Every once in a while, a book on watches and watchmaking comes along that simply is a must-read for every serious watch lover because these hundreds of pages will propel them that much closer to the craft that they appreciate so deeply. 2021 sees the launch of Konstantin Chaykin: Haute Horlogerie, With Russian Soul, a book written by renowned Russian watch journalist Alexey Kutkovoy, with contributions by a great number of watch industry professionals.
Available in English and Russian, weighing in at a hefty 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds), and measuring 24.3cm by 28.9cm by 3.6cm (9.5″, 11.4″, 1.4″), this 384-page book won’t be a one-night read. The timeline section – basically the first half of the book – walks the reader through Chaykin’s personal and professional life, while the second major segment is dedicated to his incredible creations dating back to the Foundation Tourbillon Clock from 2003, and ranging to the more recent Mars Conqueror and “Wristmons” pieces, such as the immensely popular and collectible Joker.
It’s hardbound and beautifully printed on heavy paper, and 771 detailed illustrations provide exceptional insight into the Konstantin Chaykin manufacture — which we reported about in this article, along with a unique profile on Chaykin — into his work processes, including sketches and concept arts to movement design, as well as beautiful images of just about every Konstantin Chaykin wristwatch and clock creation.
Complete with a detailed glossary of watchmaking terms, a detailed biography of Konstantin Chaykin throughout every stage of his artistic journey, insight into the inner mechanisms of his masterpieces, the secrets to building and promoting a Russian brand on a global scale, plus exclusive snippets from his personal archives — there is so much to be learned about watches, mechanisms, watchmaking, and watch design. Along with previously unpublished photos, facts, and stories from the Russian watchmaker’s career, the book ends with a list of milestones, inventions, and some fascinating takes on the unique details and features that make up Chaykin’s extensive range of timekeepers.
Filtering through the hundreds of pages and many more images is the portrait of one of the most brilliant and certainly most creative watchmakers of our time. As a watch enthusiast, it is a privilege to have Konstantin Chaykin tirelessly push the boundaries, as his fine mechanics are placed in service of novel concepts that range from lighthearted to immensely complicated. From his unique watchmaking techniques to his unrivaled collection of patented inventions, from personal stories to everything watchmaking…
Konstantin Chaykin: Haute Horlogerie, With Russian Soul is, indeed, a must-read. The Joker may have been the absolute star of Chaykin and his manufacture, but — as revealed in the article we linked to above and as is yet more greatly detailed in this book — there is an immensely talented master watchmaker and his vast range of beautifully varied creations all to be discovered. The Konstantin Chaykin book is priced at €230, and you can purchase it direct from the manufacture here.