The Gronefeld brothers in Holland are one of the secrets of high end horology. Independents, they were both trained in the stables of Renaud et Papi. And have been making their own watches, as well as contracting for others from their little workshop in The Netherlands. I had the opportunity to meet them several times in Geneva, and recently at their short stay in Singapore.
Their speciality watch is the One Hertz…so called because the seconds hand tick once every second. The French term for this style of watch is second morte or literally translated to English – Dead Seconds. Looking like a quartz watch, but much more complicated than most mechanical time only watches, this style of watch is rare, and the brothers chose to showcase it as a ultra large seconds indication with a floating chapter ring.
The S and W indicators are not to show your significant other that the watch tells you its time for “sex” and “wine”, but an indicator to the intricate mechanism, managed by pushing the crown to toggle between S for setting and W for winding. The watch is normally left in W state, and a gentle push of the crown…like activating a chronograph…indeed the pressure and sensation is similar, the watch switches to timesetting mode. Another push, returns to the winding state. Ingenious.
As beautiful as the dial and this special mechanism is, the beauty of the movement steals all when one flips the watch over. The layout of the bridges and the finishing absolutely stuns. Request for larger pictures for those marked so to admire the work.
The beauty fo the bridges, and the special finishing makes this a beautiful sight. The bridges are made from stainless steel, acid etched, laser engraved and hand polished.
Detail of the cocks, and their magnificent finish. The movement is conceived and designed by the brothers, and realised in cooperation with Renaud et Papi. All finishing and assembly is done inhouse.
I also had the opportunity to photograph their repeater tourbillon…
And the hand finished movement is sourced from Christophe Claret, but totally finished and assembled in house in Oldenzaal, The Netherlands.
And a picture of the brothers