Time and Tide - June 2023 - Fergus Nash

The Ace x Elka Watch Company Diversity series

The Ace x Elka Watch Company Diversity series - Time and Tide Watches 

The Ace x Elka Watch Company Diversity series

  • Ace Jewelers and Elka Watch Company have teamed up to celebrate Amsterdam’s diversity.
  • Both companies have links to the historical Dutch brand Elka.
  • It’s available with dials in Western Arabic, Eastern Arabic, Chinese or Hebrew.

Collaborations between watch brands and dealers have historically been as simple as printing a name on a dial, and sometimes even that tiny detail can make a huge difference to collectability and price. When it comes to The Ace x Elka Watch Company Diversity Series, not only is the connection between the two entities much deeper than simple sales, but it almost seems destined to be.

The Elka name existed as a watch company between 1877 and the 1970s, but it was revived by Hakim El Kadiri who wanted to start his brand under his childhood nickname. Although the two companies aren’t connected, Hakim wanted to honour the original with his first releases. The old Elka was founded by the Kiek family who owned a prominent jeweller’s chain throughout Amsterdam, but the Kiek boutiques were dissolved in 2000. Ace Jewelers took over one of the Kiek boutiques at Leidestraat 21, now helmed by Alon Ben Joseph and his family. As Ace Jewlers have collaborated with a watch brand before, the stage was set for a convergence of Elka history.

Amsterdam is a city which embraces diversity, and there was plenty of precedent for The Ace x Elka Watch Company Diversity Series. One of the timepieces created for the old Elka brand by Heuer was meant for aviation, with jumbo-sized Arabic numerals around the dial’s perimeter. One even rarer example displayed Hebrew numerals, and expanding on that idea of ethnic diversity was the goal for this collaboration. Adapted from the Elka Watch Company X-Series, the Diversity Series is cased in a slender and sporty frame dripping with ‘60s style. Its 40.8mm diameter and 46.5mm lug-to-lug is very wrist-friendly, ensuring versatile comfort for many wrist types. The 10.8mm thickness is already pretty good for an automatic watch, but the way the case flattens out towards its edges like a flying saucer helps to slim down the effect even more.

While the numerals are the focus of this particular collection, the dial of The Ace x Elka Watch Company Diversity Series is gorgeous in its own right. A deep blue sunburst finish works its way through vibrant shades as the light hits it, and the crisp white printing of the train-track markers aids legibility and sophistication. The leaf-shaped hands impart a casual elegance, with a touch of lume for after-dark reading. The languages covered within the Diversity Series are Eastern Arabic, Western Arabic, Chinese, and the Hebrew set which inspired the collection.

Powering The Ace x Elka Watch Company Diversity Series is the La Joux Perret G100 automatic movement, known as a higher-end replacement for the ETA 2824 architecture. It beats at a smooth 4Hz while delivering a 68-hour power reserve, and includes expected features such as hacking and hand-winding.