Kees Engelbarts Arabic Mokume Gane Tourbillon

The Arabic Mokume Gane Tourbillon is a unique horological art-piece realised by Kees Engelbarts incorporating precious materials, high-end mechanical watch complications and an ancient hand-engraving technique called ‘Mokume Gane’.

Kees Engelbarts Arabic Mokume Gane Tourbillon

Starting from exterior, the watch case is made from 18 carat red gold. Measuring 40mm in diameter features a brushed matte finish and protected with sapphire crystal front glass and caseback – both sides with double anti-reflection treatment.

Kees Engelbarts Arabic Mokume Gane Tourbillon

Its meticulously crafted white gold/silver dial offers a unique visual experience to the onlooker thanks to the Mokume Gane hand engravings in Arabic pattern, the hand-made and pink-oxidized steel hands positioned centrally for hours & minutes and the tourbillon complication at 6’o clock.

Kees Engelbarts Arabic Mokume Gane Tourbillon

Behind the dial is a manual wound mechanical tourbillon movement that beats at the rate of 21,600 vph. This highly decorated movement featuring Mokume Gane hand-engravings can be admired through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. Bearing 23 jewels, this high-end mechanical watch movement can deliver power reserve up to 72 hours when fully wound.

Securing this unique timepiece to the wrist is a brown alligator leather strap with solid 18 K red gold buckle. The watch comes packed in a macassar ebony presentation box featuring white leather interior.

Kees Engelbarts Hong Kong Dragons

The Kees Engelbarts Hong Kong Dragons is a unique, mechanical horology creation in 18 carat white gold case featuring the iconic Peseux 330 movement decorated with white gold and Silver Mokume Gane.

The watch case measures 38mm and features sapphire crystals on both sides. Featuring the engravings of dragons on its silver plated and oxidised 18 carat yellow gold dial, this unique wrist watch boasts blued steel hands for time display.

Kees Engelbarts Hong Kong Dragons watch

Features
Description: Hong Kong Dragons • Pièce Unique
Case: 38 mm • 18 Kt White Gold • Sapphire Crystals on both sides
Movement: Peseux 330 • Decorated with White Gold and Silver Mokume Gane
Dial: 18 Kt Yellow Gold • Silver Plated and Oxidized
Hands: Blued Steel
Strap: Black Alligator Leather • 18Kt White Gold Buckle
Price: On request

Kees Engelbarts Organic Skeleton Bronze Tourbillon

Crafted from bronze, this one-of-a-kind high horology masterpiece by Kees Engelbarts houses a skeletonised manual winding double barrel movement featuring a tourbillon at 9ó clock. Beating at 28,800 vph this 27 jewels organic Skelton movement is decorated, hand-finished and red gold plated.

Kees Engelbarts Organic Skeleton Bronze Tourbillon watch Pièce Unique

Its skeletonised dial features blued hour and minute hands. Measuring 43.mm diameter, its bronze case features brushed matt finish. The case is fitted with sapphire crystal glass on both front and rear side. The Bronze Tourbillon is worn on a brown alligator leather strap with solid bronze buckle. Price on request.

Kees Engelbarts Organic Skeleton Bronze Tourbillon, Pièce Unique

Technical details

Model: Kees Engelbarts Organic Skeleton Bronze Tourbillon, Pièce Unique

Case
Bronze
Brushed Matte Finish
Diameter: 43, 5 mm
Glass: Sapphire Crystal Both Sides with Double Anti-Reflection Treatment

Movement
Manual-Wound Twin Barrel Tourbillon (9 o’clock position)
27 Jewels
28’800 Bph
Organic Skeleton
Red Gold Plated
Decorated and Finished by Hand

Dial
Organic skeleton
Hands: blued steel

Strap  
Brown alligator leather both sides
Solid bronze buckle

Price 
On request

Kees Engelbarts Platinum Tsuba Watch Pièce Unique

This unique-mechanical wristwatch created by Kees Engelbarts takes inspiration from a famous Tsuba art-work by a Japanese artist named Hamano Masanobu. (born 1773)

The dial of Kees Engelbarts’ watch depicts a scene, inspired by a Tsuba with a Hawk and Sparrow, from Hamano Masanobu, circa 1836 (late EDO). A Tsuba is the hand guard mounted on a Japanese sword. These Tsuba eventually became elaborate pieces of art – far beyond their practical use. Kees has used a variety of different materials to make the dial. The hawk is made of red gold, the branch is made of mokume gane of pink gold/shakudo.

Kees Engelbarts Platinum Tsuba Watch Pièce Unique

The leafs are in green gold and the little sparrow is made of bronze. The smallest details are also in various materials, like the eye of the hawk that is in yellow gold with a silver center. The eye of the sparrow is also in yellow gold. The hawk’s feet are in yellow-gold and the claws made of silver.

Kees Engelbarts Platinum Tsuba Watch Pièce Unique

The base plate, on which the scene is mounted, is white-gold/silver mokume gane and has been treated with nitric acid. This acid will attack the silver and leave the white-gold unharmed and this accentuates the vertical shape structure and creates a relief.

Kees Engelbarts Platinum Tsuba Watch Pièce Unique

Made from Platinum, the matte finished watch case boasts a unique shape thanks to a protrusion at 5 o’clock position to accommodate the main-spring barrel of the mechanical movement.  Measuring 49 mm x 16 mm, the watch case is fitted with sapphire crystal glass both sides with double anti-reflection treatment.

Kees Engelbarts Platinum Tsuba Watch Pièce Unique

Powering this watch is a hand-wound AS 690 movement with bearing 17 jewels. Beating at 18’000 Bp, this Swiss made movement can deliver 8 days power reserve when fully wound.

A pusher at 2 o’ clock is used time-setting. The dual layer strap of the watch has black alligator leather exterior and black shark leather interior. The strap come fitted with a solid platinum 950 buckle. Price on request.

Kees Engelbarts – Organic Tourbillon in Platinum, Piece Unique

Kees Engelbarts, the world renowned watchmaker who is specialised in the manufacturing of unique handmade mechanical timepieces, now unveils his new model – Organic Tourbillon in Platinum – Unique piece.

Kees Engelbarts - Organic Tourbillon in Platinum, Piece Unique

This exceptional skeletonised tourbillon model comes in a 43 mm round Platinum case and its thickness of this handmade piece is 13 mm. It houses a manual winding tourbillon movement with double barrel, and this 27 jewels calibre boasts and exceptional power reserve of 5 days (120 hours). The movement is decorated and finished by hand.

Kees Engelbarts - Organic Tourbillon in Platinum, Piece Unique

The beautiful skeleton dial boasts twisted gold and silver Mokume Gane hands. This timepiece is supplied with a black crocodile strap and folding platinum buckle. Both side of this timepiece is fitted with anti reflective sapphire glass.

A watchmaker of Dutch origin, Kees Engelbarts creates extremely rare and unique handmade timepieces for discerning clientele.

Kees Engelbarts Hand Made Watches : Mokume Gane Dragon Collection

In the 1990’s, a Dutchman named Kees Engelbarts arrived in Geneva during the years of wanderlust that passed after receiving his engraver’s diploma from the renowned crafts school in Schoonhoven, The Netherlands.

During his studies in Idar- Oberstein, Germany, his engraver’s education was taken a step further with the study of additional specialist techniques, and during work in Switzerland he mastered the art of engraving under the microscope. This opened up a whole new method of working that instantly fired his imagination and creativity.

This was followed by steady work for various names in the Swiss watch making industry as an engraver in haute horology, Engelbarts often receiving requests for the production of unique pieces for discerning clientele. Later, he finally made the decision to stay in Switzerland and start off on his own.

Watches & Mokume Gane

The bridge from engraving to the creation of wristwatches was initially supported by a watchmaker friend. He told him to give it a try, and supplied him with various movements to disassemble, engrave, decorate and then reassemble.

Slowly his expertise as an engraver entered the interior of the watch, the very heart of the movement itself. And his passion has remained there ever since. The Dutch have historically always been curious and extrovert when it comes to other cultures so perhaps it was already in Kees’ blood to look for inspiration outside of European traditions.

Mokume Gane Dragon Collection Ref 371

Through contact with friends from Japan he was reintroduced to a centuries old technique called ‘Mokume Gane’, which was briefly mentioned in classes during his training. Invented by the master sword maker Denbai Shoami (1651-1728) and originally applied to the decoration of sword hilts and handles, it appears to us today as being very contemporary and intensely modern.

Kees immersed himself in all the technical details, and became firmly convinced that if it were artfully applied, it could be a visual showstopper for wristwatch creations.

The final step to the actual realization of the first dragon watch came about through the intervention of a Japanese dealer who invited Kees to come to Osaka to demonstrate the engraving of Mokume. He was the first to order a watch from Kees, which on its arrival created quite a stir, and the concept of the present series was born.

The history of Mokume Gane

The technique of Mokume Gane (‘wood eye’ or ‘wood eye metal’) traces its conceptual birth in the methods used for traditional Japanese sword making, in which the hot steel used to create the blade is constantly folded over itself dozens of times and then beaten out into the proper shape by hand.

On close examination, these layers of metal that result from the process of repetitive folding can almost be mistaken for wood grain or some similar organic form. Hence the descriptive name referring to wood.

However, Mokume Gane is composed only of non-ferrous materials, and in addition to folding, the layering is consciously built up in regards to color and thickness, much like a sandwich. A Mokume ‘sandwich’ can contain more than 25 of these metal layers!

These metal plates are then pinned together, very tightly clamped and then placed in an oven. The heating must be closely controlled so as not to melt the layers, only fusing them together. This creates a new crystalline structure between each layer and the result is a new, coherent total mass, which can be worked as if it were one piece.

Mokume Gane Dragon Collection Ref 267

This block of layered metal is then worked over with U-shaped chisels in a pattern of choice over its surface. The artisan can also choose just how deep to go, much in the fashion of chiseling grooves in wood. The block is then put through a high-pressure roller several times, making it longer and thinner, and the above-described process is then repeated.

The final thickness is achieved through several of these steps, with the possibility to fold the metal or remove material with chisels at each stage of the process, consequently generating new resulting patterns. All kinds of beautiful patterns emerge, perhaps resembling the swirl of chocolate in ice cream, but more controlled. In combination with a large number of metals- gold, white gold, red gold, green gold, platinum, palladium, copper, nickel and many others- the effects are breathtaking.

But that is not all. After a particular Mokume Gane object is finished, it is also possible to naturally color the metals through the application of salts, ammonia, acids and other solutions, which can color just one metal in the multilayered matrix or several. Then, to make it all even more complex, one must also consider the three dimensions that the piece fills, and the layers through which the final shape will traverse.

Working with Mokume Gane requires not only deep technical and metallurgical knowledge, but also three-dimensional insight into the hidden forms invisible from the outer surface. Kees’ choice was not only to use these complicated techniques, but to apply them for the first time to the world confined within the boundaries of a wristwatch.

Kees Engelbarts was the first to apply Mokume to wristwatches and create a personal engraving style uniquely suited to the material itself.

In the first unique Mokume dragon watch made, even the hands were created from small slips of Mokume which were twisted and then rolled again, then engraved, a highly delicate operation that makes them appear to swirl fantastically, as if in actual flame. All this work means each watch is not only unique, in having a distinct character and expression, but also a miniature work of art that you can’t stop looking at and admiring.

With each glimpse, some other detail catches your attention. For this reason, the individually hand made cases, with their elegant, classical form, were chosen to act as complementary counterfoils to the dial’s intricacy. This miniature world of fantasy is contained within a dial of only 29mm diameter !

Once you’ve treated the dial side with this kind of microscopic attention, then the movement itself will invariably look like a poorer relative. So as could be expected, the movement of the watch complained that it also needed a new set of clothes, and Kees obliged. Mokume does not lend itself directly for movement manufacture, so Kees decided to literally ‘clothe’ the movement with Mokume. The results are fantastic to see.

Each piece of Mokume, however small, is fastened with small posts to each bridge, block and plate of the visible side of the movement, including the rotor itself. It’s real microscopic puzzle work. The Mokume patterns for the movement are coordinated with the dial side coloring and features.

The work on the dial alone takes several weeks; add another several weeks for the above mentioned additional work on the movement and for final assembly. Whether Mokume or not, each bridge and part must also receive anglage and attention to finish just as any other Swiss manufactured watch would.

Kees has a thorough knowledge of watch making, but his younger brother Bart, a professional watchmaker who also lives in Geneva, takes responsibility for the assembly, adjustment, control and timing of all the Engelbarts watches.

Both brothers are intensely proud of this family tradition and each other’s ability in this perfectly dovetailed enterprise. It also means that all clients of Engelbarts’ watches are getting the best of both worlds: original design based on centuries old techniques, combined with new movements that have become collector’s items in themselves- with two professionals from both disciplines behind them.

This first limited Mokume Dragon is available in skeletonized and unskeletonized version. Special orders and unique designs are available on request.

Technical information of some unique watch models from the Mokume Gane Dragon Collection is Given below:

Mokume Gane Dragon Ref. 0267

  • Case: Solid Platinum, Curved Sapphire Crystal, Transparent Case Back with Sapphire Crystal
  • Movement: Skeletonized and Engraved by Hand, Automatic Winding,18.000 Bph, 35 Jewels, 48 Hours Power Reserve, Rotor Mokume Gane Decorated
  • Dial: Dragon Motif, Mokume Gane (White Gold, Silver), Engraved and Finished by Hand
  • Strap: Crocodile Leather, Platinum Buckle
  • Price: On Request

Mokume Gane Dragon Ref. 0367

  • Case: Solid 18 Kt White Gold, Curved Sapphire Crystal, Transparent Case Back with Sapphire Crystal
  • Movement: Automatic Winding, Mini Rotor, 19.800 Bph, Mokume Gane Decorated, 25 Jewels, 46 Hours Power Reserve
  • Dial: Dragon Motif, Mokume Gane (White Gold · Silver), Engraved and Finished by Hand
  • Strap: Crocodile Leather, 18 Kt White Gold Buckle
  • Price: On Request

Mokume Gane Dragon Ref. 0368

  • Case: Solid 18 Kt Yellow Gold,Curved Sapphire Crystal,Transparent Case Back with Sapphire Crystal
  • Movement: Automatic Winding, Mini Rotor, Skeletonized by Hand,19.800 Bph, Mokume Gane Decorated, 25 Jewels, 46 Hours Power Reserve
  • Dial: Dragon Motif, Mokume Gane (Yellow Gold, Silver), Skeletonized, Engraved and Finished by Hand
  • Strap: Crocodile Leather,18 Kt Yellow Gold Buckle
  • Price: On Request

Mokume Gane Dragon Ref. 0369

  • Case: Solid 18 Kt Rose Gold,Curved Sapphire Crystal, Transparent Case Back with Sapphire Crystal
  • Movement: Automatic Winding, Mini Rotor, 19.800 Bph, Mokume Gane Decorated, 25 Jewels, 46 Hours Power Reserve
  • Dial: Dragon Motif, Mokume Gane (Rose Gold, Shakudo), Engraved and Finished by Hand
  • Strap: Crocodile Leather ,18 Kt Rose Gold Buckle
  • Price: On Request

Mokume Gane Dragon Ref. 0370

  • Case: Solid 18 Kt White Gold, Curved Sapphire Crystal, Transparent Case Back with Sapphire Crystal
  • Movement: Automatic Winding, Mini Rotor,19.800 Bph, Mokume Gane Decorated, 25 Jewels, 46 Hours Power Reserve
  • Dial: Dragon Motif, Mokume Gane (Yellow Gold, Silver), Engraved and Finished by Hand
  • Strap: Crocodile Leather, 18 Kt White Gold Buckle
  • Price: On Request

Mokume Gane Dragon Ref. 0371

  • Case: Solid 18 Kt Rose Gold, Curved Sapphire Crystal, Transparent Case Back with Sapphire Crystal
  • Movement: Automatic Winding, Mini Rotor, 19.800 Bph, Mokume Gane Decorated, 25 Jewels, 46 Hours Power Reserve
  • Dial: Dragon Motif, Mokume Gane (Rose Gold, Shakudo),Engraved and Finished by Hand
  • Strap: Crocodile Leather,18 Kt Rose Gold Buckle
  • Price: On Request