‘SUZDAL’ – A Very Russian Watch Concept

This unusual watch was created by German Polosin back in 2015. The idea of ​​”old Russian” watches was born several years ago during German’s visit to Suzdal, a town northeast of Moscow. It is there, on the ancient monastery towers, that you can see the old Russian clock, marked not by the usual numbers, but by the Old Slavonic Cyrillic alphabet. He described it as so amazingly original that he immediately wanted to wear such a wonderful watch on his wrist.

Suzdal clock cyrillic numerals
Pre-1700 ‘Moscoviticum; Cyrillic clock numeration, and one of the only surviving images of the 17-hour Suzdal clock.

Before Russian numerals were reformed to match the typical Western standard in the early 1700s, numeration was represented by Cyrillic characters with a tilde above them to distinguish them from the alphabet. The main idea with this watch was to implement old Cyrillic lettering and old Russian patterns to the watch dial, use only hand craft techniques that has been used back in 1700s – only metals, no paints, no prints.

Traditional Russian patterns are characterised by baroque, ornamental shapes, nothing like the geometric style we associate with the Soviet Union.
This would be considered a ‘Tsar size’ 46mm solid gold watch, combining rose gold and black silver – a traditional Russian combination.


When talking about handicraft in relation to modern watches, for most Swiss companies, it comes down to the ritual of mounting the movement in the case and following the protocol of assembly procedures. We created the SUZDAL as the antithesis of the assembly line watches manufacturing, embodying this idea by truly hand-crafting parts using ancient technologies – from metal rolling and marking with a compass to finishing silver with liver of sulphur, a very old alchemical compound for applying a patina to silver.

Gold hands, hand-made from a solid rose gold sheet
The dial is oxidized with liver of sulphur, ancient black silver treatment technology. Rose gold riveted indexes, rose gold serial number, rose gold hands.
Solid 14K rose gold case, old-stock winding crown. ‘Tsar’ size 46 mm, strap width is 24 mm.

In terms of dimensional accuracy, manual work has the right to lose somewhat to modern machine-made production, but without professional optics this can hardly be noticed. Slightly noticeable imperfections are proof of real manual craft and many days of labour invested in the product.

Swiss Made movement, famous robust Unitas calibre, rose gold finishing.

Horological Underground aim is to support independent watchmakers and creative watch making practices. We invite international horology creators to offer their watches via our shop.

By becoming the owner of an author’s watch, you directly support the author’s work and the work of the masters who invested skill and work in these watches, encourage the idea and implementation. Thanks to the interest in designer watches, new bold ideas of independent watchmakers are formed and supported.

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