Frederique Constant And Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Team Up With The Tourbillon Planetarium Only Watch 2023
Only Watch auctions never cease to amaze. The auction brings some of the biggest names together to create horological marvels, all in the name of charity. For the tenth edition of this biennial auction, the catalog boasts several intriguing collaborations between brands. However, for Fratello, as a Dutch company, one of these collaborations hits a little closer to home. In an extraordinary display of cosmic artistry, Frederique Constant teamed up with Dutch independent brand Christiaan van der Klaauw to craft a one-of-a-kind masterpiece — the Tourbillon Planetarium Only Watch 2023.
The partnership between Frederique Constant and Christiaan van der Klaauw goes beyond creating a watch. It also aims to support a noble cause. Proceeds from the Only Watch auction, held under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco, will benefit the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, an organization dedicated to muscular dystrophy research.
The Dutch connection
For over three decades, Frederique Constant has epitomized the essence of Swiss-made luxury watchmaking at an accessible price point. Dutch couple Aletta and Peter Stas founded the brand in 1988. Since then, it has constantly challenged conventions and achieved remarkable feats through collaboration and innovation. At the forefront of this ascent has been Niels Eggerding, CEO of the Frederique Constant Group. Eggerding, along with Pim Koeslag, played a pivotal role in developing over 30 manufacture calibers. Then, in 2022, Koeslag took the helm at Christiaan van der Klaauw. As a testament to their fruitful collaboration, both brands saw an opportunity to combine their expertise and passion. The result of this endeavor is the fascinating Tourbillon Planetarium.
The Tourbillon Planetarium fuses the exceptional tourbillon expertise of Frederique Constant with Christiaan van der Klaauw’s miniature planetarium. This groundbreaking feature marks the first-ever integration of such complexity in a wristwatch. The watch also showcases a myriad of “firsts.” It is the first time Frederique Constant has integrated a planetarium into its renowned Manufacture Tourbillon. Simultaneously, it’s the first Christiaan van der Klaauw timepiece to incorporate a tourbillon. The starry aventurine dial, another first for Frederique Constant, perfectly complements this unique creation.
The Tourbillon Planetarium is hand-finished exquisiteness manifested
The planetarium, designed by Christiaan van der Klaauw, occupies the 12 o’clock position on the aventurine dial. It represents the culmination of over four decades of expertise in astronomical complications, with a heliocentric system comprised of six discs, each representing a planet in our solar system. These discs rotate in real time, faithfully simulating the orbit of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn around the sun. This intricate mechanism demonstrates the mastery and precision of Christiaan van der Klaauw’s artistry. The meticulous craftsmanship extends to the Manufacture Tourbillon at 6 o’clock, meticulously designed, assembled, and finished by Frederique Constant in their Geneva manufactory. Every movement component undergoes a painstaking hand-finishing process using traditional techniques and tools. The result is a symphony of beveling, hand-punching, graining, and decorative finishes that elevate the aesthetic and technical brilliance of the timepiece.
On the dial side, perfect harmony is achieved through the inclusion of two counters — the day/month pair at 9 o’clock and the emblems of Frederique Constant and Christiaan van der Klaauw at 3 o’clock, encircled by the inscription “Only Watch Pièce Unique.” The partnership is proudly proclaimed on the tourbillon’s circular surround, which reads “Frederique Constant × Christiaan van der Klaauw. Turning the 42mm platinum case over reveals Frederique Constant’s dedication to detail. The case back features a meticulously handcrafted abstract engraving. Symbolically, the Sun takes center stage, surrounded by celestial bodies and shooting stars, evoking a sense of cosmic wonder and childlike fascination.
A cosmic meeting of minds
The collaboration between Frederique Constant and Christiaan van der Klaauw represents a true meeting of minds, in which two distinct worlds converge to create a unique timepiece for a noble cause. As collectors and enthusiasts eagerly await the Only Watch auction, the Tourbillon Planetarium Only Watch 2023 is a testament to both brands’ boundless creativity, passion, and dedication.
Conservative estimates have the watch at CHF 90,000–110,000. For more information about the Frederique Constant × Christiaan van der Klaauw Tourbillon Planetarium, visit the Only Watch website.