A rather unique indie watchmaker, not only because it’s based in Delft, The Netherlands, Holthinrichs has a very personal approach to design and to the manufacturing of its cases. The young brand has made a name for itself with its 3D-printed cases, in various metals (including precious alloys) and a combination of fine watchmaking and a “raw” approach to decoration and finishing. Delicately sculptural and brutal. Now, the brand adds a more subtly, more precious touch to its signature watch, with the new Ornament 1 Malachite collection. Precious stone meets raw metal.
There’s no denying that the latest creations of Michiel Holthinrichs, the man behind the eponymous brand, were rather distinctive. Whether it is about the Holthinrichs Raw Bronze or his deconstructive series, personified by the PreLiminality and the Liminality, it’s all very creative, brutal, sculptural and altogether, very personal. There’s no hiding the deliberate roughness of the design, but there’s more than meets the eye. Behind this first impression hides a certain gracefulness and a finishing that is elegant and meticulous.
The Holthinrichs Ornament 1 Malachite is a watch that certainly is part of the brand’s DNA, yet with a slightly different approach. For this anniversary model, Michiel Holthinrichs and his team have gone for something more subtle, and more precious. And at the same time, it captures the essence of the brand and its love for pure materials and natural textures. Housed in a the less brutalist case of the Ornament 1 – in opposition to the deliberately unfinished case of the Raw Ornament – this new edition uses a dial made of Malachite, a stone that is not uncommon in watchmaking.
Malachite is a mineral that naturally forms above copper deposits deep in the earth. As explained by the brand, “we’ve selected this precious copper carbonate hydroxide as a base material for the in-house made dial, to bring our obsession with copper patina dials to the next level.” Malachite is defined by its crystalline structure that forms patterns and lines of various green tones. Of course, each of the Holthinrichs Ornament 1 Malachite will have its uniquely structured dial, making each watch a sort of one-off. The dial is here combined with an opened sub-seconds register, allowing a glimpse into the beating heart of the watch. The 0.5mm thick dial is precisely cut by laser and then the aperture is framed by a ring acting as a small seconds track. Time is indicated by hand-finished signature steel hands, with a brushed flat surface and polished bevels on the sides – not only adding to the preciousness of the watch but also helping legibility.
Of course, being a watch by Holthinrichs, the Ornament 1 Malachite had to be housed in a 3D-printed case. Measuring 38mm in diameter, it is here available in 3D-printed steel or in 3D-printed 18k rose gold (remember that the brand was the first to ever do such a 3D-printed solid gold case, in 2018). The Ornament 1 is the most discreet and subtle watch in the collection, with more polished surfaces than the Raw Ornament. The sides of the case are, however, left untouched, with marks of printing and a rough surface that is visible inside the recessed and hollowed areas.
Under the see-through caseback, equally framed by a 3D-printed ring, is a hand-wound movement based on the Peseux 7001. This compact calibre beats at 3Hz and stores up to 42 hours of energy. It is presented in a highly decorated iteration, with redesigned bridges, and hand-applied finishing on all the parts – including engraving, anglage, snailing and polished screws.
Availability & Price
The Holthinrichs Ornament 1 Malachite is a limited series of 10 watches – 5 in steel, 5 in rose gold – that is available through commission on the brand’s website. The brand indicates that “lead times may take 6-12 months. This model is guaranteed to be delivered before Christmas 2023.” It is priced at EUR 9,500 (excl. VAT) in steel and EUR 23,000 (excl. VAT) in gold. For more details and orders, please visit holthinrichswatches.com.