High-end Swiss watch brand Kerbedanz just experienced a significant brand overhaul that moves the elite timepiece maker in a different direction while only retaining some of the brand’s initial character (watches such as the Kerbedanz Maximus Tourbillon are remaining). This Cadanz Cruise Date 41 is one of the new Kerbedanz watches and represents where the brand sees itself right now. Gone is most of the “Old World opulence” in watches the brand made that very well suited your local oligarch but might not be particularly hip on the street. Now, Kerbedanz sees itself as a sort of Hermès competitor (they use the same Swiss manufacturer, Vacher) with trendy, contemporary watches aimed at a totally novel demographic for the brand.
It actually doesn’t matter if this demographic and product shift for Kerbedanz is a good or bad idea. What is important is that this is a company trying something different for a different world — and that’s a very good thing. The Cadanz Cruise is a bit simple, at first glance, but it has a lot of details that reveal themselves as you admire it. The watch sort of seems like a major upgrade for a generation of people who first learned about analog watches through brands like Daniel Wellington or MVMT. The Cadanz Cruise Date 41 takes that “wristwatch design by graphic designer” theme that has worked well for the youth audience and adds a bit of traditional savoir faire in the details. A good example is the use of guilloché machine-engraving in the center of the dial — though at its heart, the Kerbedanz Cadanz Cruise is a timepiece inspired by the whims and experience of a still-emerging consumer demographic. Statistically speaking, at least some of them will come into luxury-timepiece money.
If you closely examine the latest Kerbedanz collection, you’ll notice that there are a lot of new pieces and that the Cadanz is a family of watches in various styles for both men and women. It is actually a bit confusing, as there is both the Cadanz Cruise 41 and the Cadanz Signature 41 that features the same case (with some different materials), same movement, and varies mostly with regard to slightly different dials. That makes sense though as these are all new products and Kerbedanz doesn’t necessarily know what the market will prefer.
The steel case of the Cadanz Cruise Date 41 is, as the name implies, 41mm-wide and given a very nice polishing. This is a $10,000+ watch and, accordingly, has to have a level of fit and finishing that matches the hoped-for pedigree. The case is interesting if you carefully inspect it, and I appreciate the high level of geometric artistry that will perhaps be lost on those who mostly focus on the watch dials. The cases are water resistant to 30 meters (feels a bit meager) and are topped with a sapphire crystal.
The real notice that there is a more serious high-luxury feeling to the Cadanz is the movement, which is elegantly decorated with an anthracite coating on the bridges and a custom skeletonized automatic rotor in gold. The movement is known as the calibre KRB-05 and is a 4Hz automatic with a reported 50 hours of power reserve. The movement features the time with date, which is displayed in an interesting manner.
The Cadanz Signature Date 41 watch has a more traditional round-shaped date window at the 2 o’clock position on the dial. The Cadanz Cruise Date 41 has a different style of date-indicator window that is actually not represented in these prototype models. The final watches will retain the more “open” look of the date window, but all but the current date will be partially obfuscated for aesthetic and legibility purposes. That would make it among the few open date windows that I personally like (just not a fan of them in general). The crown to operate the movement is also located in this quadrant of the case being positioned just past the date window at the 2 o’clock position. This asymmetrical crown position is stylish but also serves to prevent the crown from jabbing into one’s wrist, depending on how you wear the watch.
The Cadanz Cruise Date 41 is the sportier sibling of the slightly dressier Cadanz Signature Date 41 — and that is also represented in the strap options. Kerbedanz uses an interesting series of woven rubber straps, which I’ve only ever seen being used by the even more high-end watch maker David Candaux. They are nicely made and have a fold-over Velcro enclosure to keep then securely on the wrist. Depending on what dial version of the Cadanz you get, various different colors of the strap are available, including the pictured orange as well as blue colors.
In addition to the naturally polished steel versions of the Kerbedanz Cadanz (CC200A141 with a silver dial and CC200E141 with a black dial), Kerbedanz also produces a DLC-coated black reference CC210D141 version of the Cadanz steel case (which are attractively paired with black dials and orange straps).
With only light nods to the brand’s still-fresh history, and to the limited assortment of prior-collection watches, the Cadanz timepiece family is a new and interesting take on modern wristwatch luxury from the Kerbedanz brand. The Cadanz Cruise is directly aimed at a lounger demographic, which I understand does NOT want to wear a luxury timepiece that looks like their father’s watch. More so, even though the product has a very practical look to it, small details such as the dial decoration and gorgeous movement make it clear that the Cadanz is no basic pedestrian watch.
The Cadanz products are still very new, and it will take a while for the Kerbedanz brand image to shift in the minds of people who were just starting to get to know it. The “updated” brand look and feel is one that could easily resonate with some, but other more established watch consumers could still be left wondering what the new direction of the brand exactly is. Inexpensive is not one of them. Price for the Kerbedanz Cruise Date 41 watches is $10,600 USD in natural steel and $11,200 USD in the DLC black case. Learn more at the Kerbedanz website here.