On Baselworld we had a meeting with our fellow Dutch men, the brothers Grönefeld. The Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon is their Baselworld 2014 premier.
The Grönefeld History
The Grönefeld family has a history spanning for more than a hundred years in watchmaking. Bart and Tim Grönefeld are the third generation to continue the family tradition, which was founded by Johan Grönefeld in 1912. After a long career working for the most prestigious Swiss watch manufacturers, the Grönefeld brothers presented their first watch, a Tourbillon Minute Repeater, in 2008. They followed this in 2010 with their award-winning One Hertz, first in-house developed caliber. Grönefeld timepieces stand out for the innovation of their technical features, the clarity of their design and the excellence of their craftsmanship.
The Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon
The name “Parallax” is derived from the precision of the readability of the central seconds hand. Parallax is defined as the apparent change in position of an object when the observer changes his own position.
Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon features a “flying” tourbillon with a large central seconds hand, stop seconds, a power reserve- and winding-setting mechanism indicator. The flying tourbillon allows full appreciation of the concentric, rhythmic “breathing” of the balance hairspring, while ensuring high precision. Bart and Tim Grönefeld further highlighted the tourbillon by raising it out of the movement and above the dial. As with the immaculately finished movement bridges, the tourbillon cage is crafted in stainless steel. Three days are required just for the hand finishing of the tourbillon components.
Large central seconds
The large central seconds hand evidences the precision of the Parallax Tourbillon. Normally a central seconds hand requires a friction spring to prevent small fluttering caused by play in the gear train. For the Parallax Tourbillon, the Grönefeld brothers developed the movement with an added pinion and wheel so that the energy-sapping friction spring is not required. A feature improving power transfer to the regulator and contributing to the impressive power-72-hour power reserve.
Push-only crown and function indicator
In addition to the flying tourbillon and friction-spring-free central seconds, the Parallax Tourbillon has yet another innovative feature: rather than pulling the crown to set the time, which has the risk of damaging the fragile crown stem, it is pressed. An indicator on the dial displays the function selected: “W” for Winding or “S” for time setting. When the time setting function is selected, both tourbillon cage-bridge and the central seconds hand automatically return to their respective 12 o’clock positions and stop (or hack) while the time is set.
The ability to set the time to the exact second makes the Parallax Tourbillon potentially more accurate then the vast majority of tourbillons on the market today. Once the time is set and the function set to winding by a simple press of the crown, both the seconds hand and tourbillon cage start running simultaneously and in parallel.
Stainless steel bridges
Bart and Tim Grönefeld only use stainless steel bridges for their movements. As well as the superior hardness and durability of stainless steel compared to the more generally used steel and brass, the metal absolutely gleams when polished to a mirror finish. And as stainless steel does not oxidize, the gleaming finish lasts and lasts. However, achieving superlative finishes in stainless steel is no easy task: polishing the hard metal takes a master watchmaker up to four times longer than more commonly used brass.
The Parallax Tourbillon is available in a red gold or stainless steel case 43mm case. Ensuring the exclusivity of this exceptional timepiece, the red gold model is a limited edition of 28 pieces and the “1912” stainless steel model is a limited edition of just 12 pieces
Price Stainless steel 134.250 euro.
Price Red Gold 137.450 euro.
Source Grönefeld and Watchinsight.