Russian maverick-watchmaker, Konstantin Chaykin, wristmon collection is the perfect antidote for those who are frankly bored of the complacency found in haute-horology. This stainless steel Harlequin Ventuno was originally introduced in 2021 and is limited to 18 examples.
The Origins of the Wristmon
It is hard to fathom that a scant three years ago Basel World was the event of the horological calendar. Retailers and horophiles were feverish with anticipation for the novelties that were debuted at each Basel World. Behind all this mayhem, besides a forgotten staircase, somewhat far from the glamorous halls of Basel World was a rather small area dedicated to Independent Watchmakers. A lackluster showing in 2017 for the larger brands resulted in newfound recognition for a certain independent watchmaker named Konstantin Chaykin.
Chaykin is currently the only Russian watchmaker admitted to the prestigious Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (ACHI) and served as president of the Académie from 2016 till 2019. The tremendous upheavals that Russia has endured over the last two centuries have left its watch industry in a recondite state. Not only is Chaykin a highly respected watchmaker, he also acts as a mentor for up and coming talent who would without his philanthropy not be given a chance. Above it, all Chaykin is a patriot who prides his “Made in Russia” seal above everything else. Whereas many other new unestablished brands would have relied on the crutch of “Swiss Made” for legitimacy, Chaykin was confident enough in his creations to forgo the designation. According to Chaykin, Swiss brands produce rather simplistic standard production perpetual calendars, whereas the Russian maverick creates watches taking into consideration the Hebrew and Islamic calendar, as well as the movements that determine the date of the Orthodox Easter.
We encourage you to read this article for more information on the origins of the Wristmon Collection
Since then the Wristmon collection has been at the epicenter of the brand and is often cited as their best seller. This specific wristmon is named the Harlequin Ventuno a play on the Italian commedia dell’arte. It is believed that the audience is amused, provoked, and entertained by Pantalone, Brighella, Pulcinella, Columbina, and of course, among many others, the Harlequin is perhaps the most popular mask of the Venetian comedy theatre. The whimsical nature of Harlequin can be compared to Chaykin’s subtle but provocative view on the Swiss watch industry. Harlequin Ventuno, Italian for twenty-one, is both a play on the twenty-first century and the iconic game of blackjack.
The dial is a work of art, the timekeeping measures are denoted through the use of two independent discs (eyeballs). The right-hand side is used for the minutes whereas the left-hand side is used for the hours. The ruthenium-coated mask found on the face is a nod to Harlequin’s mask. The textured moon phase (the tongue) is displayed through a red frame with a contrasting grey background. At the base of the silver-white relief décor guilloche is found and adds an element of excitement to the already impressive dial.
The brushed stainless steel case measures 42mm and 13.70mm in thickness. The bezel features the name of the wristmon, Harlequin, in rectangular frames, similar to playing cards. Additionally, triangular dimples are found throughout the bezel, though they serve no purpose, they increase the depth of the bezel. The dual crowns are finished in a similar fashion, the one found on the right hand-side is used for the timekeeping requirements and the left hand crown is used to advance the moon phase. The closed case back is signed Harlequin – Made in Russia – Konstantin Chaykin – Stainless Steel. The centre piece of the case back is frosted and features the famed face mask of Harlequin along with his jester’s hat on a background of diamond shapes.
As much as the Wristmon collection provokes the Swiss, it ironically also leans on a modified swiss-made ETA 2824-2, renamed K07-0 by the brand. The additional module required for the discs results in an additional 8 jewels (61 parts) bring the total to 33 jewels. When fully wound the watch is capable of delivering 38 hours of power.
The Wristmon collection is unpredictable at best and Konstantin Chaykin keeps his collectors on their toes with cultural and innovative Wristmons.
Brand: Konstantin Chaykin
Model: Wristmon – Harlequin
Case Diameter: 42mm x 13.70mm
Box & Papers: Full Set