CVDK MASTERPIECE Planetarium by Christiaan van der Klaauw – Wristwatch with Smallest Mechanical Planetarium In the World

With in this watch, celebrated master watch maker Christiaan van der Klaauw has created a smallest mechanical planetarium in the world. The CK MASTERPIECE Planetarium timepiece from the atelier of Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches in Joure, takes its inspiration from legendary astronomical timepieces including one created by Eise Eisinga (1744-1828), the oldest operative mechanical planetarium in the world. This timepiece is equipped with the smallest planetarium in the world and gives not only the time, date and Month, but also the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.

The first written reference with respect to a mechanical model of the Sun, Moon and planets is over 2000 years old. The instrument described in the document was made by Archimedes who lived 200 years earlier. Since those days, numerous astronomical timepieces have been built.

Between this oldest-known planetarium of Archimedes and the smallest planetarium of Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches the most splendid specimens with ingenious drives and clever gear constructions have been manufactured. Given their special construction, a number of these are worth mentioning.

A very ingenious and therefore very special specimen is the afore-mentioned masterpiece of Archimedes. This instrument is known as the ‘Antikythera machine’, named after the Greek island of Antikythera where divers found fragments of this instrument in 1901. The instrument contained more than twenty cogwheels, some of them with spokes. The gear train used was a so-called ‘epicycloidal’ gear train. The characteristic of such a gear train is that a number of cogwheels are placed in a frame that, as a whole, rotates around a cogwheel that stands still or has its own movement.

It is not really surprising that this type of transmission was used in those days. It was still assumed that the Earth was the centre of the universe, and that the Sun, Moon and other planets circled around a centre. This centre, in its turn, circled around the Earth. The first circle was called the epicycle, whereas the circle around the centre of the epicycle was called the deference. This theory is known as the geocentric worldview of Ptolemy.

Geocentric means that the Earth is in the centre. The extraordinary thing about this theory is that it persisted for such a long time. This was probably because with this theory, which was based on a wrong point of departure, it was nevertheless possible to make good predictions as to the position of Sun, Moon and planets. It was not until 1543 that this theory came to an end. The worldview of Ptolemy was changed by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). His ideas encountered much resistance, especially from the churches. In 1543 he published his theory that not the Earth but the Sun forms the centre of our solar system in ‘De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium’. This theory is known as the heliocentric worldview of Copernicus. He argued that in this way it was much simpler to explain the different celestial phenomena. In his view, the Earth had its own rotation, and the planets – including the Earth – revolved around the Sun. The system as pictured by Copernicus was, however, still not quite complete. He put the Sun in the centre, but the planets orbited the centre of the earth’s orbit.

After Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), who laid the foundation of modern astronomy with his laws of the planetary motion, it became much easier to build planetariums. This was because the Sun was placed in the centre, and the planets described ellipses around the Sun. This was the end of the system of epicycle and deference. A well-known planetarium from that period is that of the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695). He placed the cogwheels that drive the planets eccentrically relative to the centre. In this way, the position of the planets was indicated fairly accurately. They thus move according to Kepler’s second law.

Although there are many planetariums worth mentioning, that of Eise Eisinga (1744-1828) in Franeker, Friesland (the Netherlands), is important for Christiaan van der Klaauw because it was this planetarium that inspired him in his work. Eise Eisinga built his planetarium in the period 1774-1781 and, after 200 years, it is still operative. This makes it the oldest operative mechanical planetarium in the world. Some of Christiaan van der Klaauw’s top pieces can be found in the museum of Eise Eisinga. The CK Planetarium is one of the most famous creations of the master watch maker and is an ultimate demonstration of precision and traditional handwork.

Technical details
Model: CK PLANETARIUM CK PT 1126
Movement: CK 1196 modified self-winding movement with in-house Planetarium module.
Functions: The watch is equipped with the smallest heliocentric planetarium in the world and displays not only the time, date and month, but also the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.
Case: Rose gold, ø 40 mm; anti-reflection sapphire crystal; transparent case-back.
Dial: White with blue indexes, lacquered planetarium including coloured planets.
Hands: Blued steel with red second hand.
Strap: Blue alligator leather.
Buckle: Logo engraved rose gold buckle.

Model: CK PLANETARIUM CK PT 1144
Movement: CK 1196 modified self-winding movement with in-house Planetarium module.
Functions: The watch is equipped with the smallest heliocentric planetarium in the world and displays not only the time, date and month, but also the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.
Case: Rose gold, ø 40 mm; anti-reflection sapphire crystal; transparent case-back.
Dial: Silver and black with black indexes, black rhodinated planetarium including planets.
Hands: White coloured steel.
Strap: Black alligator leather.
Buckle: Logo engraved rose gold buckle.

Model: CK PLANETARIUM CK PT 1844
Movement: CK 1196 modified self-winding movement with in-house Planetarium module.
Functions: The watch is equipped with the smallest heliocentric planetarium in the world and displays not only the time, date and month, but also the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.
Case: Rose gold, ø 40 mm; diamond set in rose gold bezel; anti-reflection sapphire crystal; transparent case-back. Dial: Silver and black with black indexes, black rhodinated planetarium including planets. Hands: White coloured steel.
Strap: Black alligator leather.
Buckle: Logo engraved rose gold buckle

Model: CK PLANETARIUM CK PT 7726
Movement: CK 1196 modified self-winding movement with in-house Planetarium module.
Functions: The watch is equipped with the smallest heliocentric planetarium in the world and displays not only the time, date and month, but also the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.
Case: White gold, ø 40 mm; anti-reflection sapphire crystal; transparent case-back.
Dial: White with blue indexes, lacquered planetarium including coloured planets.
Hands: Blued steel with red second hand.
Strap: Blue alligator leather.
Buckle: Logo engraved white gold buckle.

Model: CK PLANETARIUM CK PT7 7 4 4
Movement: CK 1196 modified self-winding movement with in-house Planetarium module.
Functions: The watch is equipped with the smallest heliocentric planetarium in the world and displays not only the time, date and month, but also the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.
Case: White gold, ø 40 mm; anti-reflection sapphire crystal; transparent case-back.
Dial: Silver and black with black indexes, black rhodinated planetarium including planets.
Hands: White coloured steel.
Strap: Black alligator leather.
Buckle: Logo engraved white gold buckle.

Model: CK PLANETARIUM CK PT 7844
Movement: CK 1196 modified self-winding movement with in-house Planetarium module.
Functions: The watch is equipped with the smallest heliocentric planetarium in the world and displays not only the time, date and month, but also the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.
Case: White gold, ø 40 mm; diamond set in white gold bezel; anti-reflection sapphire crystal; transparent case-back. Dial: Silver and black with black indexes, black rhodinated planetarium including planets. Hands: White coloured steel.
Strap: Black alligator leather.
Buckle: Logo engraved white gold buckle.

Model: CK PLANETARIUM 8 CK PT2244 L (CK Planetarium 8 Limited Edition)
Movement: CK 1196 modified self-winding movement with in-house Planetarium module.
Functions: The watch is equipped with the smallest heliocentric planetarium in the world and displays not only the time, date and month, but also the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the Sun.
Case: Platinum, ø 40 mm; anti-reflection sapphire crystal; transparent case-back.
Dial: Silver with black indexes, black rhodinated planetarium including planets.
Hands: Blued steel.
Strap: Black alligator leather.
Buckle: Logo engraved platinum buckle.
Edition: Limited production of 8 pieces

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.