Last November, Morgan and I visited the cozy Holthinrichs atelier on one of Delft’s picturesque canals. There, we had the chance to go hands-on with the brand’s new Deconstructed models and talk to the founder, Michiel Holthinrichs. We got to know the brand a little better and got a good look at those impressive watches. But Michiel also showed us some sketches of new ideas he was working on. At the time, he couldn’t tell us too much about them. However, today, Holthinrichs is proudly introducing the new Signature Ornament and the limited Signature Lab Series.

The main thing that stuck with me from the first sketches was the graceful and curvy lug design. It was something that I had never seen before on a watch. However, back then, Michiel also told us that the construction was quite fragile and there were still some issues to resolve before it could go into production. Now, though, it seems like Holthinrichs has fixed those issues and is ready to finally launch the new watches. Join me in taking a closer look at the new Holthinrichs Signature Ornament and the limited Signature Lab Series.

Holthinrichs Signature Ornament rose gold dial

The Holthinrichs Signature Ornament

I’ll start with the regular-production model, the Signature Ornament. Other than the production, though, I’m not sure what’s so “regular” about it. The 38.5mm case is made of Grade 5 titanium with contrasting raw and brushed finishes, including on the signed crown at 3 o’clock. Both the bezel and the case band have a concave shape. The double-domed sapphire crystal up top accounts for 2mm of the watch’s 9.85mm thickness. But all those features play a supporting role to the real stars of the show, which are the gorgeous, flowing lugs.

An architect by trade, Michiel says he got his inspiration from Art Nouveau architecture and classic car fenders. The lugs originate from the bottom of the case and then follow its shape while gracefully holding onto the strap. They span 46mm long from tip to tip and also have a mix of raw and brushed finishes that match the case. Through the sapphire window on the case back, you can see the in-house-modified Sellita SW300-1 with its bespoke rotor. It features a tungsten weight, and the 18K gold plating nicely finishes off the Art Nouveau “sweep and sunrise” design.

Sparkly dials or a ceramic Delft Blue version

The Holthinrichs Signature Ornament comes with five dial options. Four of them share the same sparkly effect as they were made out of a frosted piece of metal. In terms of “colors,” you can choose between 14K yellow gold, 18K rose gold, or white or black rhodium. On top of that first layer, you’ll find another double-domed sapphire crystal, which bears a printed Holthinrichs logo and all the minute markers. Finally, there’s a solid metal ring with 12 teeth that serve as hour markers. I haven’t seen this spectacle in person yet, but I can imagine it must create a fantastic sense of depth.

Apart from the sparkly dials, you can also choose to go for a Delft Blue edition. This dial design reflects the longstanding pottery tradition of the city of Delft, home to the Holthinrichs atelier. This time, the base of the dial is white ceramic while the printed logo and Breguet numerals are blue, just like the traditional pottery from Delft. This model also features the skeletonized hands from the sparkly versions, but this time, they’re blued, of course. The “regular” Holthinrichs Signature Ornament with a frosted dial costs €3,500, and the Delft Blue Edition will set you back €3,750 (both excluding VAT).

Holthinrichs Signature Lab Series

The Holthinrichs Signature Lab Series

While the lugs on the Signature Ornament are already unique, just wait until you see the ones on the even more complex Signature Lab Series. This watch has the same dimensions and is made out of the same lightweight titanium as the Signature Ornament. However, this time, the case is 3D printed and manually finished instead of CNC machined. But above all, the flowing lugs are now also skeletonized to make them look even more graceful. I can only imagine how tricky it is to produce something like this and ensure the lugs are strong enough to keep the watch on one’s wrist.

For the dial, Holthinrichs went back to its “Horlogerie Brut” concept, which involves creating durable colors using galvanic plating, anodization, or natural patina. This concept takes advantage of the textures and colors from the natural properties of the materials. The dial of the Signature Lab Series is handmade out of a solid piece of copper and carved with a sunburst pattern. Holthinrichs then applies a patina to it, resulting in a unique spectacle due to the natural oxidation process.

Also, the rotor on the same Sellita SW300 movement has received a layer of patina through an in-house-developed acid heat treatment. Even the tungsten weight on the rim is scraped and thermally treated, giving it a blue and purple hue. The Holthinrichs Signature Lab Series is limited to 30 pieces, and the price is still to be announced.

Final thoughts

Although I appreciated how different the Holthinrichs Deconstructed was from other watches, I never felt particularly attracted to it. But these new Signature watches with their curvy and elegant lug design are right up my alley. They feel a little dressier than what Michiel has made before, and I can’t wait to try them out on my wrist. I also love the dial construction on the Signature Ornament with a sapphire crystal in between the main dial and the indexes.

We’ll stay in touch with the brand to see when we can visit again to examine the production models. Until then, if you’d like to know more, check out the official Holthinrichs website.

What do you think of the new Holthinrichs Signature Ornament and the Signature Lab Series? Let me know in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Signature Ornament / Signature Lab Series
Sparkly 14k yellow gold, 18k rose gold, white or black rhodium, or white ceramic / Patinated copper
Case Material
Grade 5 titanium
Case Dimensions
38.5mm (diameter) × 46mm (lug-to-lug) × 9.85mm (thickness)
Double-domed sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
Titanium and sapphire crystal
Sellita SW300-1: automatic with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 25 jewels, 42-hour power reserve, bespoke rotor with tungsten weight
Epsom leather / Ostrich leather / Rooster leg leather
Time only (hours, minutes, central seconds)
Signature Ornament: €3,500 (metal dials) or €3,750 (ceramic dial), excluding VAT / Signature Lab Series: to be anounced
Special Note(s)
The Signature Lab Series is limited to 30 pieces