Frequent readers of Monochrome will have heard of Kees Engelbarts before. He’s one of the most talented engravers of the watch industry and he creates unique pieces with rich Mokume-gane decoration and often featuring a dragon on the dial.
Recently Kees Engelbarts finished another true masterpiece, made of red gold and shakudo Mokume-gane. Mokume-gane is a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns. The name was borrowed from one type of pattern created in the forging of swords and other edged weapons.
Engelbart’s rare skills and knowledge of the Japanese art of Mokume-gane is immediately apperent on the dial. The red gold and shakudo Mokume-gane dial features a dragon that is on the ceiling of a temple in Kyoto, Japan. This dragon has a special relation with the crown, because the hand-made crown resembles the pearl of wisdom. In ancient Japanse stories, dragons often fight over the pearl of wisdom. The pearl of wisdom stand for wisdom and eternal life.
The red gold case measures 48 mm in diameter and is matt finished by hand. The hand-engraved words in the case back are oxidized to improve readability. The sapphire crystals on both sides are coated with anti-reflective material on both inside and outisde.
The movement is entirely disassembled, cleaned, screws are blued in a flame, and all bridges are decorated with Mokume-gane. Taking a close look, one can see the main plate features a sand-blasted and black coated finish. The screw balance vibrates at 18.000 vph, offering 48 hours of autonomy when fully wound. But hey, who cares when you can look at the details on a dial like this!
This timepiece is a piece unique, commisioned by a customer. To learn more about Kees Engelbarts or to contact him, visit his website here.
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.