The presentation of a new watch in Konstantin Chaykin's Wristmons ("wrist monsters") collection took place in August 2023, where he introduced the new character – Kolobok.
Kolobok is the title character in the Russian fairy tale of the same name. The tale's hero is the Little Round Bun (more usual name of the story in English). He was baked by Grandma and Grandpa, turned out to be alive and quite restless, running away from home. During his journey encountered a rabbit, a wolf, and a bear who tried to eat him, but the hero outwitted them all and escaped with his life. The central theme of the fairy tale (which everyone in Russia knows) is Kolobok's song: "I got away from Grandpa, I got away from Grandma, I got away from the rabbit..." At the end of the story the hero encounters a fox. In Russian fairy tales this figure is traditionally the most cunning, and this is no exception. The fox deceives the Kolobok and eats him.
Owing to talented illustrators over the ages Kolobok remains one of the most positive characters in Russian fairy tales. He is simultaneously cheerful, wily, and even a bit audacious, in other words, an ideal candidate for the Wristmons collection alongside Minions, the Joker, and Harley Quinn. "There came a moment when I realized that Kolobok was the ideal starting point for a series of Russian Wristmons," recalls the master. "I was so inspired by this image that I drew 3-4 versions of sketches in a couple of days. The hero turned out to be so captivating and positive that I could no longer put this idea aside and returned to it, finalizing the design again and again."
The international presentation of this latest work took place on August 29 as part of Geneva Watch Days, giving this hero known to everyone in Russia since childhood a breath of new life and a chance to talk about him in every corner of the globe. At all levels, from watch design, movement features to promotion, the master tells the story and conveys the personalities of the characters in modern language, creating his own "new take on a fairy tale" that allows it to be understood without words.
The watch is issued in a limited edition of 99 pieces. All the pieces are reserved. To get the opportunity to order one of the serial models of the next release apply for the waiting list.
Tale About How the Kolobok Became a Watch
The image of the Kolobok has been personified by many artists, illustrators, and animators. The hero has sometimes looked different, but his main features have always remained unchanged: round, golden yellow (as befits the bun he is), wide-eyed, and with a broad smile. This is how Konstantin Chaykin decided to create his hero with the aid of Haute Horlogerie.
Chaykin made the dial somewhat convex, rounded in order to give it the feel of plump dough. Yet the master had to tinker around with the background color, because Chaykin wanted the dial to look like the ruddy crust of warm, freshly baked bread. To achieve this effect, the watchmaker wanted to attain the perfect gradient. The dial is lighter in the center and darker closer to the edges.
The master made him especially "wide-eyed" by enlarging the dimensions of the pupils, which are bright blue on a glossy white background, with the rim of the hour and minute scales slightly protruding above the surface of the dial as if the Kolobok's "eyes" are bulging after being pleasantly surprised.
Day of the week and moonphase indicators
The Kolobok's smile is broader and more cheerful than that found on other Wristmons. It may even be argued that he's the most positive personality in the entire collection.
His white-toothed "mouth" isn't only the familiar moonphase indicator (depicted by an open-worked yellow circle), but simultaneously the day of the week indicator. Their role is played by the iconic heroes of the fairy tale, that is, the Grandpa, Grandma, the rabbit, wolf, bear, fox, and even the Kolobok himself. The owner of the watch decides which of the characters will designate the first day of the week.
Rotor from the fairy tale
Another striking detail in the design will only be available to the owner of the watch — a complicated gilded rotor assembled from 15 parts. It can be viewed through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. The watchmaker made room for an entire story on the rotor, as if inviting one to dive into the atmosphere of the fairy tale. Right in the center is the sun radiating like a medieval print with almond-shaped eyes under rounded eyebrows, clearly defined lips curled in a slight smile, and short triangular rays. In Slavic tradition, round pastries like pancakes, loaves of bread, and those little round buns symbolized exactly the sun. On one side (right next to the sun) is a cozy hut, with a birch tree on the other.
The rotor is a blend of gilding and several different types of finishes. The sun, the hut, and the birch tree are polished and contrast with the rest of the surface of the sandblasted rotor. The lower portion of the rotor contains a curved polished plate with the engraved name of the watch, typed in stylized Cyrillic letters. The engraving is repeated at the top of the steel rim on the back cover of the Wristmon's case.
Stargazer winding crown
The crown also has its own backstory. It was created by Konstantin Chaykin for his watch Stargazer – the most complicated model at Only Watch 2023 and one of the most complicated wristwatches in the world. The part is made in the shape of the sun with rays of various sizes and a traditional engraved logo in the center. If for Stargazer it references a celestial object, then for Kolobok it is a homage to an image from folklore, complementing the mood the master conveyed via the unusual watch rotor.
The calibre K.18-20 with automatic winding is produсed by Konstantin Chaykin Manufacture. The joker-indication module consists of 80 parts including 8 jewels.
Power reserve is 42 hours.
– Joker-time indication
– Day of the week indication
– Moonphase indication