CHESS AND FINE TIMEPIECES
Chess is a very demanding and challenging mind sport. A chess player does not only compete with another player, but also with the time. In tournaments there is always a chess clock next to the board with buttons to stop one clock while starting the other, so that the two clocks never run simultaneously, this to keep track of the total time each player takes for his/her own move. If the time runs out, the game is lost.
Time in chess is essential, and a number of chess players actually wear fine timepieces as a gesture of appreciation for time.
I guess hardly anyone can understand the importance of time in chess better than Garry Kasparov, who is considered by many as one of the greatest chess players of all time. Kasparov actually used his wristwatch as a symbol for victory. He usually took the watch off during the play and only put it back on, to signal to his opponent that the game would be over soon in his favour. His 18 Karat Yellow Gold Millenary Limited Edition Wristwatch created by Audemars Piguet was also well-known among chess lovers and watch geeks. Limited to 150 pieces, the watch has a special “chessboard” dial, with Roman numbers, yellow gold hands, and sub-dials for date and second time zone, and fan-form power reserve retrograde indicator. Interestingly, it came with a special edition box, consisting of a wooden chess board and carved chess pieces. The timepiece is no longer available for sale. But if you are lucky enough, it might be possible to buy it from private collectors.
We can also go back in time when men were still keen on pocket watches. In 1859, Paul Morphy (1837-1884), an American chess prodigy, World Chess Champion from 1858–1862 and one of the greatest chess players in his era, was given a uniquely crafted pocket watch from the New York Chess Club after his successful tournament in Europe. The watch was made by the American Watch Company with the hour markers represented by chess pieces. This beautiful dial is now on display at the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, USA.
(Photo credit: http://www.edochess.ca/batgirl/Watch.html)
Using this historic dial, RGM Watch Co., an American watchmaker has created a limited edition named: Chess in Enamel, with prices ranging from 13 900 USD to 39 900 USD.
I guess it is quite easy to see the connection between chess and fine timepieces since they share the traits of precision and beauty. In chess, the beauty is showcased in the moves, strategies and obviously the intellectual capacity. At the same time, each timepiece is beautiful in its details and craftsmanship. That is probably why our founder Øyvind VonDoren Asbjørnsen has combined his two interests: chess and fine timepieces in his works.
Besides being a chess lover, Mr. Von Doren was also the man behind “The prince of chess” and Executive Producer of “MAGNUS”, both films about Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion. Mr. Von Doren dedicated the very first automatic collection to chess and named them Caissa Grandmaster, Limited Edition. This special Swiss-made collection was strictly limited to 25 pieces, uniquely created for Norway Chess 2017. The watch was awarded to the world’s 10 best chess players at the end of the tournament, and was sold-out right after its release.
Each timepiece in this collection has a circular-brushed brass dial with its own unique pattern and patina. No two finishes are alike, lending an extra air of exclusivity to this already highly limited - edition wristwatch.
In addition to the partnership with Norway Chess, Von Doren-Fine Timepieces continues to show the special interest in chess by sponsoring Tata Steel Chess Tournament, known as “The Wimbledon of Chess” in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.
To celebrate this,Von Doren have released the unique Grandmaster Mark II, a brand new Automatic Swiss-made collection. The collection is strictly limited to 200 pieces of the Open Heart version and 300 of the regular dial.
This exclusive and sophisticated timepiece was awarded to the top three players in the Masters Group at the prize ceremony.
You can read more about this sophisticated timepiece and pre-order it here.
Von Doren has also signed a 3-year sponsor agreement with the World Junior Chess Champion Aryan Tari. Von Doren watches will become Aryan´s reliable timekeeper, and we hope he will be successful in all the tournaments in the future.