When I first wrote about these watches their name wasn’t clear. I called them the Artya Time Shot watches, but Artya prefers the name “Son of a Gun” collection. OK, cool. The point of the collection of piece unique watches is to have bullets in them. My first question when checking these out for the first time in person was “are these drilled or live rounds?” Yvan Arpa, founder of Artya, had to think about it. “Will have to check on that” is probably the response I got. His creativity is certainly aided by his lack of practical thinking in some instances.
Artya’s creations almost entirely defy the high-end watch norm. Even among other brands that are unique, Arpa’s taste and creations are totally unique. He likes to throw around the word “crazy” a lot and has an intense level of enthusiasm for his creations. He even has a collection of watches in what he calls his “forbidden collection” that are either too weird or impossible to promote through the regular channels. That is just his world. One of the new Son of a Gun watches is the “Werewolf.” It has two silver bullets on the dial.
The Son of a Gun watches are among his finest creations because of how they look on the wrist. To some guys there is nothing more masculine than an art watch with bullets in it that looks like it was made somewhere between a watch factory and a skilled guy’s garage. The small automatic movement uses a rotor with the back of three bullets on it that spins around pleasingly. On the dial you see between five and six small Flobert bullets tailing each other on the see-through dial. At first the concept seems silly until it just makes you smile when you put it on. I can’t stress enough how much these watches aren’t for everyone, but I would totally wear it once in a while to be brass and almost vulgar.
Artya’s clients range from musicians to eccentric rich folk who get a kick out of this stuff. You need to take it for what it is. If you compare an Artya watch next to a Cartier… an atomic explosion might occur. Artya uses their 47mm wide steel case in various styles for this timepiece. Some are “defaced” like only Artya can do using electricity.
Seeing the bullets in their full size three-dimensionally on the dial is interesting and fully asserts the artistic concept. As Artya makes only piece unique watches, each of these timepieces will be totally individual. Some might look similar, but no two will be alike. Logical questions ensue when looking at this timepiece. “Is it safe? Can I get through airport security? How will I explain it to people?” I simply don’t know the answers to these questions – and not knowing is half the fun. If there is one thing that Yvan Arpa does not want is to create a watch that fails to emotionally inspire you in some way or another. You can’t call these pieces high-horology, but you’d be damned not to call them horological art. For the right people these Son of a Gun watches just hit the spot all too well.