The past few years have been especially fruitful for Grönefeld, a young independent brand run by two Dutch brothers. In 2016, the twosome took home the GPHG award for Best Men’s Watch with the 1941 Remontoire. Two years before that, the duo won the prize for the top Tourbillon Watch with the Parallax Tourbillon. At SIHH 2018, Tim and Bart Grönefeld debuted that next iteration of that award-winning tourbillon with an updated, hand-engraved case and a stainless steel dial.
Described by the brand as having “probably the most durable dial ever created,” the new watch features multiple different finishing techniques including hammering, bead blasting, polishing, and graining to offer a variety of different textures and shades of gray.
The Grönefeld brothers enlisted master engraver Kees Engelbarts to look over the Parallax Tourbillon and work his magic on the rose gold case. You can see Art Deco-inspired lines running across the middle part of the case and the bezel. Each of the lines was hand-engraved and took hours of work to complete.
As with the movement bridges, the flying tourbillon cage is crafted in stainless steel. It takes up to three days just to complete the hand finishing of the tourbillon components. The duo also added an extra pinion and wheel to the movement so that the use of an energy-sapping friction spring is not required. This improves the power transfer to the regulator which contributes to increasing both the precision and keeping the power reserve at 72 hours.
Like the 2014 model, the crown controls both winding and setting. 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 hack while the time is set. A minute track has been added to the outer ring of the dial to increase timekeeping legibility.
Comparing the original Parallax Tourbillon to the new watch is like looking at a completely different timepiece. While there have been a few technical improvements, the new model enhances what was already a mechanically potent timepiece to a new level of prestige thanks to the high-quality finish and engraving.
There are two versions of the updated Parallax Tourbillon available. The Grönefeld Parallax in Stainless Steel with a stainless steel dial is priced at €160,000 ($197,355 USD at the time of publishing), while the Grönefeld Parallax Unique Piece in Rose Gold engraved by Kees Engelbarts with a stainless steel dial is priced at €220,000 ($271,363 USD at the time of publishing) and is only available on request.