With their latest creation, the 1941 Principia Automatic, Bart and Tim Grönefeld are writing a new chapter in their history and opening themselves up to a wider audience.
Bart and Tim Grönefeld have been known for their extremely high-level watches loved by collectors and exacting connoisseurs, like the Parallax Tourbillon or the 1941 Remontoire. Two models which won them the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
With their new creation, Principia, we discover a piece that is just as remarkably designed and manufactured, but that speaks to a wider clientele and marks an important step in the life of the Dutch watchmakers.
This time, the “Horological Brothers”, as they like to call themselves, have temporarily set aside the major complications they specialize in to offer a timepiece that is more accessible to the general public, both in terms of its technical design and its price.
Whilst the Principia case, made in steel, white gold or rose gold, retains the understated and elegant Grönefeld style, it now houses an automatic movement for the very first time. And that is also why this watch bears the Latin name Principia, as Bart Grönefeld explains: “We chose to name it after Isaac Newton and his discovery of physics’ law of gravity. Watchmakers usually detest gravity because it disrupts the working of the mechanism and a tourbillon must be used to counter the effects. This time, we wanted to harness the effects of gravity to our own gain by creating a large-diameter oscillating weight capable of winding more efficiently, for example, a micro-rotor.”
In addition to its efficiency and reliability, this large, 22-karat gold rotor opened the door to delicate decoration work that can be viewed through the transparent back. The overall look has been meticulously considered, as evidenced by the choice of bold dial colors, including the option of turquoise or light blue.
This foray into the world of automatic watches is sure to have a sequel. The debut caliber (which can be viewed up close in the Carré des Horlogers at the SIHH) will more than certainly be used as a basis for developing models with complications, date, calendar or perpetual calendar, etc.
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