1. Can You please tell us about Moritz Grossmann
Carl Moritz Grossmann, the son of a mail sorter, was born in Dresden on 27 March 1826. There, he attended the Technical College for two years after having graduated from elementary school. Moritz Grossmann was fascinated by technology and the complexity of timepieces. Eager to discover new methods, he became a journeyman in 1846 and set out to acquire the world’s horological know-how. After sojourns in Hamburg and Munich, he was drawn to La Chaux-de-Fonds, the hub of Swiss watchmaking. He returned to Dresden in 1854 after stopovers in England, France, Denmark, and Sweden. Upon his arrival, he fulfilled a dream and established his own atelier. Moritz Grossmann, who was also acclaimed as an award-winning technical author, began to craft pocket watches, pendulum clocks, and precision measuring instruments — from innovative details to complete movements.
But for Moritz Grossmann, Glashütte was more than merely the cradle of German watchmaking artistry. He dedicated his time to various associations and supported regional projects. From 1866 to 1878, he was committed to the welfare of the town of Glashütte, later also as a representative of the Royal Saxon Landtag. As an author, he was eager to pass on his knowledge; in 1878, he initiated the German School of Watchmaking and outlined the curriculum.
The art of watchmaking permeated his life and was his greatest passion. He died unexpectedly on 23 January 1885 after delivering a speech about the introduction of World Time. Thereafter, his atelier was liquidated.
2. Now that we know more about the Moritz Grossmann Watchmaker, can you tell us how you launched Moritz Grossmann as a Watch Brand.
We built the company from scratch in 2008 and started as a regular manufactory right from the very beginning. In this way we initiated the movement development and then set up the production. The first model was presented after just a few years of intensive development work. The BENU in rose gold was launched in September 2010 in a limited edition as our first timepiece. With this watch we have set the standard for all watches to come. In 2013 with the inauguration of our new manufactory building we launched the BENU Power Reserve, the ATUM and the BENU Tourbillon. Later on we represented a new ladie's line with the TEFNUT and as well steel watches with the pure finish movement.
We are a small but fine watch manufacturer who crafts watches in the highest quality. In order to increase the brand awareness of our company we started building relationships with retailers worldwide and spread the word out to the collector’s community. Besides we began speaking to different journalists from various media. In the following years we expanded our watch collection and started to take part in small fairs and various events like for example the Dubai Watch Week.
3. Made in Germany or better said Made in Glashütte, what does it mean, what are the “rules” to follow to be Made in Glashütte certified?
There exists an unwritten, however generally regarded as binding convention in Glashütte, which is called the Glashütte Rule. The certification “Made in Glashütte” follows the rule that only a watch whose main value share has been generated in Glashütte can bear this seal of quality. Specifically, this means that a least 51 percent of a watch movement has to be produced in Glashütte.
At Moritz Grossmann we produce up to 85 percent of our movement in-house. On top we are the only manufacturer in Glashütte who crafts its own hands and even worldwide there are only a few. Our hands are very special and extremely fine in their appearance.
4. During our visit with the Dubai Watch Team, this spring, I was very impressed by the Manufacture you have set-up, how does Your Power Woman style influence the daily business ?
I try to manage my team in a professional way as a CEO. In this context my profound background in the watch industry is very helpful. As a trained watch maker, I bring along a deep insight into the techniques of time measuring and its challenges. A profound understanding in watchmaking is essential for developing new products while facing changing consumer needs and markets and adapting the manufacturing process.
In my daily business my duties include discussing with our developers new challenges and possibilities, talking with our finisseurs and watchmakers about new techniques and processes and being a major part in the design of our watches.
Moreover I build upon my working experiences in marketing and sales. This is a good basis in setting up communication and marketing channels and finding new ways of distributing our Moritz Grossmann timepieces.
My special position as a female CEO in a mainly men dominated business could have an impact on my way of working and taking decisions. Apart from the fact that in our company there are as many women as men, I think that it is essential to work together as a team. I am a team player and I believe that being a successful leader is not always the result of taking decisions alone. As a CEO I see my duty to set the targets and to show the directions, but in order to reach those targets it is important to involve everyone in the company.
5. Can you please introduce your collection to our audience
Our collection is made of a very classic design. Our customers are watch connoisseurs and collectors who appreciate craftsmanship. They share an enthusiasm for micromechanical engineering, precision and artisanship. All three assets are visible in our timepieces.
Our main product lines are BENU, ATUM and TENFUT as well as special editions. In order to make the products more relating to our clients needs and certain target groups, the collection is split into three main categories:
– classic men’s pieces
– elegant women’s pieces
– special editions
We try to set up the tradition of Moritz Grossmann and to innovate useful solutions for our clients. In this way we think in new ways and are always working on finding useful technical solutions which meet our customer needs. By doing so we combine ultimate craftsmanship with traditional manufacturing skills, modern production methods and finest quality materials. Some examples of both innovations and useful solutions for our clients are the following:
The innovative winder with pusher is a special time setting mechanism, implemented in most of our watches. This mechanism eliminates two possible error sources: the ingress of particles into the case while the hands are being set and the unintentional alteration of the hand positions while the crown is being pushed home again.
Second, the stop-second mechanism in our BENU Tourbillon. As understood by Grossmann’s watchmakers, the precision of a tourbillon calls for a stop-seconds mechanism. An elastic brush with human hair gently stops the movement at the balance-wheel rim and enhances the precise functionality of the tourbillon.
For the TEFNUT Twist a new winding mechanism was created. The quest for a robust alternative to the conventional crown winder culminated in an ingeniously simple solution. The Grossmann strap winder allows the watch to be wound with turns of the strap attachment located at 6 o'clock in the case. It's fast and works even with gloves or freshly applied nail polish. It takes some dexterity to wind a watch by its crown, but the strap offers a big enough surface for a firm grip. With just a few back-and-forth movements, the watch can be fully wound. The process is very comfortable and a real advantage especially for small watches.
Another novelty is our ATUM Date. Outside the main dial section though, you'll find a recessed ring bearing numerals 1-31 for the days of the month. Seemingly floating over that is a sharp, bracket-shaped marker to display the current day of month. The date mechanism jumps instantaneously, so the bracket will always perfectly frame the correct number. You'll also notice an extra crown up at 10 o'clock on the case, and this is dedicated solely to setting the date. You simply pop it out, set the date, and pop it back it. That’s it.
6. Who are your clients and where are the key markets ?
We have been steadily creating relationships with new retailers and are now represented in fourteen countries, including Dubai, USA and UK, as well as on-line. Our key markets are Germany and Japan, this is where most of our clients are situated. We work on a rather low production scale with an amount of less than 500 pieces a year. We cooperate with an exclusive distribution network of excellent POS. Although we are not present in each country yet we are targeting to set up exclusive POS worldwide step by step.
7. How do you see your development within the next 5 years ?
Our focus is to increase our production and sales in small and healthy steps. Our target is to produce a maximum of 1,000 pieces per year. In this manner we want to maintain a high standard in manual production and finishing instead of focusing on automatized production ways.
8. Beside Watchmaking what makes you Happy ?
Having a good glass of wine with friends and getting inspired in the mountain area makes me happy. And of course I feel always very glad and proud by wearing my BENU.
Thank You very much for the Interview.