Tuesday, October 20, 2009
From Finland comes boutique watch maker Antti Ronkko who nicely epitomizes independent watch makers from the region. His Minute Repeater watch creation combines his personal tastes and ability to craft watch cases and dials, with an early 1900's Touchon & Company manually wound minute repeater pocket watch movement inside.
The case itself is all handmade by Ronkko costing him 100s of hours. It is 48.5mm wide in 316L steel, being comprised of three parts. This large size is due to the fact that movement itself (coming from a pocket watch) is 39.5mm wide alone. The lugs are integrated into the case as part of one uni-body construction.
Most minute repeater watches include a slide lever on the side of the case to active the minute repeater function. Ronkko wanted to do something different, so the this watch uses the a twist of the bezel to charge and then activate the minute repeater. It is a clever use of a winding bezel. I further enjoy his stencil mold style name plate to indicate the brand on the lower part of the dial.
The beauty and complication of the minute repeater movement alone, made for a suitable dial, especially since exposed movements are in. The movement has a subsidiary seconds dial located at 9 o'clock, while all hands are done in an attractive arrow style. The dial segments built by Ronkko also include brass, in addition to steel. Overall the look of the case is very appealing with a high degree of focal interest emphasized on the movement. I would have however liked for Ronkko to include dedicated hour markers that would have made the watch easier to read. These could have easily been included on the darkened dial plate ring.
Antti Ronkko is still in a very limited boutique phase, but has proven to have an ability to make interesting and highly capable watch cases that embody interesting movements made by others. I suspect the watch loving community will see Antti Ronkko models in the near future made in larger quantities. Plus, this is another sign that Finnish watch makers are becoming serious about the country also being know for creating interesting watches.
By Ariel Adams