Video: The Ace List Epsiode 52 Hakim El Kadiri of ELKA Watch Co.

After a long & distinguished career designing watches for leading Swiss watch brands, Hakim El Kadiri decided to pursue his long-time dream of creating his own brand. Nicknamed ElKa (short for El Kadiri, of course) since his early childhood, a name was quickly found. As a child of the 1960’s, the products and aesthetics of that era serve as the main source of inspiration for his newly formed brand – the Elka Watch Company.

Whilst researching the name, Hakim discovered that a watch brand named Elka had previously existed. The historical brand of Elka watches was created by Dutchman Louis Eduard Kiek in 1913, ELKA being an abbreviation for Edouard Louis Kiek Amsterdam. The family-owned company operated several Kiek boutiques in Amsterdam where prestigious brands such as Rolex, Ulysse Nardin, Vulcain, Breitling, Universal, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Blancpain watches were sold -often proudly co-branded with the ELKA signature, as well as wrist and pocket watches of their own ELKA brand. They were also particularly famous for their stopwatches, timers, and chess clocks. Somewhere in the 1970s, the ELKA brand quietly disappeared. The Kiek boutiques would continue to operate until the year 2000, after which the company was dissolved.

During this session Ace Jewelers’ Alon Ben Joseph sat down with his long-time friend Hakim and did a deep dove into how he designed the watches for his Elka Watch Company, one of the collections – the X-Series- and how he got inspired by an aviation instrument created by Heuer for ELKA, which featured oversized Arabic numerals from 00 to 55.

Ace Jewelers is the exclusive authorized dealer for ELKA watches in the Netherlands.

Video: The Ace List S03E12 Guido Benedini of Watch Angels

A true watch fanatic and watch industry veteran, Guido Benedini, started a complete new concept in this tradition industry: Watch Angels. In the middle of the COVID pandemic, in 2020, Guido Benedini founded Watch Angels, creating the first manufacturer-to-consumer crowdfunding model for meaningful high-quality watches at factory direct prices.

In the previous episode of The Ace List live we sat down with Cedric Bellon, the first watchmaker featured on Watch Angels. In this episode Ace Jewelers’ CEO Alon Ben Joseph sat down with his Dutch friend Guido Benedini and discuss his evolution in the watch industry and why he has decided to found Watch Angels. Plus they discussed the upcoming collab between Cedric Bellon Watches & Ace Jewelers, a watch produced and sold by Watch Angels.


Video: The Ace List S03E11 Cedric Bellon of Cedric Bellon Watches

Cedric Bellon is one of the most talented and most modest watch designers of our modern day. And, he is a grand advocate of sustainability. That is the reason why Ace Jewelers’ CEO Alon Ben Joseph is a big fan of the person Cedric Bellon and all the watches his partners and him designed in the studio called Bellon & Partners.

Last year Cedric Bellon (finally) ventured out and made his own watch. Not only was it the first wristwatch ever made of recycled steel, but also created with watch start-up Watch Angels – a crowd funding platform for watchmakers. Obviously Alon Ben Joseph became a ‘Watch Angel’ as he supported the round and received a watch from the first batch bearing the Cedric Bellon brand name. He still wears it today.

From a young age Cedric Bellon was fascinated by sciences, nature and crafts. He first studied geology and then laureated in product design at L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique. At the age of 26 he discovered watch design and sent some concepts to Swiss watch brands. Bell & Ross, TAG Heuer and Longines gave him a chance and became his first clients. From then on, he was hooked by horology and made watch design his full-time career in 2005. Cedric is an advocate for sustainability in the watch industry.

This year Cedric launched a second watch it is actually on sale right now with Watch Angels. In this episode the gentlemen discussed Cedric’s evolution as a designer and how he wants to improve sustainability in the watchmaking sector. Plus they had a great news, actually breaking news, as they announced the Ace x CB collab watch that will be presented soon.


Video: The Ace List S03E10 Niels Eggerding of Frederique Constant Watches

The CEO of Frederique Constant, Mr. Niels Eggerding and Ace Jewelers’ CEO Alon Ben Joseph go way back and are friends for quite some time. Both Dutch men started in the watch industry in the Netherlands a while ago.

During this live interview Alon asked Niels to share his journey in the watch industry, his evolution from the Dutch market to the mothership in Switzerland and obviously both gentlemen will discuss what’s new at Frederique Constant.


Video: The Ace List S03E09 Pim Koeslag of Christiaan van der Klaauw Watches

Pim Koeslag is a Dutch Master Watchmaker after spending more than two decades in Switzerland came full circle and returned to the Netherlands to become both co-owner and Master Watchmaker at the epic haute horlogerie watch brand “Christiaan van der Klaauw”.

Pim’s journey after graduating at the Dutch watchmaking school started in Switzerland with the Frederique Constant Group where he has not developed many in-house calibres for the watch brand Frederique Constant, but also co-founded the haute horlogerie brand “Ateliers de Monaco”.

In this episode Pim will sat down with Ace Jewelers’ co-owner Alon Ben Joseph and they discussed Pim’s journey as watchmaker and obviously they also discussed the future of the master of planetarium watches: “CvdK Watches”. Guests that joined us live and asked their questions got them answered by Pim in real-time during the show.

Ace Jewelers is the exclusive authorized dealer for Christiaan van der Klaauw watches in Amsterdam.


Video: The Ace List S03E08 Itay Noy of Itay Noy Watches

The only independent high-end watchmaker in Israel is a true artist. Itay Noy is an Israeli watchmaker, designer and artist who creates limited-edition timepieces in his independent studio in the Old Jaffa.

Since the year 2000 Itay Noy’s timepieces combine true craftsmanship with out-of-the-box designs, meant to induce philosophical perspectives on the concept of time.

Itay make about 120 pieces a year, all his own original designs, using components & movements of the highest quality integrated with in-house dynamic dials, modules and complications.

Ace Jewelers’ CEO Alon Ben Joseph and mastermind Itay Noy are long-time personal friends. They have many mutual interests, besides watchmaking. There are also many ties running back-and-forth between their home countries.

Mr. Noy graduated with a BFA from the Jewelry department in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, followed by a M.Des. from the Design Academy in Eindhoven. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world and acquired by important collections such as those of the Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Charles Bronfman Collection in New York and the Droog Collection in Amsterdam. He is the recipient of nine prizes, including the Andy Prize for the Arts, the Israeli Ministry of Culture Prize and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Prize. Since 2005 he lectures on timepiece making and design at the Bezalel Academy Of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

Ace Jewelers has been a proud authorized dealer of Itay Noy watches. Since the demand for Noy’s watches are so high and his production capacity so limited, he reverted back to a model of Direct-To-Consumer. But, we at Ace Jewelers are very much ambassadors of Mr. Itay Noy and his artisan timepieces of art. In this interview they discussed creativity, art and timekeeping with the very modest and creative Itay Noy.


Video: The Ace List S03E07 Alexandre Hahn of Gerhard Hahn Rare Gems

The Hahn Family is very know in the jewelry industry. Since 1901, gemstones and pearls have held captive the imagination of the Hahn family for over 120 years and spanning four generations. The 20th century saw their deep involvement further impact the coloured stone, diamond, and cultured pearl sector, providing unique stones to industry legends like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, and many others.

In 1997 the 4th generation of Hahns, Alexandre, Lawrence and Philip, collectively hold credentials in gemmology (DGemG, GG), goldsmith artisanship, BFA and BA in photography and business management, plus other accomplishments join the Hahn company.

Like Gerhard Han, Ace Jewelers is also a family owned and run business. Ace Jewelers’ founder and father of current CEO, Alon Ben Joseph, used to do business with Alexandre’s father. So, the relationship between the firms Gerhard Hahn and Ace is warm and runs deep.

And, the passion for gemstones, diamonds and pearls runs deep in both families and during this episode Alexandre Hahn shared the current trends of these ‘Gifts of Nature’.


Video: The Ace List S03E06 Piero Marangon of NANIS Jewels

Everyone that knows the contemporary Italian fine jewelry brand NANIS, knows the driving & creative force behind the brand: ravishing Laura Bicego. We also know that behind every strong woman, there is a strong man. Laura’s strong man is Piero Marangon, the CEO of NANIS Jewels. The magic duo behind this luxurious and colorful brand are life partners and co-founded NANIS Jewels back in 1995.

Where Laura is responsible for the designs and the creativity of the company, she also is unmistakably the face of the company too. As they are in such a symbiotic partnership, Piero takes care of everything else within NANIS Jewels. Where creativity is very important, craftsmanship & quality are equally important when manufacturing high-end handmade jewels. And, this is Piero’s responsibility.

Ace Jewelers is a family owned and run business, like NANIS Jewels. Ace Jewelers’ founder and father of current CEO used to do business with Laura’s father. So, the relationship between NANIS and Ace is warm and runs deep. We are very humbled that Laura has come on the show twice already:

And, although both our viewers and we would love to have her back on the show. We wanted to show the magic behind the designs: the craftmanship of NANIS. Piero is very humble and does not like to take the limelight, but it took us a few seasons of arm twisting to get him on the show. He sat down with Ace Jewelers’ Alon Ben Joseph and they took a deep dive into what makes NANIS so special.

Ace Jewelers is authorized dealer for NANIS.


Video: The Ace List S03E05 Davide Cerrato of HYT Watches

One of the most influential watch designers in the industry, Davide Cerrato, has started a new chapter in his impressive career. Today he is the CEO & Creative Director of HYT Watches. An excellent reason to have invited Davide back on the show. Last season he was our guest for the first time and it turned out to be a fun conversation with Ace Jewelers’ Alon Ben Joseph. You can watch episode S02E07 HERE.

In the previous episode we extensively discussed his evolution as watch designer. And, his successes at Panerai, Tudor and Montblanc. In this episode he shares his vision and strategy for the ultra innovative and contemporary HYT Watches. Their DNA is made up of a new fluidic module encapsulating 10 years of learnings and improvements, an evolution of the manufacture mechanical caliber developed with Eric Coudray delivering a perfect synchronization of fluidic and mechanical time.