Stefan Kudoke’s time has arrived. All of the lengthy years of studying, obsessing, questioning, and arduous work at the moment are paying off for the German watchmaker and engraver, whose attractive Kudoke 2 gained the Petite Aiguille award for watches with a retail value between CHF 4,000 and 10,000 at 2019’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
The competitors on this class could be very hotly contested – take into consideration all of the Swiss finery you will get for CHF 10,000 – so the truth that a just about unknown unbiased German watchmaker prevailed among the many esteemed jury grouping nonetheless pleases me vastly. Regardless of all the nice data amassed in that room, only a few individuals in it had ever heard of the soft-spoken Kudoke. Which implies that this watch did a fabulous job of the heavy lifting by itself pure advantage.
At the moment, after successful the much-deserved prize, Kudoke is healthier recognized than ever in watch circles. And that is without doubt one of the nice providers that the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève gives to the watch trade: bringing high-quality work to a broader shopper consciousness – even and not using a well-known model identify.
Being an unbiased watchmaker implies that one’s probabilities of turning into a well-known model identify are one in a gazillion, however that’s not what’s necessary right here – or necessary to Kudoke. What’s necessary is the ingenuity, craftsmanship, and high quality of his work. Kudoke loves his solitude, which stimulates his fast arms and unique, offbeat creativeness. And we who admire what he does agree wholeheartedly with this technique of working.
A proficient and imaginative creator of attention-grabbing timepieces, the AHCI candidate’s Kudoke 1 and 2 watches have been excessive departures from his regular type. However the easy magnificence and apparent high quality of those two watches communicate for themselves – and have spoken to a wider circle than regular over the course of the very profitable previous yr.
Kudoke 2 Nocturne: simply as enchanting
The entrance of the Kudoke 2 was charming in its design and obvious simplicity, and Kudoke’s new 20-piece restricted version in a darker dial coloration is all that and extra. Kudoke stories that the darkish coloration adjustments dramatically between mild gray and black/white relying on the ambient lighting circumstances. The interaction of contrasts between the weather on this minimalist dial are actually excellent.
The straightforward dial is hanging in its simplicity and excellent proportions, that are so totally different from Kudoke’s mainly skeletonized work up so far. Normally, his designs are so uber-decorative that you could seek for the time-telling arms. Right here, that’s definitively not so.
The galvanized, finely frosted silver dial encircled by a rhodium-plated, brushed-steel minute ring units the stage completely for the weather that basically seize the eye, beginning with the eye-catching shapes of the polished metal arms. The hour hand maybe much more so with its stylized infinity image – a logo additionally engraved into the stability cock seen on the flip aspect of the watch.
However the dial’s star is undoubtedly what Kudoke calls the “sky disk” positioned at 12 o’clock. Hand-engraved and electroplated in three colours – yellow gold, black rhodium, and white rhodium – it’s this inventive subdial that permits the total pressure of Kudoke’s artistic character in, although in a comparatively restrained scope.
A gold-plated triangle factors to the hour on the small 24-hour scale, whereas the half of the subdial with the engraved, yellow gold-plated solar proclaims the daytime hours. Likewise, the half of the subdial with the engraved white rhodium-plated moon proclaims the nighttime hours. This subdial revolves together with the time show, thereby at all times plainly depicting the proper half of the day.
The strict readability of the minimalist dial mixed with the surprisingly distinctive and ornamental subdial crammed with Kudoke’s character are what makes this watch so interesting.
The Kudoke 2 is a real unbiased watchmaker fanatic’s watch. The fantastic thing about the minimalist dial and motion solely improve that impression.
Kudoke Kaliber 1
The thought of utilizing a motion unique to Kudoke and even developed by him was engaging, as it’s to most watchmakers. However the expense of realizing that concept might be the slippery slope towards endangering a small firm.
Nonetheless, Kudoke took the possibility, and the outcome – Kaliber 1 – is price any sleepless nights he could have skilled alongside the best way.
Kaliber 1 was conceived to energy Kudoke’s HANDwerk assortment, a line that finds inspiration within the classic manufacturing of Glashütte- or Dresden-based previous masters, whose work shares similarity with among the previous English masters. We will additionally discover homages to any such motion in Tutima’s Patria line and Hommage minute repeater.
What first hits the attention and takes the breath away – at the least it did for me – is the extraordinary ending of the motion, which was in a heat yellow gold coloration achieved by plating within the 2019 model. The 2020 Nocturne restricted version, as a worshiper of the evening, has a brand new look because of rhodium plating as a substitute of yellow gold plating. However the remainder of the motion stays the identical – apart from the engraving of the unusually formed stability cock, which was slightly ornate within the earlier version.
Within the Nocturne version, this engraving has been fully pared again to emphasise the infinity image and the frosted end in addition to the strict hand chamfers and anglage. Reaching this well-defined look was no much less work for the German artisan than the ornate scrolls of the 2019 version, although this design is way much less conventional (and subsequently extra distinctive).
All the ending on the motion is finished manually, no machines concerned. This contains, amongst different parts, the beveling and chamfering of the big, greater than two-thirds plate (the two-thirds plate got here in Glashütte historical past earlier than the now-ubiquitous three-quarter plate), its grained floor texture, the fantastically tempered blue screws punctuating the silvery sea of mechanics, and the engraved stability cock.
The Kudoke 2 is priced at simply €8,665 (with out taxes), which, contemplating the work and high quality concerned, ought to result in ideas of sheer disbelief.
I do know that line of thought as a result of it occurred to me simply forward of Baselworld 2019, after I obtained the press launch for the Kudoke 1 and its very good Kaliber 1 motion priced at simply €6,996 (with out taxes).
Right here’s the magic trick behind the comparatively inexpensive pricing: Kudoke was helped with the motion expertise by the masters of understanding the best way to make an in-house motion whereas conserving prices down and high quality excessive: Habring2.
However Habring2 shouldn’t be concerned with the ending and ornament of this watch. That’s pure Kudoke magic. The hand-finishing is great, and the modified Habring2 motion reinforces the unbiased high quality of the watch in all the suitable methods.
The worth of this new 20-piece restricted version stays the identical because the limitless mannequin with light-colored dial and yellow gold-plated motion.
In a world of mass-produced watches with excellent, machine-made elements, it is a distinctive timepiece that includes distinct traces of handmade allure and inventive character.
This timepiece in both of its iterations – evening or day – is an actual deal with. One that will proudly relaxation alongside probably the most well-known names in watchmaking in any collector’s field.
For extra data, please go to www.kudoke.eu/HANDwerk-en.
Fast Details Kudoke 2 Nocturne
Case: 39 x 10.7 mm, stainless-steel
Motion: manually wound Kaliber 1-24H (Habring2 A11B base), 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 46-hour energy reserve, amagnetic escapement with Carl Haas stability spring
Capabilities: hour, minute; day/evening indication, 24-hour indication
Limitation: 20 items
Worth: €8,665 (with out taxes)
Availability: from October 2020