Grönefeld 1941 Eight Second Remontoire in Steel
Independent watches which defy mechanic and design trends often impress on a very deep level. However, not all of these more audacious efforts remain front of mind or desire as time evolves. The 1941 Remontoire has not only crystalized Grönefeld’s deserved reputation as among the very best independent watchmakers, but, for many including myself, proven spellbinding since inception. This is particularly the case for this dressed-down, hand-hammered grey dial on steel case example, produced in lower numbers and just that bit more discreet than the oft-seen bold dials set against precious metal.
Bart and Tim Grönefeld grew up around the large blades of the Basilica of St Plechelm clock’s remontoire. The brother’s father and grandfather before had been responsible for maintaining this impressive mechanic marvel. The clock dated to 1240 and featured a complication seldom-seen in horology to aid longevity in cold temperatures: a 30-second remontoire. Many years later, when Bart and Tim struck out on their own, they knew the challenge they had to tackle. The wrist-worn remontoire they created masterfully combined their immense watchmaking ability (in collaboration with Andreas Strehler) with their family roots and national identity.
This 1941 remontoire utilizes two spiral springs in an attempt to deliver a constant unwavering torque through the escapement. This is desirable as single spiral springs deliver a lowering amount of torque as the spring unwinds. This negatively effects accuracy, if only slightly. Most remontoires deliver their power once per second. This 258-component remontoire calibre delivers its power once every eight seconds through a governor (thanks to a George Daniel’s design), which is viewable through the opened dial. Buttery smooth power and torque delivery, but extremely complex design with time-intensive construction. Plus it has a thing which spins on the dial.
Flip it over to observe a very unique series of bridges, designed to resemble the facades of traditional Dutch street fronts, or bell gables. All of them are hand-beveled, micro-blasted, then engraved. Screws are all polished to a mirror. All jewels are sat in golden chains to provide visual contrast. The finishing quality and depth given by the remontoire complication are simply staggering together. This is all set against a tapering crown and 39.5mm case with elegant swooping lugs, both of which provide contrasting modernity. The handset is blued steel, matched in the minutes track and subseconds.
This example has a perfect case which has only seen the lightest of wear. It appears immaculate. It comes with a full set and letter from the brothers from a very well-regarded London retailer.
Find this 1941 Eight Second Remontoire here from A Collected Man for 130000 GBP.