As of now, you might have heard about Bart & Tim Grönefeld, the so-called Horological Brothers from the Netherlands, mostly for their rather personal and modern take on haute horlogerie. Complex, ultra-finished, relatively modern while respecting traditional skills, their watches have often been on the complex and elegant side. Well, it’s time for the Dutch brothers to open a new chapter of the book, by launching their sportiest watch to date. It’s named the Grönefeld 1969 DeltaWorks and it has been conceived to cope with the perils of water ingress and shocks… Or more hopefully, resist to your weekend activities.
looking back in time, the Horological Brothers have gained most of their fame with the One Hertz watch, followed by the Parallax Tourbillon. Two watches that were entirely devoted to precision, finished to the highest possible level and traditional in most ways, yet with a modern take on high-end watchmaking. Followed impressive models such as the 1941 Remontoire and a more practical, simpler automatic watch, the 1941 Principia. All of these watches were about a relative elegance. Even the Grönefelds’ latest creation, the 1941 Grönograaf (a chronograph by Grönefeld…) isn’t what you can call a true sports watch.
It’s time for the Brothers to expand their game, with this new watch, the Grönefeld 1969 DeltaWorks… and it is meant to be a true high-end sports watch, with all the resistance you expect from a watch of this category. The name 1969 DeltaWorks refers to the year of birth of Bart, and a complex system built to protect the Zeeland region, comprises dams, dikes, locks, sluices and a storm surge barrier. Taking several years to construct, the Delta Works includes the world’s largest surge barrier. A very Dutch construction that is meant to avoid water ingress…
The Grönefeld 1969 DeltaWorks is the Brothers’ first truly water-resistant watch. And it’s also protected all around. The case is made of steel and is sizable. No need to deny it, the DeltaWorks is a big watch with a 44.5mm diameter, a height of 12.5mm and a lug-to-lug of 53mm. Be aware, it won’t fit small wrist. There are features to improve this, however, such as the integration of the strap meant to make the watch encircle the wrist. An important feature in this context, it’s equipped with a screw-down crown (which always sits upright and has a triple gasket), a screwed caseback and is resistant up to 100m.
The case is rather familiar in design, using classic codes of the indie watchmaker. It has been reworked to feel more robust, and features lateral inserts integrated within each caseband, steadfastly secured to the main body of the case. The inserts are offered in two formats: stainless steel, matching the case material, or titanium shrouded in coloured FKM rubber, designed to match the shade of the strap. A notable attribute of the latter option is that there is less risk of the case band picking up annoying scratches.
The dial of the 1969 DeltaWorks, with its time-only display, remains typical Grönefeld with its grained texture, its stepped profile and its grained surface. To deliver peerless legibility, day or night, the hands and hour markers are treated with Super-LumiNova. Large markers and hands also adds to the boldness of the watch. It is available in three colour – black with orange accents, khaki with blue and orange accents, salmon/orange with blue accents.
Some more interesting features to know; the folding clasp, made of steel and decorated with gleaming facets and relief engraving, has a micro-adjustment system, with 7 increments over 9mm. The FKM rubber strap, available in black, olive, blue, white or orange, can be cut to length for optimal sizing, and is decorated with a motif formed of numerous Grönefeld logos.
Inside the case is an in-house movement that will familiar to fans of the Brothers’ work, being based on the movement of the 1941 Principia. The calibre G-06 in the 1969 DeltaWorks, however, has been updated for the occasion. For instance, the distinctive oscillating weight. The openworked architecture features four stainless steel arms, presented in a double-spoke design. These arms are connected to an 18K gold mass adorned with a wave motif. But these arms also prevent the mass to touch the inside of the sapphire crystal or bridges in case of shocks.
The rest is pure Grönefeld, with impressive finishing on the steel bridges, gold chatons, micro-blasted central section, framed with a hand-bevelled gleaming edge and relief engraving. This movement, which indicated the hours, minutes and seconds, runs at a 3Hz frequency and delivers 56 hours of power reserve.
Availability & Price
The Grönefeld 1969 DeltaWorks comes in a choice (which can be mixed) of 3 different dial designs/colours, 5 different strap options and steel or colored FKM rubber inserts (5 colours). The watch isn’t per se a limited edition, however, its availability will be limited to 20 pieces a year due to production capacities, and that for the next 5 years. It is priced at EUR 49,800 (excl. taxes). For more details, please visit www.gronefeld.com.