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Akrivia Chronomètre Contemporain II RRCC II

This is the very first Chronomètre Contemporain II, a watch that preserves the style of the original model, but with an entirely new calibre featuring an additional complication.
The original Chronomètre Contemporain was a perfect gentleman’s watch, providing the perfect starting point for its successor, the Chronomètre Contemporain II (RRCCII), which remains focused on chronometric performance – certified by the Besançon observatory - while being elegantly executed to highest possible quality in finishing and construction.

Both the dial and movement of the RRCCII retain the distinctive aesthetics of the original, but it was constructed from the ground up as a completely new timepiece. The RRCCII is paradoxically very much the same, yet entirely different.

The dedication to quality means that one element of the RRCCII “Only Watch” remains unchanged. Made up of 14 components, the platinum case has been hand made by the legendary Jean-Pierre Hagmann.

Having retired in 2017 after some five decades as an artisanal case maker who supplied the very best brands, Jean-Pierre picked up his tools once again in 2019 to join Akrivia, with his first creation being the case for that year’s RRCC “Only Watch”.

For Only Watch 2021, Jean-Pierre returns for an encore performance. He carefully fabricated the RRCCII case by hand, including soldering each of the elegantly arched lugs to the case band, one of which bears his “JHP” hallmark.
As it turns out, a fair bit. The below sketch is the only bit of information revealed by Akrivia for its contribution to Only Watch 2021, the Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain II (RRCCII). Despite the paucity of information, much can still be deduced from the single image.
The most apparent fact that can be gleaned the sketch is a deadbeat seconds – a seconds hand that jumps discretely once a second.

We can infer this from the star and flirt mechanism. The star is mounted on the escape wheel, which is located at six o’clock and completes a revolution once every five seconds. The star blocks the rotation of a flirt, a long lever that presses against the face of the star’s teeth.

After each second, the star rotates far enough that the tooth provides enough clearance to release the flirt, allowing the star to rotate until the flirt contacts the next tooth of the star. This sudden release of the flirt is what controls the burst of rotational energy that drives the deadbeat second geartrain.
Further inferences can be made from our May 2020 chat with Rexhep, where he hinted the RRCCII will have twin barrels powering separate going trains. In retrospect, that now makes sense in the context of the deadbeat seconds.

One barrel drives the going train for timekeeping, including the escape wheel and the star. The other barrel drives a secondary gear train for the deadbeat seconds hand and the flirt. Both geartrains are mechanically synchronised only via the star and flirt.

The details of the movement will only be known closer to Only Watch. Ultimately, as with Akrivia’s previous work, the movement finishing will likely be the star of the show, with the technicalities of the movement being secondary.
One intriguing detail that stands out in the sketch is the cross section of the dial. It can be seen that the cannon pinion is relatively tall, extending far above the base of the dial, which is shaded in yellow. Furthermore, a faint, chalk line is discernible above the base of the dial, even above the “Rexhep Rexhepi” logo at 12 o’clock.

This implies that the dial – just like that in the Chronomètre Contemporain for Only Watch 2019 – will be translucent enamel, made up of a textured base with enamel on top.
Given that the Chronomètre Contemporain Only Watch 2019 was widely lauded for its excellent enamel dial, the upcoming RRCCII will be something to look forward too, especially since Rexhep has promised not to do similar dials for his standard watches.

And last but not least, the sketch also reveals a bit about the case. Its profile and cross-section are similar to the first-generation Chronomètre Contemporain, an elegant and refined design with deceptively complex sections in a mix of concave and convex surfaces.
And the sketch clearly shows the “JHP” hallmark of Jean-Pierre Hagmann, the renowned case maker who joined Akrivia in 2019, meaning the octogenarian will once again be responsible for the one-off case, which will be platinum if history is any guide.

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