Home » Konstantin Chaykin And The Worlds First NFT-Joker Watch

Konstantin Chaykin And The Worlds First NFT-Joker Watch

Konstantin Chaykin created his first Joker between the autumn of 2016 and February 2017. At that time, he had only one thought in mind – to create as attractive a watch as possible. Exploring different ideas, doubts, searching for the optimal design from a multitude of hand-drawn sketches, creating computer models, about 50 prototypes – the path to that one and only, unique Joker was long and difficult. The story of the Joker, which began in the pre-COVID era, has continued to spark interest in today’s new circumstances, when the main, indeed almost only, way for a watch manufacturer to communicate with clients is via the Internet, and above all, social media. Konstantin Chaykin is certain that life, with all its unexpected turns and often unpleasant surprises, should be looked at with open eyes – just the like the Joker and other watches of Chaykin’s Wristmons collection.

“I am constantly surrounded by ‘Jokers’ – at my manufacture, where we produce them, in conversations with clients, in interviews, in the development of new versions (as I don’t like to do the same things and repeat myself) … About 18 months ago, when we were discussing how the book “Konstantin Chaykin” was going to look, the designer suggested an interesting flyleaf whereby the face of the ‘Joker’ was repeated with its eyes in different positions – a trick which had already been created for the chapter “20000 Facial Expressions and Antics of Haute Horlogerie”. We then decided to use the ‘Joker Selfie’ on the flyleaf, which was our coded message, as if to say ‘look, you’re about to see a lot more ‘Jokers’…’ Creating new ‘Wristmons’ is a real pleasure. I think about themes that excite me. I come up with interesting stories, as ‘Wristmons’ – watches with a face-like dial – literally demand their own mood and character. I make lots of sketches in order to choose the most impressive design… However, throughout all this one thought saddens me – so many ideas, designs, characters, and additional functions remain unrealised. I simply don’t have enough time for them. At some point I was struck by a thought – why not embody the ‘Jokers’ of the virtual world, already created in my Joker-inhabited mind? And so, I got to work. Exactly how I start any new watch project” – Konstantin Chaykin.

Konstantin Chaykin’s new project, which this time would be an artistic one, was prompted by the process of merging digital art with blockchain technology, a trend which has burst onto the scene. It must be admitted that it was unexpected. One of those twists that life loves to present us with. It was assumed that blockchain was invented for use in the financial sector, yet suddenly it had become useful for artists who, incidentally, are currently experiencing the same difficulties in establishing relationships with customers as watchmakers, independent ones in particular.

Watchmaking is a particular type of art. Watchmakers love technology. Konstantin Chaykin approaches watchmaking as an artist, therefore he decided to act as a watchmaker in the world of fine arts. New technology? Why not try it for yourself?

The time has come for an NFT-Joker

Since time immemorial, watchmakers have been dealing with time, an inexplicable creature which makes the wheels of the universe turn. Konstantin Chaykin, creator of the Joker watch and other Wristmons, uses this new art form, dubbed cryptoart, to give his vision of what time looks like. Of course, time cannot be expressed in a single work of art, no matter how high-tech it is. And why? Each artist creates their own look, their own interpretation. The ‘eyes’ of the Joker indicate the hours and minutes, and, along with the trademark smiling moonphase indicator, their constant rotations mean that each minute the face-like dial changes, bringing a slightly different emotion. This continues throughout the lunar month, after which everything starts again.

In the NFT-Joker project, Konstantin Chaykin presents the unstoppable passage of time, which, in fact, we perceive tragically – when, leaving our comfort zone, we dare to think about it, in the form of the continuously changing Joker watch.

This is how time looks according to Chaykin

Yes, this is the first purely digital art project created by a watchmaker. Yes, probably no artist before Konstantin Chaykin has depicted their self-created character – in this case, the incredibly charismatic Joker watch and how time itself is perceived through it – in such a long sequence of 42,480 gently changing images. Yes, Konstantin Chaykin has registered – as it should be done – a non-fungible token (NFT) with Ethereum. Yes, only one watchmaking connoisseur can become the owner of the rights to a unique work of art created by Konstantin Chaykin. Yes, the one and only NFT-Joker will be offered at auction at Ineichen Zürich auction house on 22nd May 2021. And yes, the lot will be sold for Ether.

The NFT-Joker is 42,480 computerised images of the Joker watch – one for each minute, marked with a unique Joker emotion for a 12-hour period over two months, from 13th March 2021, when the new Moon was in the Pisces constellation, until 11th May 2021, with the Moon at the home of Taurus. Why was a 12-hour period over two lunar months chosen? Konstantin Chaykin reveals the logic that guided him: “The movement of the indicator in the ‘Joker’ is designed so that the moonphase indicator wheel switches one day forward once a day, which is how all moonphase indicators traditionally work. The eyes of the watch run through each possible position twice a day, so a unique sequence of emotions on the dial takes 12 hours, repeating itself for the second 12 hours of the day. At the same time, two moons are depicted on the lunar disk, so, in fact, a unique cycle lasts for two lunar months, until both moons of the indicator have completed their cycle. In the wheel system in the drive of the moonphase indicator for the ‘Joker’ and other ‘Wristmons’, I use a wheel with 59 teeth, which, in one revolution, tracks the evolution of the phases of the Moon over two months. Therefore, we can say that a period of two lunar months is inscribed in the genetic code of my watch”. In addition to the 42,480 individual gif-format images, each 300 x 447 pixels, Konstantin Chaykin will create a collage of the 720 images from each of the 59 days of the cycle, forming a digital picture of 26,373 x 216,000 pixels – slightly larger than Beeple’s famous piece (though naturally, Konstantin Chaykin recognises that the value of a picture is not measured by its dimensions). The NFT-Joker, when fully printed, will form an impressive canvas of about 1.15 metres high and 14 metres long.

“Konstantin Chaykin, with his ‘NFT-Joker’ project, invites us to the digital world of haute horlogerie, where countless images of his ‘Jokers’ are constantly born, sparkle, and re-dissolve back into infinity … It is mesmerizing. We are delighted that he has chosen the Ineichen Zürich auction house as the finishing touch to this beautiful story, which will undoubtedly remain in the chronicles of watchmaking – and, I would add, in the auction business too. That is why this idea is so close to me” – Artemy Lechbinsky, General Director of the Ineichen Zürich auction house.

Life is full of surprises – we again return to this simple thought. Nobody knows how successful the bidding will be. Nevertheless, Konstantin Chaykin intends to invest the proceeds – the main thing being they are sufficient – to support an educational project for novice watchmakers in Russia. Time has no mercy, but we must fight to preserve the exquisite art of measuring the course of time through fine watchmaking.


Technical specifications

A non-fungible token in the Ethereum system.
42,480 artistic images of the Joker watch, created by Konstantin Chaykin from 13th March 2021 to 11th May 2021.

The size of a single image is 447 (height) x 300 (width) pixels

The size of the author’s collage of 59 x 720 images is 26,373 (height) x 216,000 (width) pixels

The rights to the 59 x 720 images and the collage will be up for auction No. 174, hosted by the Ineichen Zürich auction house (ineichen.com) on Saturday, 22nd May 2021: https://en.ineichen.com/nft

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