Skeletonized Or Skeleton-Ized: Stefan Kudoke Knows
No bones about it, Stefan Kudoke’s latest timepiece is a real eye-catcher.
Did someone say bones?
Yes, I did.
Because Kudoke’s Real Skeleton displays a uniquely skeletonized movement that is cut and engraved to look like a skull and bones, with diamond-studded eyes and even crossbones.
But almost more interesting than the sheer artistry of the unusual pattern cut into the plates and bridges of the Unitas 6487 movement that Kudoke loves to work with is the statement that the master watchmaker underscores with his Real Skeleton: his aim is to highlight the difference in the art of skeletonization between real handcraft and plates and bridges cut with a CNC machine.
Kudoke had noticed the phenomenon fuelled by big brands such as Roger Dubuis and Cartier: industrially produced “skeleton” watches whose base plates are conceived from the get-go as skeletonized elements. They arrive on the bench pre-cut straight out of the machine.
While these certainly have their own place in the watch industry, they are a far cry from the skeletonized works of art that are traditionally made by independent artisans such as Armin Strom, Kurt Schaffo, Jochen Benzinger and Stefan Kudoke using a tiny coping saw and file and the skill of the artisan’s eyes and hands.
Underscoring his point on the Real Skeleton, Kudoke was inspired by 400-year-old memento mori timepieces, which address the transience of time in a symbolic manner.
Taking the term “skeleton” literally, the master watchmaker used his craft to form skeletal parts such as the skull and bones out of the movement plate and bridges of his beloved hand-wound Unitas 6498 base movement.
Additional coatings of black rhodium and rose gold add an interplay of color, and in combination with Kudoke’s hand engravings, result in realistic, three-dimensional figures. The watch’s hand-cut hands are even shaped like bones.
It’s not often that a small, one-to-two-man company is founded on the strength of how a movement is decorated. German master watchmaker Kudoke has his own ideas of how an artistic watch should look, with the results being distinctive rare treats for connoisseurs.
For more information, please visit www.kudoke.eu/en/about-kudoke.
Case: 42 x 10.5 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound ETA Unitas 6498, modified
Functions: hours, minutes
Remark: completely customizable as Kudoke works according to client wishes