Kudoke goes Hollywood


[Real Skeleton starring in Last Looks]

KUDOKE goes Hollywood

Good things happen when you least expect them, or expect them at all.

For example, when a watch from an independent watchmaker brand that is usually only known among connoisseurs and die-hard watch collectors is allowed to play an important “role” in a Hollywood movie with a star-studded cast. 

Let’s rewind to the very beginning:

In early summer 2019, we received an email asking if we could provide a watch for a movie. What do you reply to such a request? Nothing. Assuming it was one of those annoying SPAM emails it was studiously ignored. But then we received another request with similar content from a different sender and got suspicious. Should there really be something to it and if so, why one of our watches?! After all, our doorbell doesn’t say a big brands name, whose watches you regularly see in movies as product placement, with the correspondingly high advertising budgets.

Our interest was piqued and we wanted to learn more details. Shortly thereafter, we received excerpts of the script in which the watch was supposed to appear … and almost fell off our chairs, since it was not supposed to be just a nice accessory adorning the wrist of one of the actors. No, the watch is part of the plot of the mystery thriller and an important clue to convict the murderer. 

But why KUDOKE? 

When we inquired, we were told that already in the book on which the film is based, KUDOKE was explicitly mentioned. The plot thickened as they say. Up to that point, we knew of no book in which one of our watches appeared. Without further ado, we ordered the book “LAST LOOKS” by Howard Michael Gould, which was published in 2018. Sure enough, on page 50 we read, ” …his steampunkish Kudoke Skeleton….”. We were dumbfounded and wrote directly to the author to ask how he, of all people, came upon us. 

Real Skeleton and the book Last Looks

His answer was simple yet flattering: “When I was researching the story, I knew that I wanted a unique and specific watch, to use as an important clue.  I searched on the internet, and was struck by the incredible beauty of your watches.“ So it had to be a watch that was exceptional and rare enough to serve as a crucial clue. 

So that’s how our KUDOKE “Real Skeleton” ended up making its way to Atlanta USA in the summer of 2019, where the film was shot against a Hollywood backdrop. Of course, in advance we had to sign documents that agreed strict secrecy of the project. So we had a watch in a film and were not allowed to talk about it. That was tough!

Then there was a twist in our story: the film was supposed to be released in early 2020, actually as part of a film festival. Cannes was in the conversation, Toronto too. 

And then came COVID-19….

… and at first nothing happened.

As with many other film productions, the release date was repeatedly postponed in the hope that normality would return at some point. In early February 2022, the time had come and “Last Looks” was officially released in the USA. 

Official movie visual
copyright by RLJE films, Romulus Entertainment, Tango Pictures

About the film

This crime comedy is about a disgraced former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo (Charlie Hunnam) who is currently living the life of a minimalist in the woods. His quiet life is abruptly interrupted when he returns to work as a private detective to solve the murder of the wife of an eccentric television star Alastair Pinch (Mel Gibson).

Alastair is a former actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company who now wreaks havoc as a “wise” judge on a seedy television show. He’s absurdly rich, often argumentative and typically drunk – a disastrous combination when Alastair’s wife is found dead on the living room floor and he can’t remember what happened.

When Waldo is introduced by Wilson Sikorsky, the president of the television network and his client, this same actor and husband suspected of murder asks him, “Have you seen what [watch] this man wears? It costs more than the house I grew up in.” And the answer is, “It’s a Kudoke Skeleton; they only make 35 a year.”

But KUDOKE Real Skeleton is not “only” shown and explicitly mentioned in the movie one time, but in total three times!


After the watch returned from the film shoot, the question arose for us: what do we do with it? Of course, we could put it in our sample collection, where it would remain in the manufactory as a “museum piece”, so to speak. But we had another idea:

We wrote to Howard Michael Gould again. The idea was to have the original film watch auctioned off and to donate the proceeds to environmental organizations in the spirit of the film hero. The German word for forest is „Wald“ – the hero’s name „Waldo“ does not contain it for nothing – so we decided to support reforestation projects, not least because we have lost many forest stands in our region in recent years due to the increasingly prolonged drought and the associated pest infestation. Thus, the watch has a greater benefit than lying in our “manufactory museum”. Howard Michael Gould and Charlie Hunnam also saw it that way and  contributed by signing a script as well as the book, which will be auctioned together with the watch.

Bundle for auction: original movie watch, signed script & book

With Phillips Auction House, we have found an experienced partner who has already auctioned off several watches used on movie sets. On 10th of December 2022 Phillips plans to auction the bundle in New York. The watch – Real Skeleton #0216 – is in the original condition, as we received it back after the film shooting and thus tells an exciting story: “how a watch from a small independent watchmaker brand from Germany made it to Hollywood… “.

Now we hope for a happy ending!

For press release and download of high res pictures please visit our press area.

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