Baselworld 2017: Moritz Grossmann: poetry, inventiveness and Germanic classicism
Moritz Grossmann is a model of German watchmaking excellence that blends technical skills, accuracy and ingenuity. In 2017, the brand has added a feminine touch to its collection, which is rare but welcome in this part of the world.
Moritz Grossmann is a legendary reference of German watchmaking. He was an outstanding watchmaker who was known for his work on lever escapements, optimization of chronograph pivot escapements and marine chronographs. In 1878, he founded the German School of Horology in Glashütte. He then passed away suddenly in 1885. The legacy he left was substantial enough to make it possible for the brand to make a proud comeback in 2008.
Refined and smartly designed timepieces
Simple beauty, creativity, usefulness and user-friendliness are an integral part of the brand’s identity and they are all to be found in every single one of its new models. The recent Atum versions (in white and pink gold) feature a shiny white Grand Feu enamel dial adorned with elegant black lacquered Roman numerals. Only the XII numeral is in a stunning royal blue. The small second counter that sits at 6 o'clock is in perfect equilibrium with the whole and delightfully enhances the enamel.
Moritz Grossmann Atum Enamel
The hand-polished ‘lance’shaped hands – a signature element of Grossmann – slide lightly across the pristine white that contrasts with the brand's signature shade of steel-heated brown. All of it makes up a timepiece that evokes 19th-century pocket watches: classic, streamlined and very elegant. It was a hit among fans of classicism, including myself.
The second model to join the range was the Atum Date. Different from the region’s typical large-date pieces, it shows the extent of Moritz Grossman's watchmaking ingenuity. Through an aperture with instantaneous jumps, the date is displayed on an external crown around the dial in a delicate shade of sky blue. The crown at 10 o'clock allows one to turn off the date mechanism from the hour mechanism, thus making it possible to set the date in both ways without having to stop the watch. The endless rotating of the crown to find the right date when the watch has not been worn for a long time is now history. Refined, original, smartly designed and filed for patent, the in-house 100.3 caliber features 259 components: 26 rubies plus three gold settings and it oscillates at 18,000 vibrations per hour with a 42-hour power reserve. It shines with the brand's usual decorations such as polished angles, wide horizontal Glashütte ribbing on the 2/3 silver plate, a snail-decorated ratchet, a hand-engraved balance-cock, and an escapement.
Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure
Steel as their spearhead
Released in 2016, the steel Atum Pure models and their streamlined finish are back with new dial versions at reasonable prices for fans of refined German watchmaking. The movement appears through two dials with different meshings. The first version, called Pure G (‘G’ for ‘Grid’), highlights the modern side of the timepiece. Known as Long Hole, the second version provides a better view of the 201.1 caliber. It was a simple way to put some life into the modern dial. Both versions are available in 25-piece limited editions for each of the four colors of the HyCeram hands and indexes – white, blue, green and orange. Its look is as a casual and dynamic as it is elegant.
Moritz Grossmann Tefnut Twist Classic
An ode to women
At the head of the young brand of ancestral legacy is watchmaker Christine Hutter. Strong-willed, many see her as the brains behind the feminine touch of Tefnut collection, introduced also in 2016. One year later, at Grossmann, she is progressing towards the limelight rapidly. The Tefnut Sleeping Beauty joined the collection with a mother-of-pearl dial and a delicate sunburst guilloché that featured a smiling moon in a big sub-dial at 3 o'clock. The sub-dial and the dial of the timepiece were set with diamonds in the shape of a crescent.
Moritz Grossmann Tefnut Sleeping Beauty
The domed disk that features the hour indexes in Roman numerals further enhanced the result. A splendid triple reference to the famous moon crescent is reflected in its mother-of-pearl representation in the sub-dial.
The final touch is as original as it is refined and poetic. The case, with only two lugs on the left, gives the impression that the thinner side (on which sits the crown topped with a gemstone cabochon) is floating on the wrist. Jeweler Michael Koh from Singapore, who created the pieces in four soft and gracious colors (off-white, sky blue, pale pink and pure white) achieved an ethereal balance of rare femininity. The hand-wound in-house 102.0 caliber that was used for this new collection is a perfect combination of the best of German watchmaking and extremely feminine poetry.
Moritz Grossmann Tefnut Sleeping Beauty
But that's not all. Granted, women may like beautiful things but they prefer beautiful and practical. With the new ultra-effective winding system called Twist, Moritz Grossmann provides an exclusive solution to hand-wind the timepiece in three or four turns… of the strap!
Those endless, tedious and dangerous-for-manicured-nails crown turnings are now a thing of the past. Women can now just turn the strap at 6 o'clock and the job is done. This has also been filed for patent.
Moritz Grossmann Tefnut Twist Fancy
Moritz Grossmann has proved that German watchmaking has its place on the stage in markets of watchmaking excellence. Like in a game of chess, the brand is gradually placing its pawns on the chessboard. Serious and gracious, the Queen looms in the shadow of the King. A brand worth following.