It is incredible to think that Akrivia, the brainchild of Rexhep Rexhepi, is almost 10 years old. Not only does the brand have the cachet and credibility of a much older house, but the designs also exhibit a degree of maturity and sophistication that belie their relative youth. And as of today, we are treated to the second iteration of the Chronomètre Contemporain.
At first glance, not too much has changed with the Chronomètre Contemporain II. The dial is superbly done grand feu enamel with the technical and contemporary Roman numeral layout, in ivory or black, depending on the case material. Speaking of cases, this is one element that has been refined, thanks in no small part to the work of legendary case maker Jean-Pierre Hagmann. The case is comprised of 15 parts, with soldered lugs, which have been subtly improved in this generation with a more pronounced arch. This new case measures 38mm across and 8.75mm tall, but that excludes the dome, which is more pronounced than previously. The case is offered in either platinum or rose gold. The winding crown is a little larger for improved handling.
Turn the watch around, and while the calibre RRCC02 looks like the movement from the original model. This calibre is, in fact, completely new, but in the style of the original. It boasts twin gear trains and barrels, one powering the balance wheel, the other the jumping seconds. While this is the most major modification, it’s far from the only one. The balance wheel now uses regulating screws leading to more inertia which, added to the greater torque of the new balance spring, makes for greater accuracy throughout the entirety of the watches power reserve. On top of that, there’s a great user-friendly feature in the form of hacking seconds that resets to 12 when the crown is pulled out. Not an earth-shattering revelation, but handy nonetheless.
The Chronomètre Contemporain has been regarded, rightfully, as one of the greatest new watches of the last decade. And Akrivia hasn’t messed with any of the elements that make it so good. The second-generation amplifies and refines the exterior, improving on the case in meaningful ways. However, it’s on the inside that the greatest differences can be found. Calibre RRCC02 is a great example of thoughtful, wearer-focused watchmaking. Of course, it looks spectacular, with its German silver plates and traditional hand-finishing, but it is really worth noting is that every mechanical improvement has been made to improve the experience and utility of the wearer. Because of this, the Akrivia Chronomètre Contemporain II is a worthy update to the original.
Movement: Calibre RRCC02, manual wind, 82 hours of power reserve, free-sprung, adjustable mass balance with eight inertial and four poising screws, fitted to a balance-spring with Breguet terminal curve
Functions: Subsidiary dead-beat seconds with hacking and zero-reset, sweep central hours and minutes
Case: Rose gold or platinum, 38mm x 8.775mm excluding crystal, 3ATM water-resistance
Strap: Fine calfskin with two-tone finish, hand-stitched in Geneva, and attached to platinum or gold pin buckle