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A Clockwork Orange – Staudt Watches

The most famous Dutch folk song is called “Oranje boven” – orange is the best. Following this motto, Dutch watchmaker Yvo Staudt is establishing himself at the international forefront of watchmaking

During his studies at the conservatoire of Pescara, Italy, Yvo Staudt, a young musician from the Netherlands, created his first timepiece. This personal project became an entrepreneurial adventure when people asked him where they could buy his creation. Now, four years later, the young musician is the leader of a new watch brand called Staudt Watches, with a vastly growing imperium of enthusiastic retailers in The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and Norway. Each watch is made in the Dutch region of Twenthe. Yvo tells us his story: “I’ve been playing the accordion since the age of five: not the type of music played at funfairs and festivals, but classical music, tango, and jazz. When I was in secondary school, I met Claudio, one of the world’s best accordion players. I didn’t care how and where, but I just had to study with him. No sooner said than done. At the age of eighteen, I packed my bags and moved to Italy to study at the conservatoire in Pescara.

The first year was just fabulous. Claudio was like a second father to me and I took great steps towards making my dream of becoming a top-class accordion player come true. During the second year, however, something changed: I slowly felt more and more out of place and was no longer happy. As a cover-up, I once again started to engross myself in a former passion of mine: mechanical watches. Learning as much as possible about this magical world soon turned into an obsession.

Shortly after, I realised what my perfect watch would have to look like: it would have to be blue, understated, and of prime quality. Despite my extensive search, I couldn’t find my perfect watch elsewhere, so I was left with only one option: to create it myself!

I started working on my sketches, printed them, glued them to mechanical movements: that’s how my first watch slowly came to fruition. I began taking watches apart and tried to put them together again. My first attempts didn’t work out as expected, but as time went by, I started to get the hang of it. Step by step, my very own watch was taking shape.

Ultimately, I gave up my studies in Italy. I believe in karma: if you surround yourself with negative energy, you’ll receive nothing in return but negative energy. I learned this the hard way in Italy. Nevertheless, my passion for watches remained unchanged. Back in the Netherlands, I was approached when attending a watch event at the beginning of 2014 and was asked about the watch that I was wearing. I told my story about my music, my loneliness and that I had crafted the watch myself. “How much is it?” I had no idea whatsoever.

However, I then decided to share my creation with others. I had no money, so I borrowed the maximum amount available as a student loan and started developing my first watch without delay. In October 2014, the time had come to present my watch: the first Staudt Praeludium was born. In total, I crafted 45 watches of this model. I assembled every single watch myself. Much to my surprise, all 45 watches had found new owners by the beginning of 2015. As I had invested all my funds in my watchmaking atelier, I didn’t have two pennies to rub together. But I had plenty of ideas! As luck would have it, a customer offered me financial support. This enabled me to develop my ideas down to the last detail, and to improve and implement them in the current Praeludium collection. What started as an adventure has turned into my oeuvre.”


The Praeludium Guilloche is a true masterpiece. Only a few in the world master the art of guilloche. Every line of the dial is carved out of solid silver, without any help from digital or electric machines. The case is made of solid 18 ct. rose gold and houses a manual movement, based on Unitas. The Praeludium Guilloche is limited to 25 pieces and costs 14,000 euros.


A lot has happened since the official launch of Staudt Watches in 2014. During the first years, the main focus was on The Netherlands, and that resulted in a nice and steady network of enthusiastic high-end retailers. “I believe timepieces should be purchased offline. It’s a piece of jewellery. Practically nobody really needs one. So it’s important that the watch suits the personality of its wearer and that there’s a connection between the two. You only feel this in the flesh”, says Yvo Staudt. To put the money where its mouth is, the brand only sells its timepieces online in partnership with their retailers. So its online activities become a service for its offline network. In countries without an offline dealer network, the Staudt watches can be ordered online.

In early 2017, young entrepreneur Yvo Staudt met Loek Oprinsen, former President of Ebel, Wholesale Director of Cartier, and Brand Manager at Piaget, Baum & Mercier, Panerai, Vacheron Constantin, and Montblanc – someone who knows the watch industry inside out. The two of them immediately felt a great connection, both personally as business-wise. They decided to join forces and Oprinsen became Managing Partner in October 2017. Both watch lovers would agree that the watch industry has become polluted. A watch is an emotional product, something luxurious that reflects one’s identity. Nobody really needs it. Over the last decades, this world has become more and more about ratios. The main focus of many big brands is to satisfy their shareholders. Making watches appears to be secondary. And that can be noticed in ridiculous prices, disloyalty to retailers, very high “service” prices, and poor quality. Oprinsen & Staudt have made it their goal to bring back authenticity, joy, and loyalty. And up to now, they’ve been doing a great job, opening new retail stores in The Netherlands, Spain, and Germany almost every month. “Our main focus for now is on Europe, but the world is our oyster”, says Oprinsen.

Yvo Staudt


“So many people wear their timepiece as a symbol of their identity. I believe that real success is intrinsic and not to be measured by external accessories such as a timepiece. Ideally, a timepiece should reflect the owner’s identity and not the other way around”, claims Yvo Staudt. The brand launched a playful campaign with a big Angora goat as their model. Their tagline: “Are you ready to leave the herd?” The idea is to shake things up a little. “Everyone wants to be unique, but it seems like they all wear the same watch”, says the young musician.


This April, Staudt introduced his latest addition to the Praeludium collection: the Chronograph. The Praeludium collection is where it all started. Yvo Staudt drew the first sketches of this collection in 2013 and now there are four different models – all of them in the typical two-tone finish and available in three colours: Staudt blue, ivory, and black. The new Praeludium Chronograph combines a clean, classic look with the functionality and sportsmanship of a chronograph caliber. Prices for this timepiece start from 2,989.00 euros.

See www.staudtwatches.com
for more information.