For the 6th anniversary of the young independent watchmaking atelier AkriviA, founder and master watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi wished to present something completely new. So far, most of his watches are from the inside and outside wholly complex. Tourbillon complications became his passion.
However, he has always been deeply inspired by officer’s pocket-watches of the 1940s. They are distinctive for their clean and elegant lines, accuracy and clear readability. With this in mind, Rexhep developed the Chronomètre Contemporain (available in platinum with white enamel dial, or roségold with black enamel dial) and signed it with his own name, to differentiate it from the existing style of watches created under the AkriviA name. He describes it as the “epitome of the classical round watch, reinvented for the 21st century”.
We really were excited to discover this new watch as it differs so much from his usual style of watchmaking. But we soon realized that the simplicity of the visual facade of the Chronomètre Contemporain is mingled with Rexheps passion for complexity. It is not just that single barrel 3-hand movement you would expect – instead it is equipped with the RR-01 in-house movement offering a 100-hour power reserve, a hacking seconds and automatic zero-seconds reset function. This leads to an accurate setting because the second hand resets back to 12 o’clock when pulling out the crown to set the time. The stop seconds mechanism has been developed from the ‘all or nothing’ function used in the Grande Sonnerie where the mechanism must release either completely or not at all, using one motion.
One must experience and wear the watch in real life to understand it’s great comfort and the cut between past and contemporary watchmaking. The enamel dial is traditionally handmade in white or black grand feu, which already is a complex procedure in contemporary watchmaking. The asymmetrical gold or blue lines are Art Deco inspired and the large diameter of the sub-seconds counter at 6 o’clock is a tribute to the officer’s watch from past times. The new case shows some concave and convex details visible in the case sides and lugs. Rexhep has also given special attention to the strap to match the fine lugs allowing a very comfortable wear for large and small wrists.
Rexheps fingerprints are hidden in the movement. His respect for traditional finishing techniques such as anglage, black polish and Côtes de Genève are also characteristics of the RR-01 in-house movement. For the first time, you will find the watchmakers name ‘Rexhep Rexhepi’ on the dial of the watch. The atelier name ‘AkriviA’ is only visible on the backside of the case. This is a confident statement for such a young watchmaker. We are curious about his next coup.