Ineichen Auctioneers dedicates the upcoming Konstantin Chaykin x Ineichen Auction to the works of the famous independent watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin. The auction will take place on August 29 in Geneva, the first day of the Geneva Watch Days, one of the most important events in the calendar of the global watch industry. This is not the first special event that the Ineichen auction house is holding in collaboration with the watchmaker, nor is it the first time that, in addition to the master’s watches, the design sketches drawn by Konstantin Chaykin himself will be offered to the public and collectors.
Creativity is the main idea and meta-message of this auction that Ineichen tries to convey to the audience. Creativity is one of the most strategically important skills of the 21st century. This is true not only for today, of course, but for the entire history of mankind: creativity and innovation are the most effective means to solve problems and challenges in the long term. That is why Ineichen doesn’t focus its activities on the same paths that have proven themselves over the years, and tries to find new ways to not only keep up with the times, but also to stay ahead of general trends. That’s why Ineichen wants to support the most creative watchmakers and brands by helping them grow their audience and attract new passionate followers.
Konstantin Chaykin is one of the most creative watchmakers of our time. In 2017, he created the Joker, arguably the most emotional, visible and memorable watch of all time, the first mechanical wristwatch with an anthropomorphic dial design. The Joker’s success was immediate, and the number of collectors who wanted to purchase it far exceeded production. Instead of increasing production and at least partially outsourcing it, as any businessman in the modern watch industry would do, Konstantin Chaykin limited production and kept it in his manufactory. He tends not to reuse previous successful designs and instead offer new models that express his artistic, design and sometimes philosophical ideas. That’s why the original 2017 Joker comes on the market so rarely. Ineichen is proud to offer the Joker No. 54 (Lot 01) from the original limited edition of 99 pieces, which caused a sensation at Baselworld 2017, where it was unveiled.
The new versions of the anthropomorphic dial design, developed after the Joker, are grouped in a collection of Wristmons – “monsters on the wrist”. Some of them have retained the functionality of the original Joker, such as a joker-indication with eyes as hour and minute indicators and a lunary smile as a moonphase indicator – this is a classic of the Wristmons collection.
In the Konstantin Chaykin x Ineichen auction, several classic models of this type are offered. First up is the Joker XXX Piece Unique (Lot 04), made in the style of Gotham City for a project featuring a custom purple Porsche 911 and NFT artwork in 2022. This one-of-a-kind timepiece will appeal to collectors as an extremely rare Wristmons unique piece, and for the first time ever there is a watch with black eyes in a Wristmons collection. Second, this is the Harlequin Ventuno (Lot 05), the Wristmon of the twenty-first year of the twenty-first century (hence the name Ventuno – twenty-one in Italian). The Harlequin Ventuno, the prototype number X/18 of a limited edition, will thus remain a souvenir of the creations of independent watchmakers that mark the year 2021.
One of the classic models of the Wristmons collection is the Minions watch No.01 (Lot 07) of the first limited edition of 38 pieces in stainless steel. This incredibly popular Wristmon was developed under license in 2021 and features a modified joker-indication module adapted to the proportions of Minion Bob’s face. For collectors, this watch will be extremely attractive thanks to the character’s glasses, which are equipped with lenses made of sapphire glass. Konstantin Chaykin was the first watchmaker to incorporate glasses into wristwatches with a face-like dial.
In addition to the classic Wristmons, the collection also includes “off the beaten track” models for which Konstantin Chaykin invents alternative designs of the joker-indication. For example, for the Smilodon watch (Lot 08), he came up with an unusual integrated day/night and day of the week display. It is designed like the mouth of a character whose lower jaw opens in the morning and closes in the evening. The days of the week on this unusual display are represented by images of prehistoric animals – camelops, mammoth, mastodon, etc., which Chaykin has stylized as petroglyphs, prehistoric rock paintings. The last in this series is a petroglyph depicting a human being. The list of Konstantin Chaykin’s peculiarities and unusual design ideas does not end there. The collector will be pleased with the original buckle of the leather strap featuring a double pin, designed as smilodon fangs. Since Konstantin Chaykin made only 8 Smilodon watches, this watch is one of the rarest Wristmons and its appearance at the auction is certainly a remarkable event.
The Joker Five watch (Lot 03) is also part of the “Off the beaten track” line of Wristmons collection. This watch was released in 2022 in a limited edition of 38 pieces – the number 13 watch, which fits the Joker’s character very well, will be featured at the auction. This edition is dedicated to the fifth anniversary of Wristmons collection. For the anniversary model, Konstantin Chaykin has used for the first time a retrograde indication of the day of the week, executed in a smiling design instead of the classic lunary smile of the original Joker. Also, this is a special version of the antropomorphic design Konstantin Chaykin created under license from DC Comics.
The Louis Erard x Konstantin Chaykin Time-Eater set (Lot 06) is, of course, not part of the Wristmons collection. However, Chaykin has been such an active participant in the collaboration with Swiss brand Louis Erard that the watch deserves unconditional attention as a full participant in this story. Chaykin fully developed the design and philosophy of this collaboration, which finds valuable confirmation in this lot: In addition to the paired 42- and 39-mm automatic Time-Eater watches from limited edition of 28 sets, Ineichen offers a design sketch personally drawn and signed by Konstantin Chaykin.
Konstantin Chaykin’s sketches up for auction include a dial sketch of the original Joker watch (Lot 02), a sketch of the limited edition Mouse King watch (Lot 11), and a sketch of the Genius Temporis Blue Arrow watch design (Lot 12), which depicts the unique concept of the dual-mode, single-hand watch invented by the master and first introduced at BaselWorld-2014.
At the auction you will find not only sketches of already existing watches, but also of unrealized designs, which at least have not yet been realized. This category includes a sketch of a Wristmon design depicting Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of fertility (Lot 10), the expected continuation of the Mexican theme in the work of Konstantin Chaykin.
The attentive collector will be pleased to find in the auction a design sketch for a watch inspired by the Game of Thrones movie opening credits (Lot 09). Although this idea was not implemented by the master, this sketch is still extremely attractive, as it shows the development of the master, which led him directly to the release of the original Joker watch. The fact is that Konstantin Chaykin during the implementation of the project, which envisaged a graphic chain display of the hour in Roman numerals, encountered technical problems that were later overcome in his table clock Lucomorye. At the same time, at the end of 2016 he felt that he did not have enough time to implement this project for the upcoming BaselWorld 2017 exhibition, where he absolutely had to demonstrate a new timepiece, and switched to another promising project – the Joker watch.
Ineichen also offers for auction the Tourbillon 55 Table Clock No. 26 (Lot 13). Konstantin Chaykin’s clock is extremely rare to find at auction, and this is an excellent opportunity to see a classic tourbillon clock by the master. The laconic and perfectly symmetrical Art Deco design, the lack of additional complications, an abundance of handwork on large parts of the exterior and caliber, and the only break in symmetry with the large 55 numerals at 11 o’clock that gave the watch its name – this is a true masterpiece among Konstantin Chaykin’s early tourbillon masterpieces.
One of the surprises of this auction will undoubtedly be an extraordinary work of art – Konstantin Chaykin x Costa Design The Joker Table, inspired by the Joker watch, the original design of Konstantin Chaykin’s flagship Wristmons collection. The Joker Table is a joint project between the watchmaker and Costa Design Studio of creative metalworker Pedro Costa, who not only reproduced the design of the legendary Chaykin watch in a piece of furniture, but also enlivened it with a specially adapted 7-day mechanical caliber, making the table a timepiece as well. It reproduces Chaykin’s signature joker-indication with eyes indicating the hours (left) and minutes (right), as well as two functional crowns.
To create an atmosphere of wonder and surprise, the auction will end with a “black horse” – a new Writstmon prototype and its sketch (Lot 15), the latter drawn by the master especially for this auction. The new Wristmon is always a surprise for fans of Konstantin Chaykin’s versatile creative talent. Almost always, the sale of a new limited edition Wristmon takes place before its official announcement via a large waiting list – many collectors find this annoying. Now they have the rare chance to confidently purchase a new Wristmon at the Konstantin Chaykin x Ineichen auction – we wish all who participate in the auction good luck and successful bids!