Moritz Grossmann

Breaking New Ground

Moritz Grossmann lights up opposite ends of the horological spectrum with the Hamatic and Corner Stone.


By Scott Hickey
January 1, 2020

The Glashütte-based manufacture follows different paths to success with these recent introductions. With the Hamatic, Moritz Grossmann demonstrates its exceptional technical capabilities. Meanwhile, the Corner Stone represents a vivid expression of the brand’s aesthetic flair.

Let’s begin with the Hamatic. It’s the first self-winding watch Moritz Grossmann has introduced since the brand was launched in 2008 by company president Christine Hutter. Her vision for the manufacture is to maintain the highest standard of craftsmanship, one that honors the legacy of Moritz Grossmann, who was an eminent watchmaker in Glashütte during the 19th century and founder of the German watchmaking school in 1878.

Long before the Hamatic, the first automatic wristwatches were introduced in the 1920s. But those first-generation calibers were decidedly different from the modern mechanisms they inspired. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find an automatic watch that didn’t derive its energy from the rotation of a weighted rotor attached to the back of the movement.

But before that version of the self-winding caliber became ubiquitous, there was something called the “hammer” movement. Patented by British horologist John Hardwood in 1923, the design was used to power the first commercially successful automatic wristwatches. This particular winding system featured a pivoting weight similar to a clock’s pendulum. When the person wearing the watch moved, the weight swung back and forth in a 180-degree arc to wind the mainspring.

Moritz Grossman Hamatic rose gold

Moritz Grossmann’s first self-winding movement powers the Hamatic.

 

SWING INTO ACTION
Nearly a century later, Moritz Grossmann revisited the classic design to create a modern version to power its new Hamatic watch. The result is caliber 106.0, which can be viewed through the watch’s sapphire crystal caseback.

The look of the hammer-style system is similar to Hardwood’s, but Moritz Grossmann’s engineers have greatly improved its performance. For example, in the original, the hammer would often lurch from side to side. That issue has been resolved in the Hamatic, where the pendulum swings smoothly, with no jerking.

Moritz Grossmann Hamatic caliber

A pivoting weight similar to a clock’s pendulum winds the Hamatic’s movement.

 

In addition, the caliber crafted by Moritz Grossmann takes advantage of modern production techniques to achieve more energy efficiency. The design generates a great deal of torque, which means even small movements of the wrist wind the mainspring. Similarly, the system is also equipped to handle times when the person wearing the watch is more active. In this case, it uses end springs inside the hammer frame to protect the system during sudden movements.

Moritz Grossmann has released two versions of the Hamatic with opaline dials. Both are presented in 41mm cases made from either rose gold or white gold. They also feature Roman numerals and extremely thin hands (measuring just 0.1mm in width at the narrowest point) that are both similar to the those found in the pocket watches Moritz Grossmann produced during the mid-1800s.

Moritz Grossmann Corner Stone white gold

The Corner Stone delivers elegance and comfort with its rectangular case.

 

STRONG FOUNDATION
Moritz Grossmann focuses on visual artistry with the Corner Stone, a collection that radiates elegance both inside and out. The brand’s first non-round watch, the Corner Stone has a rectangular case that measures 46.6mm long and 29.5mm wide, a size that’s optimal for both men and women. Most of the case is flat, but it has curved lugs at the ends to create an ergonomic shape that nestles comfortably on the wrist.

To power the Corner Stone, Moritz Grossmann created its first shaped movement. Their handiwork (caliber 102.3) fits neatly into the rectangular case and is visible through the watch’s clear caseback. Fortunately, reducing the size of the movement didn’t require any sacrifice to the watch’s performance. In fact, thanks to some clever engineering and a relatively large barrel, the watch boasts a 60-hour power reserve.

Moritz Grossmann Corner Stone rose gold back

When fully wound, the Corner Stone’s shaped caliber can store 60-hours of reserve power.

 

In typical Moritz Grossmann fashion, the movement is decorated extravagantly. Every millimeter offers up some eye-catching detail, from the hand-engraved balance cock to the gold chatons studded across the movement. The gleaming ratchet wheel, in particular, stands outs against the warm glow of the untreated-German silver used to make the base plate. The wheel features three bands of snailing that come together in a mesmerizing swirl. This pattern also creates a fascinating optical illusion that prevents you from seeing the ratchet wheel turn as you wind the watch.

For the initial launch of the Corner Stone, Moritz Grossmann unveiled several variations of the watch. The main models — offered in rose or white gold cases — are distinguished by their opaline dials, square-shaped small seconds and applied numerals. Another white-gold model features a black lacquer dial and a round small seconds. Also, there are two limited editions with grand feu enamel dials. The brand will produce 25 each in rose gold and white gold.

With the debut of the Corner Stone and Hamatic models, the company continues to honor Moritz Grossmann’s legacy by bringing his visionary approach to watchmaking into the modern era.

Click here to view the Moritz Grossmann collection online at Cellini Jewelers.