Earlier this week, we were proud to bring you the news and our exclusive live images of the updated Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne. We presented to you the three classic editions of this watch, an important one for the brand. First of all, these timepieces marked the evolution of an emblematic model of CVDK, a cornerstone watch that has been in collection for many years. And, in all fairness, it is a highly successful improvement, without compromising on the brand’s DNA. Second, it’s the first watch to leave the atelier under the brand’s new direction, with Pim Koeslag at its head. Well, there’s more about the redesigned Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne that we haven’t shown yet. Meet the other two editions, in gorgeous salmon or turquoise, made specifically for Dutch retailer Reijersen. And make sure to not miss our video that will tell you all about CVDK, its history, the Ariadne watches and these two stunning limited editions.
Let’s start with a short introduction about the present partners for these two limited editions. On one side is what’s probably the most enduring watchmaker of The Netherlands, Christiaan van der Klaauw. In 1974, he opened his own business and presented his first clock with astronomical complication – a theme that will become a signature element of almost all timepieces he created. The most emblematic wristwatch produced by Christiaan van der Klaauw is, without a doubt the Planetarium, presented in 1999 and still to this date the smallest mechanical planetarium ever created. Following the transmission of the company in 2009, the brand bearing his name will focus entirely on astronomical complications. The Ariadne, even though one of the most classic and simplest watches in the collection, retains some functions that can be linked to the world of astronomy.
An important change occurred for the brand last year. Indeed, Dutch master watchmaker Pim Koeslag joined the brand as co-owner and technical director, acquiring a majority stake in the brand. For the record, the man has been the driving force behind the Swiss-Dutch brand Frederique Constant from 2003 and 2022, as well as the co-founder of high-end brand Ateliers DeMonaco. Koeslag’s idea isn’t to change everything; the brand has a strong DNA and its own personality, which should be kept alive. However, it is time for evolution and models have to be revamped to bring something fresh and new. And, knowing Koeslag’s mechanical inventiveness and talent as a watchmaker, there’s no doubt that he will bring new complications to the brand in the near future.
Last but not least, there is a third party involved in these new editions of the Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne, and it’s one of the brand’s oldest partners, Dutch watch retailer Reijersen. Located in the city of Oudewater and specialising in rare limited editions and original watches (such as Ateliers DeMonaco, Czapek and CVDK), Reijersen describes itself as “a jeweller-gastronome, a jeweller for gourmets, both in terms of the unique watch collections, as well as in terms of culinary indulgences and hospitality.” Entering the store is a rather different experience that combines gastronomy and horology. Reijersen and Koeslag worked together several times in the past to design special watch editions – such as the Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture “De Burgemeester” Edition. Now, they join forces for the first watch under CVDK’s new direction.
The new CVDK Ariadne
Before moving to the specificities of these two Reijersen limited editions, let’s move back a little in time and check what the new Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne watches are all about. First of all, what matters is that we’re talking about the revamp of an existing model, not an entirely new watch. The Ariadne is one of the classics in the brand’s portfolio, and one of its most accessible models. It can’t compete in terms of exclusivity and mechanical amazement with watches such as the Planetarium or the Cosmic Reall Moon Joure, but it remains nevertheless a typical CVDK watch in its own respect. Below, the three classic editions of the new Ariadne (in blue, silver or anthracite).
First of all, contrary to the models mentioned above, the Ariadne doesn’t come with a self-developed exotic complication. However, it does bring to the dial a rather impressive set of indications and functions, some of them easily related to astronomy. The Ariadne is a watch that combines an automatic chronograph with a complete calendar with an elegant pointer-date, a day-night indicator and a moonphase, all thanks to an outsourced movement. What makes the Ariadne special is the visual execution and the decoration of the movement. For many years, it has been a watch with a classic silvery-white dial and stamped guilloche-like pattern (with some higher-end editions with true guilloche dials).
This year, this model gets a thorough facelift, which concerns its dial and the decoration of the movement. What doesn’t change is the technical base of the watch. The steel case remains identical, at 40mm in diameter, with a fully polished surface. Rounded, with pronounced lugs featuring a screw-cap, it has all the ingredients of a CVDK, including the quicky chronograph pushers and the onion-shaped crown. No evolution on that side, as this case has a lot to do in the brand’s appeal.
Turning the watch over, you’ll see the same movement as before, the calibre CVDK7758, based on a tried-and-tested Valjoux movement. It comes equipped with a complete calendar and a moon phase, a pointer-date with central hand, a 24-hour sub-dial working as a day-night indicator, month and weekday indications in windows at 12 o’clock and all classic sub-dials of a Valjoux-based tri-compax chronograph. What changes is the decoration, mostly of the rotor. It is done by famous engraver Jochen Benzinger and reveals a guilloché pattern and a hand-engraved gold-plated sun… Quite lovely indeed.
The work done by Koeslag on this watch is visual – it’s too soon to see technical developments yet. The idea was to bring a fresh, more modern and more high-end look to the dial of the Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne. For this, the classic silvery-white stamped dial has been replaced by something far bolder, and more colourful, showing much more textures and decoration techniques. The concept is, without turning its back entirely to the past, to improve the legibility and reinforce the visual presence. For that, the base of the dial now has a coloured (silver, anthracite or blue for the classic models) and frosted surfaces. This is used as a canvas for a multitude of raised elements…
Now, all counters are framed by silver-coloured and circular brushed rings, far more pronounced than before. In the same vein, the Breguet numerals are applied and executed in a contrasting colour, pairing with the elegant blued Breguet hands. The date on the periphery of the dial is also executed in a brushed, silvered ring and the moonphase sits under a blue starry sky. Finally, CVDK’s sun logo sits proudly in a circular cartouche at 3 o’clock, balancing the dial. No need to say, the watch is more lively, more present and brings a more luxurious take. It has more personality, despite losing a bit of its classic, restrained look.
The Ariadne Reijersen Collector’s Editions
In addition to the three classic editions of the Ariadne that will be available directly from Christiaan van der Klaauw and from its network of retailers, the brand has been working on two limited editions made exclusively for Dutch watch retailer Reijersen. And they went for highly appealing, trendy colours that will surely speak to the collecting community. Even bolder than the classic versions, more playful and with a higher collectability potential.
What we’re talking about are just a different colour of dial and a different strap. But most of you know that a colour can make a world of difference. Reijersen chose for two colours that have recently become very popular; pink-salmon on one side and turquoise “Tiffany-like” on the other. Both retain the same frosted finish as the rest of the collection, which pairs here with contrasting blue elements on the hands and numerals. Tasteful combinations for sure, resulting in watches with an even stronger appeal.
To add another touch of exclusivity, the alligator straps of the classic Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne editions have been replaced by more casual buffalo leather straps – in brownish-grey for the salmon edition and in deep blue for the turquoise Reijersen-only model. Both are closed by a folding clasp with the CVDK logo.
Availability & Price
The two Christiaan van der Klaauw Ariadne Reijersen Collector’s Watches are each limited to 50 pieces, and available exclusively from the Reijersen store in Oudewater. The price is EUR 8,450 (incl. taxes). For more details, please visit www.klaauw.com and reijersenjuweliers.nl.