Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium Watch Available On James List

Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium Watch Available On James List

Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium Watch Available On James List Sales & Auctions

I was in Basel, Switzerland sitting in a van and I saw a man wearing what looked rather familiar. There on his wrist was a Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium. Of course, it makes total sense for the man to be strutting his stuff at Baselworld, but how rare is it for someone to have one of these? Pretty rare actually. The luxury watch done in an old world style displays the signature ultra complexity that Christian Van Der Klaauw is know for. I know of no other watch with a full planetarium on the dial. I talked to the man for a second to compliment him on the piece. You just don't see stuff like that very often.

In fact, Christiaan van der Klaauw (CVDK) pretty much only makes "astronomical watches." The Planetarium has the smallest such complication in the world on the dial. Even before clocks existed, there were astrological devices meant to track the heavens. The watch movement is a heavily modified ETA 2824 with a hell of a module on it. Aside from the time, the watch has an annual calendar with the month and the date, as well as a planetarium that shows the relative placement of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn around the sun. What? No Uranus? I would have totally given a small shout out to Pluto as well... you know, for old times' sake.

> Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium Watch Available On James List Sales & Auctions

At 40mm wide, the watches come in a few case styles, most of which being in 18k rose or white gold (platinum also available). There are also a number of dial options available (like 3 or 4 of them). Over time the watch has changed a lot. Some of the more recent models even have different, non ETA base movements. The movements are all modified in-house by CVDK. Check out those cool casebacks? Benzinger in Germany does all the engraving work on them, and makes them look very old-world hip. I always love it when Benzinger's shop lends its talent to any project. Sapphire crystal on the top and bottom of the watch (of course), and they are matched to an alligator strap.

For an classic look that feels awesome, you really can't go wrong with CVDK watches. You have luxury, traditional looks, fascinating complications, and that interesting avant garde pedigree you always seem to find in Dutch watches. CVDK feels well made, and have a indy spirit that is in total contrast to the more corporate feel of a Cartier for example. Prices for most Christiaan van der Klaauw Planetarium watches are in the $25,000 - $30,000 range. Some advice though... if you have one of these, please never let it wind down and always keep it in a winder... cause then you'll have to reset the planetarium.,. and what a chore that would be!

Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium Watch Available On James List Sales & Auctions

Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium Watch Available On James List Sales & Auctions

Some CK PLANETARIUM CKPT1126 Tech Specs of the model above:
Movement: Automatic, Klaauw-Benzinger
KB 12824-2 (modified ETA 2824-2) with in-house module; movement is guilloched by hand.
Functions: The watch is equipped with the smallest heliocentric 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.
Case: Rose gold, ø 40 mm, height 14 mm; sapphire glass; transparent bottom.
Dial: Guilloched; pomme hands in blued steel.
Strap: Alligator leather.

See a Christiaan van der Klaauw Planetarium watch available on James List here.

  • Shinytoys

    Reset the planetarium, very funny !

    Beautiful Watch!

  • Kris C.

    I’m sorry, but this piece is tedious, and the planetarium complication gets my vote for most useless ever. The back of the case is beautiful, and the work done on the movement is outstanding, but thats about all there is to compliment. The beads, or whatever they are that represent the planets look very cheap, and the placements for the month abbreviations look a little crooked and unfinished. It also looks like it could be hard to read at times – the hands and the background of the “solar system” are the same colour, and obviously nothing is lumed.
    The oddity in this complication is lost on me in both the execution and the price tag. I don’t doubt for a second that the work put into this, and the materials used are worth that figure, but I just don’t see it in the finished product.

    • So you love the watch is what you are saying?

  • Hans Mennink

    I remember the conversation in the van. I was visiting Baselworld, and my friend wore the Planetarium (I was wearing the Lange 1 this year to Baselworld)

    It was nice meeting you, you even took some pictures of the watch in that full-packed, wobbly van.

    ps, re-setting the vd Klaauw Planetarium watch is not as difficult as re-setting the vd Klaauw Eclips watch.

    • How great that you saw the post Hans! Thanks for the additional details as well.

  • Kris C.

    Yes, and no. I love the idea, just not this particular execution. My vote for making the planetarium complication the most useless ever was not an insult – I love useless complications. I just think this one could have been done much nicer.

  • mark

    beautiful watch…the work gone into it is outstanding, i wish i had the ash to get 1 myself…i have 2 benzingers and didnt realise benzinger did the engraving for van der klaauw…that makes even more special in my eyes…i was at basel and went to AHCI stand……incredible pieces….

  • Francois

    Actually I am looking to acquire a Planetarium, ideally white gold or platinum, but cannot be too picky. Anyone interested contact me at

  • Cam

    I had the chance to interview Mr Thomas Van Der Kallen president of Christiaan Van Der Klaauw astronomical Watches this year in basel and I really like the concept. They are trying to launch the brand worldwide. Good luck to them.

    I just wanted to show you the back of the watch which is really beautiful in reality !

  • 1singur

    i’d rather see a triple axis tourbillion at the centre of the movement as the sun, and all the planets around it.

  • StefanDumitrache

    any word on it’s precision? what’s the loss or gain in timekeeping? i love it for having a unique complication, but i am curious how acurately it keeps up on the usual job.

  • Stephen M. Herrick

    Excellent, love it.

  • Stephen M. Herrick