Baselworld 2018: Introducing Moritz Grossmann’s First Automatic, the Atum Hamatic

Complex, old-fashioned hammer winding.

Producing only manually-wound watches till now, Moritz Grossmann has based its finely conceived movements on pocket watch calibres so it is no surprise that the German watchmaker’s first self-winding movement is equal parts anachronistic and elaborate.

Despite recent misfires like the Atum Skull, the Atum Hamatic returns to Grossmann’s original focus of elaborately constructed movements, the cal. 106.0 in this case. It is an unusual movement with a tw0-third plate, which relies on a hammer automatic winding mechanism, comprised of a large, ovoid-shaped head and hammer spring.

Moritz Grossmann Hamatic 106.0-1

Moritz Grossmann Hamatic 106.0-4

A trio of cut-outs on the dial show the motion of the hammer as it swings back and forth, winding bidirectionally.

Moritz Grossmann Atum Hamatic 3

Moritz Grossmann Atum Hamatic 2

Despite being a time-only movement with three hands, the cal. 106.0 is made up of 324 parts, more than some chronograph movements, a testament to how complicated the winding mechanism is.

Moritz Grossmann Hamatic 106.0-2

Like a 19th century pocket watch movement, the cal. 106.0 has a pillar construction, meaning the base plate and bridges, made of German silver naturally, are secured with pillars on their peripheral, with most of the moving parts sandwiched in-between.

The cal. 106.0 has a 72-hour power reserve, and can be manually wound as well. Like all other Grossmann watches, it also has a hacking seconds.

Moritz Grossmann Hamatic 106.0-3

Also typical of Grossmann is the solid silver dial fitted with hand-made hands in steel that’s been heated to a distinctive “violet-brown” hue.

Available only in rose gold for now, the case is 41mm wide and 11.35mm high.

Price and availability 

The Atum Hamatic in rose gold (ref. MG-001708) will be available starting December 2018, priced at €39,900.


 

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Explaining the Seiko Credor Eichi II in Rose Gold

Detailing the subtle changes of the anniversary edition.

An impressively refined wristwatch, the Seiko Credor Eichi II just made its debut in rose gold at Baselworld 2018, launched to mark the 10th anniversary of the Credor Eichi I.

Aside from the case metal, the new Eichi II appears identical to its platinum sibling, but it is not. The differences, however, are as modest and subtle, but perhaps interesting to the sort of collector who values the subtleties found in the Eichi, or 叡智 in Japanese, which means “wisdom”.

The case is exactly the same dimensions as the platinum model – 39mm wide and 10.3mm high – but with a different shape that’s achieved via a different manufacturing process.

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 2

All of the surfaces and lines of the case are rounder than on the platinum version, intended to give the watch a softer look to match the warmer tone of the gold case. So the bezel is slightly domed, while the case band is slightly convex. It is practically imperceptible unless both the rose gold and platinum watches are put side by side.

The reason for the changed form is the result of cold forging, used for the first time in Seiko’s top of the line watches. Unlike hot forging, where a metal blank is heated and then pressed into shape, cold forging is done at room temperature with greater force.

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 11

The cold forging process is repeated several times in order to create the case components, raising the density of the gold, which in turn allows for Zaratsu polishing.

Also known as Sallaz polishing (after the defunct Swiss machine tool maker that built the polishing machine), the technique creates a mirror finished surface that is extremely flat, with almost no distortion.

The domed bezel (pardon the scuffs)

But Zaratsu polishing can only be applied to a relatively harder metal, because it can distort the edges and corners of softer alloys. With the platinum Eichi II cold forging was not necessary, since platinum is slightly harder than gold.

Another minor difference lies with the folding clasp. The platinum clasp for the platinum Eichi II is made in Japan, but the 18k rose gold folding buckle for the new Eichi II is made in Italy.

Consequently it feels like a clasp found on a high-end Swiss watch, while the Japan-made platinum buckle is thinner and slightly more old fashioned in construction. The reason for the change of supplier is currently unknown.

A more obvious change can be found on the dial, which is still luminous white porcelain. Whereas the original model had the hour markers and logo in blue, the rose gold Eichi has them in dark grey, or even black depending on the lighting and magnification. The markings are still applied the same way – painted freehand with a fine-tipped brush and microscope – with the new colour selected merely to match the case colour.

All three hands, however, remain exactly the same – flame blued steel.

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 1


Over on the back, the movement is largely the same – and still gorgeous. The most obvious change is the blue lacquer filling for the lettering, done to match the colour of the blued steel screws. On the platinum model the lettering is gilded.

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 7

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 4

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 3

Also different, though it has yet to be unconfirmed if it is an intentional change or variation in finishing technique, lies with the chamfered countersinks of the jewels nearest to the edges of the bridges. On the platinum model the countersinks and bevelled edges of the bridges touch, while on the new rose gold version they are separated by a tiny margin.

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 8

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 5

All in all, the changes with the Eichi II are tiny. The watch remains marvellously well crafted. If anything the rose gold Eichi II is better value, since it retains all the signature qualities of the Eichi, namely the hand-finished movement and porcelain dial, but costs almost 25% less than the platinum model, priced at approximately US$41,000 versus US$54,000.

Seiko Credor Eichi rose gold 9

Price and availability 

The Credor Eichi II in rose gold (ref. GBLT998) will be available starting July 2018 in Japan, and in August for the rest of the world. It is priced at ¥4.3m before taxes, or about US$41,000.


 

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