The first version of the “Lunokhod” model was introduced by Konstantin Chaykin in 2011, when Russia and the world celebrated important anniversaries in the history of the Soviet space programme – the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s spaceflight and the 40th anniversary of the “Lunokhod”, the world’s first autonomous planetary rover programme. It was to the “Lunkokhod”, one of the most important achievements of the Soviet space programme, that Konstantin Chaykin chose to dedicate the “Lunokhod” collection.
Konstantin Chaykin intended to make the most realistic and spectacular presentation of our closest neighbour in space ever made in a watch, therefore the optimal solution was to use a three-dimensional spherical construction. This choice was also prompted by the results of a study of the archives of the great Russian inventor and watchmaker Ivan Kulibin, which Chaykin read in 2007. Kulibin had intended to use a three-dimensional moonphase indicator in the pocket “planetary watch” which he was developing.
It should be noted that a spherical moonphase indicator is rarely used in a compact watch mechanism, and when it is used, its dimensions are, to put it mildly, less than impressive. A small moonphase indicator would not have been worth bothering about, which is why Konstantin Chaykin decided to radically increase its size for this watch, making it bigger than the global watchmaking industry could ever have imagined.
The inclusion of such an impressively large spherical moonphase indicator in the movement required Konstantin Chaykin to take a non-standard approach to its design. The moonphase indicator is usually placed outside the dial, so as not to interfere with the hour and minute hands. Konstantin Chaykin decided to place the moonphase indicator with an unprecedentedly large, fixed 12mm spherical moon in the centre of the calibre, so that it would be encircled by all other components of the movement.
For the “Lunokhod” and “Lunokhod Prime” watches Konstantin Chaykin developed the most realistic way to show the phases of the moon – the spherical moon itself is motionless, just as our moon appears to us in the night sky, while the dark part of the moon – the phases of the moon – is made using a black hemisphere circling the spherical moon during the lunar month.