Today I would like to talk about a new, limited edition and a very unique watch model by Konstantin Chaykin called ‘Carpe Diem’. Chaykin always surprises me, as every model is totally different from the previous one and he is well known worldwide for the innovations in watchmaking. It is really new that a Russian brand is so out there and is competing well with Swiss watchmakers in a world, where mechanics is advancing and changing almost in a speed of light. Chaykin has a unique brand, appreciated for the great quality, always different one of a kind concepts that we have never seen before. He is also a member of the Académie Horlogere des Créateurs Indépendant (AHCI), which is the organization of independent watchmakers, where are 32 members at the moment. (You can read an article about his other watches here)
Last year, at Baselworld he presented the first mechanical watch with an actual movie inside, called ‘The Cinema’. Konstantin Chaykin ‘Carpe Diem’ model, presented in the end of 2013 is very original because of a mechanical hand-painted hourglass, a feature never before implemented into a wristwatch before. He was not afraid to do it first, and ‘Carpe Diem’ translates from Latin ‘seize the moment”. The manually wound mechanical movement K.01-4 has not much in common with the previously created watch models by Konstantin Chaykin, as it includes the mechanism that enables the hourglass minutes indication for simulating the flow of ‘sand’ within it; that’s a patented invention by Konstantin Chaykin. The ‘sand’ was created out of the precious metals to form a sand illusion, as nobody would want to risk filling up any part of the watch with the real sand ?
An Hourglass has 6 white dots on it and each represents 10 minutes. Of course this is not a perfectly precise time keeping way, but it is definitely a pleasure watching the small beads run down the hourglass forming an amazing pyramid that reminds us of ancient times and the time sliding on its way so unstoppably. The hourglass is a decorated movement including steel and gold components, where inner triangles of hourglass steel were blue-painted.
The movement is hand-made and hand-decorated, and hours are displayed in a very traditional way, counting them by Roman numerals on a smaller off-centered white dial that indicates the hours at 6 o’clock. Sterling silver and 18K rose gold was used in the dial, and are featured in hand-performed engravings and paintings. The case diameter is 45 mm, which is quite large considering that case and bezel is made of 18 K rose gold. Power reserve lasts for 46 hours. The pendulum can be seen through the transparent sapphire crystal. Besides, it is a very exclusive model, as there will only be 5 pieces made at the bargain of a price for such creation – 51’150 Euros ($ 70K).
This watch is created out of allegoric symbolic and artistic elements like sculptures and paintings. Vanitas is a type of symbolic works of art, from a Latin word translating to ‘vanity’ and it was mainly common in Flanders and Netherlands in 16th and 17th centuries, representing the importance of human mortality. The laying skull in the dial is dragging the attention to the symbolic meaning of the human existence fragility and importance of every moment. The timepiece also contains an allegorical symbol – Chronos, the ancient Greek God and the ‘Father of Time’. He was believed to be a creator of Time, the oldest thing that was born in the universe.
We can see a nice connection with the hourglass that he is guarding with one hand, and holding the harvesting scythe in another one. In Greco-Roman mosaics Chronos was pictured as an old, wise man, with wings and a long grey beard, which was turning the Zodiac Wheel. Here we can see an incredible connection with another part of the dial – indicator for current Zodiac sign as it is shown through an aperture at the position of three o’clock. Turning signs represent Zodiac signs for each day of the week, and they are also connected with the Roman era, as this is the period when they were created and used, based on Babylonian and Hellenistic astronomy concepts. And as we know zodiacs are connected to the stars, so we see 11 diamonds on the dial symbolizing shining stars in the nightly dark blued-steel sky.
I am really amazed by the dial composition and the connection among all the details, and of course a deep meaning while still keeping it a modern timepiece. I think this is a great way to discover the topic of ‘time’ in a wristwatch; it is just ingenious. ‘Carpe Diem’ can easily take us to a deeper thinking about the limitless existence of the world, where our lives are just a small moment in a long line of time. Konstantin Chaykin definitely understands the value of this theme, and I would say he worked very efficiently and did a great work of art creating ‘Carpe Diem’. Though some may not be brave enough or too superstitious to wear it…
The creator is combining the ‘Carpe Diem’ timekeeper with a black alligator leather strap, which is nicely set up with the help of a rose gold pin buckle. The presentation of the watch was held in Paris at the end of November in 2013, at Salon Belles Montres. Thank you everyone for reading, I hope you liked the review on this exclusive and unique model and will be trying to see it in action. I can reassure you, it is worth it!