February 22, 2022
Since its debut in 2020, boutique watchmaker Kross Studio has built a strong brand identity with a unique formula. The brand’s signature massive central tourbillon and planetary hand design has been a canvas for a variety of pop culture-inspired creations, with inspirations ranging from famed designer Alain Silberstein, to Space Jam, and the imposing Death Star from Star Wars. For its latest creation, the brand takes this core design in a new direction, one that both introduces one of its wildest inspirations and takes the look in a markedly more reserved new direction. Built to celebrate the upcoming release of Warner Bros.’ new film The Batman, the new limited-edition Kross Studio The Batman Tourbillon delivers a striking and moody haute horlogerie tribute to the Caped Crusader.
As with the brand’s previous offerings, the Kross Studio The Batman Tourbillon begins with a UFO-like 45mm lugless black DLC titanium case. The rounded brushed surfaces and flush-mounted D-ring caseback crown keep the overall design streamlined and elemental, with only a red-accented “Time Set” pusher at 3 o’clock to disrupt the visual flow in images. This smooth circular form also works to soften the immense 20mm overall thickness, continuing the curve of the exaggerated sapphire bubble crystal all the way to the caseback. Like Kross Studio’s previous iterations, this case sports a sapphire display caseback overlaid with a folding crown assembly but offers only a mediocre 30 meters of water resistance.
Although the dial of the Kross Studio The Batman Tourbillon carries on the theatrical central tourbillon layout of the brand’s past releases, Kross Studio has refined and simplified its execution into its cleanest and most muted effort to date. The applied oval indices and raised outer chapter ring are carried over from 2021’s Kross Studio Lotus Tourbillon, but the rest of the dial takes on a decidedly less Pop Art-inspired style. Kross Studio’s signature stylized central tourbillon cage evokes the look of the Bat Signal for this release, with a tall cylindrical structure and an angular modern take on the Batman emblem laid over a horizontal grid. While this Bat Signal design may not have the intricacy of some of Kross Studio’s earlier tourbillon cages, the simpler grid layout offers a nearly unimpeded view into the heart of the tourbillon escapement which should deliver a hefty serving of visual drama on the wrist. Likewise, the Kross Studio The Batman Tourbillon eschews the ornate skeletonized planetary gear handset of its predecessors in favor of a cleaner mystery dial approach. The minutes hand is a radially brushed black DLC titanium disk, featuring an engraved triangular indicator in blazing red. This interacts with the bold red Arabic numerals of the inner minutes scale, cutting through the monochrome black and gray design with an effective use of accent color in initial images. For the hour hand, the brand instead uses a polished double-pronged hand that peeks out from beneath the minutes ring. Although this design cleverly evokes the pointed ears on Batman’s trademark cowl without coming off as too literal, the twin prongs and the hand’s short overall length make it difficult to read at a glance in images. Overall, this model’s move away from the ornate skeleton layouts and intricate tourbillon cages of its stablemates make this a more usable design, but one that potentially loses some of those watches’ sense of visual shock and awe.
Inside the Kross Studio, The Batman Tourbillon beats the updated in-house KS 7001 hand-wound tourbillon movement. This is an evolution of the KS 7000 used in the brand’s prior releases, with a streamlined gear train to omit the KS 7001’s complex planetary gear handset. The KS 7001’s performance remains identical to its forbear, however, with a hefty 120-hour power reserve at a 21,600 bph beat rate. The view of this movement through the caseback is dominated by the central tourbillon escapement mounted to a set of narrow X-shaped bridges, flanked by a broad mainspring barrel decorated with a repeating Batarang motif. Kross Studio pairs the watch with a minimalist black rubber strap, along with a black calf leather strap featuring a chevron pattern inspired by Batman’s armored costume.
In keeping with the brand’s philosophy, the packaging for the Kross Studio The Batman Tourbillon is every bit as ornate as the watch itself. Here, the brand hides the watch box inside a functional Bat Signal spotlight, finished in brushed, polished, and matte aluminum. Although the 15-watt lamp is decidedly weaker than a rooftop spotlight, this box is a striking statement piece in images and should make an ideal desk ornament for the well-heeled Batman superfan.
With a simplified, more focused approach and an evocative core concept, the limited edition Kross Studio The Batman Tourbillon is an evolutionary step for the brand that pays dramatic tribute to the Batman mythos. Only 10 examples of the Kross Studio The Batman Tourbillon will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Kross Studio The Batman Tourbillon stands at $100,000 as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.