Take a moment to allow those words to sink in: Tourbillon, Chiming, Jump Hour. Three complications joined in one single watch; two complications are rare, all three are highly unusual joined into one piece and take an extreme dexterity to do right. You cannot deny that AkriviA, the brand formed just three years ago, has ambition. You also cannot deny that Rexhep Rexhepi, the master watchmaker behind the brand, has the horological prowess to back up this ambition. Heck, if a legend like Kari Voutilainen says you’re good, you’re good*.
We’ve explained before, but we cannot emphasize it enough. The level of watchmaking this young man works at is simply staggering. Joining Patek Phillipe as an apprentice at the age of 14 years, movement developer for the now defunct (and partly gobbled up by Hublot) BNB Concepts and being hired as a watchmaker for François-Paul Journe, it is evident Rexhep knows his complications. At FP Journe he worked on the Les Resonances, Octa and Chronograph Souverain. Arriving on the scene with a Tourbillon Monopusher Chronograph is no mean feat. Still regarded as one of the most complex complications in watchmaking, the tourbillon is ever present in every instalment of the AkriviA legacy so far.
The philosophy from Rexhep Rexhepi is just about the complete opposite of his watches. Sounds strange but his goal is simple; uniting traditions from the past with timekeeping of the 21st century. Complexity in watchmaking versus simplicity in its conviction. A good, yet inconspicuous example is the hand-made dial of the Heure Minute Tourbillon. A modern aspect achieved with traditional techniques. A blend of rock and oil is placed on a flat surface (glass or marble) and the dial is repeatedly ground over this mixture to obtain a perfect, mat-polish finish.
Enough on the background of the watchmaker, brand, and the previous models. Let’s focus on the new creation, the Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour. The idea for this timepiece is to combine three complications that are not common to join in one movement. Sure, A. Lange & Söhne has the Zeitwerk Striking Time which combines a tourbillon and a chiming mechanism on the hour. There are even a bundle of tourbillon minute repeater watches available like the new Breguet Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon. A combination between a tourbillon, a chiming mechanism (we’re not including here the repeaters) and a jumping hour complication hasn’t been done before as far as we can tell.
The beauty of the manually wound AK-03 movement is the near perfect symmetry of its build-up. Every single component is aligned to mirror the opposite side of the movement. That is mostly due to the vertical alignment of the complications. Between 12 and 6, the chiming mechanism, jumping hour mechanism and the tourbillon are stacked on top of each other. The beauty lies in the fact that the apertures and the appliques surrounding the three complications all flow gracefully into one another, almost as if they were one. As not to interfere with the hour display too much, the minute hand received a circle that aligns perfectly when it is over the hour. The small edge of the hand covering it when it is not aligned is something you probably can glare past in real life.
Flip the AkriviA Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour over, and the symmetry is yet again visible through the sapphire caseback. Even the screws used to hold everything together are spread evenly throughout the movement. All 275 components are finished to the highest level of detail, all done in-house by Akrivia. Mind you, design and finishing are entirely done in-house with a handful of parts being manufactured by an outside source. Mirror polishing, manual circular graining, hand-engraved inscriptions, and no less than 56 inwards polished angles emphasize the hand-crafted, traditional values in watchmaking.
Another thoughtful feature is the silence-mode for the chiming mechanism. Press the button in the crown and the striking hammer is blocked in order to not distract you or your associates in an important meeting or during a precious ceremony.
The AkriviA Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour comes on a black alligator leather strap with a deployment clasp. Price is CHF 180.000 but availability is not yet known so you have some time left to save up.
* Source: Kari Voutilainen interviewed by Hodinkee (follow the link for the article).