Moritz Grossmann has a knack for honouring traditional techniques and artisanal watchmaking craftsmanship. Producing some truly magnificent watches, mostly done by hand, Moritz Grossmann also has a sense of modernity, with innovative, practical solutions. One of the most ingenious yet complex achievements is the Hamatic, wound by a pendulum-style system instead of by hand or with a rotor. And today, a new interpretation is unveiled. This is the Moritz Grossmann Hamatic Vintage Silver-plated.
Based in the German region of Saxony, the Moritz Grossmann manufacture exercises the meticulous crafts of designing, constructing, finishing, and decorating watches by hand. In keeping with the industry’s most traditional techniques, every single watch is made with incredible attention to detail. The resulting watches look very elegant, very refined, and somehow very German. But as we’re about to find out yet again, a Moritz Grossman can have a few surprises up its sleeve.
The concept of the Hamatic was introduced in 2018 and was the first-ever automatic watch by the manufacture. Instead of relying on the tried-and-tested central winding rotor, Moritz Grossmann developed an atypical self-winding movement featuring a hammer system to provide power to the barrel. Even though the watch shown at Baselworld was only a prototype, it already looked mighty impressive. A year later, the production-ready Hamatic was introduced.
The system is an ode to early perpétuelle watches, with a discreet, classically styled look. The first automatic watches, long before the introduction of a centrally mounted rotor, had a pendulum-style winding system. It is credited to Belgian watchmaker Hubert Sarton, in 1778, with Abraham Louis Breguet following shortly after. The Breguet Perpétuelle No.1 – 8/82 is one of the oldest known and oldest surviving Breguet watches with this type of automatic winding to date.
What Moritz Grossmann has done is create a rather unique-looking movement, with some seriously gorgeous details. The in-house calibre 106.0 movement, developed as an integrated caliber, has a large swinging hammer. Much like a “bumper” automatic, the swinging motion is limited, as the hammer pivots at the top right lug when viewed from the back.
A central spring repositions the hammer at its centre when not being moved. Springs and levers attached to it transfer the energy created by the back-and-forth motion of the hammer to the barrel. Even the slightest movement is enough to trigger the hammer to move and provide energy to the movement. It’s truly a fascinating sight and unlike anything else on the market – more technical details in our hands-on review of the Hamatic.
Now, Moritz Grossmann already presented the Hamatic in 2018 as a prototype and a year later in a fully functioning suite, ready to be delivered to customers worldwide. In 2021, the collection is expanded with the introduction of the Moritz Grossmann Hamatic Vintage. The first interpretation of the “Vintage” came with a glossy black dial with white markings, and gold hands inside a rose gold case. The style remains very much what we’re familiar with, but the Hamatic Vintage Silver-plated has some subtle updates.
The most important update is the dial, which is silver-plated by friction. This is a very traditional technique used in the 19th century but is rarely seen today. It requires rubbing a special mix of silver powder, salt, and cream of tartar with a tiny bit of water onto a blank dial. Before doing so, the dial is engraved with Roman numerals and a minute track, which are then filled with black lacquer and baked in a kiln. This ensures the silver powder mix does not stick to the lacquer. After applying the mixture, the surface is sanded down to remove excess material and leave a soft, uniform grainy texture in a silvery tone. The dial is then coated to prevent any form of oxidation. It also features a vintage “M. Grossmann” logo, originating from 1875.
This splendid-looking dial hosts a pair of violet-annealed hands, with a pear-shaped tip for the hour hand and a needle-shaped tip for the minute hand. The small seconds hand is finished in a similar tone of violet purple, a colour which is notoriously hard to get right. The bandwidth during the heat treatment to achieve a purple tone is much narrower than that of blue, for instance. Also notice the capped finishing of the central axis and hands, a very subtle touch that finishes off the dial.
Of course, the case for the Hamatic Vintage Silver-plated reflects the craftsmanship of its contents. The rose or white gold case measures 41mm in diameter and 11.35mm in height. The case has slightly elongated lugs for a balanced look. The signature style crown is slightly recessed in the profile of the case when pushed in. The Moritz Grossmann Hamatic Vintage comes with sapphire crystals on both front and back, as it would be a shame to hide that incredible movement. It comes on a handmade black or brown alligator leather strap with a pin buckle matching the case.
The production capacity for Moritz Grossmann is limited, and so is the Hamatic Vintage Silver-plated. Of each version, white or red gold, there will only be eight pieces available, at a price of EUR 39,900 (excl. taxes).
For more information, please visit MoritzGrossmann.com.