The latest release from independent watchmaker Cyrus, the Klepcys Dice Saffron, represents a fresh iteration of its groundbreaking Double Independent Chronograph Evolution, initially unveiled in 2021. While the Saffron edition primarily distinguishes itself with a new colour scheme, the technical prowess of this innovative watch series compelled us to delve into a hands-on experience to explore the Dice once again. In our review, we had the opportunity to don and assess the variant featuring a Grade 5 titanium bracelet (there is an orange Cordura fabric strap option, too).
At the heart of the Klepcys Dice lies the distinctive CYR718 automatic calibre – an evolution of the traditional chronograph capable of measuring two short intervals independently or synchronously. Unlike a rattrapante chronograph that measures two events starting simultaneously but ending at different times or indicating an intermediate elapsed time, the Klepcys Dice can measure elapsed times even with different start times. The inspiration for this functionality derives from car racing, where using two independent chronographs is a common practice. (I finally got to watch Ford v Ferrari on a long-haul flight, and there’s an episode in the movie to confirm this). Furthermore, this double-chronograph feature proves valuable for timing athletes with varying starting times, as seen in marathons.
Notably, at the time of its introduction, there were no reports of other double-independent chronographs, with the only historical mention dating back to the 19th century when pocket watchmaker Arnold Frankfeld registered the development of “Double-Stop Movements” for a pocket watch. Frankfeld’s “improvement” detailed “a time-keeper of usual character, with second, minute, and hour hands, and also for two independent second and minute hands connected with them, and the parts are constructed and connected in such a manner that one of the second and minute hands can be started by pushing in a pin” – such was the Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 143,619, granted in October of 1873. Since the introduction of the Klepcys Dice, MB&F has also presented its Legacy Sequential EVO, a highly complex chronograph that includes the ability to time two different events separately. But still, Cyrus’ movement remains a rarity that needs to be praised.
To develop this groundbreaking innovation, Cyrus collaborated with Chronode, a renowned manufacturer of high-end mechanical movements led by master watchmaker Jean-François Mojon, also responsible for movements inside the Czapek Quai des Bergues, the MB&F Legacy Machine 1 and the base movement of early HYT watches.
The Cyrus Klepcys Dice Saffron retains the brand’s distinctive cushion-shaped case with symmetrical crowns at 3 and 9 o’clock, crafted from Grade 5 titanium with alternating polished and satin-brushed surfaces. The case has a diameter of 42mm, excluding the crowns, and a total height of 16.5mm, featuring an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, maintaining consistent proportions with earlier models. The watch is lightweight and fits comfortably with short, slightly curved lugs and a well-designed Grade 5 titanium bracelet featuring polished central hexagonal links. The openworked, three-dimensional dial enhances the bold, sporty, and technical aesthetic, showcasing crucial elements of the mechanics, including two sets of wheels, springs, levers, and two column wheels in bright orange and green lacquer, positioned at 12 and 6 o’clock.
The buttons of the twin monopusher crowns feature the brand’s helix logo and control the three chronograph functions: start, stop and reset. The crown at 3 o’clock also winds the watch and sets the time. Distinguished by an orange or green anodized aluminium ring, these crowns allow instant recognition of the activated chronograph mechanism. Watching the two chronographs doing their work is quite a spectacle.
The chronograph indications follow an orange and green colour scheme, creating an intuitive and visually striking display and facilitating the reading of the two elapsed times. The two central seconds hands, differing very slightly in length, track the seconds on a convex flange with parallel scales graduated every 5 seconds in orange and green. The longer orange hand measures the time on the outer scale and returns to zero at 12 o’clock, while the shorter green hand tracks the innermost green scale and resets at 6 o’clock. The 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock, equipped with two vertically aligned orange and green hands, completes the double chronograph reading.
The small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock, made of smoked sapphire crystal, visually balances the counter at 3 o’clock. A rhodium-plated microbeaded helix with a luminescent line on one of the arms indicates the running seconds. The sapphire crystal hour chapter ring features Arabic numerals in relief, filled with white Super-LumiNova, emitting a blue glow in the dark. With its bevelled and polished profile, this meticulously crafted sapphire plate is cut to accommodate the chronograph counter, small seconds, and two column wheels.
The sapphire crystal caseback, secured with custom screws featuring the brand’s distinctive three-armed helix symbol, unveils additional facets of the in-house self-winding CYR718 calibre. This 443-component movement (218 for the double-chrono module only) operates at 28,800vph and boasts a commendable power reserve of 60 hours, driven by a single barrel. The openworked monobloc rotor bears the inscription “The Conquest of Innovation” and is embellished with a gold helix logo. The NAC anthracite bridges showcase an embossed sunray pattern with a combination of satin and microbeaded finishing.
The new Cyrus Klepsys Dice Saffron stands out as a technically impressive timepiece with a bold and assertive design. It is a watch that many will find appealing. While the chosen colour palette for this Saffron edition may occasionally appear less sporty than the original issue or the Dice Racing red and blue, this observation is subjective and quickly addressed by opting for the vibrant orange Cordura strap option – both the bracelet and strap references will be produced in limited series of 50 each. The caseback bears the appropriate reminder, a “Limited Edition ONE of 50” engraving. The price is EUR 42,500 for the bracelet option and EUR 40,850 when supplied with the Cordura strap.
For more information, please visit cyrus-watches.ch.