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Time to Discover Elka Watch Co.

The world of independent brands and microbrands is very interesting. It is full of creativity, positive energy, and very friendly people. It is a community in its own right within the watch space. Sometimes the microbrand is an original creation, straight from the mind of a designer or a watch enthusiast. And, sometimes, some choose to revive forgotten gems from our past.

And that’s exactly what happened with Elka Watch.

The precursor to the Elka Watch Co. brand was founded in 1877 in Amsterdam by Eliazer Kiek, inventor of the tactile watch for the blind and watchmaker to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. His brand was rebranded to Elka in 1913 by Kiek’s son, Eduard Louis Kiek. He named it like this by taking his initials, Eduard Louis Kiek, and adding the A for Amsterdam.

In 1949, Elka Watch Co. opened its Swiss branch in La Chaux-de-Fonds. They produced wristwatches, of course, but also pocket watches, braille watches, and chronographs, as well as chess and signal clocks. Then, in the mid-1970s, the brand disappeared along with Ernst Louis Kiek, a grandson and the last heir.

Ernst Louis Kiek, the last owner, continued to run the shop on the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam with his wife Edith Verpoort until 2000, when the company was finally dissolved. At this time the Ben Joseph family bought it and renamed the 2 stores to Ace Jewelers. This is important to note because E.L. Kiek did not want the name to survive because he and his wife did not have any children, so it was their wish that the brand name went with them.

The brand name was completely forgotten and deleted in 2012. The Elka Watch Co. name was then registered in Switzerland by Hakim El Kadiri in 2021, then globally in 2022. Therefore, the current Elka Watch Company has no ties with the original Dutch brand.

The fun fact is that Mr. Hakim El Kadiri was nicknamed ELKA ever since his childhood, so it was an obvious choice for him when he chose the name of his new company. He always dreamed of developing his own brand and so, after a long and very successful career at some of the world’s leading Swiss watch brands like Swatch, Hamilton, and Rado, he decided to become an entrepreneur and start ELKA Watch Co.

Since he loves the 60s, the products and the aesthetics of that era, he has decided to make it his design line.

ELKA watches are inspired by the times when a product was kept for life. Back then, one invested in durability, quality, and uniqueness. The idea is to step back to that period of the 1960s — to those pure and colorful aesthetics we still remember, back to the magical dreams of the space race, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Woodstock; a return to the struggles, the changes, the rebellious spirit that were hallmarks of that decade.

Hakim said: "I looked through Eduard Louis Kiek's archives and realized that the brand had strong designs and had worked closely with other big names in the watch industry such as Ulysse Nardin, Heuer, Rolex, Minerva, to name only a few. So, without reviving the brand, I wanted to pay a tribute to this old Dutch brand with my first 2 series".

In the process of developing these two new original models, Hakim El Kadiri was confronted with the joys of being the sole decision-maker in his company. Previously, he worked for big brands and therefore had only one job. But now, with the launch of his own brand, he had to do everything himself. For example, he is not a designer but wanted to do the designs himself.

In fact, Hakim takes care of every little detail on his own — from the creation of the box, the hands, and any other technical aspect, including fostering a product environment.  He also developed the brand's website himself. Well, that's what almost all microbrand bosses experience, and we easily understand the difficulty... It's certain that they don't have many hours of sleep.

Elka presents 2 models today, each with a different character. First is the D Series, which is inspired by a dial created by Ulysse Nardin for the defunct Elka Watch brand. And then there is the X Series, inspired by a flight instrument created by Heuer for the defunct Elka Watch.

Note that the watch case is the same for the D Series and X Series. The inspiration for this is taken from the shape of a pocket watch.

Dimensions of the cases are 40.80 mm for the diameter and 10.80 mm for the thickness, which make for a perfect dress watch. Above the dial there is a Chevé box sapphire crystal. This one is the most complicated versions of watch sapphire. They have the appearance of Hesalite glass, as made in the past. It should be remembered that the hardness of the sapphire crystal is just behind that of the diamond, at about 2000 HV.

The choice of the Chevé box sapphire crystal was quite obvious in order to take up the style of the 1960s. At this time, watch crystals were made of Hesalite. The crystals had elegant shapes — they were curved. The big advantage of this shape is a generous opening on the dial and a thin aspect of the watch. For reference, this same type of sapphire crystal is also used by Rado for their Captain Cook model. Concerning the dial, one has various choices. There are 5 X Series and 8 D Series watch heads

For the X, there is a black model with numbers and hands filled with Superluminova which looks like burnt tritium.  There is also another version with a dark blue dial and white Superluminova.  Lastly, Elka offers a khaki beige version, which is the color of a pocket watch made by the former brand. There is also the khaki green dial as well. 

This last choice, Elka’s beige to black dial with Superluminova numerals and a "burnt by time" effect, is my personal favorite because of the vintage feel of the piece. It’s also sporty with a strong character.

For the D series, which is more classic and dressy, eight different dial color ways are available. Some of the colors include deep blue, olive green, pink, pale blue, and even the very popular burgundy. You can also choose from different watch straps as well to make your Elka watch uniquely yours.

With all these variations, there really is something for everyone. From the young, young-at-heart, men, women, everyone will find what they are looking for.  And if you really like the series, you can even create a color combination for each season.

For both the X and D Series, the hands and dials are curved. This combination works really well with the Chevé box sapphire crystal. Note that some watches also come in two versions, either with or without a date window.

At the heart of all of these watches is the Swiss La Joux-Perret G100 automatic movement. This one runs at a frequency of 28,800 vph and has a power reserve of 68 hours when fully wound.

This movement has been introduced by the Swiss manufacturer in mid-2021. This one has been developed to meet the standards of the watch industry. With its diameter of 25.6 mm and a thickness of 4.45 mm, it aligns with the most widespread dimension in the world of watchmaking and thus guarantees complete compatibility with the casings of the ETA 2824, the best-selling Swiss movement in the world, and also the Sellita SW200. The power reserve of the latter is much more important than those offered by ETA and Sellita, which makes it a very serious competitor for the two largest producers of Swiss movements.


The watches can be purchased with three different straps : Milanese mesh, NATO and leather.  The price of the watch varies depending on the bracelet chosen.


When I started this article, I also told you about Ace Jewelers which had bought the two original Dutch boutiques from the Kiek family in the early 2000s.

For Hakim El Kadiri, it seemed logical to create a collaboration with Alon Ben Joseph of Ace Jewelers. After long discussions, the idea came to them to develop a set of four watches which would have the specificity of having the numbers in several different numeric scripts.

And that’s how, in mid-2023, the Ace Jewelers x Elka Diversity Series collection was born.

These watches are based on the design of the X Series and, therefore, retain the dimensions of 40.8 mm wide and 10.8 mm high. Likewise, there is still the Chevé box sapphire crystal which gives a superb look to the watch. For this collaboration, each watch has a deep blue sunray brushed dial and what sets them apart is the font used for the numerals. You have a choice of Western Arabic, Eastern Arabic, Chinese or Hebrew, connecting together the four cultural worlds in a single watch collection.

Finally, the dials have a white printed railway style minute track on the outer edge and have the Elka Watch Co. logo at 12. There are also dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands with a luminous insert, and a white lacquered central seconds hand. The watches also have a beige nubuck leather strap with quick-release button and a stainless steel pin buckle.

All watches in the Ace Jewelers x Elka Diversity Series are limited to 25 pieces. Note that the reference number, X14-0804, with the numbers in Hebrew, is sold out. But, you can still buy the others. After this first collaboration, Elka and Ace Jewelers are now back in 2024 with the D-Series Essence collection. This is based on the D Series design and has no frills on the dial, allowing for simplicity and purity.  This limited edition collection of 25 pieces offers an almost blank dial with a deep blue color.


For Hakim, the absence of any numerals also adds another philosophical dimension to the earlier Diversity series. He said that, “With the Diversity Series, we paid homage to different cultures & languages around the globe. But now, we have gone beyond words, beyond languages. A timepiece with no numerals on it, creating a sense of integration and universal comprehension.”


Note that, due to the success and high demand of the Diversity series, once they are sold out of a current color, they have decided to create a watch with a new dial color instead of making more in the same color. Since the blue Hebrew version is sold out, as mentioned above, they now offer their new version with a green gradient. This one is also limited to 25 pieces and will be proudly presented during the Minutes and Hours Watch Show in Chicago on April 6-7, 2024.

The first collaboration of Elka Watch was with the French magazine, Montre Heroes.

This watch is mixing the X Series genetic codes with those of the magazines "HEROES".

This model is proposed with a sandblasted "gun" color case, with the famous raven engraved on the case back and discreetly printed in white between the two inner strands of the black Nato strap that covers the watch. This little raven is also placed at 25 on the black dial which adds a bit of fun to the watch.

Elka Watch Co. is quickly gaining momentum in the watch space, and you will hear people talking about this brand for a long time. Their products with 1960s influences are like a bridge between the old and the new generation.

Check out Elka Watch Co. on their website and social networks 


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