Like illustrious German watch brand A. Lange & Sohne, Moritz Grossmann has thrived in the watchmaking community of Glashütte in Germany since the mid 19th century and it was Moritz Grossmann’s friend Adolphe Lange who encouraged him to settle there.
Moritz grew up under modest circumstances. His excellent school grades qualified him for a two-year scholarship at the city’s Technische Bildungsanstalt, the precursor of the Technical University. In 1842, he began a watchmaking apprenticeship in Dresden under the auspices of Gottfried Friedrich Kumme, Sr., and because of his talent completed it sooner than scheduled. In addition to his watch studies he simultaneously learned English, French, and Italian. During this period, Moritz Grossmann made friends with watchmaker Ferdinand Adolph Lange.
Both men were ambitious and eager to learn how things work. They both passionately wanted to craft watches. Moritz Grossmann travelled the world to improve his knowledge. First he went to Hamburg where he made the acquaintance of chronometer maker Moritz Krille in 1847, and then to Munich to learn from court clockmaker Josef Bierganz. Subsequently, he spent time in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland’s crucible of watchmaking, and later travelled to England, France, Denmark, and Sweden – always in pursuit of a deeper understanding of horology.
In 1854, he returned to Dresden. Here his friend Ferdinand Adolph Lange, had established the watchmaking industry in Glashütte. This is where Grossmann developed the Glashütte lathe and later concentrated on lever escapements and pivoted detents. He crafted enlarged escapement models, superb pocket watches, precision pendulum clocks, and chronometers.
Moritz Grossmann died in 1885 but today the spirit of Moritz Grossmann's horological heritage is experiencing a renaissance. The manufacture's watchmakers are committed to safeguarding his traditions, but without copying historic timepieces.
Relying on innovation paired with the ultimate in craftsmanship, on traditional manufacturing skills complemented by modern production methods, and on the finest quality materials, they are developing a new heritage in time.
Moritz Grossmann today
Fast forward to 2013 and on June 11th, in an event attended by Saxony's Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich, Grossmann Uhren GmbH celebrated the inauguration of its new manufacture building in Glashütte.
At the inauguration of the manufacture, CEO Christine Hutter outlined the progression of the construction project and the impressive history of the company to date. “Grossmann Uhren is taking the next step toward attaining its goal: to become a small but exquisite manufacture totally focused on quality and value addition,” she said. At the event, the company presented two new watch model lines: the ATUM in three versions and the BENU Power reserve in four versions. The precision timepieces of Grossmann Uhren GmbH are crafted only in small numbers; the movements are designed and manufactured in-house.
Moritz Grossmann BENU
In ancient Egyptian mythology, Bennu, the divine heron, settled into its nest one evening and was consumed by fire there. It left an egg from which another Bennu bird hatched the next morning.
Benu, as it is spelled in German, is the name of the first watch from the new Grossmann Uhren manufacture where the spirit of Moritz Grossmann is kept alive. In the Saxon town of Glashütte, this ingenious watchmaker (1826 to 1885) crafted numerous pocket watches, various chronometers, and a few precision pendulum clocks that today are coveted collectors’ items seen at international auctions. Now, 125 years after the death of this eminent German master of superior watchmaking, watches that bear his name are once again available.
The construction of the calibre 100.0 movement that the Benu reveals within the transparent back not only addresses all of its functional aspects, but is also a feast for the eyes of any watch connoisseur. The 2/3 plate made of German silver – a hallmark of Glashütte pocket chronometers – replaces a number of bridges for enhanced stability. The Grossmann plate has two typical features: the straight-cut edges and the generous circular segment cutout that showcases the classic screw balance in its entirety.
BENU Power Reserve
The BENU Power reserve visually remains true to its watch family. The slender three-part case with the gracefully elegant bezel puts the focus on the suave face of the watch. The generously dimensioned sapphire-crystal display back, which has an antireflective coating on the inside, reveals the full beauty of the movement of the BENU Power reserve.
Moritz Grossmann ATUM
Moritz Grossmann love to have a story – preferably an ancient story behind each of their watch collections. The Atum is inspired by the Ennead of Heliopolis, one of the oldest stories in ancient Egyptian mythology about the inception of the world.
The nine deities are revered in Heliopolis, where the Bennu incarnated on earth as the first living being. The god Atum is the origin of the nine. Self-begotten from nothing, he represents the genesis of everything. Atum is the cosmos, matter, and the complete one; through his progeny, he is the finisher of the world. With his creative powers, Atum engendered air and moisture, the heavens and the earth, and time.
Thus, the god of creation inspired the second Grossmann watch family, which is now named ATUM. The manually wound ATUM immediately manifests mature technology and the ultimate in manufacturing perfection. As a modern interpretation of the historic precision instruments that originated in Moritz Grossmann's atelier, the ATUM is delightfully sleek and impressively substantial.
Through an ample, non-reflective sapphire-crystal display back, the calibre 100.1 movement of the ATUM reveals itself to aficionados of fine timekeeping instruments as a fusion of the arts. Subtly proportioned components in untreated German silver with different types of finissage constitute the individual levels. As was the case in Glashütte pocket chronometers, the movement consists of a main plate and a 2/3 plate precisely spaced apart with two posts and the barrel bridge. Raised gold chatons and pan-head chaton screws add three-dimensional accents. The brilliant glitter of hand-polished chamfers on going-train wheels and the edges of levers and springs resides in the depths of the movement as well.
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