The Dutch independent manufacturer led by the Gronfeld brothers has prepared another high horology treat for this year’s edition of the Baselworld show – Parallax Tourbilon watch. The newcomer unifies a flying tourbillon with the central seconds hand and also includes an innovative winding-setting system with push-only crown and hacking seconds feature. When the supported indications of the watch which runs on a proprietary hand-wound mechanical movement G-03 are concerned, it should be said that they include a display for its extended power reserve of three days, as well as a winding/setting mode display. The watch possesses a solid Sterling silver dial and it will be issued in two limited editions: the first one called 1912 in stainless steel housing and restricted to just 12 copies, as well as a bit more numerous and lavish red gold housed series consisting of 28 pieces.
Flying Tourbillon Whose Bridge Mimics the Motions of the Seconds Hand
By opting for a flying tourbillon, Tim and Bart Gronefeld in a way killed two birds with one stone since this ensures better precision for the movement and at the same time enables the wearer to see the rhythmic movement of the balance hairspring. To expose the tourbillon with a single arm bridge which is pivoted on ceramic ball bearings as much as possible, its creators placed it on a higher plane and above the caliber and the dial. Another interesting decision is to have both a tourbillon and a central seconds hand. Commonly, the tourbillon takes the role of the seconds indication especially when 60 seconds is the exact period of its rotation (which is likewise the case in this model’s tourbillon that is crafted in stainless steel). Interestingly, this model actually has a two seconds indication since the one-armed tourbillon bridge moves in unison with its central hand and serves as a kind of a secondary hand.
Furthermore, those timekeepers that include both tourbillon and a central seconds hand usually utilize friction springs that prevent the quivering in the motion of the seconds hands. However, this is far from a perfect solution since its addition requires much more energy and causes a faster depletion of the power reserve. The Gronefeld brothers decided to overcome this obstacle by including an extra pinion and wheel.
Dubbed “Parallax” Because of its Elongated Seconds Hand
As for the name of the piece, specifically the “parallax” part, it is also associated with the seconds hand since it is a phenomenon that makes object appear to be in a different position once the observer shifts his own position. In case of timekeepers this would mean that the readability of the seconds can be impaired depending on the position of the wrist as the wearer looks at his watch. In order to prevent such an effect, Gronefeld supplied its timepiece with an exceptionally long seconds hand that goes all the way to the flange. All in all, it gives the name a peculiar sounding, especially if you do not know what it is about. However, it is hardly the most important of the technical traits of the piece.
Innovative Time Setting System with Hacking Seconds Feature
One of those more impressive features of the watch is the presence of a special crown and adjoined winding and time setting system. To switch between these two functions, the wearer does not need to pull the crown out and to risk the damage to its stem, as it is commonly the case. To prevent this potential harm from happening, the Dutch watchmakers devised a crown that is to be pushed instead of pulled. The browsing between these functions is indicated on the display at the right side of the watch’s dial. Another important characteristic is in relation with this. Once the wearer pushes the crown to select the time setting function, the seconds hand automatically moves to the 12 o’clock position (this also happens with the tourbillon bridge which, as we have previously said, moves the same way as the seconds hand). The importance of this feature – otherwise known as the hacking seconds – is that it allows the wearer to set the time to a second, which is not so often when it comes to timekeepers that are made with tourbillon complications.
Each of these features is pretty impressive by itself, let alone when they are all present as it is the case with caliber G-03. This hand-wound mechanical movement has 27 jewels placed in gold chatons and 278 parts altogether. It is a lateral Swiss lever escapement movement with the frequency of 21,600 vph. Thanks to the mentioned direct gearing train that utilizes an additional wheel and pinion, the power reserve of Gronefeld Parallax Tourbillon lasts for about three days.
When talking about the decorations, it should be said that the movement’s base-plate is in nickel silver which is rhodium plated, as well as spotted and snailed. In the tradition of Gronefeld watches, the movement has its bridges made of stainless steel, which allows the extensive use of finishing which over here involves hand-polished bevels, micro-blasting on the central parts, spotted lower surfaces, as well as circular graining on the top sides.
Stylish Silver Dial
The dial of the watch is made of solid Sterling silver 925 which received a diamond cut beveling for even more distinguished appearance. Apart from the mentioned tourbillon with one-armed bridge, the seconds hand and the setting/winding display, it likewise includes an indication that shows the amount of remaining power reserve. Of course, there is also a display for hours and minutes which is off-centered and at the upper right part of the dial, opposite of the tourbillon carriage. It includes sword-shaped hands which are, as the rest of the pointers of the watch, flame-blued and with manually polished central segments.
The latest timekeeper by the watchmaking brand specialized for high-end horological marvels (for example One Hertz model which we presented three years ago) has a round case made with the width of 43 mm and the height of 12.5 mm. Both the front and the back side of the case are guarded with a sapphire crystal with a glare-proof coating on both sides. The only difference is that the one on the front is domed, while the other one is flat. Its construction ensures water resistance to 30 meters. Finally, for the attachment, the Gronefeld brothers chose a hand-sewn matte brown alligator leather strap.
As it has been said, there are two options for the material of the housing. The first one is stainless steel and there are just 12 of these copies, while the other limited edition made with the case of red gold Au750 5N is restricted to 28 pieces.