The small independent brand Kudoke is getting some much-deserved traction and attention, especially after winning the Petite Aiguille prize at last year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve. After its classical time-only Kudoke 1, and its prize-winning Kudoke 2 with hand-engraved day/night indicator, Kudoke released the Nocturne version of the latter, with a dark, anthracite-coloured dial. Now the brand is launching a collaboration piece with a splash of colour: the Kudoke 2 Grüner Wald Special Edition.
Kudoke is the eponymous brand founded by Stefan Kudoke, a member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI). The collections can be divided into two categories. The first group of watches offered by Kudoke is produced under the KUNSTwerk label, highly unique, hand-engraved and hand-skeletonised pieces. The KUNSTwerk watches capture the imagination of its owners and the creativity of the maker, such as the KudOktopus and the Free KudOktopus. These two creations feature a richly decorated movement with an octopus theme, which in the Free KudOktopus extends all the way over to the decorated case.
Kudoke also produces more classical watches under the HANDwerk label, including the Kudoke 1 and Kudoke 2. Although the Kudoke 1 and Kudoke 2 are discreet and elegant by design, it doesn’t mean they pack any less punch when compared to the KUNSTwerk collection. Especially the movement, a very nice hand-wound calibre, developed in partnership with Habring². As with the KUNSTwerk watches, bespoke pieces are possible upon request, including decoration for the movement.
Earlier this year Stefan Kudoke brought us the Kudoke 2 Nocturne, which is a more modern interpretation of the original silver dial Kudoke 2, and I have even seen a bespoke salmon dial version floating around on social media.
This next edition of the Kudoke 2 is a collaboration between Stefan and EsperLuxe and adds some lustrous green to the watch. EsperLuxe was founded by Christopher Daaboul, a second-generation businessman who dedicated his life to the world of exclusive, high-end watchmaking. Through EsperLuxe, Christopher offers a unique selection of watches by independent watchmaking brands curated with attention to detail and a focus on what makes certain watches special.
The idea for this special edition sprouted about a year and a half ago after an initial meeting between Stefan Kudoke and Christopher Daaboul. In terms of technical specifications, little has changed from previous versions like the Kudoke 1, which features the same movement. The change in this special version is on the aesthetic side of things. The frosted green dial is a hint of the vast forests in the famous watchmaking region of Saxony, home to Kudoke’s workshop and the reason behind the name Grüner Wald, German for ‘green forest’. The dial is further decorated with a raised chapter ring for the minutes and an appliqué bearing the Kudoke name. On the top of the dial, the handmade and hand-decorated day/night indicator remains unaltered compared to previous renditions and is surrounded by a raised 24-hour scale. The hands are in polished steel, with an infinity logo in the tip of the hour hand.
In a departure with previous Kudoke 2 models, the movement of the Kudoke 2 Grüner Wald Special Edition is entirely engraved by hand by Stefan himself. The in-house developed Kaliber 1, a result of a partnership with Habring², is constructed in the style of old English pocket watches and in this case, decorated with a traditional floral motif. There is a large balance bridge spanning the movement, finely decorated once again with the 8-shaped infinity symbol. EsperLuxe’s stylised EL logo is engraved into the movement too, symbolising the collaboration with Kudoke. A final touch worked into the floral engraving is the “Sonderedition” designation on the opposite side, another hint to Stefan’s German roots, which translates to Special Edition.
All this splendour is housed in the same 39mm wide steel case as the Kudoke 1 and Kudoke 2 we’ve covered before. Of course, the dial and movement are visible through sapphire crystals on the front and back. The watch comes on a stone-coloured suede leather strap with a traditional pin buckle and an additional brown calfskin grained leather strap. It is exclusively available through EsperLuxe from November of this year, at a retail price of USD 12,000.
More information is available on the Kudoke website.