Kerbedanz A'Ghrian

Kerbedanz’s initiatory journeys meet ultra-chronometry halfway

A nomination is already an achievement in this chronometry competition that subjects timepieces to the most rigorous tests in the sector. The A’Ghrian by Kerbedanz continues the adventure in the Tourbillon category.

By Joel Grandjean

You need to be a little adventurous to participate in this chronometric competition which only awards the three best models in each category. Le Locle and its museum “Château des Monts” relaunched the “Concours de Chronométrie” in 2009 as a tribute to the famous competitions that used to enthrall the sector before the advent of quartz. This watchmaking event remains a bastion of pure objectivity. Indeed, unlike other competitions, it only takes into account scientifically obtained assessments which follow a methodology whose transparency is only rivaled by the surveillance carried out in each step.

Kerbedanz’s nomination: staying in the competition

Thus, the models that manage to survive – the term is not used lightly here – are genuine “racing beasts” and obtain a detailed rating certificate.

Kerbedanz’s Tourbillon A’Ghrian recently passed the first tests and was thus officially nominated. This first success needs to be announced to the world because, at this level of the competition, the chronometric calculations and tests related to shock-resistance and magnetic interference have already seen some very good brands off.

Kerbedanz A'Ghrian

The real fun begins now. The watch will only reappear when the results are announced on October 22, 2015. We wonder if it will make it amongst the first three. In any case, it is still in the race and that already signals a remarkable success for all remaining brands, including Neuchâtel-based Kerbedanz. It is worth noting that it was precisely in the Observatory in Neuchatel that chronometric competitions were organized in the old days.

The totem of precision as symbol

When current CEO Tigran Kerbedanz founded his eponymous brand, his main objective was to pay tribute to his ancestor whose name still holds substantial value today in terms of skills in traditional high gold-smithing.

This respect for the past doesn’t in any way affect the brand’s quest for excellence both in terms of the noble materials it uses and in its mastery of the best finishes and decorations. That includes every type of manual engraving, enameling and micro painting, chamfering, finishing and polishing. What has recently been named “métiers d’art” can be expressed in so many ways that the dimension of ultimate precision, which is a key element in excellent Swiss watchmaking, had almost been left aside. After all, a watch could, by itself, display time in the most precise way possible, right?

Kerbedanz A'Ghrian

Not only does Kerbedanz’s official nomination at the 2015 “Concours de Chronométrie” allow the brand to stay in the competition but, in so doing, it also brings high precision back into the spotlight. Indeed, the brand has the intention of using this opportunity and the inevitable medialization it would entail to emphasize the brand’s distinction from others. After designing and producing over a hundred models for MIPs – the brand prefers this term to the too-widely-used VIP – it has now decided to turn to universal symbolism. Thus, it displays an array of cultural, geographical and universal allusions in its unique pieces and even in its ultra-limited series.

The result is watchmaking masterpieces that are turned into initiatory journeys and that come with a “Birth Book” full of documentary references.

A’Ghrian: hope and brightness

“A’Ghrian” means sun in Gaelic and, as in German, it is a feminine noun. Part of a limited range, this timepiece hence exudes femininity, Celtic musicality and mysticism. Its decorations are mystic and bright and are visible on the dial but invisible at the heart of the caliber KRB-01’s gears. As happens with other creations of the brand, all these decorations have a specific symbolism. Today still, this is an unexplored area in traditional Swiss watchmaking.

Kerbedanz A'Ghrian

Both the caliber and the dial have been hand-made and are filled with decorative subtleties. The hand-wound tourbillon mechanism was made by Technotime. Its carriage was placed between 7 o’clock and 8 o’clock vis-à-vis the winding stem between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock. It features 27 rubies, a frequency of 28,800 vibrations/ 4 Hertz per hour, a double barrel and a 120-hour power reserve. The back is protected by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and engraved with Kerbedanz’s colors.

Its 43-mm case, which is water resistant to 50 meters, is made of 18K white gold – again a reference to the sun – and is the first piece of a limited and numbered range. With its nomination at the 2015 “Concours de Chronométrie”, this piece’s value should increase substantially, especially if it classified amongst the best three in the tourbillon category. To be continued.

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