Perhaps no other watchmaking complication is as evocative or as generally impractical as the moonphase. Other than sailors, surfers, and potentially werewolves, there are very few watch wearers who have a concrete need to know the current phase of the moon at any given time, but the romantic connection to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor and a legacy of opulent graphical depictions have made the moonphase an enduring classic in enthusiast circles. Although the real-world utility of the complication is slim, there is an ongoing arms race in haute horlogerie circles to create the most accurate moonphase display possible. The current record holder for the world’s most accurate three-dimensional moonphase complication is Dutch boutique brand Christiaan van der Klaauw, and for its latest release this marque brings a stunning green meteorite dial and an impressive list of customization options to the mix. The new Christiaan van der Klaauw Real Moon Joure Green Meteorite goes beyond sheer movement-making prowess to deliver a distinctive and classically beautiful moonphase design that stands out in a sea of luxury moonphase options.
The Christiaan van der Klaauw Real Moon Joure Green Meteorite’s 40mm case is available in a trio of material options – stainless steel, 18K rose gold, and 18K white gold. All three share the same simple, deeply classical case design, with downturned straight lugs, a narrow rounded smooth bezel, and a fully polished finish topped by an oversized onion crown. For those that prefer more brightwork, the case can also be optioned with a diamond set bezel, featuring a double row of brilliant cut stones that adds a further feeling of luxury in initial images. Around back, all variants feature a sapphire display caseback. Although Christiaan van der Klaauw does not list a water resistance rating for this watch, this is very far from a sporty design.
The dial of the Christiaan van der Klaauw Real Moon Joure Green Meteorite’s dial is an intriguing admixture of modern minimalism with deeply traditional visual cues. With its polished Breguet hands and subtly flared applied Roman numerals, the design’s basic elements pay homage to classical dial-making, but the execution is anything but traditional. The striated, multi-shade texture of the meteorite dial surface itself gives this pared-back design dynamic detail in images, and the rich emerald green hue of the finish makes this a deeply striking creation. Christiaan van der Klaauw uses generous negative space to keep give this complex surface room to breathe, with no extraneous markings other than the brand’s applied sun emblem at 12 o’clock. The real visual standout here, however, is the moonphase complication. The brand completely clears off the dial below the center line to give this element fully half of the dial’s real estate uninterrupted, and its elegantly simple presentation rightly earns this special visual treatment. Beyond a brushed rhodium outer ring and a sloping inner ring in pure matte black, the only part visible is the spherical moonphase indicator itself. Deeply textured with an engraved pattern, this rotating orb is finished in half matte black and half hand-polished rhodium for a dramatic and immediately intuitive appearance. Although the lack of indices at 4 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 7 o’clock, and 8 o’clock may not be to everyone’s taste, the overall dial design is undeniably bold.
Inside the Christiaan van der Klaauw Real Moon Joure Green Meteorite beats the in-house CVDK7382 automatic moonphase movement. In terms of finishing, the CVDK7382 is handsome and deeply traditional, with broad striping across the bridges and balance cock, perlage for the mainplate, and brightly blued screws throughout. It’s the custom rose gold rotor that forms the most dramatic visual element here, however, with an intricate pattern of engraved stars and planets surrounding the brand’s sun emblem above a frosted black backdrop. Of course, the real draw of this movement is its record-breaking moonphase complication. Christiaan van der Klaauw claims the CVDK7382’s moonphase indicator is so accurate, it will lose only a single day in 11,000 years. To put that into perspective, 11,000 years ago, the last ice age was ending, and saber-toothed tigers stalked the grassy plains of what is now greater Los Angeles. This is an immensely accurate complication, and a genuine feat of modern mechanical horology. Outside of its moonphase complication, the CVDK7382 offers a hefty 96 hour power reserve courtesy of its twin mainspring barrels. In keeping with its classical presentation, Christiaan van der Klaauw pairs the Real Moon Joure Green Meteorite with a simple black alligator leather strap.
With its record-breaking moonphase complication and its dynamic blend of classical and modern minimalist styling, the Christiaan van der Klaauw Real Moon Joure Green Meteorite is a captivating showcase of high-end boutique horology. The Christiaan van der Klaauw Real Moon Joure Green Meteorite is available now through authorized dealers. Starting MSRP for this watch stands at €39,950 as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.