Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue
The Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue is yet another avant-garde creation by the Swiss independent watch brand. This innovative Maison renounces convention and wholeheartedly embraces creativity. However, beyond its stylish appearance, this model is fitted with an automatic movement, produced by the firm’s ‘internal manufacture’. Angus Davies explores this neoteric creation at close quarters.
Image – Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark ref 539.504.DD.A
Recently, I have started going to bed early, watching YouTube on my iPad, whilst snuggling beneath my duvet. This behaviour is out of character and will prove surprising to most of my friends. Indeed, it has become a guilty pleasure. It may be a symptom of a midlife crisis, but I have become especially obsessed with singers competing in talent shows around the globe.
When listening to aspiring divas and Justin Timberlake wannabes, I am sometimes shocked by deluded contestants, devoid of talent, clearly harbouring dreams of stardom. However, some contestants possess a modicum of ability and can be pleasant to listen to, albeit they often sound the same.
A few weeks ago, I watched America’s Got Talent in a desultory fashion when a young girl, aged 13, stepped onto the stage. Angelina Jordan from Norway began to sing Bohemian Rhapsody and I was mesmerised. Her precocious talent was amazing and I listened in awe as she hit every note with laserlike accuracy. I would be astonished if this young lady doesn’t eventually enjoy the sweet taste of success, especially given Angelina has skilfully honed her own distinctive style.
I was reminded of the young Norwegian singer when I recently cradled the Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton in my inquisitive hands. While I appreciate many watches from mainstream brands, some can appear ‘samey’. However, Cyrus, a Swiss independent watch brand, makes timepieces with their own very distinctive character. Indeed, this brand doesn’t try to imitate others but conceives unique designs, brimming with creativity.
Image – Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Red ref 539.504.DDR.A
The Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton is available in three variants, ‘Dark’ (a brooding shade of black), ‘Dark and Red’ (a blend of black and red hues) and, my personal favourite, ‘Dark & Blue’ (a combination of black and blue tones). It is this latter version that I have chosen to focus upon in this review.
By appraising the sapphire dial of the Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue, one discovers its layout is markedly different from most other chronographs. The hour and minutes are positioned off-centre, adjacent 3 o’clock. Both the hour and minute hands are partially openworked and feature luminescent tips. The hour track is snailed and populated with a combination of Arabic numerals and trapezoidal batons. Interestingly, the two chronograph registers, positioned adjacent the hour and minute display, supplant the indexes between 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock. Thankfully, this detail bestows a welcome dose of visual interest without hindering readability.
Both the 30-minute and the 12-hour chronograph registers are positioned along a north-south axis and framed with blue circlets. Each register’s track is marked with a combination of white and blue strokes. White Arabic numerals, seemingly floating in the central portion of each counter, converse with partially openworked hands, embellished with blue tips. In reality, the aforementioned numerals are applied to the surface of a black sapphire disc, spanning the whole dialscape.
While most brands choose to position date indications at 3 o’clock, 4:30 or 6 o’clock, Cyrus has, once again, chosen to go its own way. The Swiss marque has endowed the Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue with an altimeter-style date display, located at 9 o’clock. A small seconds display sits adjacent the date indication, completing the list of functions.
The flange is marked with a minuterie, proving especially useful when reading off elapsed seconds.
Part of this model’s charm is the disclosure of various movement parts ordinarily hidden from view. Indeed, this dial will certainly arouse the interest of horological voyeurs.
Most watch brands focus on making round watches. The rationale for this product strategy is that round cases are the most popular, comfortably surpassing the sales volumes of square or tonneau-shaped models. It is this commercial pragmatism which explains why brands have a predilection for circular dials.
However, the charm of independent watchmaking is that brands don’t always follow accepted wisdom and dare to break conventions. Over the years, Cyrus has chosen to encompass a number of different forms. In this instance, the dial is slightly elliptical and framed with an unusually shaped bezel, resembling a rectangle with curving sides. Lastly, the case measures 46mm in diameter, excluding the crowns. I cannot think of another watch that resembles the Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton.
Despite its notable scale, the case shrouds the wrist with ergonomic efficiency and feels smaller than the stated dimensions suggest.
Upholding the stealthy nature of the dial, the case of this model is presented in shot-blasted steel DLC with polished bevels.
Unusually, the case features two crowns. The crown at 3 o’clock is used for energising the mainspring and time-setting. In addition, it incorporates a pushpiece for starting/stopping the chronograph. The second crown, located at 9 o’clock, also features a pushpiece, in this instance it is used for resetting the chronograph.
By equipping the Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue with two crowns, the Swiss brand has infused the design of the watch with a becoming dose of symmetry.
The self-winding calibre CYR 1314 is produced in collaboration with the revered master watchmaker, Jean-François Mojon and the movement specialist, Chronode which is part of the Cyrus Watches Group. Monsieur Mojon and Chronode are well known within the watch industry, making movements for an array of firms, including Czapek, Hermès, HYT, Harry Winston, MB&F and Urban Jürgensen, to name but a few.
The Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue is fitted with an exhibition caseback, revealing a partially openworked oscillating mass.
Cyrus has fitted the calibre CYR 1314 with an index adjuster which alters the effective length of the hairspring and, by default, the rate of the balance. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 28 jewels. The power-reserve is sufficient for the watch to run autonomously for 48 hours.
The dial of the Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue is rich with detail. The Swiss watch brand has cleverly played with different depths and colours, imbuing the dial with an abundance of visual intrigue. Indeed, it is difficult not to stare at the dial for prolonged periods without discovering additional, smile-inducing details.
A danger of wholeheartedly embracing style is that it can be at the expense of practicality. Thankfully, the dial of the Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton proves highly legible.
Often brands use third party movements which dictate the dial layout. By employing the talents of its ‘internal manufacture’, Cyrus has enjoyed much freedom, allowing free rein. Indeed, it is the notion of ‘freedom’ which courses through the veins of this Swiss company.
Mainstream brands produce large volumes of watches which, by definition, have to be ‘commercially safe’. Conversely, independent brands only wish to sell limited volumes of watches, targeting those would-be customers who yearn individuality.
By its very nature, the Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue will polarise opinion. Quite simply, you will either love it or hate it. When Angelina Jordan sings, there will be fans of her style as well as detractors. As stated earlier, I appreciate the young singer’s distinctive vocal technique, something which sets her apart from the mainstream. Likewise, I am an unabashed fan of this avant-garde creation from Cyrus as it delivers something refreshingly different, a trait I find most endearing.
- Model: Cyrus Klepcys Chronograph Skeleton Dark & Blue
- Reference: 539.501.DDB.A
- Case: Titanium, steel and DLC; diameter 46mm excluding crowns; sapphire crystals to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph
- Movement: Calibre CYR314; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 28 jewels; power reserve 48 hours
- Strap: Black textured rubber strap with two-blade folding clasp with comfort adjustment and titanium cover
- Price: CHF 15,900 (RRP as at 20.3.2020)
- Limited Edition: 50 pieces