KUDOKE 2 “Starry Night” – Limited Edition
words by Wei Koh, Founder of Revolution, The Rake and Grail Watch
It gives us great pleasure to announce our very first collaboration with independent watchmaker Stefan Kudoke. Named Grail Watch 8: Kudoke 2 ‘Starry Night,’ it is a 30-piece limited edition based on the Geneva Grand Prix award-winning Kudoke 2, reimagined with new details and a color palette evocative of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous painting.
Kudoke 2 features a wonderful sense of restrained, German neoclassical watchmaking design, complemented by a touch of poetry — a sky disk at 12 o’clock indicating 24 hours, with a display of day and night. Measuring 39mm by 10.7mm, it features Stefan’s in-house movement, the Kaliber 1-24H.
This movement represents an important act of democratization for stunning handmade finishing. It includes a hand-frosted movement bridge, mirror-polished angles, a hand-engraved balance cock, snail-finished barrels, all in a far more accessibly priced package than these crafts are normally associated with.
Since its launch in 2019, I have been deeply enamored with this timepiece and consider it an enormous honor to be able to collaborate with Kudoke on this watch. Our version, nicknamed “Starry Night,” is inspired by the seminal work of Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, in particular the swirling vortex of luminous stars that he saw above him as a patient at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum.
Smitten by Stefan and Ev’s charming brand of watchmaking, two years ago during the COVID pandemic, I managed to get them on a Zoom call. Considering the massive popularity of their brand, I want to thank them for entertaining me. When asked what we might potentially collaborate on, somehow the topic turned to art, and I professed a love for Vincent van Gogh’s painting, The Starry Night. The artist was severely depressed and suffered psychotic episodes and delusions. The Starry Night painted in June of 1889, when he was a patient at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum, is his masterwork. Stefan and Ev stated that they, too, were huge fans of Van Gogh and of this painting in particular. And with that, we had our source of inspiration.
We decided to create a “Starry Night” version of the Kudoke 2 by first selecting a prevailing blue color theme for the watch. The grade 5 titanium case of the timepiece is first finished to perfection with mirror polishing and a vertical sliff on its flanks and bottom before being sent to Positive Coating on La Chaux-de-Fonds, where it is treated with CVD. This creates a kind of ethereal blue to the titanium that is incredibly reflective of light, yet is translucent enough for you to see all the details of the finish to the case.
Then we decided on a dial which would feature a twisted guilloché pattern reminiscent of that found in the center of the sky portrayed in the painting. This is painted a translucent blue color as well, echoing the chromatic theme of the artwork.
Then we applied three colors of Super-LumiNova to the watch: bright green for the infinity-shaped hour and minute hands and the raised chapter ring with the indexes, laser beam blue for the moon, stars and 24-hour chapter ring of the day/night indicator, and white for the little triangle on the night side to indicate the actual hour of day or night. All three of these luminous colors echo those found in Van Gogh’s painting. The result is a watch that explodes into life when you enter a dark environment.
Grail Watch 8: Kudoke 2 ‘Starry Night’ proudly expresses Grail Watch’s design code of a Luminous Signature, channeling the creative spirit of the great Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. Created with two of the coolest people in the watch industry, this watch will be made in just 30 examples and is priced at EUR 13,300 nett.
Apart from the new blue CVD treated grade 5 titanium case, blue PVD coated guilloché and special luminous indications, it also comes with three straps — a gray Alcantara strap selected by Stefan and Ev, a Delugs for Grail Watch Denim Babele strap and a fantastic Delugs Cut-To-Size navy blue rubber strap. The last allows you to wear the fantastic titanium timepiece in more sporting environments, as I did with the prototype in the waters of the Maldives, thanks to the watch’s 50 meters of water resistance.
I hope you enjoy wearing this watch as much as we have loved creating it for you!
Copyright Photos/ Video by Grail Watch
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