Since last year’s October, I wished to get my hands on the new 1941 Principa from the prominent Horological Brothers. The Grönefeld 1941 Principia press release was the first to introduce me to the new timepiece. But I had to have my hands-on on it. Why? It was the first automatic watch from the Grönefelds and the entry-level piece from their collection. I will leave the video and the pictures do the talking.
The Grönefeld 1941 Principia
For those of you, familiar with the work of the brothers, you know there is no room for something less than magnificent. When it comes to finishes, the Grönefeld team does a very good job. For those of you less familiar, check this article I wrote a while ago: 1941 Remontoire – learning a complication with the Grönefeld brothers.
The 1941 case
Strap and buckle
The solid sterling silver dial
One of the striking details of the Grönefeld watches is the beautiful hands. The lancette hands are flame-blued steel after a mirror polished centres. By daily life, it means a playful set of reflections and lights games.
Small seconds sub-dial
The sunken sub-dial placed at 6 o’clock is a mix of Roman numerals and indexes. The poised seconds’ hand is also blued through a thermal process done by hand.
The back, the movement, the wonder
The back of the 1941 Principia reveals the architectural construction of the brothers’ creation. The movement is realised in the same Grönefeld typical design. The finishes are gorgeous. The 226 parts form a horological dream with 56 hours of power reserve.
The rotor weight is manufactured in solid gold. The oscillating mass is mounted on high precision ceramic ball bearing for reduced stress (less wear on the ceramic systems). Ceramic ball bearing removed the need for lubrication, so the needed service interval can be longer.
One of the important details in a Grönefeld movement is the material. The Dutch brothers use steel for bridges. That brings a spectacular end finish but implies much more difficult processes. The finishes, done by hand, are spectacular: polished bevels, micro-blasted centre, circular grain on the top to highlight the bridges shapes and relief engravings. The brass mainplate is spotted and ruthenium electroplated (visible under balance wheel).
There is no difference in movements from one case material to the other.
The end of the article contains a gallery with all the above pictures plus extra. If you want one of the pictures in higher resolution, drop me a message.
Grönefeld 1941 Principia in my mind
This timepiece might be the cheapest from the Grönefelds’ collection but is not cheap. More precise, is not a watch at the price of a decent Swiss piece, but a timepiece at a decent price, considering the tremendous work involved.
The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. Winston Churchill
The new Grönefeld 1941 Principia is a cool watch, regardless of the case material. The movement is a typical Grönefeld high-end finished calibre. Is something you expect from a watch coming from the hands of Tim and Bart. It feels good on the wrist, in hands. It is cool also to see it on other wrists. Is recognisable, lovable, special…
Grönefeld 1941 Principia Technical Specifications
|Movement dimensions||Diameter: 32,0 mmThickness: 5,5 mm|
|Number of parts||226 parts|
|Power reserve||56 hours|
|Number of jewels||31 jewels, partially set in solid gold chatons|
|Automatic system||Uni-directional winding mechanismFor 24 hours of autonomy 633 rotations of the Oscillating mass are required|
|Oscillating mass||Entirely decorated by hand. 22-karat solid gold. Pivoted on a high precision ceramic ball bearing to avoid excessive wear and the need of lubrication|
|Balance wheel||Variable-inertia balance wheel with four white gold timing screws (diameter 10 mm)|
|Balance spring||Free sprung with Phillips terminal over coil curve with triangle hairspring stud|
|Escapement||Jewelled Swiss lever|
|Main Plate||Spotted and ruthenium electroplated brass main plate|
|Bridges||Stainless steel, bevels polished by hand, micro-blasted centre, circular grain on the top to highlight the bridges shapes and relief engravings|
|Displays||Central hours and minutessmall seconds at 6 o’clock|
Case and dial
|Number of components||54 parts|
|Case dimensions||Diameter: 39,5 mmThickness: 10,5 mm|
|Water resistance||3 atmospheres – 30 meters – 100 feet|
|Crown||Red Gold Au750 5N, White Gold Au750/Pd210 (non-rhodium plated) or Stainless Steel 916L engraved with logo|
|Dial||Base material: Solid Sterling Silver 925|
|Hands||Extended Lancette hands. Flame-blued steel and mirror polished centres. A small poised seconds hand|
|Strap||A vast variety of leathers and colours are available|
|Buckle||Pin buckle made in Red Gold Au750 5N, White Gold Au750/Pd210 (non-rhodium plated) or Stainless Steel 916L engraved with Grönefeld|
For more information, please visit the Grönefeld Watches Website.