The Elka D series watch exceeds expectations with exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and a captivating dial. It showcases an elegant case, a breathtaking sunburst dial, and a high-quality movement. Despite its relatively high price, the watch is considered to offer great value for money, making it a worthy choice for those seeking entry-level luxury.
Let me introduce you to Elka Watch Co, a vintage brand that still has its presence felt through the old watches you can spot on platforms like eBay. They were known for their pocket watches, field watches, and square dress watches.
Recently, the brand was bought by Hakim El Kadiri, who gave it a fresh start in 2022. He managed to keep the brand’s simple yet effective designs intact, but with a modern twist. It’s the kind of story that gets you excited about discovering a new microbrand, breaking away from the usual unknown ones making dive watches.
Hakim’s commitment to simplicity shines through in the revived Elka brand and their current lineup of 2 watch collections.Within the Elka collection, the Elka X series embodies a rugged field watch design, while the D series exudes an air of sophistication, maintaining a touch of the field watch spirit. This thoughtful balance sets them apart.However, beneath the surface of simplicity lies a multitude of unique details and intelligent design choices, which unquestionably justify the watch’s price. The case seamlessly blends elegance with a hint of sportiness, featuring slim sides that flow into subtly angled lugs, meticulously polished with an inner chamfer. Personally, I find the curve on the underside of the lugs, culminating in a sharp tip, to be exceptionally appealing. The watch’s polished and well-rounded back subtly reveals itself from certain angles, thanks to its slim profile.The minimalist baton-style sword hands complement the single and double baton hour markers flawlessly. Each element boasts a meticulously finished double-sided angle down the center, lending them additional character and allowing them to play with light.The date function is seamlessly integrated into the dial, aided by a background color that closely matches the dial itself. However, a no-date option would have added an extra touch of elegance to this particular model.
evertheless, the true standout feature here is the dial!
The dial of this model is truly exquisite with a slight curve, boasting a subtly radiant sunray finish that interacts with light in the most captivating way, almost resembling a glossy surface. Under certain lighting conditions, the dial takes on a deep black or dark brown appearance. As light and viewing angles change, it transitions from a discreet Bordeaux hue to a lively cherry burgundy, culminating in a beautiful red in the highlights. The visual transformation is simply breathtaking.
Enjoy this video of the dials as it plays in the sun:
Moreover, the dial achieves a remarkable balance and optimal proportions, displaying a keen eye for design.In conclusion, Hakim has masterfully crafted both watch collections, with the D series particularly shining as an impressive and dynamic dress watch suitable for everyday wear, even when paired with a casual NATO strap.While its simplicity ensures a safe choice, it is the intricate details and captivating dial that will undoubtedly capture your heart from the moment you set eyes on it.
Overall, the quality of this watch is exceptional and completely justifies the price. Great finishing, smart design choices, superb alignment, and good construction.
Case & crown
The case construction and finishing are very good. The angle at the lugs feels and looks sharp, yet is still soft to the touch (a hallmark of good machining and finishing). Worth noting: A well-thought-out notch also permits the strap to sit very close to the case, with no space between them.
The brushed finish of the case is executed with remarkable precision, showcasing flawlessly parallel lines. The transition between the polished and brushed areas is impeccably defined, enhancing the overall visual appeal. It’s worth noting that the quality of the brushed finish rivals that of my Breitling timepiece, which speaks volumes about the attention to detail.
No aspect of the case is overlooked, as evidenced by the polished interior of the lugs, mirroring the refined treatment on the underside. This comprehensive approach to finishing truly sets the watch apart.
While the crown itself is skillfully executed, it doesn’t possess any extraordinary features. That said, I must admit my appreciation for the prominently displayed Elka logo, composed of three distinct lines. It might have been preferable for the crown to sit a touch closer to the case, and perhaps a tad larger, although these preferences may be subjective.Overall, the case construction and finishing demonstrate an exceptional level of care and craftsmanship, with intricate details that elevate the watch’s overall appeal.
As mentioned in my previous discussion of the design, the dial truly steals the spotlight. The sunray finish on the dial base is executed with exceptional precision, with finely applied and barely visible stripes. Only when directly exposed to light does the base’s sunray finish reveal its captivating allure.
The hour markers exhibit meticulous polishing, boasting sharp and well-defined edges, all flawlessly aligned. The hands mirror this level of craftsmanship, featuring the same sharp angles and polished sides as the hour markers. The synergy between the hands and markers follows the subtle curve of the dial flawlessly, showcasing the watch’s impeccable construction tolerances. The hands are positioned as close to the dial as possible, further accentuating the attention to detail.
The date aperture presents a perfectly centered date display, with the date and accompanying text crisply printed. These details, such as the inclusion of serifs, contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal, even when examined under magnification.All of these remarkable elements reside beneath a special sapphire crystal, which introduces charming distortions to the dial, particularly due to the flat center of the crystal, resulting in unique distortions unseen in other timepieces.This type is called Chevé and mimics the look of Hesalite crystal and is quite expensive and hard to make! Check out this video on how they are made.
If I were to express a minor criticism, it would be directed toward the anti-reflective coating on the watch. While effective, there is room for improvement in this regard.Overall, the dial of this watch showcases an impressive array of features, from the meticulous sunray finish and flawlessly aligned markers to the precise date display and the intriguing distortions introduced by the double-domed box sapphire crystal. It is a sight to behold, although a slight enhancement to the anti-reflective coating would further enhance its allure.
The leather strap boasts a top layer of exquisite dark burgundy leather that harmonizes flawlessly with the dial. Notably, it is crafted without any visible stitching, showcasing a hallmark of quality. Furthermore, the strap envelops the sides seamlessly, demonstrating meticulous attention to detail.In terms of comfort, the strap offers a supple feel, while the suede leather on the backside resembles the softness of a microfiber cloth against the skin. This luxurious touch adds to the overall appeal.
The buckle itself is custom-made and impeccably finished. Its tactile sensation under the fingertips and the way it catches the light imbue it with a sense of luxury comparable to high-end buckles found on renowned brands like Omega or Breitling. The only distinction lies in the portrayal of the logo, which in this case features a light engraving of the Elka scripture.
Moving on to the Nato straps, they exude a notable level of quality surpassing that of typical Nato options. With leather reinforcement around the holes and a commendable buckle, they offer enhanced durability and functionality.
As for the Milanese strap, it stands as the epitome of aftermarket excellence. It exhibits a robust and substantial feel, characterized by its thickness and meticulous craftsmanship. The buckle, too, is well-made and solid.. In fact, the only Milanese strap that surpasses its quality is one I encountered on a Breitling timepiece, renowned for their exceptional straps.In summary, the dark burgundy strap provided with this watch is a masterpiece in its own right, showcasing impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. Furthermore, the Nato and Milanese strap options elevate the watch’s versatility, each displaying superior quality and thoughtful design choices.
This is the first time that I feature the La Joux Perret G100 (see their website here) movement on my blog, and perhaps it is because Elka Watches is the first brand to use this newly produced movement. The Joux Perret G100 movement is a robust and versatile automatic calibre introduced in 2021. It is designed to be compatible in dimensions with the ETA 2824 movement, making it easily adaptable to various watches. With a diameter of Ø25.60 mm and a height of 4.45 mm, the movement operates at a frequency of 28,800 A/H (4 Hz) and offers a generous power reserve of 68 hours. It features 24 jewels and has an angle lift of balance at 51°.The G100 movement showcases different decorative finishes, with the version shown in the description adorned with Geneva stripes. The movement incorporates a central plate that holds the calendar mechanism in place. The rotor, made from a solid piece of tungsten, is secured with three screws and turns on a ball-race. The movement also exhibits classical influences in its balance cock and large train bridge design.The G100 movement’s key features include its extended power reserve, compatibility with the ETA 2824, and the use of high-quality materials such as CuBe (beryllium copper) for the wheels. Overall, the G100 is a reliable workhorse movement suitable for a wide range of watches.
The Elka D series watch is extremely comfortable on my 17cm circumference wrist, mainly thanks to its slim profile and very soft and supple strap.
The 40.8 mm feels a bit bigger because the dial is the entire watch, but the small crown and 10.8 mm thickness helps bring it down a notch.I would not recommend this watch for very small wrists, but anything upwards is very good.
I think the price is fair.The Elka D series watches cost 1625 CHF / 1800 USD / 1688 EUR. These watches are not considered cheap and i would put them in as entry-level luxury. But for your money you get exceptional build quality and tolerances, great finishing, thoughtful design and a Manufacture movement of very high quality and extended power reserve (and a dial to die for).I wouldn’t call it a bargain watch, but you definitely get your money’s worth.
Elka is a successfully revived brand that deserves more attention than what they are currently getting. The Elka D series watch surpasses expectations with its exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. From the elegantly designed case to the captivating dial, every aspect reflects a commitment to quality. The sunray finish on the dial is truly breathtaking, transforming from a discreet Bordeaux to a lively cherry burgundy under different lighting conditions. Add a luxurious leather strap, custom buckle, and great movement with extended power reserve, and you have yourself a great watch.Overall, the Elka D series is a delightful timepiece that blends simplicity, elegance, and captivating design.