Prior to establishing Total Watch Reviews I was involved in several different aspects of design. Over the last decade I have renovated numerous properties (some featured in magazines), designed furniture and painted large paintings. Ultimately this experience has led to many encounters with some very interesting people. For example one of my friends in Adelaide is a very successful developer. What distinguishes him from his many competitors is his meticulous attention to detail. In fact he only uses the highest quality materials and fixtures. I have also found that many watchmakers I write about are also perfectionists, when it comes to the finished product. A wonderful example is Finland born artisan Antti Rönkkö.
Even though Antti Rönkkö isn’t as well known as his fellow countryman Stepan Sarpaneva, he displays the same level of talent. Both of these exceptional watchmakers handcraft their timepieces and therefore produce them in very limited numbers. The last time I wrote about Antti Rönkkö was eighteen months ago, when I featured his elegant Steel Labyrinth. Compared to a lot of watches I review, the façade was very understated. Nevertheless with seriously limited numbers (only 5 pieces) it is surely going to be highly sought after.
A few weeks ago Antti Rönkkö emailed me to announce the unveiling of his latest model called the Minotaur. Dimensionally it is slightly larger than the Steel Labyrinth and measures 42mm x 11.75mm. These proportions are definitely classical and much smaller than most of the watches I review. Therefore I feel this timepiece could be potentially worn by discerning male and female buyers. I also feel due to the size it would feel pretty comfortable and lightweight on the wrist. Primarily this is down to the stylish case design and choice of 316L steel (hardened black IP coated) in production. Although I like steel I would have expected the use of a better quality material like ceramic, especially at this price point.
Visually the Minotaur has a striking and entirely unique appearance. The watch derives it name from the Greek Mythological creature that has the body of a man and the head of a bull. Essentially the design theme of the watch explores the contrast between good and evil. I love the multi-layered matt black dial with open worked Roman numerals and steel hour/minute hands. Other features include bespoke contoured lugs and twin rotating Minotaur talismans depicting the various phases of the moon. Overall the composition is cohesive and the finishing is superlative.
At the heart of the watch is a customised Swiss made Soprod A-10 movement. This caliber comprises 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). This intricate mechanism has a delightful 18-karat white gold rotor and is visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Minotaur features hours, minutes full moon and dark moon indications. The timepiece also has a power reserve of 42-hours and is water resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The Minotaur is limited to only 5 pieces and has a hand stitched matt black alligator strap with embossed Rönkkö steel buckle. Priced exclusively at: €19,400 (approximately $21,753).