It’s high time for more modest brands from the Low Countries. Introducing Cluse watches, a new brand from Holland focused on the minimalist, affordable market.
Depending on how you measure, most would agree that the Swiss take the cake in terms of high-end watchmaking. After Switzerland, I’d place German and Japanese brands in the next tier, perhaps followed by representatives from the UK and Italy.
Holland hasn’t really entered that conversation. But that’s not to say the Low Country hasn’t produced some nice luxury timepieces already - Van Ree Watches and the “horological brothers” Grönefeld come to mind first.
Noticeably absent, however, has been a very affordable brand from Holland. Until now.
Cluse is the new Dutch brand on the scene, focused on producing affordable timepieces based on a minimalist design ethic. On first impression, their watches are elegant and understated, following the footsteps of brands like Daniel Wellington that has used a similar design code and pricing model to great effect.
A Cluse watch is therefore an accessory first and foremost. Yes it’s stylish but it will never scream for attention. It’s there to be a compliment to any outfit and not to be the star of the show. And when I say affordable, I mean affordable – their wristwatches hover around the 90 euro mark, a great value for a well-executed timepiece.
In terms of quality, we get more value than might be expected that this price point. At the brand’s Amsterdam HQ, a workshop with specialized watchmakers ensures quality control and repairs downstream.
I’m a fan of their Pavane model, particularly the ultrathin 8 mm silver case that’s nicely paired with a silver stainless steel mesh strap. The simple styling allows the watch to be dressed up or dressed down with ease.
Another popular option for both men and women is the La Bohème model. Powered by a Japanese quartz, it features a thin 38mm case and is available in either eggshell white and gold, silver and rose gold.
The brand has many other options available on their website, allowing customers to select among various combinations of cases and straps. One feature that might have been useful there is an online customization tool, where customers can pick and choose their own strap and case combination rather than selecting from the predetermined offering.
But at their solid prices, you might afford a few of their timepieces and do the mixing and matching yourself at home. And that just might have been the idea from the beginning for the brand.