The “Carpe Diem” watch is a masterpiece of horological art, Konstantin Chaykin’s reflection on the essence of time. The result of this reflection is Chaykin’s invention of a new genre of allegorical watch, in which the watch is not just decorated with attributes of allegorical still-life pieces of the old Dutch masters of the 17th Century, from which this genre originated, but such elements are realised in the watch itself as mechanical functions.
The father of time, the oldest essence of the universe, was thought of by the ancient Greeks as the god of Chaos, also called Chronos. During the Hellenistic period ‘time’ was associated with the god Cronus, represented as a grey-haired man carrying a scythe, which he had once used to castrate his father, Uranus. This is how the lord of time was portrayed by the Ukrainian artist Heorhiy Narbut’s in his sketch “Allegory 1916 (Chronos)” when trying to express the horrors of what he saw on the battlefields of the First World War.
Heorhiy Narbut’s allegory, as well as the still lifes of the old Dutch masters, inspired Konstantin Chaykin to create the “Carpe Diem” dial. The winged Cronus reigns on a dial studded with diamond stars, as he measures how long everything in existence should live, sitting on a clockface with an hour hand like on a chariot of time and leaning on an hour glass counting the progression of the minutes.
An engraved skull portrays the mortality of human life, referring to the philosophical allegories of “Vanitas” still lifes, condemning the futility of earthly life and emphasising its transience.
Cronus gives and takes away time that slips away like grains of sand through an hourglass. Therefore, the only way to enjoy your allotted time is to appreciate every moment of it. This is how Konstantin Chaykin interprets the name of his watch – “Carpe Diem – seize the day!”