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Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Review

by May 9, 2021Limited Edition, Moritz Grossmann

 

Whilst many independent watch brands are trying to incorporate fancy complications and multiple/different textures on their dials, Moritz Grossmann seems to be content to keeping things confidently simple.

This is definitely the case with regards to the Benu enamel; with a classic and somewhat unassuming appearance, the quality and workmanship behind it, is still definitely what has become expected from the brand.

The Benu range apparently marked the beginning of a new era for Moritz Grossmann and features quite a large variety of different watch design types – the Benu Enamel Arabic was released in 2 special editions; with the choice of either blue or black, on white enamel. 

Moritz Grossmann give an outline of the concept behind the Benu Enamel:

The Enamel Arabic is a rare luxurious dress watch for fans of cool steel cases.  It embodies the DNA of the Glashütte manufacture: schönstes deutsches Handwerk (finest German craftsmanship).  The enamel dial is one of the hallmarks of sublime artisanship that is appreciated by connoisseurs of pure colour and praised for its unique sheen. The sublime face of the Enamel Arabic features a crisp minute scale and elegant Arabic numerals. It expresses its personality with two colour variations on a white enamel dial: the scales and numerals are black or blue, combined with hands annealed to a brown-violet hue.

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic

Face & case

Comprising of 3 parts, the stainless steel case is 41mm and highly polished on every surface.  As in typical Moritz Grossmann design, the lugs appear quite long, and curve downwards to compliment the shape of the wrist.

The dial is in pure white, grand-feu enamel, with mainly blue detail and sits under a single coated sapphire crystal.

Just inside the rehaut, there is a prominent seconds track line.  Each second is clearly marked within and then each second is then split again by another 1/5th of a second marker.  The 5 second markers are then defined by a longer line which cross over into the main dial area, pointing towards the blue Arabic numeral hour markers, which aren’t quite oversized, but definitely legible from a distance.  the numerals 5, 6 and 7 are missing, to make way for the subsidiary seconds dial.

The small seconds dial sits at 6 o’clock and nestles nicely from where 5 – 7 o’clock numerals would be and is recessed below a delicately chamfered drop back from the main dial.  A thin, but traditional “chemin de fer” circles the sub-dial, with elongated 5 minute markers, as well as 15, 30, 45 and 60 seconds marked in numerals.

Made in Germany is printed in black below this and just above the seconds track.  The only other thing on the dial is the Moritz Grossman logo running between 10 and 2 o’clock, which is also all in black.

The hands are manually crafted; very thin, they are in steel which have been annealed to a brown, violet or blue hue.  Depending on how the light hits them, they can appear from a bright blue to a deep reddy brown.

On the side, the crown is in the usual Moritz Grossmann design, fat to thin as you look away from the dial, with ridges for easy winding and setting of time.  The crown doesn’t protrude too far out, however there is a ridge close to the case, which is an additional grip and is handy to pinch the crown out with your nails.  There is an additional small, thimble shaped pusher button situated at 4 o’clock, the function of which is explained later on.

Turn the piece over and 7 tiny screws secure a thin frame of the sapphire crystal case back.  Various engravings surround it, including the brands name, stainless steel and the piece number in the series.

The movement exudes quality, with multiple different finishes and colours visible immediately.  The three quarter plate is defined vertically, with relatively wide Cotes de Geneve running in parallel and the brand has it’s name hand engraved in there too.  There is a small arched check out of the straight edge, to make sure the balance wheel can be seen in it’s entirety; which in turn is held in position by the delicately hand engraved balance cock.    The escapement wheel cock is also intricately engraved by hand.

There are also 3 band snailled and polished surfaces, heat blued and stainless screws; as well as gold chatons.

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic Case Back

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic Case Back

Movement

The Manufacture calibre 100.1, is an in house manually wound movement; 36.4mm wide and 5mm high, it has been adjusted in five positions and constructed from 198 parts.   

Featuring 20 jewels, a lever escapement, Nivarox 1 balance spring with No. 80 Breguet terminal curve and with  Gerstenberger geometry.  The Grossmann balance is also shock absorbed with 4 inertia and 2 poising screws. 

Beating at 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, owners should expect around 42 hours power reserve once fully wound.

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic Crown and Side

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic Crown and Side

Strap

The strap is dark navy alligator leather, with matching navy stitching, whilst the lining is in a light brown/tan coloured leather.

Fastened with a stainless steel pin buckle, the Moritz Grossmann logo is engraved across its width.

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic Strap and Buckle

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic Strap and Buckle

Other stuff

Whilst the dial design of the Benu Enamel could be considered simple, there is a lot more going on with the movement.

Not quite as complicated as the Benu Tourbillon, the Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic does still feature the proprietary Grossmann winder, which makes use of the bilateral pusher at 4 o’clock (mentioned earlier).  

When the crown is pulled out for setting the time,  the Grossmann winder switches to the hand setting mode and stops the movement.  Although the crown immediately returns to its normal rest position, it can still be operated to precisely set the hands.  When the correct time is set, the movement can be restarted by pressing the pusher, with no possibility of inadvertently moving the second hand, which can happen when pushing the crown back in. 

The Grossmann winder mechanism therefor has two main benefits; 1) it avoids the possibility of any dust particles sneaking into the case when the crown is pulled out and 2) allows for precise setting of the time.

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic On the Wrist

Moritz Grossmann Benu Enamel Arabic On the Wrist

Our verdict

I don’t think there is any way not to like the Benu Enamel Arabic – the dial is crisp, clean and very uncluttered and the watch as a whole seems quite unassuming.

Much more conservative looking than any watch I own personally, at 41mm, it is the perfect size for me and it really does feel great on the wrist.  At only 11.35 mm high and a smooth case with no sharp angles, there will be no fighting with cuffs.  

One thing that has been on my mind though, is that the piece has been marketed as a dress watch.  I personally, would probably choose to wear it more for smart/casual or even with jeans and a T-shirt.  Shoot me for saying it, but I actually think the watch would look really cool with a denim strap, to actually casual it down that little bit more.

However owners decide to wear it, they will be safe in the knowledge that they will likely be the only one in the room with one – only 18 pieces are made each year, with a price of around £20,000 (plus UK VAT if applicable).

In this instance, I do feel that the movement actually outshines the aesthetics of the dial, however if you are looking for a top quality, hand made, highly precise and versatile watch, that doesn’t shout “rob me” when you wear it, then look no further!!

https://en.grossmann-uhren.com/

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