Who is Hans van Buuren?
I (born in 1964) am an IT Architect from The Netherlands, where I live with my wife, three kids and cat. Among my many hobbies are IT, writing about the origins of mankind, solving extremely hard puzzles, 3D design and printing, model construction, science, reading (SF), art and to date, everything Swatch. After my first Swatch, bought in 1987, and the start of a hobby in 1991, things escalated quickly. As I am an investigative person, I did not just collect Swatches, I also wanted to know everything about them and the company that made them. I wanted to meet the artists that design them and understand the technology they hide, and often show. Obviously I met a lot of collectors and became friends with many of these nice people. I was lucky to live close to Squiggly, in those day the number one store for Swatch, new and vintage. In 2010 I became a Swatch Club Gold Member, which led to even better chances in finding great Swatches. For thirty years I spent an incredible amount of dedication, time, love and money on this great hobby.
Collecting is an art. Building on a large network of knowledgable people, being constantly on the look for new info and new pieces, I spent lots of hours on the Internet, interactive or using my self-written eBay crawler to find the things no search engine can. I always concentrated on quality instead of quantity. And it shows.
Working with Swatches I found it natural to examine them, open them up and take them apart. This led to me operating swatchrepair.com and helping Swatch lovers worldwide to be able to wear their precious watch again. During the years I fixed endless numbers of Swatches, among which over one hundred X-Rateds. I stopped repairing when it took me too much time and also because new European tax regulations made it impossible to repair a watch and return it without having to pay high and unnecessary import duties.
I worked with Squiggly to author the 2006 and 2008 Swatch-Clopedia catalogues. Also I wrote the book "Swatch Specials from The Netherlands", showing off all my Dutch pieces. I almost got them all! Unique in its completeness. For many years I operated the informational website swatch-scio.com. Finally I wrote a book about my own collection, check it out below.