n art history, the Delft School of Painting was an important movement in the mid-17th-century Netherlands. Its most famous representative was Charles Vermeer. This movement was best known for its acute sense of details in scenes of the daily life, portraits and still lives. It was a Golden Age for the Netherlands, both economically and culturally, having just gained independence from Spain.
His sense of aesthetics is not unlike the masters of the 17th century, with a modern twist: its use of 3D metal printing.
Established in the historical centre of Delft, watchmaker Michiel Holthinrichs is a proud ambassador of the contemporary arts scene in the Dutch city. His sense of aesthetics is not unlike the masters of the 17th century, with a modern twist: its use of 3D metal printing to craft its designs, with a certain sense of timeless beauty...
“Beauty has always fascinated me and initially led me to become an architect, he says. Practice has taught me that compromises in favour of costs and efficiency often come at the expense of my pursuit of beauty. This experience is what led me into watchmaking.” Drawing his first sketches in 2013, then conducting 3D printing tests, Michiel Holthinrichs launched his first model, Ornament 1 Ruthenium, three years ago.
“The specific concept of adding material, rather than removing it, requires a new, unconventional way of thinking while designing.”
The Ornament 1 Delft Blue was introduced to celebrate the town of Delft. Last year, at the EPHJ fair in Geneva, Michiel Holthinrichs launched a first 3D-printed solid gold watch. He has since started the production of its own in-house dials and presented the first 3D-printed platinum watch ever.
3D metal printing is a key aspect in his work. “The specific concept of adding material, rather than removing it, requires a new, unconventional way of thinking while designing, he says. The use of 3D printing allows for the creation of unprecedented designs with far-reaching options for customisation. Although seemingly paradoxical to this use of state of the art technology, every part of the watch is finished by hand in my atelier. With this combination of present and future I offer small series or unique and bespoke timepieces on request.”
The following gallery offers a glimpse into the horological world of Michiel Holthinrichs.