In the fray of flourishing modern independents, one could be forgiven for getting a bit lost. There’s Asaoka, Naoya Hida, Kurono (wait isn’t that Asaoka), Sarpaneva (okay maybe he’s a little more old-guard, but then SUF), Laine, Werdelin, Akrivia, Candoux, I could go on. The point is this; as watchmaking grows more akin to art, one must be quite the dedicated enthusiast to keep up with each individual artist’s philosophy and designs. Today, I’m picking up that flag in an effort to either introduce or further enamor you to Stefan Kudoke, an independent watchmaker who flies a bit under the radar. And there could be no better first impression than this new-to-market, handwerk-collection Kudoke 2 in salmon. In short, it’s a little bit like D. Dornblüth on acid.
Stefan Kudoke built his marque on minimalist designs, fully manufacture calibres, and intricate detail. Mr. Kudoke endeavored to preserve traditional Germanic watchmaking methods, a laudable aim. He structured his manufacture in three strata. The first, Handwerk Collection, presents traditional handmade watches. The second, Kunstwerk, is about limited skeletonised variants. The final Kunstwerk collection is about fully bespoke watchmaking for well-heeled clientele.
This Handwerk Kudoke 2 is a vertically-symmetric oddity. In place of a time and petite seconds, Kudoke inverted expectations with a nameplate at 6, central time display, and day/night indicator realized as a 24-hour display at 12. It’s all a bit of haberdashery mishmash, but a very charming one. Details on the day/night disc are engraved by hand in Kudoke’s own artistic style.
There is fine attention to detail in all the hand-finished dial’s components. This is particularly clear in the handset, a beautiful design of his own. The same fastidious detail is echoed in the movement. Kudoke was inspired by an old English pocket watch, one which is all about architecture and finish. The engraving and anglage work are really quite well-executed, particularly around the wheel bridge edges. And let’s just say if any watch could be said to have a, uhm, balancecock . . .it would be this.
This example is part of a limited, but not numbered, salmon dial release. Its case is sharp and has seen very little wear. In essence, the condition is grey-market new even if that doesn’t describe the watch. It comes with a full set from a retailer out of CA.
Find this Salmon Kudoke 2 here from Ticking Way of Irvine, CA for 16000 USD.