Miki Eleta

11.08.2017
Best known for: Skeletonized clock and kinetic mechanisms armed with every complication imaginable. Produces only unique pieces.


Biography

Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina a part of former Yugoslavia Miki Eleta ironically moved to Switzerland not because of watches. In his youth Miki was a serious flamenco guitarist and the land of cheese, banks and chocolate seemed a good place for such a career. Later he fell in love with kinetic art and starting in the mid 1990-s has made his new passion a full time job. In 2000-s he decided to put skills to test in a watchmaking area and after a couple of dozen pieces became a full-part member of AHCI – a union of hi-end independent watchmakers from all over the world. Eleta produces only unique pieces saying he has too many ideas to waste the time copying existing ones.

Has the latest turmoil in the luxury watch market affected your business?

I work in a distance from the big industry and don’t really keep an eye on latest trends. Its independents who I watch closely. We all know each other and we always follow each other’s work. They’ve got a lot of great ideas I’m interested in. When you produce and sell watches all by yourself and in such little quantities all the major trends or economical breakdowns doesn’t really concern you.

Has your everyday work changed much in the last 20 years with all this new technologies?

I’m a traditionalist and all my work is still done completely by hand/ There is no hi-tech involved whatsoever. The changes, if any, come from my experience – with the years you learn to do things better and faster, but the process itself is identical to the watchmakers of old like Breguet.

And what new technology do you consider the most important for the future of watchmaking? Even if you don’t use it yourself…

Silicium balance seems quite promising, if you’d ask me. But I don’t like the question in general. You see, watchmaking evolves in two directions simultaneously. The argument of what’s better – the traditional craft or all this sophisticated technical staff – is pointless to say the least. Everyone has to choose their own way. On the one side there are machines producing tiniest of details and on the other – a master working at the bench. No need to compare them.

What’s the hardest and the most enjoyable part of running an independent watch manufacture in 2017?

The hardest part is to stay independent, it doesn’t seem to change with the years. While the greatest pleasure for me is to create my mechanisms. I find it very frustrating when wasting time on something else. True love for our profession is the first virtue of any watchmaker.