Cyrus are not known for making many traditional looking watches, however, this one takes things in a slightly different direction entirely.
The creation and development of a new in-house manual winding movement with 7-day power reserve exploiting the abacus principle to display when the power goes from full to empty, was one among the multiple projects Cyrus had in mind. The final result is the Kambys timepiece which chooses a tonneau-shaped case to better integrate and enhance the vertical axis on which three cylinders slide progressively indicating when the power reserve is running out.
Face & case
Before we get into it properly, the Cyrus Kambys is available in two versions; the one featured in this review has a polished-brushed titanium case and it is also available in 5N 18K rose gold, with elements of black DLC coated titanium.
At 46 x 42.7mm, the polished-brushed finish on the case has quite a shine to it, but it still has distinct brush marks apparent.
The bezel sits higher than the main case, with 3 different sized angles heading up towards the sapphire crystal. The crystal sits below the bezel and is curved to follow the rest of the case shape, but more importantly, the shape of the wearer’s wrist.
Moving inwards from the bezel, there is a deep rehaut, which features 3 equally spaced deep scores on each of the four sides, which act as hour markers.
The design of the dial is unique – it has a 3D architecture, which is cut out of a grey NAC galvanised dial, with a vertical satin-brushed finish.
Whilst time is read in the traditional way of using central hour and minute hands, it also provides an unconventional interpretation of seconds and power reserve, but also has a “secret animation”. Each of these elements have their own separate area on the dial and are cut out of the main dial plate, giving a somewhat openworked appearance, with each of the elements being exquisitely finished, using a variety of polished and brushed surfaces, giving even more depth to the dial.
Almost the entire right hand side of the dial is taken up by the power reserve function. On the far right there is a plate running vertically next to the rehaut, stating “7 DAY POWER RESERVE”. To the left of it, there is a vertical structure, which looks like an abacus and has three polished anodized aluminium cylinders, which can slide progressively along a vertical pin between 1 and 5 o’clock and the skeletonised gears, bridges and arms sit to the left again.
The basic principal of the power reserve indication is that when all cylinders are at the top of the pin, the movement is fully charged and when all are fully down, the movement’s power reserve has depleted. Each of the first two cylinders represent 2 days of power reserve (total of 96 hours/4days). The last cylinder represents 3 days of power reserve (72 hours).
Going clockwise around the dial, the small seconds display sits between 6 and 9 o’clock. There is an elongated “L” shaped bridge, which is slightly elevated and has a semi-circular set of 3 x 120° arc tracks with scales, which are also open between them, showing off the gears below. Three red lacquered hands of different lengths are inclined at 8° cross the arcs one at a time. As one appears, the previous one disappears. Each measures a period of 20 seconds (0 – 20 seconds; 20 – 40 seconds; 40 – 60/0 seconds).
Lastly, the secret animation is located between 9 and 12 o’clock and features a cage with horizontal cut-outs and a third of it open at in the bottom. This is fixed with a three arm bridge, which has the Cyrus logo in the centre. A rotating disc sits below this, which unveils either the number of the limited series of the watch, the symbol of the CYRUS coin (see “Other Stuff” section for more on this), or the Cyrus logo, all printed in black and visible individually through the aperture.
Skeletonised hour and minute hands circle above all of this; they are frosted rhodium plated and finished with red lacquered tips.
There are functional crowns on both sides of the Cyrus Kambys, which are quite wide and easy to grab, with what looks like buttons on their ends. Crown guards protect both and span almost the entire length of the sides, all of which are actually hollow from the side, to allow for 2 screws with Cyrus logos, which attach the crown guards to the case.
The crown at 3 o’clock winds the movement and also adjusts the time, whilst the crown at 9 o’clock activates the secret animation via a push button end.
The profile from either side proves that ergonomics were very much in mind during the design process, as the case and crown guards curve in the perfect shape of the wrist.
A screw down case back is secured with 3 Cyrus logo shaped screws at both strap ends and features a complimentary, but slightly different tonneau shaped sapphire crystal to the main case shape.
The movement is a round movement, which is secured to the housing in 3 places with polished screws. Côtes de Genève finishing can be seen on the bridges, which extend across the movement housing. There are multiple different other finishing techniques, but what stand out is the size of the 2 winding barrels; they take up almost half of the visible movement real estate and have different messages engraved and filled black on them. One reads “ONCE UPON A TIME CYRUS and the other reads “PROUDLY MADE FOR DEMANDING PEOPLE”.
The only other inscriptions on the reverse are on the movement and they are the number of Jewels, Cyrus Manufacture and the Calibre number.
The Kambys is powered by an all in house manufactured hand wound movement. The Calibre CYR7778 is built using 290 individual components, including 50 jewels, a Swiss lever escapement, annular balance wheel and 2 rather large winding barrels.
It runs at a frequency of 3 Hz, or 21,600 vph and will provide up to 7 days of power, once fully wound.
Made from black caoutchouc (natural) rubber, the strap is actually quite unique too; it features 2 wide rectangular cut outs on each side of the case, the closest cut out to the case, on the side closest to the wearer, has 3 moving beads inside it. It’s overall appearance mirrors the power reserve indicator on the dial and the beads move freely, like on an abacus.
The strap is secured using a custom folding clasp, which is more prominent than most and made from brushed titanium, with a large Cyrus logo engraved in the centre.
Regular readers will know I sometimes like to get a bit nerdy, so what follows could be the only thing you learn today!! (Apologies, if you are already an expert on Early World History, however, I found it interesting when looking into it, so thought I would share the key points!!).
King Cyrus, otherwise known as “Cyrus the Great”, was alive during the 600 – 500 BC centenary. He was a ruler and conqueror of the Persian region (Persia is now known as Iran) from Central Asia to Phoenicia, Babylonia and Lydia and was known as a tolerant ruler, who allowed the people to pretty much do as they pleased.
Cyrus and the Achaemenid Persians created one of the most powerful empires in the history of civilization.
In 547 BC, Cyrus conquered the Lydian Kingdom, which was under the rule of King Croesus, who is believed to have pioneered a bi-metallic coin system that contained both gold and silver coins of high purity.
Cyrus continued to issue gold and silver coins throughout the remainder of his reign – one of the first coin designs which was minted during this period featured a lion head and a bull head, facing each other on the obverse side.
This image is one of the 3 prints that can be seen on the secret complication disc of the Cyrus Kambys.
I have done a number of reviews on Cyrus pieces previously and it is no secret that I am a big fan of the brand’s “no rules” approach to coming up with new and intriguing ways to display time.
This is potentially the most boldly different piece I have seen by Cyrus though. It’s an almost alien concoction of ancient vs steam punk vs futuristic vs industrial design, but I really do like it – probably because it is so different and that the dial exposes something different every time it is looked at. Everything is so well thought out and the attention to detail on finishing is amazing.
The 3 functions have been very cleverly put together – it is quite a feat to be able to fit all of these elements onto the dial in a fully visible fashion and still have space to have clean areas of the dial finish available to show off.
Not only does the Kambys have bold design aesthetics, but the sheer size of it is very imposing too. The size of many watches seem to reduce in appearance once on the wrist, but even though this is only 42mm wide (bearing in mind my usual chosen size would be IRO 40 – 42mm), it does look potentially even bigger than that.
At 15mm thick and with the chiselled shape and angled corners, I very much think that the Kambys would be on show most of the time, but I suppose anyone who bought one probably wouldn’t want to be hiding it under cuffs anyways!
The only thing that was a bit of annoying for me had nothing to do with the watch itself, but that my relatively small wrists (17.5cm) needed to go down to the smallest fastening on the strap and with that, the strap was wider than where it fed through the clasp ends, so one end looked a bit squashed. Perhaps the one I had was a large strap, in which case, a smaller one wouldn’t have that issue, but I forgot to ask the question….
With 188 pieces available in each version, production is more than most of Cyrus’ other references, however, at a price of 32,900 CHF for the titanium and 43,900 CHF for 5N red gold, I still think that you are unlikely to come across anyone else wearing one, due to the so very unique design. If you do, I am sure there will be a nod of mutual appreciation.
Even if the design or size are too much for your taste, if you ever get time to handle a Cyrus Kambys, seize the opportunity to appreciate what a different machine it is, compared to all the other timepieces out there.
Both versions are available to purchase directly from us while stocks last – BUY NOW