Zandidoust watches: Made-to-Measure Craftsmanship

For over 40 years Ali Zandidoust has been inspired by the Orient in designing prestigious timepieces that only a craftsman’s eye – and hand – can master.

Craftsmanship is something Ali Zandidoust knows all about. The Geneva-based Iranian has been a master of traditional jewellery techniques for over 40 years. The eponymous brand-founder is greatly appreciated by Middle East clients, and enjoys blending the techniques of jewellery, setting and engraving when designing his exclusive timepieces.

Ali Zandidoust qualified as an engraver and setter in 1965. He was passionately interested in jewellery design, and soon founded his first workshop in Iran. The exceptional pieces he produced enjoyed great success among the public  and before long he had no fewer than fifteen people working for him.

From the Block
But the political and financial crisis which hit Iran in the 1980s forced Ali Zandidoust to move abroad. He settled in Geneva, and began his professional career in Switzerland by working for the watchmaking industry. After opening a jewellery workshop in Geneva, he founded his own watch firm in 1991 – aiming to unite the three techniques (jewellery, setting and engraving) he has long  mastered with such brio, so as to express and  share his emotions through the design of luxury stimepieces.

His approach is highly original. Unlike a poet or painter, Ali Zandidoust does not take a blank sheet of paper as his point of departure. He never works from drawings or sketches. Quite the opposite: the creative process starts with no more than a rough piece of metal, which he sculpts from the block using a file, saw or chisel.

Impossible to Fake
So it takes the eye, and the precise gestures, of an experienced craftsman to master the design of exclusive Zandidoust timepieces – which makes faking them impossible. “The distinctive curves and forms of my designs cannot be reproduced on an industrial scale, even with the use of modern equipment,” explains Ali Zandidoust. “You can only fake such designs by hand.” Forgers do not care to take that risk.