Monochrome Watches
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Classy, With A Touch Of Sportiness; The Moritz Grossmann Power Reserve Vintage

One of MG's finest comes with a simple yet very practical power reserve display.

| By Robin Nooy | 6 min read |

For those who’ve read my previous story on a watch by Moritz Grossmann, it should not come as a surprise I have high regard for the German manufacturer. There’s just something about the ultra-refined style of watchmaking found in the Glashütte region I connect with. Following the incredibly complex Hamatic, which looks almost deceptively simple from the outside, I now have the pleasure of sharing another fine example of MG’s sense of style. This yet again shows great poise and restraint in terms of design, whilst also offering a very practical everyday side of things. Let’s get straight into it, with the Moritz Grossmann Power Reserve Vintage.

Now, it must be said that Moritz Grossmann is not just any brand from Glashütte, Germany, but one of the most Haute Horlogerie-focused ones for that matter. But then again, the watchmaking from the Saxony region stands out on its own through brands like Glashütte Original, Nomos and of course, A. Lange & Söhne. Although the current Moritz Grossmann brand has been around since 2010 as Christine Hütter brought new life to the name, its history goes back much further than that. It starts with Carl Moritz Grossmann, who in 1854 established his own atelier in Glashütte after studying watchmaking in Dresden the years prior. His life and work are signified by several notable achievements, including the 1st prize awarded by the British Horological Institute in 1866 for his treatise on the detached lever escapement. He’s also responsible, along with several others, for the establishment of the German School of Watchmaking in Glashütte in 1878.

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Following his untimely death in 1885 activities slowed down and eventually, in 1992, even the watchmaking school closed its doors after 114 years of service. The name is resurrected in 2008, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the first new watch bearing the Moritz Grossmann name is introduced; the Benu. Over the years since, the brand’s portfolio has expanded with several gorgeous collections, including the surprisingly expressive Backpage and the superb Hamatic (a personal favourite of mine). Throughout all the watches, two things really stand out to me. On one hand, Moritz Grossmann is utterly devoted to the preservation and exhibition of traditional watchmaking, and on the other, it does things a bit differently than others (like the aforementioned Hamatic and Backpage models).

The Power Reserve Vintage isn’t complex as the Hamatic, nor as outspoken as the Backpage, but it does serve as a perfect example of MG’s style of watchmaking. It comes in either rose gold or (seen here) white gold, with a three-part case measuring a modern 41mm in diameter and 11.65mm in height. Similar to the Hamatic I reviewed recently, the curved lugs angle downwards very nicely and make this a superbly comfortable watch to wear. Again, a very narrow bezel gives way to an as large as possible dial (more on that in a minute) and a slightly curved sapphire crystal. A second sapphire crystal covers the back side. The right-hand side of the case is home to a slightly conical-shaped crown, flanked by a small pusher. For those ‘in the know’, this pusher is a very clever detail to what’s inside this lovely case!

But before we get to that bit, I first want to go over the dial. See, in the title I mentioned “Classy, with a touch of Sportiness” and that’s directly referring to the argenté silvery-white dial. Made out of solid silver, the finishing is outstanding. The elongated black Roman numerals exude elegance and are embraced with a very fine minute track. Look closely and you can see small blue markers at every five-minute increment, a touch of colour that ties in with a key element on the dial: the power reserve indication.

This simple little horizontal display is very practical on a day-to-day basis when dealing with a hand-wound watch (which this is). Behind it, a semi-circular blue-and-white disc rotates back and forth to indicate how much energy is left in the barrel. The more blue you see, the emptier it is. It’s a very subtle intrusion on what is otherwise a very classically styled dial, and to me offers just enough contemporary sportiness to elevate the watch to more than just a very handsome dress watch. The very slender hands, with polished mountings and heat-annealed blue shafts and tips, are typical of Moritz Grossmann. The final detail is the recessed small seconds subdial, with the same attention to detail in the black scale and the single hand.

Flip the watch over, and you get an unobstructed view of the in-house Calibre 100.2. This manually wound movement is constructed out of German Silver bridges and plates and finished to the highest standards. It is really a thing of beauty, with hand-applied Glashütte Ribbing, frosting, anglage, engravings, violet heat-annealed screws, gold chatons, various types of polishing and brushing, and more. You can also admire the Grossmann balance, with a Nivachron balance spring, swinging away at 18,000 oscillations per hour, fitted with different-length screws to regulate the motion.

Mounted directly next to the barrel, the gear driving the signature power reserve display can be seen. Hidden from view, however, is another very clever mechanism. Incorporated into the keyless works is Grossmann’s patented winder and pusher system. Pulling out the crown makes the movement stop entirely, but the crown immediately jumps back into place when released. You can then set the hands to the correct time, and press the little pusher to release the movement again. This small choreography prevents unwanted adjustments of the hands as you push the crown back in on conventional watch movements. It sounds a bit futile perhaps, but it’s a testament to what I said earlier; Moritz Grossmann does things differently from time to time, often with practicality in mind.

The Moritz Grossmann Power Reserve Vintage comes on a hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a pin buckle in the same material as the case. It is not limited by number per see, but one should take into account Moritz Grossmann only produces a few hundred watches per year. It is available through selected retailers and through Moritz Grossmann’s online boutique for a price of EUR 47,800 including taxes (based on 19% VAT in Germany).

And while that certainly doesn’t make the Power Reserve Vintage a cheap watch, it feels justifiable to me judging the watch’s attention to detail and complexity. It is one of the finest watches in the brand’s portfolio, and the subtle power reserve is only a minor interruption of an otherwise exquisite time-only dial.

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1 response

  1. The movement finishing of the Moritz Grossmann watch are simply stunning. What it alway remind me is movements from the 1920s with its movement plate engraving it’s a great interpretation of what Horology is 100 years ago!!

    The dial colour choice is also low profile and clean! Always love clean and no fancy dress watches. A bit similar to the vinatge Seiko dress watches that we love and source from Japan.
    Just amazing to look at.

    Kalvin| Samurai Vintage


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