When are skulls on a watch the less controversial choice? When skulls replace bullets of course. As a limited edition (of perhaps only one), Yvan Arpa's Artya brand based out of Geneva has created a special piece for Halloween 2013 of his Son of a Gun watch collection with skulls on the dial - as well as on the bracelet. This is perhaps the first watch I have seen with a dedicated bracelet made of skulls. It also may be the first bracelet from the Artya brand. Whether you are into wearing skulls or not, this is a watch worth knowing about if you want to be a well-rounded watch collector.
What is it about mortality that makes us like to consider its end? We love horror movies, zombies, morbid fashion accessories, and other allusions to death. Few people actually wish to die, yet we love to play with the notion of death in an almost quasi-rebellious way that seems to suggest, "I've conquered death by embracing the notion of it while I am healthy." Or perhaps wearing skulls is more barbaric, and has less to do with courting death as it does showing that you've beaten all your enemies (and are wearing their tiny skulls to prove it)? Hard to say, but skulls are still pretty cool.
The Dancing Skulls watch is based on the Artya Son of a Gun collection (hands-on), that pretends the dial comes out of a revolver. Even the automatic rotor has bullet pieces on it. Actually, the Son of a Gun collection proved extremely popular for Artya and is one of the first times Artya has made many versions that aren't just limited edition piece unique models. The distinctive 47mm wide case wears boldly on the wrist and in most cases is produced in steel. Note the cross-hair style design on the bezel of the case and the dial.
For this Dancing Skulls model, the case remains the same as on the rest of the Son of a Gun pieces save for the new skulls bracelet. The dial of the watch features five steel skulls suspended in a circle around the time dial. The dial itself has been burned or oxidized for that aged and worn look that Arpa adores. Inside the watch is a small automatic Swiss movement as well.
Aside from the skulls on the dial, the most interesting element of the watch is the skull-spotted bracelet. Extremely industrial in style, the bracelet is essentially a steel chain with some skulls attached to the links. It is a pretty outrageous concept for sure, but do you have any doubts that the Artya Dancing Skulls watch already has at least a few eager buyers out there? Price is 12,900 Swiss Francs, which is the exact same as standard Son of a Gun watches actually. artyawatch.com
Tech specs from Aryta:
• Case – high grade steel 316IL case with an engraved target sight
• Patents – 5 registered patents
• Dial – dial with hand designed skulls and little skull sculptures around the bezel
• Size – 47 mm
• Movement – high end Swiss automatic movement
• Calibre – 2671 ETA/Sellita
• Back - open back. Rotor ballasted with three cut of bullet cartridges
• Glass – Sapphire anti reflection
• Pin: buckle
• Edition : 1/1 unique piece
• Strap – all ArtyA watches are delivered with a high end balistic nylon strap