Dreaming of time is dreaming of freedom. As luxury, the freedom to create is reserved for young and audacious minds. Stefan Ketelaars is one of them and at only 16 years old this watchmaker decided to make his dream come true by handcrafting his first watches.  Impressed by the visual potential of his creations we decided to ask him a few questions in order to know from which planet the young man comes. An opportunity for you to discover the new horological guard.

My inspiration is time itself, its untouchable, yet it is wearable in the wrist.

Stefan Ketelaars

Could you present yourself please ? 
My name is Stefan Ketelaars, 25 years old, living in the Netherlands and I am the owner of the watch brand Ketelaars Watches 

How did you came to watchmaking ? 
I have always been fascinated by the technical difficulty of a mechanical watch movement. That’s why I’ve purchased my first mechanical watch when I was 10. My fascination only grew more when time passed, when I was 16 I started repairing vintage Seiko divers to gain more experience. Eventually It was time to fulfill my dream, skeletonize my own watch movement, this was the start of my watch brand. 

When did you started Ketelaars Watches ? 
I've started my brand since January 2017, but I'e been building watches since 2015. 

Ketelaars Watches

What is your inspiration ? 
My inspiration is time itself, it's untouchable, yet it is wearable in the wrist. That is why I always will show the motion of time with rotating globe or the motion of time itself (the balance wheel). When I make a watch for a client it is more than just telling time. The watches I make will tell a story about the owner, his interest and life story. This will give the watch a value for the owner that cant be expressed with money. 
The watchmaker that most inspires me is Masahiro Kikuno. The idea behind his work, his attitude and his skills are great. 

Stefan Ketelaars

Which is the base movement of your calibers? 
The base is a NOS pocket watch movement (eta6498/97) this working horse is a great base for building complications on top of it. 

How many watches do you sell by year ? How long did it take to produce one watch ? 
The average time I spend on a single watch is 2.5/3 months, that’s why I will only make around 5 watches a year. 

Where are your watches produced ? 
The watches are made in my atelier in the Netherlands. The base of the movement is swiss, the rest of the watch is Dutch handmade.  

Stefan Ketelaars

Are your dials produced in-house? 
Beside the base of the movement (eta6498/97) everything is made inhouse. The complication, skeletonization, engraving, plating, hands, dials. How these parts are build can be found on my website: www.ketelaarswatches.com  

Stefan Ketelaars

What the average price?
The average price is around 4k 

Stefan Ketelaars

About the author

Anwar Korti

Anwar, directeur du site Tendance Horlogerie, est avant tout un passionné d'horlogerie. Plongé dans l'univers des montres dès son enfance, c'est à l'adolescence que le virus horloger s'est manifesté. Fervent admirateur de l'artisanat d'art, il s'est reconnu dans les valeurs traditionnelles et humaines que véhicule continuellement l'horlogerie depuis plusieurs siècles.