After the official launch of his brand with the Holthinrichs Ornament 1, opening his own atelier in Delft, and the RAW Ornament, Michiel Holthinrichs of Holthinrichs Watches hasn’t slowed down an inch. Honing his craft and developing his brand, he is able to give you several new, interesting options within the Holthinrichs Ornament 1 collection. And there is even a new model on the horizon!
Situated on the banks of a canal in the historical city of Delft, the Netherlands, Michiel is slowly but surely developing his skills as a watchmaker and establishing his work as a brand. By now, you will probably be familiar with the fact that he has an architectural background and uses that inspiration in combination with 3D printing to create an intricately designed watch. The case, the crown, the caseback and the buckle are 3D printed. At first only available in steel, and later in a RAW interpretation of that same material, now Holthinrichs is able to offer 3D-printed cases in gold and platinum as well. We extensively reviewed his first watch last year.
A first for the industry, the process is painstaking and very precise. The main issues with 3D printing metals are heat and stability. Remember that a laser melts a powder into a solid material, but the laser also generates heat which needs to be dispersed. Secondly, when the printing progresses, the weight of the part that is printed increases, so it is absolutely vital it doesn’t shift even a hair during the printing process. We’ve explained the process of 3D printing steel in our introductory article, including some videos. This process becomes even more delicate with gold or platinum as temperature and specific weight differ adding a new round of challenges to master.
Besides the newly available materials like platinum and gold, Michiel is also honing his watchmaking skills by applying new levels of finishing. Hand-bevelled edges and specific types of finishing that are also hand-applied by Michiel. This ups the game for the Dutch watchmakers and adds a new level to the otherwise small and relatively simple looking Peseux/ETA 7001 movement that powers the Ornament 1. (Note that Michiel was still in the process of finishing the platinum case at the time we visited his atelier.)
Another new technique that Michiel offers clients is the bespoke cold enamel dial. This abstract, handmade dial is inspired by the Delft Blue pottery his hometown is famous for. The creamy white and blue porcelain usually depicts traditional Dutch scenery (windmills, tulips, cows, etc.) but now offers an artistic touch to the Ornament 1 collection. It is like dropping blue ink in a glass of milk, and that sense of liquid motion is visible in the final result. These dials are truly bespoke and no two are alike. This bespoke dial drops the small seconds at 6 o’clock, which is a good thing allowing you to enjoy the enamel dial in all its glory.
Obviously, all this extra work and customisation options don’t come cheap. Prices for the Holthinrichs Ornament 1 start at EUR 4,100. The RAW Ornament is slightly more expensive at EUR 6,650. The gold Ornament 1 will come in at EUR 22,700 and the platinum version tops the range at EUR 26,000. All custom options, like an engraved movement or a handmade bespoke dial, are available upon request, with an added premium.
Below, an example of the platinum case (still in production process):
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is also a new model on the horizon. Following all Michiel has learned with the Ornament 1 and RAW Ornament, he is working on the next watch already. No details can be shared with you yet, but patience is a virtue. All will be revealed on MONOCHROME in due time.
All in all, these are some impressive steps forward from someone who has taught himself how to make watches, even incorporating the challenges that the 3D printing process adds, and who has only been watchmaking for three years now.
For more information: Holthinrichswatches.com.