Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Moscow Comptus Easter Clock by Konstantin Chaykin

Konstantin Chaykin, is the first and only Russian member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants, as well as chief inventor and founder of Russia’s best known clock and watch manufacture, the Konstantin Chaykin Manufacture, which creates the only luxury class clocks and watches in Russia. Konstantin has always been fascinated by the mystical nature of time, which he continues to explore in his many watches and clocks dedicated to religious themes and calendars. These timepieces have earned him a unique position in the world of Haute Horlogerie, where Konstantin is the only master to create such complicated and original works. In 2017, Konstantin Chaykin and the Manufacture present their latest masterpiece, a new clock named The Muscovite Comptus Clock.
Konstantin Chaykin has already created clocks with Muslim lunar calendar complications based on the Hijra, as well as clocks with Hebrew calendar complications and hands that rotate anti-clockwise. In these creations Konstantin’s technical innovations were matched by appropriate decorations based on Muslim architecture and the Hebrew Kabbalah.

Having completed a clockwork trip through Mecca and the Torah, Konstantin has turned to Russian Orthodoxy, a topic that is dear to Russians. Konstantin has already celebrated the main Orthodox Christian holiday of Easter in his clock The Northern Comptus Clock in 2015. In The Northern Comptus Clock an amazing complication nestles under a model of the St. Isaac’s Cathedral and precisely and invisibly calculates the ever-changing dates of Eastern Orthodox Easter. This masterpiece of clockwork and decorative arts not only recreated the eternal beauty of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, but also successfully contends with century-old Swiss astronomical timepieces. The Northern Comptus Clock had the most complicated movement ever created in Russia, including a Star Map, and eternal calendar, a lunar phase indicator, an equation of time indicator and a tourbillion.

‘Had’ is the operative word, since in 2016 Konstantin has surpassed himself. Again. In 2016 the baton has passed from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The eternal capital, ancient and current, reminds us of our roots, of ancient Muscovy, of the clash between East and West, of Christianity and paganism. St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square is a symbol of all these currents and passions. And, so, the ancient halls of this cathedral have become the model for Konstantin’s latest masterpiece – The Muscovite Comptus Clock.
St Basil’s Cathedral, located on one side of Red Square by the Kremlin walls is an iconic symbol of Moscow, yet there are still unsolved secrets and mysterious legends about this incredible landmark. You might think that this most famous historical edifice has been studied to the last brick. Nevertheless, historians are still in the dark about who built St. Basil’s, who and why designed the fanciful cupolas and even who exactly was St. Basil. Such a legendary past gives rise to many different interpretations of the sacred symbols embedded in its walls. And there are many reasons for these ideas: many strange events occurred under the roof and around this unique church, for instance three famous dictators, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon and Stalin, all had their own plans for it and everything turned out differently.

St. Basil’s was built to commemorate the Muscovite victory over the Kazan Mongols in the mid 1500’s. The gorgeous, festive exterior was meant to embody Ivan the Terrible’s vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem as described in the Apocalypse “And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2).

In his latest masterpiece, The Muscovy Comptus Clock, Konstantin Chaykin strove to embody his own dreams about a perfect clock, just like Ivan the Terrible in his day. And this clock, a miniature version of St. Basil’s can be compared with the Heavenly City of Jerusalem, both in beauty and in execution.
The detailed work on the case of The Muscovy Comptus Clock took several months of intensive labor. The case, carved into the thinnest sheets of various precious and semi-precious minerals and stones, is affixed on a skeleton made of duralumin. This tricky technique means that only a few components were created per day, and each component underwent 6-7 finishing processes whereby each surface was minutely polished. It is almost impossible to fathom that the case of The Muscovy Comptus Clock consists of over 2,500 components carved of stone.
St. Basil’s stern red brick facades embody as insurmountable fort-like walls that protect towers with gold crosses and battlements just like the Heavenly Jerusalem. Konstantin used jasper to imitate the red brick walls and white marble to copy the white stone details of the first St. Basil’s facade.

St. Basil’s unique colorful and fanciful decorations utilized almost every single design element available to ancient Russian architects: both individual and running chains of never ending corbel arches, machicoulis, arched belts, pointed, openwork cornices, columns, rosettes, glazed tilework, and naturally carved stars, crosses, geometric forms and floral ornaments. Konstantin Chaykin and his team used multiple modern miniaturist techniques to re-create all of these decorative elements.

The decorations on The Muscovy Comptus Clock are incredibly precise and detailed. The miniature patterns on the base and the towers are assembled from hundreds of tiny pieces of stone, carved and polished to perfection and then assembled into mosaics using a special technique to affix each and every piece to the skeleton of the case.

The case of The Muscovy Comptus Clock is topped with nine towers, eight of which are carved and polished by hand. Konstantin chose the most beautiful stones to reflect the colors of the original St. Basil’s: yellow and green marble, jasper, nephritis, cacholong, coral and lapis lazuli.
The Muscovy Comptus Clock starts out just like The Northern Comptus Clock, with an indicator of the dates of Eastern Orthodox Easter both in the Julian and the Gregorian calendars, a lunar phase indicator and a power reserve indicator on the face.
On the reverse side of The Muscovy Comptus Clock you can see a one-minute tourbillon, an equation of time indicator and a Star Map of the Moscow sky.
In this latest clock, Konstantin goes further yet, and adds additional faces on the sides of the case, as well.

Konstantin Chaykin uses the extra faces on The Muscovy Comptus Clock to add more indicators. For instance, there is an indicator of lunar movement relative to the sun.
This indicator consists of models of the Earth, the Moon and the Sun, which reflect their relative positions at all times, as well as the light and dark sides of both the Earth and the Moon.
This indicator also shows world time on the model of the Earth by placing cities around the world in their correct time zones on the miniature Earth.

The fourth face of The Muscovy Comptus Clock depicts the analemma and the current position of the Sun on its trajectory at any given point in time.
There are four small dials with hands in the corners of this face which indicate respectively the length of day, the length of night, the time of sunrise and the time of sunset in Moscow.
And finally, this clock contains a special complication whereby the clock informs the owner of when it needs to be wound with a special audible signal.

Two cities, two cathedrals and two clocks. Konstantin Chaykin invites everyone to turn yet another page over in Russian History with his unique new timepiece, The Muscovy Comptus Clock.

Technical Specifications
Movement
T03-1
Size: HxWxD -  175X164X160 mm
Materials: brass, steel, duralumin, bronze, gold, lapis lazuli, hard alloy, sapphire, diamonds
Jewels: 13
Number of bearings: 102
Escapement: anchor
Power Reserve: 10 days
Accuracy: +/- 20 seconds per day
Face
Size: 158.128 mm
Materials and techniques: brass, steel, lapis lazuli, sapphire glass , sandstone, mother of pearl, ofiokaltsit, rhodonite, diamonds, fianit, beryl (heliodor, nickeling, gilding, guilloche, circular grinding, polishing, laser engraving, stamping, enameling, mosaics.

Hands
Materials: steel, gold, diamonds and blued steel
Number of components: 2506

Case
Size: HxWxD - 440x290x320 mm
Materials: brass, steel, duralumin, silver, mineral glass, malachite, marble, lapis lazuli, jade, cacholong, coral, jasper.
Finishing and Decorative Techniques: nickeling, gilding, patination, stone carving, Russian mosaics.

Functions
Hour Hand
Minute Hand
Second Hand
One-minute Tourbillon
Eternal Calendar Complication:
• Days of the week indicator
• Date Indicator
• Month Indicator
• Year Indicator
• Leap Year Indicator
Annual Indication of Eastern Orthodox Easter by the Gregorian and Julian Calendars

Power Reserve Indication:
• Hand to indicate power reserve
• Critical power reserve Indicator
• Single tone critical power reserve signal

Astronomical Indicators:
- Lunar Phase Indicator
- Star Map for Moscow
- Sidereal Time Indicator
- Equation of Time Indicator
- Time of Year Indicator
- Analemma Indicator
- Sun's declination
- Sunrise in Moscow
- Sunset in Moscow
- Length of the day in Moscow
- Length of the night in Moscow
- Indicator of the Lunar Cycle relative to the Solar Cycle
World Clock

Patents
# 2353978 – Calendar complication and method for tracking the dates of Eastern Orthodox Easter
# 2306618 Calendar complication for tracking the dates of Eastern Orthodox Easter and related Feast Days.
# 2557345 – Clock with a mechanical complication for reflecting lunar cycles relative to solar cycles.
# 2526554 – An indicator of the power reserve of a clock movement, and clocks with indicators of power reserve.
# 2408043 – A method and calendar complication of reflecting the differences between the true position of the Sun relative to the mean Sun position, as well as the vernal and autumnal equinoxes and the, summer and winter solstices on the analemma.

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