Moritz Grossman: Reviving the spirit of a master watchmaker
Hair in a watch?
When half the city of Glashutte attends your funeral procession, you know you've done something right, and incredible. That is the story of master watchmaker Moritz Grossman. Unfortunately, he didn't leave a legacy and his mastery and artistry died with him. Until a few years ago...
When watchmaker Christine Hutter went to Glashutte, she discovered the rich history that is Grossman and she decided to revive it. Buying the rights to the name, she set on her way. "I started from a space in my kitchen," she shared during a discussion at Dubai Watch Week. Eight months later, another person joined me and today, there's a staff of 50, all exercising their different disciplines in one building.
"We decided that we would keep the original Grossman design and spirit. For example, Grossman developed really small hands for his watches and we kept that," said Hutter.
Nevertheless, there is always room for innovation and Moritz Grossman is the first watchmaker to incorporate wood and hair into their watches. Hair is used to ensure that the balance in the tourbillon cage can be paused reliably for timesetting. Aptly too that the first hair used was Hutter's own. "We tried different types of hair, artificial, cats, dogs... As a joke, I said I would give my hair after my appointment with the hairdresser. The next day, the team came to me and said my hair was perfect for it!"
Wood on the other hand, specifically guaiacum, is used to permanently avoid chatter of the seconds hand and achieve superbly precise legibility of the time. "This wood was used by clockmaker John Harrison in the 18th century and these pieces are still running today!"
With tradition and innovation, Hutter believes that the brand can only grow. "We plan to increase our output from 200 today to maybe 1200 but it will take a few more years." Time will tell if Moritz Grossman will get there.