Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain RRCC1

Rexhep is arguably the most discussed independent of the last few years. The questions are twofold: the why and the how of the furor. I believe they’re both founded in excellent watchmaking. Perhaps we were all a bit primed after the stratospheric explosion in the likes of Dufour, Smith, and Journe to be looking out for independent watchmaking’s more nascent talents. But that’s not enough to merit the kind of values people now ascribe to the RRCC series. That’s down to the philosophy, talent, and hard work of one Kosovar-Swiss prodigy. The Chronomètre Contemporain was the first watch where Rexhep paired back the avant-garde stylings of earlier work and chose to sign with his name instead of Akrivia. It’s often the simpler expressions of maker’s offerings that display their philosophies the clearest, such is the case here.

The man has an eye not just for proportion and finishing, but architecture. It is not easy to create a completely symmetrical movement that still integrates the signature zero-reset from Akrivia, along with a 100 hour reserve. What appears simple to the eye aesthetically is far harder to make. That simplicity is just the canvas for mile-wide Côtes de Genève and broad bombé anglage that would give the other Simplicity a run for its money. The dial-side echoes that sentiment, a grand feu enamel that contrasts classic Roman numerals in a very modern track design with a recessed, gilded petite seconds. Its 38mm case is just 9.5mm thin, with scalloped, almost-stepped lugs inspired by the 1950s Emile Vachet Patek Philippe cases Rexhep used to work on while working for Patek.

There are 50 RRCC1s, 25 in this white dial, platinum case and 25 in black, pink gold. Two years ago, Rexhep announced the RRCC2, updated slightly with a Hagmann case and small tweaks here and there in 100 total examples, split the same way. And then yesterday we learned there would be 10 gem-set RRCC2s. Somehow, though, the first of anything has a way of being more special. I can count on one hand the number of RRCC1s that traded hands publicly last year. Both were around 900K US, which isn’t too bad for a watch that originally retailed around 70K US. This market isn’t hot, it’s an inferno. It just seems no one can tell if that inferno is growing or shrinking, which is the main question at this point, as everything is spoken for you’re looking at the secondary. However, if all you care about is watchmaking aside from the value, there’s enough to study here on merit alone. And surely that’s what matters. Plus, by all accounts Rexhep is just a super polite and very kind man. That’s certainly not the case for all these prodigious talents, which just makes me happy to see his successes continue to multiply. Time to get on the list for your great grandchild’s RRCC24.


This example appears hard worn, with nothing visible on the case. It comes with its full set, numbered 3 out of the 25. It is being offered as part of this spring’s Geneva auctions.