While the name Moritz Grossmann has a long history in watchmaking, he was a pioneering watchmaker in the 19th century, the modern brand that’s building on his legacy is relatively young. Founded in 2008 by Christine Hutter, they celebrated their first major anniversary in 2018 with the release of a new model, the Backpage. Now, three years later, they are expanding the Backpage collection in celebration of their 13th anniversary. The new watch is the Backpage Blue.
The logic behind the Backpage and the calibre 107.0 inside is to take everything great about the back of a watch – the reason display casebacks are so prevalent – and bring it onto the dial. The original 2018 Backpages did that pretty well, however, the new version takes it to stunning extremes. Gone are the obscuring subdial, minute track and hour markers, leaving the dial as pure movement.
What really brings it all together is the stunning finishing. The plates, front and back, have been coated with a 1 millionth of millimetre layer of blue metal oxide, creating a bright and deep colour. It’s then completed with the classic Glashütte stripes, as you’d expect from a watchmaker with Glashütte heritage. It contrasts well with the stainless steel and gold plated gears and mechanisms on display, such as the snailed ratchet wheel.
On a technical note, the Backpage Blue’s manufacture calibre 107.0 has been around for three years now and other than the updated finish it remains largely unchanged. Using a mirrored escapement and oscillation system allowed them to move elements typically associate with the rear of a calibre and put them dial side, while also ensuring that everything operates in the correct orientation. It’s both a complex and intriguing alteration that looks great. A secondary effect of the mirrored system is that the rear of the watch is surprisingly sparse, beautiful in its own way, highlighting the 42-hour capacity manual winding system.
It’s all contained in a platinum case with a diameter of 41mm and comes on a handstitched alligator leather strap. As an anniversary edition it’s limited to 13 pieces in honour of the brand’s 13 years (a weird landmark to celebrate but hey, lucky 13 and all that) and is priced at €60,000 (approx. £50,500). That’s… a lot of money, A. Lange & Söhne level money, the biggest name in Glashütte watchmaking. Although between the insane degree of finishing, precious materials and the technical proficiency of the movement, perhaps saying that it’s on the level of Lange isn’t wrong.
Price & Specs:
Model: Moritz Grossmann Backpage Blue
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter x 11.35mm height, platinum case, deep blue dial with Glashütte stripes with an exposed movement
Movement: Manufacture calibre 107.0, manual winding, 24 jewels, 230 parts
Frequency: 18,000 vph (2 Hz)
Power Reserve: 42h
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Strap: Hand-stitched blue alligator leather
Price/availability: €60,000 (approx. £50,500), limited to 15 pieces
More details at Moritz Grossmann’s boutique.