Cyrus Klepcys Alarm
As its name implies, the Cyrus Klepcys Alarm is equipped with a mechanical alarm. However, unusually, this watch employs a gong and hammer system, typically seen on costlier minute repeaters. With its bold, neoteric styling and high-end finishing, there is much to attract prospective purchasers.
This detailed review of the Cyrus Klepcys Alarm includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Fine watches are brought to life within the hushed surroundings of an aseptic workshop. Nothing is done in haste and everything is calm. The only sound to be heard is the faint chat of a pallet lever momentarily kissing an escape wheel. An atelier is a refuge from the hubbub of everyday life, where artisans can manipulate tools free of distraction. It is therefore strange that chiming timepieces, such as minute repeaters and grand sonneries, are designed to fanfare a moment in time with efficacious audibility. Indeed, it seems a paradox that discernibly loud watches are made in a noiseless environment, remote from the rest of the world.
Chiming watches necessitate great skill to make. Each gong is filed to perfection in order to produce the desired sound. One wayward slip of a file can result in too much material being removed, rendering the gong worthless and resigned to a life on the scrapheap.
Minute repeaters, grand sonneries and petite sonneries employ hammers and gongs. They are brought to life with time-served, dextrous hands and represent the pinnacle of watchmaking. The mellifluous sound these watches make is pure and tuneful. In contrast, alarm watches can often sound shrill. The accessible pricing of most alarm watches precludes the time-consuming fettling synonymous with making a minute repeater.
However, Cyrus has produced an alarm watch, the Klepcys Alarm, which ‘incorporates the typical chime of the minute repeater’. The hammer is revealed via a dial side aperture and the chosen alarm time is proclaimed with a sweet-sounding chime. While the Cyrus Klepcys Alarm is costlier than some alarm watches, the sound it generates is much superior.
The Cyrus Klepcys Alarm brims with modernity and features an off-centre dial. The hour and minute hands are openworked near the fulcrum of the dial and partly lined with white luminescent fill.
A snailed hour track arcs around the upper region of the dial, from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock. Each numeral is presented in a neoteric font. Both the hour track and minute track are incomplete, supplanted by the 24-hour alarm indication and the hammer at 7 o’clock. Cyrus has also fitted indexes between 2 and 6 o’clock.
The aforementioned 24-hour alarm indication allows the wearer to precisely set the wake time using both hour and minute hands. Day and night are depicted on the display with blue and black shaded areas. The alarm time is adjusted with the right hand crown (position 1) and activated / deactivated by pressing the same crown. An indicator at 7 o’clock, marked in blue and red, informs the wearer if the alarm is armed.
Through the aperture at 7 o’clock, the wearer can see a bell-shaped hammer. The surface of the hammer is brushed, adorned with the watch company’s nomenclature and embellished with gleaming bevelled edges. The gong, positioned adjacent the hammer, is freely disclosed. Moreover, a large section of gong is visible between 2 and 6 o’clock.
A day/night indicator is positioned at 11 o’clock. Similar to the 24-hour alarm indication, the day/night indicator employs blue and black tones to denote the day and night respectively.
The Cyrus Klepcys Alarm is offered in two variants; steel with a blue dial decoration and steel / titanium DLC with a black dial. Both dials feature a lattice motif formed of numerous interlocking triangles. This dial pattern enriches the dial vista and grants an abundance of eye-appeal.
I have worn the steel / titanium DLC version of the Cyrus Klepcys Alarm and although I found it attractive, I have subsequently seen images of the steel version, with its becoming blue dial, and, on balance, I prefer this latter option.
The case is unashamedly large, measuring 46mm in diameter. However, the watch nuzzles the wrist, courtesy of its curved caseback, and proves incredibly comfortable to wear.
As stated earlier, the case is offered in two versions. The chosen case material is employed on the bezel, a raised section gracing the caseback and the two crowns. The Cyrus Klepcys Alarm is equipped with two crowns. Although this detail is common to many Cyrus watches, on this model the crown at 9 o’clock is ‘purely aesthetic’. The crown at 3 o’clock is used for setting the alarm time (position 1) and setting the main hour and minutes display (position 2). By featuring two crowns, the profile of the case is symmetrical. Both crowns nestle within recessed areas of the caseband, bestowing a sense of neatness.
The caseback is fitted with a large pane of sapphire crystal, affording spectacular views of the hand-wound movement.
The calibre CYR1280 has been masterminded by watchmaking genius Jean-François Mojon of Chronode. The company’s clients have included Breva, Czapek & Cie, HYT and MB&F. Monsieur Mojon is held in the highest esteem. Interestingly, Chronode is part of the Cyrus Watches Group.
While the Cyrus Klepcys Alarm is a contemporary timepiece, it upholds Swiss watchmaking tradition. The bridges blend alternating brushed and polished surfaces. They consist of flat and recessed sections arranged in a gently curving sunray pattern. Mirror-polished screws abound and perfectly demonstrate the no-compromise execution of this hand-wound movement.
Two black lacquered ratchet wheels, each featuring the company’s logo, dominate the dorsal view of the watch. One spring barrel harnesses the energy to serve the escapement, while the second provides the energy for the alarm function. By designating the second barrel for the alarm, the chiming of the alarm has no influence on the precision of the watch. Ingeniously, the alarm only chimes for a maximum of 16 seconds, conserving energy in the process.
The generous spacing between the bridges provides a delightful view of the third wheel, fourth wheel, escape wheel, pallet lever and balance. This is a movement which will appeal to mechanically inquisitive onlookers.
The annular balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 50 jewels. The power reserve is sufficient to deliver 72 hours of autonomy.
The dial of the Cyrus Klepcys Alarm wonderfully blends colour and textures. The indications prove intuitive to use and the asymmetric dial layout proffers much eye-appeal. The bold hour and minute hands are simple to read. Where the minute hand spans the aperture between 7 and 8 o’clock, the wearer has to settle for an approximation of the prevailing minutes. However, this is a small price to pay to see the hammer in flight, striking the gong.
The 24-hour alarm indication allows the wearer to set the wake up time very precisely. The indication includes a minute scale, marked with 5-minute integers. I cannot think of any other alarm watch that allows the wearer to pinpoint a future period with such precision.
Measuring 46mm in diameter, the Cyrus Klepcys Alarm is a horological leviathan. However, the arcing profile of the caseback provides an ergonomic union with the wearer’s wrist. Furthermore, the lug design entices the black rubber strap to encircle the arm. Each crown sits within a recessed section of the caseband, mitigating the risk of any impingement of the wrist.
When it comes to making movements, Chronode is renowned for its prowess. The calibre CYR1280 upholds this reputation. It is exquisitely finished and thoughtfully conceived. By equipping the movement with twin barrels, the depletion of the barrel serving the alarm will have no influence on the timekeeping of the watch.
Ultimately, where the Cyrus Klepcys Alarm stands out from the crowd is with the sound that emanates from its case. This timepiece should not be compared with a ‘regular’ alarm watch, the Cyrus is far superior, a fact reflected in its price. Likewise, it is not as complex as a minute repeater as it has only one hammer and one gong, allowing Cyrus to deliver horological excellence for a comparatively modest sum.
The Cyrus Klepcys Alarm sings the sweetly, however, I suggest you stifle its chimes when frequenting the hushed atmosphere of a revered atelier.
- Model: Cyrus Klepcys Alarm
- Reference: 539.502 SD.B (steel version); 539.502 SD.B (steel / titanium DLC)
- Case: Stainless steel (two-tone version is steel and grade 5 titanium with black DLC – bezel, caseback and crown); diameter 46mm; height 17.15mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback; water resistant to 3ATM (30 metres).
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds; day/night indicator; 24-hour alarm indication.
- Movement: Calibre CYR1280; hand-wound movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 50 jewels; power reserve = 72 hours
- Strap: Black caoutchouc rubber with folding clasp
- Price: £30,900 (steel); £31,500 (two-tone). Note prices as at 13.12.2018