In a couple of days, during the Baselworld 2011 show, the two Dutch watchmakers Tim and Bart Grönefeld are going to present their new Gronefeld One Hertz hand-wound watch that features a rare dead-seconds complication.
What’s dead seconds?
A normal mechanical watch has its second hand (if available) making VPH/3600 times per second.
If your timekeeper’s balance wheel beats at 28,800 vph (which is almost a standard for a contemporary movement,) then the seconds hand on your watch makes 28,800 / 3600 = 8 small steps to travel from one mark on the minute track to the other.
That’s why it is called a “sweep second”: it runs so fast that its “jumps” look like a continuous, flowing movement that differentiates mechanical watches from the majority of electric timepieces.
On the other hand, dead seconds complication makes the second hand make precisely 1 “big” step per second, like a quartz watch does.
Although the complication is not very popular now because a quartz watch is not deemed “cool” any more, it is still not an easy task to accomplish.
However, the two Dutch brothers somehow managed to create their own manufacture-made movement with such a function.
The Gronefeld G-02 hand-wound movement is made of 285 components and sports two spring barrels: one for the going train and the other for the independent dead seconds module.
Also, the beautifully executed movement features a couple of more useful functions: a power reserve indicator (at 12 o’clock) and a setting-winding indicator at 3 o’clock. The latter makes it easier to operate the winding crown.
As to the styling, the Gronefeld One Hertz looks absolutely terrific, although there is something to it that makes one remember art objects from the German-based Porsche Design studio.
According to the Dutch brand, the watch will be produced in two versions: stainless steel “1912” and rose gold “Dune.” The former will be limited to 12 pieces and the latter will only be produced in 20 copies.
Looks like a very desirable and interesting piece.
Gronefeld One Hertz hand-wound watch specification
Movement: Manual, G-02, 39 jewels set in gold chatons, 285 parts, 35 mm x 9.4 mm, two barrels, 21,600 vph, in-house
Movement decoration: Spotted rhodium plated nickel silver main plate; Stainless steel hand bevelled bridges, micro-blasted, circular grain on the top, relief engraved on micro blasted surface
Functions: Hours, minutes, dead seconds, power reserve, setting/winding indicator
Power reserve: 72 hours
Case material: Stainless steel / Rose gold
Bezel material: Stainless steel / Rose gold
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Lug width: N/A
Case height: 12.50 mm
Dial: Brown, Grey
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Hand-sewn matte black, alligator leather with stainless steel or rose gold engraved tang buckle to match case
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Case back: Sapphire, antireflective