Generally, when you think about Russian watchmaking there is one name that springs to mind. Of course, I am talking about the great Konstantin Chaykin who is an inspiration to watchmakers worldwide. I have featured Konstantin’s work on my website, in global magazines and in several books. He has produced favourites like the Carp Diem, Cinema, Joker, Levitas and Lunokhod Prime (which is featured on the cover of my ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book‘). However, there is also another less well-known craftsman, like Ruslan Skutte who are also making their mark with label Silverwood.
I first became aware of Ruslan Skutte and his brand Silverwood on specialist eCommerce website Etsy. This portal primarily focuses on the sale of vintage or handmade crafts goods. Ruslan’s work fits into that criteria and his bespoke watches are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Within the range, he has created a timepiece called the Time Machine 2, which is my personal favourite. After numerous conversations, Ruslan kindly consented to send me one for review purposes. Certainly, when it arrived it massively exceeded my expectations on all fronts.
A lot of watch brands that I feature on Total Design Review aren’t really involved in the manufacturing process. However, Ruslan Skutte is totally hands-on and personally crafts every component of each watch (with the exception of the movement). This is because he is a trained jeweller and has acquired a unique set of skills over the years. In fact, to pursue his dream he made a huge sacrifice by selling his car to purchase the necessary tools required. This enabled him to use the (now empty) garage like a professional workshop. Certainly, this story isn’t rare in the watch industry as Jean-Marie Schaller (Louis Moinet) made concessions and established his business from home.
What makes the Time Machine 2 so impressive is the horizontal rectangular case that is made from two types of valuable wood (North and Southern regions). In this instance, Ruslan decided to use Karelian birch and Grenadile, which are glued together. Using wood in the world of horology isn’t new by any means. A few years ago, I reviewed an exclusive timepiece called the Flying Tourbillon Retrograde by Ukrainian watchmaker Valerii Danevych. However, I have never seen a timepiece that combines wood and finely engraved sterling silver.
Aesthetically the Time Machine 2 has a really expensive handcrafted appearance. Details like the meticulously engraved silver inlay on the top and rear of the wooden case is a revelation. This watch is also reversible and has an ingenious rotating hinged lug system. The concept is exceptionally cool because you can alternate between a silver dial/movement and a black dial with gold movement. The selection of wood and strap colour also changes depending on preference. Other fine details include twin sapphire crystal lens (both sides), solid silver decorated dual crowns and buckle. I absolutely love the concept and also impressed at how comfortable this timepiece fits on the wrist. Dimensionally the timepiece is smaller than I normally wear and measures 47.5mm x 29mm x 11mm but that doesn’t matter because it’s so striking. Due to the choice material it’s not a watch I would wear every day but it could be worn to formal occasions.
At the heart of the watch are two independent self-winding Swiss mechanical ETA 2671 calibres. The movements comprise 25-jewels and oscillate at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. A really cool feature of this timepiece is that both mechanisms are visible (via sapphire crystal windows) either way you wear it. Functionally, the Time Machine 2 features hours, minutes and seconds (both sides). It also has a power reserve of approximately 40-hours but isn’t water-resistant at all. Certainly, that doesn’t matter because I doubt if anyone would ever wear this watch in the pool.
The Time Machine 2 is presented on a reversible two-tone lizard strap, with solid sliver rotating buckle. For a watch of this quality, the price of $1,145.35 is unbelievably competitive. Follow this link for more information about Ruslan Skutte and Silverwood.