Limited Edition: 999 pieces
Size: 18 x 8 inches
Weight: 17 lbs.
The latest collection from New York artisans Berd Vay’e, Checkmate, highlights the complexity of watchmaking using the royal court of the undisputed queen of board games, chess.
Berd Vay’e founders, Eddie Kurayev and Albert Akbashev, became fascinated with chess while growing up in the former Soviet Union. Chess has long been synonymous with Russian culture dating back to as early as the 14th century, originally reserved for the elite. In Russia, chess isn’t just a board game or a sport; it is a way of living and one of the most predominant activities in Russian households, schools, and playgrounds.
Kurayev and Akbashev’s love for the game grew in unison to their passion for horology, both arts that require incredible focus, strategic thought, and an appreciation for the intricacies of each science.
The art of watchmaking is a balancing act of creative and strategic design choices seen in each dial, movement, mechanism, and overall design complexity. Every detail in the design process is of great importance to a watchmaker, as does every move made on the board for a chess player.
“Chess is a mind game that requires time and strategy. It is very complex, like the foundations of watchmaking. Growing up, it was our favorite sport and pastime, the way baseball and football are in America,” says Kurayev.
The King (nicknamed Grand Master) is the least powerful, yet most important piece on the board. After all, the aim of chess is to capture your opponent’s King, while protecting your own.