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Holthinrichs Launches the Signature Series, its new Entry-Level Model

A new and distinctive design language for this more accessible watch that isn't 3D-printed anymore (well... not entirely)

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |

One of the now well-established independent watchmakers of the Dutch scene, Holthinrichs has been from the earliest stages of its development focused on a rather unique feature; 3D-printed cases made in all sorts of materials (including steel, titanium, bronze or gold). Of course, there’s more to the brand than just that, including a strong design language and true finishing skills. Today, things evolve as founder Michiel unveils its latest creation, the Holthinrichs Signature Ornament – as well as two other variations. And this new entry-level, once again with a daring design, gets rid of the 3D-printing technique… Is it, really? Not entirely, but more on that at the end. 

While absolutely fascinating and visually striking, the 3D-printed metal cases of Holthinrichs came with a few drawbacks. First, costs. Using such high-tech processes to create a watch case requires time, skills and dedicated machinery, and none of that comes cheap. Second, 3D-printed surfaces need to be hand-finished in some areas in order to get the desired refinement – even though some of Michiel’s watches have been left voluntarily almost untouched (like this RAW Ornament). Again, this implies costs. Finally, the initial series was powered by a hand-wound movement, and decorated by hand too. All of these don’t help create a more accessible watch.

For its new entry-level watch, the Holthinrichs Signature Ornament, Michiel had to make some concessions. First of all, the 3D-printed case is no more (well, not entirely, as you’ll see) and the movement is a slightly more basic option – reliable, well-known yet customized. Where no compromises were allowed was for the design, as this new Signature Series still is radically different, original and expressive.

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Holthinrichs sources inspiration from architecture and classic car design, resulting in a distinctively fluid and spacious composition, in particular the sculptural lugs. The latter are separated from the case body and crafted as three-dimensional objects. And even though the case of the Signature Ornament and Ornament Delft Blue are CNC-machined, they retain some of the classic features of the brand, such as the RAW finishing with brushed and grained surfaces.

The Holthinrichs Signature Ornament

Besides being a more accessible option, the Holthinrichs Signature series is first and foremost a strong design statement, in continuity with the previous collections. It doesn’t mean that things haven’t evolved, but design, shapes and textures – key elements of the style of Holthinrichs – have been respected.

What we’re looking at with the Signature is a rather compact watch of 38.5mm in diameter, with a total thickness of 9.85mm (7.8mm without crystals), made of grade 5 titanium. As said, the construction and design are far from simple, with these sculptural lug elements framing a case body, both combining hand-brushed surfaces and typical Holthinrichs RAW surfaces. Sapphire crystals are found on both sides and the water-resistance is rated at 50m. While we haven’t yet seen these watches in the metal, both the original design and short 46mm L2L are promising.

The dials are, once again, far from simple. A complex multi-layered construction, it features first a heavily frosted metal plate, which is available in 14K Yellow Gold, 18K Rose Gold, White Rhodium or Black Rhodium. A custom-made double-domed sapphire forms the second layer of the dial, giving the dial an illusory optical depth. The pad-printed logo and minute markers on the sapphire appear to float. The third and last layer is a marker ring milled out of a solid piece of metal. The 12 hour markers point towards the centre of the dial and are cantilevered above the sapphire surface. Time is indicated by classic openworked Holthinrichs, with a brushed top surface and a large diamond-cut bevel.

Regarding the movement, in order to offer this new Holthinrichs Signature series at a lower price than previous creations, the brand chose a robust Sellita SW300. This thin automatic movement has been personalized with a unique and bespoke rotor that echoes the cantilevered markers on the dial. Designed with five segments that resemble the reflections of sunrise, it shows a brushed finish on the top surface with contrasting polished bevels, and is finished with gold-plating and a tungsten weight. Multiple Epsom leather straps are available (Cognac / Gray / Green).

The Holthinrichs Signature Ornament will be released as a permanent collection, with a price of EUR 3,500 (excl. VAT).

The Holthinrichs Signature Ornament Delft Blue

A node to the city where Holthinrichs is headquartered and to the traditional Delf white and blue potteries, the brand releases a more classic take on its watch with a Delft Blue ceramic dial. While the titanium case and movement are identical to the standard versions above, the dial is playing on traditional notes with a flat dial framed by an inner flange. The white base is topped off with crisp pad-printed Breguet-inspired numerals in blue, paired with blued hands. It will be worn on an Ostrich leather strap in taupe, cognac or dark blue.

The Signature Ornament Delft Blue is also released as a permanent model and is priced at EUR 3,750 (excl. VAT).

The 3D-Printed Holthinrichs Signature LAB

For those who felt that a watch by Michiel Holthinrichs couldn’t be without a 3D-printed case, there’s good news here. As a limited edition of 30 pieces, the brand released a more complex version, the Signature LAB, with a titanium 3D manufactured case. Specific to this edition, the brand went even further by creating thin, skeletonized lugs – to a point where the team almost got uncomfortable with the structural integrity of the whole. The case, once again hand-finished, combines brushed and RAW surfaces, typical of Holthinrichs’ Horlogerie Brut concept.

In the same vein, while the dial retains the multi-layer and 3D-like effect of the classic version, it brings even more textures and colours by the use of pure materials – in the present case, a solid piece of patinated copper for the dial, with a green colour obtained by a natural oxidation process. The Sellita base movement also gets its share of ageing, with the rotor featuring a solid layer of patina derived from an in-house developed acid heat treatment. While not shown in the pictures, the watch will be worn on a rather bold strap made from brushed and oiled rooster feet leather.

A limited edition of 30 pieces, the price of the Holthinrichs Signature LAB remains to be announced. For more details, please visit

9 responses

  1. The minute hand is way too short, being far too similar to the hour hand, making this quite difficult to read. DQed.

  2. I’m aggrewith Ayreonaut therefore I think this is a messed up project! thumbs down.

  3. The Delft blue is nice, but the printing is sloppy, with too much bleed around the numbers.

  4. Same as Ayre, either make the minute hand longer or the hour hand shorter.

  5. Grandpa’s in the comments should get a digital watch if their eyesight is leaving them incapable of reading analog hands.
    I applaud Holthinrichs for dipping their toes into a more accessible line.

  6. Dear Michiel,
    Congratulations for your new marvel. The case is fantastic. It really stands out from the grey mass.
    I especially like the description how you got inspired. It shows that an artis, who you really are, sees the world with different eyes.
    For all those, who only see their taste and how long a hand has to be, well, I am sure you can solve the problem for them easily like most independent do. You will offer to make it to their wishes for a little bit more?
    Once again-congrats
    Thomas Prescher

  7. It’s not an incapability of reading analog hands, but rather having to do a double take instead of being confident of the time at a glance. I really like the rest of the watch.

  8. I was concerned about the printing in the Delft model as well. Hopefully, they photographed a prototype. It is worth checking with them about the printing before buying.

  9. As far as the “bleeding” is concerned, is that not the nature of printing on porcelain (as opposed to enamel)?


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