Combining both an unusual dial and an ingenious movement, the Hamatic Vintage Silver-Plated by Friction is a time-0nly watch that encapsulates the Moritz Grossmann’s strength in watchmaking and finishing.
Essentially last year’s XII Birthday Edition, but with the self-winding Hamatic movement, the new model has a dial finished in friction-plated silver, giving it a soft, textured finish, along with the brand’s signature ultra-thin hands.
The new Hamatic is exactly what Moritz Grossmann is good at, which is precisely its appeal. Inside is a high-quality movement that is unusual and inventive, matched by a dial inspired by the brand’s 19th century pocket watches.
At 41 mm, the standard size for the brand, the case is large enough that it isn’t quite elegant, but it does feel like a solid, well-made object.
It costs a bit over US$46,000, a hefty sum but one that’s entirely justified by the quality. For those who want to spend a bit less, Grossmann’s hand-wind watches offer the same quality, but less the automatic calibre, for a third less.
The only downside of the new Hamatic is the fact that it’s virtually identical to the XII Birthday Edition. It’s a good thing in the sense that the classical look is appealing and well suited to the movement. However, repeating the look makes each limited edition less special.
The dial is the result of an old-school technique known as friction plating. It starts out as a brass blank with engraved markings – minute scale, numerals, logo – that are filled with black lacquer. Then a paste of silver powder, salt and potassium bitartrate, or cream of tartar, is rubbed onto the dial surface, bonding the silver powder to the dial.
Even more artisanal are the steel hands, which are the thinnest hands in modern watchmaking according to Moritz Grossmann – I am inclined to believe them.
The hands in their rough form are substantial, but each hand is then ground and polished by hand to its final, needle-thin form. And in typical Grossmann style, the hands are then heat treated to give them a striking purple-brown finish.
The Hamatic cal. 106.0 within is a truly impressive calibre. Looking nothing like any other automatic movement on the market, it reimagines the “hammer winding” automatic mechanism found in 19th pocket watches, relying on a large weight that swings back and forth to wind the barrel.
At the same time, every component executed to a high level in both finish and construction, as is the norm for the brand. It’s worth a look, and we covered it in detail at its launch.
Key Facts and Price
Moritz Grossmann Hamatic Vintage Silver-Plated by Friction
Ref. MG-003160 (rose gold)
Ref. MG-003168 (white gold)
Diameter: 41.0 mm
Height: 11.35 mm
Material: 18k rose or white gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: Cal. 106.0
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Manual wind
Power reserve: 72 hours
Strap: Alligator with pin buckle
Limited edition: Eight pieces in each gold
Availability: From authorised retailers or direct from Moritz Grossmann online
Price: €39,900 (excluding taxes)
For more, visit Grossman-Uhren.com.