Kukulkan, the Mayan god who created the universe, is now the name of a new Swiss wristwatch that can only be purchased until Dec. 21 of this year, the day on which the Mayan calendar marks the end of a cycle.
Watchmaker and historian Jean Marc Bosque is an enthusiast of Mayan culture who decided to use his professional skills to create a watch as a tribute to that civilization.
"I wanted to make a watch featuring a very strong symbol - the time, the precision" of the great Mayan solar calendar, the watchmaker said at the presentation in Mexico.
That singularly accurate calendar is engraved on the back of the watch, while on its face is a representation of the god Kukulkan, "symbol of revenge, of taking power," Bosque said, who wanted to pay tribute to that Mesoamerican culture by creating pieces "very strong on symbolism."
Instead of Arabic or Roman numerals, the watchmaker chose Mayan numbers to mark the time on his watch, which from its conception he wanted to place "on top of the pyramid," so he made it high end with Latin American gemstones.
There are three models, one of steel selling for 12,000 Swiss francs ($13,086), another of steel with diamonds that costs 21,900 Swiss francs ($23,880), and a few top-of-the-line pieces fashioned of gold and Colombian emeralds at a price of 365,000 Swiss francs ($398,000).
Only 12 of the gold watches have been made, while 2,012 of the steel version will go on the market along with 219 of the steel with diamonds.
Though the entire watch was made in Switzerland, Bosque wanted it to have a touch of Mexico as well, so he plans to have the case for each watch made by Mayan communities on the Yucatan Peninsula.
The watchmaker did not specify where the watch could be purchased, but he did say the gold watches will only be sold through direct contact with him.
Though the watchmaker knows what numerous studies indicate, that Dec. 21 is not the end of the world but the beginning of another cycle, he chose that date to conclude the sale of his collection.
The Mayas created a calendar based on a period of 400 years called a baktun - each era was made up of 13 cycles of 400 years that added up to 5,125 years, so by that system the current era ends on Dec. 21, 2012.