Kees Engelbarts just showed me his latest piece of art, that I want to share with you. His engraving has reached a level of superb artisan craftsmanship that seems peerless in the watch industry.
His impressive engraving, as could be seen in the Dragon Gate Watch and the Tourbillon Dragon, already featured in our Weekly Watch Photo before. Kees Also did an amazing ‘Aquarius’ engraving for Dutch watch brand Christiaan van der Klaauw. Kees Engelbarts’ newest ‘intuitive art’ piece has a dial made of oxidized Damast steel. But let’s have a look first we look at the back…
The platinum case has a diameter of 42 mm and measures 11 mm in height. Both in the front and the back is a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, that allows you to fully admire the magnificent engraving/sculpturing work of Kees.
The movement Kees used is a Technotime caliber 718, with 2 main spring barrels providing roughly 120 hours of power reserve. It is actually a similar movement, although not an automatic but a manually wound version, as Peter Speake-Marin uses in his newest Piccadilly Serpent. On the photo below you can see the two main spring barrels held in place by two X-shaped bridges and on the left you can see the balance wheel.
When I asked Kees about his latest timepiece, he told me he didn’t have any specific drawings or design, which he usually has before starting to mill a movement. Maybe that’s the reason this piece unique doesn’t have a name. Kees told me that he intuitively milled out the movement, taking extreme care that the movement’s integrity and strength aren’t compromised. He loved working on the movement this way and it felt like carving.
From the front you can see many of the movement’s parts, including the two main spring barrels, the balance wheel and several gears. And of course the remaining parts of the main plate and bridges. The dial is made of oxidized Damast steel and because of the oxidation it colored blue, violet and even yellow. Under different angles or different light, it can even look like how a stainless steel exhaust of a sports car that has seen some action, can change in color.
The hands are blued (of course no blue painted hands) and all engraving, milling and finishing is done by hand. Engraving a movement like this costs a lot of time. It’s difficult to exactly determine how much time has been spent on all the work, but it’s safe to say that Kees has worked many, many weeks on this piece.
The result is a movement that has been milled and engraved to the max, leaving a small piece of mechanical art left. It looks like a metal fairy tale and when you start looking at it more closely, there are always new shapes that draw attention and never stop to amaze.
You can get more information via Kees Engelbarts’ website. All photos are made by Guy Lucas De Peslouan.
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.