The horological world rarely witnesses the amalgamation of family legacy, artistic brilliance, and impeccable craftsmanship. Yet, when such a convergence occurs, it materializes into a timepiece that becomes not just a means to tell time, but a piece of wearable art. Such is the tale of Grönefeld 1941 Principia Mandala, a testament to the generational watchmaking expertise and a unique representation of the Only Watch legacy.
Oldenzaal, a quaint town in the eastern Netherlands, might seem like an unlikely epicenter of horological brilliance. But trace back to 1912, and you’ll find Johan Grönefeld, a visionary watchmaker, crafting exceptional turret and clock movements. His expertise and fervor echoed through time, shaping the path for his son Sjef and later grandsons, Bart and Tim. By the late 60s, the Grönefeld torch passed onto Sjef, and he, alongside his wife Netty, furthered Johan’s mission. The culmination in 2008 saw the birth of the Grönefeld brand, an entity soon to be recognized by three GPHG awards, cementing the family’s place in the annals of watchmaking legends.
What makes the Grönefeld story exceptional isn’t just their mastery over the craft, but the values of perfection, commitment, and dedication to preserving watchmaking traditions. The Grönefeld emblem is more than just a brand. It embodies excellence and stands tall as a beacon, symbolizing the inestimable value of family heritage in horological realms.
Fast forward to the present, Bart and Tim have embarked on a unique venture, merging the old with the new in their latest masterpiece: the Grönefeld 1941 Principia Mandala. This watch breaks new ground, introducing a hinged hunter case back for the very first time in Grönefeld’s collection. Delicately engraved images of Bart, Tim, and their father Sjef adorn the interior, making it deeply personal, a memento of lineage.
The visual centerpiece is, undoubtedly, its dial. Adorned with a vivid mandala motif, the design draws its muse from the 10th-anniversary logo of Only Watch. Mandalas, symbolizing the universe’s ideal form, promise transformation – turning suffering into joy. This ethos radiates from the dial, enriched with gleaming hour markers. To ensure the zenith of perfection, 60 base dials were crafted, distilled into a single perfect design. A total of 16 clichés, each representing a color, imprinted the final masterpiece.
A dive into its anatomy reveals the Grönefeld G-06 automatic movement, a hand-finished marvel. Its stainless-steel bridges, reminiscent of Dutch houses’ facades, gleam with perfection. Gold chatons and a solid gold oscillating weight attest to the brand’s unwavering commitment to luxury.
Accentuating this piece’s aesthetics is its salmon strap, which seamlessly resonates with the dial and the Only Watch 2023 insignia. Ensuring coherence, a stainless-steel Grönefeld 1941 Principia buckle completes the ensemble.
While its dimensions (39.5mm in diameter, 11.5mm thickness, and lug-to-lug measurement of 47.2mm) make it a comfortable fit, its legacy and artistry make it an heirloom.
The Grönefeld 1941 Principia Mandala isn’t just a watch. It’s a testament to three generations of watchmaking brilliance, a tribute to the Only Watch initiative, and a reflection of art, history, and passion. In every tick, it resonates with the heartbeat of the Grönefeld lineage, making it more than just a timepiece – it’s a piece of time itself.
Click on this link to read this article in French version