Fromanteel Watches: How 17th century clockmaking inspired a brand made for the here and now Fromanteel Watches: How 17th century clockmaking inspired a brand made for the here and now

Fromanteel Watches: How 17th century clockmaking inspired a brand made for the here and now

Ricardo Sime

You can be in the right place, at the right time, but without good business acumen, you might watch an opportunity slip away. Such was the case with renowned Dutch mathematician, Christiaan Huygens, in mid-17th century Holland.  Here was a man who had just created a new mechanism that tremendously aided the pursuit of telling accurate time; the pendulum. Yet, it was a man visiting from England called John Fromanteel that saw just how important this innovation was. He would bring the pendulum mechanism back to London and, with the help of his family, become the first makers and vendors of Pendulum clocks in the country. It’s that family’s enterprising spirit that inspired Alfredo Silva and Martijn van Hassel to call their watch company Fromanteel Watches.

Martijn & Alfredo, co-founders of Fromanteel Watches


Fromanteel Watches, in its current form, first hit the scene in 2009. The brand is based out of Amsterdam and had one goal in mind: to create high-quality watches that were both understated and affordable. I know some may read this and feel like they’ve heard it a million times before. But realise this was years before brands seemed to be coming out of the woodwork making similar claims. Founders Martijn and Alfredo were actually genuine in their pursuit (their lasting power being a clear testament of its success). They both loved watches and wanted to turn that passion into a business.

Fromanteel Day & Night

For their inaugural collection, Fromanteel Watches released a pair of Swiss quartz-powered chronographs called the Fromanteel Day and the Fromanteel Night. As a new brand, these were a great first foray into the industry, with their simple and versatile design. The pair of watches could easily float between both casual and dressy attire. Add to that a very limited supply of 85 pieces per model and a reasonable price of only 289 Euro. It was no surprise that the release did well.

From there, the brand expanded their offerings. New collections played with the Day & Night design, while referencing the original Fromanteel family. There was the Vintage 1607 Black and White; 1607 being the year John’s clockmaker father Ahasuerus Fromanteel was born. You also had the sportier 85 Series Rally Silver and Rally Black, as Ahasuerus had passed away at the age of 85. These collections created a stable foundation upon which Fromanteel could grow.

Accelerated Growth

Fromanteel’s first automatic watch – The Generations Pendulum Original

As Fromanteel Watches progressed through it’s early years, their catalogue continued to grow. They added three hand Date and Day Date watches, while also incorporating textured dials into their designs. Yet their most significant step forward came in 2015, when they created their first automatic watch. That watch would be the Generations Pendulum Original and it celebrated the mechanism that made the Fromanteel name famous. Its design features beautiful leaf hands and a Clous De Paris patterned dial. At the heart of the watch, you’ll find the venerable ETA 2824-2 movement. Not too shabby for a small brand’s first automatic.

Military commissioned watches: The 10 December, The MLD-100 , The GMT-298, The Flipper 111 & The Wildcat 300

Shortly after the release of the Generations Pendulum Original, Fromanteel Watches started achieving greater standing within their home country of the Netherlands. In 2017, the brand’s attention to detail and classic aesthetic drew notice from the Dutch army. This then led to special editions being commissioned for the Royal Dutch Air Force and the Dutch Marines.

What’s in store?

As Fromanteel enters its second decade of existence, the brand continues to enjoy a comfortable lead on many would be competitors. This comes from their vast experiences, which allows them to focus in on what it is they do best as a brand; the creation of an affordable, beautifully designed, timeless product. Furthermore, their automatic watch offerings continues to expand. They recently released, for pre order, their first automatic chronograph, the Pendulum Chrono. In this release, the brand shows just how far they’ve come from their humble quartz chronograph beginnings.

The Fromanteel Pendulum Chrono .BLU Blue

If you want to know more about Fromanteel Watches and the timepieces they make, visit their website here.


Made in partnership with the Fromanteel Watches. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.