Aventi is a new-age watch company that has no offices, no factories, and no boutiques. This is on its own, is not that rare.
Many watch companies nowadays — the ones you’ve probably never heard of — contract out the production, quality control, and distribution — effectively becoming marketing brands that do not handle the actual production beyond design and management.
This is not such a bad arrangement and typically results in lower retail prices compared to the well-known brands which compete in the same segment but have to factor in the cost of factories, advertising, and perhaps most of all: staff, offices, and boutiques in multiple countries.
That said, if you support a Kickstarter-backed watch project, there’s no guarantee the watch will actually be produced. And in the same context, if you buy from a new, networked watch company (a company with no physical presence), even if they’re already elevated above the Kickstarter game (Aventi does not use Kickstarter) — there’s still really no guarantee the watch brand will be around tomorrow. Whereas with a venerable brand like Omega or Breitling, you know the company will be around to service your watch under its 5-year warranty (Aventi offers a 5-year warranty like the two aforementioned brands), and that the watch will have strong resale value for years to come (it’s unclear what resale values Aventi command on the market due to insufficient data).
In spite of all the downsides of buying from a watch company that’s virtually unknown in the mainstream market — some do differentiate themselves enough to at least warrant consideration. Aventi is one of those, especially if you’re in the market for something as esoteric as a skull watch.
Introducing the A13-01 Ghost. Built inside the company’s A13 case, which is crafted in ultra-light grade 5 titanium, the dimensions, which are 49 mm across at the bottom of the case, taper all the way to 41 mm at the top of the case. At 14.8 mm thick, and 49 mm at the widest point — with a bullhead-style top-mounted crown — the watch has presence without being gigantic.
Naturally, the marquee feature of the skull watch is the skull. And this one is made using a sophisticated CNC machine over a period of 500-hours per skull, from a single piece of sapphire (2.3 mm thick), with faceted edges (160 facets, 200 edges), and is suspended above the skeletonized mainplate, underneath Dauphine-shaped sapphire crystal hour and minute hands, in the center of the dial. Adding to the aesthetic and functionally, the manually wound Swiss-made openwork tourbillon movement, caliber GT-01S, has a tourbillon at 6 o’clock that completes its rotating every 60-seconds.
As stated above, Aventi is a networked company, with no factories, and so this is the statement they provide regarding the production of a Swiss-made tourbillon caliber. “We didn’t build this movement alone; we worked with a team of the greatest talents in the world. Pillars of accuracy and watchmaking, with centuries of experience. Masters in the heart of Switzerland crafted every component of this engine. Companies like Atokolpa, Generale Ressorts, and TEC Ebauches, the same companies who have worked with Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille.
To create the movement, in addition to using the above-mentioned companies, Aventi provided this statement regarding the master watchmaker who oversaw the movement design, “We worked with master watchmaker Olivier Mory to develop a tourbillon that is more accurate than a chronometer, with over 4 days of power reserve. Shock resistant to over 5000 G’s and with magnetic resistance of 2000 gauss.”
The resulting caliber has just 63 components, including a grade 5 titanium mainplate, which ensures better reliability, and serviceability, after all, these are not the days where the only tourbillon on the market costs six figures.
While the bevels are not Haute horology level coming out of the best Swiss manufactures, and the perlage and black carbon coating do not instill the same level of quality you’d expect from higher-end brands, overall the watch is nicely done and is highly distinctive.
The eyes of the skull are red rubies, finishing off the look in the day. However, the skull, indices, and hands are all coated with a generous amount of bright green-emitting lume — which perhaps makes this watch, even more, impressive at night. The retail price is listed at CHF 11,500 or approximately $12,500.
Photo by Aventi.