Hakim El Kadiri
“After 25 years working for the watch industry, I think it was time to fly by my own and reinvent myself!
I have always admired entrepreneurs, people who created a company, who made it grow and who lived this role with passion, I myself was what is called an intrapreneur, it’s a priori the same thing, it’s a function that allows you to take decisions with responsibilities, that allows you to develop with passion, because you are fully involved in your projects – but I did it in a large group; which gives us a lot of room for manoeuvre in a certain sense.
I dreamt of developing my own brand but above all I wanted a brand with a story, truth & credibility. I chose to call it by my nickname, ELKA ; When I wanted to protect the name, I realised that a brand called Elka Watch had already existed but had disappeared around the 60s & 70s precisely during the timeframe that I have chosen to base my designs on.
This defunct Elka Watch was named after Eduard Louis Kiek from Amsterdam. I looked through its archives and realised that the brand had strong designs and had worked closely with other big names in the watch industry such as Ulysse Nardin, Heuer, Rolex, Minerva, to name only a few. So, without reviving the brand, I wanted to pay a tribute to this old Dutch brand with my first 2 series.
Since I love the 60s, the products and the aesthetics of that era I have decided to make it my design line for this and future collections.
End of the 60’s was the beginning of the design of modernity, everything was allowed without restriction, because everything was to be created, pop art, cars, fashion, architecture, television, interior design, music, space conquest…
In this period, there was a diversity of forms, of ideas, the creators did not have any restriction except in technologies and materials which were not all mastered yet”