Cornelius & Cie is a high-end watch brand based in Geneva, Switzerland. The company was founded in the summer of 2007 and was initiated by two Dutchmen – world famous watch engraver Kees Engelbarts and jeweller Paul Pertijs – crowning a friendship started while both were students at the renowned Dutch Gold- and Silversmith Academy.
The brand name Cornelius & Cie is taken from Kees Engelbarts’ Christian name, Cornelis. The independent luxury watch company produces extremely exclusive watches, using vintage watch movements in proprietary cases of classic but innovative design.
Every single part of the watch movement is embellished by hand, skeletonised and/or engraved by Kees Engelbarts. Customers are offered extensive possibilities to have the watch and the movements personalised by specific engravings.
Founders of Cornelius & Cie watch brand
Born in 1967, Kees was educated at the Dutch Gold- and Silversmith Academy in Schoonhoven and the German vocational school for jewellery design at Idar-Oberstein. He started working as a professional watch engraver in 1994, setting up his own workshop in Geneva. Kees swiftly was recognised as an outstanding craftsman.
He created intricately engraved and skeletonised watches for several watch companies, including Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hublot and Harry Winston. He became one of the very few engravers familiar with the Japanese ‘Mokumé Gane’ technique producing his own base material of 19 ultra thin layers of alternating two non-ferrous metals.
In 1997 he produced his first own watch. Kees Engelbarts is the creative director of Cornelius & Cie.
Born in 1968, Paul was educated at the Dutch Gold- and Silversmith Academy where he met Kees Engelbarts. After his studies he took over his father’s jewellers shop in Breda.
Over the years Paul has expanded this single high-end shop into the Pertijs Jewellers group with boutiques in Breda, Vught, Roosendaal and Laren. Paul took the initiative to found Cornelius & Cie after seeing a one-off watch Kees had made using the 1935 A. Schild movement. He is the commercial director of the company.