Africa is known for its diverse corn, fruits, minerals and metal exports. But not so much its watches. Enter ASOROCK Watches, Africa’s very first affordable luxury watchmaking company focusing on sustainability, tradition and diversity. Influenced by the breathtaking mountainous terrain in Central Nigeria, co-founders Ben and Andrew who are self-professed life-long horological enthusiasts, embarked on a journey to create a brand that embodies the beautiful expanse that is the great continent, Africa.
So, in 2016, the college friends created ASOROCK Watches with the goal of creating something that was socially conscious, driven by a vision of giving something back to the community, along with creating a quality product that is affordable. Specifically and related to its vision, ASOROCK Watches’ agenda is to build libraries across Africa improve access to free educational material.
ASOROCK Watches has already successfully sold out its first collection of watches, named the Speedracer. And now it’s gearing up two new collections of watches, the FirstLady and the Monolith, which is the piece we’ll be focusing on.
The Monolith from ASOROCK Watches combines a rather simplistic aesthetic within a very traditional shell. It’s a classic timepiece that reflects the likeminded approach of the brand wherein it isn’t reinventing the wheel as they say, but moreover focusing on doing things better. And this extends throughout the Monolith, particularly with respect to its 42mm wide, 11mm thick steel case structure (partly thanks to its thin Quartz movement). The cushion design of the Monolith’s case is very reminiscent of classical timepieces of a few generations ago, and the uncluttered dial further emphasises the approach here: less is indeed more.
The dial is a great representation of minimalism at its best, with the only scribing here being ASOROCK Watches’ logo just under 12 o’clock. The small seconds dial at 6 o’clock contains the discreet date window which, in my opinion, is an excellent way of keeping the flow of the watch going. The addition of the date window is very welcoming, and while yes this can be seen as a typical dress piece, the addition of a date function really gives it the ability to be worn on a day to day basis. The polished steel date markers and hands give it a touch of elegance and match the case really well. All in all, a very aesthetically appealing piece.
One of the key pointers here is the Monolith’s affordability. One of the core aims of ASOROCK Watches was to create an accessible timepiece that was still soundly made and with the quality you would expect from a watch costing double, triple and even four times as much. That, coupled with the two-year warranty, leaves one with a certain degree of ‘peace of mind’. The Monolith is an exemplary effort from ASOROCK Watches, and I particularly applaud the founders on their charitable initiative.
The ASOROCK Watches Monolith is available in a variety of metal and dial colours and is priced from $135 with special pricing on ASOROCK Watches’ Kickstarter page.