Visiting Christiaan Van der Klaauw in Naarden, the Netherlands: Photo Essay and Interesting Twist

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Christiaan Van der Klaauw at their atelier in Naarden, which is around 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Amsterdam.

Map of Naaden – red line is walk  (image courtesy Janwillemvanaalst/Wikipedia)

I arrived late in the afternoon so previously tried to find a hotel nearby to visit first thing the next morning, but as all hotels in proximity were booked, I found one around 30-minutes walk away in the adjacent town of Bussum.

Off to school in Bussum

That turned out to be a bonus as it was a beautiful walk and it allowed me to appreciate the area much more.

Naarden is a picturesque town (though is officially a city), and the location of the Christiaan Van der Klaauw offices and atelier on the once fortress island in the center are absolutely stunning. Walking through it feels like a Disneyland version of a Dutch town.

Taking the dog for a walk in the part in Naaden

Come with me on a walk to and through Naarden for a taste of Holland.

Path along the moat protecting the Star Fort sector of Naaden

Bridge over the moat to the Walking through the Star Fort sector of Naaden

The centerpiece of Naarden is it’s distinctive star fort, complete with fortified walls. While it appears to be constructed on an island, the fort is actually surrounded by a moat.


The shape of the fort is so distinctive that during WW2 it was used as rallying point for Allied bombers returning to England after raids on Germany.



Star Fort sector of Naaden

Star Fort sector of Naaden

Het Arsenaal in Naarden, home of Christiaan van der Klaauw



An interesting twist

Christiaan Van der Klaauw is in a magnificent complex called Het Arsenaal, which was used as a military barracks until 1987.

Het Arsenaal in Naarden

Het Arsenaal was bought by Dutch interior architect Jan des Bouvrie, who transformed it into show room for his designs and it evolved to include a restaurant and is the Netherlands’ leading concept store for interior design, luxury, gastronomy, jewelry, fashion & lifestyle.

Het Arsenaal in Naarden

In an interesting twist and turn of fate, Mr. Christiaan Van der Klaauw originally had his atelier in the north of the country where he specialized in astronomical clocks.

However, Van der Klaauw’s life and work were rocked after Jan des Bouvrie casually proclaimed on his popular TV show that clocks were passé, something your grandparents might have but outdated in a stylish contemporary home.

Christiaan van der Klaauw wall clocks

That killed the market for Van der Klaauw’s clocks so he began making astronomical wristwatches instead.

Now the Christiaan Van der Klaauw has its atelier in a complex still managed by Jan des Bouvrie’s wife Monique and their children.

View from Het Arsenaal in Naarden



Entrance to access Christiaan van der Klaauw at Het Arsenaal

Furniture and furnishings on display in relaxed surrounds at Het Arsenaal

Furniture and furnishings on display in relaxed surrounds at Het Arsenaal



Impressive beaten copper entrance to Christiaan van der Klaauw

Astronomical clocks on display at Christiaan van der Klaauw

Christiaan van der Klaauw Real Moon Joure 40 (left and Orion Lady Stardust

Astronomical clock at Christiaan van der Klaauw

Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne full calendar chrono with 24-hour indication

Christiaan van der Klaauw watchmakers’ atelier



Christiaan Van der Klaauw Hypernova automatic annual calendar chronograph with moon phases and day/night indication

And for the Christiaan Van der Klaauw fans who got to the bottom of this article, you might be pleased to learn that while the brand’s new manufacture movement has not yet been officially launched in a wristwatch – that’s coming later this year – all watches being delivered now are shipping with the new movement.

For more information, please visit

You might also enjoy:

Why I Bought It: Collector Koen Simon and his Two-Tone Christiaan Van Der KlaauwOrion

Christiaan van der Klaauw Planetarium Dunes of Mars: The Red Planet on your Wrist

Christiaan Van Der Klaauw New Majority Shareholder Pim Koeslag In Conversation: Shooting For The Stars

Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium Eise Eisinga: Taking The Solar System From The Ceiling And Putting It On Your Wrist

2 replies
    • Ian Skellern
      Ian Skellern says:

      I don’t think those clocks and watches on display are for sale, but many of the watches on show are still in production and now have the new movement.
      Regards, Ian


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