Weekly Watch Photo: Steel Labyrinth by Antti Rönkkö
You know us at Monochrome-Watches, we love watches, all sort of mechanical watches to be precise. And in the middle of the crowd of affordable or ultra luxury timepieces, there is a category that we also give some extra attention: Independent watchmakers. No matter the price, the design or the complications, we can’t help ourselves to introduce you to new artisanal watchmakers. That’s the main goal of our Weekly Watch Photo summer edition. This week we would like to travel to the cold and frosty North. Not to talk about Sarpaneva or Voutilainen, but to discover the Steel Labyrinth by Antti Rönkkö.
Antti Rönkkö is a sort of free electron in the watch industry. First, he’s not Swiss or working in Switzerland. That in itself is of course not a unique property, but surely rare enough to be mentioned. He’s from Finland, and again that’s good for him, but not a unique property in the watch industry. Two of our favourite watchmakers, Sarpaneva or Voutilainen, are also from this cold and dark country. According to Antti Rönkkö, his country also has an important impacted on the design of the Steeel Labyrinth. Finn people are affected by what they call the silence. From the words of Rönkö: For a Finn, silence means time for thought; creating something out of nothing. And this explains how is the Finn designed inspired: pure, straight, sometimes rough, but always quiet. And that’s the idea you’ll have when looking at the Steel Labyrinth by Antti Rönkkö.
The Steel Labyrinth is Rönkö’s first (and only, for the moment) creation. Somehow, it shares some design elements with another Finn watch, the Sarpaneva Korona K1. At first glance, you could confuse them because of the complicated dial and added skeletonized minute-track. However, the resemblance stops here. The dial is here engraved with a Labyrinth coated in black DLC. On the top of it sits a skeletonized minute-ring which is held in place by 4 screws. The design is inspired by the ancient greek-roman myth of the Labyrinth (more about it can be read here) and architecture.
The case also has a complex shape. The satin brushed bezel shows small notches at 12 o’clock, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 o’clock. The rough and quite brutal design can also be seen with the lugs that are massive, cutting and highly salient. The overall watch is really influenced by design, but not only, as the movement is matching the exterior idea too.
No ETA or Soprod here, but an hand-made and hand-finished manual movement. It shows for sure a classical architecture, with a ¾ plate and 3 typical bridges for the gear train. But the finish really catches connoisseurs’ eyes. Plates and bridges are made is non-treated german silver and show some exquisite curved shapes. All the angles are polished and bevelled (by hand) with re-entrant angles (something that only a human hand can achieve). Top of the plates and bridges are finished with straight graying and the main plate is adorned with circular perlage (both on the visible side and reverse side).
The movement has a small second at 7 and a power reserve of 36 hours. The Steel Labyrinth retails for €21,000 Euro (before tax). More information on the official website.
Impressive. There are some errors in the article, though. First, that’s not a 3/4 plate. A 3/4 plate holds the entire gear train and all rubies; only the balance and anchor are held outside, by a cock. Second, those aren’t bridges, those are cocks.