Today being Friday, a holy day for Muslims, I thought I would share with you the most Islamic watch of modern times. Meet the Konstantin Chaykin Hijra.


The Hijra takes its name after the Islamic event that changed the fate of the religion, and ultimately the world. “Hijra” is the Arabic word for migration, but in Islamic context it signifies the migration or journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. The Hijri calendar differs from the Gregorian calendar in that it is lunar rather than solar. It consists of 12 months of 29 or 30 days and is shorter than the Gregorian calendar by 11 days on average.

I’ve seen a few watches with an Islamic “theme” (the Gerald Genta Mosaic and Patek Philippe 5130P “Mecca” world timer come to mind) in my time, but almost all of them were just decoratively Islamic. What I wanted to see was a piece that took into account the Islamic Hijri calendar.

Independent Russian watchmaker and AHCI member Konstantin Chaykin accomplished this and much more with his Hijra collection. To the best of my knowledge, it is the first-ever modern mechanical timepiece with a complete Hijri lunar calendar. Not only that, the styling is spot-on.


Since Islamic traditions advise men to avoid wearing gold, the Hijra comes in a modest 42mm stainless steel case.  Entirely polished, the case has 2 correctors near the crown for quick setting of the calendar indications.


The dial is beautifully balanced, with a larger subdial at 12 o’clock for the months and a 12 o’clock subdial indicating the days of the week. The moon phase is central to the dial as it is to the calendar, and is placed above the central hands through a larger than average aperture (I was told that the production models will not have the face on the moon). The hour and minute hands are inspired by traditional mosque architecture, with the hour hand being the mosque and the minute hand its minaret. The date hand has a crescent tip, recalling the Islamic crescent moon and star symbol. All the numerals and month and day symbols are in Arabic, but what’s interesting is that the typeface of the Arabic numerals is taken from pocket watches made centuries ago for the Ottoman Empire by the likes of Breguet.



The manual-winding movement is designed and manufactured by Konstantin Chaykin in his Moscow workshop, and contains a patented module for the complete Islamic calendar. It is finished with traditional Côtes de Genève stripes, and the ratchet wheel is engraved with an octagon, a classic symbol of Islamic geometric art. It delivers a power reserve of 42 hours when fully found.


As a Muslim (from a Meccan family no less) I think Konstantin did a fantastic job, I really couldn’t ask for more from such a watch. He could have easily gone overboard with mosaic designs and crescent moons all over the place, but Konstantin stuck with a relatively classical and conservative design. Hats off.

In the coming weeks I will also review another of Konstantin Chaykin’s timepieces dedicated to the Abrahamic religions, the Judaism-inspired Decalogue.