As we hurl towards a future more magnificent than has ever been seen, Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin is getting himself ready with the Mars Conqueror watch - a wristwatch for, well, Mars
By: Nikita Vivek Pawar
Posted on: August 24, 2018
The world has always been a place with the prodigious phenomenon and unexplainable events. One such spectacular event was witnessed on the 27th July. It held grave importance for two main reasons, this was the time when Mars and Earth were in notable sectors of their orbits, called the perihelic opposition when the distance between the two planets is minimal. In fact, Mars is going to be visible to the naked eye until September! Secondly, as it was the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century which lasted for 3 hours and 56 minutes, putting emphasis on the Blood Moon. The day was chosen perfectly for the announcement of a rather unique and game-changing idea. Konstantin Chaykin, the Russian watchmaker, and inventor announced his latest venture on this very special day: the Mars Conqueror.
Knowing the bizarre mind of Mr. Chaykin and his many famous timepieces, we are sure the Mars Conqueror would be nothing but phenomenal. He recalls a late evening in November 2017 when the idea of Mars Conqueror hit him. It was while watching an employee working on the moving parts of the Joker watch was listening to Elon Musk about colonization on Mars. Of course, the first humans on Mars will need to be in tune with their local time and those of their fellow beings on the neighboring planet! And so, Mars Conqueror was born.
This complex watch is ideal for the future conquerors of Mars, wherein the first dial would show the Earth local time (in hours, minutes and seconds), the second dial showing the local Martian time (in hours and minutes) and the third showing the planetarian display of both the planets in their orbits.
Even though this is the first wristwatch combining astronomy, timekeeping and space travel functions, the Mars Conqueror has ancestors. In 1954, American astronomer I. M. Levitt designed the Space Clock Mars, which was actually the first time in the history of the watchmaking when real space traveler’s function was implemented – as an electromechanical clock indicating Martian time and date, supplemented by an indication of Earth time and date. Two copies of this clock were produced by American watch company Hamilton.
The electromechanical movement, though state-of-the-art for that era, wasn’t compact enough to be used in wristwatches. The production of the first wristwatches, both mechanical and quartz, with the indication of Martian time was started by the Californian watchmaker Garo Anserlian in 2004. Mr. Anserlian’s wristwatches were used by the NASA engineer’s team controlling Martian rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
Mr. Chaykin, however, made a significant step forward by combining the space traveler’s functions of local, i.e. Martian and Earth’s time and date indications (Martian and Earth’s dates in Mars Conqueror watch are indicated approximately) with the astronomical function of the indication of Mars and Earth positions.
Mars Conqueror is hundred percent mechanical watch, assuring their good operation both during the space flight, and on the surface of Mars, where the watch will not be protected from radiation due to its weak magnetic field, and because of the tenuous Martian atmosphere.
But then, can a year on Earth be the same as a year on Mars? Their orbital distance from sun, and therefore lengths of days and nights is quite different. Since the scientists and space agencies have not yet developed a standard Martian calendar system, Konstantin Chaykin decided to use the annual date indication with a Martian year duration of 668 sols. The average duration of the Martian solar day, called “sol”, is approximately 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35,244 seconds, or 88775.244 seconds. A mean terrestrial solar day has 24 hours. Based on calculations by Mr. Chaykin, it is possible to make the transition from the gear system of terrestrial time to the gear system of Martian time with the use of two wheels with 109 and 112 teeth. The 112/109 gear for Martian time indication is patented by Konstantin Chaykin.
The complicated module of Mars Conqueror consists of 159 parts, including 30 wheels, 6 pinions and 6 jewels for reduction of friction and wear. The module is installed on the tried and tested automatic Caliber Eta 2836-2. The watch is equipped with three correctors for indicators adjustments, placed in the caseback.
The development of the mechanical module of the watch took about 8 months of in-house development, says Mr. Chaykin. It would most certainly be a remarkable gift for Mars colonizers in the pursuit to still be connected to Earth, though the final prototype with a dial, strap and all the beauties attached is said to be released during Baselworld 2019. While the price and number of units produced are still under wraps, the Mars Conqueror is set to succeed in its fate.