Yvan Arpa

– What’s the biggest news this year?
– There’s a lot of going on. Now we have several in-house movements so you have a choice: pay a little more and get in-house or a little less and go with ETA. And just listen to the chime of our minute repeater with titanium case and a hand-engraved carbon dial. Beautiful isn’t it?
– It sounds great! Does it mean that from now on collectors can get classical pieces from Artya too?
– It’s good money. I like provocation, it’s my style. We want to be a niche brand and all, but sometimes you have to think in commercial aspects. If you make a minute repeater too avant-garde it would be difficult to sell it. Why should I sell something that nobody wants?
– Do you feel some changes in the industry?
– We go to authenticity. People want real thing, passion, emotion, not some marketing. No one needs a watch now. Big brands often don’t see it. If you trying to be like Vacheron Constantin, you are 400 years late. Just look at the hat industry two-three generations ago. Your grand-grand father and mother couldn’t go outside without a hat. They would feel naked. Now only big originals wear hats, and the industry is finished. If we don’t reinvent watchmaking soon, it would be finished either. We need new ways.
– Are there any advantages for the independents in this situation?
– There are two types of independent brands. You have independents financed from the outside and there are true independents. I think the first category will suffer a lot because the return is difficult and the shareholders want money as soon as possible. True independents are very flexible. I sold the watch with the lion and one client says: ‘I want the same one, I’m ready to pay’. I say: ‘No, I don’t want to make a second lion, I want to make a wolf’. And he goes: ‘All right, I’ll take the wolf’. You see, complications from ArtyA are always piece-uniques.
– And what do you like the most about watchmaking?
– It’s the only industry where you can do whatever you want. You can do steel, you can do wood, you can do butterfly wings like my wife. If you are creative enough, you’ve got tons of possibilities.