About ten years ago, news broke of a very young yet immensely talented watchmaker stepping out of the limelight of the established watchmaking that employed him at the time. We came to know this young man’s work under the name of AkriviA, an independent company with the goal of creating some of the best watches possible. With a keen eye for symmetry, complexity, originality and finishing, founder and CEO Rexhep Rexhepi quickly made a name for himself under his AkriviA name. After a number of lavishly finished yet slight extravagant pieces came a more classical expression of Rexhep’s watchmaking vision, the RRCC or Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain. Now, on the eve of AkriviA’s and Rexhep’s 10th anniversary as an independent watchmaker, the latest evolution is presented, the AkriviA Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain II RRCC II.
From the outside, the AkriviA Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain II RRCC II closely resembles the first iteration of the Chronomètre Contemporain, first presented in 2018. But it’s not to be mistaken as the same watch, as there are more than a few differences between the two, mostly on the mechanical side of things. We’ll be taking you through all those specific differences, that sets the RRCC II apart from the RRCC, and even from the unique Only Watch 2021 version of the RRCC II (selling for CHF 800,000). In a recent interview, we already learned a few details on what Rexhep was working on, with the covers now pulled back off the RRCC II.
Starting with the superbly elegant case, this too is more refined compared to the first Chronomètre Contemporain edition. It is available in 5N rose gold or 950 platinum and measures a compact 38mm in diameter and 8.75mm in height. It is constructed in-house, overseen by case-making expert Jean-Pierre Hagmann, using traditional techniques only (i.e. hand-operated machines and tools). A total of 15 individual components make up the exterior of the Akrivia RRCC II. Every aspect of it has received small tweaks to perfect the balance and ergonomics. Examples of the new geometry of the case are the slightly slimmer and elongated lugs and a small increase in the diameter of the hand-filed crown.
With a choice of platinum or rose gold, also comes a choice of black or ivory Grand Feu enamel dials for the RRCC II. Both share the same architecture and base design but are executed in a slightly different way. The vitreous enamel dials are produced by hand and fired in a kiln to bake. The process to create a perfect enamel dial is extremely tricky as the slightest imperfection becomes apparent immediately, meaning that the craftsman can start all over again. The dials have a two-part construction, with the recessed small seconds register being soldered to the main dial. The black dial comes with an engraved Gratté pattern on the small seconds subdial, finished with grey translucent enamel.
The two are further set apart with contrasting enamel markings, ivory on the black dial and black on the ivory dial. These markings and numerals are done in fired enamel and given a touch more presence. The hands also differ, as the rose gold case and ivory enamel dial are paired with steel hands heat-treated to a deep purple hue. The black dial in the platinum case has a set of polished steel hands. Both show incredible attention to detail, as the central stem is capped and the small seconds hand has a subtle roundel as a counterweight.
As mentioned in the introduction, the movement is completely new despite the fact it looks extremely close to the RR01 found in the Chronomètre Contemporain of 2018. The Calibre RRCC02, produced and finished in-house, of course, shares the same basic outline and symmetrical construction but is vastly different. Previously a single barrel provided energy to the gear train, but this is now split between two mainsprings (the two large jewels for the barrel pivots are the dead giveaway here). The first supplies the energy for the balance wheel, while the second drives the jumping (or dead-beat) seconds mechanism. This makes the jump of the seconds hand as precise as possible without compromising the precision of the movement. A hacking lever stops the balance wheel when the crown is pulled, and simultaneously activates the brake that stops the seconds hand. Then, relying on a heart-shaped cam and reset hammer, the seconds hand is reset to the zero position.
Other updates to the Calibre RRCC02 are a newly designed balance wheel that uses regulating screws, which gives 60% more inertia to the balance wheel compared to the previous movement. There’s also 40% more torque coming from the mainspring, which results in a more stable release of energy over a longer period of time.
The mainplate and bridges are constructed with a distinct symmetrical design in mind and are made of German Silver. Throughout the entire movement, you can witness Rexhep’s dedication to traditional craftsmanship. Everywhere you look you can see the Haute Horlogerie levels of finishing, including Côtes de Genève, perlage, circular graining, polished countersinks, black-polished screws and balance bridge. Even the spokes on the wheels are bevelled and polished by hand, with no less than 140 inward angles on the wheels of both independent gear trains. As with every independent watchmaker on this level, the finished is pushed to new heights with every new watch and this is no exception.
The Akrivia Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain II or RRCC II comes on a calfskin leather strap with a contrasting lining (black and red for the platinum one, taupe and red for the rose gold one). Matching the case material, the pin buckle is in either rose gold or platinum too. Both are limited to 50 pieces, but watches like this take ample amounts of time so don’t expect a quick delivery. It is just as much a matter of production capacity as it is a numbered limitation. The price for this splendid display of high-level independent watchmaking is on request only.
For more information, please visit www.akrivia.com.