Maybe the founder of the AkriviA can be called the ‘enfant terrible’ of the watch industry, but in a positive, eccentric way. We have already introduced the brand and master watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi. He created an atelier that not too many people know about, yet which offers so much potential.
The atelier’s goal has always been based on a lot of respect for traditional haute horlogerie and the idea to combine it with a fresh approach. Rexhep Rexhepi, the owner and founder of the company, started it up after having trained at Patek Philippe and some years spent in the employ of J.P. Journe’s workshop and B&B Concept. Later, Rexhep’s brother Xhevdet joined the company to work as a watchmaker, his central passion, while Rexhep continues with all responsibility for the atelier’s movement designs, concepts, planning and organization.
From the beginning, Rexhep was always highly ‘connected’ sharing workshop activities with the outside world on social media, and even members of the team at AkriviA freely post information on Instagram. In this way you’ll find on their various Instagram accounts things like a video of a spring getting hardened or a steel plate being blued on a bed of brass chips. It is exciting to watch them at work and you really can feel the passion and enthusiasm for their business.
We take this opportunity to take you on a journey through AkriviA’s watch collections from 2012 until now, which will underline and prove their skill in craftsmanship and high watchmaking. You will see that with the years the ambitions have shifted but the consistency in case and dial design has remained which make AkriviA timepieces recognisable.
We take you on a little journey through the history of Atelier.
2013 – Tourbillon Monopoussoir Chronograph
First of all talking about watches at AkriviA it is to say that Rexhep Rexhepi loves tourbillon complications. Therefore AkriviA’s timepieces are often equipped with one. Their first watch combines the tourbillon complication with a Monopusher chronograph, which is the oldest types of chronograph and still today the most easy to use chronograph type. Rexhep likes this combination as it pairs functionality for everyday life with high-end watchmaking. What’s special about the chronograph mechanism is, that it is built up on the dial side, which is rather rare at watchmaking. Something that really distinguishes Rexhep and his team is that they work very meticulously on all details of their timepieces. They optimized the monopusher function and eliminated the backlash when stopping and starting the mechanism. Also the timing results for this movement turned out to be excellent. Rexhep wanted to keep the Tourbillon Monopoussoir Chronograph elegant and chose a case design that he calls ‘neo-classical’ which you’ll find throughout the collection.
2014 – Tourbillon Heure Minute
As the first watch from 2013 embodied a rather ‘loud’ technical start to his collection, the brothers preferred a more sober design for their Tourbillon Heure Minute, which was introduced in 2014. Following the excellent chronometric results of the Tourbillon Monopusher Chronograph he decided to use the same base of movement in his new collection. Remarkable about his watch is the dial technique that is quite rare today. The dial (and also parts of the movement) are ‘matte-polished’ – a blend of crushed rock and oil is laid out on a flat surface such as glass or marble. Then, the steel dial is affixed on this mixture, which then carries out tiny circular movements until reaching the desired result of the ‘matte-polished’ finishing. To avoid scratches it requires small circular moves which takes a few hours and demands a lot of concentration.
2015 – Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour
This watch is especially important in AkriviA’s young history since it has the first movement entirely developed and produced in-house. It shows again their passionate urge for experimenting with functions. It is equipped with a tourbillon, jumping hours and a striking mechanism with a silent function, which can be switched on / off at the 3 o’clock pusher and is indicated at 12 o’clock. The time is displayed through a central hours aperture in association with a single minute hand. A great award and recognition for his high watchmaking potential is the nomination 2015 at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in the category “Sonnerie Wristwatches”. Let’s say the GPHG are the Oscars of the watch-industry.
2016 – Tourbillon Barrette-Miroir and Tourbillon Régulateur
The Tourbillon Barrette-Miroir comes with quite different finishing techniques and shows how much the Rexhepi brothers love the challenge of complex watchmaking. It is still equipped with a tourbillon complication, however a larger one then all the previous versions. The bridge is worked in a barrette-style and – just like the frame – highly polished which is called ‘Miroir’ from the French word for mirror. The numerals on the two-tone dial have been hand finished and given a black polish treatment followed by heat-blueing. And this all has to be done laboriously, but at least in a traditional manner by hand. Also the numerals have been constructed and attached in a traditional manner. In this technique, two feet are attached to each separate numeral and the matching holes – which are drilled into the dial – fasten them into a complete unit – just as it was done centuries ago.
Hence the name tells, the indications on the dial are arranged in a regulator-type way. The hours counter on a sub-dial at 12 o’clock, the central axis bearing the minutes hand and the seconds hand fixed to the tourbillon at 6 o’clock. Again, the AkriviA atelier showed a great amount of patience on the dial’s ‘polished-matt’ finishing. It’s the same laborious technique as used on previews dials and something that we start expecting from AkriviA watches, making them distinctive. The transparent case back reveals a great look onto the decorated movement, which is by the way decorated on the visible as well as on the hidden parts.
2017 – AK-06
His 2017 creation is not another Tourbillon complication, yet another very personal way to express Rexhep’s passion for complex watches. For Rexhep the most intimate moment is the act of winding the watch up. “This is the moment when human energy is literally ‘given’ to the movement, making it come alive”, Rexhep says. So the AK-06 showcases the power reserve and hand setting mechanism, allowing all the mechanical parts involved in these functions to be visually interactive for the user. What a wonderful interaction of emotion and activity for the owner of this watch. It feels almost like a bird learning how to flight, earning confidence and showing off to the world. Until now, AkriviA’s design and finishing of the movements were only visible form the backside – with the AK-06 Rexhep ‘opened up’ to the visible dial side of the movement.
2018 – Rexhep Rexhepi Chronométre Contemporain
For the brand’s 6-year anniversary, Rexhep wished to present something completely new. He has always been deeply inspired by officer’s 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 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 will have a detailed look at this novel watch in a separate article coming soon.