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New Release: Kees Engelbarts Platinum Tsuba Watch, Piece Unique

Pre-SIHH news from Kees Engelbarts.
by Robin Lim on March 6, 2016

Kees Engelbarts is an independent watchmaker, master engraver, and his work focus is on the aesthetics of his timepieces. This BaselWorld, he will be showing the ancient Japanese technique called “Mokume Gane” (or literally translated to Wood-Grain Metal), a frequent feature in his watches. And now in the new Platinum Tsuba Watch.

This time, Kees’ inspiration is from the Tsuba, the hand guard mounted on a Japanese sword. This artwork on this particular Tsuba was done by Hamano Masanobu in circa 1836, in which it depicts a scene of a hawk and a sparrow.


A close up of Kees Engelbarts' Platinum Tsuba.

A close up of the hawk in Kees Engelbarts’ Platinum Tsuba.


The watch, noticeably, is a visual treat for those who appreciate the intricacies of fine craftsmanship. The dial itself is produced with different materials, such as bronze, a variety of gold, and silver. One interesting point to highlight is that the base plate of the mokume gane dial is manufactured from silver and white gold. It is then further treated with nitric acid, in which it accentuates the depth and relief of the wood grain finishing. It also gives the dial some texture, and making it much more interesting in the process.


Another macro shot of the Platinum Tsuba, this time with the green gold leaves.

Another macro shot of the Platinum Tsuba, this time with the green gold leaves.


Another point to note, with regards to the detailing, is the fact that each individual element is hand cut, adjusted, and then soldered. Once they are assembled, the details are then hand-engraved using a low-relief technique to bring out the 3-D effect of the art. On top of that, heat treatment is also given to varies metal (such as steel) to bring a change in its colors. This is pretty obvious in some bits, such as the blued steel hands and the screws.


The movement of the watch, in which it features some interesting forms of finishing.

The movement of the watch, in which it features some interesting forms of finishing.


The Platinum Tsuba is powered by AS 690, a NOS (new old stock) movement that features a power reserve of 8 days. Similarly, the bridges of the movements are decorated with the mokume gane finishing. It also features other forms of finishing, such as beveling and polishing. The blued screws, as mentioned above, are outstanding as well.

The 49mm asymmetrical watch is cased in 950 Platinum, and it is matte finished. It also features a pusher at 2 o’clock, in which it is used to set the time. The hefty watch is weight at 301 grams, and as its nomenclature suggests – it is a piece unique. It will be priced at CHF 200,000.

For more information, please check out http://www.kees.ch/.



Product Specifications:



  • hand-wound AS 690
  • 8 days power reserve
  • 17 jewels
  • 18’000 BPH
  • pusher at 2 o’clock position for time-setting



  • platinum 950, matte finish
  • 49 mm x 16mm
  • Sapphire crystal both sides with double anti-reflection treatment
  • Protrusion at 5 o’clock position to accommodate the main-spring barrel



  • exterior black alligator leather
  • interior black shark leather
  • solid platinum 950 buckle



  • Total 301 grams
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