Yvan Arpa is Artya. He is as colorful and as unapologetic as his watches. You may love that, you may hate it. But by gosh, you sure as hell notice it. The first time I noticed Yvan this week, was when he pulled up outside the GWD tent in time for the welcome drinks on Wednesday night, riding a beautiful motorcycle (one of his extensive collection), which had been decorated with marquetry. The watches are no less artisanal.

I receive a lot of Artya press releases. I’m always intrigued, but never really thought about buying one until I saw them in the metal. Some of the pieces are too much for me, but the creative thinking behind many of them is truly impressive. I love engraving and a few of the dials and bezels are just stunning. They look like a Mikael Bulgakov fever dream (I like that). And while you may need to first acquire a few oil fields before you feel you can pull that kind of style off, you may well find something more to your tastes lurking in the corner of Artya’s diverse catalog.

Artya Blue Farfalla HD

And when I say diverse, I mean it. There is a lot more on offer from this brand than I realized. That’s thanks, in part, to Arpa’s boundless creativity, but also down to the sheer number of unique pieces created by the brand. And when you consider the majority of these pieces are extremely limited (often to one) the price suddenly seems surprisingly reasonable.

Russian Roulette Gun Barrel Black

Rotor weights on the dial

I love rotor weights on the dial. I used to like the Perrelet turbine watches (in theory) but I never felt that brand got it exactly right. The concept was there; the execution was not. Artya offers a couple of watches featuring this aesthetic. My favorite? The “Son of a Gun” concept. I think it works very well with the hyper-masculine output of the brand and sits very nicely alongside the aggressively styled (but richly realized) leather straps that Arpa sources from many talented artisans around Italy.

Blue Edelweiss Artya

Hot take: Colorful. Confident. Challenging. Yvan Arpa wears his heart on his sleeve and under it. These products are an extension of the man. I’m not sure there’s a man alive (apart from their creator) that could love every single piece in this range (so different they are) but that diversity and the extreme limitation means that you might surprise yourself and find something you love. Get them on your wrist. It makes a big difference.

In-depth reviews of the pieces seen during the fair will follow. Feel free to comment below with your initial takeaways of new releases, the event format, and anything you’d like us to focus on or explore further.

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