The Cyrus Klepcys DICE Chronograph is a lot to take in at once. A sporty design belies a horologically significant — if not whimsically excessive — movement that is the brainchild of one of the most prolific watch minds out there.
Indies are hotter than ever, and it’s gotten increasingly more competitive for smaller brands to break through and get on the radar of enthusiasts. One very effective way to do this is by having an exalted industry veteran (especially on the movement side) join the team, and this is exactly what Cyrus did by having Jean-Francois Mojon onboarded as its “Master Watchmaker.” Mojon is the mastermind behind movement manufacture Chronode, which is responsible for countless award-winning movements that include the MB&F Legacy Machine No.1, Harry Winston Opus X, Czapek’s SXH1, and the sadly defunct HYT fluid movements. He also won the 2010 GPHG award for “best independent master watchmaker.”
I mention these points before the watch at hand because, frankly, I’m much more familiar with Mojon’s work than I am with Cyrus as a brand. In fact, this is the first Cyrus watch that I’ve handled, and I walked away impressed and curious.
The “DICE” in Cyrus Klepcys DICE stands for Double Independent Chronograph Evolution. Simply put, the DICE system features two separate chronographs that can measure time independently or as synchronized. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is just a rattrapante or split-seconds chronograph, which also has two chronograph hands but just one chronograph mechanism that activates both hands simultaneously. The DICE actually has two independent chronograph mechanisms, which is something I’ve personally never seen before.
Mojon explains the logic behind the need for a dual chronograph mechanism, as such:
“In many sports, it is often important to measure elapsed times with different starting times. This occurs, for example, in races like marathons or biathlons where athletes do not cross the starting line at the same time or even in Formula 1 — a world very close to CYRUS — where two drivers, during the race tests, start at different times. In events like these, where the starting time is different for every player, the KLEPCYS DICE chronograph can measure the times between two consecutive runners or racing drivers. A similar situation arises in car rallies, where it is common to use two independent chronographs. Our latest timepiece facilitates this operation thanks to the two monopusher crowns, which are essential to avoid any unwanted manipulation.”
The CYR718 movement is made of 443 components, including 51 jewels, and operates at 28,800 vph with a 60-hour power reserve. While the movement is a technical marvel and best appreciated from the dial-side, I do wish a bit more attention had been paid to the rear. That said, I do like the gold Cyrus logo embedded into the rotor. Overall, just a little bit of refinement here would go a long way.
The case measures 42mm-wide and 16.5mm-thick (water-resistant to 100m), but the titanium makes it incredibly lightweight on the wrist. The finishes on the case are quite nicely done, with alternating brushed and polished finishes, as well as an impressive use of smooth, almost curved, sloping on the bezel interplaying with sharper lines. While the movement and dial will get most of the attention, I do think that the case is worthy of praise on its own.
One thing I want to point out is just how comfortable and supple the rubber strap is. While the watch comes with a Cordura fabric strap that is very nice, as well, I found the rubber to be supple and soft in a way that most aren’t.
The dial of the Klepcys DICE is busy, but once you notice the color coding for the two chronographs, it’s actually quite simple to read (even if it’s not quite as legible as I’d like). The first chronograph hand is done in red with a matching lacquered column wheel and 30-minute counter hand. The second chronograph hand mirrors the first but with a blue color scheme. Naturally, each chronograph is activated by its corresponding crown on either side of the case, with the blue on the left side of the case and the red on the right side.
A discussion of the aesthetics of a watch like this is almost reliant on one’s taste. While it’s obvious that the brand’s signature chunky cushion-shaped case flanked by crowns on either side was never intended to have broad appeal, I still have a lingering sense that the design of the Klepcys DICE could have been iterated just a little bit more. Just some small edits like rethinking the need for the running seconds subdial to have numerals around its circumference, or the rotor having “THE CONQUEST OF INNOVATION” engraved on it, could go a long way.
The Cyrus Klepcys DICE is a horologically impressive watch with an aggressively sporty design (I’m tempted to say “love-it-or-hate-it”) that will appeal to a very self-selective niche of collectors. As for competition, there really isn’t much out there, though I suppose the Moser Streamliner Flyback Chronograph, some modern Roger Dubuis, or even Hautlence may be closest. Limited to 50 pieces each, the Cyrus Klepcys DICE as seen here is priced at 31,000 EUR in titanium and 32,000 EUR in black DLC titanium. You can learn more at cyrus-watches.ch.