A few weeks ago I wrote an in-depth article about the Bremont Wright Flyer. In their press releases, the company publicised that the timepiece was equipped with their first in-house movement. Ultimately this has proved to be a very contentious issue for Bremont and has got them into a lot of hot water. Many watch blogs and forums instantly picked up on the fact that Swiss parts supplier Manufacture La Joux-Perret SA actually produced the movement. From speaking to many people in the industry they have informed that it would involve an enormous amount of money and time to develop a bespoke mechanism. However several independent watchmakers around the world have achieved this monumental feat. A perfect example is Russian atelier, Konstantin Chaykin.
Over the last few years, Konstantin Chaykin has gained himself a solid reputation within the world of horology. His innovative approach to watchmaking is highly refreshing and completely original. In 2010 he became a member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (or AHCI for short). This elite group of independent watchmakers is dedicated to producing some of the world’s most exquisite timepieces. It is also pertinent to mention that all of their creations are entirely handcrafted and respect the finest traditional techniques.
The last time I featured Konstantin Chaykin on Total Design Reviews was back in was in my recent Baselworld 2018 highlights. The piece is I chose to include was his playful Joker Halloween watch, which is designed to put a smile on anyone’s face. In contrast, his latest timepiece called the Levitas Black Mystery Watch is a more delicate affair and has a diameter of 44mm. These classical proportions definitely suit the style of the watch and should appeal to a wide variety of buyers. Although I personally haven’t tested the timepiece, I can envisage it would sit comfortably on the wrist. Essentially this is down to the elegant case design and choice of luxurious 18-karat rose gold in production.
Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin’s ‘Mystery Clock’ inspired the design of Levitas Black Mystery Watch. In the same way, Konstantin Chaykin has cleverly hidden the mechanical movement. What makes this timepiece so amazing is the seemingly floating hands. Two rotating sapphire crystal discs has created this illusion. The effect is truly mesmerizing and highly distinctive. Other wonderful features include a black Guilloché dial with bold numerals and sensational moon phase indication positioned at 3 o’clock. Overall the idiosyncratic composition is very effective and the attention to detail is absolutely first rate.
To power, the watch Konstantin Chaykin has devised an exceptionally sophisticated manual winding movement. The Caliber K.02-1 comprises 29-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. Every individual component of this amazing mechanism has been fastidiously manufactured, decorated and assembled by hand. It is also visible in its entire splendor through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Levitas Black Mystery Watch features hours, minutes, moon phase indication and has a power reserve of 33 hours.
The Levitas Black Mystery Watch is limited to 99 pieces and has a hand stitched black alligator strap with matching 18-karat rose gold folding clasp. Priced for the serious collector at: €26,500 (approximately $35,468).