After graduating from engineering college in Leiden and completing a course in clockmaking, van der Klaauw started work at a clock manufacturer in 1967. In 1974 he began producing complex astronomical clocks on his own. He built a succession of clocks featuring mechanisms designed to replicate the complex motion of celestial bodies, in homage to the astronomical clocks in European churches that date back to the 14th century. Before long, van der Klaauw had established an undisputed global reputation as a leading craftsman in the field of astronomical clocks. His standing rose further with the decision to expand into astronomical watches in 1994. Van der Klaauw has created a number of astronomical designs on behalf of leading watch brands, such as the Midnight Planetarium (Poetic Complication) Timepiece with Van Cleef & Arpels, which replicates the motion of planets in the solar system. Released in 2014 to considerable acclaim, the Midnight Planetarium mechanical watch was conceived as an intricate mechanism designed to replicate the laws of space, and established van der Klaauw as the preeminent astronomical watchmaker of our time.
CEO Daniël Reintjes
Daniël Reintjes has worked closely with Christiaan van der Klaauw for many years and was appointed CEO of the company that bears his name in 2009. Himself an accomplished designer with a long history of joint collaboration with leading jewelry manufacturers, Reintjes is the driving force behind the global success of the van der Klaauw brand.
This complication watch features the sun and moon, the two most important and familiar celestial bodies in our solar system. The sun bathes the earth in light following a path which gradually changes through the seasons. The moon waxes and wanes as it illuminates the night sky. And then there is the grand spectacle of the occasional solar and lunar eclipse.
The sun is approximately 149,600,000 km from Earth. With a diameter of 1,400,000 km, it is roughly 109 times the size of our own planet. The sun is the center of the solar system, and without doubt the most important celestial body for life on earth. The incredible energy produced by the sun drives the dynamics of the global environment, such as weather patterns, and serves as the source of all forms of biological activity on the earth’s surface. Environmental dynamics play a major role in agriculture as well as most other forms of human endeavor. Since time immemorial, humans have sought to observe, measure and quantify the movement of the sun, and have worshipped the sun as the personification of the gods.
The moon, meanwhile, is 384,403 km from Earth, with a diameter of 3,474.3 km, making it a quarter of the size of our planet. The moon is Earth’s only satellite, and it is second only to the sun as the most important planet for the existence of the human race. The cycles of the moon are one of the great mysteries of humankind, and they provide an important indicator of the changing of the seasons. The moon also serves as the basis for our calendars. Like the sun, the moon has often been personified through time, giving rise to a great many legends and tales.
The watch dial features the distinctive Christiaan Van der Klaauw trademark sun motif at the 12 o’clock position and a declination indicator based on the 12 constellations of the zodiac. At the six o’clock position is the Real Moon indicator, a sphere that accurately recreates the phases of the moon. The Real Moon indicator was replaced by the Real Moon Jewel in 2012, lauded as the most accurate mechanical watch in the world, with an error margin of one day per 100,000 years.
A similarly ground-breaking mechanism is the lunar and solar eclipse indicator at the three o’clock position. An eclipse occurs when the Earth is aligned perfectly with both planets; a solar eclipse is where the moon hides the sun, while a lunar eclipse is where the sun hides the moon. The timing of eclipses can be determined in advance, and is indicated by the red hand on the Real Moon 1980.
Real Moon 1980 is a testimony to our dependence on the sun and moon since ancient times, with all the important relationships faithfully depicted on the watch face.
*Gallery viewings by appointment only
alligator strap and specially designed box with coil spring winder.