Grönefeld 1941 - Not Just a Chronograph…It’s a Grönograaf!

Grönefeld 1941 - Not Just a Chronograph…It’s a Grönograaf!

The Grönefeld horological dynasty stretches back 110 years, when Johan Grönefeld, the grandfather of the current owners, began his watchmaking career in Oldenzaal in the east of the Netherlands in 1912. 96 years later, brothers Bart and Tim Grönefeld established Grönefeld watches and quickly gained a reputation for innovative design and thoughtful movement refinements. Still based in the family’s hometown of Oldenzaal, the brand has been recognised by the GPHG on two occasions. In keeping with their signature flavour, the brand has now unveiled the Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf and it’s a beauty…

Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf

Bart and Tim Grönefeld are known as “The Horological Brothers” and have a fine pedigree having both graduated from watchmaking school where they fell in love with a number of key complications. This passion for precision led to them developing a number of unique mechanisms including a tourbillon minute repeater, a jumping seconds, a flying tourbillon with hacking seconds amongst others. Their concerted innovation led to the GPHG recognising Grönefeld in 2014 for Best Tourbillon and in 2016 for Best Men’s Watch for the 1941 Remontoire in 2016. It is this latter watch that has become a favourite with collectors and the watch on which the new chronograph, sorry Grönograaf, is based.

The Grönograaf is actually the first chronograph from Grönefeld Bros, but as you’d expect it has a few special tricks up its sleeve that sets it apart from other such complications on the market. Taking into consideration the harsh life that a professional chronograph can live, the Grönefelds developed a new movement with what they call a “soft reset” mechanism. The novel Calibre G-04 is a column wheel mechanism with horizontal clutch that comprises 408 components. A life of perennial start, stop, reset can take its toll on the hammers and hands, the letter sometimes becoming misshapen. To combat this and to enhance the longevity of the movement Gronefeld has employed a technique typically seen in minute repeaters whereby a centrifugal governor slows down the reset function.

Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf

Enhancing the visual spectacle, the relevant minutes and seconds hands return either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on where they are when the reset is pressed and the 30-miunte counter features an instantaneous jumping minutes. The movement finishing is as top-notch as one would expect from the brand, with hand finished steel bridges and engraving in relief and black polishing of the heart-shaped cams, elongated chronograph bridge and the screw heads using traditional artisan methods. The beholder can enjoy an unencumbered view of this mastery through the sapphire caseback.

Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf

The 1941 Remontoire was named as such in reference to the birth year of the brothers’ father Sjef Grönefeld, himself a watchmaker. The 1941 case has been slightly enlarged to 40mm for the Grönograaf and is available in both steel and tantalum. The watches house interesting dials that are fully in tune with the Grönefeld aesthetic and have an offset centre dial with blued Lancette hands. The 30-minute counter, with aforementioned jump minutes, sits at the base of the dial with subsidiary seconds at nine and power reserve indicator just above. The centrifugal governor resides at four o’clock and as the brand describes, “when the reset to zero pusher is pressed, the governor bursts into life, not only serving a functional role but delivering a wonderful animated performance.

Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf

The collection will premiere with a 25-piece edition in tantalum with a steel edition in 188 pieces following thereafter.

Tech Specs

Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf

Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf

Case and Dial: 40mm tantaulum or steel case with sapphire case back. Dial in stainless steel base with rhodium plated sub-dials and elements and frosted and satin-grained surfaces.
Movement: Calibre G-04 with column wheel, instantaneous jumping minutes and a gentle reset to zero mechanism. Ruby jeweled hammer.
Strap: Leather strap with Grönefeld engraved pin buckle in either tantalum or steel
Price and availability: Tantalum €165,000 (Limited edition of 25 pieces) and stainless steel €155,000 (Limited edition of 188 pieces)

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Ross Povey

Ross Povey, the founder of TudorCollector.com is regarded as the world’s leading expert on vintage Tudor watches. Although an expert on Rolex and Tudor watches primarily, Ross’s work covers the entire field of horology and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine in the UK. He writes for and has contributed to some of the most influential horological publications, including; The Telegraph, The Rake, Bulang & Sons, Watchonista, Hodinkee, QP and is the co-author of the book Daytona Perpetual, a celebration of the automatic Rolex Daytona released through Pucci Papaleo Editore. Ross is also an international speaker and regularly hosts watch events in the UK and Europe.

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