Grönefeld 1969 DeltaWorks
Bart and Tim Grönefeld, aka ‘The Horological Brothers’, are proud of their heritage as well as the nation they call home, the Netherlands. Inspired by the Dutch ‘Delta Works’, a huge water management project protecting the country from floods and storm damage, Bart and Tim have conceived their first sports utility watch, the aptly named 1969 DeltaWorks which also references the year Bart was born.
When designing the 1969 DeltaWorks, Bart & Tim were keen to ensure the watch was suitable for daily wear and compatible with an active lifestyle. The model is designed to cope with the perils of water ingress – the watch is water resistant to 100m - and shocks while still upholding the elevated standards of horology and traditional craftsmanship that are synonymous with the Grönefeld name. To reduce the load on the ceramic ball bearing of the DeltaWorks’ oscillating mass, Grönefeld has extended the four steel spokes beyond the 18K gold mass. In the event of an extreme impact, these protruding spokes will tap against the middle-case or the inside of the rear cover. This ensures that the impact is not transmitted directly to the ball bearing and helps maintain its durability.
With this in mind, they decided it must feature a self-winding movement encompassing the same exalted finishing as other Grönefeld timepieces. Put simply, the brothers wouldn’t countenance any compromises. As such, the resultant movement, the calibre G-06, is worthy of the term ‘Haute Horlogerie’.
The movement is intended for the most discerning watch collectors. The rotor is completely hand finished and turns on smooth running ceramic ball bearings. Meanwhile, the stainless-steel bridges replicate the façades of traditional Dutch houses, termed ‘bell gables’. Each bridge features a micro-blasted central section, framed with a hand-bevelled gleaming edge.
The Grönefeld 5-arm, double spoke gear train wheels exhibit a contemporary character, but their circular grained surfaces pay due reverence to fine watchmaking tradition. Gold chatons stand testament to the no-compromise specification of this movement. In addition, the mirror polished screws feature chamfered rims and slots.
The 1969 DeltaWorks is presented in a 45mm stainless steel case, measuring 12.5mm in height. The case features an integrated strap that ergonomically encircles the wrist, conferring a high degree of wearer comfort while appearing smaller than its stated dimensions would suggest. The scale of the case endows the watch with a generously proportioned dial area, augmenting legibility but without appearing unduly large. Every aspect of the case has been carefully considered.
Four inserts are integrated within the case band, steadfastly secured to the middle-case. The inserts are titanium shrouded in coloured FKM rubber, designed to match the shade of the coloured strap.
When designing the watch, Bart and Tim were keen to ensure that the dial imparted information in a clear, intelligible format. While the dial is highly practical it is still enriched with numerous details. The dial features a subtle frosted salmon surface with blued polished applied hour markers filled with Super-LumiNova®. The small seconds display features ‘60’, presented in an orange hue, a respectful nod to the brothers’ homeland. Likewise, the country of origin is proudly proclaimed at the base of the dial.
Once again, no compromises have been made for this 1969 DeltaWorks. Everything is reassuringly Grönefeld.