In 2012, the young and independent watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi founded the brand “AkriviA”. When we first discovered him two years later, he was still mostly unknown in the watch industry. But at the latest since he won a prize for best men’s watch with his Chronomètre Contemporain at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2018, there is no way around his Geneva based Atelier. Furthermore, he has been announced as one of 50 renowned watch makers to participate at this autumns ‘Only Watch’ charity auction. For us as fans from the (almost) very beginning, this was an exciting occasion to pop in for a visit at his Atelier once again.
Because for this very special auction, Rexhep created a one of a kind timepiece of his Chronomètre Contemporain. The original piece became the first watch in his collection with a non-open dial. Until then, Rexhep was known for placing special emphasis on the mechanic of a watch, especially the hand-wound mechanism, as by winding the watch, the most intimate moment between wearer and watch becomes visible. But he needed a change. Therefore, the Chronomètre Contemporain was also the first watch to display his name on the dial, instead of “AkriviA”. For this watch, Rexhep has taken inspiration from the marine chronometers of the 1940s.
For the one of a kind piece Chronomètre Contemporain ‚Only Watch‘, there are two interesting improvements. The dial is made of grey-blue translucent Grand Feu enamel – well, the standard execution also comes with enamel, but in this special case the dial has been hand-hammered first. This is done with a pointed tool and a hammer on a palladium dial plate. It takes one whole day to make just one dial. It gives the dial a very special shimmer by light incidence due to the tiny bumps (graining). Subsequently, the dial is coated with enamel. This finishing is very difficult and takes a few attempts in order to receive a homogeneous rendering that has eventually pleased Rexhep. The indexes and Roman numerals are also made of Grand Feu enamel and are painted on the dial, instead of printed. It is not by accident, that his brand name carries the word ‘precision’ (Akrivia = precision in Greek).
Another special feature exposes from the case of the Chronomètre Contemporain ‚Only Watch‘. For this, Rexhep has revived the renowned but already retired casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann, who now takes care for the around 25 watches that AkriviA produces every year. The Grand Maître has made a hand-finished platinum case for the occasion of ‘Only Watch’. From now on, not only the movements, but also all cases are entirely manufactured inside the AkriviA Atelier. Actually, two Ateliers: For Hagmann and his cases the two have rent another small workshop near Rexhep’s Atelier, where the 2017 retired Hagmann let off his “last great fireworks”, as he calls the cooperation with AkriviA.
The Chronomètre Contemporain ‚Only Watch‘ will be sold at the charity auction “Only Watch” on November 9th. The auction proceeds go in favour of the treatments of children suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Rexheps rare timepiece is estimated to reach a donation price of 36.000 – 54.000 Euro.