Relatively new independent watchmaker Kross Studio releases their latest creation – theKross Studio KS 05 Central Floating Tourbillon.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Kross Studio KS 05 Central Floating Tourbillon
The new Kross Studio KS 05 Central Floating Tourbillon is available in three flavours, each with or without gem-setting. Prices range from CHF 88,000 for the Blue Aventurine Titanium model and up before taxes.
Currently a total of 6 variants of the KS 05 is in the catalog, each limited to 10 pieces.
The brand Kross Studio is a relatively new independent watahmaker and Swiss design studio founded in 2020 by Marco Tadeschi. They began their introduction with a significant milestone by becoming the first watch brand to partner with the Star Wars franchise. This collaboration resulted in several collector sets. The basic design of the watches have remained similar to the first watches they released.
The movement has also remained largely the same, based on the KS 7’000 caliber. Kross claims that the design of both the watch and the movement is by their founder Marco Tedeschi. The KS 7’000 was first created in 2007 for his diploma thesis at the Geneva engineering school, and appeared in the first Kross watches from 2021. Then he created the central floating tourbillon and patented it, and this base movement was used in the KS 05 watches. Marco designs all Kross Studio watches but also the functional sculptures that come in their Collector Sets, made in collaboration with WB, Lucasfilm, HBO and Hasbro. It is indeed an impressive movement, comprising some 220 components and boasts a power reserve of 120 hours. But the design of the centrally mounted tourbillon and the system which drives the hands is of considerable interest as well. No doubt, the floating tourbillon is certainly the most eye catching element. The tourbillon is raised, “mysterieus” style and looks like it floating above the dial, though the support column system is clearly visible. The entire tourbillon rises above the dial which is opened to show some of the movement wheel train below.
The design of the time indicating system is also rather unusual. With the mainspring centrally mounted and driving the wheel train such that the canon pinion drives the two rings which hold the hands in the periphery. In a regular watch, the wheel train drives the hour hand which is mounted centrally on a pivot.
In addition, the time setting system and winding sytem is also unique. A D ring is mounted on the case back. This ring can be swung out to be perpendicular to the case back, and can be turned to wind the spring, or when the “TIME SET” button on the case side is pressed will manipulate the hands to set the time. The concept is a bit like the one used by Ulysse Nardin in The Freak, though the hand setting there is done by just grabbing the scalloped front bezel, and the winding is done by turning the rear bezel. The time setting bezel on The Freak features a lock button to prevent accidental movement of the hands. Click here for a YouTube video to show this.
The overall visual aesthetic is similar, but yet not the same as that used by Max Büsser in his Legacy Machine series. Both feature large domed crystals over movement elements which rise above the dial. But there is where the similarity ends. The LM escapements are suspended from a bridge, while the Kross rises from a central pivot.
We have reached out to Kross to understand where this impressive level of watchmaking knowhow comes from. Kross say that the movements are manufactured in-house and most of the components are made in their own workshop in Gland. The manufacture is equipped with 3 CNC machines and they recently established their own internal decoration department. All their watches are assembled in-house by Manufacture Director, Sergio Silva, who is known in the industry for having created numerous horological complications at Vacheron Constantin or Roger Dubuis.
In this current novelty, the caliber is designated KS 7’005, and uses a more traditional looking tourbillon escapement aesthetic than those in the earlier models, which have been stylised to accommodate the elements of the relevant collaboration. For e.g. the tourbillon looks like the Death Star in their Star Wars Death Star Collection, and like a lotus in the Alain Silberstein Lotus Tourbillon collaboration. In each case, as is in this latest novelty, the case design remains the same, but decorated according the theme of the collection.
The case has retained the same rounded shape, sans lugs or crown and looks like a pebble. Very sleek looking case, which reminds us of the cases designed for Ikepod. The strap is removable using a very simple push to release system.
The current novelty is perhaps the most basic, and the first offered by Kross sans any collaboration. And thus is devoid of any indications or symbolisms required for the collaborations. And thus is perhaps the simplest, yet most technical looking and dare we say the ones with the most traditional watchmaking aesthetic.
Kross Studio announces the launch of the groundbreaking new KS 05 Timepiece Collection, marking two significant firsts for the renegade Swiss manufacturer: it is the first collection issued solely by design studio outside of any partnerships or collaborations; and its KS 05’s central floating tourbillon movement heralds a world-first technical advancement, the first of Its kind In the luxury watch industry.
Since the brand’s founding in 2020 by Marco Tedeschi, Kross Studio has made significant strides in the world of luxury timepieces, shaking up traditional notions with the manufacturer’s radical designs and skillful yet wholly unique new applications of Swiss craftsmanship.
In an impressively short span of time, Kross Studio forged a pioneering partnership with Lucasfilm Ltd. and the entertainment giant’s beloved Star Wars franchise, becoming the first luxury watch brand to do so. Kross Studio followed this remarkable debut by launching yet more stunning pop-culture inspired collector sets in collaboration with other global entertainment titans, Including Warner Bros. Discovery, HBO and DC Comics. Over the course of these projects the brand unveiled six distinctive watch movements, each tailored precisely to their intended timepieces.
Now Kross Studio has embarked on a new creative challenge: the first collection of Kross Studio brand timepieces outside of its ongoing entertainment partnerships. The new Kross Studio KS 05 timepieces are stripped down to their essence to fully display the manufacture’s Ingenuity and technical prowess: the only timepieces in the world to feature a central floating tourbillon.
The Movement: Caliber KS 7’005
The KS 05 collection showcases Kross Studio’s passion for exceptional engineering with its striking and uniquely constructed movement. At its heart is the caliber KS 7’005, a manual-winding central floating tourbillon – a world-first achievement in which Kross Studio takes great pride. Comprising 220 components and 27 jewels, this movement operates at a frequency of 21,600 bph (beats per hour), or 3 Hz, and boasts a power reserve of 120 hours or 5 days, ensuring optimal accuracy and longevity.
The diameter of the barrel, wider than the watch’s radius, is placed on the central axis of the movement and the tourbillon sits atop it, offering a sublime view of its intricate mechanics. The barrel, the tourbillon cage, and the balance wheel are all co-axial, ensuring smooth operation.
The floating tourbillon, a feat of horological prowess, showcases a cage crafted from grade 5 titanium, chosen for its high strength and light weight. The result is an ultra-lightweight tourbillon cage that weighs a mere 0.488g.
The time display mechanism operates peripherally, working around the barrel and the tourbillon mechanism. The peripheral display orbits 360 degrees around the tourbillon, and the reduction ratio between the hour and minute is achieved through a planetary system mounted on two ceramic ball bearings.
The KS 05 collection represents a new breed of luxury timepieces distinguished by a meticulously crafted case that equally balances functionality and aesthetic appeal. The case is made from Grade 5 titanium, a bio-compatible material that surpasses stainless steel in terms of strength and durability, underlining Kross Studio’s commitment to using the most advanced materials in the industry.
Devoid of lugs or edges, the KS 05 case exhibits a sleek, seamless, and ergonomically optimized profile. Instead of a visible crown at 3 o’clock, Kross Studio opted for a clever D-ring crown integrated into the case back, which enables winding and time adjustments without disrupting the watch’s clean lines.
Moreover, the case incorporates a one-click interchangeable strap system, hidden on the case back, which allows the wearer to swap and update their watch strap with ease. The minimalist design of the case drives all focus to the watch’s heart – its movement – demonstrating the Kross Studio ethos of placing engineering and craftsmanship at the forefront of its designs.
The domed crystal of the KS 05 provides an unobstructed, panoramic view of the watch’s inner workings. Its oversized diameter allows the viewer to appreciate the full breadth and complexity of the meticulously crafted movement and the dial rehaut from all angles. The crystal also receives Kross Studio’s full technical consideration, with numerous treatments applied to promote crystalline legibility in all conditions while protecting the precious watch movement it encases. The domed crystal receives an anti-reflective coating on both its exterior and interior, and Kross Studio also applied anti-UV and anti-static treatments to the crystal interior.
The KS 05 collection offers a trio of striking and precious dial variations, each unique iteration composed of several elegant and functional outer and inner sub dials. The dials of the KS 05 collection are crafted from black or blue aventurine glass or natural stones including turquoise, jade, and obsidian, among others. This wide array of materials not only enables a high degree of personalization but also ensures that each timepiece can be considered a unique work of art and engineering, embodying the style and spirit of its wearer.
The outer dial, known as the rehaut, is affixed directly onto the case. It carries the time markings and indices, designed here by Kross to promote a highly legible, Instant reading of the time at a glance. Its design and position offer a seamless aesthetic transition from the case to the watch’s interior, drawing the eye towards its groundbreaking central floating tourbillon.
The intermediate dial is mounted on top of the movement, specifically on the fixed hour wheel. It serves as a harmonious bridge between the outer dial and the heart of the watch.
The inner dial, designed with an opening at 9 o’clock, is fixed onto the main plate of the movement. Positioned beneath the floating tourbillon and the time display mechanism, this innovative dial design allows a clear view onto the gear train and sets a captivating backdrop for the tourbillon, adding depth and setting a visual stage to display the watch’s meticulous engineering.
The KS 05 Collection
With its new KS 7’005 caliber, the heart of the new KS 05 timepiece, Kross Studio continues to redefine the luxury timepiece industry. This manual-winding central floating tourbillon, a world-first, combines exceptional engineering and meticulous craftsmanship.
The meticulous attention to detail extends to the case design crafted from Grade 5 titanium or a stunning 18 karat red gold edition, showcasing a seamless blend of aesthetic appeal and functionality. Both titanium and gold iterations can be fully adorned with 281 pavé-set D-F VVS1 diamonds, adding up to approximately 5.09 carats.
The KS 05 Collection encapsulates Kross Studio’s aptitude for revolutionary timekeeping while maintaining the core principles of traditional watchmaking. This collection heralds a transformative era in luxury timepieces, effortlessly merging artistic craftsmanship, pioneering engineering, and distinctive personal expression. Each variant is restricted to 10 numbered pieces, rendering each timepiece a limited-edition masterwork. The KS 05 collection is now available for purchase at kross-studio.com, through official partners, and at select authorized retailers.