German independent watchmaker Stefan Kudoke premiered his proprietary Kaliber 1 last year, and now the watches that utilise the movement are finally here.
Located an hour’s drive east of the watchmaking town of Glashütte, Mr Kudoke once focused solely on skeleton watches with elaborate decorative motifs. The new Kudoke 1 and Kudoke 2 wristwatches represent a wholly new, and far more digestible, aesthetic for the Mr Kudoke, who works as a one-man show but is assisted a few days a week by a watchmaker who works part-time.
Both have the same 39mm steel case topped with a stepped bezel and matched with an onion-shaped crown.
The Kudoke 1 is a straightforward, time-only watch with three hands and nothing else.
Despite the simplicity, the Kudoke 1 manages to be distinct thanks to a strikingly narrow chapter ring and usually shaped hands. They are made of blued steel, but the hour hand is tipped with a large infinity symbol.
The dial surface is smoothly frosted, while the chapter ring for the minutes and hours as well as the plate for the brand name are brushed and finished with bevelled edges.
Essentially the Kudoke 1 with a day and night display, the Kudoke 2 loses the sub-seconds at nine and gains a rotating 24-hour disc at 12 o’clock, creating an appealing symmetry on the dial.
The day and night disc is hand-engraved – done by an artisan in Glashütte – and then plated in two colours of gold – yellow for daytime and white for night. And a small yellow gold-plated arrow points to the current hour on a 24-hour scale.
The rest of the watch is identical, including the signature infinity-shaped hour hand.
Though the case remains the same 39mm – the case middle is in fact exactly the same – it has a thicker bezel to accommodate the increased height of the movement.
Both watches are powered by the Kaliber 1, a hand-wound movement that takes inspiration from English and German pocket watches of the 19th century.
Consequently the movement has a full bridge, extra-large balance cock that’s hand-engraved, as well as exposed barrel ratchet and crown wheels.
The full bridge, balance cock and base plate are finished in yellow gold gilt, while most of the visible screws are heat blued. And the plate bearing the Kudoke brand is hand-engraved.
The underlying architecture of the Kaliber 1 is derived from the Habring² Felix movement, meaning some of the components within the Kaliber 1 are shared with the Felix. That includes the wheels of the gear train, barrel ratchet wheels, regulator index and balance.
Mr Kudoke’s approach to the movement has allowed for a finely detailed and original looking movement inside a watch that is surprisingly affordable.
Price and availability
The Kudoke 1 is priced at €6303, while the Kudoke 2 with day and night indicator is €7807. Prices exclude taxes. Both are available direct from Stefan Kudoke.
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