A Special Project
Several years ago during a meeting with Master German watchmaker Stefan Kudoke he asked us an interesting question - what should I do next?
A quick review of his collection on our site will show very interesting designs, made almost entirely by hand and many with elaborate skeletonization and decoration.
We challenged Stefan to create a brand new movement calibre, one of his own design and production but to steer clear of what many watch companies have done with their "in-house calibres" by simply starting to make certain parts for an existing movement design.
And the work began.
Introducing the New Manufacture Kaliber 1
Seeing this watch for the first time in person left us speechless.
Not only had Stefan completely ignored the gear train and movement design seen so often in other watches, he created something completely fresh with a throwback to British/German pocket watch designs.
In Stefan's own words:
Ages ago I bought an old English pocket watch movement, that lay unused in a drawer for a long time. One day it fell into my hands again - just as the idea of my own movement began to take shape.
In the past, intensive cooperations between the German and English watchmakers existed - it was the German diplomat and astronomer Hans Moritz von Bruhl who supported English precision watchmaking finally bring it to Saxony and Dresden in Germany.
With my new watch movement I would like to tie in with this tradition and to honor the Old Masters.
Articles About This Watch
You'll want to take a few minutes to read two very interesting articles written by Stefan about this new watch and movement, both in PDF format.
The first article
describes his inspiration for the watch and the technical features of the movement.
The second article
provides a fascinating overview of how Stefan designed the movement, and his process of creating individual movement parts largely by hand along with the final decoration.
We have been fortunate to visit Stefan a number of times to see how he creates his timepieces, but this article revealed watchmaking techniques that even we had not previously seen.
Other Features of the Kudoke Kaliber 1
Since Stefan did such a great job at writing the two articles above, there's not much left for us to describe other than how the finished watch looks in person.
First, we compliment Stefan in choosing to make a watch with a case diameter of 39 mm, an ideal size for almost every wrist and size that is spot on to fit the character of this watch.
On the front, the silver dial features a seconds register at 9, flame blued hands and the Kudoke badge at 3. The look is clean, distinctive and clearly shows what "hand made" means.
Flip it over and you'll spend the next hour reviewing a gear train that looks like no other - the design is vertical, and again the elaborate production techniques that Stefan uses on each movement part are clearly evident.
The manually wound movement supports a power reserve of 46 hours, and the Carl Haas balance spring is of chronometer quality. The movement also features KIF shock protection.
And no Kudoke watch would be complete without a hand engraved balance cock, but what is so interesting in this new movement design is how proportionally large the balance cock is to the movement.
An amazing job on a beautifully made watch - congratulations Mr. Kudoke on your new Kaliber 1.
And we thank you for not taking the easy route of simply making a few parts here and there in a standard movement gear train design just to use the term "in-house".