Oleksiy Zolotarov, founder and owner of Kyiv Watch Factory believes that a watch on one’s wrist is not quite a device for measuring time but an element of person’s identity. It is also a means of self-expression and an integral part of any person’s image. It is an accessory, which one gets used to very quickly and feels uncomfortable without it. Oleksiy said: «People are very emotional beings and our watch is a very emotional thing as well. It is a part of our inner self which manifests externally».
You can trust Oleksiy’s opinion as he has been running a watch business for more than 20 years. It was Kyiv Watch Factory that in the Autumn of 2002 for the first time in the history of Ukraine began manufacturing wristwatches under Ukrainian brand Kleynod. The brand took its name from the word kleynod (in German klеіnоdе and in Polish klejnot mean treasure or jewel). In Ukrainian the word kleynody means special attributes of state power, symbols of Ukrainian Hetmans. Kleynody symbolized victory and glory of their masters, their wisdom and special status. They were used as regalia and decorations during celebrations and holidays.
Oleksiy said: «When I just launched wristwatch manufacturing the majority of my acquaintances thought that I was crazy and asked me why I was doing that. There were lots of goods around and everybody seemed to be engaged in trade. We also began our business with trade. We purchased watches in Russia. It was an established process. But I had a dream, and trade just bored me. After I visited a top world watch exhibition in Basel, where I saw what does a real watch market look like, I realized that the production of wristwatches is a real thing that I could do in Ukraine. It was in Basel where I felt that we have to launch our own watch brand».
Today Kleynod is the first wristwatch brand in the history of Ukraine produced on the basis of brands’ own artistic and design work. Kleynod watches are absolutely unique in design. Kleynod quality meets tastes of demanding customers: all watches are created using Swiss mechanisms. For watch-case production high-quality steel and sapphire crystals are used. All watches are warranted for 3 years.
And of course, the national brand could not but reflect in its watches eternal values of its country, love of the Motherland, sincere patriotism, feeling of being a true Ukrainian. These values lay the foundation for the flagship collection Kleynods of Independence. In 2006, for the first time in the history of Ukraine Kyiv Watch Factory introduced a special collection of watches Kleynods of Independence, dedicated to the 15th anniversary of independence of Ukraine. The central element of the original design was the small State Emblem of Ukraine and its main element – the famous Ukrainian trident. In 2016 this collection was replenished with six new models dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence.
«We truly wanted to create new specific Ukrainian symbols for national and international community,» – said Oleksiy. «And our intention was a success. Today watches from the collection Kleynods of Independence can be seen on wrists of prominent politicians, businessmen, when they represent our country during important political and business events. Kleynod watch became a kind of a signal by which one can recognize a person with similar views and spirit».
The brand didn’t overlook another symbol of Ukraine ― an embroidered shirt. In 2015 a new collection Vyshyvanka (which means embroidered shirt) was launched. «We are trying to design watches in this collection to look contemporary and with elements of national symbol ― embroidery. We didn’t want them to look vulgar or obsolete but sought to offer customers a stylish accessory that would match perfectly various kinds of outfit: traditional, classic or casual». Now, two after the launch of the collection, we can confidently say that everything is possible. Watches from Vyshyvanka collection are much sought after in Ukraine and abroad.
«Not every country can boast of having its own watch brand. Own wristwatch brand is a part of any country image. And we, in Ukraine, already have such a brand. It is not just considered national because it is made in Ukraine. It expresses the spirit of our people», ― said Oleksiy Zolotarov.