Konstantin Chaykin Returns to the Classic Joker

A new movement in a scaled down case.

ACHI member Konstantin Chaykin unveils his newest timepiece, the Joker Classic. Part of the Wristmon collection, the new Joker reverts to the original design of 2017 but boasts a case downsized to 40 mm and more notably a new movement. 

Initial thoughts

The Joker, as introduced back in 2017, is a very quirky timepiece, not necessary suited to a wide range of tastes. The anthropomorphic dial is as striking today as it was then, with a niche appeal. Nonetheless, the timepiece was very well received – the original 99 pieces were sold out quickly. 

Since then there were some special editions based on the Joker concept, but most had their own peculiarities, mostly departing from the pure 2017 design. The Joker Classic remains exotic as ever, but feels like a return to the timepiece’s roots – complete with some embellishments and concessions to the modern industry standards. 

Priced at CHF16,900, the Joker Classic is amongst the more affordable of the Wristmon models. Like the original, it is a good value proposition given its distinctive design and high level of in-house manufacturing, despite the outsourced base movement.

A familiar face

The Joker Classic features the trademark white dial, made to resemble a smiling face. The regulator-like separated hours and minutes indicators make up the eyes, while the open grinning mouth reveals a cheeky moon phase complication.

The Joker Classic is offered in two versions: the traditional color scheme of the original Joker (white dial with green highlights), or a version in light gray with burgundy and red accents.

The white base of the dial features a guilloché grain de riz pattern, while the nose-resembling sector is decorated with a guilloché pavé de Paris, making for a change in texture. The decrease in case size caused a change in the dial proportions – while Chaykin kept the original diameter for the ‘eyes’, the face shrunk, making for an even more striking expression. 

The timepiece feels more compact and natural at 40 mm in diameter. The steel case is brushed and mostly austere – a heavy contrast to the playful dial. The bezel has a playing cards motif and the two crowns are signed and look almost onion-shaped. The case, like the dial and the Joker module underneath, is crafted in-house, at the “Konstantin Chaykin” Manufacture.

Another change comes in the movement choice. For this model, Chaykin opted for a Swiss-made base, the La Joux-Perret G200. The movement is a far-cry from the brand’s true in-house offerings, but provides a workhorse base for the Joker module. 

The G200 calibre inside is decidedly modern, beating at 4 Hz (with a free-sprung balance) and running for 68 hours on a full wind. The finishing is clearly machined and lacks refinement, which is a bit disappointing. The rotor features the brand’s seagull logo cut out, which looks like the only visible personalisation of the base movement. 

Key facts and price

Konstantin Chaykin Joker Classic 
Ref. K.18-18

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 12.2 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: yes

Movement: Calibre K.18-18 (modified La Joux-Perret G200)
Functions: Hours, minutes, and moon phase
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 68 hours

Strap: Black aligator leather with calfskin lining and steel buckle

Limited edition: No, but no more that 100 pieces will be produces each year
Availability: Direct from Konstantin Chaykin
Price: CHF16,900 before taxes

For more information, visit Chaykin.ru


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Rolex Debuts the Perpetual 1908 in Platinum

With an ice blue, guilloché dial.

Last year, Rolex made waves with its new dress watch collection, the Perpetual 1908. Initially comprising four references in yellow and white gold with silver and black dials, the 1908 now gains a new addition: the Perpetual 1908 (ref. 52506) in platinum.

Continuing with the Rolex tradition of a dial colour unique to platinum models, the new 1908 features an ice blue dial finished with rice-grain guilloché that is traditionally applied with a rose engine.

Initial thoughts

The release of the 1908 was unexpected and marked a departure from the brand’s focus on sports watches. The models launched last year, however, were conservatively styled. The introduction of a guilloché dial, a first for the range, livens up the aesthetics of the 1908 while still retaining the overall design.

The traditional engine-turning lends a three-dimensional effect to the dial, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Additionally, it adds an artisanal touch to the model.

The platinum ref. 52506 is priced at US$30,900, a sizeable increase over its yellow and white gold counterparts, but comparable to the pricing for other Rolex models, particularly with the addition of the guilloche dial.

The Perpetual 1908 introduced last year in white gold (left) and yellow gold (right)

“Rice-grain” guilloché

The latest release showcases a striking ice blue dial adorned with an intricate guilloché “rice-grain” motif, achieved through the engraving technique of guillochage, whereby an engraver employs an engine-turning machine to carve out a distinctive pattern onto the dial blank.

This motif stands out for its three-dimensional, recurring geometric waves that span the dial’s surface. Encircling the minute track is a filet sauté adorned with a crimped pattern, also executed through guilloché. 

Consistent with its present offerings, the remainder of the dial maintains a familiar layout, including a sub-seconds dial positioned at six, applied numerals at three, nine, and twelve, and faceted markers,” all crafted from 18k white gold. The inscription “Superlative Chronometer” is also retained above the sub-seconds dial.

The ref. 52506 upholds the slender dimensions of Perpetual 1908 models, measuring 39 mm in diameter and 9.5 mm thick. Its slim profile is enabled by the in-house cal. 7140, featuring a bidirectional winding system and two proprietary Rolex technologies: the Chronergy escapement and the Syloxi silicon hairspring. The well-finished movement can be seen through the case back, its elegant architecture marking a departure from the brand’s usual workhorse movements. 

Key facts and price

Rolex Perpetual 1908 
Ref. 52506

Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 9.5 mm
Material: Platinum
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: Cal. 7140
Features: Hours, minutes and sub-seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 66 hours

Strap: Alligator with folding clasp

Limited edition: No
Available at Rolex authorised dealers
Price: US$30,900

For more, visit Rolex.com.


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