Moritz Grossmann walks a fine line between traditional timepieces on one hand and offering a contemporary take on things on the other. Regardless of your choice, one thing is certain. You will end up with a watch that is created with high regards to traditional watchmaking craftsmanship. Most parts are made in-house, designed and constructed in typical German style but often with little twists. Only opening its doors in 2008, the German manufacturer now brings a new, more casual edge to the Benu collection, with the new Moritz Grossmann Central Seconds.
While most avid MONOCHROME readers will surely know about the brand, Moritz Grossmann flies a little under the radar. We feel this is undeserved as the brand is capable of making extraordinary complex watches, evidenced by the Backpage for instance. And when Moritz Grossmann wants to make an automatic watch, it doesn’t take the easy route but constructs a unique self-winding hammer system, developed for the Hamatic. On the more restrained, traditional side of things, there are less visually impactful but no less interesting watches on offer.
Like we’ve seen with last year’s celebratory Benu Power Reserve in a steel case with a blue dial or in a black PVD coated case with a black dial, Moritz Grossmann can deliver a more modern take on the classic German watch. To continue on that trend, while at the same time staying true to its philosophy, it now brings an entirely new model in the Benu collection, the Central Seconds. On the surface, it might not look like anything revolutionary, yet the Central Seconds has some unusual standout features.
With this new model, Moritz Grossmann claims to honour the social and technological significance of the humble second. For centuries, millennia even, time has been hours and minutes. It wasn’t until the renaissance period, with the development of mechanical clocks, that people really began to have a need for more accurate time measurements. The Moritz Grossmann Central Seconds is the first watch in the Benu line that has received a centrally mounted seconds hand. It might not seem like all that much, but in all honesty, our lives are constructed out of fleeting seconds. Moments we miss, that pass us by, that determine our daily schedules, dictated by seconds.
In all previous Moritz Grossmann models featuring a seconds indication, it was displayed by an off-centred subdial, most often positioned at 6 o’clock. This break in design means that for the Moritz Grossmann Central Seconds, a new movement had to be developed. The Calibre 100.11 is a reworked version of the Calibre 100.1 used in the Moritz Grossmann XII Birthday Edition we saw last year. The Calibre 100.11 is a true-to-form Moritz Grossmann in construction and finishing. Naturally, using an existing calibre to adapt to a new model eliminates creating a new movement from a blank canvas.
The Calibre 100.11 is constructed to display central hours, minutes and seconds. The bridges, plates and pillars are made with untreated German Silver and finished to the highest standards. A broad Glashütte ribbing on the 2/3 plate, for instance, heat-annealed screws, polished chatons, sunburst brushing on gears, hand-bevelled edges, it’s all there. Instead of using the traditional red jewels, Moritz Grossmann uses distinct white sapphire jewels. The movement is further decorated with a hand-engraved balance bridge and a frosted finish on the mainplate.
As with any Moritz Grossmann calibre, it also features a unique winding system. This system stops the movement altogether when the crown is pulled out, which immediately returns to its original position. You can then adjust the hands to the correct time of day, and restart the movement with a push of the button positioned at 4 o’clock. At the same time, the mechanism resets to the winding position and allows you to wind the watch if needed. This system eliminates the risk of dust and particles entering the case when the crown is extended and the possibility to unintentionally adjust the hands a little when pushing the crown back in place.
Furthermore, the Calibre 100.11 has Moritz Grossmann’s shock absorbed balance wheel with variable inertia screws and poising screws to allow for fine adjustments. The Nivarox balance spring has a Breguet terminal curve. The balance measures 14,2mm in diameter and oscillates at a slow frequency of 18,000vph. Fully wound, it can deliver 42 hours of power. In total, the movement is constructed with 198 parts.
All this technical prowess is housed in a stainless steel case, measuring 41mm in diameter and 12mm in height. The Moritz Grossmann Central Seconds has been given a modern, sleek look, in line with more casual models of the brand. The Central Seconds comes in two versions, either with a blue sunburst dial or a salmon-coloured dial. The handmade central hour and minute hands are in the typical long, slender Moritz Grossmann style. For the central seconds, it’ll be either mirror-polished (blue model) or heat-annealed to a blue hue (salmon model).
To offset the blue dial model even more, the hands have a HyCeram Luminex filling, making them light up in darker circumstances. The hands have a generous length and reach out to their specific indications, whether it being the hour markers, or the outer minute/seconds track. The dial is covered by a sapphire crystal, as is the backside of the case to reveal that gorgeous hand-finished, hand-wound movement.
Availability & Price
Both watches come on a kudu leather strap and a steel pin-buckle. The Moritz Grossmann Central Seconds with blue dial is a non-limited edition, while the salmon dial version comes in a run of just 25 pieces. The price is set at EUR 25,600 for both the blue or the salmon model.
Both of these watches, as well as the rest of the collection by Moritz Grossmann (with the exception of sold-out pieces), are available in the newly launched online boutique here at MoritzGrossmann.com.