This week, Swiss independent watchmaker Moritz Grossmann debuted a new Haute horology timepiece with a very special tremblage dial.
The Moritz Grossmann Tremblage comes in a 41 mm x 11.35 mm stainless steel or rose gold case, with a gorgeous German silver (alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc) dial that’s been hand-engraved using the so-called tremblage engraving technique. Using a small burin that’s lightly hammered with quick light taps, result in small indentations and micro incisions that make each dial unique. The highly textured, handmade surface has a grainy, coarse appearance that’s unmistakably luxurious.
Creating a uniform look, using burins of different sizes, applied by hand, is no easy task, and of course, requires a high level of dexterity to achieve the desired aesthetic worthy of a watch collector.
“Thanks to the surface treatment, this alloy produces a silver-like hue with an aesthetic vintage look,” says Moritz Grossmann about German silver. “The three-dimensional appearance of the dial underscores the effect: The numerals of the hours and circular small seconds rise above the surface, as does the historic “M. Grossmann” logo from 1875, which goes back to Moritz Grossmann, the famous watchmaking pioneer who gave his name to the Glasshütte manufactory.
These are not mounted appliqués. On the contrary, the base of the dial has been cut out and removed so that the logo, numerals, and seconds circle remain. A task that also requires meticulous care to create clean edges. The top of the numerals, logo, and seconds circle were also given a flat polish finish.
Only then did the dial undergo the painstaking tremblage process in Glashütte, a method that takes numerous hours. A single dial can take an engraver several days to complete. The whole is complemented by the meticulous craftsmanship of the finishers.”
Underneath the dial is manually wound 2.5Hz Grossmann caliber 100.1 which measures 36.4 mm x 5 mm, has 198 components and 20 jewels (of which 3 in screwed gold chatons), and a 42-hour power reserve.
The regulation assortment consists of a lever escapement, with a shock-resistant free-sprung Grossmann balance wheel (14.2 mm in diameter) with adjustable 4 inertia screws and 2 posing screws, coupled with a Nivarox 1 balance spring with No. 80 Breguet terminal curve, Gustav Gerstenberger geometry — regulated to chronometer levels or better, in five positions
According to the manufacturer, “the ingenious design of the Grossmann balance improves the adjustability of inertia and achieves high kinetic energy combined with minimised air resistance and the smallest possible mass.”
Like the dial, the movement is made of untreated German silver, and the German silver train bridge has been treated with a granular finishing technique, resulting in a smooth finish that contrasts the graininess of the dial, despite being made of the same material — all complemented by hand beveled edges.
Moritz Grossmann’s signature is hand-engraved in a historic cursive script on the 2/3 mainplate — as a homage to the master’s vintage pocket watches — along with an individual movement number engraved in the same font.
Additional finishing touches include three-band sailing on the ratchet wheel, and white sapphires as bearings, held by gold chatons and fastened by brown-violet pan-head screws. The single-arm balance bridge has been hand engraved
The Moritz Grossmann Tremblage timepiece displays hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds with stop second, and features Grossmann’s manual winder with push-button winding. The hands have been manually crafted from steel and then annealed to a brown-violet hue (for the gold version) or a blue hue (for the steel version).
Each Moritz Grossmann Tremblage is paired with a hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a prong buckle in precious metal or stainless steel. (Ref. MG-003327 – stainless steel, MG-003290 – 18K rose gold).
The retail price is approximately $20,000 in stainless steel.
Photos by Mortiz Grossmann.