Not that this comes as a surprise to many people, but this watch is the first time anyone has combined a tourbillon movement with real bullets. Yes, Swiss Artya's founder Yvan Arpa has finally ventured into creating an unholy union of delicate watch making and destruction with the Son of a Gun Tourbillon timepiece. A large portion of aBlogtoWatch readers who prefer more conservative fare such as products from Patek Philippe or Rolex balk at the notion that we even cover brands like Artya. Yes, they've written us and commented on posts suggesting that these are perhaps not the most prudent items to recommend purchasing. We think they are missing the point on why we get excited about featuring timepieces of this ilk.
The amount of people who will end up buying Artya's expensive, limited production products are small. These are mostly well-to-do collectors who have an eccentric take on life and are anything but novice watch lovers. After a lifetime of buying or seeing conservative timepieces, for many it can be incredibly refreshing to don something weird, wild, or just plain controversial. We feel that it is our role as a watch media destination not only to communicate with those niche buyers who populate our valued readership along with everyone else, but also to keep people informed of what is new and potentially discussion-worthy in the horological world. There are those of you who are strict "tool watch" types who would never consider something brazen and artsy such as this, and then there are the art collector types who are more interested in the look and story of a watch as opposed to what movement it contains or if the same features can be had for a lower price in a differently configured product. We celebrate the variety and oddity of the watch industry, we aren't here to claim that each item we write about is ideal for today's well-dressed gentleman. Well-dressed gentlemen have plenty to seek here and if we limited ourselves to "prudent buys" we'd probably end up being a much less interesting place to frequent.
Now that I've dispensed with our little rant/disclaimer, we can proceed to understanding why Yvan Arpa decided he would top the Son of a Gun collection with a tourbillon. This watch is actually an evolution of the limited edition "Coup de Foudre" Tourbillon that I covered here a few years ago. According to Artya, those previous models which are actually more avant garde than this piece, have all sold out. Using the same Concepto tourbillon movements, Artya creates a more "rich" version of everyone's favorite bullet-filled timepieces.
47mm wide in a steel case, the Son of a Gun is more industrial than it is luxury in terms of construction. The bezel has an insert (either copper or 18k red gold) that is meant to look like cross-hairs, which has ended up being a rather successful hallmark feature of the collection. The large case is simple, yet distinct and feels nice on the wrist. While there is a hand-made feel to the entire timepiece, it has a very demanding and actually fun appeal to it. It doesn't at all feel like something perfect and incredibly refined such as something would you have seen come out of Rolex, but it feels much more personal and authentic from an artistic perspective. That is probably because it is exactly that - more like time telling art than a purist time telling tool.