Watches: Konstantin Chaykin Decalogue Luah Shana Hand-Engraved Rose Gold (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on December 16, 2014
Many people have the bad habit of immediately associating Fine Watchmaking with Switzerland. Contrary to the general belief, though, expertly crafted watches are also made outside of the Jura Mountains. Seasoned watch collectors will remind you that Glashütte in Germany is another important cradle for Haute Horlogerie and the United Kingdom that played such an important part in the History of Watchmaking has experienced a resurgence of high-end independent watchmakers over the past decade important enough to put it back on the watchmaking map.
Another country with a prestigious watchmaking heritage has shown the recent rebirth of this ancient art: Russia! At the height of the Soviet Union, this country was producing millions of inexpensive watches that were practical, reliable, and easy to repair. Today, only two of the Soviet-era factories remain active: Vostok and Pensa Watch Factory. But these vestiges of a mass-production period have now lost their aura.
It is now the high-end segment that keeps Russian watchmaking alive. And we owe a large part of this recent re-positioning to an extremely talented watchmaker native of Saint Petersburg: Konstantin Chaykin. In less than a decade, he has managed to impress the watch industry with state-of-the art models featuring sophisticated movements with refined and highly original complicatitons.
The stainless steel version of the Decalogue Luah Shana
The great-looking Decalogue Luah Shana in stainless steel presented during Baselword 2014 is no exception to the rule. This 42.00 mm round model with a thickness of 12.10 mm houses an impressive proprietary movement: the manually-wound K 01-0 calibre featuring all the attributes of a Haute Horlogerie mechanism including “Côtes de Genève” decorations on the bridges, gold châtons to support the jewels and perfectly bevelled and polished edges.
What makes it so special, though, is the choice of complications it features and the way they are displayed. The off-centred hours and minutes are indicated through Hebrew letters instead of the usual numerals and in keeping with the fact that they are read from right to left, the hands of the watch also move from right to left. The watch thus shows the time as it is indicated on the famous tower clock on the Old Town Hall in the Josefov, the old Jewish quarter of Prague.
In order to allow the owner to calculate Jewish holidays, the Decalogue Luah Shana also features a large lunar phase indicator styled like the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments (the “Decalogue”) were carved in ancient Aramaic by God before being entrusted to Moses on Mount Sinai on the fiftieth day after the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt.
After this remarkable timepiece offered at a truly good value for money, Konstantin Chaykin now introduces a luxurious version of the Decalogue Luah Shana in rose gold with a beautifully hand-engraved case and dial that pushes the Hebrew theme one step further. Indeed, the rhodium-plated brass dial now boasts exquisite engravings inspired by classic Hebrew artwork to extend the general theme of the watch.
For instance, the majestic columns on both sides of the dial represent the famous columns of the First temple, the Temple of Solomon. The breathtaking hand-engraved rose gold case also refers to the Jewish iconography and brings an exceptionally refined touch to this model. Through the sapphire exhibition back, a Star of David engraved on the barrel wheel and decorated with blue enamel reiterates the Hebrew nature of this timepiece.
Whether you prefer the charm of hand-engravings and warmth of rose gold or the the elegance of guilloché and simplicity of stainless steel, the “Decalogue Luah Shana” is a very unique model. It may perhaps appear difficult to read at first and require getting used to, but this is part of its appeal. Like every other Konstantin Chaykin creation, you are sure to acquire something special created in the pure tradition of Fine Watchmaking.
For more information please visit the Konstantin Chaykin web site.