The ArtyA watch from the Complications series is a true masterpiece of high-end micro-mechanics. The watch combines two exceptionally demanding complications: a minute repeater with three gongs and a double axis tourbillon. This is a previously unseen combination in the world of watchmaking and one of the main reasons why the watch is shortlisted for the Mechanical Exception trophy at the upcoming edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve, the most prestigious award ceremony in the industry. There is another cool aspect of the piece, as it could have been expected for an ArtyA watch, since the brand is known for its quirky and original creations. The appearance of the piece, as well as its sound are modeled after the guitar of the famed R&B and blues artist Bo Diddley. ArtyA Complications Minute Repeater with 3 Gongs, Regulator & Double Axis Tourbillon is priced at nearly $500,000.
It comes as no surprise that this model is the most intricate piece in the collection of the watch manufacturer founded by Yvan Arpa. As the head of the watchmaking company explained, the idea behind the creation of the watch was to offer something that has never been seen before. Of course, this becomes harder and harder, considering the harsh competition on the market, so Arta had to offer something truly unique.
Two Exceptionally Demanding Complications
The solution was to create an exceptionally complicated watch which was ultimately dubbed with a very descriptive and prosaic name. However, this is probably one of the only shortcomings of the model, along with its notably steep price. The first among two major complications that are featured in the model is the presence of a double axis tourbillion feature. It includes a tourbillion which is additionally improved since it features two separate axis of rotation and two different speeds at which it revolves. One of it has a classical period of rotation that lasts for a minute and is thus used to display seconds, while the rotation on the other axis is twice as fast in order to correct the accuracy of the feature. The complex setup of the tourbillon includes more than 50 different components in its construction.
An Additional Gong to Indicate the Proper Activation of the Striking Mechanism
The second major complication that is included in the model is a minute repeater. Additionally, it is not a traditional striking mechanism since it includes three gongs. The reason for this is Yvan Arpa’s desire to remove one of the shortcomings of the standard approach. Since a minute repeater on the watch is a very complex and delicate mechanism, the wearers often become too careful when they operate it. Since their intention is to prevent any potential damage to the mechanism, the slide that activates the minute repeater is often pulled too softly to properly engage it. Now there is a solution for it. The ArtyA model has a third gong that strikes in order to indicate that the mechanism is set in action with sufficient strength.
Otherwise, the audible indication of the complication works as it is common. The second gong indicates hours, the third one is used for minutes. When these two gongs strike at the same time this indicates quarter hours.
The Spirit of the Legendary Guitar
However, the story about the idiosyncrasy of the feature is not over, since there is another very interesting feature that is hinted in the appearance of the model. The watch is modeled after the peculiar styling of the Bo Diddley’s 1959 Gretsch guitar and its sound is also designed to be similar to it. As the brand reveals, there is even an option of fine tuning of the minute repeater which will be done in accordance with the owner’s wishes by a master watchmaker. The quality of the sound (and its volume) of the feature is amplified with the domed section on the case-back which is simultaneously needed to facilitate the second axis of the tourbillon’s rotation. For the construction of the exceptionally demanidng movement whose main-plate also resembles the guitar of the legendary musician, ArtyA collaborated with MHC. The company (also known as Manufacture Haute Complication SA) is the Geneva based firm which is specialized in the creation of demanding complications and movements.
Otherwise, it should be said that the watch’s movement is a manually-wound and mechanical, as well as that it beats at the frequency of 21,600 vph which is more common for tourbillion pieces. The caliber features two barrels, one which is bigger and which is used for the movement, while the smaller one is utilized for the minute repeater feature. The supported power reserve is 64 hours. The true complexity of the caliber can be demonstrated with the fact that its production requires more than 1,000 hours of hand work of experts which is yet another reason the watch’s steep price.
The Regulator Style of Time Display
The extensive list of the mode’s cool features also includes the way in which the time is indicated. The piece features the regulator style of display where hours are shown separately from the minutes. While the hours are shown on the sub-dial with four Arabic numerals on the top of the watch’s face, the minutes are displayed in the center on the scale which features just six indices. Both dials used in the occasion feature sword-shaped hands in pink gold.
ArtyA Minute Repeater with 3 Gongs, Regulator & Double Axis Tourbillon is placed inside a quite large rectangular housing, as it could be expected, considering the supported features. It is 64.6 mm long, 47.3 mm wide and 18.1 mm thick. Because of its size, it might not be for everybody’s wrist, but its bigger dimensions are certainly necessary to facilitate its demanding mechanisms. Besides, the piece worth nearly half a million is hardly a thing that is not meant to be noticed. The housing is made in the combination of 18 K pink gold and titanium and it is water resistant to 50 meters. As it has been pointed out, it features sapphire crystals on both of its sides.
For the bracelet, ArtyA selected a black leather strap which locks with a pin buckle. Due to the innovative spirit and the complexity that were shown in the creation of the piece, ArtyA Complications Minute Repeater with 3 Gongs, Regulator & Double Axis Tourbillon is among 186 models that are shortlisted for the Mechanical Exception prize at the GPHG 2016. Its listed price is 480,000 Swiss Francs which is about $495,290.