America’s largest luxury watch extravaganza, WatchTime New York, is returning for its fifth consecutive year at Midtown Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 25 – 26, 2019. This year’s event is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with 37 participating watch brands displaying their latest and greatest timepieces. Among these brands is Akrivia, which will showcase its first non-tourbillon timepiece with the AK-06.
Akrivia is a young brand that was founded in 2012 by the young, gifted watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi. Hailing from Kosovo, Rexhepi apprenticed at Patek Philippe before moving onto stints at BNB Concept and F.P. Journe. After a short stint at Journe’s Geneva atelier, Rexhepi launched Akrivia at the age of 25 where he’s produced a total of seven timepieces, including last year’s GPHG award-winning Chronomètre Contemporain.
Directly preceding the Chronomètre Contemporain, Akrivia unveiled its first non-tourbillon timepiece in the AK-06, a transitional release for the brand as well as a pivotal moment in Rexhepi’s horological growth. Distinguished by a steampunk-esque dial design that incorporated exposed parts of the movement in the dial, it introduced a hacking-second/zero-reset mechanism into Rexhepi’s established bag of tricks. A zero-reset function basically pauses the balance wheel in its tracks and sends the second hand back to “zero,” which is used to make setting the time a more accurate endeavor.
This action is wholly visible on the dial itself through its exposed parts. The small seconds at 6 o’clock is complemented by the circular, 100-hour power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, while the exposed parts of the movement on the dial delight in their purposed asymmetrically. Showing these movement parts on the dial side of the watch allows the exhibition caseback to highlight the minimalistic back of the caliber. All that is visible is a few gears, the regulation system, and balance accompanied by a bridge that cuts through its center. Geneva stripes run gently across the pale gold or gray movement plate.
Looking closely at the movement, you will see that the anglage created on the edges of all parts is rounded in what is called a bombé cross-section, in opposition to the standard and fully or partially machine created anglage used today throughout Switzerland at larger brands. This technique of rounded edges is much more time consuming to produce and cannot be prepared in advance by the use of machines. Starting with the basic flat piece of material with 90-degree angled edges, one of the first steps is to create a rounded edge by filing the edges into shape in several steps, which perfectly follows the edge outline equidistantly into every curve and corner. Furthermore, all sinks for the jewels also have a bowl-shaped cross-section, directly complementing this bombé effect of the rounded anglage. This is followed by multiple steps of further finishing and polishing with a series of special wooden sticks covered in abrasive material as well as the natural wood itself.
As Rexhepi told us his goal for the AK- 06 when I interviewed him for our in-depth profile last fall, “The AK-06 represents a turning point for Akrivia by concentrating on producing the perfect three-hand watch with a power reserve indication. All the finesse of the movement would be in the details of the construction of the stop seconds – with an “all or nothing” activation mechanism — and the zero-reset. The success of the AK-06 comforted me because I saw that the real watch collectors appreciated the sheer value of a ‘less is more’ approach.” The triumph of the AK-06 led directly to what was unveiled at last year’s Baselworld fair: the Chronomètre Contemporain.
You can see the Akrivia AK-06 at WatchTime New York 2019 on October 25 – 26 — get your tickets now!