Whimsy, frivolity, playfulness: these are not adjectives one often hears used to describe haute horlogerie. And yet these words accurately describe many watches or clocks built over the centuries. Take a journey with me now to discover my favorite modern whimsical masterpieces.
In the early 1960s, engineer Kelly Johnson of Lockheed Martin came up with “keep it simple, stupid”, which became better known by its acronym, KISS. Watches that employ clever levers and clearly adhere to the KISS principle are always something that can turn me into a giddy fan boy, and one such piece is the Konstantin Chaykin Genius Temporis. Heck, even the name implies some genius.
The moon is one element of horology that allows watchmakers to wax lyrical and get their romance on.
Thanks to its romantic properties and associations, depictions of the moon are particularly popular complications for women.
Konstantin Chaykin, that brilliant watchmaker/inventor from Russia, thus showed a bit of his softer side at Baselworld 2015 with the introduction of a new rendition of a ladies’ moon phase watch with its mechanical sophistication clearly on display.
In 2015, the AHCI celebrates thirty years of existence. This is a genuine milestone for any organization, and is really a grand, grand accomplishment for a loose grouping of more than 30 artisans of varying nationality, background, and level of accomplishment. Here we present five beautiful watches by AHCI members we saw at Baselworld.
The A.H.C.I. (Academy of Independent Horological Creators) is a group in which diversity is not only accepted, but truly rules.
Nowhere is this better exemplified than the friendship between Russian Konstantin Chaykin and Ukrainian Valerii Danevych, two artists peacefully co-existing in goodwill and appreciation to produce their high expressions of art side-by-side.
Konstantin Chaykin, the Wonderboy Russian Watchmaker – my name for him, hopefully he doesn’t mind – is a serious contender for being crowned one of the most progressive and talented watchmakers alive right now.
Previous models like the Levitas, Lunokhod, and his incredible clock creations that feature Jewish and Islamic calendars show that he is both creative and a top-notch complication specialist.
With his most recent creation, the aptly named Cinema watch, he stumped and astounded me with a creative direction that did not leave me wanting. The Cinema features an animation, or more correctly, stop motion recording of a horse at full gallop.
The mechanism used to create said animation? Why that would be his own miniaturized version of Eadweard Muybridge’s Zoopraxiscope. (One of the most awesome names for any machine ever; it even rivals one of my own wordinations!)