2017 is a special year for Christiaan van der Klaauw. This year they were qualified as a haute horlogerie brand. There are only 64 brands who are within this group and almost 90% has Swiss roots, so it is quite an accomplishment.
The one and only watch manufacturer that is specialized in astronomical watches presented three new timepieces to us this year at BaselWorld.
Christiaan van der Klauw is best known for its smallest mechanical planetarium and the most accurate three dimensional moon (according to them). The first Christiaan van der Klaauw Real 3D moon dates from the 1980s and was presented in a clock. Today, Christiaan van der Klaauw is still innovative and setting the bar. This year Christiaan van der Klauw adapted the artistic theme, true visual spectacles. Let’s have a look at these three new pieces.
Meet the Planetarium zodiac sign Sagittarius. Kees Engelbarts (Dutch master hand-engraver) played a vital role here, as he created the dial of this Planetarium watch. Every watch is unique, there is only one piece per Zodiac sign. This year, it is Sagittarius or the bowman.
The Planetarium Sagittarius holds the smallest heliocentric planetarium of the world and all the planets are hand painted (colors chosen on request of the customer). Even Jupiter has different colors to make it as realistic as possible. Normally, only the sun is painted gold and the earth is painted blue. The planetarium shows the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.
The upper section the dial displays minutes, hours, date and month. Overall an impressive result which does breathe craftsmanship.
The rose gold case is 40mm in diameter and both the front and back are sealed by a sapphire crystal. The Christiaan van der Klaauw Planetarium Zodiac sign Sagittarius comes on a black alligator strap.
The second masterpiece by Christiaan van der Klaauw has a special component: the pre-historic gem Ammolite. This gem can only be found in Canada. Because its rarity and breakable material it is a very complex process to create this dial. Every layer has its own color. That said, in most cases the upper blue layer disappeared through time. It originates from marine fossils that lived 71 million years ago. Tectonic pressure, heat and mineralization did form the colors which refer to a bright colored nebula (interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases).
Christiaan van der Klaauw collaborates with Stella Polare (Tokyo) on this piece of art.
This Stella Nebula edition is equipped with a real three dimensional moon. A true moon phase! The moon is made out of precious white and black diamonds. Accuracy is incredible: only a small deviation of one day in 11.000 years.
The automatic movement has a power reserve of 96 hours (two barrels). Besides the moon phase it displays hours and minutes via blue indexes. The 40mm case is available in white gold or rose gold. This particular model also has a gold bezel with diamonds.
Last but not least we look at another novelty from Christiaan van der Klaauw. The dial is painted by with oil paint. Look at the beautiful abstracted scenery of a horizon.
Just like the Nebula, this watch carries a real moon phase. A full rotation has a duration of 29,5305889 days, just like the Moon. Besides this complication it indicates time. Design-wise I think it’s a nice detail that the watch almost literally gets divided by the horizon. The indexes also differ above and under the horizon. The white background makes the real moon even stand out more. If you look closely you even can spot the brush strokes of the painter (Gaël Colon) nearby the light beams. The 40mm case is made of high quality steel. Christiaan van der Klaauw only produces a maximum of 10 pieces world-wide.
I really appreciate the craftsmanship and finesse which is put in the custom made pieces. The commitment to the artistic theme is incredible.
You can find more information can be found via their website.
Teun van Heerebeek is contributor and visual artist to Fratello Watches. With his Watches & Pencils illustrations and other articles he likes to explore the vast watch-lands in all its diversity. His love for watches mainly originates from his eye... read more