Bart Grönefeld

16.08.2017
Best known for: along with his brother Tim, he created one of the most outstanding watches of the past year - 1941 Remontoire.



Biography

Watchmakers in the third generation, the Dutch Bart and Tim Grönefeld received specialized education and in 1990-s had worked on the Swiss manufactory Renaud et Papi, which produced calibers for a range of recognized luxury brands. After returning home, the brothers opened their business and began to create luxury dress models with unusual complications. Over the last few years their products have won two statues of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. In 2014, Parallax Tourbillon has won in the nomination “best tourbillon watch”, and two years later 1941 Remontoire became the winner in the category “best men’s watch”. Bart and Tim always work together and, by their own admission, almost never argue on creative issues, and are often inspired by almost forgotten chorological masterpieces of past centuries.

What are you going to show this time?

Before you is still the same last year’s 1941 Remontoire with constant force mechanism, but now it is available in stainless steel versions and is completed with customized dials from our very good friend Kari Voutilainen. Customers have long asked us to start the production of unique copies, and Kari's contribution is difficult to overestimate to this effect.


How did your collaboration with Kari start, and are you able to conquer new frontiers, working in collaboration with other independent stars of watchmaking?

It all started quite funny: Kari looked at our watches and decided to purchase one for himself. Of course, we immediately decided to answer and ordered him several dials at once, as he now owns an unconnected manufactory for their production. I would not call us rivals in a literal sense. Our customers often already have in the collection Voutilainen models and vice versa, so it is quite natural that we maintain a friendly relationship and try to cooperate when the opportunity arises. As they say in a joke proverb: "Life is too short to make enemies".

What are the main difficulties of the independent watchmaking business?

To be independent is not easy in principle. We run business from “a” to “z”, create watches ourselves, do the marketing and so on. Still, the most difficult thing is to create a new watch that will capture your imagination.

What do you like best at Baselworld?

Meet people, discuss things, contact with press and, of course, drink beer with friends. Sarpaneva says the right thing.