Kees Engelbarts – the first time I met him back in 2008, was in Oldenzaal (Netherlands), for the opening of the Grönefeld Boutique. Together with fellow independents he had a couple of watches on display. Looking at his watches – intriguing came to my mind. Perfectly executed, eclectic and not for the crowd. What me didn´t like was the brand name – Cornelius & Cie, Geneve – especially on the dial. A partnership between Kees Engelbarts and Paul Pertijs, an owner of several jewellery shops in the Netherlands.
Looking at Kees’ timepieces from today, without any branding and purely dedicated to the crafts is much more to my taste and his own spirit:
“Why should a watch wear the name of the watchmaker (the technician) if the important thing is aesthetic aspect of the watch, the engraved dial or the beautifully decorated movement? Wouldn’t it be more logical to name the watch after its creator?”
Unique watches for people that are looking for something different, that´s his strength. “Handmade” is not just a slogan, looking (even close) at his watches. Only a few pieces per year, but all of them eclectic and perfectly executed.
One of my favourites representing his work, was the Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon he decorated for the horological Grönefeld brothers, an awesome piece for sure.