It’s not often us hardcore watch enthusiasts are treated to an entirely new winding mechanism, much less one created with beauty in mind. While Rolex fusses with moving their crowns from one side to the other, ingenious German independent Moritz Grossmann has challenged the very fundamentals of the automatic calibre with a contemporary take on the anachronism that is hammer winding. This bizarre approach is akin to watching some niche automaker like Lotus produce a vehicle that runs on not oil or electrons, but natural gas or hydrogen; a totally foreign power source. It’s been attempted, but not for decades through a modern lens by a technically sophisticated player. Under the careful direction of Ms. Christine Hutter, Mortiz Grossman’s hamatic efforts created a truly magical calibre and new era for the marque name.
All it takes for one to understand that this is something very, very different is to remove a hamatic from the wrist and turn it over. The ‘hammer’ of this system is the large offset oval pendulum, with a small gold weight buried at its extremity. It swings through a relatively small range of motion, stopped by damped contact with the extremely slender metal blade at the centre of the winding mechanism. A clever dual winding wheel solution means that the hammer winds the mainspring in both directions of swing, not unlike IWC’s Pellaton. This is all offset by ruthless traditional German finishing standards with tight anglage and gold chatons, I mean just look at that hand-engraved silver balance-cock. This is a movement made because it could be done today well, with sheer unbridled enthusiasm for watchmaking.
This particular Hamatic is meant to evoke even further the traditional Teutonic 19th-century watchmaking style. One of 25 examples, this ‘vintage’ model did away with the very modern Moritz Grossmann Glashütte logo in favor of a more classic and restrained M. Grossmann signature and traditional steel hands without violet heat-treament (still exquisitely thin, just .1mm wide at their narrowest). The standard 41mm case remains, here in white gold. The dial is a silver blank with black-anthracite lacquer. With the traditional signature now complementing the railroad minute track and Roman numerals, I’m not sure any hammer-wound movement has ever had a more beautiful exterior.
This example looks not a day old, no visible wear on its exterior. It comes from a well-regarded American retailer.
Find this Hamatic Vintage here from Esper Luxe listed as POA (MSRP €40,300, excluding VAT).