Since establishing my own watch review web site I have been overwhelmed at the vast array of outstanding watchmakers worldwide.
When I speak to friends they normally associate the world of horology with just a few high profile brands like Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Tag Heuer etc. It was very much my objective on my website to change peoples perceptions of the humble wristwatch. German craftsman Stefan Kudoke perfectly illustrates this point.
Based in Frankfurt, Stefan Kudoke began his career working for Glashütte Original. This involved developing prototypes and working on mechanical complications. Subsequently Brequet, Blancpain and Omega have employed Stefan for his exceptional craftsmanship. Ultimately this led to the foundation of his own luxury brand called Kudoke. Under this label he has created some unbelievably beautiful watches including the Real Skeleton.
Within the last few months I have written articles featuring Torsten Nagengast, Vintage VDM and Archimedes. It is always a pleasure to showcase the talents of German watchmakers as their attention to detail is first rate. On that basis I was delighted when I received the press release from Stefan Kudoke unveiling his latest creation, the fantastic Real Skeleton. The watchs’ case diameter measures a modest 42mm, which should appeal to the more classical tastes. As the dimensions are similar to the Frank Heydrich Mini Meteor watch (reviewed on my own website -December 9th 2013) I should imagine it would sit fairly comfortably on the wrist.
Aesthetically all of Stefan Kudoke’s timepieces are completely unique and highly stimulating. I am glad to say that the Real Skeleton is no exception. Visually the watchs’ façade is magnificent and is a testament to the enormous skills of the artisan involved. The dial has a real gothic appearance and is composed of various skeletal parts. Original features include a gold skull with diamond eyes and the bone shaped hour/minutes hands. I love the exposed hand engraved mechanical parts, which give the timepiece a three dimensional quality.
To power the watch Stefan has equipped it with a Swiss hand wound movement based on the reliable Unitas ETA 6498. This caliber comprises 17-Jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. Every element of this mechanism has been hand finished and decorated to the highest level. It can be viewed in its entire splendor through the watches sapphire crystal case back. Functionally the Real Skeleton features hours, minutes and a power reserve of 46-hours.
Currently the Real Skeleton is available in stainless steel with a hand sewn Louisiana alligator strap. The price for this exclusive watch is: €8,990 (approximately $12,143).
By Steve Huyton
You can read more reviews by Steve Huyton on his own web site www.totalwatchreviews.com