The renowned independent watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin has released another one of his distinctive and original timepieces. The watch in question is named Konstantin Chaykin Carpe Diem and it was made with a Vanitas artistic theme as a basic guideline. Vanitas is a type of art that focuses on the transitory nature of all earthly possessions. Some of its common symbols are shown on the watch’s striking Sterling silver and 18K rose gold dial which features hand-performed engravings and painted sections. These are the Ancient Greek deity of time, Chronos, a skull and an hourglass. The philosophy of Vanitas art is also the reason for a bit relaxed manner in which the time is displayed with the help of its hand-made and hand-decorated movement: while hours are displayed in the traditional manner, minutes are shown through the mechanical representation of an hourglass timekeeping with six dots that correspond to ten minute periods. It might not be the most punctual manner to tell the time, but it is perfectly in the accordance with the view that directs us to value each moment. The latest horological marvel by Konstantin Chaykin comes in a fairly sizable 45 mm wide housing, especially considering it is made of 18 K red gold. It is made in a very exclusive edition of just five pieces and costs around $70,230.
Vanitas Art – Hourglasses and Skulls as Symbols of Impermanence
Vanitas symbolic art that serves as a reminder to the humankind’s mortality had its peak in the famous paintings of the old 16th and 17th century masters from Flanders and Netherlands. The reoccurring motifs used in these works of art such as hourglasses, skulls and candles serve as symbols of futility and transitory essence of all earthly goods. The same idea is once expressed in the saying “Carpe Diem” (”Size the Day”) which warns us to make the best of our time in this world. As it has been mentioned, the novel Konstantin Chaykin utilizes several of the common Vanitas’s motifs. The central figure of its lovely silver and gold dial is the ancient Greek deity Chronos, shown as an old, wise, and white-bearded man with wings who served as the representation of time itself in both Greco-Roman tradition and the Renaissance. Depicted as it was in the mosaics of ancient world, Chronos turns the Zodiac wheel and indicates current Zodiac sign as it is shown thorough an aperture on the three o’clock position, which is in the photography we included used to signify the Taurus. While his left hand firmly grips a harvesting scythe (Chronos is sort of an ancient Grim Ripper), his right hand rests on an hourglass which shows the minute decades via the patented mechanism.
A Mechanical Hourglass Minute Indication
The dial of Konstantin Chaykin Carpe Diem timekeeper includes an off-centered white dial with a single hour hand made of blued steel, as well as black Roman numerals. It looks amazing with numerous hand-engravings made of both silver and gold. These engravings, most notably Chronos and a skull, are complemented with a beautifully hand-painted hourglass and a blued-steel background. The final ornaments that complete the lovely symbolic scene of Carpe Diem timekeeper are eleven diamonds of various sizes which are used to depict stars on a nocturnal sky.
Inside the 45 mm wide circular rose gold case is yet another in the series of movements with atypical indications which are characteristic for Konstantin Chaykin whose authority and the position in the world of watchmaking can be demonstrated up with the fact that the Russian is a member of the Académie Horlogere des Créateurs Indépendant (AHCI) which rounds up all the leading independent watchmakers. In accordance with Chaykin’s policy, manually-wound mechanical movement K.01-4 has very little to do with his previous designs. This time, the Russian watchmaker opted for a lever escapement movement which includes the mentioned mechanism that enables the hourglass minutes indication. K.01-4 is a hand-assembled and hand-decorated movement which includes steel and gold components, as well as 33 jewels. It is 38.6 mm wide, 9 mm high and exposed through a sapphire transparent case-back (sapphire is likewise used for the crystal on the front side). The see-through section on the rear shows the functioning of the watch’s regulating organ, as well as hand-performed decorations such as Cotes de Geneva motif on the bridges, gold gear wheels and sanded barrel which provides a power storage that lasts for 46 hours. Carpe Diem timekeeper is coupled with a black alligator leather strap which fastens with a buckle made of 18 K red gold.
Five-Piece Limited Edition in Rose Gold
The latest masterpiece by Konstantin Chaykin had its premiere at the recently held Salon Belles Montres which took place in Paris at the end of November. As the watchmaker announced, Carpe Diem is issued in a highly exclusive edition of 5 copies which will be sold at around $70,230.
In some of our previous reviews, we have already written about watches that had a similar theme or skull decoration as their main feature. Some of them are Richard Mille RM 52-01 Tourbillon, Fiona Kruger Memento Mori, Mr. Jones “Ambassador”, Roman Jerome Dia de los Muertos and Swatch Full-Blooded Black Skull.