Watches made by Moritz Grossmann, one of the top manufacturers in the small town of Glashütte, Germany, are known for their outstanding attention to detail and refined in-house movements. Yet, some stand out even more from the rest of the collection, either because of their complexity or due to the expressive power of traditional craftsmanship on their dial. The brand’s latest creation is a compilation of both worlds; high-end mechanics and refined dial decoration. Meet the new Moritz Grossmann Tourbillon Tremblage.
The contemporary brand Moritz Grossmann is a tribute to one of the most important men to ever influence Saxon watchmaking, Karl Moritz Grossmann (1826-1885), founder and director of the German School of Watchmaking. Since 2007, Christine Hutter, herself a skilled watchmaker, has run a manufacture of high-end Saxon watches making only a couple hundred watches per year, but with a solid reputation among enthusiasts.
This new Tourbillon Tremblage is the reunion of two of the most impressive watches of the brand. On one side we have its most complex timepiece, a tourbillon with a regulator display (among many other specificities). On the other is one of the most desirable dials ever made by the brand, using the so-called tremblage technique. And when both meet, it results in this pair of new watches…
Already known as the Benu Tourbillon, we’re here talking about a statement watch, both visually and mechanically. The Tourbillon Tremblage is a large model that houses an equally large movement, itself regulated by an oversized tourbillon. The case, which is here available in polished rose or white gold, measures a non-neglectable 44.5mm in diameter, with a thickness of 13.9mm. Classic in its design, using the same overall shape as other watches of the Benu line, it features sapphire crystals on both sides and is worn on a hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a butterfly clasp in 18k gold.
What stands out in this edition of the Moritz Grossmann Tourbillon is the dial, which uses a historical technique called tremblage or hand-hammering. It is engraved by hand using a variety of burins: the tools are moved across the metal in a trembling motion, which is also where the name comes from, with the French ‘tremblant’ meaning ‘to tremble’ in English. The result is a deeply grained texture with imperfections that reveal the work of the engraver. As said by the brand, “The challenge is to achieve an even look, creating an effect which is both rough and matt.”
However, compared to the time-only Tremblage watch we’ve covered here, the choice was made to limit the portions of the dial using this engraving technique. Due to its more complex display, only the central section of the Tourbillon Tremblage is engraved and the outer track and sub-dials are matt opaline to enhance legibility. The dial is then galvanised in “black-or” giving it a warm anthracite colour. Hand-made hands in rose gold or steel complete this handsome dial.
As for the display, the Moritz Grossmann Tourbillon is quite unique, being a regulator with central minutes and sub-dials for the hours and the seconds. Due to the large size of the tourbillon cage – 16mm – these two indications are slightly offset to the top of the dial. While each hand is designed to once again enhance legibility, the central minute requires a bit more explanation. As the minute display is interrupted by the aperture for the tourbillon in the lower half of the dial, the minute hand has been extended beyond the centre. This counterweight now precisely presents minutes 25 to 35 on a scale (for the records, a patented solution…)
Powering the Tourbillon Tremblage is the impressive manufacture calibre 103.0. Being a Saxon-made watch, it uses a flying tourbillon architecture (first developed and patented in 1920 by Alfred Helwig, himself a teacher at the German School of Watchmaking) But unlike many tourbillons, it performs its rotation in 3 minutes and not 60 seconds. This large balance (14mm) is also linked to a fascinating stop-second function… To halt the balance, it relies on an elastic brush made of human hair, which gently slows the balance down at the rim perimeter (another patented solution). Finally, this hand-wound movement with 72h power reserve also features the brand’s manual winder with pusher. And it’s decorated with all the traditional techniques you expect from the brand.
The Moritz Grossmann Tourbillon Tremblage is available in two 8-piece limited editions in rose gold or white gold, respectively priced at EUR 199,500 and EUR 198,000. For more details, please consult www.grossmann-uhren.com.