Grönefeld 1941 Principia Automatic, Steel

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This 1941 Principia Automatic follows the Grönefeld bother’s 1941 Remontoire, featuring a completely new, in-house automatic movement. This example features a distinctive salmon dial that provides a contrast against the steel case – an excellent addition to the collection of any independent watchmaking enthusiast interested in the modern advancements of traditional timekeeping.


The Grönefeld brothers’ upbringing in a small town in the Eastern part of the Netherlands was permeated in horology. Bart and Tim Grönefeld both trained in horology, cutting their teeth at famed complications specialist Renaud et Papi, alongside notable contemporaries such as Stephen Forsey and Stepan Sarpaneva.

Producing no more than a few dozen watches a year, the Grönefeld brothers create extremely high-quality pieces, having commanded the admiration and respect of none other than Philippe Dufour, amongst others.

Providing a more constant delivery of energy to the escapement, a remontoire in theory offers greater precision. Celebrated watchmaker Dr George Daniels, describes the complication in his book, Watchmaking: “The use of the remontoire is by far the best method of smoothing the power supply, but it is complex and costly to make. For this reason watches with remontoires are very rare, and this, combined with their attractive action, gives them a special place in the affections of the connoisseur of mechanics. The fact that the mechanism is quite unnecessary merely adds to its charm.”