Johan Grönefeld began his career as a watchmaker in 1912, establishing his workshop and boutique in the shadows of Saint Plechelmus, a basilica and tower in Oldenzaal, Netherlands dating from 1240. The legacy of the brand is now managed by the third generation, horological brothers Bart and Tim Grönefeld. The two use time-honoured techniques, sketching designs and ideas by hand, and always aspire to find the perfect balance of complexity and reliability. The independent brand's in-house calibres include secondes mortes (dead seconds), powered by a secondary gear train that's independent of the hour and minute indications, flying tourbillons and eight seconds constant force mechanisms.
Although Grönefeld’s roots go back over a century with their grandfather’s initial workshop, Bart and Tim Grönefeld have reinvented the brand with the most sophisticated watches to emerge from the Netherlands. Bart trained in Switzerland at the world-renowned WOSTEP (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program) in Neuchâtel and specializes in minute repeaters, among other complications. Tim attended Vakschool in Schoonhoven, Netherlands, an advanced training center for watch technicians. As his skills matured, he began training other watchmakers and specializes in producing tourbillons and regulator escapements. The brothers’ combined specialties resulted in their first watch in 2008, the GTM-06, which houses both a minute repeater and tourbillon, and was the most complicated watch to come out of the Netherlands.
In 2010, their second watch, the Grönefeld One Hertz, featured dead seconds (the seconds hand advances by a full second at a time via an independent secondary gear train). This was the first watch series to have this and used a horological complication going back to 1675 for regulator clocks. Continuing with their passion for sophisticated complications, they won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the tourbillon category in 2014 for the Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon. Another significant achievement came in 2016 with the 1941 Remontoire Constant Force, featuring an eight-seconds constant force mechanism that ensured a consistent energy to the balance wheel, from full charge to the last minute of power. This piece won a second Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the men’s watch category.
Although the independent brand has only eleven years of watch production under the Grönefeld brothers’ management, the company has more than proven itself in the luxury watch industry with in-house production of some of the most complicated calibres in the world.