Fromanteel's origin story starts in the 17th century
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

6 minute read

Step back in time with me, if you will, to the bustling streets of 17th century Amsterdam, where the echoes of horse hooves clatter against cobblestone, and the air is thick with the scent of the sea and the hum of trade. Amidst the lively crowd, a particular workshop stands out on the Dam Square, the beating heart of this vibrant city. This is the home of Ahasuerus Fromanteel, a master in the art of clockmaking, and his eldest son Johannes.

A journey to the past is necessary to truly appreciate the craft that goes into the modern-day Fromanteel Watches. The story of this heritage brand, best known today for the likes of its Globetrotter Moon Phase White, Pendulum Original, and Generations Chrono Blue, is a tale of innovation, courage, and relentless pursuit of precision.

Our tale begins with Ahasuerus Fromanteel, the patriarch of the family, who, in the year 1607, was born. Ahasuerus was not just any clockmaker, but a pioneer who adopted and built upon the revolutionary pendulum mechanism, an innovation that forever changed the face of timekeeping. This mechanism, invented by the Dutch inventor Christiaan Huygens, dramatically improved the accuracy of clocks, shaking the foundations of the clockmaking industry.

Fast-forward to 1657, and we find Ahasuerus' son John immersed in the study of Huygens’ Pendulum Clocks. Upon his return from a trip to the Netherlands, Ahasuerus and John incorporated the pendulum mechanism into their standing clocks. With this, they became the first makers and vendors of Pendulum clocks in England, garnering well-deserved international attention.

The Globetrotter Moon Phase White watch is an homage to the family's multinational clockmaker firm, which was unprecedented in its time. The watch, a masterpiece in its own right, subtly carries the coordinates of the Amsterdam workshop on its face, a nod to the family's legacy. The term 'globetrotter' is not simply a name, but a reflection of the sophisticated and far-reaching operations of the Fromanteel family, which spanned across cities and generations.

The Pendulum Original, another piece of horological excellence from the brand, borrows its name from the groundbreaking pendulum mechanism. This automatic watch, in essence, is a tribute to the Amsterdam-based Fromanteel family's innovative spirit, embodied in the 17th-century pendulum clocks they crafted.

As for the Generations Chrono Blue, its name is a testament to the Fromanteel lineage of clockmakers. The watch, one of the best-selling timepieces in the Fromanteel collection, is an embodiment of the legacy of Ahasuerus Fromanteel, passed down through generations of skillful clockmakers.

This legacy, however, faced challenges along the way. By 1722, despite their best efforts, Ahasuerus' sons could not keep the company running, marking the end of an era with the last known Pendulum clock bearing the Fromanteel logo and name.


pendulum inventor & physicist C. Huygens

17th century pendulum mechanism schematics

2009, the name Fromanteel found new life. Two Dutch entrepreneurs and long-time friends, Martijn van Hassel and Alfredo Silva, breathed new life into the brand, re-establishing it as Fromanteel Watches. They chose to honor the innovative, business-savvy, and internationally oriented nature of the legendary family that had first borne the name.

The founders of Fromanteel Watches have done more than just resurrect a brand name. They've revived the spirit of innovation and craftsmanship that was the essence of the original Fromanteel family. It's this spirit that you'll find etched into every detail of a Fromanteel watch, from the intricate mechanics that power each piece to the iconic 17th-century Fromanteel logo adorning the dial.

In 2013, a new chapter began for the revived brand as Fromanteel became the Official Time Partner of the annual Tulpenrallye. This partnership spurred the beginning of a yearly tradition of designing a brand-new rally-inspired watch, another testament to the brand's commitment to innovation and excellence.


Watch lovers & founders of Fromanteel Watches: mr. van Hassel & mr. Silva

Over the next decade, from 2009 to 2019, Fromanteel Watches committed to a mission of designing and producing "Your Quality Time." This ethos is more than a slogan; it's a promise that's fulfilled in every piece that comes from the Fromanteel workshop.

Each watch, whether it's the Globetrotter Moon Phase White, the Pendulum Original, or the Generations Chrono Blue, is a piece of history worn on the wrist, a nod to the trailblazing clockmakers of the 17th century.

In the face of each Fromanteel watch, one doesn't simply see the time. One sees the culmination of centuries of craftsmanship, the echo of a pendulum swinging in a clockmaker's workshop in Amsterdam, and the legacy of a family that changed how the world tells time.

The modern-day Fromanteel Watches, while a tribute to the past, are also very much about the present and the future. They blend traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design and technology, creating timepieces that are both timeless and timely. They're watches for the globetrotters, the pioneers, the innovators, just like the Fromanteel family themselves.

In conclusion, Fromanteel Watches are more than just watches. They are the embodiment of a rich and innovative history, a testament to the relentless pursuit of precision, and a nod to the craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations. Whether it's the Globetrotter Moon Phase White, the Pendulum Original, or the Generations Chrono Blue, each watch carries a piece of the Fromanteel story, a story that's still being written, one tick at a time.





All of the watches in the extensive Fromanteel collection are assembled and produced in our Swiss Atelier, which can be found in the city of Bienne... 


Fromanteel Watches’ collection today can be divided into several series, of which the most widely known ones are the Generations Series, Globetrotter Series, Amsterdam Series and various Special Projects.


What does “Quality Time” mean to you? Is it teaching your children your trade and working together, side by side? Is it traveling the world with your best friend or your lover?