Earlier this week, we were proud to bring you the news and our exclusive live images of the updated Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne. We presented you the three classic editions of this watch, an important one for the brand. First, these timepieces marked the evolution of an emblematic model of CVDK, a cornerstone watch that has been in the collection for many years. And, in all fairness, it is a highly successful improvement without compromising the brand’s DNA. Second, it’s the first watch to leave the atelier under the brand’s new direction, with Pim Koeslag at its head. Well, there’s more about the redesigned Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne that we haven’t shown yet. Meet the other two editions in gorgeous salmon or turquoise, made specifically for Dutch retailer Reijersen. And make sure not to miss our video that will tell you all about CVDK, its history, the Ariadne watches and these two stunning limited editions.
Let’s start with a short introduction about the present partners for these two limited editions. On the one hand is probably the most enduring watchmaker of the Netherlands, Christiaan van der Klaauw. In 1974, he opened his own business and presented his first clock with astronomical complication – a theme that would become a signature element of almost all the timepieces he created. The most emblematic wristwatch produced by Christiaan van der Klaauw is, without a doubt, the Planetarium, presented in 1999 and still, to this date, the smallest mechanical planetarium ever created. Following the company’s transmission in 2009, the brand bearing his name will focus entirely on astronomical complications. Even though it is one of the most classic and simplest watches in the collection, the Ariadne retains some functions that can be linked to the world of astronomy.
A significant change occurred for the brand last year. Indeed, Dutch master watchmaker Pim Koeslag joined the brand as co-owner and technical director, acquiring a majority stake in the brand. For the record, he has been the driving force behind the Swiss-Dutch brand Frederique Constant from 2003 to 2022, as well as the co-founder of the high-end brand Ateliers DeMonaco. Koeslag’s idea isn’t to change everything; the brand has a strong DNA and its own personality, which should be kept alive. However, it is time for evolution, and models have to be revamped to deliver something fresh and new. And, knowing Koeslag’s mechanical inventiveness and talent as a watchmaker, there’s no doubt he will bring further complications to the brand in the near future.
Last but not least, a third party is involved in these new editions of the Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne, and it’s one of the brand’s oldest partners, Dutch watch retailer Reijersen. Located in the city of Oudewater and specialising in rare limited editions and original watches (such as Ateliers DeMonaco, Czapek and CVDK), Reijersen describes itself as “a jeweller-gastronome, a jeweller for gourmets, both in terms of the unique watch collections, as well as in terms of culinary indulgences and hospitality“. Entering the store offers clients a different experience that combines gastronomy and horology. Reijersen and Koeslag worked together several times in the past to design special watch editions – such as the Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture “De Burgemeester” Edition. Now, they join forces for the first watch under CVDK’s new direction.
The new CVDK Ariadne
Before moving to the specificities of these two Reijersen limited editions, let’s go back a little in time and find out what the new Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne watches are all about. What matters is that we’re talking about the revamp of an existing model, not an entirely new watch. The Ariadne is one of the classics in the brand’s portfolio and one of its most accessible models. It can’t compete in terms of exclusivity and mechanical amazement with watches such as the Planetarium or the Cosmic Reall Moon Joure, but it remains a typical CVDK watch in its own respect. Below are the three classic editions of the new Ariadne (in blue, silver or anthracite).
First of all, contrary to the models mentioned above, the Ariadne doesn’t come with an exotic self-developed complication. However, it brings to the dial a rather impressive set of indications and functions, some of which are easily related to astronomy. The Ariadne is a watch that combines an automatic chronograph with a complete calendar with an elegant pointer-date, a day-night indicator and a moon phase, all thanks to an outsourced movement. What makes the Ariadne special is the visual execution and the movement’s decoration. For many years, it has been a watch with a classic silvery-white dial and stamped guilloché-like pattern (with some higher-end editions with genuine guilloché dials).
This year, the dial and movement decoration get a thorough facelift. What doesn’t change is the technical base of the watch. The steel case remains identical, at 40mm in diameter, with a fully polished surface. Rounded with pronounced lugs featuring a screw-cap, it has all the ingredients of a CVDK, including the quicky chronograph pushers and the onion-shaped crown. There is no evolution here since this case has a lot to do with the brand’s appeal.
Turning the watch over, you’ll see the same movement as before, the calibre CVDK7758, based on a tried-and-tested Valjoux movement. It has a complete calendar and a moon phase, a pointer-date with a central hand, a 24-hour sub-dial working as a day-night indicator, month and weekday indications in windows at noon and all classic sub-dials of a Valjoux-based tri-compax chronograph. What changes most is the decoration of the rotor. It is done by famous engraver Jochen Benzinger and reveals a guilloché pattern and a hand-engraved gold-plated sun… Quite lovely indeed.
The work done by Koeslag on this watch is visual – it’s too soon to see technical developments yet. The idea was to bring a fresh, more modern, higher-end look to the dial of the Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne. For this, the classic silvery-white stamped dial has been replaced by something bolder and more colourful, showing much more textures and decoration techniques. The concept is, without turning its back entirely on the past, to improve the legibility and reinforce the visual presence. For that, the base of the dial now has a coloured (silver, anthracite or blue for the classic models) and frosted surfaces. This is used as a canvas for a multitude of raised elements…
Now, all counters are framed by silver-coloured and circular-brushed rings, far more pronounced than before. Similarly, the Breguet numerals are applied and executed in a contrasting colour, pairing with the elegant blued Breguet hands. The date on the dial’s periphery is also executed in a brushed, silvered ring and the moon phase sits under a blue starry sky. Finally, CVDK’s sun logo sits proudly in a circular cartouche at 3 o’clock, balancing the dial. Needless to say, the watch is livelier, more present and feels more luxurious. Despite losing a bit of its classic, restrained look, it has more personality.
The Ariadne Reijersen Collector’s Editions
In addition to the three classic editions of the Ariadne that will be available directly from Christiaan van der Klaauw and its network of retailers, the brand has been working on two limited editions made exclusively for Dutch watch retailer Reijersen. And they went for highly appealing, trendy colours that will surely speak to the collecting community. These are even bolder than the classic versions, more playful and with a higher collectability potential.
Although it boils down to just a different dial colour and a different strap, most of you know that a colour can make a world of difference. Reijersen chose two colours that have recently become very popular: salmon-pink on one side and turquoise “Tiffany-like” on the other. Both retain the same frosted finish as the rest of the collection, which pairs here with contrasting blue elements on the hands and numerals. Tasteful combinations, for sure, resulting in watches with an even stronger appeal.
To add another touch of exclusivity, the alligator straps of the classic Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne editions have been replaced by more casual buffalo leather straps – in brownish-grey for the salmon edition and deep blue for the turquoise Reijersen-only model. Both are closed by a folding clasp with the CVDK logo.
Availability & Price
The two Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne Reijersen Collector’s Watches are each limited to 50 pieces and available exclusively from the Reijersen store in Oudewater. The price is EUR 8,450 (incl. taxes). For more details, please visit www.klaauw.com and reijersenjuweliers.nl.