Baselworld 2016: Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire
February 25, 2016
At Basleworld, next month, independent Dutch watchmaking brothers, Bart and Tim Grönefeld, will unveil a new timepiece, highlighted by an eight-second constant force mechanism that ensures that the power delivery never fluctuates from the point that the mainspring is fully wound (36-hours) until it is completely unwound. This leads to consistent rate and amplitude, and excellent precision.
The inspiration for the creation of the Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire came from the brother’s childhood, where they played to the sounds of the Saint Plechelmus church clock, which was maintained by their grandfather, Johan Grönefeld, until he passed away, at which point their father, Sjef Grönefeld, took over the duties.
According to the manufacture, “The church clock, created in 1913 by Royal Eijsbouts in the village of Asten, The Netherlands is equipped with a remontoire mechanism. The rationale for the remontoire being used in the church clock was the clock’s display was positioned much higher than the movement, necessitating significant force. However, the magnitude of such force would prove too great for a conventional escapement, hence a remontoire, or constant force mechanism, was fitted. Moreover, the minute hand was calibrated to jump every 30 seconds, breaking any ice which may have formed in cold weather and, in so doing, preventing the clock hands from freezing.”
The 1941 Remontoire is powered by hand wound caliber G-05 that beats at 3Hz (21,600 vph) and consists of 258 parts, including 36 jewels that are partially set in solid gold chatons. The main plate is brass with ruthenium plating, and a spotted finish.
Bridges are stainless steel with bevelled edges that are polished by hand, with micro-blasted centers. The circular grain on the top to highlight the bridges shapes and engraving.
The dial is in solid sterling silver, with frosted and satin-grained surfaces, along with subtly polished edges. Lance-shaped hour and minute hands are flame-blued steel and include hand polished centers. The hour circle sits higher than the central dial area, to stand out better and enhance readability. Each hour is marked with an applied index which is faceted and diamond cut.
At 9 o’clock is a cut-out that reveals the governor regulating the speed of the remontoire mechanism. It rotates every eight seconds.
The case is available in white or red gold and measures (39.5 mm x 10.5 mm), with a domed sapphire crystal on the front with a hard anti-reflective coating on both sides. Flat sapphire crystal on the back with hard anti-reflective coating on both sides
Interestingly, the lugs are retained with two hidden titanium screws, positioned inside the case. The lugs can be detached for polishing, and they can also be replaced if needed.
The caseback is engraved with “Grönefeld” and the individual number. 8 white gold security screws hold the back in place. The crown is in solid gold with engraved logo. Water-resistance is 30 meters.
As you can see from the pictures, this watch movement is finished to perfection. Further, the dial has a beautiful matte and polished finished that is both stunning and easy to read. Each piece is completed with a hand-sewn ostrich leather strap with a matching gold buckle, engraved with the Grönefeld logo.