Up until very recently the only Russian watchmaker I was aware of was Konstantin Chaykin. His immense skills have not only gained him recognition in his own country but also worldwide. In fact he has become so successful he is now a member of the highly exclusive AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants). A few months ago (when I visited Singapore) I was delighted to discover another watch designer of Russian heritage called Alexander Shorokhoff. Although his timepieces are marketed at a completely different price point, the designs are very sophisticated.
Like most of the watchmakers I feature on Total Watch Reviews, Alexander Shorokhoff has a very interesting history. Since the youthful age of eighteen he has gained a degree in engineering studies, worked in construction, dabbled in politics and studied economics. Due to his industrious nature and high achievements he was chosen by (then Russian president) Michael Gorbatchev to form part of a group of 20 elite managers. Subsequently this path led him into the world of horology and the establishment of his own exciting watch label.
Although I appreciate the design qualities of all Alexander Shorokhoff’s watches I was drawn to the wonderful Babylonian. Dimensionally the timepiece exudes masculine proportions and has a diameter of 47mm (excluding the crown). Even though the size of the watch is quite large by modern standards I didn’t find it overbearing. For that reason I feel it should appeal to a broad demographic of buyers. Generally (considering the size) I found the watch sat comfortably on my wrist and didn’t experience any friction from the lugs. It also felt fairly lightweight for a stainless steel timepiece, which surprised me a tiny bit. Normally I would prefer the use of titanium but in this instance polished steel suits the style of watch.
Visually the Babylonian has a really distinctive three-dimensional appearance. What makes this watch so attractive is the intricate multi-layered skeleton dial. The sophisticated design reminds me of some of Itay Noy’s wonderful creations. Interestingly both brands are displayed side by side in Krasnaya Watch Art Gallery, Singapore’s (http://redarmywatches.com) fantastic boutique. Other striking features include open worked bold laser cut numerals, signs of the zodiac, blue steel hour/minute hands and sapphire crystal lens. Overall the composition has been very carefully considered and extremely well executed.
At the heart of the watch is a refined manual-winding movement. The Caliber 2609.AS comprises 17-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Each of the watches components (including the balance bridge, barrel and train wheel bridges) has been meticulously engraved, polished and gold plated. This entire mechanical splendor is visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Babylonian features hours, minutes, seconds and has a power reserve of 42-hours.
The Babylonian has a hand crafted tan colour Ostrich strap with matching stainless steel buckle. Priced at: $2,835
For more information about Alexander Shorokhoff visit his website: http://www.alexander-shorokhoff.de