August 25, 2019
by Rob Nudds
It can be pretty difficult to apply 10 different colors to the design of a watch and have it look anything other than off-the-wall. And while the latest from Alexander Shorokhoff fits that description, it certainly owns its boldness with a design that is as excellently executed as it is cleverly conceived. The Alexander Shorokhoff Levels watch is a brilliant follow-up to the Kandy Avantgarde watch we reviewed last year.
Levels makes full use of its generously sized case, measuring 46.5mm, and offers a chromatically dazzling display powered by two separate automatic movements. The twin ETA 2671 calibers are both visible through tiny sapphire windows in the caseback, which provides an interesting reverse view. While this multi-movement tactic has been used aplenty in fashion brands (especially Diesel) to enable highly interesting displays, it is less often attempted with mechanical watches. In this instance, the presence of two movements offers the wearer nothing more complicated than two completely independent watch faces that can be set however one pleases.
The advantage of this dual time zone watch? You can set each movement to the home/local time exactly. This is useful for the handful of timezones that are not separated from the surrounding zones by one hour (or even half an hour) gaps (Kathmandu GMT+5:45, I’m looking at you). The disadvantages? Two movements to wind after letting this watch’s 42-hour power reserve run down, two completely separate hairsprings potentially susceptible to magnetism, and two whole sets of movement components that could fail start what would be a very pessimistic list to conclude. In reality, however, this watch is not that likely to provide you with more issues than a regular mechanical, although it would be fair to assume there will be a slight discrepancy between the isochronism of both movements, which could result in the two dials running out of sync, were you to set them to the same time zone.
Questionable technical specifications aside, this watch is primarily a visual feast, and it is delicious to digest. The wavy pattern on the dial is a treat, and a surprisingly effective background when it comes to focusing attention on the two time-telling sub-dials. Those sub-dials are bordered by rose gold plated appliques which are applied at two different levels (giving the watch its name). Running down the middle of the left-hand sub-dial (intended as the second time zone) is a rose-gold-plated bridge fitted with a magnifying cyclops that sits over the (very tiny) date window located at the 6 o’clock point of that sub-dial. The oddly shaped hands are made from brass and decorated with orange and green lume. The watch is delivered on either a tan or black ostrich leather strap.
The Alexander Shorokoff Levels watches will be limited to just 99 pieces in blue and 99 pieces in silver. While his creations are always aesthetically divisive, I think this one is an absolute stunner, and for the asking price of $3,800, a pretty decent value given the apparently top-quality dial finish. Learn more about Shorokoff and his craft at alexander-shorokhoff.de.