To mark the upcoming thirteenth anniversary of Moritz Grossmann, the Glashütte-based brand unveils a special anniversary model from its Benu Heritage collection with a stunning handcrafted dial using the historic engraving technique of tremblage. Available in 41mm rose gold or stainless steel cases, the intriguing granulated texture of the dial showcases the brand’s commitment to Schönstes Deutsches Handwerk (the most beautiful German craftsmanship) and can take a master engraver several days to complete. The reverse side of the Moritz Grossmann Anniversary Tremblage reveals signature German School of Watchmaking traits with its pillar architecture, 2/3 German silver bridge and superlative hand-finished parts.
Watches produced by Moritz Grossmann are the epitome of understatement and refinement. One of the founding fathers of Glashütte’s proud watchmaking tradition, Carl Moritz Grossmann (1826-1885), co-founded the German School of Watchmaking in 1878 and produced high-precision measuring instruments and tools in his technical workshop in Glashütte before turning his hand to astronomical pendulum clocks, marine chronometers and pockets watches. Following his death in 1885, the name faded into oblivion. In 2008, the “Mortiz Grossmann” marque was acquired by Christine Hutter who staged its renaissance with an emphasis on Schönstes Deutsches Handwerk. Typical features of Moritz Grossmann watches are inspired by the founder’s pocket chronometers, including his patented small seconds, large movements and the characteristic untreated German silver two-third plate with Glashütte ribbing. With the brand’s reverence for handcrafted components, even the annealed steel hands are made in-house and stand out with their exceptionally sharp tips and elegant profiles.
The Art of Tremblage Engraving
The result of tremblage engraving, which could be roughly translated as ‘trembling’, is a fascinating topography produced by minuscule indentations on a metallic surface. Needless to say, this is a skill best left in the hands of master engravers who can achieve the consistency of pressure and movement required to produce the 3D glistening, (not sparkling) sandy scenery that decorates the German silver dial of this anniversary model. Using a range of burins and moving them in different directions, the master engraver creates micro-cuts in the metal to produce a uniform, finely granular surface. Once the surface has been fully treated to the tremblage treatment, it acquires a warm silvery hue with an appealing vintage look that will patinate over time.
German silver (aka nickel silver or Maillechort) is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc and, despite its name, contains no silver. Durable, corrosion-resistant and non-magnetic, untreated German silver is a characteristic alloy used for plates and bridges in some of Glashütte’s finest watchmaking firms.
Although it might seem that the Arabic numerals, the railroad minutes track, the small seconds track and the brand name are applied after the tremblage engraving, this is not the case. The furnishings on the dial are engraved in deep relief from the base of the dial. Complicating the task of the master engraver even further, the art of tremblage engraving has to be performed around the elements in relief with different sized burins to get inside the tiniest areas. To stand out against the subtle, matte sandy background, the surface of the Arabic numerals, the two tracks and the historic M. Grossmann logo from 1875 are given a flat, lustrous polished finish. Entirely crafted and finished by hand, each dial of the Tremblage is a unique work of art. Completing the dial are the elegant lance-shaped hands with needle-sharp tips, achieved with diamond files and chamfering. The rose gold model features annealed brown-violet hued hands, while the stainless steel uses blued steel hands.
Rose gold or Stainless Steel
The case, which has a diameter of 41m and a height of 11.35mm, is available in rose gold or stainless steel and polished throughout. The small pusher on the caseband forms part of the crown-and-pusher mechanism. Like conventional manual-winding watches, the crown is used to wind the watch. However, if the crown is pulled out to set the time, it automatically springs back to its original position activating the stop-seconds mechanism to allow precision time setting. Once the time is set to the exact hour, minute, and second, the conical pusher on the baseband is pressed. The pusher reactivates the movement and resets the crown to winding mode. The reasons behind this ingenious and extremely easy-to-use safety mechanism are to avoid dust entering the case via the crown, to minimise wear and tear on the keyless works, and to prevent moving the hands unintentionally when pushing the crown back into place.
A beautiful blend of old and new, Moritz Grossmann’s hand-wound calibre 100.1 is equipped with a newly configured oscillator and reveals the elaborate hand finishings of the components. Fitted with an in-house Grossmann balance with variable inertia, poising screws and a Nivarox balance spring, the 14.2mm balance has a slow frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour. Another distinctive feature is the use of white sapphire jewels instead of standard rubies. Fully wound, calibre 100.1 delivers 42 hours of power.
Inspired by the architecture of Glashütte pocket chronometers, the movement consists of a mainplate and a 2/3 plate separated with two posts and a barrel bridge. Certain features of the pillar movement, like the 2/3 plate and pillars, are made of untreated German silver. Beautifully decorated by hand, from the raised gold chatons with white sapphires and annealed brown-violet screws to the bevelled edges, and from the floral motif on the hand-engraved balance and escape wheel cock to the three-band snailing on the ratchet wheel, the finishings are nothing short of spectacular. The classic 2/3 plate is also hand-engraved in a historic cursive script with M. Grossmann’s signature and the individual movement number.
Availability & Price
The rose gold model comes with a dark brown hand-stitched alligator strap with pin buckle; the steel watch with a dark blue alligator strap. Both are available in the new Moritz Grossmann online boutique. The Moritz Grossmann Anniversary Tremblage rose gold retails for EUR 42,300 (excl. VAT), the Moritz Grossmann Anniversary Tremblage stainless steel for EUR 31,000 (excl. VAT).