First Look AkriviA “Rexhep Rexhepi” Chronomètre Contemporain, The New Face of Tradition

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Xavier Markl | ic_query_builder_black_24px 3 minute read

Rexhep Rexhepi is one of the most talented watchmakers in the industry. The founder of AkriviA is often presented as the future of independent watchmaking. There is probably no better way to understand AkriviA than to pay a visit to the brand’s Atelier in Geneva’s old town. There you’ll discover a handful of detail-obsessed watchmakers bent over their benches, magnifying glass screwed to the eye, working with a set of ancient machines and tools, re-enacting century-old gestures. AkriviA watches are impeccable, handmade like in the old days, elevating the art of watchmaking to the highest level. But do not be mistaken, time has not stopped here. The faces of these skilled craftspeople are surprisingly young. AkriviA watches are modern creations, the result of fresh, dynamic and passionate watchmaking minds…

Rexhep Rexhepi working on his new piece.

With its latest opus, the AkriviA Chronomètre Contemporain, Rexhep Rexhepi focuses on the essentials, bringing the brand’s uncompromising ethos into an elegant three-hander. The young master watchmaker mentions that the starting point for this creation was 1940s officers’ watches reinvented for the 21st century. The watch is, at first glance, understated but beneath its apparent simplicity lies exceptional craftsmanship in every respect.

Grand Feu enamel dial

The AkriviA Chronomètre Contemporain is available with a white or black Grand Feu enamel dial, with subtly varying shades. While the crafting of a white Grand Feu enamel dial is in itself a difficult process, producing one in intense black is even more complex. The distinctive layout incorporates Art Deco-inspired asymmetrical lines in gold or blue, crossing and segmenting the Roman numbers in a rhythmic fashion.

Interestingly, the dial is signed with Rexhep Rexhepi’s name for the first time. Usually, his watches are only signed AkriviA but this is not the case for the new “Rexhep Rexhepi” collection. Meticulously crafted poli bercé gold hands set the final touch.

The 38mm case combines symmetrical and asymmetrical forms, as well as concave and convex lines for the case profile and broad lugs. Fashioned out of pink gold or platinum, it is finished with alternating brushed and polished surfaces. The lugs are individually hand-soldered. The leather strap is nicely integrated and provides great comfort on the wrist.

The beauty of symmetry

A look through the sapphire case back reveals the breathtaking RR01 hand-wound caliber. This new movement drives hours, minutes, and seconds with chronometer precision. It incorporates a hacking second and zero-reset mechanism. Operating at 18,000 vibrations per hour, the variable inertia balance features four adjustment screws. The hairspring features a Breguet overcoil. One single barrel rotating in a jewelled pivot can store up to 100 hours of power reserve. The click-ratchet provides a smooth, pleasing winding.

The symmetrical design of the movement accentuates its architectural nature. As you would expect from Rexhep Rexhepi, the finishing is top-notch with traditional techniques such as anglage, black polish and Côtes de Genève.

A steel part of the stop seconds/zero reset mechanism. If it is hidden underneath the dial, its finishing is nonetheless insane with inward angles despite its tiny dimensions.

Although hidden underneath the dial, the stop seconds and the zero-reset mechanism are superb. The design is based on a fascinating symmetrical architecture in coherence with the whole movement. A tiny spring makes contact with the balance wheel, stopping the movement. Simultaneously, the small seconds hand is reset thanks to a heart-shaped cam (just like in a chronograph). An all-or-nothing mechanism (just like in a minute repeater), it ensures a complete function at each pull on the crown.

The AkriviA Chronomètre Contemporain comes with a three-year warranty. It can be delivered with a chronometer certificate from the Besancon Observatory on request for an additional cost. Price is set at CHF 55,500 (excl. taxes) for the pink gold version and CHF 58,000 (excl. taxes) for the platinum version. For more information, please visit www.akrivia.com.

2 responses

  1. Stunning. The black dial is unbelievably perfect. The calbire looks to be both unique and classic. I don’t know why, but this watch has the same allure as a Saxonia for me. I can’t imagine what a calendar of any flavor would look like here but I already want one.

  2. I realize watch brands and blogs are existing in kind of symbiosis but is this reason enough to write pure marketing articles? “Handmade like in the old days” and “re-enacting century-old gestures” – they make watches the same way any other high-end brand makes their watches. Withe the difference that brands like ALS or Patek at least invested in the techniques and machines to actually produce their watch parts. Akrivia is a nice brand and they sure mastered many traditional finishing techniques but they are certainly not the guardian of traditional watchMAKING. And offering a watch with Chronometer on the dial which may or may not an actual chronometer…really? No thank you. Other brands manage to work the same way (Grönefeld) but at least are completely transparent and not 100% marketing focussed.

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