WHO IS BEHIND THE BRAND ARTYA
Yvan Arpa is an artist that colors outside of the lines, which at first appears contrary to his own DNA. Considering that Arpa is a former mathematics instructor—one of the purest sciences, and a long-time student of martial arts, which follows strict Eastern ideology, how did Yvan Arpa arrive at being one of the most outspoken Swiss watch designers and at the same time known as the most ardent traditional interrupter of the Swiss watch industry—let’s take a look.
Appearances are not always what they seem, however it does appear that Yvan Arpa zigzagged through the Swiss watch industry establishing his own style that eventually led to creating his own unique brand.
Arpa’s first entry into the Swiss watch business was in joining the European watch brand, Sector Sports Watches. After spending a couple of years become familiar with the sports watch business he moved on.
In 1997, he was appointed managing director of Baume & Mercier of Switzerland and head of sales for Europe and Asia.
Following his tenure with Baume & Mercier, he was appointed managing director of Hublot from 2002 to 2006, a timeframe in which the Big Bang watch line was launched—a product that clearly stepped outside the boundaries formerly followed by this Swiss watch brand.
From this platform, Arpa became CEO of the struggling young brand, Romain Jerome from 2006 to 2009, whose former owner named the brand for his two sons to promote his luxury stroke-counting timepiece for golfers.
It is important to note that Arpa re-launched this brand that had absolutely no history of watchmaking by introducing the concept of legends in order to legitimize it as a brand and not just an unsuccessful high-end golf watch company.
With the Legend concept in mind, Arpa introduced the brand’s first Legend that actually recalled an international disaster…the sinking of the unsinkable—the Titanic! This could have gone badly for the brand, but instead it brought the brand international recognition and sales success. This watch contained rusted steel recovered from the Titanic melded with metal from modern ships.
Following this international sales and recognition success, Arpa quickly introduced the next Legend, the Moon Watch containing actual dust from the Moon’s surface.
In 2009, Arpa decided to launch his own company, opening the doors of Luxury Artpieces. Under this company, Arpa introduced two significant brands, Black Belt Watches and ArtyA. In the former, Arpa, a Black Belt in martial arts himself created a special watch for other Black Belts—exclusively.
Regarding ArtyA, it was named after his love of art and utilizing his initials, YA. ArtyA has become the real driver of the Arpa brands and this where Arpa finds no boundaries in creations that way outside the norms of traditional Swiss watchmaking design and development. This brand has become known as the ultimate outsider with its use of natural materials such as butterfly wings, spiders, cases struck by lightning, real bullets, tobacco leaves, crustaceans and fish scales from the oceans, and so on.
While continuing to operate ArtyA, Arpa was also asked to join Jacob & Co. temporarily as acting COO, during a time of that brand’s major management shift.
In 2013, Arpa launched Spero Lucem, a brand that was honored Geneva, the city of his birth. Among the four watch models introduced was the La Clemence. This watch appears at first just another traditional haute horology Swiss watch, but wait. During the time the minute repeater is operating, the hands of time rotate “wildly’ around the eccentric dial. When it finishes, the hands take their original places.
Then in 2016, Arpa designed the smartwatch Gear S3 for Samsung and presented this watch in Berlin, its international launchpad.
No doubt about it, Arpa makes up his own rules when it comes to designing and creating new timepieces for his brand. That’s who’s behind this brand.
—GLEN B BOWEN, COPYRIGHT, 2017
COMPLICATIONS // SON OF RACE // SON OF A GUN // SON OF GEARS // SON OF EARTH // SON OF SOUND // SON OF ART
According owner and designer Yvan Arpa, his ArtyA brand has always made complications, ranging from Perpetual Calendars and tourbillons to rattrapants to minute repeaters.
The RACE collection takes it inspiration from auto racing. Only 99 pieces can be produced of each model in this limited edition collection.
SON OF A GUN COLLECTION
This collection of watches was conceived under the notion that guns don't always kill people, but time does. Son of a Gun watches contain real bullets and cartridges. Five patents protect the timepiece collection.
SON OF SOUND COLLECTION
Three years in development, seven patents in the design and construction of the guitar-shaped case protect the Son of Sound masterpiece. It will catch the eye of any watch collector or music-lover. The collection exudes passion and boldness, which is so ArpA-esque!
A sliding hour counter and date indicator is under the hand-stretched strings. The four tuning pegs are completely functional activating the Swiss Made Automatic Woodstock chronograph movement and is protected by a unique and patented Active Tuning Pegs System (ATPS). The Son of Sound timepieces have a power reserve of 48 hours and coms in a variety of beautiful dials and case finishes.
Additional unique pieces in this collection were conceived incorporating guitar picks and artwork themed on musical celebrities and in different case sizes from 38mm to 47mm. There is even one version in hand-made dancing skulls with a skull strap.
SON OF EARTH COLLECTION
This collection takes inspiration from Mother Nature and contains a variety of hand-made dials featuring tropical butterfly wings, spiders, tobacco leaves and gold leaf with natural pigments and fish scales and even miniature paintings. In all there are more than 17 different techniques utilized in producing this collection, many are a first in the watch industry. Handmade, every dial is unique and a genuine miniature work of art.
SON OF ART COLLECTION
This collection can best be described as without traditional boundaries, allowing no limits on creativity and art. Every dial is unique and a true miniature piece of art because they are all hand-made.
Some of the pieces in this exciting collection include engraved bezels and others were literally struck by real bolts of lightning cast by an enormous Tesla Coil literally sculpting each one differently in color and shape.
SON OF ART COLLECTION
Absence of boundaries and limitless creativity are the keywords of this collection. Each dial is a true miniature – and a unique work of hand-made art.
Some Son of Arts bezels are hand-made by the best engravers, other cases have literally been struck by a real lightning bolt created by a huge Tesla Coil, sculpting and colouring each watch completely differently from any other.
SON OF GEARS COLLECTION
This collection is a tribute to the age-old knowhow of the watch industry.
Here you will find Tourbillions, Perpetual Calendars and minute repeaters, as well as some reinterpretations of the classics of watchmaking, such as a wonderful
exclusive skeletonized mechanical movement that looks like the Sun (Shams in Arabic), housed in a rather nice classic 44 mm case adorned with different lateral inserts.
On some other models, gears, wheels and electronic parts take control over the watch, invading in the dial, bezel and case.