Bespoke dials and a new case material for the award winning Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire.
The self-proclaimed “Horological Brothers”, Bart and Tim Grönefeld, present a collaboration with master Kari Voutilainen and enamel artisan Inès Hamaguchi for those with a desire for a timepiece unlike any other. As if having a hand-crafted timepiece from a small, independent watchmaking brand wasn’t enough (!), you can now get a bespoke dial your Grönefeld timepiece.
The watchmaking brothers are also announcing that 25 of their exquisite “1941 Remontoire” watches will be made in stainless steel, joining existing 39.5mm red- and white gold version (see “Did You Know” below for more on the award winning 1941 Remontoire). The steel models will be offered with the existing collection of dials as well as the new, bespoke engine turned and enamel dials. Further, Grönefeld notes that the 316L stainless steel alloy has been specially treated to achieve a brighter color and glossier finish than a non-treated stainless steel alloy.
Working with Voutilainen, Grönefeld is now able to offer a vast choice of colored and patterned dials. Engine turned dials — sometimes referred to as guilloché dials — are something Kari Voutilainen is known for. Engine turning is laborious, time-consuming process using age-old machines and which confers each dial with its own unique appearance (for more see my recent posting about perhaps the most distinguished makers of engine-turned dials — Breuget — here). Making one engine-turned dial by hand can take up to several days.
But wait, it gets even better. To augment the engine-turned patterns, another exclusive technique can also be applied to the bespoke dial: enamel (Enamel Explained — another in-depth article for those looking for more info on this art). As you can see here, a colorful and transparent enamel can be applied to the dial surface to bestow a profound depth and lustre to the guilloché patterns.
Specialist Inès Hamaguchi is responsible for the delicate enamelling of the Grönefeld dials. To create the aesthetic effect desired, Inès actually mixes the basic ingredients for the enamel herself. She grinds glass and metal oxides to obtain these exceptional colors. The substrate melts by firing, usually between 750-850° C. The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on the engine turned pattern. After cooling, the surface gently needs to be ground down and polished to obtain a flat and translucent surface. How can one not be impressed by the result? The craftsmanship is superb.
Did You Know?
The Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire features an eight seconds constant force mechanism, ensuring the force serving the balance wheel does not wane. From the mainspring being fully wound to the last minute of the 35 hours of power reserve, when the stop works intervenes, the force never fluctuates. The result is that the amplitude and rate remain consistent, leading to superior precision. The time-consuming creation of each movement means that production will be limited to only 188 Remontoire movements, each with its own unique serial number, offered in a choice of case material and dial variants.
After the launch in 2016 the 1941 Remontoire has been awarded 5 times. In November 2016 Grönefeld won again the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève award, this time for the best watch in the “Mens Watch” category. Read more about the 1941 Remontoire here>>>