Shock Of The New: ArtyA Is Going Back To The Future With Electrifying Results
According to the reliable scientific source that is Back to the Future, you only need 1.21 gigawatts to power a time machine. There are a few things that can provide the requisite power – namely, plutonium stolen from Libyan terrorists, 484 wind turbines (according to some interesting maths from Buzzfeed) or one lightning bolt, delivered conveniently to Hill Valley’s Clock Tower in 1955.
It also takes the latter to create the unique patina on one of ArtyA’s watch cases, which founder Yvan Arpa creates himself using a Tesla coil; rather than waiting for the next storm.
Yet as far-out as that sounds, lightning bolts are probably the least weird thing used in the creation of some of Yvan’s watches – others boast dials featuring dinosaur faeces, bullets and even Yvan’s own blood.
As you can imagine these watches are not designed to be worn around the boardroom table, unless you’re really trying to intimidate someone into accepting a deal. They’re extraordinary artifacts like no other.
Yvan’s journey into watchmaking is as diverse as the timepieces that carry his name (ArtyA is an amalgam of Art and Yvan’s initials). He first started his professional life as his career a mathematics professor. After that Yvan decided to participate in professional martial art combats in Thailand, and, as if that wasn’t extreme enough, he thought he’d cross Papua New Guinea by foot. Wanderlust sated, Yvan came back to Switzerland and walked into the warm corporate embrace of the Richemont Group’s Baume & Mercier. However, the enfant terrible instinct recurred and Yvan moved to another group-owned brand Hublot where he oversaw the launch of the Big Bang.
The next step up in the iconoclasm stakes was a move to an independent brand Romain Jerome where Yvan was responsible for such controversial timepieces as the Titanic, which contained pieces of the doomed vessel, and one called “The Truth About Roswell”, which contained moon dust.
But even Romain Jerome was too staid for this man and he decided to set up on his own; creating a brand where his unusual ideas could flourish. And what an impressive set of ideas he’s managed to turn into watches.
First there’s the Race collection – probably his most “normal” (though Arpa would probably baulk at the use of that word in relation to any of his creations). It features a spoked wheel connected to the watch by a hub that goes all the way through the centre of the watch, so you can only read the time if the wheel is spun at top speed.
Son of a Gun contains real bullets, Son of Sound has a case shaped like a guitar, Son of Earth has dials made from natural forms, such as butterfly wings, spiders or fish scales.
Son of Art, as the name suggests, makes miniature canvases of its dials, with each one of the 17-strong collection featuring a painted, engraved or stone-set designs, while all his flirtations with traditional complications, such as tourbillons, minute repeaters and perpetual calendars, fall under the Son of Gears umbrella.
For his Artistic Projects collection he really lets his creative impulses out of the straight jacket – just in case you were thinking the other watches sounded a little tame – and this is where you’ll find blood-soaked dials and dinosaur poo.
This might sound like these watches are all shock factor, which isn’t true in the slightest. Holding superior regard for mechanical mastery, all the watches curated for SKOLORR use high-end Swiss mechanical movements and for the exceptional pieces the movements are tinkered with in Yvan’s own workshop.
And what a workshop that must be. We’re sure the patrons of ArtyA will relish what the future holds for his watch art, flux capacitor or not.