Moritz Grossmann makes less than 500 watches each year. Until now, the German brand had only offered hand-wound timepieces in its various collection. That has changed with the official introduction of the Hamatic, Moritz Grossmann’s first foray into the world of automatic timekeeping.
Introduced as a prototype in 2018 after nearly three years of development, the Hamatic features a brand-new, in-house produced movement named Caliber 106.0 that utilizes a unique, self-winding hammer system similar in execution to Abraham-Louis Bregeut’s perpétuelle pocketwatches. The newly developed movement uses a pendulum-style hammer weight to transmit energy through a consistent back-and-forth movement similar in motion to a seesaw.
The design of the hammer system, which is visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition caseback, is large, oval shaped, and takes up almost the entirety of Caliber 106.0’s total diameter. This means that the movement’s center of mass is further away from its rotational axis when compared to a traditional rotor that rotates along a central axis. The result of this is an increased level of torque which provides a more consistent transfer of energy — even the smallest degree of motion helps wind the mainspring. Regardless of if the hammer is swinging to the left or right, the interplay of the openworked hammer body together with the head and spring transmits energy via a sapphire roller to the mainspring. Once the watch is fully wound, Caliber 106.0 offers up to 72 hours of running autonomy while beating at 21,600 vph. In total, movement construction features 312 total parts.
In order to convert the energy into a continuous rotary motion, the oscillations of the hammer body are picked up by two click levers. The two-way direction of rotation of the click wheels ensures an even rotary motion, which is transferred to the free wheel via the reduction wheel and then to the ratchet wheel in the mainspring barrel. The automatic winding system is complemented by a manual winder designed in the form of a yoke winder that is mounted on a separate bridge. The yoke ensures that the manual winder is always uncoupled from the ratchet wheel when the hammer system is active. In manual winding mode, the reduction gear is isolated from the ratchet wheel by a click-pawl idler. Caliber 106.0 also offers a stop-second function via the balance for added precision.
The new movement poised an interesting challenge to Moritz Grossmann’s R&D team as they couldn’t plan for hand finishing through CAD due to the movement’s atypical design, thus a lot of trial and error was necessary to execute the final appearance of Caliber 106.0. The result is a classic pillar design made of untreated German silver with a Grossmann plate featuring six Glashütte stripes and plenty of anglage. Pillar movements have long been a tradition in German watchmaking and consist of a mainplate and 2/3 plate that allow for greater accessability to the various components. Other traditional Glashütte watchmaking characteristics are present here as well such as the hand-engraved, cantilevered balance cock (featuring the brand’s patented micrometer screw), raised gold chatons, and three-band snailing on the ratchet wheel. The screws are heat annealed to reach the same brown-violet color as the watch’s hands, a characteristic of all Moritz Grossmann timepieces. Each movement produced by the brand, including Caliber 106.0, is assembled twice to make sure its in peak working order when it reaches its new owner.
While the movement is certainly the primary discussion point for the Hamatic, the dial is no slouch either. As a classic three-hand dress watch, the Hamatic was designed with restraint — all details serve a purpose. The dial is made of solid silver and features an opaline finish. Elongated Roman numerals are printed on the dial while a railroad-style minute track runs along the watch’s periphery. Moritz Grossmann states that this look is modeled after historic pocketwatches made by Grossmann himself in the mid-1800s. The hour and minute hands are similarly long and slender and are manually crafted by the brand’s craftsmen out of steel and heat annealed to the brown-violet hue that has become a defining feature of all Moritz Grossmann timepieces. Moritz Grossmann is the only German brand that builds its hands in-house and are a statement to the brand’s attention to detail. At their narrowest point, the hour and minute hands measure just 0.1 mm, while the tip of the seconds hand comes in at no more than five hundredths of a millimetre.
Currently there are two versions of the Hamatic available in three-part, 41-mm cases made of either rose gold or white gold. Both models come equipped with an alligator strap and are priced at 37,600 euros.