As long as we humans exist, we have tried to figure out a way to link our day to a certain instrument of measuring the time we spend on a certain occupation. When we roamed the earth thousands of years ago, there was no such thing as a watch or a clock. People had to find themselves a specific thing for measuring ‘time’. The difference between day and night were a good example, it was daytime when the sun was shining high in the sky, night time when that sun switched places with the moon and everything was dark. It is safe to say that the Astronomy was used to measure time. Our solar system is the most historical instrument for that sole purpose.
Combining modern day technology with ancient knowledge
Christiaan van der Klaauw started his company ‘Christiaan van der Klaauw astronomical watches’ in 1974. It is the only watch studio in the world that creates handmade exclusive astronomical watches. In 1974, Christiaan started his career as a watchmaker by creating clocks with astronomical complications. As a little boy, he went to the LiS in Leiden, the Netherlands. This school was started by the famous physicist Prof. Dr. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and had the purpose to teach students to create every instrument possible. Christiaan van der Klaauw went to the Observatory of Leiden during his time as a student, and that’s where his passion for the stars and planets arose.
A powerfull combination
When Christiaan finished his study as an instrument maker, he decided to follow a study becoming a clockmaker. After completing that study, Christiaan moved in 1967 from Leiden to Joure, Friesland. He started to work with a craftsman that created mostly ‘Friese stoelklokken’. It was a mere 7 years later when the clock making world was introduced to the first van der Klaauw astronomical clock. This was the start of a career as a master clockmaker, widely respected.
A master at work
In 1989 Christiaan van der Klaauw became a member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI). A select group of great watchmakers such as Franck Muller, Francois-Paul Journe and Vincent Calabrese. Three years later in Basel, Switzerland, his Pendule Variable got a price for being the most innovative design. In 1994 the world got introduced to the very first wrist watch by Christiaan van der Klaauw: the CVDK Satellite du Monde, of course with astronomical complications. This watch could be considered timeless, since it’s still a very elegant timepiece nowadays. In the next 5 years, Christiaan worked on another great achievement, being unveiled in 1999, he created the smallest planetarium ever to be seen; the CVDK planetarium.
The start of something new
In 2009, Christiaan van der Klaauw had a new captain ready to guide the CVDK ship to success: Daniël Reintjes. With Daniël behind the controls, CVDK astronomical watches invented lots of new astronomical complications, giving them the ‘Watch of the year’-award two times in a row; in 2011 and 2012. As a timepiece, one has to love what van der Klaauw achieves in the world of watches. Sure, there comes a certain amount of taste around the corner, but the unbelievable beauty and complication of the van der Klaauw timepieces makes it impossible to not like them.
We can assure you, if you ever see a great timepiece with a beautiful astronomical complication, it’s a van der Klaauw.