A few days ago I visited the premises of a well respected Adelaide based watchmaker called Ben Birkett. Over the last few years Ben has achieved a solid reputation and now services watches for many high-class Australian retailers. He is also a novelty for the region because of his in depth knowledge of the industry. Certainly if I needed one of my timepieces fixing he is the go to guy. Recently he has expanded his business and employed a very dynamic assistant. Whilst I was at his workshop we discussed many aspects of the world of horology. Even though we probably have different tastes in watches we both appreciate fine craftsmanship. That is why we both really admire the talents of Konstantin Chaykin.
When I first established Total Watch Reviews I made the decision to only feature watches that I feel are well designed. There are many generic looking timepieces available that have notable features. However as a artist I really admire more original creations. Ultimately that is why it is always a pleasure to write about Konstantin Chaykin. What he has achieved over the last few years is truly phenomenal. Not only does he devise some pretty innovative concepts but also develops his own intricate mechanical calibres.
Back in August 2014 I wrote a detailed article about Konstantin Chaykin’s wonderful Levitas Black Mystery Watch. This watch is remarkable because of the complicated crescent moon shape mechanical movement. One of Chaykin’s latest offerings is a timepiece called Carpe Diem. Dimensionally the watch is slightly larger than the Levitas Black Mystery Watch and has a diameter of 45mm. Based on previous experience I would envisage the timepiece would be fairly comfortable to wear. Primarily this is because of the elegant case design and choice of luxurious 18-karat rose gold in production.
Visually the Carpe Diem has a more classical appearance than the Levitas Black Mystery Watch and should appeal to more traditional tastes. The overall theme is inspired by paintings by Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder, Pieter Claesz and Heorhiy Narbut. From recent conversations with Konstantin Chaykin he informed that visiting galleries and museums is one of his favourite pastimes. Certainly I can see these influences reflected in the design of this exquisite watch. As always the detailing is meticulous especially the hand engraved gold dial and case. I also absolutely love the hourglass indication with seemingly magic flowing sand.
At the heart of the watch is a highly sophisticated patented hand-winding movement. The Caliber K 01-4 comprises 33-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Each of the 18-karat rose gold and stainless steel components have been fastidiously manufactured personally by Konstantin Chaykin. This entire mechanical splendor is visibly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Carpe Diem features hours, minutes (via the hourglass indication) and days of the week. The timepiece also is water resistant to a depth of 30-metres and has a power reserve of 46-hours.
The Carpe Diem is limited to only 5 pieces and is equipped with a hand stitched alligator strap. Priced for the connoisseur at: €60,000 (approximately $65,632).