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Ace Jewelers x Elka Watch Co. Diversity Series Limited Edition Explores Languages

Ace x Elka Watch Co Diversity Series

Working in an industry that’s obsessed with the concept of time it’s very easy to get swept up in time-adjacent concepts such as fate. While I don’t personally put much stock in the idea, it’s very hard to deny that the events resulting in the creation of the Ace Jewelers x Elka Watch Company Diversity Series were pure fate.

Ace x Elka Watch Co Alon Ben Joseph Hakim El Kadiri

Ace Jewelers’ Alon Ben Joseph (left) and Elka’s founder Hakim El Kadiri (right).

To understand how this collaboration came about, you first have to understand the origins of two separate watch brands that are both called Elka. There’s the Elka Watch Company (the protagonists of this story), a Swiss brand founded by Hakim El Kadiri (El Kadiri – ElKadiri – Elka) and then there’s also ELKA, a Dutch watch brand and retailer from Amsterdam founded in 1913 that ceased production during the 70s and which was dissolved in 2000. It is a coincidence that both brands took Elka as their names and they are in no way related to each other, but it has led to Elka Watch Company being the modern custodians of the Elka name and the ELKA heritage.

Ace x Elka Watch Co Alon Ben Joseph Hakim El Kadiri

Then, Ace Jewelers enters into the scene, a Dutch jewellery and watch retailer. As a Dutch brand, one of Ace’s owners, Alon Ben Joseph, is a huge fan of the original ELKA and in fact, when ELKA was dissolved in 2000, Ace purchased and now operates one of their old boutiques. So, on one side of this Diversity Series collaboration we have Elka Watch Company and on the other is Ace Jewellers and by rights there’s almost no reason these brands should be connected. However, in actuality, they’re tied together by totally coincidental links to ELKA – if that’s not fate demanding they work together then I don’t know what is.

Ace x Elka Watch Co Diversity Series Chinese

Now that we understand the story behind this collaboration, let’s talk about the watches in the Diversity Series. Well, technically it’s a single watch but there are four different versions, each presenting the minute markers using a different type of numeral. There’s western Arabic, eastern Arabic, Chinese and Hebrew. Interestingly, the two Arabic models and the Chinese version have “00” at 12 o’clock while the Hebrew has “60” as there is no numeral for 0 in Hebrew.

Ace x Elka Watch Co Diversity Series Eastern Arabic

The watch itself is made from steel with a diameter of 40.8mm. Stylistically it falls into the Elka X-Series collection, which is inspired by a vintage ELKA pilot’s watch. The idea for the suite of numerals comes from a watch in Alon Ben Joseph’s personal collection, an ELKA with rare Hebrew markers. The piece is brought together nicely by a sunray dial in blue and it looks great with any of the markers.

Ace x Elka Watch Co Diversity Series Western Arabic

Housed inside is the La Joux Perret G100 automatic calibre. It’s perhaps ignorance on my part but I expected these to have a workhorse Sellita or equivalent, so the fact it’s an LJP is seriously impressive, especially one with a 68-hour power reserve and 28,800 vph. It means that the £1,682 price is solid value.

Ace x Elka Watch Co Diversity Series

Overall, I really like the Ace Jewelers x Elka Watch Company Diversity Series. The story of its origin and the fact that it’s just flat out a cool watch, as well as the price, makes for a winning combination. As you may expect from a collab with a retailer, the Diversity Series is available exclusively through Ace Jewelers, online and in their boutiques. Each of the four versions is limited to just 25 pieces with the first seven of each being sold as complete sets.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Ace Jewelers x ELKA Watch Company Diversity Series
  • Ref: ELKA X-11 (Western Arabic), ELKA X-12 (Eastern Arabic), ELKA X-13 (Chinese), ELKA X-14 (Hebrew)
  • Case/dial: 40.8mm diameter x 10.80mm thickness, stainless steel case, sunburst gradient blue dial
  • Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
  • Movement: La Joux Perret calibre G100, automatic
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 68h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
  • Strap: Beige nubuck leather with stainless steel pin buckle
  • Price/availability: £1,682 individually or £6,727 for a complete set, exclusively available via Ace Jewelers and the Ace & Dik boutique in Amsterdam.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.