Yvan Arpa stands as one of the most avant–garde watch creators alive. After having made a significant contribution to some of the biggest success stories in the watch industry, in 2010 he launched his own independant brand: ArtyA.
The uncategorisable and trendsetting collections can be divided in different families: Son of a Gun, Son of Sound, Son of Earth, Son of Arts, Son of Gears, ArtyA Race & ArtyA Complications.
They allow Yvan Arpa to have an open, living playground, in which he can create many variations every year, using some very innovative concepts and unconventional raw materials – such as butterfly wings (under the control of the authorities), stones, real bullets, real (shredded) euros, non-circular mechanical gears, cases struck by real lightning, to name but a few. All the hand-made dials are made by artist Dominique Arpa-Cirpka, applying numerous techniques – most of which have never before been used in this industry.
ArtyA has its own watch manufacture, in the city centre of Geneva. From a mechanical standpoint, ArtyA masters every aspect of the historical knowhow of this age-old industry, from three-hands models to perpetual calendars and tourbillions, from minute repeaters to simpler skeletonized mechanical movements.
ArtyA watches are all very limited in number, with many of them being unique pieces – and many of them being exhibited in some of the most prestigious Art museums of the world, such as the MOMA in New-York City.
‘Neo renaissance elegance – gold and platinum – purity & beauty.’
The fact that Yvan Arpa Ceo of ArtyA and Master-Engraver Bram Ramon form a perfect team is no longer a secret to the world of high end horology. When these two creative spirits meet you can be assured of something new and spectacular will be created. Ancient techniques meet new ideas. Fine art meets fine mechanical design and form true beauty!
This new creation, The Artya Sculpted gold piece unique is no exception! Asking Bram where he finds inspiration, his answer was
“I love to challenge myself, to create, to push and execute old techniques to the rules of the trade – refusing to compromise or cut corners! I have a passion for ornamental design, especially Neo-Renaissance ornaments – a style which dates back to the 19th century and can be found in northern Europe, Flanders & Prussia etc. What I like is it’s pure elegance. The search for perfection and symmetry makes it still possible to use this style on more contemporary canvases. To compose and draw in this style, then later engrave or sculpt asks a lot of research. I specialize myself in this style and my own geometric ®Prismacut Art. To keep creating I need trust and I receive this from Yvan Arpa. His confidence in me helps to produce my absolute best, and makes our collaborations something I always look forward to – and knowing the final customer will have something unique, made by the hands of two visionary creators, who will give everything they have, not only to please the customer, but for the love of the art, is extremely special!”
For this new creation, the materials are steel, pure gold and pure platinum. As you can see in the video, Bram first starts with his neo renaissance ornament design, transferring it to the steel dial. He then makes the cavities and undercuts for the platinum inlays. (The inlaying technique does not require gluing or soldering). After this, Bram will make the undercuts for the relief gold inlay, which sits higher then the dial. Once the thick sheets of gold are hammered into the undercuts, the outlines are traced and the long work of sculpting & shaping can begin. This ancient technique is now pushed to the next level, as this is all executed under a high quality, stereo microscope with a magnification of x20, so every detail can be finished the way it should be. After finishing the dial the bluing can begin. The contrast between the gold, platinum and the blued steel gives the sculpted gold even more dimension and the bass relief really comes to life.
This collection was one of the main independent attractions at Baselworld 2013. After further developments, the new-generation Son of Sound ‘Guitar Collection’ is back in the spotlight.
The Son of Sound is a creation that’s high in ArtyA content: off-the-wall, uncompromising, and pure rock. Its origins embody the desire common to all the fully-independent brand’s designs – coming up with an emotion-packed, passionate timepiece that breaks away from traditional watchmaking codes. The Son of Sound has been made in the image of ArtyA and its designer Yvan Arpa, taking the road less travelled, far from the dictates of convention.
Let there be rock
Prevailing watchmaking standards are perhaps not the best way to measure the new Son of Sound Guitar Collection. By nature, these watches bear no resemblance whatsoever to existing timepieces. The Son of Sound ‘Guitar Collection’ really has rewritten the score.
The ‘buttons’ are made to resemble the machine heads used to tune guitars and bass guitars – or, in this case, to fine-tune the date and time and ‘play’ the chronograph. The display draws unashamedly from the repertoire of the very best inventions in watchmaking. The minutes are shown by a central sword-shaped hand, while the sweeping hour hand is displayed in a central window, on top of a date instant-jump window! A second central hand marks the chronometer time. And conducting this ensemble is a Concepto caliber especially tailored for the Son of Sound ‘Guitar Collection’, which goes by the name of Woodstock – what else.