Stefan Kudoke's signature technique requires painstaking drilling and sawing with implements less than one millimetre thick. Bit by bit, he slowly reveals the inner workings of the watch.
“My watches show people what makes them tick,” the Frankfurt an der Oder-based Kudoke told news agency DDP.
Kudoke's watches display exquisite artistry, engraved and encrusted with jewels, and usually cost more than €3,500.
Customers from around the world have begun to visit the 30-year-old's workshop at his parent's home in the eastern Brandenburg town. Almost 80 of his one-of-a-kind pieces have been sold abroad.
“The internet helps with that,” he said. “American and Japanese people make up most of my customers.”
Kudoke began his first experience with watchmaking as an apprentice in his hometown in just 10th grade. At 21 he worked as a custom watchmaker for renowned manufacturer Glashütte Original, before moving to the Swiss Swatch Group to work in customer services for the luxury market. Seven years ago, Kudoke left a secure and well-paid job for a place at the Lusatia craft school in Senftenberg.
“I had a vision – I wanted to stand on my own two feet in the luxury watch market,” said the 30-year old.
In his home town, Kudoke's work is still largely unknown – but that is soon to change. On November 2 he is to receive the Brandenburg “Future Prize” in honour of his achievements.
As soon as the economic crisis passes, Kudoke intends to use the new recognition to expand his one-man business. Until then, customers will still have to put their names on the waiting list.