What could be a better colour companion to go with rose gold than chocolate? How about cocoa – it’s deeper, darker, richer and compliments the tones of rose gold even better.
Moritz Grossmann have been involved with some interesting collaboration pieces over recent years and this latest one does not disappoint, using a classic colour combination, their expected finishing prowess and only the best in materials.
Both relatively young businesses, Grossmann was reformed in 2008 after 120 years being dormant and although around as a blog since 2018, About Timepieces only began on their commercial journey in October 2020. With this latest collaboration piece, both brands are clearly confident on moving forward.
Using Grossmann’s Index as the base design, there have been a few notable changes, however, still in keeping with the simplicity of the original design. Moritz Grossmann explain the original idea behind the Index:
The Index embodies the apex of watchmaking artistry and is a timeless masterpiece of sleek elegance. The dial alone proclaims pure aesthetics: delicately chamfered hour markers replace Arabic numerals. Manually crafted, lance-shaped hands add quintessential class to its overall personality. Despite its understated looks, it epitomises traditional craftsmanship and latest-generation engineering prowess..
Face & case
Housed in a 41mm, solid 3 part 18k rose gold case, all surfaces are highly polished. The dial is made from a piece of solid silver and finished in a very dark brown sunburst – so dark, in fact it appears black in some lighting conditions; but when it catches the light, the colours come alive. Specifically under sunlight, tones of lighter brown, orange, red and even yellow can be seen shimmering on the dial.
The hour markers have been created by hand in solid rose gold and applied to the dial; 2 are positioned at 12 o’clock, whilst single markers can be seen at each of the other hours, decreasing slightly in size at 5 and 7 o’clock and just a single square dot at 6 o’clock, which makes way for the subsidiary seconds dial. Between each of the indeces, there is a track of white printed minute markers, which have been split even further into quarter minutes with smaller indications.
Finished in the same colour as the main dial, the subsidiary seconds dial features a very tight circular guilloche (one that is so fine, that you can barely see), which creates its own independent spectacle of light. Again, in the shadows, it appears almost black, but into the light and 2 “V” shapes can be seen emitting out from the centre at opposite sides to each other. The angle of the refraction can change depending on how the light hits it and the two “V” shapes will constantly move around the subdial as the angle of light changes.
The subdial also has a white printed track around its circumference, this time indicating individual seconds, with every 5 second interval being indicated with an elongated marker.
Nestled between 10 and 2 o’clock, the Moritz Grossmann logo is also printed in white, being the only other thing breaking up the simplicity of the design.
Each of the lance-shaped hands have also been hand crafted in-house from a single piece of solid rose gold – even the tiny small seconds hand has, which is a fraction of the size of a sewing needle.
A sapphire crystal glass protects the dial. It has an antireflective coating on one side to prevent reflections and the extra thick, slightly cambered glass has a precision ground chamfered edge, that refracts the geometry of the minute scale.
The crown is small, but perfectly formed. It features deep grooves for grip and although it does not protrude out very far from the edge of the case, the circumferential groove makes it easy to pull out the crown for time setting. The pusher for restarting the movement after setting, is positioned just below the winding crown. Keeping with the simple design, neither the crown or the start button have any engravings or other markings on them, but are both polished rose gold.
The lugs appear long and slim, but shaped to follow the lines of the case; gently curved downwards to follow the curvature of the wrist.
Turning the piece over, there is a delight for the senses. The 2/3 plate is meticulously finished, with Glashütte stripes and chamfered edges, with the balance cock fixed above the 14.2mm balance wheel and the escape wheel cock, both being hand engraved with elaborate designs.
The winding wheels have polished bevel faces, the ratchet wheel is decorated with traditional three-band snailing and 3 raised gold chatons with pan-head screws can be seen in the centre. There are also hand engravings of the number of jewels (20), brand’s name and a little About Timepieces logo in there too.
Holding it all together is the screw down caseback, whose narrow frame has a number of further engravings on it, to include Moritz Grossmann, Glashutte stripes, the serial number and the limitation number of the series.
Powered by the manually wound manufacture Calibre 100.1, the movement has been adjusted in five positions and features 198 parts and 20 jewels, 3 of which are in screwed gold chatons.
Special features include a lateral pusher for disabling the hand-setting mode and starting the movement; a space saving and modified Glashütte stopwork with backlash and adjustment with Grossmann micrometer screw on a cantilevered balance cock. There is also a lever escapement, a separately removable clutch winder, stop seconds which is activated when the crown is pulled out (for setting) and a shock-absorbed Grossmann balance with 4 inertia.
Beating at a frequency 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, wearers should expect around 42 hours power reserve once fully wound.
This piece is delivered with a dark brown Mississippi Alligator leather strap with matching stitching and a taupe coloured lining. Should a different strap choice be desired, I am sure one could be accommodated – one option we looked at during the design phase was kudu, which gives a slightly more casual look to the watch.
A solid rose gold folding deployment clasp secures the strap, which has the brand’s name neatly engraved across the centre of the main buckle area.
A manually wound watch usually has to be reset regularly, as most people do not wind and wear the same watch daily. Even if they do wear it daily, they may well forget to wind it.
It was this challenge for the watchmakers at Moritz Grossmann to improve not only the functional reliability, but also the convenience of this operation. When a user briefly pulls the winding crown out, this mechanism switches to the hand setting mode and the movement stops. The crown returns to its normal position, but can be turned to set the hands. Once set, the movement is restarted using the pusher button adjacent to the winding crown, without altering the positions of the hands. The mechanism switches back to the winding mode at this point too.
This ingenious mechanism eliminates two possible error sources; the ingress of particles into the case while the hands are being set and the unintentional alteration of the hand positions while the crown is being pushed in again.
As in all of our collaborative pieces, the main brief is always slightly selfish, to design and build a watch that we would want to own, wear and keep in the collection indefinitely.
When we initially talked with Moritz Grossmann about doing a collaboration piece, the first idea was based around a new design approach for the Backpage, but having investigated the logistics of making it happen, the costs were prohibitive, specifically due to a few specific elements in the proposed design and the tiny number of pieces that would be made, meaning pricing could not be reduced to a palatable level by quantative purchasing of parts.
So, we moved onto what you see here today. Everything is as was imagined from the outset, with the only thing we (and Moritz Grossmann) were not sure about, was whether it would be possible to actually craft the hands you see here out of rose gold. Once it was proven doable, we were on and we just went for it!!
This piece exudes class, from the solid 18k rose gold case and deployment buckle, to the sumptuous shimmering brown dial.
Apart from the aesthetics being extremely pleasing to the eye, wearing the watch is a bit of a pleasure too. The weight of a solid chunk of precious metal feels great on the wrist and as with all Moritz Grossmann watches, it fits beautifully. Being only just over 11mm high from the wrist and with the extremely polished case and chamfered glass, there is no fighting with cuffs.
Setting the time (and just looking at the movement in general) is a bit of a treat, as it truly is stunning; from the materials and craftsmanship, to a simple design of basically brown and white, with rose gold case, the indeces and hands in rose gold too, just bring the entire look together.
I suppose the only thing negative that could be commented from my own perspective is the case back screws are not rose gold, but I expect this is down to a technical restriction of the threads being to soft of formed out of solid gold.
If you manage to get your hands on one of only 5 being made, with a price of 34,950 GBP (which currently equates to around 47,000 USD) plus taxes, you will be one of only 5 in the world – once they are gone, they are gone and I doubt you will see another out in the wilderness.
Being 100% based on our own design, we feel the outcome is as good as, if not better than could have been expected – we really do hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Available to purchase exclusively through About Timepieces, while stocks last – BUY NOW