Moritz Grossmann is a small manufacture from Glashütte. We have seen it gather in strength, taking in skills by recruiting some of the best watchmakers in the valley. Their building is not far from the A. Lange & Söhne Stammhaus building, and looks very impressive. The products are beginning to take shape, and we covered some of her history in our review of the Moritz Grossmann Benu Tourbillon, which we feel is technically interesting, even though the Glashütte story has been told perhaps once too many times. And today, we feature one of the entry level watches they introduced during the BaselWorld 2015: The Moritz Grossmann Tefnut and Teftnut Lady.
Moritz Grossmann Tefnut and Tefnut Lady
We begin with the Tefnut and then cover the Tefnut Lady.
The name Tefnut is taken from Egyptian mythology. Tefnut is the Egyptial goddess and the first offspring of Atum (the name of another Grossmann watch), the deity of creation. We confess that we find the names a bit unusual, and fail to see the connection between Egyptian mythology and German watchmaking. But at least the entire line is based on the ancient Egyptian gods, and consistent. Benu being a divine heron similar to the phoenix, consumed by fire only to rise again, hence symbolizing the entire watchmaking industry in Glashütte.
The overall first impression of the Moritz Grossmann Tefnut is one of elegance. The aura is one of a formal, classical watch, suitable for conducting serious business. As we delve into the details, we begin to see the nice attention to details that are apparent.
The silhoutte of the 39mm diameter, 8.5mm thick case is svelte, and gently hugs the wrist. The fluted crown, the gracefully tapered lugs, and the slightly cambered sapphire crystal glass and caseback makes for a very elegant watch indeed. Small details like for the white gold model with charcoal dial, the center of the dial features a ruled appearance, which is reminiscent and perhaps even reflective of the pinstripes on the suit its owner might be wearing.
The dial is made of a two part solid silver dial. Gold hour markers are slightly domed to create a dimensional feel, and the dial is either argenté or charcoal feature Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock. We also feel the hands, an interesting design and also manufactured in-house in Glashütte is supremely elegant and a nice touch. Grossmann manufactures their own dial, hands and applique in-house in their facility in Glashütte, which is highly unusual in the industry. Kudos to them for attempting this, and delivering beautifully.
The Lady versions carry a smaller case, measuring only 36mm in diameter and 8.32mm height. The case design is decidedly very feminine, and is sleek and graceful. A gemstone embedded in the crown accentuates the feminine. The lugs are tapered more aggressively, but yet appear to be very elegant to assure a good fit to a smaller wrist, and is attached to a satin strap.
Supremely elegant and graceful. The feel of a lady’s hand at the design is highly apparent, and we can see parts of Christine Hutter, CEO and Founder of Grossmann Uhren GmbH at play. Christine has her roots both as a watchmaker and a jeweller.
The dial is solid silver and verneered with mother pearl. A guilloché pattern radiates toward the center with the Arabic hour markers, 6 o’clock being a gold chaton holding a diamond. The bezel is decorated with 80 brilliant cut diamonds to complete the picture.
The movement: Moritz Grossmann C 102.0
The watches are interesting, to say the least. A great deal of time and effort is taken to ensure that the movements are all done in-house, and in this case the caliber 102 is an interesting caliber. Done in the what Grossmann call the 3/5 plate movement. This so called 3/5 plate movement uses a large plate (technically a bridge) covering the wheel train up to the 3rd wheel, and uses separate cocks for the 4th, 5th and balance wheels. The typical Glashütte style 3/4 plate movement has one large bridge covering the wheel train up to the 4th wheel, leaving the escape wheel and balance wheel on their own cocks. We feel this distinction is perhaps not essential, as the generic term 3/4 plate suffices to differentiate the movement from a full plate movement where the entire wheel train is under one large plate covering the entire movement, or a lepine style movement, where each wheel has its own bridge or cock. Lange, for example, uses the term 3/4 plate even if the movement utilizes a separate cock for the 4th wheel.
Both the Tefnut and the Tefnut Lady utilize the same new caliber 102.0 movement. The movement is a thin movement, with a height of just under 4mm and a diameter of 26mm. This is rather flatter than the other Moritz Grossmann movements, which exude a more teutonic feel.
The movement uses the ultra modern ARCAP alloy on the wheel and this visually contrasts against the traditional maillechort (German Silver). The large mainspring is designed in a flying configuration, it is only attached to one side of the movement, and allows it to be flatter.
The design is also interesting that the canon (2nd wheel) wheel, which carries the hour hand, is displaced slightly from center. This is to achieve a slightly thinner silhouette than possible with the canon wheel in the regular position. Power is transferred from the barrel via an additional pinion and wheel to the displaced canon wheel. The pinion carries the hour hand as it rotates once every 12 hours.
The balance is also interesting, not only in its shape, which is a slight departure from the traditional round shape, by having two breaks, where the circumference is smaller than the main wheel. In these indents are placed 4 inertia screws which can be used for regulation. The screws can be adjusted or interchanged to ensure a good balance is achieved. Further to the unusual aspect of the wheel is that it bears 22 equidistant holes which are bored into it. The shape of the countersink can then be used to fine tune the balance without damaging the rim surface. And an index fine regulation device on a hand engraved balance cock completes the picture.
As we remarked in our previous entry on the review of the Benu Tourbillon, which is a tour de force in technical details if there ever was one, Moritz Grossmann makes beautiful products. The watches look appealing, are wonderfully designed and finished. The movements are unique and manufactured in situ in their premises in Glashütte. And they also make claim to the enormous mind share of the Ferdinand Aldophe Lange story. Sure their naming conventions is a little unusual (ok, we admit it we are not great fans of Egyptian mythology and do not understand the intimacies), but the products are elegant and well presented.
The German retail price for the Moritz Grossmann Tefnut is €22.400 in rose gold and €24.400 white gold for the Tefnut and a little more for the Lady (due to the diamonds). Some commentators will argue that the Lange 1815 only retails at €19.000 (regular non-limited edition), and would make a tempting alternative. The question in collector’s mind is, “why pay more for a less well known brand?”, especially when one considers resale later. One reason might that these watches are keepers. Technically and aesthetically this can certainly be supported. But so does the 1815.
Will the Moritz Grossmann Tefnut and Tefnut Lady do well? It is for you, the collector to decide. Tell us, and them, what you think of these watches, and if you would consider adding them to your collection.
Caliber 102.0 Technical specs
Movement: Manufacture calibre 102.0, manually wound, adjusted in five positions
No. of parts: 196
Jewels: 26, of which 3 in screwed gold chatons
Escapement: Lever escapement
Oscillator: Shock-resistant Grossmann balance with 4 inertia and 2 poising screws, Nivarox 1 balance spring
Balance: Diameter: 10.0 mm, frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour
Power reserve: 48 hours when fully wound
Functions: Hours and minutes
Movement dimensions: Diameter: 26.0 mm, height: 3.45 mm