Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Rectangular Moritz Grossmann Corner Stone in Rose Gold

A beautifully crafted dress watch from Germany takes a rare form, exuding timeless elegance.

| By Denis Peshkov | 4 min read |

In 2019, Moritz Grossmann ventured into the scarcely populated territory of rectangular watches, unveiling three dial variants in five different versions as part of the Art Deco-inspired and appropriately named Corner Stone series. The Corner Stone featured a specially designed shaped calibre with a central hour and minutes display and a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock; the collection included a limited edition pair with white Grand Feu enamel dials, which has long found a place in connoisseurs’ collections. References in white and rose gold with solid silver opaline or black lacquered dials were reserved for the regular catalogue. Recently, we had the opportunity for a hands-on experience with the Corner Stone in a striking rose gold version – an exceptional timepiece with a distinct identity and a unique elegance.

The context

To fully appreciate the Moritz Grossmann Corner Stone, one must acknowledge that combining a rectangular case and rectangular movement is not mainstream and remains a relatively rare watchmaking exercise. Models like the Rolex Cellini Prince or the A. Lange & Söhne Arkadia and Cabaret have been discontinued. At the same time, Patek Philippe seems to reserve its rectangular movement for gem-set watches. Aside from some Cartier models and Jaeger-LeCoultre Reversos, there are indeed not many examples, with Lang & Heyne’s Anton being another German-made example.

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The case

The Corner Stone’s rectangular, polished rose gold case measures 46.6mm in length, 29.5mm in width and 9.76mm in thickness and features elegantly curved lugs that conform to the natural curve of the wrist. Despite its seemingly substantial dimensions, the watch feels slim and well-proportioned. Large enough for easy handling, the ribbed crown enhances the overall aesthetic. Winding and setting the Moritz Grossmann Corner Stone, while a process to savour, becomes a rare occurrence since the ample power reserve allows the watch to remain unattended for well over two days. However, it’s worth noting that this timepiece is more inclined towards dressy occasions than daily wear.

The dial

The solid silver painted opaline dial presents an appealing design with a multi-layered appearance and a thoughtful choice of gold-crafted indices for balance. Arabic numerals grace the top with 11, 12, and 1 and the bottom with 5 and 7, while the remaining indices are angled baton markers. Crafted in Moritz Grossmann’s workshops, the hands exhibit a signature deep violet colour that goes well with the dial. The small square box at the 6 o’clock position houses the running seconds sub-dial, with markers extending outward from the centre, and the small seconds hand is also annealed to a violet hue. The railway track on the dial’s periphery for the minutes adheres to the overall classical and elegant style, creating an impression of timeless sophistication. Even the modern-looking Moritz Grossmann logo puts on a vintage visage, harmonizing with the rest of the dials’ elements.

The caseback and the movement

The open caseback is a gentle reminder that the Corner Stone is a modern timepiece. It offers an unobstructed view of the rectangular-shaped calibre 102.3 – the heart of this Moritz Grossmann creation – in all its hand-finished glory. This manually wound calibre, with plates and bridges crafted in untreated German silver, adheres to the traditional Glashütte construction style. Most movement parts remain hidden behind a two-thirds baseplate, with the balance assembly elegantly exposed. As expected from Moritz Grossmann, the balance cock with Grossmann micrometre screw adjustment is exquisitely decorated with hand-engraved details, along with the escape wheel cock. The rest of the movement, excluding the exposed gears, features a wide Glashütte stripe pattern, while the ratchet wheel is embellished with the 3-band snailing. Hand-engraved with the Moritz Grossmann logo, text, number, and “24 Steine” for the jewels – two of which are in screwed gold chatons – the calibre 102.3 features a 10mm balance beating at 21,600 vibrations/hour, a stop-seconds function, and a 60-hour power reserve derived from a single barrel.

The price, the strap and the closing remark

The rose gold Moritz Grossmann Corner Stone we enjoyed handling was complemented by a hand-stitched dark brown alligator leather strap with a rose gold prong buckle. It’s challenging to envision this watch paired with any other option. However, the brand suggests black or dark blue alligator alternatives for those seeking additional choices.

As for the price, prospective owners should be prepared to invest EUR 42,000 in the Corner Stone rose gold reference MG-002145 – quite an adjustment from the initial 30k euros at its release in 2019. For the novice, any justification to support such an investment will seem lacking reason; for the watch enthusiast, appreciating interesting little details and touches and the rare combination of a rectangular case and rectangular movement, paired with the Glashütte origins, may prove an easier task.

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2 responses

  1. The corner stone has been a recent discovery of mine and instantly rose to the top of my list.

  2. The article seems almost dismissive of rectangular watches as an afterthought, when the JLC reverso and Cartier Tank collections are arguably those brands leading franchises. How well a rectangular appeals to people is very dependent on size. The Corner Stone dial seems too large, i would have thought something between the slightly too small ish classic tank proportions (34×25.5) and Large Reverso (45×27) with it’s smaller dial area, would be closer to the mark for M.Grossman. But with the dedicated movement, they’re likely locked in now. Too bad it’s not 38-40 x 27-28mm instead.


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