Swiss-based watch craftsman Kees Engelbarts has recently unveiled his newest “Piece Unique,” the term he uses to describe his watch creations, and this timepiece is most certainly “Unique” from a visual standpoint.
Engelbarts started his career as a hand-engraver for various Swiss-watchmaking companies, engraving dials, cases,
movements, etc., until 1997 when he decided to begin creating his own watches. Engelbarts has spent the years since hand-crafting watches and one of the techniques he employs in his watch creation is a 17th century Japanese engraving technique known as Mokume-gane. Mokume-gane is a technique used to imitate wood grain patterns in metal laminae by bonding two different colored metals or alloys that are compatible in their malleability and ductility without the use of flux or solder. Mokum-gane is certainly a principal design element that lends the term “Unique” to this piece.
Engelbarts’ latest “Piece Unique” features a dial made of oxidized Damast steel that can appear blue, violet and even yellow. The blue hour and minute hands contrast nicely with the skeleton-ised dial, which leaves much of the movement below exposed from the front. Several gears are visible as are the two main spring barrels, the balance wheel and parts of the bridges and main plate. The crystal sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides ensures that these features are all easily visible. There is also a crystal sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides on the backside of the piece, rendering the equally impressive sculpting on the backside, as well as more of the movement, visible.
The movement itself is actually a Technotime caliber 718. The Technotime caliber 718 is a manually winded movement and features a 120-hr power reserve. The complications and the finishes of the Technotime 718 are completely customizable and, besides its impressive five-day power reserve, it is reasonable to assume that is why Engelbarts would select this movement for this very detailed piece.
The movement and dial are both housed in a handcrafted, platinum case that measures 42mm in diameter with a height of 11mm. Kees Engelbarts has inscribed his full name on the outside of the case but other than that there are no other letters, numerals or symbols visible on the front of the case, which could lead to some difficulty getting an accurate reading of the time. The strap is made from black crocodile leather with a platinum clasp to round out the aesthetic features.
Despite featuring a quality movement in the Technotime 718, this timepiece is quite impractical as a time-indicator and is more of an artistic creation than anything. Still, Kees Engelbarts’ newest “Piece Unique” is an interesting and creative watch that continues Engelbarts’ history of unique timepieces and is sure to leave watch enthusiasts anticipating his next creation.
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