Since the release of their first watch in 2012, the Finnish independent brand Rönkkö has produced a handful of compelling timepieces with watchmaker Antti Rönkkö at the helm. Much like his Finnish peers Stepan Sarpaneva and Kari Voutilainen, Rönkkö takes a distinct avant-garde approach to his designs, which is often one of the joys of discovering new independents. One thing to note is that each design centers around stories rooted in Greek mythology. Even more compelling in the Rönkkö Icarus Silver Sky Edition watch, however, is the in-house bi-hemispheric moon complication which tracks moon phases in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
As this is not the brand’s first watch, we should begin with some background in order to put the Rönkkö Icarus into context. The first Rönkkö watch, called the Steel Labyrinth, was fully designed and produced in-house, according to the brand. In corresponding with Mr. Rönkkö, he speaks with the passion and obstinance of a true craftsman, emphasizing the more than five years of development and over 20 different movement layouts he tried before finalizing his first movement, called the AR1. He says that hand-finishing (using “classical watchmakers tools”), assembly, and fine-tuning would take about 400 hours.
Returning to the watch at hand, the movement in the Rönkkö Icarus Silver Sky Edition is a Soprod A10 movement modified with the in-house moonphase complication, but we are clearly talking about the kind of independent watchmaker that offers a unique perspective, true exclusivity due to extremely limited quantities, and hand-craftsmanship.
The moonphase complication is one of the more romantic features in watchmaking. Though relatively common today, it is welcome when manufacturers move beyond its most basic function and introduce unique elements that can make a piece more interesting. When first taking a look at the Rönkkö Icarus Silver Sky Edition watch, one might be able to find some stylistic similarities to pieces from fellow Finnish watchmaker Sarpaneva who also has a distinct penchant for the moonphase complication.
The Rönkkö Icarus Silver Sky Edition serves up an interesting approach to the complication that also incorporates visual elements of the narrative it is tied to, the Greek tale of Icarus and Daedalus. This continues the theme of past Rönkkö creations, the Labyrinth watch with a handmade AR1 movement and Minotaur watch with a dual moon complication, which are also inspired by Greek myths but similarly have the angular, architectural, and lattice-like design elements that give the watch a dramatic and three-dimensional visual effect.