A few years ago I was privileged enough to go on a cruise around Europe with my wife and small child. As well as visiting cities like Tallinn, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen we also docked at St Petersburg. Unfortunately due to stringent visa regulations I had to stay on the ship and look after our child whilst my wife went on a site seeing tour. Even though the schedule was tight she managed to look around the State Hermitage museum of art. This exceptionally old museum was founded in 1764 and is one of the largest in the world. Therefore it is not surprising that all this culture has inspired many contemporary artists. It has also had a huge impact on watchmakers like Konstantin Chaykin.

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Previously I have written many articles about Konstantin Chaykin and am constantly amazed at his level of creativity. What makes his story even more extraordinary is that he is largely self-taught. Around a decade ago he began restoring clocks and then began devising complicated mechanical movements for wristwatches. Within this relatively short space of time he has become one of the most respected watchmakers in the world of horology. Personally I love his eclectic designs and the enormous passion he brings to the industry.

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In 2010 Konstantin Chaykin became the only Russian member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI for short). This exclusive group contains some of the world’s best and most innovative watchmakers. I have written many articles on Total Watch Reviews featuring the talents of François-Paul Journe, Vincent Calabrese, Kari Voutilainen, Aaron Becsei, Aniceto Jiménez Pita, Thomas Prescher, Bernhard Lederer, Masahiro Kikuno, Marc Jenni and Eva Leube. Hopefully in the near future I will write many more in depth editorials about these exceptional artisans.

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The one thing I love about independent watchmakers is that corporate bureaucracy does not dilute their ideas. Essentially this means that ateliers like Konstantin Chaykin can experiment with different materials and more unusual designs. If he was part of a large group I am sure that the Lunokhod, Cinema Watch, Levitas Jazz or Levitas Black Mystery Watch would not exist. Admittedly the aesthetic and size of his watches won’t appeal to everyone. The price for this exquisite craftsmanship will also restrict his audience and most likely only attract serious collectors. Nevertheless I personally feel he is a real asset to the watch industry.

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For more information about Konstantin Chaykin visit his website: http://www.konstantin-chaykin.com

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