AKRIVIA is very pleased to announce the partnership with legendary case maker Jean-Pierre Hagmann. Their collaboration with him is based on their common desire to create beautiful, handcrafted cases to showcase the movement. The independent brand is proud to integrate an almost-forgotten profession into AKRIVIA, with the exceptional experience and expertise of Jean-Pierre.
During the Swiss watchmaking renaissance that started in the 1980s, just after the Quartz Crisis, there was one case maker whose name stood out above all others: Jean-Pierre Hagmann.
Born in Geneva and trained as a jeweller, Jean-Pierre constructed watch cases – all signed with the distinctive “JHP” hallmark – for some of the greatest names in watchmaking. His clients included eminent houses like Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin, but also independent watchmakers like Franck Muller and Roger Dubuis.
But most famous of all was his work for Patek Philippe. In fact, it was the refined cases he made for Patek Philippe’s minute repeating wristwatches that have gained him lasting reverence amongst watch collectors. And it was the immense, complex and delicately open-worked case he built at the turn of the millennium for one of the most complicated pocket watches ever that sealed his reputation as a true great in the field.
After a career that spanned some five decades, Jean-Pierre retired in 2017. And that might have been the final chapter for one of watchmaking’s storied craftsmen.
Fortunately, Jean-Pierre has returned for an encore with AKRIVIA, a young brand destined to be a watchmaking great of tomorrow. Jean-Pierre’s partnership with AKRIVIA is particularly poetic because it unites distinguished artisans of yesterday and tomorrow in pursuit of a common goal – exquisite watchmaking.
THE GRAND TRADITION OF GENEVA WATCHMAKING
AKRIVIA was founded by Rexhep Rexhepi, who is all of 32 years old; Jean-Pierre, on the other hand, is 78.
Despite the vast gulf that separates them in age, Rexhep and Jean-Pierre share a common watchmaking heritage.
Rexhep was born in Kosovo but has been steeped in the traditions of Genevois watchmaking since the age of 15, when he became an apprentice at Patek Philippe in 2002. A decade later, Rexhep established AKRIVIA.
Based in Geneva, like Mr Hagmann’s most distinguished clients, AKRIVIA is barely seven years old but still clinched the coveted “Men’s Watch” prize at last year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve for the critically acclaimed Chronomètre Contemporain.
“AKRIVIA has evolved gradually, but now I want to go to the next stage – creating our cases in our own workshop, in exactly the same spirit as our movements. With the exceptional experience and expertise of Jean-Pierre, I want to integrate an almost-forgotten profession into AKRIVIA. Our collaboration is based on our common desire to create beautiful, handcrafted cases to showcase the movement.” – Rexhep Rexhepi
Jean-Pierre now produces watch cases exclusively for AKRIVIA, though he will still execute specialist restoration of vintage watch cases for international auction houses.
At AKRIVIA, Jean-Pierre plays two crucial roles. The first is tangible: design and manufacture of watch cases, with an eye towards vertically integrating all of AKRIVIA’s case production in time.
But the second is perhaps more important – nurturing a new generation of case makers.
“It is important to think of the future generations of watchmakers,” explains Rexhep, “In order to sustain and develop the artisanal crafts, we must transmit this knowledge before it is extinguished.”
Already set up in a brand new workshop equipped with old school tools, located just a few minutes’ walk from AKRIVIA’s workshop in Geneva’s historic Old Town, Jean-Pierre has already begun work on his first project – constructing the platinum case for the one-of-a-kind Chronometre Contemporain made for Only Watch, the famed, biennial charity auction of one-off timepieces.
Once that is complete, Jean-Pierre will build cases for AKRIVIA’s current models, as well as future timepieces, including the highly anticipated successor to the Chronometre Contemporain that will be launched next year.
“During my career, I created thousands of types of watch cases by combining tradition with my imagination and the use of different production techniques. I am delighted to make something beautiful with Rexhep, while bringing new ideas and new solutions to case making – this will be my last great fireworks.” – Jean-Pierre Hagmann