Apiar is a new British brand in the watchmaking industry dedicated to bringing cutting-edge engineering techniques to horology. Specifically, they’re interested in additive manufacturing (3D Printing in layman’s terms) using high end materials to create watch designs that would be impossible without this technology. They have just launched the online configurator for their first watch, the Invenire v1.0, with the official launch set for February 2024. If you use their configurator and register your interest, you can also enter their giveaway for a pair of custom Apiar cufflinks.
How does additive manufacturing work? Well, like a 3D printer you might use in your home, you create a digital file of the product and then the machine recreates it layer by layer until you have the completed item. The main difference is that while your printer at home might use resin or plastic at a thickness of 0.8-1.2mm, Apiar are using grade 23 titanium which is added in thousands of 0.06mm layers.
This process means that Apiar are able to create intricate internal structures that would not be possible with traditional manufacturing techniques. In fact, when using their online configurator you can choose from three different internal structures. What that means in watch terms we’re all familiar with is that you can choose the pattern that the 39mm case is skeletonised with. There’s hexagon – not dissimilar to the new Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samual Ross – gyroid and X lattice, each offering superb strength and visual flair. On top of the case you then have a choice of bezel with either 6 or 12 tabs.
While this cutting edge case is where the additive manufacturing really comes into its own. There’s still plenty to customise with the Invenire v1.0’s dial. You can choose Arabic or Roman numerals. You can choose the pattern on the central portion around the hand stack: hexagon, striations, Clous de Paris or blank. Naturally you can also pick the colour with the choices being oxford blue, racing green, engineering orange, matte black or onyx grey.
It’s amazing how much these alterations affect the character of the watch. The green dial with Clous de Paris and Roman numerals has a sporty elegance to it while the engineering orange with full hexagon case and hexagon dial with Arabic numerals feels industrial and modern.
The movement housed inside is also pretty spectacular for a debut collection. Eschewing the usual Miyotas, Seikos, Sellitas or ETA calibres you might expect to see, Apiar have jumped straight to the La Joux Perret G100 version soignée vis bleues, an automatic movement with 68-hour power reserve. You can admire it through the sapphire exhibition caseback. It’s also worth pointing out that despite the openwork case design, the Invenire V1.0 has 100m water resistance so the movement is protected from the elements.
While, like most watches these days, there is some element of international supply chain involved such as the Swiss movement and German sapphire crystals etc. Apiar have done as much as possible to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, the case is 3D printed by an engineering firm in Wales before final touch ups are done in England. The dials, straps, leather travel cases and sustainable packaging are all produced within the UK as well before the watches are assembled in London.
Price and Specs:
More details at Apiar.