Independent watchmaking First lake diving watch:
The Arinis by Elka Watch Co. is up!

Like treasure raised to the surface, the Arinis is a diver’s watch whose quintessential aesthetic enhances the historic waters of Lake Neuchâtel. A Tool Watch tested by a scientist, ready to conquer the heights of global elegance.

Source: Elka Watch Co.

Elka Watch Co’s Arinis is the only timepiece on the market entirely dedicated to a lacustrine universe, Switzerland’s largest lake, Lake of Neuchâtel. Available in four versions, this 200-meter (656-foot) water-resistant watch aspires to see the sea while breathing in the subaquatic authenticity of one of Switzerland’s finest watchmaking regions. Powered by an automatic mechanical caliber from Manufacture Lajoux-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the new Arinis is a Swiss-made concentrate of coherence and craftsmanship.

Civilizational depths, Palafittes

Full of depth, this screw-crown diver’s watch with its “chevé box” sapphire crystal is charged with meaning. Starting with its baptismal name, Arinis, which until the 13th century AD was the ancient name of St. Blaise, a nearby region of Neuchâtel. A cradle of civilization bordered by vineyards that, even in the depths of the mysterious, sweet waters of the lake, is populated by Palafittes, vestiges of
past times that predate the traces of the Celts who later inhabited the area.

Seventy Paleolithic sites have been identified on the Neuchâtel coast alone, which is home to 123 different Neolithic and Bronze Age villages,” explains Hakim El Kadiri, the brand’s custodian, founded in 1877 in Amsterdam from the acronym of a Dutch retailer, Eduard Louis Kiek of Amsterdam. 111 of them have been inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List since 2011, including 22 in the Three-Lakes region.

On the wrist of a diving scientist

For over 20 years, Hakim El Kadiri, nicknamed “Elka,” has been signing legendary models for other prestigious watch brands. In 2024, he placed the first Arinis prototype, a case inspired by an iconic model, on the wrist of a distinguished diver: the scientist Fabien Langenegger, a researcher involved in archaeological studies at these sites. “For 150 years, this type of archaeological research has provided a reference for the understanding of European prehistory,” adds the man who is reviving Elka Watch Co, a prestigious Swiss historical brand that will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2027.

Certified waterproofing

And since perfection lies in detail, it also appears in the Arinis diver’s watch from Elka Watch Co, mounted on various straps, including the delightful Tropic vulcanized rubber, a local historical nod to the ceramic inserts that line the 120 positions of its unidirectional rotating bezel. Once upon a time, always in these civilizational surroundings of the Pays de Neuchâtel, 250 kg of ceramics were found not far from a certain Devil’s Path: one more historical mystery, in the shape of “a stone-paved Roman road leading to Aventicum, the capital of Helvetia.”

On the wrist of a diving scientist

Arinis Technical Specifications

Waterproofing200 meters, 20 bars / 656 feet
Manufacture caliber“Elka” oscillating rotor. La Joux Perret G100 automatic movement
4 Hz, 28,800 vibrations per hour, stop seconds, 68-hour power reserve
2 dial typesManufacture caliber
HandsBrushed nickel, SuperLuminova-filled
2 SuperLuminova typesUnder daylight: white or “old Radium” effect
Luminescence: green
CaseØ 41 mm Thickness 11.85 mm 46.50 mm from lug to lug
Decorated screw-down case back
Decorated screw-down case backScrew-down case back in 1.4404 stainless horological steel
Engraved “fish” pattern, referring to the fascinating artefacts found in the lake
Unidirectional rotating bezel120 positions.
Ceramic inserts filled with SuperLuminova for easy graduation
Visible numerals on the bezel, reminiscent of an early
Engraved “fish” pattern, referring to the fascinating artifacts found in the lake
CrownScrewed in stainless horological steel, 1.4427
Domed sapphire crystal‘Chevé’ box-type dome
Scratch-resistant, one-sided anti-reflective coating
Various types of wristbands“Tropic” vulcanized rubber, black or dark blue 20/18 mm
Rice grain” pattern steel bracelet, 20 mm
Milanese Mesh
Beige or blue Nato type wristband
Genuine leathers wristband
Genuine leather wristbandPin-type clasp in 1.4404 horological steel
Swiss retail price as of June 20:Price: on Nato 1895 CHF
VAT 8.1% included:Price: on Leather and rubber, 1955 CHF
Price: on Milanese Mesh and Rice Grain 1995 CHF
Prices outside Switzerland from June 20:Price: on Nato: 1755 CHF
(VAT not included)Price: on Leather and rubber, 1810 CHF
Price: on Milanese Mesh and Rice Grain: 1845 CHF

Elka Watch Co, Iconic Swiss watch company, born in Amsterdam 150 years ago

ELKA watches are part of a tradition, a lineage, and a history. That of a brand founded in 1877 in Amsterdam by Eliazer Kiek, inventor of the tactile watch for the blind and watchmaker to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. In 1949, the ELKA Watch Company opened its Swiss branch in La Chaux-de-Fonds. (It produced wristwatches, of course, but also pocket watches, Braille watches, chronographs, chess, and signal clocks.). Then, in the mid-1970s, the brand disappeared, along with Ernst Louis Kiek, his grandson and last heir.

Hakim El Kadiri, aka ‘Elka’

With a foundation in mechanical engineering, Hakim El Kadiri has spent the vast majority of his working life working in the product development side of the watch industry. “My work is not a job; it’s a passion, I love what I do, and I don’t feel like going to work in the
Morning, I dream about my work; I live my work, I breathe my work; the part your work takes in your life is huge if you are lucky enough to be passionate; you’ll never think about working; you’ll enjoy your life and the balance of life you’ll have.”.


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