Moritz Grossmann Atum Homage Unique Piece For Only Watch 2017: Two One-Of-A-Kinds
Since its launch in 2005, Only Watch has been one of the most – if not the most – significant auctions in the watch world. A biennial charity auction founded by Luc Pettavino, Only Watch is organized by the Monegasque Association Against Muscular Dystrophy (MAAMD) under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Brands donate unique timepieces to be auctioned; the proceeds are used completely to help finance research against Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a debilitating and life-threatening genetic disorder that affects around one in 3,500 boys, including Pettavino’s own son, who died of the disease in November 2016.
Moritz Grossmann is one of the 50 watch brands taking part in this year’s edition of Only Watch by Christie’s, which will be held in Geneva on November 11, 2017. The small yet highly prestigious Glashütte-based manufactory has something very special up its sleeve here with Atum Homage: the lucky winning bidder will actually receive two timepieces instead of one.
The set comprises a circa 1875 vintage Moritz Grossmann chronometer pocket watch made by the famous watchmaker himself plus a brand-new wristwatch counterpart, a modern contemporary example emulating the historic gem.
This extraordinary horological twin pack will surely be of special interest for collectors of vintage timepieces.
When we remember the outstanding tradition of Germany’s watchmaking “metropolis” Glashütte (see Made In Germany_ The Glory Of Glashütte), one person not to go missing from historical homage is Moritz Grossmann (1826–1885). His name is often mentioned in one breath with Ferdinand Adolph Lange, who initiated the noble tradition of fine watchmaking in this small Saxon town back in the nineteenth century.
Lange, a good friend, persuaded Grossmann to establish his own mechanical workshop in Glashütte. With a team of specialists, the master watchmaker was soon manufacturing precision tools, gear train models, fine pocket watches, precision pendulum clocks, and marine chronometers. He was also instrumental in establishing the German School of Watchmaking in 1878, where he introduced young apprentices to the fine art of his craft until his death in 1885.
The spirit of Moritz Grossmann’s horological traditions was restored in 2008 when Christine Hutter revived the historical significance of this Glashütte brand and re-registered the name. Under the watchful presence of the historical watchmaker, the finest Saxon timepieces have since been manufactured by the old-yet-new brand almost entirely manually, from the first sketch to the finished watch.
In terms of precision and aesthetics, the young brand draws inspiration from Grossmann’s noble traditions.
Aside from the highly sophisticated manufacture movements, the independent luxury marque is known for its penchant for fine hands that are likewise produced in a time-consuming process in-house. Instead of the common tempered blue color, most of Moritz Grossmann’s hands feature a violet shade that lends an exceptional twist to the graceful appearance of the classic dials. This violet shade is also obtained by tempering.
It goes without saying that special attention is also paid to the design of the calibers equipped with a traditional German silver two-thirds plate outfitted with a signature Grossmann balance and Grossmann winding mechanism with pusher. Intricately decorated and executed, the components made of gold, steel, and German silver create a colorful piece of mechanical art from which the characteristic violet color of the screws stands out effectively.
Out of the pocket
Parents of twins can certainly relate that two children mean not only double trouble but also double the joy. This rings equally true for the Moritz Grossman contribution to the charity auction due to go under the hammer on November 11.
The brand is not only offering a unique watch, it is offering a collector’s dream: a vintage pocket watch made around 1875 as Glashütte was reaching its heyday as a watchmaking center. Its hand-wound movement is equipped with a chronometer balance, a 16-tooth escape wheel, a Grossman hand-setting rocker, and it features a beautiful Maltese cross decoration on its spring barrel.
The dial is grand feu enamel that projects the typical chronometer-style look of the time. It features large black Roman numerals, a railroad minute track, and blued poire–style hands. The small seconds subdial is located at 6 o’clock as befits a chronometer-style timepiece.
The modern Atum homage wristwatch offered in conjunction with this vintage rarity is like an identical twin. Its likewise grand feu enamel dial displays all the characteristics of the original, including the somewhat blurred lettering “M. Grossmann Dresden,” which adds an air of authenticity.
Contrary to the pocket watch, which is clad in yellow gold, the wristwatch sports a beautiful pink gold case. Adhering to history, both timepieces feature blued instead of violet-colored hands.
Authenticity can also be found inside the 41 mm case of the Atum, where Caliber 100.1 includes the Grossmann balance, modified Glashütte stopwork, and a pillar-style movement reminiscent of traditional pocket chronometers.
On top of all that, the lucky bidder will be invited to Dresden, Germany, for dinner and an overnight stay. The next day he or she will be treated to an exclusive visit of the manufacture and the Watchmaking Museum, which housed the former School of Watchmaking established by Moritz Grossmann in 1878, both in Glashütte.
Quick Facts Moritz Grossmann Atum Homage Unique Piece for Only Watch 2017
Case: 41 x 11.35 mm, pink gold (wristwatch), yellow gold (pocket watch)
Movement: manual winding Caliber 100.1, 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph frequency; power reserve 42 hours, pillar-style movement with Grossmann balance and modified Glashütte stopwork
Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds
Dial: grand feu enamel
Limitation: one unique set consisting of a modern wristwatch and a vintage pocket watch
Estimate: €40,000 – €60,000 / $41,000 – $62,000 / 40,000 – 60,000 Swiss francs
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