The Chinese Timekeeper is a small independent watchmaker located in Wanchai, Hong Kong. In 2010 the dynamic and entrepreneurial Adrien Choux founded the company. He gained his extensive knowledge of the industry by working as a marketing manager at Panerai for five years in greater China. This experience gave him the determination and drive to set up the World’s first luxury Chinese watch brand.
Initially when I heard about the concept behind The Chinese Timekeeper, I was sceptical. Most people generally associate Chinese movements with replica or entry level mechanical timepieces. It was only when I spoke to Adrien about this project, I realised what he was trying to achieve. Ultimately his vision is to change people’s perceptions about Chinese manufacture and celebrate dynasties dating back nearly a thousand years. All of his watches are hand made in very limited numbers to the highest specifications. Every stage of production is carefully considered and executed skilfully. Although the company have distribution outlets worldwide they have only recently opened their first boutique in Hong Kong.
Presently The Chinese Timekeeper has a few different models and a couple of special editions. The CTK-18 is one of the brands latest creations and has a case diameter of 44mm. I feel these proportions should appeal to a wide variety of buyers including the unisex market. I would also imagine the timepiece would be fairly comfortable and lightweight to wear. Currently all the watches are constructed from stainless steel with different coatings. In the future I would like to see the company experiment with materials like ceramic, titanium, bronze and potentially precious metals.
Visually the CTK-18 is an absolutely stunning and original watch. The matt black dial is understated and perfectly showcases the Burmese white jade numerals. Adrien informed that this is the world’s first watch to incorporate white jade into the design. I love the engraved inner ring, distinctive company logo and delicate open worked hour/minute hands. Other features include the PVD coated case and bezel containing four large screws. Without sounding too pedantic I would have expected DLC coating for a watch at this price point. Nevertheless the overall attention to detail is superb and the finishing first class.
To power the watch The Chinese Timekeeper has equipped it with an automatic Chinese calibre bought from the Hangzhou Watch Company. The CTK 6300 comprises 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Adrien has always been completely transparent about the origin of the movement. He explained to me that he only procures the highest-grade (A) mechanisms that are well finished and decorated. Functionally the CTK-18 features hours, minutes, seconds and has a power reserve of 36-hours.
The CTK-18 is limited to only 18 pieces and has a superior snakeskin strap (and additional black alligator strap) with matching deployment buckle. Priced at: $32,800HKD (approximately $4,225).