PURE WATCHMAKING ARTISTRY
Moritz Grossmann’s philosophy and workmanship is on full display with the BACKPAGE Transparent
Carl Moritz Grossmann was born in Dresden on March 27, 1826, and at the tender age of sixteen began training to become a watchmaker and traveling throughout Europe as a journeyman. Upon returning to Saxony in 1854, he established his atelier in Glashütte and began his illustrious career. At that time Grossmann made pocket watches exclusively.
When the name of Moritz Grossmann was revived in 2010 with the first watch model of the new era, the BENU, the intention was to make handcrafted time pieces based on the 19th century tradition in the German watchmaking capital of Glashütte, with movements similar to those of pocket watches.
Fast forward to 2018, when the new Anniversary models and the BACKPAGE with mirrored calibre are introduced at the Baselworld 2018. Fast forward again to the summer of 2020, when the new BACKPAGE Transparent is introduced, offering a new showcase for the beauty and artistry of Grossmann’s watchmaking.
A RARE ARTISTRY “MADE BY HAND”
As it has been for generations, what starts as a conceptual sketch becomes a 3D visualization tool, and then becomes a prototype — all done by hand. The evolution of the movement is dependent upon the dialogue between engineering and prototyping until the first short run is manufactured. Using high precision machine tools then allows accuracy to within a few thousandths of a millimetre of the specifications.
Raw parts are deburred and finished, the movement is assembled and lubricated, and components are fine-tuned for impeccable interaction by experienced watchmakers. Before final assembly the movement is taken apart again and all parts meticulously cleaned, then adorned with the famous wide Glashütte ribbing. The calibre is reassembled, the dial and hands are fitted, and the watch is ready to be cased and fitted with a hand-stitched alligator strap and butterfly clasp.
Right before our eyes, with the turn of the wrist, we witness the exhibition of a hand-made machine that creates time. Lots of watches let you see the workings on the back side, but you must take the watch off in order to do so. Now, with the addition of the BACKPAGE Transparent, we are granted access to the beauty of the movement in mesmerizing display. Time no longer stands still when you can witness each second transforming into hours. The movement is hypnotic; watching all the moving parts so closely you are in awe of this extraordinary finely tuned machine.
What seems deceptively clean required a new mindset, in order to be able to tell time on the front while at the same time enjoying the show of moving parts. The Calibre 107.0 is really an exercise in rethinking the wheel. In what may seem counterintuitive in a watch that already has two hundred and thirty parts, an additional wheel had to be added. The rear side of the calibre 100.1 was mirrored and moved to the front side, and the dial was reduced and redesigned. This allowed the striking Grossmann balance, the hand-engraved balance cock, the polished crown wheel, the decorated ratchet wheel and the minute-wheel bridge to be on glorious display.
In order to read the time correctly, the usual direction of the entire drive train with respect to the rotation of the mainspring barrel had to be reversed, and new components designed specifically to accomplish this. A pillar movement features the typical Glashütte 2/3 plate on the dial side, while an impressive train bridge is on the other. For the calibre 107.0, switching the front and back sides allowed the manual winding and handsetting mechanism to be fully appreciated for the first time. Since now the handsetting mechanism is on the opposite side, the setting wheel extends all the way through.
OBJECT OF DESIRE
To the ordinary watch lover, the gorgeous white gold, attractive hand engravings, bevels, and chamfers, violet-hued hands and screws make a handsome watch face. But it’s the details that lure in the true watch connoisseur. Frame parts in untreated German silver, raised gold chatons with pan-head screws, Grossmann winder with pusher and stop seconds, shock-resistant balance with inertia and poising screws, a power reserve of forty-two hours when full wound, all signal to the collector that this is a timepiece of rare value. “Made by hand” is not merely a method, it’s a passion.
With only eight rose gold and eight of the newly released white gold versions available worldwide, it is truly a watch lover’s dream.
Click here to view the Moritz Grossmann collection online at Cellini Jewelers.