What is Christmas and New Year without Santa Claus? It’s probably like Halloween without a toothy, big-eyed jack-o’-lantern. Who else knows this better than Konstantin Chaykin, creator of the Halloween Wristmons series? Twice the Russian watchmaker has celebrated the arrival of New Year according to the Chinese calendar, with 2019’s Unique Pig 2019 and the Mouse King of 2020. Now, with the festive season approaching, he has created his own Christmas and New Year watch – Konstantin Chaykin Santa watch.
So, meet Santa!
If you think it would be enough just to decorate the dial of this kind of watch with a cute picture, then you clearly don’t know Konstantin Chaykin. Each new watch must tell a story, which Chaykin thoroughly investigates and thinks through. This forms the basis for the many interesting and often unique details created for a timepiece – in the movement, the design and the finishing. Therefore, getting to know his watches always becomes a fascinating journey into the world of haute horlogerie, feeding inquisitive minds and bringing pleasant emotions.
The first thing you notice about the Santa watch is the glasses on the dial. In fact, the glasses are now a quintessential part of the Santa Claus image, along with his long red coat, hat trimmed with white fur, and his grey-white beard and hair. This might be the time to ask the question – did Santa really wear glasses?! It is obvious that the original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, did not – could not – have worn them, given that they had not yet been invented in his day (although they were invented a long time ago, in 13th-century Italy).
The very fact of the appearance of glasses as one of the main attributes of the Santa costume remains covered in a veil of mystery. Even the museum of the Coca Cola company, who have been using the image of Santa Claus in their advertising for almost a century – since 1931 – and are often thought to be the creators of the classic modern Santa look, do not help to give a definitive answer to the question – who gave Santa glasses? Nevertheless, now we know for sure who the first watchmaker to create glasses for a wristwatch dial and equip them with real sapphire lenses was – Konstantin Chaykin. Naturally, the glasses, despite their miniature size, were not cheap, especially lenses of unique geometry. But how can you refuse Santa at Christmas?
Santa is watching you!
The glasses of the Santa watch increased to 18 the number of components on a dial which was already difficult to manufacture. But that was the least of the problems. Chaykin had a choice – the appearance of glasses on the dial meant that it was higher. Additional space was now required inside the case as he didn’t want to make the case itself any higher. The Russian master decided to do things the hard way, modifying the proprietary joker-indication module.
Whereas in the standard movement (caliber K.07-0) the convex discs of the hour and minute indicators were installed above the moonphase indicator disc, in the new caliber K.07-2 all three discs are in one line. Konstantin used shorter axles for the hour and minute indicators while also increasing the radius of the sphere (these discs always having a spherical surface). The Wristmons’ eyes have slightly decreased in size, visually compensated for by the sapphire lenses, as has the diameter of the lunar disc. The face-like dial had to be redesigned, which was inevitable anyway given that Chaykin creates a new design for each new character of the Wristmons collection.
Some of the design features of the watch are obvious, while some require closer inspection. Among the more obvious elements of a watch made in honour of Santa are the bezel of the steel case, marked with the letters of the word ‘Santa’, and the steel caseback. This, as well as the appropriate inscriptions regarding the name of the watch, the name of the watchmaker who created it, the material of the case, the country where the watch was made, and the number of the piece in the limited edition – alas, only three in total! – also has a carefully relief-engraved Christmas image. Santa carries gifts on a sleigh pulled by reindeer, flying over the snow-covered trees of Lapland…or is it Oymyakon…? Cosy memories of childhood, of letters to Santa, of gifts under a festively-decorated Christmas tree, all become even warmer when looking at the red-lacquered box of the watch, a box also decorated with snowflakes.
Hidden inside is a soft red leather case, in which Santa delivers his presents (though of course, Santa’s bag is a little bigger). This will come in handy if you need to take your copy of the Santa watch on a trip. It’s mandatory, if we’re talking about Santa, for red to be used in the strap specially created by Konstantin Chaykin for this watch. The new Santa Strap continues the tradition of collectible straps, established by the Russian master with the invention of the Joker Tie-strap (2018). The one-of-a-kind Santa Strap is decorated with white appliqués, giving the look of Santa’s beard and hair. This perfectly matches watches with the joker-indication module, though in a regular watch such a strap would look too pretentious.
Konstantin Chaykin tried his best to hide one more – and last – Christmas surprise. In order to find it, you’ll need a bit of help. Here’s a clue – the glasses, a freshly-baked invention of Chaykin’s. Look Santa straight in the eyes and there on the carefully lacquered spherical surfaces of the discs you’ll find seven snowflakes. What better way to create a festive mood than the sight of snowflakes slowly circling in the night sky?
Perhaps you already understand that Chaykin has his own way of telling the story of Santa Claus – the always smiling, always calm, always generous grandfather who brings gifts to good boys and girls. Maybe, sometime long ago, you asked Santa for a magic watch, but you’ve already forgotten. It turns out Santa still remembers.
Konstantin Chaykin Santa watch Technical Specifications
Limited edition of 3 pieces
- Joker-time indication with disc indicators of hours and minutes, and moonphase indicator
- Calibre: K.07-2 with automatic winding
- Base movement: Swiss-made Eta 2824-2
- Module: by Konstantin Chaykin manufacture
- Movement dimensions: Diameter 31.5mm, height 7.6mm (inc. module)
- Escapement: Anchor
- Balance frequency: 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour
- Power reserve: 38 hours
- Jewels: 33 (base movement – 25 jewels, module – 8 jewels)
- Module parts: 61
- Stainless steel
- Diameter 42mm
- Height 13.7mm
- Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, diameter 34.5mm
- Components: 36
- Guilloche, silver plating, multi-layered lacquer coating
- Components: 18
Strap & Buckle
- Exclusive collectable strap, red alligator leather with applied décor “Santa’s beard and hair”, white stitching
- Buckle manufactured by Konstantin Chaykin, standard, stainless steel