-and-oil mixture which is polished in tiny circular motions to obtain a dial with a matte finish as in the AkriviA Tourbillon Heures Minutes.
Not incorporating a tourbillon in the movement drastically cuts the price on a watch, but this is no bargain by any means. The AkriviA AK-06 will be available from September at a price of CHF 79,000 for the stainless steel version, CHF 83,000 for a titanium case, CHF 87,000 for 5N rose gold and CHF 92,000 for platinum. A lot of money for sure, but you get more than you might expect at first. It’s not just a watch that indicates hours, minutes, seconds and the remaining power through a hand-wound movement, it is a carefully crafted, full-on testament to the highest levels of craftsmanship and a display of the things this young man is capable of producing.
Technical Specifications – AkriviA AK-06
- Case: 41mm diameter – 9.9mm thickness – stainless steel, titanium 5N rose gold or platinum
- Movement: 30mm diameter – handwound Caliber AK-06 – developed, decorated, assembled and finished in-house – hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator, stop-and-reset seconds mechanism – 100h of power reserve from single barrel – 18,000vph – multiple hand-applied finishing techniques
- Strap: alligator leather with pin buckle and quick-release push pins
- Price: from CHF 79.000 to 92.000 – depending on choice of case material
For more information, visit AkriviA.com