When we think of high-end luxury timepiece manufacturing, the inevitable tendency is to consider Switzerland the Holy Land, the source of all that is good and right. But some exceptions do exist and, what’s more, the watch designers from elsewhere around the world seem to sometimes get that extra mile creativity. The results have inspired collectors, aficionados and watch masters all, including the Swiss.
A clear example of this creative wave is independent watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin, the Russian artisan from Saint.Petersburg, whose creations are not only produced in very limited numbers and therefore rare, but hold the vibrancy that characterises the most innovative timepiece productions.
From a fascination for timepieces at the beginning of his career as a clock repairer, Kostantin managed to set up his own watch manufacturing unit right in the heart of Moscow, far from the quiet mountains of the Jura region in Switzerland.
The Limited Edition is pleased to introduce the Lunokhod, a very space-age-looking 50mm timepiece with a unique back story. This marvel gets its name, as well as its aesthetic and technical inspiration, from the legendary Soviet “Moon Walker”, part of the Soviet Union Lunokhod programme from the early 1970s.
With a look best described as retro-futuristic, the Lunakhod is certainly one of the most striking timepieces we’ve seen in recent years.
The miniature moon phase is itself a treat to behold, and a very unique feature, incorporating the first ever unprocessed natural material used as a functional element of a high-end watch design. The display of the satellite phases is spectacularly showcased by the unique south-sea pearl, set right at the centre of the dial, which gives an unprecedented three-dimensional depth effect and a dramatically realistic display of the moon phase, perfectly synced on the actual synodic period.
The sophisticated wootz steel case design is clearly reminiscent of the Soviet expedition lunar vehicle, and enhances that retro-futuristic look. It’s slightly curved to sit ergonomically on the wrist. For those not familiar with this material, wootz steel is the ultra-resistant steel alloy rich in carbides (carbon) and used for centuries in weaponry. More recently it’s been reproduced and developed by Russian metallurgy. This material is chosen for its stiffness, durability and resistance, as well as for the unique patterns characterising its surface.
The stylish retro-futuristic case houses fine dial work, finished with elements in gold (the day period indicator) and perfectly balanced indications of hours, minutes and day/night functions.
The case-back’s open sapphire crystal brings the viewer on a journey of discovery: the grail, being the refined and polished, patented Caliber KL1 04-1.
Visually stunning and technically groundbreaking, this limited edition is one which we would not be surprised to see gain great value in years to come.