Karl Moritz Grossmann, a prominent figure from the 19th century, was the founder and director of the German School of Watchmaking. In our contemporary era, in 2007, Christine Hutter, a skilled watchmaker with experience at Maurice Lacroix, Glashütte Original and A. Lange & Söhne, acquired the right to use the name “Moritz Grossmann“. In 2008, amid the financial crisis reshaping markets, she founded the brand and initiated operations from her residence in Dresden before relocating to Glashütte. The brand’s inaugural production model emerged in 2010, and by 2013, a new factory was established. Since then, Moritz Grossmann, while making only a couple hundred watches per year, has gained a solid reputation with enthusiasts worldwide. In celebration of its 15th anniversary last year, Moritz Grossmann introduced three new timepieces – a pair of fresh editions for its original open-worked Backpage in rose gold and platinum and a particularly unique one-off Tremblage. We recently had a hands-on experience with the rose gold Backpage Green, and it is a stunner.
The Moritz Grossman Backpage Green in rose gold boasts a fully polished case with curved sides, spanning 41mm in width and 11.35mm in thickness. Its elongated, sculpted lugs complement the design, and when paired with the hand-stitched alligator strap closed by a rose gold pin buckle, it sits comfortably on the average wrist. The ribbed screw-in crown, featuring a polished top, is positioned at 3 o’clock, accompanied by a pusher below that addresses a practical issue. In these watches, the keyless work is built differently to protect it from external elements and any unintended movement of the hands. Grossmann’s patented winder and pusher system is incorporated into the keyless works. Pulling out the crown makes the movement stop entirely, but the crown immediately jumps back into place when released. You can then set the hands to the correct time and press the pusher to reactivate the movement. Engaging the pusher seamlessly transitions the crown back to winding mode rather than time-setting mode. This innovative approach prevents any unintended movement of the hands, a common occurrence when the crown is pushed back in.
Experiencing the Backpage’s new green dial is an invitation to a captivating mechanical world. The partially skeletonized dial unveils the hand-wound movement’s intricate inner workings. Each glance reveals the balance wheel and the massive hand-engraved balance cock with Grossmann micrometre screw index adjuster, and components showcasing diverse finishing techniques, with snailing and polishing, heat-coloured screws, and the visible part of the bridge exhibiting a grain-like finish. Note the gold chaton in the ratchet wheel; more of them can be seen through the transparent caseback.
Crafted by hand, the sharp hour, minute, and seconds hands are not just mere indicators but miniature art pieces. Heated to a deep purple hue, they add a touch of uniqueness. The green dial gracefully spans from 11 to 7 o’clock, hosting a running seconds display at 6 o’clock, while a minute chapter ring is depicted on the outermost edge.
The rose gold baton hour indices, simple yet distinctively shaped, are meticulously applied, with the prominent Arabic 12 marker at the pinnacle. The dial’s layout and the interplay of colours ensure good contrast for easy legibility – a bit more than the otherwise splendid Backpage Transparent. The seemingly large components contribute to a harmonious aesthetic; too many smaller elements could have overwhelmed the dial, but here, balance reigns supreme.
The watch is powered by the hand-wound manufacture calibre 107.0, operating at 18,000 vibrations/hour with a power reserve of 42 hours. The movement, a reworked version of Grossmann’s calibre 100 used in the Tremblage models or the Power Reserve Vintage, has been ingeniously reoriented to showcase its aesthetic allure on the dial side. Still, the caseback crystal has plenty to reveal – the dial usually hides this movement’s side image.
Once we turn the watch over, we see a nearly full German silver plate with wide ribbings featuring an exposed winding and setting mechanism. A polished component that extends from the crown side to the back of the balance wheel is the connecting bar that stops the balance wheel when the pusher below the crown is engaged, allowing time to be set more accurately. There are no “rubies” in this movement… Instead, the raised gold chatons with the signature transparent sapphire jewels are mounted to the plates with heat-treated, purple pan-headed screws.
The Moritz Grossmann Backpage Green in rose gold is a limited edition of 25 pieces (25 other pieces are available in platinum), and the price for the rose gold version we handled is EUR 45,600. This watch is undoubtedly a connoisseur’s choice; it provides mechanical innovations to address a practical issue, and its beautiful execution allows you to enjoy the movement’s mechanical splendour. I prefer a Transparent edition of the Backpage, yet I see why some will favour the Green due to its more vivid colour scheme and better contrast and legibility.
For more information, please visit grossmann-uhren.com.