Saturday, February 13, 2010

Watch manufacturers in unusual countries - The Netherlands

I have lately been interested in watches made in the "Western countries" outside of Switzerland and Germany.

And once you start researching what is out there, it becomes very surprising how many actually exist, from high-end movement manufacturers, through expensive "emboiteurs", to basic low-end quartz watch producers.

Four of the these western countries with the most watch manufacturers are the Netherlands, France, Italy, and the US.

The Netherlands itself alone has 7 producers that I know of:

- Christiaan van der Klaauw: this is a very interesting manufacturer in Heerenveen (Friesland), which bases his design on the heritage of Friesian Astronomer Eise Eisinga, who built a Planetarium near there in the city of Franeker. He uses ETA movements, but seems to have created his own as well, called KB 52824-2

- Van der Gang: based in Dokkum (also Friesland!), produces IWC Portuguese look-a-likes based on ETA 2992-A2 and Valjoux 775x.

- Steiner Limited: based in Maastricht, also produces Portuguese look-a-likes based on Valjoux 775x. Anecdote: I know someone who has one, and it is really impressive quality.

- Van Ree: is in Bussum, produces "the first watch ever to store the DNA of the owner"

- Dingemans: located near Rotterdam, makes 12 watches a year, customised to the future owner's wishes.

- Pelikaan Timing: in Utrecht, make a nice looking "Aviator" type watch based on a Unitas 6498-1 movement.

- Kiber: in Den Haag, seems to have a big collection of low cost watches, mostly on Japanese movements

I am in Friesland often for family reasons, and I certainly hope to go check out Christiaan van der Klaauw and one day buy one.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    You're missing one top quality Dutch watchmaking house, that of the Grönefeld brothers, Bart & Tim. Two unsung hero's of the Swiss watch world until recently, when they created their own watch to rave reviews...
    Just thought you should have this info.