Have you ever been left completely speechless after being handed a watch? I have, and it went a bit like this:
Picture the scene… Fresh into Baselworld 2018 on our first day of walking around the show, already having tried on some of the exciting new releases such as the new Longines Military Watch and the new additions to the Oris Big Crown range, we were full of enthusiasm and excitement to discover more.
This led us to our next meeting, with AkriviA.
I have heard a bit about AkriviA before such as it being the vision of Rexhep Rexhepi, who was pretty fresh from an apprenticeship specializing in tourbillons at Patek Phillipe and who also worked for F.P. Journe before starting his own brand, but I had never paid too much attention to their offerings since they were simply ‘not my style’ and very much out of my budget. However, after seeing some early pictures of their Baselworld 2018 release the Rexhep Rexhepi ‘Chronomètre Contemporain’ I felt compelled to go and see what all the hype was about.
So off we set, into the arguably most interesting part of Baselworld, the independent’s hall. There we found the 2 Rexhepi brothers standing outside their booth, and luckily not too busy to let us in. We sat down with Xhevdet to a table with probably £500,000 worth of watches on, including both of the Patek Phillipe pocket watches that the brothers made during their apprenticeships. I think it took Tim and myself a few moments to sink in what we were actually looking at, and as soon as we were handed the Chronomètre Contemporain it was obvious what made this brand so special…
I really was left speechless, as there were no words to describe how utterly perfect in size, proportions, finishing, design, execution, etc this watch actually was (well, speechless apart from making some strange ooh and aahh noises)… and it actually looks 100x better in real life than in pictures, which speaks a lot considering how good it looks in pictures!
This was a special watch, and just from holding it for a few minutes you could really understand the passion and vision of this young company. Everything from the curves of the lugs and case, to the excellently proportioned dial design and the perfectly sized and finished calibre really showed how considered and uncompromising of a watch this was, which honestly I think can only be found in an independent brand – This watch, even though very expensive was made to fulfill a dream, not just to make money but a dream of creating a unique, timeless and instant classic dress watch, made to the absolute limits of haute-horology watchmaking.
This is a 38mm diameter dress watch, which wears more like a 37 due to the sleek curves of the case and tapering of the strap, I think it fit well on my 6 and a half inch wrist and would probably look even better on slightly larger wrists. We got to see both the rose gold and platinum variations, and while the platinum had a great understated and classic look to it with the white grand feu enamel dial, I think my favourite has to be the rose gold version. The rose gold leaf printing against the black enamel dial really provide a strong contrast which plays beautifully in the light, and the warm tones of the case really make the yellow gold parts of the movement pop.
When you turn the watch over to view the all new RR01 movement you are left speechless all over again. On paper this would be a relatively simple movement, being that it is only a single barrel 3-hand movement, but it is hiding a 100-hour power reserve and a hacking zero-reset seconds feature. When the crown is pulled to set the time, the seconds hand resets back to the 12 o‘clock position so you can easily set the time accurately. It also has a beautiful symmetrical design architecture and immaculate Cotes De Genève finishing and inner anglage beveling.
I truly think this was the strongest release of Baselworld 2018, and definitely my favourite. The watch is full of character, style and complicated simplicity, if you ever get the chance I would definitely recommend to check the brand out and try on some of the watches, although you may leave with a desire to blow your life savings…