The ArtyA AquaSaphir is the first aquatic watch with a case made of sapphire crystal The ArtyA AquaSaphir is the first aquatic watch with a case made of sapphire crystal

The ArtyA AquaSaphir is the first aquatic watch with a case made of sapphire crystal

Dániel Dobai

Sapphire is one of the most exotic materials for a watch case these days. Notorious for being incredibly hard to work with, the material has yet to appear in more affordable models; however, ArtyA is on the right track with their new sporty summer release, the AquaSaphir.

ArtyA is a small independent brand from Switzerland, founded not so long ago. Kickstarting a brand from scratch is a hell of a challenge, but when an industry veteran is at the helm, the ride gets smoother. Yvan Arpa has worked with brands like Hublot, Jacob & Co., and Baume & Mercier, among others, which explains his passion for special materials. Right now, Hublot seems to be the leader on that front. Many times, great designs come from professionals who have seen it all from big brands and decide to carve their own path.

Other than the transparent case, what makes the ArtyA AquaSaphir special is its water resistance. Many brands use a slightly misleading system to denote water resistance, where 100m pretty much counts as a minimum for swimming and 50m would be okay for being left out in heavy rain. Sapphire is quite a rigid material; in fact, it is the hardest mineral after diamond and moissanite, which makes for brilliant scratch resistance. On the other hand, this firmness makes it difficult to work with. It is more difficult to add the necessary gaskets, which keep the water out, to a case made of sapphire. That just makes it even more impressive that the AquaSaphir’s 60m water resistance is a genuine rating rather than a usage indicator. Considering that most Scuba divers never go below depths of 20m, ArtyA have ensured the AquaSaphir can truly be called a dive watch.

You won’t find any metal in the 41mm case. It is entirely transparent, with no screws whatsoever; even the crown is carved out of sapphire. The overall design is a familiar diver watch style, with long lugs and stubby crown guards. Some compromises had to be made with the bezel as it is fixed in place. You can either have it transparent, like the case, or with a watery cyan tint. If you opt for the cyan version, a meteorite dial can be chosen instead of the enamel gradient one. On the dial, you will find a mixture of rectangular and triangular shapes for the indices, all treated with SuperLumi-Nova. At three o’clock is a simple date window, while at twelve, the ArtyA logo completes the look.

Visible through the transparent case back is the ArtyOn 3-hand automatic movement. It is an exclusive Swiss-made caliber that runs at 4 Hz and has 42 hours of power reserve. It is complete with a rose gold rotor and NAC-coated Côte de Genève bridges.

The ArtyA AquaSaphir pricing and availability

Available on both white and cyan rubber straps, the ArtyA AquaSaphir Cyan NanoSaphir™ bezel models with the meteorite or enamel dial retail for CHF39,900. The simpler models with a transparent bezel retail for CHF29,900.

Brand ArtyA
Model AquaSaphir
Case Dimensions 41mm (D)
Case Material Sapphire
Water Resistance 60 meters
Dial Meteorite or enamel with a gradient
Crystal Sapphire
Strap Rubber
Movement ArtyOn, La Joux-Perret G100 base,
Power Reserve 24 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds and date
Availability Now
Price CHF 29,900 (clear bezel)
CHF 39,900 (cyan-tinted bezel)