Watches: ArtyA Son of a Gun Russian Roulette (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on June 17, 2014

Whether you like his character or not, there is one thing about Yvan Arpa you have to agree on: he is extremely inventive. And, taking advantage of the creative freedom that managing your own brand can bring, he used ArtyA as a platform to experiment with all sorts of crazy aesthetic ideas. With the new “Russian Roulette” models in the “Son of a Gun” collection, though, it seems that the brand has now found the booming concept it deserved to make a lasting impression in the eyes of the public and reap the benefit of years of dedication to the watch industry.

Basically, the watch can be regarded as a subversive version of Perrelet's Turbine: it features a front rotor designed to look like a revolver cylinder with six bullet chambers. As for the well-known eponymous game of chance, only one chamber contains a .357 Magnum round end. This highly evocative rotor spins with the motion of your wrist above a baseplate that also features six holes. All in all, the visual effect is absolutely stunning and everyone will immediately get the reference to “Russian Roulette”.

So much the better since the rotor is of absolutely no use to this manually-wound timepiece! Whether we should see there a deliberately provocative choice from Mr Arpa or not is left to your appreciation. This surprising decision, however, allows from an unobstructed view of the movement through the sapphire crystal of the case back. There, with great surprise and unaffected pleasure you will discover a completely reworked and highly skeletonised Unitas movement. Very colourful and nicely decorated it also includes a mainspring barrel with six cut-out holes as a nod to the revolver cylinder.

This very masculine and truly fun watch comes in a new 44 mm case with a much more classic feel than the rather industrial-looking case the brand used for most of its past collections, including the previous Son of a Gun models. The larger size and the presence of integrated crown guards make it sportier than the other new case used this year for the Son of Earth Butterfly Art CollectionFlash News: ArtyA Son of Earth Butterfly Art Collection (+live pics) that I presented last month on Watch Agora. Another nice feature of this new case in the presence of lateral inserts on the case bands. They are crafted in “ArtyAOr” the brand’s very own gold alloy obtained as a mixture of gold, zinc, and most importantly copper recovered from real bullet cartridges.

ArtyA is known for releasing unique pieces but the “Son of a Gun Russian Roulette” models are 99-piece limited editions produced in steel or rose gold. Several colours of hands, rotor, and 357 Magnum round as well as many colours and materials of strap are available to customise the piece. Pricewise the Son of a Gun Russian Roulette ranges from CHF 7,900 for a steel version to CHF 29,800 for a rose gold model. Whatever the version, this is a really great-looking model with a unique design that will make you stand out from the crowd. Well done Mr Arpa!

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