Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A Russian Gains Prominence Among Fine Watchmakers
January 28, 2013 2:49 PM   Subscribe

Soviet-era Russia was not a particularly friendly environment for aspiring fine watchmakers. For Konstantin Chaykin, who was born in St. Petersburg in 1975, there was no school where he could learn the craft that he dreamed of pursuing. So he taught himself.
posted by winecork (20 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a fantastic close-up of the transparent watch here. That is pretty cool stuff.
posted by jquinby at 2:59 PM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


“Typical ways to describe time in Russian include phrases such as ‘I woke up at 7 in the morning’ or ‘I will stop by at 2 in the afternoon’ or ‘Someone was making a lot of noise at 11 at night"

These are also typical ways to describe time in British English. Not in American?
posted by fightorflight at 3:00 PM on January 28, 2013


Those are fairly common here, too. Maybe languagehat will drop in and explain.
posted by jquinby at 3:03 PM on January 28, 2013


Soviet-era Russia was not a particularly friendly environment for aspiring fine watchmakers.

Kind of a weird angle for the NYT to take. Compared to what? In Soviet Russia there were many types of mechanical watch movements in widespread production and use, some of them very interesting, although it's true that they were mass-produced and not "fine watchmaking." Vostok, Poljot, Slava, Raketa, Zarya—and if you include the greater USSR you've got Prim, Orex, probably more I don't know about. Most of these brands are still producing new watches using movements designed in the Soviet era. And his claim that "No one near us produces any watch parts or watch-making tools" isn't true if you take "near us" to mean "in Russia." In comparison, AFAIK there are zero mechanical movements currently being made in the US. Somehow I doubt that if they were writing about a US fine watchmaker, though, the lede would be, "Capitalist-era America is not a particularly friendly environment for aspiring fine watchmakers."
posted by enn at 3:08 PM on January 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


GIS of his stuff here. Yikes, not my taste, but whatever floats your boat.
posted by Keith Talent at 3:25 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


AFAIK there are zero mechanical movements currently being made in the US

I think Kobold's Spirit of America is the closest to a 100% american watch you can get. The dial is German, and the movement is Swiss.
posted by bfranklin at 3:44 PM on January 28, 2013


"That was a Russian copy of a 1969 Timex Digital!"
posted by Burhanistan at 3:55 PM on January 28, 2013


Has anyone got €30k they can loan me? I need to go by this shop in Moscow real quick.
posted by sldownard at 3:56 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


jquinby: "There's a fantastic close-up of the transparent watch here. That is pretty cool stuff"

Ah, finally a watch that will let me see how sweaty my wrists gets when wearing a watch, without taking it off.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:26 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The usual 12 numerals are replaced by letters from the Jewish alphabet, from which a numerical value can be extrapolated according to Kabbalistic teaching.

Hebrew letters are Hebrew numbers. That's the way you write numbers in Hebrew. There is nothing especially Kabbalist about it.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:37 PM on January 28, 2013


This is really interesting, thanks. And for people who are like me and have no idea what a torbillion or a complication is, this interesting article may help. Also, his Quartime (morning, day, evening, night) watch is pretty neat.
posted by young sister beacon at 5:53 PM on January 28, 2013


Quartime? Yeah, I think I've seen that before.
posted by symbioid at 6:18 PM on January 28, 2013


what fresh hell is that
posted by young sister beacon at 6:22 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, finally a watch that will let me see how sweaty my wrists gets when wearing a watch, without taking it off.

Wealth doesn't sweat, it glows.
posted by eurypteris at 7:08 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


In all seriousness, I started looking at watches now and realized that

1) Fucking bourgeoisie and their expensive watches
2) Goddamned, I really like them
3) OK, so let's see if there's something cool within my price range.
4) OK, there's some funky digital watches at Tokyoflash. Not nearly as sophisticated, but hey, I can afford it.
5) Besides, we all know those watchmaker types end up going all Sylar and start ripping people's brains out, so we don't want to give them all that money anyways, right?
posted by symbioid at 7:43 PM on January 28, 2013


what fresh hell is that

For the uninitiated: posts tagged with timecube
posted by dhartung at 12:00 AM on January 29, 2013


----AFAIK there are zero mechanical movements currently being made in the US

I think Kobold's Spirit of America is the closest to a 100% american watch you can get. The dial is German, and the movement is Swiss.---

Very incorrect.

Check out RGM watches in PA.

rgmwatches.com
posted by fredericsunday at 8:59 AM on January 29, 2013


Check out RGM watches in PA.

Wow, those are some nice watches. I really like the 222. Thanks!
posted by bfranklin at 10:08 AM on January 29, 2013


"Mr. Chaykin had already shared his national pride in 2010, when he presented his Lunokhod model, a timekeeping homage to the Russian moon rover program of the early 1970s. At the watch’s dial center, a black rhodium-plated silver mask covered a 12-millimeter, or almost half an inch, Wootz-steel orb, accurately portraying the earth’s shadow cast on the surface of the moon."

No.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:21 AM on January 29, 2013


FatherDragon, I'm glad I wasn't the only one to notice that.
posted by caphector at 2:38 PM on January 31, 2013


« Older A documentary film about Norman Borlaug, the Iowa ...  |  Call it the $55,000 cat bite.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments