The Alexander Shorokhoff watch manufacturer in Alzenau was founded by the German-Russian entrepreneur Alexander Shorokhov. His watch design is polarising, provoking, and generating emotions. He was inspired by the artists of the European and Russian Avantgarde, which have changed art, architecture and design thoroughly. The AVANTGARDE collection by the manufacturer Alexander Shorokhoff is made for people to whom provocation means a good challenge; deciding to buy an AVANTGARDE watch means deciding for individualism in the broadly standardised watch market.
Born in Moscow in 1960, the young engineer leaves for Germany in the beginning of the nineties. Shortly afterwards he took over the distribution of the Russian watch company “Poljot”. In 2002, he founded his own manufacturer in the Bavarian town of Alzenau. Being well rooted in his new hometown, he lives out his curiosity about foreign countries and cultures. Today the Alexander Shorokhoff watch manufacturer is a globally operating company and ready for setting new course in the well-established watch market.
It was in 2003, when the production of mechanical watches of the brand Alexander Shrokhoff has been started in the watch manufacturer near the castle of Alzenau. The collections HERITAGES and AVANTGARDE are representing an exceptional German-Russian cosmos originated in the biography of Alexander Shorokhov and his ambitions in quality, workmanship and design, precision and reliability. Thanks to this creative approach to the design of the watches, the excellent engravings and the top craftsmanship, nowadays the manufacturer is attracting attention all over the world.
The production steps in the manufacturer are going like clockwork. The engravings by hand, the procedure of refining, adjustment, assembling and testing are exclusively carried out by experienced watch masters. Each watch maker is responsible for the watches assembled by him, from the beginning until the final checking. Only after the final adjustment, each watch gets a warranty certificate with the watchmaker’s initials and the reference or limitation number in it and can be delivered to specialized shops and jewellers all over the world. In this way, every watch becomes a unique objet d’art.
The traditional HERITAGE collection by Alexander Shorokhoff with its watch models Leo Tolstoi, Alexander Pushkin, Peter Tchaikovsky and Fedor Dostoevsky is homage to these famous Russian artists.
The design of these watches is made in correspondence to the special character of these artists, doing justice to the genius of Dostoevsky, the power of Tolstoy, the poetry of Pushkin. Due to the loving and meticulously elaborated details every watch becomes a special work of art. So, the model Alexander Pushkin has a little frog on the dial – right out of one of Pushkin’s fairy tales. The compulsive gambling of Dostoevsky is the theme of the watches bearing his name and showed by the suits on the dials and also by the masterly made engravings of the watch movements. HERITAGE watches are mechanical objets d’art with their own aesthetical style – masterpieces of watch making. The watches are permanently checked, technical novelties and complication added.
Tradition meets creativity, non-conformism and avant-garde. The watches of the Alexander Shorokhoff watch manufacturer are special. The creative designer of the company is the German-Russian entrepreneur Alexander Shorokhov, founder and owner of the company with the same name.
The Alexander Shorokhoff watch manufacturer has been established 20 years ago, in the Bavarian town of Alzenau. Besides the traditional HERITAGE watch collection, Mr Shorokhov has created, in 2011, the young line “AVANTGARDE” following a new particular way. Inspirations to him were business trips to the Middle East, meetings with people and several paintings. His approach to the development of new watches is similar to that of an artist or fashion designer. The line AVANTGARDE features the unusual views of its designer and the provocative appearance of the watches.
The creative process of Mr Shorokhov beginning with the idea and conception until the completion of a new watch model can be described with the statement of Hussein Chalayan, conceptioner and crossover artist who is torn between fashion and art and well-known for his break with all conventions in his fashion design: he says, that he is making ideas, not fashion. This can be applied to Alexander Shorokhov, too. His conceptions are also beyond all ordinary ways and hit the spirit of today.
For dials like the watch model Miss Avantgarde is equipped with, the structure is broken off and replaced by multi-coloured turbulent painting. Unusual forms are following their traditional function, at the same time, producing new perspectives of viewing and, at first impression, even of absurdity.
Shorokhov is combining intense patterns with each other, inspired by the Russian avant-garde school of art; he reduces the appliqués and revives forgotten traditions by applying the figure 60 remembering to its meaning in ancient time measurement systems. Similarly to such well-known contemporary fashion designers like McQueen, Chalayan or Beirendonck, Shorokhov is creating risky and provoking designs. His avantgarde approach to the design creation is radical and producing – in the same way as in fashion – an area of projection and visualization of individuality. He gives special emphasis upon the esthetical and emotional sides of the AVANTGARDE collection line.
Watches as well as clothes are subject of an intensive forming and creation process. In the same manner as fashion is notably going beyond its mere purpose, the Shorokhoff-watches surpass their usual function of timekeeping. They have not only practical value, are not only important for the image of their owners, but should underline their character. The designer considers his watches as integrated in an entire system of artwork perceiving the individuality of the watch owner in context with his clothes and the watch. He relies on the sense of style of his customers and their feel for good design and quality.
1991: Alexander Shorokhov was part of a group of 20 young, talented graduates chosen by then president of the Soviet Union, Michail Gorbatchov, and sent to Germany in order to broaden knowledge of the free market. The young managers were instructed by the ministry of economic affairs of Hessen, the Chamber of Commerce in Frankfurt and other companies like Mercedes, Siemens, the railway Deutsche Bahn AG. They learned and gathered experience in these firms. After this studies, Shorokhov‘s passion for architecture, mechanics and esthetical design led him to the art of high end watchmaking.
1992: Alexander Shorokhov gained a foothold in Western Europe and Russia. The Russian industry presented him several offers for working. He selected the First Moscow Watch Factory and established an international sale service in West Europe distributing watches of the Russian brand Poljot. For this propose, he founded the Poljot-V GmbH in September 1992 in Frankfurt, and after a short time he succeeded to extend it to other countries world-wide. In that year, the young company of Alexander Shorokhov became member of the German Association of Watch Industry in order to be better acquainted with the country, its industries, technologies and conditions. Regardless of several changes in the structure, responsibility and staff of this association – the “Alexander Shorokhoff Watch Manufacturer” remained true to its principles, for all the following years.
1993: The first presentation of Poljot watches at an international watch exhibition “INHORGENTA” in Munich caused a stir in Germany. Among the multitude of Swiss made watches, the Russian watches of the “Poljot-V GmbH” drew the attention of the visitors. Shorokhov’s decision to make a name for this brand in Germany was right and giving him the possibility to go on a risky way of distribution – only through German jewellers and specialised watch shops. Step by step, Alexander Shorokhov succeeded in gaining more than 100 shops, during the first year of distribution.
1994: Inspired from the success of sale of Poljot watches, Alexander Shorokhov decided to produce mechanical watches under his own brand based on his own standard for workmanship, quality and design. Together with a new team of specialised watchmakers he opened a little workshop, developing in that time his talent for creating design; and launched his own collection on the market, under the name Poljot-International. Basilika was the name of the first model of the new brand; later the same designation given to his second own watch brand.
1996: For the first time, Alexander Shorokhov presented his collection at the International Watch Exhibition in Basel. A. Shorokhov extended the circle of distributors of his watches again. He increased his sales staff, and employed new watch makers, too. He directed his attention mainly to the quality of his watches inventing a special quality system – from assembling until final control.
1997: Launched the golden chronograph „Nicolai-II“, which comprises the whole obsession of the AS-watch manufacturer. This model is equipped with a re-worked, optimised movement. The lovely decorated watch dial shows a little tsars crown with a tiny ruby jewel. This watch was dedicated to the last Russian tsar „Nicolai-II“and immediately, became one of the most exclusive collector’s items. These gold watches by Alexander Shorokhov were gaining great popularity especially in Russia and the USA. Consequently, the distribution net of the “Poljot-International” watches was extended, in that year, to Russia and the USA.
1998: Alexander Shorokhov celebrated 850th anniversary of Moscow by creating a special jubilee edition golden ladies watch. This exclusive model is decorated with 211 hand set diamonds and 7 sapphires. At a watch exhibition in Vienna, this high valued objet d’art was elected in the category of elegant ladies watches as one of the best watches of the year. While creating this watch and trying to keep the quality of diamond setting at the highest level, Alexander Shorokhov begins a co-operation with an experienced master of jewellery and diamond setting in Antwerp, Mr. Alexandre Sidorov, who has also founded his own specialised school.
1999: Alexander Shorokhov developed the”Millennium-watch” for the Russian Church. One of these watches was handled out to the Russian Patriarch Alexey II by Alexander Shorokhov himself, during a solemn ceremony in Russia. This was the first time of realisation of Shorokhov’s idea to create watches on special occasions and jubilees and for special personalities. In that year, the watch distribution was extended to Asia. The company gets new strong business partners in Hong Kong, Singapore and sometimes later, also in Japan. In that year, especially the watch model “Kirovskie“, representing a replica of a very big (43,0 mm) watch model of the forties with “antique” cramps for strap fixation and a dial in this old style, was going down well at the market. The watch movement of the “Kirovskie“ has been decorated by a special “clouds polishing“and blue-dyed screws.
2000: For the 70th birthday of Michail Gorbatchov, Alexander Shorokhov created a jubilee watch in limited edition. The fine guilloched dial with the Russian and the Soviet flags is symbolising the transformation of the USSR into the Russian Federation. With this watch the company and its watch brand have shown their respect for this big turn in the history of Russia. Later, the watch “Gorbatchov“has been given as a present by Alexander Shorokhov also to members of the government of different other countries. In that year, a lot of exclusive “Poljot-International” watch models were launched at the market: “Tsars of Russia“, “Gagarin-2000“, “Simple Round“, “Maxim“ and others. The quality of the watches is very appreciated by the distributors and watch collectors; the new system of quality control is working smoothly. The watch return rate is about 3%.
2001: The success demands tribute: the departments of assembling, after-sales service and sale had to be modernised and enlarged. For that purpose, Alexander Shorokhov and his team are moving to a new more spacious domicile. The picturesque Alzenau, a little 600 years old town in the neighbourhood of lakes and forest, near the city of Frankfurt, becomes the new home town of Alexander Shorokhov. The company received generous support on the part of the town mayor, Mr. Walter Scharwies. Here in Alzenau, was born the idea to introduce a new high valued watch brand. It started with the preparation of the documents for the national and international registration of the brand Alexander Shorokhoff.
2002: The brand „Alexander Shorokhoff“was enrolled in register of the “Office of intellectual property” and patented. The successful sale of the middle-price level-collection “Poljot-International“ were reassuring and confirming Alexander Shorokhov to put his visions of perfection, high precision mechanics and typical design into practice. He employed high qualified engravers in order to “conquer” together with his team the market of the premium watches putting their heart, soul and creativity in this work. First he had the plan to continue the rich craftsman’s tradition of Russia inherent in the creations of Fabergé and Gabu or in the elitist products by Smirnoff and Davidoff; but his watches “Alexander Shorokhoff” should be also dedicated to such great Russian masters and artists like Peter Tchaikovsky, Leo Tolstoi or Fedor Dostoevsky.
2003: Peter Tchaikovsky and his music fascinate and impress a lot of people world-wide. This fact inspired Alexander Shorokhov to create the first watch of the “Heritage” collection under the name of “Peter Tchaikovsky“. For these watches, all the treatments of the watch movements like engraving, guilloching or skeletonizing are handmade with highest concentration, accuracy and professionalism by the watchmakers and engravers of the ASUM. The main plate gets a special “cloud polishing”, the bridges are gold or rhodium plated, the screws are blue-dyed. The movements are very carefully finished step by step assembled and adjusted. In that year, the AS watches was presented, for the first time, at the international watch fair “Baselworld” where they have won a lot of laurels by the specialists and watch collectors. The watch model “Moscow Nights“ by “Poljot-International“ is placed ninth in the competition „Goldene Unruh“ of the specialised magazine “Uhrenmagazin” in the price category until 500,- EUR.
2004: The second watch of the series „Heritage“Alexander Shorokhov has dedicated to one of the most important writers of the 19th century, the count Leo Tolstoi. The novels by Tolstoi are classic and the dedicated to him watches have been made in the same classical style. The watch cases have got a traditional, round and graduated shape. A reliable and wonderful looking mechanical movement, unifying Russian soul with German quality to a harmonic overall picture – this was the result of working with love for details and perfection and creating excellent manual engravings.
2005: The genius Russian writer and philosopher Fedor Dostoevsky cannot be missing in the collection of „Great Russian Masters“ by „Alexander Shorokhoff“. The unusual roulette-design of this model was created by Alexander Shorokhov, in 2005. This watch remembers the gambling passion and the exciting life of Dostoevsky.
2006: The art of engraving has achieved a high level at the ASUM. There have been created completely skeletonised top watch models for special watch lovers. It takes an engraver about 10 days to complete the skeletonizing or engraving of such a particular watch. To skeletonise the whole movement means creating a new one and a new dial, too. The hand winding watches of this line are characterised by their esthetical appearance and filigree skeletonizing. In that year, the “Tchaikovsky“ watch „Swan Lake“ became a real museum exhibit. The museum is located in the town of Klin, near Moscow. Here was Peter Tchaikovsky’s domicile. In 2006, Alexander Shorokhov handled out to the director of the local museum one of his “Tchaikovsky“watches.
2008: Kostya Tszyu, a Russian sportsman living in Australia and several times world champion in half welterweight, is very popular and this not only because of its good performances in sports but also his likeable and modest behaviour. Alexander Shorokhov honoured this great boxer by a personal watch bearing his name.
2009: Alexej Leonov was the first man of the world leaving his space ship and floating in the open space. He was the commander of the rocket Voshod and leader of the Russian-American mission Soyuz-Apollo-Mission. Alexander Shorokhov and Alexej Leonov met each other for the first time in 2007, in Moscow, and liked each other instantly. The result of this meeting was an exceptional watch named Soyuz-Apollo. This watch was produced in limited edition of 500 pieces and was sold out, after a very short time.
2010: The beautiful town of Alzenau with its green environs in the neighbourhood of Frankfurt became the new home town of Alexander Shorokhov. On the occasion of the 610th anniversary of the town, he created a high-valued watch “Alzenau“ in limited edition impressing his gratitude for the friendly welcome.
2011: The watches of the traditional “Heritage-collection“belong without any doubt to the most exclusive watches of the premium class. Alexander Shorokhov launched Avantgarde-collection targeted to a younger and wider customer range – however, without giving up his philosophy of handcrafted obsessions. Every watch of the Avantgarde collection is a unique piece with a striking particular design and a mechanical movement of high precision and refined by meticulously craftsmanship. The watches with the most striking, avant-garde design, like the models Miss Avantgarde or Watch Dandy have already caused a large attention of the press, the specialists and the watch lovers. The German chess master, Niclas Huschenbeth was selected as ambassador of the new Avantgarde watch line.
2012: Alexander Shorokhov manufacturer celebrated 20th anniversary and on this occasion, a new attractive jubilee watch model „Stripes“in limited edition and with double time display created.
Alexander Shorokhoff Uhrenmanufaktur,
Hanauer Straße 25,
Official website: www.alexander-shorokhoff.de