Clocks in all shapes have been the most recognizable representation of time for mankind since men learned to count hours and minutes. Artists have depicted clocks in legendary paintings as they tried to understand the meaning of life. Konstantin Chaykin, the Russian inventor and founder of the Konstantin Chaykin Manufacture designed a watch that is more than a timepiece – but a piece of art. Konstantin named the watch Carpe Diem (Latin for Seize the Day) and included multiple allegoric representations of time in the mechanics and the design to create a harmonious reminder of how important the present is and how fleeting time really is for each and every one of us.
“I always go to museums and art galleries wherever I am”, muses Konstantin Chaykin, “I travel a lot and always find time to visit local museums, especially if they have old masters in their collections. I find inspiration, as well as rest in these works. Naturally, I am particularly fascinated by paintings that depict clocks, watches and other timepieces. Numerous artists have used various clocks, hourglasses most of the time as allegories of time and the folly of earthly riches and cares. Hourglasses, together with objects such as skulls, candles and more are often included in allegorical paintings to stress the mortality of man versus the eternal nature of time. In the ‘Vanitas’ genre human skulls remind us of our inevitable death, as do hourglasses or mechanical clocks. A more ancient allegory presents images of the god of Time, Chronos, with a sickle or scythe and an hourglass in his hands. And so, I imagined a watch that included these elements to become an allegory of time reminding us of eternity.”
The main idea behind the Carpe Diem Watch is to embody the abstract idea of time using classic metaphors from the Western canon. The symbols included in Konstantin’s design hark back to paintings by Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder, Pieter Claesz and Heorhiy Narbut. The main character in the Carpe Diem Watch is the ancient god Chronos, who had birthed Time, the first element of Creation. He is depicted in a personal and vivid form: lost in thought, with deep wrinkles on his forehead, Chronos is enthroned on the miniature dial that only indicates hours. In one hand Chronos wields a scythe and his other hand rests on an hourglass. A starry night sky in the background symbolizes the cosmic nature of time.
The technical innovation in the Carpe Diem Watch is the patented mechanism by Konstantin Chaykin: using a few shutters Konstantin was able to create the illusion of sand flowing through an hourglass. In the Carpe Diem Watch, the moving sand serves as the minute indicator. Hours are indicated by a hand contained in a miniature dial decorated with a monogram. The Carpe Diem Watch also includes a day of the week indicator, where each day is indicated by the appropriate astrological sign.
Konstantin invented and patented a new calibre, the K 01-4 for the Carpe Diem Watch, a caliber which belongs to his line of movements to tell time in non-standards ways of indication. The bridges in the Carpe Diem are decorated with ‘côtes de Genève’, the escapement wheel is gold, and the gleaming barrel wheel and winding wheels are perfectly polished. The work of the balance is visible through the sapphire glass back. The case is hand-engraved, while the decorations and the image of Chronos are patinated.
Time flows at different rates in Heaven and on Earth: happy moments fly by, while difficult and sad times seem to go on forever. How wonderful it would be, if it were the other way around! We all dream of being able to control time and now we can all seize the day with the Carpe Diem Watch.
Caliber: K 01-4
Dimensions (mm): 38,6*7,9
Materials: gold, stainless steel
Escapement: lever (anchor)
Power Reserve: 46 hours
Dimensions: diameter 45mm
-animated minute indication in the form of an hourglass (1 full cycle per 60 minutes)minutes;
-days of the week indication using astrological symbols
Silver, 18K rose gold, 11 diamonds
Transparent window diameter: 38,1mm
Limited edition – 5 pcs