March 23, 2018 – DOKKUM, the Netherlands — When Wybe Van der Gang was looking for a new watch, he knew exactly what he wanted: It should have extraordinary aesthetics, with a clean-milled case. It should sit well on his wrist. But it would also have to exist outside his own imagination and, as he soon discovered, it didn’t.
So he made it himself. And in 2004, he founded Van der Gang Watches.
Never mind that Wybe Van der Gang had no background or training in design, no knowledge of watchmaking. It was how he’d always done things.
As a boy, Mr. van der Gang, whose father owned a company that made slot machines, amused himself by taking things apart: “Vacuum cleaners,” he recalled recently in his offices in Dokkum, a small city near the northernmost edge of the Netherlands. “Steam irons.”