This story originally appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.
With familial roots in watchmaking that date back to 1912, the Grönefeld brothers, Bart and Tim, seem to be destined for horology. Before launching their own brand in the Netherlands with a tourbillon minute repeater, they honed their craft at technical schools, then at some of watchmaking’s most prestigious manufactures. Blending interesting and challenging horological concepts with impeccable finishings and decoration, they have garnered much praise in the industry and won some of its highest accolades. A small manufacture, it produced just 75 watches last year, 75 percent of which were bespoke, with clients selecting dial color, adding guilloché or creating art pieces.
A large seconds subdial dominates the clean dial, highlighting the independent dead seconds (or jumping seconds), which are powered by a secondary gear train. Unlike a movement with sweeping seconds, here, the hand ‘jumps’ once every second. Hours and minutes are indicated on a smaller subdial. Instead of pulling out the crown to adjust or wind the watch, a push of the crown switches the watch from winding to setting the time, easily visible on the indicator at 3 o’clock.
$91,500 in pink gold
Using the rare remontoire system, this watch has an eight-seconds constant-force mechanism, which means its timekeeping is accurate for the entire 35-hour power reserve. The brothers claim that this is the “most complicated time-only watch in the world,” and it was awarded the best men’s watch of 2016 at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Its beautifully decorated movement features relief engraving, mirror-polishing, microblasting and circular graining, which provide wonderful contrast.
$61,500, limited to 188 movements
Another GPHG prize winner, this time in the tourbillon category in 2014, the Parallax Tourbillon showcases a large, raised, flying 60-second tourbillon. Pairing a tourbillon with a central second hand allows for more readability (frequently seconds are indicated on the tourbillon itself, which can be difficult to see). It also contains a mechanism to stop the tourbillon at 60 seconds, so you can accurately set the time. A large indicator tracks its impressive 72 hours of power reserve.
$170,000 in pink gold, limited to 28 pieces