Alexander Shorokhov loves bringing to life his creations; it has been close to 20 years since the engineer was chosen among a group of young talented Russians (by Michail Gorbatchov himself) to study the free market inklings of Frankfurt and industrial Germany. A plucky and resourceful Alexander would soon establish himself as the purveyor of Russian watch label “Poljot” in Western Europe, before unleashing the ingenious movements and dial work of own collection under the name Poljot-International. Making the change to a watchmaker he was able to combine his newly acquired commercial know-how and a natural disposition towards technical designin championing beautifully rendered mechanical watches in a Swiss dominated industry.
In 2003, the self-styled watchmaker cemented his status in the field of horology with the introduction by delivering his first name sake timepiece that pays homage to Russiancomposer Peter Tchaikovsky under the much lauded heritage collection. At the cozy setting of Italian restaurant Sassorosso, Alexander Shorokhov himself greeted watch aficionados and members of the media himself in Kuala Lumpur, it was indeed rare to witness the watchmaker himself shaking hands and explaining the intricacies of his timepieces to guest who were perusing the Avant Garde and Heritage Collection at close quarters.
Alexander flew to Kuala Lumpur from picturesque Alzenau – a little 600 year-old town near Frankfurt – which has become his new home base to be present at this 20th Anniversary exhibition. Fittingly, after the opening address by emcee Xavier Mah and a brief introduction of the founder by executive director of Red Army Watches Malaysia, Soemantri Kusumadi, a teaser video of the brand’s inception is shown that reiterates not only the brand’s heritage, but also shared some insights of its craftsmanship,innovations and design processes – reminders of how a young-upstart watch company became the envy of its peers.
As the sole retailer carrying Shorokhoff creations, Red Army Watches are likewise carving out a niche in the industry that offers connoisseurs a wider availability of variety to choose from. “It’s our pleasure to host Alexander here in Kuala Lumpur,” states Kusumadi. “Alexander has been extremely supportive of Red Army Watches and welook forward to a continued collaboration that has been mutually rewarding. We look forward to each and every new release from this brilliant watchmaker.”
Interesting nuggets were also shared by Alexander as he explained why he chose Peter Tchaikovsky, Leo Tolstoi, Fedor Dostoevsky and Alexander Pushkin to headline the Heritage Series in his aptly titled tete-a-tete session ‘Handcrafted Obsession’. Tolstoi’s tribute for one is a beautiful gold plated skeletonised chronograph, An ode to Dostoevsky brought out the gambler in the poet, Tchaikovsky’s alarm is a classic number and Pushkin’s addition is a ladies wristwatch with a fine guilloched dial and diamonds on the bezel.
“I’m only riding on the coat tails of these legendary Russians,” he jokes. “It’s a tribute to my Russian roots even as we’re since moved our manufacturing and design teams to Germany. Nevertheless, each piece is still hand crafted by German master craftsmen of the highest regard. This collection marks the beginning of Alexander Shorokhoff and what better way to start than to honour those who came before us. The journey to being a watchmaker has been an interesting one. A watch has to speak to its wearer, it’s our companion and we want something that we can be proud of. So, I take great pride in the quality and consistency of our timepieces, they are key elements to our success.”
Serious watch collectors, meantime, will be in for a treat, as Red Army Watches gifted each guest with a handmade leather pouch by the J. Myers Company. A lucky winner even had a strapping new Alexander Shorokhoff timepiece on his wrist from the Avant Garde collection following the much anticipated lucky draw session that capped a perfect afternoon and capture the imagination of all in attendance.
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