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The incredible length of Russia, from east to west, has long inspired Russian watchmakers to invent timepieces capable of representing this stunning property in the gears and hands of clockwork mechanisms.
“From the southern seas to the polar lands…”. The incredible length of Russia, from east to west, has long inspired Russian watchmakers to invent timepieces capable of representing this stunning property in the gears and hands of clockwork mechanisms.
The Farm Palace of Peterhof, near St. Petersburg, still holds the table clock of the Russian master Ivan Yurin, which he built in approximately 1861. Konstantin Chaykin examined this clock and included a description in his book ‘Watchmaking in Russia. Masters and Custodians’, published in 2012. On 67 dials, Yurin’s clock shows the local average solar time (the uniform internationally-recognised system of 24 time zones had not yet been put in place) of 67 major cities of the Russian Empire. In the midst of all those dials, Konstantin was surprised to discover Novo-Archangelsk, which was the name of the administrative centre of Alaska, which at that time was part of the Russian Empire.
A time zone indicator is one of the most popular, and more importantly most practical and demanded, complications in mechanical watches. If a watchmaking brand wants to be taken seriously it is simply obligatory to invent its own complication of this type. Not everyone succeeds in doing this, many preferring to stick to the beaten path of using standard designs and mass-produced calibres. Konstantin Chaykin always prefers to act differently, choosing a creative approach which allows him to enjoy his work. The “Russia Time” watch collection should be recognised as one of his most important successes, as he has come up with his own unique design and watch construction with time zone indicator.