Kay Wisian, 34, is responsible for giving wheels their teeth—and is giving away a modern take on the traditional German incense smoker, a watchmaking-themed Räuchermännchen.

»All watches, or to be precise, all calibers, need suitable cogwheels—and you could call me the expert here. After all, without cogwheels, no watch will work. Apart from a battery-powered timepiece, but of course, that’s out of the question in Glashütte! I look after the machines on which the teeth of small, round disks are milled. Here it really is all down to the micrometer. That’s why it’s refreshing for me to spend my free time working with wood. The organic, soft material can be treated roughly when needed. When I make my Räuchermännchen and decorative candle-holders, it’s not quite as essential to get all the measurements perfectly right. And don’t think I just make the usual Räuchermännchen that we traditionally have in this region in Germany. Instead of only making the typically white-haired, long-bearded men, I also make ones my age—decorated, for example, with my football club’s crest. I’m making traditional craftsmanship modern.

The Räuchermännchen that I’m giving away today may not have been made by me, but he’s also a modern guy. He sells watches and even has a digital timepiece on his vendor’s tray. But when it comes to incense, I still have traditional tastes: I recommend fir tree over vanilla.«

»For your smoking corner.«

Too late, despite owning a good watch? Don’t be disappointed—you can find out how we make traditional watchmaking modern here.