A few weeks ago I featured a fantastic timepiece from Hong Kong based watchmaker The Chinese Timekeeper. The watch in question is called the CTK-18 and is limited to only 18 pieces. What makes this timepiece so special is the use of Burmese white jade on the dial markers. As far as I am aware this is the only watch to use this beautiful material.
From numerous conversations with the founder of The Chinese Timekeeper Adrien Choux I have discovered the methodology behind the brand. When Adrien left a senior position within Panerai he wanted to make his mark on the watch industry. Rather than going down the conventional route of designing a watch with a Swiss movement he opted to honour centuries of Chinese craftsmanship. It is fair to say that his strategy was initially greeted with resistance. Nevertheless he has proved his worth by manufacturing an exquisite range of timepieces. Each watch is meticulously assembled and decorated by hand.
Recently Adrien Choux told me of a new collection of watches that he would be unveiling at Baselworld. The timepieces are smaller than previous models with a modest diameter of 38mm. Interestingly Adrien has decided to use a crowd-funding platform (http://www.fund2.me) to launch this range. In previous articles I have featured other brands (Egard, Watchismo and A Manzoni & Fils) that have secured adequate finance this way. So far the campaign has achieved 90% of the sponsorship with a remaining 10 days to go. On that basis I am sure this venture will be a roaring success.
Visually the three new watches have a beautiful appearance, which is characteristic of The Chinese Timekeeper. Although they are not marketed specifically for women they will definitely appeal to the female market. What I like is the fact that each model is completely different. The minimalistic dial of the CTK101 is mostly silver apart from the Chinese symbol for 10, highlighted in red. In contrast, the blue dial and the case of the CTK102 is more opulent incorporating real diamonds into the composition. Out of all the three new timepieces, my personal favourite is the CTK103, which has vibrant Burmese red jade markers. Other successful elements (shared on all of the models) are the engraved inner ring and distinctive open worked hour/minute hands.
Beneath the sophisticated exteriors of the CTK101, CTK102 and CTK103 lies a self-winding movement procured from the Hangzhou Watch Company in China. The Calibre CTK 2189 comprises 20 jewels and oscillates at a frequency 21,600 vibrations per hour. All of the mechanisms are bought in Ébauche form and then assembled by a specialist watchmaker in Hong Kong. Functionally the watches feature hours, minutes and seconds. They are also water resistant to a depth of 50 metres and have a power reserve of 36 hours.
The timepieces are limited to only 38 pieces (of each model) and are equipped with high quality leather straps with unique engraved spherical deployant buckles. Prices range from: 13,800HKD – 28,800HKD (approximately $1,777 – $3,709).