At the Baselworld 2011 show, the young master-watchmaker Stefan Kudoke has presented his extensively skeletonized Kudoke KudOktopus model. Featuring a vintage movement that was elaborately cut to resemble a giant octopus, the timepiece would probably easily compete even with made-to-order timepieces from Grieb & Benzinger… if only it was equipped with a higher-grade caliber.
Stefan Kudoke can be described as a rising rock star in the watchmaking world.
Still in his 30s, the young watchmaker studied the art with skilled professionals and then worked for the biggest names in the industry’s “who is who” list. By now, his CV includes a job at Glashütte Original’s complications and prototypes department, as well as some time spent at service departments of such behemoths as Breguet, Blancpain, and Omega in New York.
By the age of 22, he even created his own brand -aptly named Kudoke- that specializes in making skeletonized timepieces, while also experimenting with other techniques like bas relief, too, executed by hand. Predictably, this approach makes his watches not only unique, but also expensive, even when offered in plain steel, so there are not so many of them in the circulation.
As you can see in the pictures, his new KudOktopus features a giant cephalopod, which is expertly cut on the main plate of the historic Unitas 6498 hand-wound movement.
With parts depicting the sea creature’s skin plated in rose gold and those disgusting suckers on his hands rhodium-plated for an even more “three-dimensional” effect, the Kraken looks frighteningly alive. The extra depth is achieved thanks for some parts of the chassis finished as foaming sea waves and blacked-out for an even more contrasting look. Even the visible gear wheels, too, were circular-grained and treated with a dark gray finish.
The pair of heat-blued Breguet-type steel hands finish the picture providing the dial with a classic, even antique appearance. The blue finish on the hands doesn’t increase the timekeeper’s legibility (a problem that is often suffered by skeletonized dials,) yet, with this gadget being primarily a work of art rather than a tool, I would say that legibility is not particularly important here.
The whole setup is encased in a standard body 42 mm in diameter that will be available in stainless steel, yellow gold, and white gold and is clearly seen through the pair of sapphire crystals on the front and back.
Price has not been disclosed so far, but you’d better prepare yourself to be impressed.
Kudoke KudOktopus specification
Movement: Hand-wound, caliber Unitas 6498, 17 jewels, 36.60 mm in diameter, 4.50 mm in height, 18,000 vph, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Extensively skeletonized, rhodium-plated
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Stainless steel / Yellow gold / White gold
Size: 42.00 mm
Dial: Skeletonized in the shape of an Octopus
Hands: Heat-blued steel, Breguet-type
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Louisiana crocodile or genuine leather strap, hand-sewn, stainless steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective