A truly superb piece from German independent master watchmaker Stefan Kudoke, the eponymous Kudoke Handwerk 2 is a watch which has triumphed over almost insurmountable competition to win one of the watch industry’s most coveted awards, the Petit Aiguille prize at the 2019 GPHG ceremony.
A watch which is classical yet contemporary, its understated Germanic styling belies the exquisite detail and technical sophistication which become apparent on anything other than a cursory glance. Featuring a beautifully executed and charming horological novelty, which dominates an almost spartan display it is also equipped with a fully in-house movement, and it is not difficult to appreciate why this stole the hearts of a hard to impress GPHG jury panel in this hotly contested category for sub €10,000 watches.
Over the past decade, this young watchmaker has gained his reputation for his extraordinary Kunstwerk watches which exemplified his profound talents in skeletonization and elaborate hand engraving, which he has brought to life his three dimensional themes, with astonishingly intricate motifs featuring the octopus with its sprawling tentacles, the panda in a bamboo copse, or the skull, surrounded by bones. Thanks to the individuality of the practice of hand crafted metal working, each piece by its very nature is unique.
Launched in 2019, the Kudoke Handwerk masterpieces represented a significant development, and a milestone in the watchmaker’s career, as powering this all new collection for the first time was his own fully in-house manufactured movement.
Equipped with this manual winding mechanical masterpiece, the Kudoke 2 Nocturne is a piece of refined technical sophistication, yet on the eye, one of simple and elegant beauty. Encased in a rounded polished stainless steel case, which measures 39mm across and 10.7mm tall, it is an unimposing watch on the wrist, but a closer examination reveals meticulous hand finished detailing throughout.
Beneath the gentle convex dome of sapphire glass the light silvery grey colour of dial shimmers as the novel matte surface plays with the light, as the watch moves around on the wrist. The focal point of the dial is the beautiful domed disc just beneath the twelve o’clock position. Hand engraved, and galvanised in gold and black and white rhodium, it rotates in a twenty four hour cycle, depicting the sun, the moon and the stars as they pass above in a wonderful day and night display, with a discrete golden arrow indicating the time of day.
The chapter ring around the day/night disc, as well as the primary chapter ring are rhodiumised too, providing a perfect contrast. The hour and minute hands are heat bluedo stainless steel, and the hour hand features a Kudoke Handwerk signature ‘infinity’ symbol.
The Kudoke Handwerk 2 is powered by the magnificent hand finished in-house movement. The Kaliber 1-24H is hand wound and boasts a 46 hour power reserve with an oscillation of 28’800 vib/h, and through the sapphire glass caseback its detail can be fully appreciated. The movement is inspired by the English pocket watch movements of the seventeenth century, with the flat surfaces of its rhodiumised plates given a finely grained frosted finish, while around their edges highly polished anglage, and the unique engraved bridge which tapers to become the balance cock, holding the balance wheel in place, all accentuate the mark of the meticulous artisan watchmaker.
A piece of exceptional beauty and immaculate finishing throughout, the 2019 GPHG award-winning Kudoke Handwerk 2 is a highly exclusive hand manufactured wristwatch from a young watchmaker who is one of a small but growing number of modern day artisans perpetuating the skills and techniques of the past.