Sunday, the 5th of June 2016. The Sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day and I find myself driving with the top down through typical Dutch landscape. On my way to an event held for the first time in a place called Grootschermer, near Alkmaar in the North of Holland.
The Dutch Made Showcase.
Organized by Mr. Kalle Slaap who is a watchmaker himself and is also a teacher at Schoonhoven School for watchmaking. I was told that some 24 small Dutch watch brands will be attending this showcase to offer a unique view behind the scenes on watchmaking in the Netherlands.
The event is held at “de zaal van het Genot” and upon my arrival there were a lot of curious people listening to the various enthusiastic entrepreneurs
A Lot of brands are represented like Pelikaan, Sywert-Hofstra, Aevig, Dijkman, Aramar, Van der Klaauw and Van der Gang. The atmosphere is fantastic, the weather great, the food is excellent and they also thought of the kids with an air jump castle outside.
I walk quietly through the Hall to marvel the many watches and hear the different stories of the entrepreneurs. Everyone got in the industry in a different way, but what they all share is the passion for watches and their product. A number of entrepreneurs talk about “Dutch made”. that was in some cases not quite true. When ordering a movement abroad, and then stamp your name on the dial is, as I’m concerned more “Dutch ordered”. Yet there were a number of brands which I think have very high potential. Very unique, the 3d printed steel watch cabinets of Holthinrichs Watches, in shapes which were previously not possible to make. Machiel Hulsman was present with its own manufactured movement, not yet complete, but great to see how all the parts are made by himself.
Further brands to keep an eye on are Eza, founded in 1921 in Pforzheim. It has been brought back to life in an exquisite way. Florijn Watches, robust automatic divers that seem large, but when on the wrist brand you actually do not notice this. What intrigued me the most are the Revolo watches. On the website, anyone can put together his own watch in a very simple way… and no, not just the color and strap, but everything: Band, case, bezel, pointers, dial, index etc. There are about 100 million different possibilities to choose from. Cornelis Verhagen created a watch with a separate complication, (photo) in which the universe was depicted on the dial. A da Vinci like man can bes een on the dial and this image turns round, always in upright position.
And do you have a watchstrap that’s worn out, but also, for example, a worn leather belt or shoes you’re very attached to? It can be recycled as a watchstrap by Mr. R.K. Beijer, of 7T2 Straps, provided that the leather is of good thick quality.
All in all, a very successful day with beautiful products. When the next showcase will be is yet to be determined, but that it’s coming is curtain. In any case, I look forward to it.
Brands line up:
Van de Klaauw
Van der Gang
Holke Dijkman horloges
Hans Mulder horloges
Storytelling Watch society
Sywert Hofstra Watches
Van Der Byl Design