AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Geneva-based boutique high-end watch maker AkriviA debuted their first non-tourbillon watch at Baseworld 2017, the AK-06. The AkriviA AK-06 might not have the sexiest name, but the watch itself is a lovely testament to our love of individually produced mechanical watches. The movement itself is a minor masterpiece, and I think offering a non-tourbillon watch is a correct move for the small brand.

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The AkriviA AK-06 will use the same 41mm wide (9.9mm thick) case as other AkriviA watches - which for the AK-06 can be ordered in steel, titanium, 18k rose gold, or platinum. Given that each watch is made one at a time, the case as well as the movement finishing and style can be thoroughly personalized. This is important to mention because when you order a watch like this, as a consumer you are almost obligated to make some decisions on how you want it to look. As a real collector's watch, it should be further designed to meet the tastes of the owner.

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Pretty much everything about the caliber AK-06 movement is designed to be aesthetically appealing as well as functional. The nicely balanced dial view of the movement features a cleverly arranged layout of the major movement parts, while allowing the balance wheel to remain on the back of the watch. The dial and case back side of the AK-06 movement is impressive, as well as visually distinct. There is a sort of welcome steampunk vibe to the dial design, which is benefited by the various colors and shapes that all add visual interest. Watchmaker and AkriviA founder Rexhep Rexhepi really went all out to ensure that his most simple watch is also arguably his most beautiful to date. This is also arguably one of the most important and desirable new watch movements of 2017.

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The AkriviA AK-06's rear is the most traditional looking part of the watch, which sets it apart from the dial considerably. AkriviA clearly wanted to emphasize symmetry in the design, which is achieved very nicely overall. A bridge runs through the center of the movement, while the regulation system is just below it and to the right, with a running gear to its left to visually balance things out. Thick Geneva stripes run up and down the movement plate and the hand-finishing is just excellent.

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Functionally, the AK-06 movement is simple and to-the-point but has some nice features to it. AkriviA made it clear that it wanted the AK-06 to not only look nice, but also focus on reliability over time as the 100-hour power reserve (seen at 12 o'clock) winds down. The manually wound movement has an interesting type of power reserve indicator which uses a turning disc in a way that I find very appealing. This is also because you can clearly see the system that allows the power reserve indicator to work.

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The movement also indicates the time with a subsidiary seconds dial. Note that on this particular model I photographed, the hand-made hands are not final - as their center staffs will be blued. A useful feature in the AK-06 movement is a zero-reset and hacking seconds mechanism. That means when you pull the crown out, the balance wheel not only pauses, but the second hand automatically resets to zero to make setting the time more precise. This isn't the first time I've seen such a feature, but it is extremely rare and I've only seen it before on German watches in a modern sense.

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Looking closely at the seconds hand on the skeletonized dial, you can see the heart-shaped cam which is part of the zero-reset feature. For those who love mechanical watches, the AkriviA AK-06 really does offer a visually pleasing and contemporary view of what is essentially a very traditional item. What I like most about these types of movements is that they are designed from the ground up to be attractive as well as functional. It is one thing to decorate an industrial watch movement as best as you can, but it is an entirely different thing to wear a movement that has been designed without mass production in mind, one which exclusively celebrates the art of watchmaking.

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

AkriviA AK-06 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

With handmade movements produced one at a time in Geneva by Rexhep and his very small team, timepieces like the AkriviA AK-06 will be valued for their quality, decoration, and exclusivity. It is impossible to easily compare watches such as this to other pieces, but if you want a truly modern watch, from Geneva, that is very traditional in its approach to watchmaking, AkriviA is easily one of your best bets. Price for the AkriviA AK-06 is 79,000 CHF in steel, 83,000 CHF in titanium, 87,000 CHF in 18k rose gold, and 91,000 CHF in platinum. akrivia.ch

What do you think?
  • I love it! (19)
  • Thumbs up (11)
  • Interesting (11)
  • Classy (8)
  • I want it! (8)
  • 100% Genuine Aviation Heritage

    Nice! Schmutz outside the bezel at 9.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Looks like an oil spot.

  • IG

    Interesting dial but(t) ugly case.

    • thecouchguy

      Seconded.

      • Word Merchant

        I’m the opposite – I really like the case, but the dial is a random mess.

        • Lincolnshire Poacher

          I concur.

  • MEddie90

    Visually stunning. The use of rounded steel bridges is becoming quite a trend and one that i’m happy to see, the Caliber VIII from Lang & Heyne and Christian Klings “open” movements take the style to the extreme but incorporating them into a more traditional architecture as this watch does works well also.

    The movement symmetry is impressive and the finish is top notch (just look at the work done on the going train gears). While I normally prefer a full dial I think the open dial really shows off the finishing and keyless works well, especially considering you have a zero reset mechanism thrown into the mix. Impressive but doesn’t quite compare to the Klings imho.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/18efda51781292bc9c8824baec523037209763566754e864190f777719658c75.jpg

  • Jerry Davis

    While I appreciate a watchmakers exercises and experiments… and the interest of this site
    to review them… that doesn’t mean I would ever want to have it on my wrist.
    Can you imagine the collection of beautiful timepieces you could buy for the cost of this?

  • SuperStrapper

    Meh. The movement theory is lovely, but in appearance it looks more like a handful of parts than it does something meaningful. Some of those parts are delightfully unique, such as the bat-shaped gear that manipulates the PR indication. I didn’t like this case on the last watch and probably like it less here. Just too meaty for the look I think they were trying to achieve.

    The price is the price and you certainly have to keep the manufacture element in scope, but for over $80k in steel I can help but think of all the more impressive histological ownership projects I could undertake instead.

    • BNABOD

      histological 😉

      • SuperStrapper

        I’m the portmanteau King.

  • BNABOD

    me think the silver dialed one looks bitchin. would have to ditch the gold hands. would look tons better w blued steel hands which probably will add at least another 20K. I get watch makers have to eat and I also get the upfront investment to develop such watch but 80Gs in steel… you have got to have reached the end of your collecting dreams to start venturing in the unknown brands that cost a crap load of mula. got to be a tough sell but maybe they discount heavily.

  • BJ314

    when i was kid I would crack open my toys once they stopped working. especially if it had moving parts inside. this is what the inside of any toy from Radio Shack, circa 1982 looked like.

  • I’m just sad to discover that somewhere on this planet exists a person with the name “Rexhep Rexhepi” and he’s not an evil Sith overlord with a secret volcano base.

    • DanW94

      Rexhepi vs. Bexei – Horological X-men battle for ultimate control of the One Tourbillon to Rule Them All…..

  • Mischa

    Not my cup of tea, but very impressive nonetheless. What a great movement, and it looks the part(s) too.

  • Marius

    The fact that a young watchmaker such as Rexhep Rexhepi can create such interesting movements is quite impressive. Nevertheless, I was never really fond of this brand, and I’m not terribly impressed by this watch either.

    Firstly, I find the design and overall presentation too fussy and overly complex. The dial is not terrible, but as the Word Merchant rightly argued, it looks like a mess of parts that provide a rather incoherent overall image. For me, MB&F is the best at creating open dials, and their Legacy Machines set a very high standard that is extremely hard to beat. And, most LMs are cheaper too.

    The case is obviously complex and well-made, but it’s design is a bit too “crowded” and contains way too many elements. What’s more, just as in the case of Armin Strom and Lang&Heyne, the case has a few design elements that look like unnecessary affectations, such as those side flanks, for example.

    Secondly, the prices charged by Akrivia are very optimistic. Now I know that Larry Koutilainen spoke highly of them, but the reality is that Akrivia is a relatively unknown brand with a very limited track record. What’s more, as GaryG from Quill&Pad recently explained, even very wealthy collectors are slowly moving towards prestigious independent & mainstream brands that can hold their value vary well. Sure, Akrivia movements and cases are highly finished, but still, $80,000 is a huge price for a steel three-hander with a power reserve. And, à propos finish, while Akrivia calibers are nicely-decorated, they’re certainly not at the level of a Voutilainen or Dufour — at least judging from the pictures.

    • Marius
      • Very steampunk looks. If you’re into that sort of looks nothing else would do!

    • So you don’t personally like the dial/case/finish, but as you are using Gary’s input on this brand to support the ‘objective’ part of your argument you might be interested to know what his highlight of Basel was this year:

      “For me, the best watch of the week was also the Akrivia AK-06 with its open dial, clever power reserve display, and phenomenal finishing, Ian. Rexhep Rexhepi and his small team seem to move from strength to strength, and my reservation on some of Akrivia’s prior models – the chunky case – is made small and slim enough in the AK-06 to be more harmonious with the rest of the design”

      While we are sharing our opinions on the watch I actually find this to be one of the best open dials out there. When you understand the complications you can appreciate the balance and presentation of their respective components. Dial side mechanisms are particularly hard to present as they are thinner in profile, often bridgeless, and harder to engineer for visual symmetry. This is actually a good example of one executed well. I would personally prefer a different treatment/colour for the main plate, but I wouldn’t let that stop me wearing this one.

      • Marius

        You seem to place way too much emphasis on the “objective” vs “subjective” aspect. When we are talking about watches that are technically antiquated, but cost tens of thousands of dollars, objectivity is not exactly the main concern.

        Whomever pays $80,000 for this steel Akrivia (the gold/platinum references cost more) will be more concerned about the subjective aspects such as design, aesthetics, brand name, etcetera. I seriously doubt that the prospective buyer will use an Excel spreadsheet and compare various objective facts. In fact, if you look at the entire luxury industry, you will see that subjective factors such as brand perception, prestige, and design are much more important than the objective parameters.

        Furthermore, GaryG`s opinion of the collector`s market, as well as his opinion of this watch are also purely subjective, as GaryG didn’t perform a thorough analysis of the behavioural pattern of all high-end collectors. He simply described a trend that he noticed amongst his collector friends.

        • I think you are starting to get it Marius; for the record I am a big fan of the subjective; and that’s one of the things that prevents me from dismissing every watch that I don’t personally like.

    • Gokart Mozart

      I think this watch is great. The case design is an acquired taste and I admit I am not 100% sold on it although after seeing various Akrivias in person it is a lot more impressive with a some lovely design elements. Also the case is now a signature recognisable element of the brand.

      As for the quality, possibly as this was not a finished piece as mentioned in the article and being number 00 is probably a prototype. Also maybe it is just me but in a couple of the photos the colours look slightly washed out, (no offence Ariel). When I have seen it I have also seen Kari’s watches as well as Gronefelds and Urban Jurgensens etc. The quality was definitely on par.

      Personally I love the movement and the exposed elements on the dial it gives an unusual if not the most cohesive dial. I think it would look great when you wind the watch.

      Remember this is the best that PP can come up with when they do exposed dial elements.

      http://www.ablogtowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Patek-Philippe-Aquanaut-Travel-Time-5650G-Advanced-Research-3.jpg

  • Ricko Dayat

    I really like the case….

    http://guteuhrenmarken.de/

  • Marcus

    For me, a watch disqualifies itself (and the watchmaker) the moment I see elements that have no function but only to serve the aesthetics / symmetry. Like with another watch before (wheel with our purpose) the movement is made over-complex than necessary for the complications given and also contains elements without any function like the lever from the left side above the actual seconds-hacking-lever. And 80K for a watch that is basically conceived by somebody another company, produced by another company and only sketched and finished by R.R (yes he was a 14 year old at Patek, so what) – for me a bit pricy.

  • thanos

    For your information, Akrivia in Greek language means accuracy.

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    While this piece may be a technological marvel – To me, it looks like scraps on a plate.

  • Ulysses31

    It looks a little bit “thrown together” like a prototype steam-engine from centuries ago, before the refinement happened. It’s got a unique look and I appreciate their efforts, I just don’t think the end result is pretty enough for my tastes.