Based out of Glashütte, Germany, the Moritz Grossmann brand bears the name of one of the pillars of the German watch industry in the 19th century. Grossmann (1826-1885) was born in Dresden and studied watchmaking in Germany and Switzerland before setting up an atelier in the town of Glashütte, just south of Dresden. Grossmann is known for being the founder of Glashütte’s German School of Watchmaking and for various technical innovations, including the Grossmann curve, which is applied to the inner coil of a balance spring to improve precision. In 2008, a German watchmaker named Christine Hutter, who had bought the rights to the Grossmann name, established a new Moritz Grossmann company in Glashütte. In honor of the ten-year anniversary of the revived brand’s founding, Moritz Grossmann has partnered with Christie’s Auction House in New York for a unique online auction filled with 24 one-of-a-kind watches.
Prior to the sale, which is currently accepting bids and wraps up on next Tuesday, Dec. 10, we visited Christie’s to go hands-on with some of the more intriguing models. Check out a few of our favorite lots below and, if you’re in New York, we highly recommend you view the models in person at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza.
Moritz Grossmann introduced the first Benu watch in a limited series of 100 watches in 2010. The first of these models — literally 01/100 — was never put up for sale and remained in the hands of the Glashütte manufactory. To commemorate the first decade of production, Hutter and her team have released this very important wristwatch to the market. This model is truly unique and is representative of all the young brand has accomplished over the past ten years. Estimate: $12,000 – $18,000
The Moritz Grossmann Benu Power Reserve represents the flagship collection’s second generation, boasting several technological breakthroughs, including the model’s linear power reserve display; a newly designed oscillator (the “Grossmann balance”) designed entirely in-house; a winder with pusher and enhanced hand-setting mechanism; and a modified Glashütte stopwork with a flexible arrangement of parts. The watch’s three-part case has a narrow bezel framing a gray or argenté dial with a minutes scale, Arabic numerals, and sharp-tipped, shiny hands crafted in-house from stainless steel in a proprietary process. The hands are filled with a material called HyCeram that is dyed for UV stability and forms a permanent bond with the metal, enhancing the hands’ brightness and legibility against the dial. A small seconds subdial appears at 6 o’clock, and the watch’s main attraction, the bar-shaped power reserve indicator, is ensconced in the upper portion of the dial, below 12 o’clock. When it was first released, the Benu Power Reserve came in four different case material options; for the 10-year anniversary, Moritz Grossmann has produced a single unique piece in rose gold with an engraving on the side to celebrate the special occasion. Estimate: $12,000 – $18,000
Moritz Grossmann released its first high complication wristwatch in late 2013 with the Benu Tourbillon. The watch uses a unique design with a regulator-style time indicator and a large opening at 6 o’clock for the three-minute flying tourbillon. It’s further distinguished by a patent-pending special stop-seconds mechanism that utilizes a brush made of human hair to stop the balance. The Christie’s anniversary sale features three Benu Tourbillons in different colorways and case materials. After seeing the models in person, the version that stands out the most to me is the brown — almost taupe — dial in white gold, but you wouldn’t see me turning down the bright orange model in titanium or the festive green version in white gold. All three models are speculated to land in the range between $50,000 to $125,000.
Speaking of festive, Moritz Grossmann has included a dose of holiday cheer with two never-before-seen models that highlight the company’s unique approach to horology. Both the Pure Santa Claus and the Atum High Art Christmas models are keenly aware of the quickly approaching holiday. Set prominently on its dial, the Pure Santa Claus depicts a stamped stainless-steel scene of the holiday figure on his reindeer-driven sled with the winter night sky in the background. The outer dial ring of the Pure Santa Claus is adorned with eight striking indexes in Christmas red as are the stainless steel hands that are flat polished with a red HyCeram filling. Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000
The Atum High Art takes the holiday motif and runs with it thanks to a bright red dial constructed of solid silver. The rose-gold case offers an ideal platform for the dial color which seems to burst with energy. It’s further complemented by handmade lance-shaped hands, which are given a three-dimensional shape by their bevels. Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000