From the Glashütte’s horological nursery, almost forgotten by the world, the Moritz Grossmann name was saved in 2008 by Christine Hutter. Since then, the brand stayed true to its origins and history by releasing timepieces which reflect the high craftsmanship and rich heritage associated with the Moritz Grossmann name. As an example of the Grossmann dedication to Haute Horlogerie, you can have a look at Deployant’s review of the Benu Tourbillon.
Moritz Grossmann Tefnut Twist
The Tefnut Twist, with a name inspired by the Egyptian goddess of rain, fertility and water, is dedicated to the precious feminine persons of our lives.
The inspiration of this unusual watch came from a lady who had difficulties in winding the watch as she didn’t want to damage her manicured nails in the process of winding or setting the time. In search of fulfilling a dream, Grossmann’s watchmakers found a robust and ingeniously simple solution: a strap winder which allows the wounding by a simple strap turn. This technical solution imposed a serious redesign of the classic movement and of the case, but in the end, the system is practical and comfortable. More than that, the innovation opens new directions in an almost numb world of frozen “classical” approaches.
The case, dial and hands
The Moritz Grossmann Tefnut Twist collection has several variations; the ones that we would like to present you are the Classic and the Fancy, both in white 18k gold. Although the linkage between the Egyptian goddess Tefnut and watches made in Saxony escapes us, the model name appears to be well chosen -the Twist is just apt.
Deployant reviewed the Tefnut and Tefnut Lady two years ago and now we have the perfect opportunity to see the evolution in this collection.
The Tefnut’s case was modified to a new form factor to adapt to the “new” function – the winding done by the turning strap. The new look of the 36mm white gold case is not very unconventional, being inspired by the vintage watches. At this size, the Twist is a good looking wrist accessory offering a balanced form to a delicate wrist. The highly polished surfaces are rounded: everywhere you look there are beautiful contours. On the crown a precious stone blue cabochon gives it a sharper, yet refined look. The blue stones are used further at the end of the strap bars. These details do not steal the views from the watch’s face, being subtle and elegant, however, manage to enrich the entire appearance. The crown, positioned now at 4 o’clock, is kept for the time setting functionality. If the watch is wound daily or every other day, it serves its intent of saving the ladies’ well manicured nails perfectly. Only the setting the time will remain, and that is only applicable every once a while to adjust the time, and the bi-annual summer/winter time change.
The Twist has a simple rounded bezel which enhances the convexity of the case’s side. The polish of the surface attempts to keep you busy with all the light and colors reflections of the nearby environment.
The Tefnut Twist has a different dial for each of the three main versions: Classic, Fancy and Gent. The Classic timepiece has a multilevel silvered dial. The dial’s center has a delightful guilloché pattern while the elevated Arabic numeral scale is frosted. The printed minute’s scale is tilted and frosted with an amazing look making a smooth transition from the bevel to the center. The lowest point of the dial is represented by the small seconds sub-dial positioned at 7 o’clock. The circular guilloché and the printed indexes, together with the “high” depth tend to make the small seconds the main attraction of the dial.
The Fancy Twist has a completely different approach of the dial. The tilted minutes’ scale and the small seconds’ sub-dial edge are exchanged with a white brilliant-cut diamonds frame. Another change is the mother-of-pearl dial featuring a fine “sun-ray” guilloché with the seconds’ dial as the starting element. The high-end jewelry face is completed by the five Roman numerals based on the upper dial’s side. In this way, the face is harmonized, without heavy points to ruin its delicacy. In the end, it is just a matter of preference between the Classic and the Fancy, both being technical and visual equally interesting.
The Tefnut’s hands were specially designed for this collection, with the clear intention to be a distinctive Grossmann signature element. The hands are manufactured from steel, finished with diamond files after the final annealing to produce the signature brown-violet hue. This uncommon colour and the attractive slender shape make from these hands a perfect companion of the dial. The readability is great and the entire dial requires you to look more often and enjoy it.
The movement: Moritz Grossmann 102.2
Caliber 102.2 is an in-house developed and produced movement based on the Moritz Grossmann 102.1. At 26mm diameter, this manual wound movement is smaller than the movement used in the ATUM and BENU calibers. The visible finishes are striking: two marvelous hand-engraved bridges for balance wheel and escapement wheel (detail met in many watches coming from Glashütte), the three white sapphire jewels in gold chatons (the white sapphire jewels are a trademark of Moritz Grossmann watches) and the beautiful annealed (hardened) brown-violet screws. The movement is plays with the light in a delightful way, and is aesthetically very appealing.
On the technical side, the 102.2 is special and quite unique. The exotic side of the movement is the winding system with the rotatable strap placed a 6 o’clock. Only a few twists are needed to fully wind the watch. The system winds bidirectionally due to a backstop ratchet. All the amount of power is transferred using a special bevel gear pair to speedily wind the barrel. Via a toothed stem, the connection between the inclined winding stem and the horizontally aligned movement is established.
The winding system is also provided with a backstop which engages the winding stem only when the angular turn exceeds 20 degrees. In this way, the system is not activated just by just wearing the watch. Another particularity of this movement is the bridle contacts on the inside of the mainspring barrel. This component is used in the automatic watches to prevent damage that could be caused by too much force and excessive winding.
The winding gear ratio is not suitable for time setting. From here comes the necessity of the separation of the winding and setting functions. For time setting is used, as usual, the 4 o’clock crown. Useful for a precise setting is the stop-seconds mechanism activated by the crown pull.
The Competitive Landscape
This time, the competitive landscape is quite barren. There are not that many watches out there without a winding crown and there are even fewer ladies watches without it. The most notable design could be the Ressence Type 1² or Type 1 Squared released this year at SIHH2017. This watch not only does not have a crown but it also lack an hands. The crown for time setting and manual winding is replaced with the rotatable case-back. And instead of conventional hands, the time is indicated by markers on rotating discs. Even if the watch size is a little bigger, 41mm, due to construction and minimal bezel, the watch is looking great on the wrist. This watch can be taken home after paying €17,500 (20% VAT included).
Another solution will be to think of automatic ladies watches as a consequence of removing the need of using a crown to wind the watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre has an entire collection of ladies watches. fOur pick from the entire list is the 34mm timepiece in a yellow gold case with guilloché dial and pink leather strap that emanates femininity – Rendez-Vous Night & Day Medium. This watch has a price tag around €15,000.
A spectacular example of lady watch is the Endeavour Concept Guilloché from H. Moser & Cie. By all means, this is an exceptional timepiece. The sunburst pattern under the fumé dials was replaced with a blue guilloché finish. This timepiece comes in a rose gold case or a white gold case with a diamond-set bezel.
Moritz Grossmann TEFNUT Twist is a breath of fresh air in the world of traditional and conservatory of watchmaking. Having a “conventional” design, these timepieces impress us with a beautiful technical solution – a winding system through the strap of the watch. Besides the innovation and execution, the Twist excels in beauty and elegance.
The Moritz Grossmann TEFNUT Twist Specifications and Price
The Tefnut Twist Classic in white gold costs 31,200€, while the Twist Fancy has a price tag of 34,300€.
Caliber: Moritz Grossmann 102.2
Type: manually wound mechanical
Dimensions: 26.00 mm x 4.2 mm (diameter x height)
Power reserve: 48 hours
Frequency: 3Hz; 21,600 vibrations per hour
Functions: Hours, minutes and small seconds
Material: three-part, in 750/000 gold
Dimensions of the case
Diameter: 36 mm / Thickness: 9.64 mm
Crystal: anti-reflective coating sapphire crystal
Crown: 750/000 gold
Caseback: anti-reflective coating sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 30m
Material: hand-stitched alligator strap
Buckle: prong buckle in precious metal
Rapid winding with rotatable strap attachment at 6 o‘clock / winding via bevel gear set and winding transmission with backstop ratchet / stop work with saw tooth wheels / mainspring with bridle / subsidiary seconds at 7 o‘clock / hand setting via crown at 2 o‘clock / shock-resistant balance with inertia and poising screws / flat balance spring, impulse pin attached to rim / balance staff with an integrated space-saving single safety roller instead of the conventional double roller / index adjuster with micrometer screw / plate movement with 3/5 plate / frame pillars and separately removable winder module / frame parts in untreated German silver / raised gold chatons with pan-head screws / stop seconds at the safety roller when the crown is pulled