Mysterious Disappearance of Serkisof Demiryolu’s Founder

Mysterious Disappearance of Serkisof Demiryolu’s FounderWatches of Turkish watch manufacturer Serkisof Demiryolu were quite popular in the Ottoman Empire between the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century.

The founder of the company was Armenian-Turkish jeweler Serkisof (Armenian: Սարգիսով), who established Serkisof Demiryolu in 1880. Customers of his company were high-ranked officials and statesmen of the Ottoman Empire. The watches were assembled manually and included parts of precious metals.

Very little is known about Serkisof’s life. He was born in Constantinople in a family of Armenian entrepreneurs. It is known that Serkisof purchased a small manor and married before his disappearance. According to some sources, Serkisof’s family left Turkey in 1920s. Most likely, he and his family were killed during the Armenian Genocide.

After Serkisof’s disappearance, Serkisof Demiryolu was sold to a Turkish watch importer, who continued to manufacture premium watches. In 1950s-70s, the popularity of Serkisof Demiryolu premium watches reached USSR.

Products of Soviet watch manufacturers Sekonda and Molnija were based upon Serkisof’s watches and were in great demand of Soviet officials.

Collectors claim that the quality of Serkisof Demiryolu watches is not as high as it has been. According to them, the best watches have been produced before World War II. Today, the watches are considered antiquities and are priced at 1000 USD at least.

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