Watch enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing that characterizes them all is the passion for the trade. That passion can stem from an encounter with watches getting stuck in one’s mind as a fond memory. In some cases, that memory can be so persistent it eventually drives someone down the path of becoming a watchmaker. Small-time watchmakers with stories like this are sprouting left and right, and today we take look at an interesting young man from Russia; Tsoroev Rashid, who’s launching his eponymous brand.
Creating watches under his own name, Tsoroev Rashid is based in Ingushetia, Russia. Although the vast majority of watchmaking is done in Switzerland, you can find interesting creations scattered around the world, as long as you’re willing to go beyond mainstream brands. Russia is primarily known as the birthplace of brands like Raketa, and for those with an interest in independent and highly creative watchmaking, Konstantin Chaykin might be familiar.
Tsoroev Rashid is fairly new to the world of watchmaking. His path to creating his own watches follows a well-known trajectory. Born in 1997 (did I mention he is a young watchmaker yet?) he always had an interest in watches, both pocket and wristwatches. One of his first memories is his father’s watch, a gold case with a black dial, a moonphase and a blue cabochon in the crown. It sounds like a Cartier perhaps, doesn’t it?
At the age of 15, Tsoroev first came across a display case in a shop window showing some watches, and he was instantly hooked. Although nothing was within reach for the youngster, it did push his love of watches even further. From there, things went fast. As Tsoroev is born in 1997, which means he turns 24 this year, he grew up with a little thing called The Internet. Upon learning about watches and watchmaking via the limitless online world, he eventually ended up discovering the vastness of the watchmaking spectrum. One of his idols is George Daniels, which we fully understand.
One thing led to another and by going through books on watchmaking he started working on this, by trying to repair watches. He purchased a watch repair kit and taught himself how to disassemble and service mechanical watches, all the while dreaming of building his own watch one day. With a lathe sourced from a family member, he eventually started to make his very first personal watch. This received quite some positive feedback on a Russian watch forum, including support from Russian watchmakers. This fueled him to move forward with his dream.
Now, a few years down the line, he has not one, but two models available. Both are based on existing movements, so don’t expect something extremely complicated, made in-house. Tsoroev uses a solid base movement; the ETA 6497/6498 family. His first creation was the Arrow. Inspired by the shape of arrowheads, this watch is a simple yet attractive take on the ETA 6498’s main characteristic; central hours and minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock. This is all fitted in a simple steel case, with sculpted lugs giving it a little flair and a Big Pilot style crown.
Using an outsourced movement keeps the cost down, and especially with the large and easy to work on 6498 calibre (and 6497 for that matter), there’s a lot to play with without making it overly complicated. The Arrow was introduced in 2019 and is still on offer today.
The dial is entirely handmade by himself. So far, a couple of variations have been introduced, including off-white, gold or rhodium plated versions. The polished and optionally blued hour markers are shaped like arrowheads, as are the tips for the central hour and minute hands. The hands are either polished or polished and then blued, depending on the dial colour. The sub-dial is finished with a handmade seconds track, applied to the dial giving it some depth. He uses a top grade 6498 with Geneva striping and blued screws. The Arrow is worn on an alligator leather strap in black.
He introduced his second model earlier this year, the Shield. The idea behind this watch comes from learning about Roman and Greek history. The Shield watch takes inspiration from ancient Greek combat shields, often in bronze with a decorated central part. That idea is transformed into a watch by placing a shield emblem on the top crystal of the watch. As a result, the mounting for the hands is obstructed from view, with only the tips peeking out.
The short tip indicates the hours on the inner hour scale done in blue with silver roman numerals. The opposite end of the hand indicates ten-minute increments on the opposite end. On the outside of the dial, there’s a handmade track to indicate the ten-minute increments. This is kind of a similar approach to keeping time as Meistersinger, where time is displayed as more indicative instead of exact. It’s precise enough to give a fairly good read of the time. The Shield’s emblem can be personalized upon request.
The steel case for the Tsoroev Rashid Shield is slightly larger in size, measuring 44mm across. The movement is the same as the Arrow, the ETA 6498. Again a top grade ébauche, this features Côtes de Geneve and blued screws. The specifications for this watch are probably very familiar to all, as it is widely used for decades. The hand-wound movement is robust, easy to service and is simple yet effective. Fully wound, it offers 42 hours of power reserve.
Both the Shield and the Arrow by Tsoroev Rashid are very limited in numbers. The Arrow comes in gold plated, silver plated or off-white dials. While the gold and silver plated have been sold out at 5 pieces each, the off-white is limited to 10 pieces and still available. The Shield watch is limited to only 3 pieces. He is a one-mand-brand so there’s only so much he can do. The price for the Arrow is set at GBP 1,250 while the Shield will cost you GBP 1,890, both excluding taxes.