The lives of human beings are heavily dictated by sunrise and sunset. For most of us, our day begins as the sun rises; we go to school, to work or to wherever it is we need to go. Then, as twilight approaches, we wind down, have dinner, relax ourselves, maybe have a nightcap before ending the day by going to bed. For the people at Krayon, all of the above is true as well, except much more so. In 2017, Krayon – helmed by watchmaker, designer and engineer Rémi Maillat – came bursting into the watch scene, presenting its first ever wristwatch: the CHF600,000 Krayon Everywhere. It’s not actually the price tag that’s the most monumental thing about the watch – it’s the complication. The Krayon Everywhere features a supercomplication that indicates the exact time of sunrise and sunset at any location on Earth. So unprecedented and ingenious was this functionality that the watch won the Innovation Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève the very next year. The main drawback of the Everywhere watch is the complexity involved in setting the complication – the watch is, after all, more mechanical computer than timepiece. The supremely engineered, entirely novel movement of the Everywhere watch also all but ensured an admittedly steep pricing that is out of reach of most.
And so came the Krayon Anywhere in 2020, the logical progression from Everywhere. The Anywhere is in essence a simplified, more pragmatic version of the Everywhere. Instead of being able to calculate and display the time of sunrise and sunset of any place in the world, the Anywhere displays the time of sunrise and sunset at one fixed location of the owner’s choosing. Multiple iterations of the Krayon Anywhere has since been introduced, including a rose gold version and a métiers d’art interpretation. Here, we bring you the details and our honest thoughts on the Krayon Anywhere in white gold with its beautiful blue guilloche dial.
Comprehensive Review: Krayon Anywhere
The Krayon Anywhere in white gold retails for CHF 138,000 before taxes.
The Krayon Anywhere case measures a dressy 39 mm x 9.5 mm courtesy of the simplifications made to the Everywhere movement and display. The white gold case is beautifully nuanced, with a concave bezel and stepped lugs, somewhat reminiscent of the case of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5270. The elegant profile of the case is highlighted by a flange along the bezel’s underside and over the back cover. The hollow thus created further emphasises how thin the case is considering the complexity within.
But as pleasing as the case is, attention will inevitably be drawn towards the dial. The true mark of a great timepiece is its ability to display its functions legibly; the Krayon Anywhere certainly passes the eye test in this regard. The simple calendar function of the watch is entirely displayed on a sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The outer track displays the date while the inner track displays the month. It’s a lot of information in one sub-dial but the font is large and intuitive enough to read with ease. This sub-dial is set within the main dial that’s more like a medallion. It features a motif similar to that seen on the seminal Everywhere watch. The design – rendered in guilloche – is inspired by parallels and meridians with the vanishing point centered on the sub-dial at 6 o’clock. This center medallion is where the time in hours and minutes is displayed. The hour markers on the Anywhere are pyramidal appliques with a triangular base, identical to the Y in the brand’s signature. The finissage on the markers is extraordinary, with alternating polished and matte surface treatment on their many facets. Equally remarkable are the hands, more substantial than average and polished to a blinding sheen.
Moving outboard, we get to the star of the show: the sunrise/sunset indicator, displayed by means of two rings for day(sky blue) and night (dark blue), as well as a stylised sun. The rings are cut from sapphire and hand-painted. The stars depicted in the ‘night’ ring are coated in luminescent material for immersion. Because the length of daytime changes according to the seasons (in places with seasons anyway), the lengths of the sky blue and dark blue sectors will also change constantly. This means the borders between both sectors – which represent sunrise and sunset – also constantly shift. The sun circulates continuously along the perimeter of the center medallion, pointing out the time of day in 24-hour format. As it crosses the border from ‘day’ to ‘night’, it means the sun has set – vice versa. We absolutely love the way the complication is expressed so visually and intuitively. Bonus points as well for how gorgeous the sun looks with its frosted semi-circle body and polished triangles-for-rays.
The Krayon Anywhere is driven by the 432-part, 55-jewel Calibre C030. The number of components is down from the 595 parts and 85 jewels found in the Everywhere’s Universal Sunrise & Sunset (USS) movement (from which the Calibre C030 was derived from). The manually wound Calibre C030 has a respectable power reserve of 72 hours and operates at a stately 3 Hz frequency.
The movement is laid out in an organised manner where the top half is dedicated to timekeeping while the bottom half, where the screw system and racks are, is exclusively for the complication. The sunrise/sunset time complication has to be set to a chosen location by the watchmaker, simply by adjusting the screw system.
Where the Anywhere loses in ability to calculate sunrise/sunset times on user demand, it gains in user-friendliness and, importantly, movement finissage. A simpler movement provides a more conducive space for high decoration. Of note are the prominently beveled and polished edges of every bridge. Krayon’s laid it on thick and it is such a pleasure to see. And if that’s not enough, there are also numerous sharp inward (and outward) angles to be found, a sign that this is a movement that’s received a significant amount of TLC. The surface of the bridges are decorated by waveform Côtes de Genève as opposed to the more ubiquitous linear variety. Meanwhile, the top surface of the racks and cam are brushed with a straight grain and the main plate, decorated with ample perlage. All in all, the Calibre C030 is unreservedly high horology material and is deeply attractive, so long as you’ve gotten used to the oddly shaped but admittedly well-executed bridges and wave decoration.
The Competitive Landscape
The Krayon Anywhere is in rarefied company. There is hardly a handful of wristwatches in the market capable of indicating the time of sunrise and sunset of a given location. And even amongst its kind, the Anywhere stands out as the most evocative and poetic in design. It’s not quite as monstrously complex like its elder sibling the Everywhere, but that also makes it more accessible. The Krayon Anywhere in gold is priced at a more attainable CHF 138,000. That’s still literally house money, but at least it’s 80% off the Everywhere.
The Everywhere was priced rather exorbitantly partly because it was the first and the one and only of its kind to be able to display sunrise and sunset time for any location on Earth. Just by inputting key details such as date, time zone, latitude and longitude, the time of sunrise and sunset everywhere is within reach. And unlike the Anywhere, the setting can be done without the aid of a watchmaker. While not nearly as elegant or well-finished as the Anywhere, the Everywhere certainly is a mechanical masterpiece unlike any other. The Krayon Everywhere starts at CHF600,000, with production extremely limited given its absurd complexity.
In the same year that the Krayon Everywhere was released, there was another debutant of equally mind-boggling sophistication. That timepiece was the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication, one of the most complicated wristwatches ever made by Vacheron Constantin. The watch remains the high king of astronomical complications to this day, displaying functions such as the moon phase, length of day, perpetual calendar, equation of time, sky chart, tide chart and of course, sunrise and sunset time. Much like the Krayon Anywhere, the sunrise/sunset time display comes preset by a watchmaker. The cool bit is that it is paired with a vertical aperture that indicates the length of day/night. With this many functions to maintain, it’d be a pain to allow the watch to stop. Thankfully, with a power reserve of three weeks (not days) off of six mainspring barrels, there is no excuse to let this beast wind down! The Celestia – a unique piece – was priced at around the USD 1,000,000 mark when it was first revealed in 2017.
The Krayon Anywhere hits the sweet spot between complexity and elegance. It is hands down the most evocative and intuitive wristwatch with the sunrise/sunset time complication. Sure, most of the time the complication is more poetic than practical. But to be able to see such significant and majestic daily phenomena accurately and beautifully portrayed on the dial of your wristwatch is nothing short of magical.
The Krayon Anywhere WG was photographed in L’Atelier by The Hour Glass. Each image is a 12 frame focus stack made by the Alpa Focus Stacking System – comprising of the Alpagon/Rodenstock Switar 5.6/105mm lens, the Novoflex Castel-Micro motorised bellows focusing system, the Alpa FPS focal plane shutter and the Phase One IQ3 100 digital back. The raw IIQ files were processed as jpeg by Capture One, and stacked in Helicon Focus. Resulting image is further processed in Photoshop. Profoto lighting as usual.