by Konstantin Chaykin
Lumiere brothers are considered to be the founders of the cinema, but this is not entirely true. Ideas about how to revive a static photograph literally hovered in the air in the XIX century. Scientists and talented inventors from different countries have put together piece by piece what is now commonly called cinema.
The ground for Lumiere brothers was prepared by Etienne-Jules Mare with his photo-gun, Ottomar Ansjutz with electro tahiskop, Kodak with roll film and, of course, the author of the kinetoscope and kinetograph Thomas Edison, who was as close as possible to the creation of real movie magic. It was Edison’s cinematography, perfected by Lumiere brothers, that turned into the cinematography that we know today. But there was one more important link in this chain of inventions, and his name was Edward Maybridge.
It was the photographer from England, Edward Maybridge, who stood at the origins of the animation, inspired Edison to experiment with a moving photograph. The Englishman personally showed Edison his apparatus for projecting moving pictures-the zoopraxiscope (from the ancient Greek words “animal, living,” “activity, movement,” and “watching, watching”), which impressed the American entrepreneur. There was something to marvel at: two decades before the Lumiere brothers, Maybridge anticipated the main principle of cinematography – a time-lapse photography and first tested it on horses. In 1877, he decided to find out if at any moment the galloping horse tears away all four legs from the ground. And he started photographing the animals with several cameras at the same time.
“Clockmakers have been making clocks with different types of animation for centuries”, says Konstantin Chaykin, Head of the Manufacture, “we have seen generations of clocks containing jacks, mechanical theatres, various automated figures controlled by the clock movements. And the world has long known movies as yet another form for viewing images. Just as movies were based on live theatre, in the same way classical clocks with jacks serve as one of the inspirations for a new branch in watchmaking – watches with a cinématographe inside. The Eadweard Muybridge Cinema Watch is my first attempt to combine watchmaking and animation. I believe that this idea has immense potential – who knows where further experiments will take us”
Konstantin Chaykin built his own miniature film projector right on the watch face of Cinema. Clicking on the special button, you can make the pictures of the stallion with the jockey change each other lightning fast and experience the delight of the XIX century people, first encountered with a living photo! According to fans of watchmaking, these watches represent the top of the technical implementation of the animation function in mechanics.
The Cinema Watch resembles an antique photo- or cinema camera. The rectangular steel is finished using three techniques: polishing, grinding and hot pressing. The dial reminds an old camera lens, and the hour and minute indications are designed in the form of lens rings. An amazing dial is decorated with a guilloche pattern “Parisian nails” and it is covered with black lacquer.
The Cinema Watch from the Konstantin Chaykin Manufacture contains two movements: the timekeeping movement proper and an animation movement based on the principles of a zoopraxiscope. The animation function is launched manually and shows a small movie of a galloping horse and rider.
The animation movement in the Cinema Watch contains a Maltese cross stopwork which turns a disc engraved with 12 images of a galloping horse and rider in different poses.
Konstantin Chaykin borrowed the concept of an obturator from cinematography: he included an obturator, a tiny shutter, to screen the animation aperture at the start of the animation cycle in order to prevent a blurry effect. During the animation cycle, the frames move at the rate of 1 per 0.07 second, as does the obturator at the beginning.
The aperture housing the mini-movie of the galloping horse and rider is located at 6:00. The winding and the animation launch crowns are located opposite each other at 3:00 and 9:00 respectively. A transparent sapphire caseback reveals the unusual inner works of the Cinema Watch. Finally, a black, custom-made alligator skin wristband completes this elegant and unusual watch.
The Cinema Watch contains a bridge and movements finished in a classic style appropriate for luxury class watches: with bridges decorated with pearling and ‘clous-de-Paris’, ruby bearings set in elegant gold chatons and gold-plated gear trains. What is unusual is the presence of two winding drums: one for the watch movement, one for the animation. Both are wound using the same crown, which is turned clockwise to wind the watch, and anti-clockwise to wind the animation.
K06-0, escapement: anchor
Dimensions 47,6×37,6×13,8 mm, Jewels: 37, Power Reserve: 45 hours
brass, stainless steel, sapphire crystal
hours, minutes, animation
1 cycle per second (12 images)
brass, black lacquer, guilloché