Konstantin Chaykin x Ineichen Auctioneers:

Independent Watchmaking is on the Rise

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Ineichen auction house dedicated its auction Konstantin Chaykin x Ineichen to the famous independent watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin. The auction took place in Geneva on August 29, 2023, the first day of the Geneva Watch Days, one of the most important events in the calendar of the global watch industry. This auction was a remarkable event as only one independent watchmaker was represented, which is extremely rare in the auction world. The Konstantin Chaykin x Ineichen auction was organized in collaboration with the Geneva Watch Days, in which the Ineichen auction house participated for the first time. Moreover, the auction is the first collaboration between the auction house and this exhibition. We believe that collaborations are the driving force of the modern watch industry, and we are convinced that such forms of trade are extremely useful and effective not only for the watch industry but also for the business around it – recently we have seen a large number of such collaborations. 

Modern trends suggest crossing the boundaries of genres. That is why we were very proud to auction, in addition to the watches, other creations of the master, namely his own sketches, including the designs of his Wristmons, both those that have received their embodiment and those that may one day come to market and make the Wristmons collection even more diverse and attractive. This is not the first special event that Ineichen Auction House has held in collaboration with Konstantin Chaykin, and not the first time that, in addition to the master’s watches, his sketches have been offered to the public and collectors – this part of the auction always attracts great interest from the public. The highest bids for these lots range from 1,500 to 2,000 CHF. 

We are particularly pleased that another creator, Costa Design Studio of metal craftsman Pedro Costa, has accepted Konstantin Chaykin’s creative challenge. The result of the collaboration between the two masters is a highly unusual decorative table, Konstantin Chaykin x Costa Design The Joker Table, which is also a horological object. The clockwork table in the shape of a very large Joker watch, Chaykin’s first Wristmon, attracted a lot of interest at the auction and was purchased for 60,000 CHF after 15 bids (estimate 52,000–80,000 CHF). 

Konstantin Chaykin x Costa Design The Joker Table

The “black horse” of the auction, a new Writstmon – Kolobok Limited Edition Prototype No.0 and its sketch drawn by the master especially for this auction, were a good match. Throughout the industry, brands rarely go so far as to use an auction as a platform to showcase their new launches. We are very grateful to Konstantin Chaykin for playing a new game for us and for him, and we believe the launch was successful. The Kolobok prototype received 19 bids and the winning bid was 37,000 CHF (estimate 35,000–55,000 CHF). 

Kolobok Limited Edition Prototype No.0
The Kolobok sketch by K.Chaykin

Perhaps the biggest and, we think, very pleasant surprise for Konstantin Chaykin was the keen interest of bidders in the Tourbillon 55 table clock. Konstantin Chaykin’s clocks are rarely offered at auction. Nowadays he rarely makes clocks, mostly as custom-made unique pieces, while at the beginning of his career he was mainly devoted to the invention and production of complicated table clocks – up to the Super Complication Moscow Computus Clock. Judging by the number of bids at the Konstantin Chaykin x Ineichen auction – there were 27 – the Tourbillon 55 Clock is the top seller of the auction. The highest bid was 46,000 CHF (estimate 20,000–30,000 CHF). 

Of all the watches, the largest amount was paid for Konstantin Chaykin’s anniversary edition, the Joker Five watch, which was released to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the launch of the first Joker watch, or Wristmons collection. Featuring a day-of-week display in the shape of a smile and an openworked dial through which the in-house Joker-indication module is seen for the first time on a limited edition Wristmon, the Joker Five watch was released under license from DC Comics. After 10 bids, the Joker Five No. 13 from a limited edition of 38 pieces was eventually sold for 60,000 CHF (estimate 45,000–65,000 CHF). 

The Joker Five watch

Marko Koncina, the founder of Swiss Watch Gang, an Instagram page and YouTube channel (@SwissWatchGang), led the auction, which is a new kind of collaboration that is extremely modernistic and rare in this market segment. His words will help you feel the atmosphere and context of the auction: 

Independent watchmaking is on the rise more than ever before. When it comes to watch collecting, we didn’t have as many choices as we have today from a design and price point perspective. More and more people dare to venture into the world of rare, unique watches made in small quantities. Such is the case with Konstantin Chaykin. When the first Joker watch first came out at BaselWorld 2017, it shocked the watch collecting scene. Arguably, to this day, it is still one of the most unusual watches that hit the market in a long time. The auction that I had the pleasure to lead for Ineichen at Geneva Watch Days 2023 proved that there was still a great deal of appetite for Konstantin’s creations even six years after the launch of the original Joker watch. The room was filled with collectors who wore Chaykin watches, and you could see the excitement as each lot from the catalog came on stage. In my opinion, collecting watches like the Wristmons from Konstantin Chaykin shows that you really collect for yourself. One of my favorite pieces of the auction was the Costa Design Joker table sculpture, featuring a working clock with functioning crowns. It is an exact design copy of the original Joker, which I hope to see again one day. The independent watchmaking market has stabilized, with some watchmakers fetching even higher premiums for their hand-crafted and rare pieces. At the end of the day, the core message I try to plant collector’s minds is – to buy what you like. It’s your life, your wrist, and your choice that matter the most.

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