The reason monochrome watches are there in the first place is a deep love of independent watchmaking and some of the most amazing things from the world’s best watchmakers. For us, it is our existence and we strive to provide a platform for the true masters of this craft. Even if you think it’s all over by now, something new keeps coming when you least expect it. Over the past few years, we have seen many young and highly talented watchmakers try to make their own with the help of social media. While success is not guaranteed, nor is it immediate, we can’t help but marvel at some of the things happening around the world. So when we learned that two former A. Lange & Söhne watchmakers were working on something very special, we jumped at the chance to learn more. And while the duo of Johannes Kallinich and Thibaut Claes are still working on their first prototype, here’s an early look at the Kallinich Claes Einser Gentralsekunde.
Both Johannes Kallinich and Thibalt Claes have impressive resumes despite their young ages. While still in their twenties, both worked for A. Lange & Söhne for several years, before starting their own. Thibault Claes, of Belgian origin, studied watchmaking in Antwerp and primarily worked for Lange in 1815, doing finishing, construction, assembly, etc. Johannes Kallinich, a certified master watchmaker, studied watchmaking in Dresden and started working for AL&S straight out of school. Among other things, he worked on chronograph watches, which A. Lange & Söhne considered the most complex watches. At the age of 24 he was promoted to head of the Lange 1 department and later had the opportunity to create his masterpiece, the Meisterwerk.
The feedback Johannes received on his Meisterwerk watch served as the impetus to begin a completely new design that now culminates in the Kallinich Klays Einser Gentralsekunde. It was really a matter of perfect timing as Johannes and Thibault found common ground, one designing a complete watch and movement and the other having a fully equipped workshop at home. So, the two men left their jobs working at A. Lange & Söhne and now struggled to create the first prototype of the Einser Gentralsekunde. From what we’ve learned, it’s shaping up to be a true masterpiece of a watch, handcrafted using traditional tools and techniques. And even though we only have 3D renderings, for now, after speaking to the two youngsters we have no doubts about their skill!
In terms of design, the Kallinich Kleiss Einser Zentralsekunde is best described as typical German, with impressive contemporary touches that we’ll get to a bit later. The Einser Zentralsekunde comes in a stainless steel case that measures 41mm in diameter, 11mm in height and 45.2mm lug to lug. Case construction is outsourced, but as the story progresses, you’ll see that it’s one of the few things that Johannes and Thibault didn’t do in-house. The case design features details such as stepped lugs, alternating finishes and a contemporary style crown. A sapphire crystal covers both the dial and movement, with a third surprise sapphire crystal on the caseband. It also reveals a power reserve indication, giving you information on the go about the amount of power left in the mainspring, but more on that later.
If we go to the dial, there are many more details to be found. Looking at the pictures you will see two different dial options. On the one hand we have the regular Einser Zentralsekunde and on the other hand the Founders Edition. Both have the same overall dial design, the difference being the center section. The Founders Edition features a hand-engraved abstract pattern, while the regular features a guilloché decorated dial center made by guilloché master Jochen Benzinger.
Both dials are covered in transparent grand feu enamel, which is made in-house by Johannes and Thibault. It is surrounded by a deep blue chapter ring, combined with Roman numerals and straight markers for the hours, and has a sleek and modern minute and seconds track on the outside. It can be finished with a texture comparable to sandblasting, although much coarser. The plaque at the top of the dial is finished with a movement, originally by hand, and features an applique with the brand name. The arms are made and finished in-house with two types of graining at the top and chamfered recessed sections in the middle. To me, this shows exactly what Einser Zentralsekunde is all about. Traditional watchmaking with modern elements.
It is important to emphasize the amount of work done at home. The entire movement was designed from the ground up, with all calculations by Johannes Kallinich. And while some parts like the mainspring, escapement and jewels are outsourced, everything else is hand-built and finished by two people. This means German silver plates and bridges, screws, wheels and gold chatons. The manually wound KC001.1 movement uses 33 clear sapphire jewels to give it a more modern look and runs at 18,000vph (a deliberate choice thought to be more in line with traditional watchmaking). Finishing is all done in house with black polishing, anglaze, frosting, carving, various types of grinding etc. We’re talking proper hot halogen levels here! Running on a single barrel, the movement gives you a power reserve of 45 hours, which is indicated by a blue “finger” running along a scale visible on the case side.
The Kallinich Clays Einser Gentralsekunde is presented on a dark brown alligator leather strap and has a final price of approx. EUR 24,950. Johannes Kallinich and Thibault Clay label the first 8 pieces ever made as Founders Edition pieces, which come with a unique abstract engraved dial and are labeled as one of eight. These require a 100% deposit, which sounds daunting, but it buys you a unique opportunity to start a very promising watchmaking atelier that will hopefully thrive for years to come. The regular Einser Zentralsekunde, if you can call it regular, will be produced in 22 pieces after the Founders Edition pieces are finished. Deliveries are expected to be a year from now.
For more information, please visit Kallinich-Claeys.comKallinichClaeys.com