Russia is not necessarily a place where most people immediately associate with watchmaking, however, there could be a pattern emerging, as this is the second Russia based independent watchmaker to be featured in our journal in less than a year.
Tsoroev Rashid is another one of the new breed of Russian artisans. A young watchmaker based in Ingushetia, he started his brand with the same name less than 5 years ago and successfully sold out his last release of his Arrow in a matter of months.
The Arrow is a simple (but memorable) smart/casual style watch, which was designed to be an everyday “beater”; the main focus being on the finish of the dial and other elements around it, most of which were inspired by the arrowhead shape.
Tsoroev Rashid explains the initial idea behind his Arrow:
When I started making Arrow, I wanted to make a watch for myself. Something that I would wear on a daily basis. At the same time I knew that I want classic watch but I wanted to have something special and after some time idea of using arrow as central design element came to me. As you can see hands have arrow shape, indexes shaped like arrowheads and case lugs shaped like halves of the arrowhead. Making classic watch distinctive is not easy task today and I spent some time trying to find better proportions and achieve some decent look.
Face & case
Presented in a 42mm case, the Arrow has a polished bezel; the top side of its lugs are too, however, the edges of the case and lugs are brushed, which creates a notable contrast to the case.
The bezel is quite narrow, with a rehaut dropping straight down at 90 degrees to the dial. Rather than being nestled in line with the finish of the bezel, the sapphire crystal sits slightly proud at the top of the bezel, giving a contemporary squared off feel.
The dial is “salmon” coloured, which is a bit of a loose description to be frank, as it changes significantly depending on how light hits it. In the shadows, it does look like a light flat matte salmon/terracotta colour, but with a little bit of light it seems to come alive and glitter. Colours shift from the same salmon/terracotta, but also include hints of pink, peach, red, yellow and silver – as you can see from the photos, the dial never quite looks the same colour!
Rashid uses a self-taught technique for creating the dial finish, which he has perfected over time to prevent the dials from being damaged during the process; he sandblasts a brass dial with small glass bearings and as soon as it’s complete, the dial goes for plating. He uses rose gold plating to create the salmon colour and knowing it has gold in it now, I expect the glitter effect makes more sense. By using plating for the dial, there is no requirement to use lacquer and the expectation is that the dial should keep it’s original look for ever.
There are hand polished, arrowhead shaped indexes at each hour marker location point towards the centre of the dial, other than at 6 o’clock, which makes way for the sub seconds dial ring, which is also polished and has 5 second marker dots centrally. The hour markers at 9, 12 and 3 o’clock are slightly more elongated than the rest.
The hands are quite chunky, also in polished steel, they also have arrowheads at their ends.
One of the signature elements of the Arrow was always that the indexes and hands were heat blued, however this has clearly been changed here, creating a new look for this unique piece.
Just to add, that all of these little elements are entirely made by hand, shaped from a piece of steel rod and hand finished accordingly.
The only other thing to mention is the TR logo just below 12 o’clock, which is engraved discretely into the dial and painted black.
Keeping to the arrow theme, the lugs also appear to be half arrowheads.
The crown is relatively large, with a polished end and deep ridges which run not just on the part of the crown one would turn, but all the way to where it is set into the case; it offers great grip to both wind, but also to pull out and set the time.
Turn the watch over and you will see the familiar shaped bridges of the ETA movement; it has, however, been hand finished with Geneva stripes and there are also a number of heat blued screws visible.
The screw down case back is almost all sapphire crystal, with a narrow polished steel frame displaying the brand name, logo, WR 3 ATM (30m water resistance), SS and the watch number 1/1.
The movement used for the Tsoroev Arrow is the hand wound Swiss ETA 6498, a proven workhorse which allowed his first watch to be provided at a reasonable price point.
With 17 jewels and beating at a frequency of 18,000 vph, this is a time only movement, with the exception of subsidiary seconds.
A power reserve of around 46 hours should be expected.
The strap shown here is light grey suede, with a tan brown leather lining. The idea of the grey was that a lighter colour should pick up on the polished elements, however, I have seen the Arrow on all sorts of other strap types, mainly crocodile leathers in black or browns, which goes quite nicely with the darker blued indexes and hands.
The hand finished and polished pin buckle is a very unique design; it features bold right angles which go towards a point at the end where the pin is.
This watch also came with a light blue crocodile leather strap. Keep an eye on our YouTube Channel, as there will be video review coming shortly too, where you can also see how it looks with a light blue alligator leather strap.
There have been a few releases of the Arrow since 2019, this one being from the last batch of Arrows that will ever be made. The last batch included a total of 50 watches (30 salmon dials and 20 anthracite dials).
Plating of the salmon dials has already been explained above, but the anthracite dials are finished using black rhodium plating, rather than rose gold. The effect of the anthracite dial is similarly changeable depending on lighting conditions.
Tsoroev Rashid is a one man business and is only able to physically make around 30 watches per year, due to many of the components being made by hand, himself. His concern is that if he tries to increase production numbers, he will lose quality, which isn’t an option for him.
Last year he manufactured mainly Arrows, however, there is a new automatic model due to be released soon, which will be the result of listening to his clients. It is apparently going to be the last watch using someone else’s movement.
Salmon dials were a bit “on-trend” for a while and whilst I’m not actually a major fan of the idea (or result in many cases), this watch jumped out at me due to the somewhat creative appearance, not only of the actual colour of “salmon”, but other design aesthetics that are not too commonly seen.
Having all of the parts polished was against Rashid’s initial design concept, as blued hands and indexes were his thing, so it took a wee bit of persuasion for him to try it to see how it looked, but in the end we do think it was a triumphant result.
In its box, the watch definitely appears bigger than the 42mm it is. I think this is an optical illusion though, as the dial takes up almost the entire width of the case – on the wrist its appearance seems to reduce in size though. At 11mm thick, it’s not too chunky and the smooth lugs allow for hassle free management of cuffs.
Movement wise, you know what you’re getting with an ETA and it’s nice to see some hand finishing to differentiate from the standard offering.
I usually try to give some sort of negative feedback to provide an impartial view, but the only thing I could really come up with was that another strap choice might work; maybe a navy with salmon/terracotta stitching(?)
As mentioned, this is one of the last versions of the Arrow production, which was available in Salmon and Anthracite. It was priced at 2,580 USD regardless of dial colour, which sems excellent value, especially since it is a unique adaptation on the original Arrow. Given that there are only a total of around 60 Arrows out in the wild, it’s not overly likely there would be another in the room.
It may be the end of production for the Arrow, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next from the young watchmaker.