As per the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2021 is the year of the Bull (from 12th February 2021 to 31st January 2022).
To mark the Chinese New Year, Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin created a new limited edition Wristmon watch inspired by the Minotaur, the mythical Cretan monster with a human body and bull’s head.
In the myths about the Minotaur, it is stated that the Athenians, in paying the tribute demanded by King Minos, every year brought seven boys and seven girls to be devoured by the bull-headed monster.
For a watchmaker, the number seven instantly brings to mind the day of the week indicator. Chaykin immediately thought of a technical solution for how to make the day of the week indicator big enough to fit his idea of the Joker indication as a calendar. With two discs indicating the hours and minutes, there was no room for a day of the week indicator disc of a size to suit Konstantin.
The two ‘sevens’ of the legend of the Minotaur led him to the idea of constructing a watch with a double-disc day of the week indicator, with the first letter of the day of the week on the first disc, and on the second, the second letter.
And so, in Chaykin’s imagination, the Minotaur – the creature of the myths of ancient Greece – burst its way into Chinese mythology. For his latest watch, he also bore in mind that the image of the bull is viewed with great optimism on Wall Street.
In the course of his reflections, Konstantin Chaykin gradually created the image of a watch – a bronze case, a dial made with bronze tones, a brutal buffalo-leather strap, and a watch décor featuring the motif of the Knossos labyrinth, where, legend has it, the Minotaur lived.
This motif can be found in the relief pattern on the dial, the engraving on the strap buckle, and on the automatic winding system. The upper lugs are made in the form of bull’s horns, without which the image of the Minotaur would be incomplete and unconvincing.
The master decided to use the Minotaur’s two nostrils, flared in anger, as apertures in his large day of the week indicator.
In order to make the indicator more convenient, Konstantin Chaykin opted to use sapphire lenses in the aperture window, the same as he had previously developed for the unique emoji-joker day of the week indicator in the Joker Selfie watch.
While replacing the moonphase indicator of the original Joker with a day of the week indicator may seem like a minor modification, Konstantin Chaykin started the development of the new Caliber K.08-1 literally from scratch. The base, as in the Mouse King 2020 watch, is the Swiss-made automatic Vaucher VMF 3002 movement.
Inspired by the legend of the Minotaur, Konstantin produced the two discs of the day of the week indicator in two different metals – bronze, symbolizing the Bronze Age, masculinity, and belligerence; and silver, symbolizing the Moon, femininity, and poetry.
These two parts are almost completely hidden under the dial, yet, even so, like all other parts of the display module and a number of the parts of Chaykin’s modified base movement, they are produced at the Russian manufacture with extreme meticulousness. When finishing the components, classical techniques are used – perlage, fine straight and circular grinding, sandblasting, bevelling and chamfering by hand, engraving, countersinks polishing for screws, pins and jewels, spherical polishing of pivots, and rhodium plating.
As has become tradition for Konstantin Chaykin’s watches featuring the Joker indication, the second fixed crown of the case is used as an indicator corrector – in this instance, for the day of the week indicator, which has a built-in corrector to make setting the index to the required day quick and convenient.
Model: Konstantin Chaykin Minotaur Special Chinese New Year 2021
Limited edition of 8 pieces
Caliber K.08-1 with automatic winding
Module indication: Produced by Konstantin Chaykin manufacture
Base movement: Swiss-made Vaucher VMF 3002
Thickness: 7.6mm (with module)
Balance frequency: 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour
Power reserve: 50 hours
Jewels: 36 (base movement – 28 jewels, module – 8 jewels)
Module parts: 67
Joker time indication with discs for the hours and minutes, and a large double-disc day of the week indicator
Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, diameter 34.5mm
Case components: 36
Caseback: Titanium with sapphire window
Finishing: Guilloche relief décor, ‘labyrinth’ relief décor, multilayer lacquer coating
Dial components: 18
Exclusive cognac-shade buffalo-leather with ‘vintage’ finish, white stitching, branded with the Konstantin Chaykin manufacture logo personally carried out by Konstantin Chaykin himself
Buckle: Standard, titanium, produced by Konstantin Chaykin manufacture, with ‘labyrinth’ relief décor