The Moritz Grossmann Backpage Blue
A true watchmaking lesson on the wrist...
One of the top manufacture to be headquartered in the Saxon village of Glashütte, Germany, Moritz Grossmann is not only an important historic name but also a maker of very fine watches. Specifically, its movements always offer great visual pleasure for watch connoisseurs, as they mix classic German watchmaking style with traditional haute horlogerie finishing techniques. But… it might something that you’d like as often as possible. The answer to that specific problem is named the Moritz Grossmann Backpage, a watch equipped with a mirror-inverted movement and no dial to obstruct the view. And it now comes in a new limited edition with blue-coated movement and a platinum case.
The Backpage isn’t an entirely new concept, as we’ve already explored it in the past with the so-called transparent model here. The idea is simple… With so much attention paid to the decoration and finishing of its movement, Moritz Grossmann knows that some of its potential collectors would love to be able to see it all the time, and not only when they un-strap their beautiful watch. The answer to this (very difficult) problem is to have the movement upside-down, with the surface usually on the back – the most technical side of the calibre – bring back to centre stage, under the spotlight, dial side!
Now, the brand unveils the Moritz Grossmann Backpage Blue, a watch that adds a certain boldness to the already technical look of this watch. The idea, with this contrasting bright blue colour, obtained by a wafer-thin layer of metal oxide, was to expose all the steel and golden parts, making this watch a true watchmaking lesson on the wrist. Deconstructed, layered, finely exposed, it has rarely been easier to understand how a mechanical movement works. Plus now, all the work done by Moritz Grossmann’s talented watchmakers is clearly visible.
This new edition is housed in a 41mm 950 platinum case, a material that perfectly matches the colour theme of this Backpage Blue model. Here, as you can see, there’s nothing more than the movement and its case, with only hands over the entire technical surface. No dial, no flange, no transparent ring to display the time… Just a movement in all glory. Be reassured, three hands have been added to this watch, made of stainless steel and polished by hand. But clearly, this watch is all about conversations around its mechanics.
Inside the platinum case is the in-house calibre 107.0, a hand-wound calibre that seems at first to be based on the cornerstone movement of the brand, the calibre 100.1. Yet, it’s not only by turning the movement inside the case. An additional wheel between the crown wheel and the ratchet wheel reverses the entire drive train with respect to the rotation of the mainspring barrel. The wheel train runs in the right direction thanks to the mirrored escapement and the mirrored oscillation system – also including the balance spring coiling direction. The larger dimensions of the 2/3 plate necessitated design changes for the balance cock and the escape-wheel cock. The cantilevered geometry of the escape-wheel cock creates a balanced accent in the overall arrangement of the movement.
Some other changes have been made to the minute-wheel bridge, to guarantee the presence of the winding wheels on the dial side. For that, the dial train was reconfigured and are now arranged under a highly polished and bevelled minute-wheel bridge. Since in this case, the hand-setting mechanism is located on the opposite side of the movement, the setting wheel extends all the way through the calibre. Through the crystal, one can see the attention to detail given to all the parts. The steel parts are mirror-polished, all edges are bevelled and polished, the ratchet wheel is embellished with a 3-band snailing finish, the polished gold chatons stand out from the blue background and the balance cock hand-engraved with floral motifs is now fully visible.
The back of the Moritz Grossmann Backpage Blue, despite the mirror-inverted configuration, is also pretty interesting to look at, specifically from a technical perspective. Of course simpler than the front, it nevertheless reveals important elements, such as the stop-seconds and stop-balance functions, as well as the keyless work. It also gives a clear view of the winder with pusher and stop seconds. Here the brake position is sampled at the clutch lever and, via a push rod, transferred to the brake spring, which then stops the balance. After the pusher is activated and the movement starts, the brake spring returns the pushrod to its rest position.
Availability & Price
The Moritz Grossmann Backpage Blue is worn on a dark blue strap made of hand-stitched alligator leather. It is a limited edition of 13 pieces, and can now be ordered from the brand’s e-boutique here. It is priced at EUR 50,000 before taxes.
Although I like their watches, they are extremely expensive (more expensive than Lange or Patek Philippe). Are they really worth it ??