ArtyA’s Son of a Gun “Russian Roulette” (New Models, 2015)

ArtyA’s Russian Roulette is a rebellious timepiece that brings together life, death, the interval of time between the two – and the legendary Russian challenge that can take you from one to the other in a split second. This year, the brand brings two new models in to the collection.

When you play Russian Roulette, there’s no room for any pretending. Just as in the real-life game, in which every bullet counts, the watch designed by ArtyA features real bullets on its dial. The theme is one that Yvan Arpa, the fully independent brand’s CEO and designer, has long been exploring in his Son of a Gun collection, which comprises four families in all: Tradition & Bicolor, Werewolf, Target, and Russian Roulette.

Two new models have just been added to the Russian Roulette line. There are three new watches, with just 99 of each of being made, in a strictly limited edition. They all offer new finishes, providing the lovers of this ArtyA bestseller created in 2014 with a wider choice.

The three new Russian Roulettes come in skeleton versions, each featuring a new take on the original theme that was hit when the collection was first introduced: a gun barrel mobile, open on the dial side and assembled on ball bearings, that is set spinning by the slightest movement of the wrist. The animation also includes a genuine bullet cartridge set in one of the six chambers of the mobile. The mobile piece flies as fast as a speeding bullet round the circular ‘Classic’ case, providing constant animation on the wrist.

There’s more, too. In addition to removing the dial and opening up certain parts of the movement, ArtyA has put a lot of work into developing style and technique. And to round off the effect, the genuine bullet cartridges – legendary calibers such as the Magnum 44, 357, P38, and so on – gracing the Russian Roulette’s dial are echoed on the other, movement side of the watch, on the barrel. The artistic choice of this component is anything but arbitrary: barrels on firearms house the chambers in which bullets are stored; in watchmaking, the barrel similarly distributes energy. And setting it in the same tradition, the barrel has six indentations – just like the six chambers of most handguns.

This new rendition comes in three finishes: steel, black and chocolate. The three colour options are not the fruit of chance either. Steel recalls the natural colour of metal; black is the typical finish of all pistols, revolvers and handguns; and the chocolate brown version evokes the colour of copper bullet cartridges, once they have darkened after being fired.

The new Son of a Gun Russian Roulettes are available in a 44mm ‘Classic’ round case. Three versions of the case will be on offer: matt black, steel and gold. The Russian Roulette mobiles positioned on the dial will also be available in matching finishes (matt steel, matt black and copper), allowing for a very wide range of combinations.

Each watch is numbered and features side inserts made from ArtyOr, the brand’s exclusive alloy. The addition of this gunmetal-like component to Son of a Gun watches provides an extra special touch: it’s made from the remains of actual used bullet cartridges.

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