There are watches that are meant to be worn by artist types – think of these as either being bold and often brightly colored, or clean and minimalistic, such as the various Bauhaus-inspired designs available today. There are also those watches “modified” by artists for some larger Swiss brands, but those are off the table for now. Then you have another class of art watch, that which appeals to the art lover who is not necessarily an artist themselves. It is in that category that I would place something like the recently announced Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch.
Now, I will not pretend to be an art connoisseur, nor am I familiar with the artists that the press release lists out as inspiration (Kandinsky, Malevich, Hundertwasser, and Gaudi). So, instead, I will go about with how the Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch strikes my untrained art critic eye. In many ways, the watch feels to me like a mashup of decades. You’ve got the ’40s and ’50s in the black and white sunrays and checkerboard, the ’60s show up in the party-oriented sport shirt patterns (in orange and yellow), the ’70s for the far-out, trip spiral around the date display, and then an overall love of the ’80s just with all the color, and the surprising amount of geometry in play on the dial.
Speaking of geometry, the Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch does have a bit of an odd one. You’ve of course got the circular dial set into a square outer dial and the case – giving a very angular finish to the front. Flip the watch over, you’ve got the same contrast between right angles and circles. While it gives the theme continuity and allows you to see the ETA 2892 movement with its custom rotor, the caseback feels, well, unfinished to me. In many ways, it actually looks like a dial blank reject from any number of inexpensive fashion watches with multiple dials. In that regard, the caseback really does not fit the rest of the watch, in my book. Which, for a watch that runs a price over $3,000, that caseback seems like a miss.
The case profile of the Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde Watch, on the other hand, I do rather like. It’s slender and slab-sided (as much as the 9mm thickness allows), with grooves into which wires are set (rose gold and PVD black) for a rather tidy look. Which, again, makes the caseback look all the more like the overlooked part of the watch. The thinness is appreciated here, as when you have a 41mm square case, you don’t need it to be overly large.
The Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde watch is the obvious successor to the prior ladies’ model that the brand released, and is currently available. Well, at least, the 100 examples that they’re making are. If you’re up for a very art-inspired dial design with a handset that looks straight out of MAD Magazine, then this just might be the watch for you. Just don’t look too closely at the finishing of the caseback, because it will totally harsh your groove. The Alexander Shorokhoff Kandy Avantgarde has a price of €2,500 (around US $3,125).