Konstantin Chaykin Joker

Konstantin Chaykin Joker

2017 GPHG Artistic Crafts Category Finalist

The watch that captured the heart of the watch world this year, the goggle-eyed Joker by Konstantin Chaykin is mischievous, magnificent and, well, silly!

There's no one alive who makes watches like Konstantin Chaykin. Never ever a conformist, this Russian Master's boundless curiosity and remarkable invention has resulted in a succession of quite fascinating horologic conversation-pieces, made all the more noteworthy by being hand made in an independent atelier far away from the resource rich valleys of Switzerland.

When the Joker first appeared at Baselworld this year, it instantly became one of the most shared and talked about novelties in years, and its popularity has not waned, with the entire production sold out to collectors around the world. Although the casual observer might not 'get it', to the followers of independent watchmaking, it's such a departure from the gravitas of the luxury watch, and a true piece of escapist expression, with a life-affirmingly uplifting humour.

The Joker's lolling eyeballs and zany cracked grin disguise a watch which is actually very easy to read, and in adding a moonphase to the hours and minutes, Chaykin's cartoon caricature comes to life. Using an off-the-shelf ETA self winding movement, an in-house module transmutes its functions, so that the hours and minutes can be displayed as pupils, and the moonphase as the Joker's tongue. 

Among the six preselected finalists in the GPHG 2017 Artistic Crafts category it leaps out from the classic artisan craftsmanship on display elsewhere, but is it too mad to hope for a win?

The Watch Press prediction

I think that Joker is destined to win a prize at the GPHG 2017, but I'm not sure it will be for its category, and I'm thinking of the Public Prize. If it did win the Artistic Crafts award, I would be delighted for a friend and a truly brilliant talent. There is no doubt that it is an art piece, but does its quirky, cheeky personality honestly stand up against Voutilainen or Vacheron Constantin? Hmmm. On the other hand, Joker has no precedent, and although past winners have been laboriously intricate, classical works of art, it will be there at the final reckoning.

The pertinents

REFERENCE: K.07-0 Joker
CASE: Steel
BRACELET/STRAP: Leather
BUCKLE: Pin buckle
MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 38 h, 28'800 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Moonphase
SIZE: ø 42 mm
THICKNESS: 13.9 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 30 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: CHF 7'500

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Check out the other GPHG 2017 Artistic Crafts category finalists below