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The Great 7: the most famous inventions of Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin.

19 July 2022
The Great 7: the most famous inventions of Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin.

Konstantin Chaykin is a world-famous Russian watchmaker and inventor. He has more than 90 patents for various watch movements and complications. This is the highest number of patents per watchmaker in the world. We are talking about the most significant of them, those which had a major impact on the development of the Konstantin Chaykin manufacture. They made the master famous worldwide.

1. Calendar Device and Method for Orthodox Easter Date Determination – the Computus clock.

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Konstantin Chaykin realized his idea of a mechanical device that calculates the date of Orthodox Easter in the patent No. 2353978. This is a real mechanical computer. Once a year it calculates the Easter’s date and then drives the clock hand. Each year that date changes depending on a variety of factors. The Orthodox Easter date repeats only once every 532 years. Sufficient data for calculating the date for each particular year is programmed into three cam discs of the device, one of them has 28 steps, the others have 19 steps each. To process the acquired information mechanically, the master used a design with three differentials and three reading levers with gear racks that determine the rotation angle. The drive of the Computus is implemented using two groups of springs and their counteraction. The snail cam drive accelerates the main flat spring throughout the year, at the moment of acceleration it allows the drive to switch to a new year and change the readings of the Easter date indicator. Thus, exactly at 12 PM on January 1, the device moves the hand to the new date.

2. Method and apparatus for reproducing animation in clocks with rotating shutter – the Cinema watch.


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Patent No. 2502110 records a complication unique to watchmaking, invented by Konstantin Chaykin especially for the Cinema watch. The master came up with the idea of complementing and empowering the movement with a device that works on the principle of the zoopraxiscope, a mechanical device invented by the British inventor Eadweard Muybridge, the “father” of the modern cinema. We are talking about the rapid rotation of the disk with consecutive image frames. It creates the illusion of movement. Chaykin put an obturator into the small wristwatch movement. He presented this device in the form of a rotating shutter which covers the ocular at the moment of frame change. This device is made to avoid “blurring” of the image.

3. Minute indication by the hour glass animation – the Carpe Diem watch.


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Patent No. 2537507 describes an original mechanical minute indicator with 10-minute markings invented by Konstantin Chaykin. It visually resembles a classical hourglass with two bulbs: sand “flows” from the upper part of the bulb to the lower. The illusion is achieved by means of an original shutter system designed by the master.

4. Watch with 3D moonphase indication on dial – the Lunokhod watch.


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Patent No. 2426165 describes the design of the 3D moonphase indicator’s drive created by Konstantin Chaykin. The drive is set to the duration of the lunar month (29.53125 days). This provides a fascinating level of accuracy – 0.000622, or 57 seconds error per lunar month. In addition to accuracy and precision, the complication is impressive in its boldness and uniqueness. The master managed to create a large 3D moonphase indicator, using a scale model of the Moon made of damask steel, 12 mm in diameter. The shadow (phase) is depicted by a hemisphere made of blackened silver which rotates around a static damask steel ball. Thus, Chaykin imitated the perception of the Moon when one watches it from the Earth.

5. Method of simultaneous indication of time in all Russia time zones – the Russian Time watch.


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Patent No. 2568337 describes the original version of the world time indication function. This version was invented by Konstantin Chaykin for a simpler indication of the world time in 11 Russian time zones. The watchmaker has implemented a double indication system. The standard design of the world time indicator with a discrete switching system is replaced by a friction fit. In the upper part of the dial, you can see a 24-hour time zone scale along the names of 11 Russian cities. In the lower part, a similar scale moves under the map of Russia, divided into 11 time zones. Daytime hours (from 7 AM to 6 PM) are shown on a light background, nighttime hours (from 7 PM to AM) – on a black one.

6. Chain graphic numeral hour indicator — the Lucomorye clock.


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Konstantin Chaykin invented the device described in patent No. 2619032 (“Mechanism of indicating time by flexible indicating element on indicator shaft and clock containing such mechanism”) in early 2016. It was conceived for a wristwatch. However, this idea was abandoned after some time. The principle of work was to move the shafts with a chain and the positioning carriage: winding combinations form the Roman numerals which indicate the current hour. Such movements required a lot of energy, which was extremely difficult to implement in a compact wristwatch. Taking it all into consideration, the master designed the Lucomorye clock.

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For the first time in Chaykin’s work, a table clock got a movement empowered with a horizontal arrangement of four winding barrels: three activate the hour indicator, while the fourth one provides the operation of the tourbillon watch movement. The graphic hour indication system has a power reserve of 8 days. Most of the 1119 Lucomorye’s movement parts are used for the graphic hour indicator.

7. The Mars Time Program patents: Martian time indicator, the Earth and Martian time indicator, Martian calendar.


The theme of space has always inspired Konstantin Chaykin. In 2017, he started his Mars Time Program featuring several watch models with Martian calendar and time indicators, including the device which determines the corresponding positions of the Earth and Mars. Chaykin applied for several patents: No. 2685764, “Clock with Time Indication on Mars”; No. 2681297, “Time Device with Multifunctional Mechanism of Indication of Earth and Mars Opposition Cycles”; No. 2724959, “Clock with Perpetual Martian Calendar”, etc.

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“Time Indication on Mars” sounds simple, but it was a great technical challenge for the master. For the movement, Chaykin used a gearbox with two coaxial gears. The gearbox transforms the rotation speed of the hand drive element into the rotation speed of the device which indicates Martian mean solar time. This, Chaykin could compensate for the lag of the Martian solar day (sol, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35.244 sec) from the Earth’s solar day.


The Earth-Mars opposition cycle indicator is capable of simultaneously displaying the cycles of Mars and Earth’s confrontations, Earth and Martian dates, as well as the relative positions of the two planets, so that the distance between two celestial bodies can be comparatively estimated.

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Finally, Konstantin Chaykin’s Martian calendar displays the Martian date, Martian months and even a Martian leap year. Moreover, the patent specifically states that a timepiece with a Martian calendar “can be used both on Earth and on Mars.” Perhaps the most charming variant of this complication is Chaykin’s unique Martian wristmon, the indicator of which is a broad smile on the “face-like” dial that determines the Martian date and weekdays.

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