history in the family

Even as a young child, Itay Noy loved watches. He received his first watch from John Edelnand, his grandmother’s only cousin, who lived in England and often visited the Holy Land. Over the years John continued bringing Itay special watches, and it didn’t take long for the young lad to become a staunch devotee of timepieces.

In 2007, having won the Andy Prize and having mounted a solo exhibition at the Eretz Israel Museum, Itay sent John the exhibition catalogue. John, who wasn’t aware that Itay had chosen to become an independent creator of watches, contacted him in great excitement to thank him for the catalogue, and only then did he dare to reveal to Itay, for the first time, the story of the family’s watchmaking enterprise in the town of Halberstadt in Germany, where he had grown up together with Itay’s grandmother. John proudly told Itay about his own father, Israel Edelnand, a talented watchmaker, who, regrettably, John saw for the last time at age 14 when he was sent from Germany to London in 1939, as one of 300 children sent to Gwrych Castle shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. All that remained in the young boy’s possession was a suitcase of clothes, a few family photographs, and a silver watch, his father’s handwork, the last vestige of the watchmaking tradition that would be destroyed together with the family.

John and his wife Mavis had no children, and it was with a feeling of mission that John decided to give Itay the watch that his father had given him for safekeeping, in order that Itay would continue to look after it and tell the story of the family’s watchmaking history.