Grönefeld GMT06 Tourbillon Minute Repeater – Wednesday Watch

The following time piece has nothing to do with exclusive cars, the only similarity is probably its price tag of 328.000 Euro +/- $468k  for the gold version or 385.000 Euro +/- $549k for the platinum version.

The Grönefeld GMT06 time piece has been created by two Dutch brothers, Bart and Tim Grönefeld. After years of experience for (a.o.) Renaud & Papi (Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille), Bart and Tim started their own company in a small village in the east part of The Netherlands, near the German border, where they did a lot of repair activities for famous Swiss watch manufacturers with a capacity issue.

After a while, Bart and Tim Grönefeld started designing and creating their own complicated time piece, this resulted in 2008 in the GMT06. The Grönefeld GMT06 is a tourbillon watch, featuring a minute repeater.

Although very popular and often seen in haute horlogerie, a tourbillon movement is not very useful in a wrist watch and was originally constructed for use in pocket watches, however, it is complicated to make and shows the skills of a master watchmaker. Because the tourbillon-cage – with the escapement and balance wheel inside – rotates once every minute, it can be seen as a mitigating control against the effect of gravity on a movement. This is the short version ofcourse, keep in mind that is a very complex technique for very complex non-existing problems when it comes to wrist watches.

The minute repeater does exactly what it says it does, by sliding the button on the left side of the watch case, the movement will tell you (using a hammer and gong) what time it is. Different tones for hours, quarters and minutes. Grönefeld constructed the watch case in such way, that the tones are very clear and also to be heard perfectly by older people, who have a certain cap on the maximum frequency they are able to hear. Because the dial is open, and you are looking at the movement of the watch, you will actually see the hammer striking the gong. So, when it is 1:51, the GMT06 will strike 1 time the hour tone, 3 times the quarter tones and 6 times the minute tone.

The GMT06 case has been designed in-house by Grönefeld and perfectly underlines the (masculine) dimensions and face of the watch, and better yet: The GMT06 time piece looks like no other time piece.

The dial of the GMT06 perfectly demonstrates the inner workings of the movement without making it unreadable for the owner, due to the massive hands. The outer ring in the dial has been cut from solid onyx. This polished onyx ring features high polished indices, all together a process that takes 2 months of work.

Only a total of 20 pieces will be created of the Gronefeld GMT06 and only – as written in the first paragraph – in 18 carat gold and platinum (Pt950). The box of this time piece is worth mentioning as well. This handmade wooden box has been designed by Grönefeld, finished with black lacquer (piano finish) and has two levels. The first (upper) level carries the GMT09 time piece, loupe, instruction manual and warranty certificate. In the lower – 2nd – level, sits a drawer, that can be ejected by pushing the buttons with the Grönefeld logo. The drawer consists of a St.Dupont (Davidoff) gas-lighter, finished with Chinese black lacquer and two cigar cutters. Now that’s a useful watch box!

Gronefeld GMT06 Tourbillon Minute Repeater Gallery

Pictures courtesy of Grönefeld Exclusive Timepieces Oldenzaal

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Robert-Jan

Robert-Jan knows his share about cars, but his true interest is in wrist watches or better yet – haute horlogerie. Since a few years he writes about haute horlogerie on his own blog FratelloWatches, contributes to several other watch websites and is watch-columnist for a Dutch magazine.